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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.”

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

"Posing Questions That Would Cross a Rabbi's Eyes"

Noted Theologian Nancy Pelosi is perplexed. She's open to the idea that some people might have a moral issue with abortion, but can't understand how some of those weirdos ended up in her "Catholic" family. Perplexing, isn't it?

.- Debate continues over the Democratic Party's acceptance of pro-life members, voters and politicians, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi made comments signaling that she is open to them.
The San Francisco Democrat cited her own childhood in a “very Catholic family” in an Italian-American sector of Baltimore.
“Most of those people – my family, extended family – are not pro-choice. You think I'm kicking them out of the Democratic Party?” she told the Washington Post May 2.

Friday, May 05, 2017

Thanks, Mr. President. I Guess. Maybe Not.

From David French at National Review:

Trump’s Executive Order on Religious Liberty Is Worse Than Useless

 Freedom must be written into law, not wish-cast through commands that a later president can reverse. Fresh on the heels of a budget deal that fully funds Planned Parenthood, Donald Trump has signed a religious-liberty executive order that — if reports are correct — is constitutionally dubious, dangerously misleading, and ultimately harmful to the very cause that it purports to protect. In fact, he should tear it up, not start over, and do the actual real statutory and regulatory work that truly protects religious liberty. According to the New York Times and others privy to the administration’s preview, the order has three main components: 1) a promise to “protect and vigorously promote religious liberty,” 2) a directive to “ease restrictions on political activity by churches and charities,” and 3) an order to “federal agencies to exempt some religious organizations from Affordable Care Act requirements that provide employees with health coverage for contraception.” Those directives are respectively 1) meaningless, 2) dangerous, and 3) meaningless.

The Trouble With Jesuits, Part 63

  From the supposedly Catholic College of the Holy Cross:

The College of the Holy Cross will begin an “examination” this fall of its use of the name “Crusaders.” The Catholic college has organized a committee to determine what to do about the fact that its founding president owned slaves, and in an unclear train of logic, the name “Crusaders” has come under this committee’s scrutiny.

Not one to understate things, ethics and society professor Mark P. Freeman said the potential name change “is a question of whether the symbol and image of the Crusader resonates with our deepest held values, beliefs, and ideals.” If they became the Holy Cross Hawks, would that resonate with their deepest values, beliefs, and ideals? I’m no ornithologist, but my guess is no.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Kidde Multipurpose Fire Extinguisher 1A10BC Feast of Saint Florian, May 4

St. Florian is the patron saint of,, first responders. The Brookline Fire Fighters page says:

Florian was a Captain in the Roman army. He was a brave soldier and a tenacious fighter. Rome recognized the danger of fire and was the first to employ a fire department. This first fire department was made up of slaves. They had no real desire to risk their lives battling the flames of their captors. Rome desperately needed fire protection. They called on Captain Florian to organize and train an elite group of soldiers whose sole duty was to fight fires. Captain Florian indeed organized such a group. They were highly trained and very successful at protecting Rome from fires. A brigade of firefighters followed the army and provided fire protection at their encampments. These firefighters were highly respected and easily recognized. They wore the traditional Roman soldier uniform except the skirt was green. The most famous picture of Saint Florian depicts him with a young boy pouring water from a pitcher onto a fire. This picture if seen in color reveals this green skirt.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Next...Pigs Fly!

Believe it or not, there's good news from Mexico!

.- Esmeralda Solís Gonzáles is a young Mexican woman who was crowned last year as a beauty queen in her native town – and now she's joined the Poor Clare Missiries of the Blessed Sacrament.
Esmeralda was born April 12, 1997 in Valle de Guadalupe, Jalisco State, to a Catholic family. She currently resides at the convent of the Poor Clare Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament of Cuernavaca in Morelos State, after leaving her career as a nutritionist.
“You really don't know what religious life is until you're within it. So far I have been able to see from another perspective what the world is and what it offers you,” Esmeralda told CNA.
The Poor Clare's website is here.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Who Wouldn't Want to go to Jubilee!?

An international group defiantly opposed to the Roman Catholic Church’s ban on women priests Sunday ordained its first woman Catholic priest in the 46 counties that make up the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte.
The ordination ceremony for Abigail Eltzroth happened in Asheville at Jubilee! – a nondenominational faith community – with Bishop Bridget Mary Meehan presiding.
Eltzroth, 64, said she is the second woman in North Carolina ordained by the rebel group, called the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests. 
 Big deal...  the Association of Irish Leprechauns has ordained me a leprechaun.

Read more here: