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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Fear and Loathing in Cincinnati

.- Catholics in Cincinnati are hoping that an upcoming meeting of bishops and leaders will give the local Church a much stronger voice to address issues of racism and violence.
“It is a blessing for this archdiocese, through the archbishop, to embrace addressing racism, the pervasive gun violence, restorative justice…race relations, and mental health, that our voice has to be heard,” said Deacon Royce Winters, director of African-American ministries for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Deacon Royce Winters is Channeling Someone

This caught my eye....
Area social tensions were inflamed after a 2015 incident where a University of Cincinnati police officer shot and killed an unarmed black man in a car. The officer was tried for murder and voluntary manslaughter before a judge declared a mistrial in November. A re-trial has been set for May.
Several members of the archdiocese’s pastoral services department met to bring the problem of violence in the city to Archbishop Dennis Schnurr. The archbishop then celebrated Masses for peace at four African-American parishes in the archdiocese, and staff sent out prayer intentions and homily suggestions to parishes on “the role of the Church in seeking justice.”
In almost every case, when someone says he is seeking justice, he means he is seeking a guilty verdict. And what is an African-American parish? Is it segregated? 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Wishful Thinking

Faye Dunaway's screw up last at the Oscars) she announced the wrong movie for Best Picture) got the gang at Eye of the Tiber thinking...

In an epic mistake that drew gasps from Catholics and non-Catholics around the world yesterday, Cardinal Protodeacon Jean-Louis Tauran recently announced that he mistakenly named Jorge Mario Bergoglio as pope at the 2013 Papal Conclave, when in reality it was Cardinal Raymond Burke that won the top prize.
The newly-elected Pope Francis was saying some random thing that would have made many Catholics scratching their heads when the interjection came that Burke had in fact been elected pope.
“I want to tell you what happened,” Tauran told press gathered at the Vatican yesterday. “I opened the envelope, and it said ‘Jorge Mario Bergoglio, La La Church.'”
“Burke,” the story of a white, Catholic, conservative man had already won best supporting cardinal for Making Things Look A Little Less Out Of Control.
“Very clearly, even in my prayers this could not be true,” Burke told those gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “But to hell with it, I’m done with it, because this is true. Oh my goodness.”
It was not immediately clear how the mistake was made, though EOTT tweeted out a photo that showed that the envelope in Tauran’s hand reading “Best Bishop Of A Diocese That Is Not The Diocese of Rome".

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Confusing Mass with the Masses

.- If President Donald Trump is the candidate of “disruption,” similar disruption is needed to build a better society, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego told a gathering of faith-based groups co-sponsored by the Vatican.
“Well now, we must all become disruptors,” the bishop said Feb. 18 at the U.S. regional gathering for the World Meeting of Popular Movements, which aims to promote structural changes for greater justice in racial, social, and economic areas.

“We must disrupt those who would seek to send troops into our streets to deport the undocumented, to rip mothers and fathers from their families. We must disrupt those who portray refugees as enemies rather than our brothers and sisters in terrible need. We must disrupt those who train us to see Muslim men, women and children as forces of fear rather than as children of God.”
“We must disrupt those who seek to rob our medical care, especially from the poor,” he continued. “We must disrupt those who would take even food stamps and nutrition assistance from the mouths of children.”

Monday, February 20, 2017

Islamic Outreach, Part XCV

In an impassioned address  Friday, Pope Francis denied the existence of Islamic terrorism, while simultaneously asserting that “the ecological crisis" is real.

Two years ago this month Beshir Kamel went on television and thanked so-called Islamic State terrorists for not editing out the last words of his brother and the other Egyptian men they beheaded on a beach in Libya. “Lord, Jesus Christ,” were the last words of the Coptic Christians slaughtered because of their faith.

John Coleman, who co-founded the Weather Channel, shocked academics by insisting the theory of man-made climate change was no longer scientifically credible. 
Instead, what 'little evidence' there is for rising global temperatures points to a 'natural phenomenon' within a developing eco-system.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Trouble With Jesuits, Part 58

From a lecture at the supposedly Catholic (Jesuit) Georgetown University...
This news item stands out if only because — at last! — reality beats Houellebecq. Who’d a thunk? Or maybe Houellebecq was prophetical in his novel, “Soumission”.
What’s he talking about? News that Jonathan Brown, a tenured Georgetown professor and holder of the Al-Waleed bin Talal Chair in Islamic Civilization at Georgetown University, has delivered a lecture defending slavery and rape non-consensual sex. Umar Lee, a Muslim who heard the lecture and was offended by it, and posted about it here. He wrote:
While the lecture was supposed to be about slavery in Islam Brown spent the majority of the lecture talking about slavery in the United States, the United Kingdom and China. When discussing slavery in these societies Brown painted slavery as brutal and violent (which it certainly was). When the conversation would briefly flip to historic slavery in the Arab and Turkish would slavery was described by Brown in glowing terms. Indeed, to Brown, slaves in the Muslim World lived a pretty good life.
I thought the Muslim community was done with this dishonest North Korean style of propaganda. Obviously not. Brown went on to discuss the injustices of prison labor in America and a myriad of other social-ills. Absent from his talk (until challenged) was any recognition of the rampant abuse of workers in the Gulf, the thousands of workers in the Gulf dying on construction sites, the South Asian child camel-jockeys imported into the United Arab Emirates to race camels under harsh conditions, or the horrific conditions of prisoners in the Muslim World (the latest news being 13,000 prisoners executed in Syria).
Brown constructs a world where the wrongs of the West excuse any wrongs (if he believes there are any) in the Muslim World.
 The author of the article sums it up:

In other words, what is a Catholic university doing employing a professor who defends slavery, including sexual slavery, to the point of equating it with Christian marriage?

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Aflac Dental Insurance Feast of St. Apollonia, February 9

Paton Saint of Dentistry

Well, I guess that's her all over.

William S. Walsh noted that, though the major part of her relics were preserved in the former church of St. Apollonia at Rome, her head at the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere, her arms at the Basilica di San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, parts of her jaw in St. Basil's, and other relics are in the Jesuit church at Antwerp, in St. Augustine's at Brussels, in the Jesuit church at Mechlin, in St. Cross at Liege, in the treasury of the cathedral of Porto, and in several churches at Cologne.

Surprisingly, He's NOT a Jesuit!

.- The Israeli-Palestinian conflict requires wise U.S. engagement to build a better future for both peoples, and this future could be endangered by an embassy relocation, the U.S. Catholic bishops told the new Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.
Bishop Oscar Cantu, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, said that resolving the conflict will require “critical, continued engagement” to overcome 50 years of conflict and its “egregious injustices and random acts of violence.”
The year 2017 would be an important year, marking “the fiftieth anniversary of a crippling occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, crippling for both peoples,” he said.

A couple things here, Bishop. First of all, is the land really "occupied"? In what sense? Who does the land belong to? Lebanon? Egypt? If so, why don't they want it back?

Second, who exactly do you think is throwing up roadblocks to peace? Israel? Has Israel ever threatened to destroy "Palestine", or push them into the sea?

Meanwhile...last night....

A barrage of rockets were fired at the Red Sea resort town of Eilat late Wednesday. Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system managed to intercept three of them. No Israelis were hurt in the incident...

Septuagesima Sunday

First, for those who don’t know, in the traditional Roman calendar, going all the way back before St. Gregory the Great (+604), there have been “pre-Lent” Sundays, celebrated in violet. The Church ceases in Mass and Office to sing “Alleluia” until Easter.  They are nicknamed Septuagesima, Latin for the “Seventieth” day before Easter (the number, 70, is more symbolic than arithmetical) Sexagesima (“sixtieth”) and Quinquagesima (“fiftieth”) before Ash Wednesday brings in Lent (called in Latin Quadragesima, “Fortieth”).  These pre-Lenten Sundays prepare us for the discipline of Lent, which once was far stricter.  The Sundays have Roman Stations.   In ancient times, catechumens were taken to the Station Masses where they heard tough readers and tougher prayers.
In the Novus Ordo of Paul VI there is no more pre-Lent.
Time to bury the" Alleluia"!

Saturday, February 04, 2017

He's Got No Strings to Tie Him Down

"St. Peter was guarding the Pearly Gates when he had the need to use the restroom. He couldn't just leave his post, lest someone enter who wasn't qualified. He looks over and sees Jesus walking by and calls him over. "Hey Jesus!" says St. Peter. "Could you guard the Pearly Gates for me while I go to the restroom?" "Sure," says Jesus, "but I've never done this before. What do I do?" "Well," says St. Peter. "Just stand here and don't let anyone in until I get back. If someone comes along, strike up a conversation with them until I get back." "I think I can do that," says Jesus, so St. Peter goes off on his way. About that time an old guy comes ambling along. Jesus says "You look like you're looking for someone. Can I help?" The old man says, "Yes, I'm looking for my son." Jesus replies "What does he look like? Does he have any distinguishing marks?" The old man replies, "Yes, he has holes in in hands and feet." Jesus pauses, looks down at his hands and feet, looks astonishingly at the old man and says "I have holes in my hands and feet." Jesus extends out his hands to the old man and says "Dad?" The old man looks back at him and says "Pinocchio?"

Friday, February 03, 2017

Set the Way Back Machine to Yesterday...

Presentation of Christ at the Temple by Hans Holbein the Elder, 1500

Yesterday (February 2) was the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, also called Candlemas. The reference to light in the Gospel creates the name (40 days after Christmas) and is the day that traditionally, candles get blesssed. I did a search on Wikipedia for Candlemass and got:

Candlemass is an influential Swedish doom metal band established in Stockholm 1984 by bassist, songwriter and bandleader Leif Edling and drummer Matz Ekström. 

North Carolina State University Feast of St. Blaise

Today the Church remembers the life and witness of Saint Blaise, a 3rd century Armenian bishop who endured terrifying torments and surrendered his life rather than repudiate his profession of Faith.
Much of the life of Saint Blaise is history that has passed into legend, but even these legendary accounts offer spiritual insight.
It is said that Blaise was renowned as a wonderworker, effecting miraculous cures. This would have been enough to attract attention, but he was also not averse to calling out the Roman officials who ruled the region in which he lived, Cappadocia, for their tyranny and intolerance of Christian faith and practice. The combination of a reputation for supernatural power and the courage of his convictions was not welcomed by Rome and the governor ordered Bishop Blaise to be arrested.

There is an account of Saint Blaise that identifies not only his pastoral care for the Christian faithful, but also for the animals of the wilderness.
It seems that a woman had witnessed her piglet carried off by a wolf and spoke of her plight to the bishop. Saint Blaise called for the wolf, demanded her return the piglet to its rightful owner, and reminded the wolf of the grave penalty that awaited a thief. The wolf complied and returned the piglet to its owner- a credit to the bishop’s power of persuasion. The woman would later return the favor to Saint Blaise when he was finally captured and imprisoned. She brought to him candles to illuminate his dank and dreary cell.