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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Religious Literacy Test Fail


The Stanley Cup’s back-to-back tour with the Penguins wasn’t without a holy sacrament this year.
On Wednesday, Philip Pritchard, Hockey Hall of Fame’s Keeper of the Cup, shared a few snaps from the Michigan baptism of Pittsburgh winger Josh Archibald’s son in Lord Stanley’s Mug.
“Three-week-old Brecken Archibald gets baptized out of hockey’s Holy Grail (Brainerd, MN) #stanleycup @penguins @NHL @HockeyHallFame,” Pritchard tweeted.

Holy Sacrament?  No. Neither. Not Holy, nor a Sacrament.

Definition of sacrament

  1. 1a :  a Christian rite (such as baptism or the Eucharist) that is believed to have been ordained by Christ and that is held to be a means of divine grace or to be a sign or symbol of a spiritual reality 
    b :  a religious rite or observance comparable to a Christian sacrament.
      
    That is no more a sacrament  than this:




World Ends Tomorrow...Poor People Hardest Hit

Pope Francis, who has a strong belief in the science of climate change, called upon world leaders on Wednesday to "listen to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor, who suffer most because of the unbalanced ecology." 




Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I, the head of the Orthodox Christian Church, will issue a joint message to commemorate the annual "World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation" on Friday, the Associated Press reported.
In 2015, the Pope designated Sept. 1 as "a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of creation," framing the preservation of the environment as a moral responsibility. 

Endorsed by "The Dude"


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

First Day of Hajj

 Today is the first day of the Islamic Hajj. Why?

The first day of the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca will be on Wednesday, August 30, 2017, as announced by Saudi Arabia's High Judicial Court.
In the Islamic calendar, Hajj begins every year on the 8th day of the Dhu al-Hijjah lunar month, and traditionally the length of lunar months is only confirmed after  moon sighting on the 29th day of the previous lunar month.
Since the moon was not seen on August 21, the first day of the Dhu al-Hijjah lunar month lunar will be August 23, and so Hajj should begin on August 30.
The High Judicial court in Saudi Arabia announces the dates for Hajj, and Eid-al-Adha after reviewing moon sighting reports.





 Sounds complicated. I'm glad we Catholics don't do stuff like that.....

In 325 AD the Council of Nicaea established that Easter would be held on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox. From that point forward, the Easter date depended on the ecclesiastical approximation of March 21 for the vernal equinox.
Easter is delayed by 1 week if the full moon is on Sunday, which decreases the chances of it falling on the same day as the Jewish Passover. The council’s ruling is contrary to the Quartodecimans, a group of Christians who celebrated Easter on the day of the full moon, 14 days into the month.

Never mind.

Hurrican Harvey

 Father Z suggests that if you are looking for a place to make a contribution, consider Team Rubicon:

Team Rubicon's primary mission is providing disaster relief to those affected by natural disasters, be they domestic or international. By pairing the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders, medical professionals, and technology solutions, Team Rubicon aims to provide the greatest service and impact possible. 



 

The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations



.- President Donald Trump’s promise to treat undocumented minors with “great heart” needs to be reflected in policy that gives them legal protection, not deportation, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles has said.
“They did not make the decision to enter this country in violation of our laws, and in fairness we cannot hold them accountable,” Archbishop Gomez said in an Aug. 29 column for the Archdiocese’s Angelus News. “America is the only country they know, and the vast majority are working hard to make their own contribution to the American dream.”




Here's where it gets confusing...

 “Archbishop Gomez, however, saw an opening for the president to change. 
President Trump campaigned on a promise to end DACA,” the archbishop continued. “But since his election he has expressed sympathy for these young people, promising to treat them with ‘great heart’.” 

 The "undocumented minors" may not have known they entered the country illegally then, but they sure as shootin' know it now. They know their parents broke the law. So in response, the Bishop wants the President to renege on his promise to revoke DACA and become a liar? The Bishop is encouraging a sin? Or to my way of thinking, two sins?

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Passion of John the Baptist, August 29

Part of today's Gospel. From Mark 6: 22-29:

Herodias' own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests.
The king said to the girl,"Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you."
He even swore many things to her,"I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom."
She went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask for?"
She replied, "The head of John the Baptist."
The girl hurried back to the king's presence and made her request,
"I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist."
The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders to bring back his head.
He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it,
they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

The overview:



The First American-Born Martyr

 Father Stanley Rother will be beautified in September.



He may be a saint, but that is still one ugly stole.

It's My Turn to be Offended

.- Parents are concerned after a California Catholic school has removed several religious statues from its campus in an effort to be more inclusive of other faiths.
San Domenico School in San Anselmo, California removed several religious statues from display on campus, donating some and relocating others to storage.
Many parents and members of the school community expressed worry  that this could signify an erasure of the school’s Catholic identity.
Shannon Fitzpatrick, whose 8 year-old son attends the school, voiced her objections to the removal of the statues to the school’s board of directors, according to the Marin Independent Journal.  

Maybe the school board could hire some of our Muslim brothers to finish the job.

Islamic Outreach, Part CI

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."

Meanwhile... 
 
A new video has been released showing ISIS militants in the Philippines threatening to come to Rome as they desecrate a Catholic church.
Filmed in the Philippine city of Marawi, the video shows militants shooting and setting fires within a church, as they destroy a crucifix and statues of Mary and St. Joseph.
One jihadist tears up photos of Pope Francis and Benedict XVI while saying, “Remember this, you kuffar [non-Muslims] – we will be in Rome, we will be in Rome, inshallah [god willing].” 

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.”