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Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Church Isn't "open to all citizens"?

CNA).- Montreal’s City Hall doesn’t need Christ, officials have said.
A crucifix that has hung on the wall of Montreal’s City Hall since 1937, reminding city officials to let God guide their decisions, will be taken down for a renovation project, never to be put back, local sources have reported.
City councilor Laurence Lavigne-Lalonde made the announcement at an executive council meeting this week. 

Wait a second...Laurence is a girl?

“The crucifix was installed during an era that was completely different than the one we live in today,” Lavigne-Lalonde told the council, according to CTV News Montreal.
“We now live in a society that has evolved (devolved is a better word) and is represented by democratic institutions that must be secular, neutral and open to all citizens,” Lavigne-Lalonde added.
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante agreed.
After the decision was announced, the Archdiocese of Montreal issued a statement saying that the crucifix is a symbol of the Christian roots of Canada and doesn’t need to be removed in a religiously pluralistic society.
“As a sign revered by Christians, the crucifix remains a living symbol. It symbolizes openness and respect toward all peoples, including toward other faith communities and religious traditions, which rightfully adhere to their own signs and symbols,” Archbishop Christian Lépine said in his statement. “Nevertheless, nothing forbids us, and our respective beliefs, from being present in the public space in an attitude of respect and openness, since we share the same common humanity,” he added.

“When it comes to transmitting spiritual and communal values in a spirit of togetherness and solidarity, the crucifix is laden with meaning, expressing and encapsulating what fortifies the population of Montreal since its foundation, a legacy of which we can be proud.

The flag of Quebec may be worrisome...

The Fleurdelisé takes its white cross from the ancient royal flags of France.
Its white fleurs-de-lis (symbols of purity) and blue field (symbolizing Heaven) come from a banner honouring the Virgin Mary. One such was reputedly carried by French Canadian militia at General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm's victory at Carillon.
The flag is blazoned Azure, a cross between four fleurs-de-lis argent. Its horizontal symmetry allows both sides of the flag to show the same image.

Catholics Fight Back!

.- Police are investigating an incident in Edmonton, Canada, after a posse of elderly women beat back a priest's attacker with their walking canes.
It was after evening Mass at Our Lady Queen of Poland parish on March 13, and Father Marcin Mironiuk was outside saying goodbye to parishioners when a young man, roughly 25 years old, approached the priest.
Fr. Mironiuk, who did not recognize the man, reportedly asked him if he spoke Polish. The man said no and reportedly rushed the priest, according to authorities.
Lorraine Turchansky, a spokesperson for the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton, told Global News Canada that the man threw the priest to the ground and started choking him with his hands when the elderly women who were also leaving Mass came to his defense.
“They were quite perturbed by this and shocked, really,” Turchansky said.

“They were older women so they’re not the kind of people who would whip out a cellphone and take a video or call 911. They did what they could and they had canes. They started striking the guy with their canes.”

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Pope Doesn't Want Cooties

These displays of “humility” are embarrassing and indicate (like not allowing people to kiss his ring) that he sees himself as bigger than the office he holds.
The difficult with these displays is that they are not much more than theatrics. There are more substantial things Pope Francis might do to make his point. Wouldn’t a top to bottom house cleaning of the Vatican finances complete with total transparency do much more to make the point about poverty and faithful stewardship than the histrionics of living in the Casa St Martha? Wouldn’t it be truly humbling if the Pope were to root out the gay mafia in the church rather than promote them?
The fact is, when Catholics honor their priest they should be honoring Jesus in that man. The priest should understand that and echo St John the Baptist–pointing to Jesus and saying, “He must increase and I must decrease.”
Likewise, to kiss the pope’s ring is not to honor that man, but to honor St Peter, whose successor he is.

Even a Blind Pig Finds an Acorn Every Once in a While

Bishop Cupich makes sense!

.- Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago has spoken out against a pair of Illinois abortion bills, calling them a radical and disturbing movement away from the common good.
In a March 23 letter to the people of his archdiocese, Cupich encouraged Catholics to take a stand against the legislation.
One of the bills – introduced as House Bill 2495 and Senate Bill 1942 – “seeks to strip unborn persons of any protection - or even consideration - under the law and declares abortion to be a ‘fundamental right’ and matter of health care,” he warned.
The bill would remove many of the medical regulations surrounding abortion in the state, including a ban on partial-birth abortion. It would also require private health insurance to fully fund abortion.
“The end result is that an abortion could be obtained at any stage of pregnancy, including late term, for any reason and without any regulation. The law would no longer guarantee any modicum of humanity or compassion for any unborn person in Illinois, even if they are partially born,” the cardinal said.
He added that the bill would also undo the state’s Abortion Performance Refusal Act, which currently offers protection for medical personnel who object to advising for or participating in abortion.
“In so doing, rights of conscience, especially religious objections, will be lost,” he said.

Monday, March 25, 2019

The War on Catholics, Part 2

.- A group of five Catholic hospitals in California is being sued by a woman who identifies as a transgender man after one of its locations, St. Joseph Hospital, Eureka, refused to perform a hysterectomy.

Oliver Knight is suing St. Joseph Health of Northern California, alleging that she was refused the surgery because of her “gender orientation.”

Identifies as man.
 The suit was filed in the Humboldt County Superior Court on Thursday, March 21. In the lawsuit, Knight says that workers at the hospital canceled the surgery because she identifies as transgender. Knight had identified herself as “male” for a period of four years before the surgery, which was initially scheduled for Aug. 30, 2017.

Prior to the scheduled hysterectomy, Knight had begun cross-sex hormone therapy and undergone a mastectomy.

After the surgery at St. Joseph was denied, Knight underwent a hysterectomy at a hospital unaffiliated with the St. Joseph Health of Northern California system, 30 minutes away.

The War Against Catholics, Part 1

.- Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has barred state funds from adoption agencies that won't place children with same-sex couples, after reaching a settlement with the ACLU and same-sex couples who approached a Catholic agency and another Christian agency.
The settlement is despite a state law protecting the religious freedom and funding of adoption agencies.

“This settlement does nothing to protect the thousands of children in foster care looking for loving homes,” the Michigan Catholic Conference objected in a March 22 Facebook post. These children are “the very people our state is charged with protecting.”

It is “highly unlikely” the settlement is “the last chapter of the story,” the conference added in a March 22 Twitter post.
The settlement means the state must enforce non-discrimination provisions in contracts. Agencies may not turn away otherwise qualified LGBT individuals and must provide orientation or training, process applications, and perform a home study, the Associated Press said.
As of February, Catholic Charities and Bethany Christian Services had helped oversee 1,600 of the state’s 13,000 foster care and adoption cases, state spokesman Bob Wheaton said, the AP reports. Neither agency places children with same-sex couples. the way....

 Nessel is the first self-identified lesbian elected to statewide office in Michigan and made LGBT advocacy a major part of her campaign, the Detroit Free Press said. She represented a same-sex couple in a case that led to the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating legal recognition of same-sex unions as civil marriages.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Nothing To See Here....Move Along

Hours after the first day of the Vatican Sex Abuse Summit concluded yesterday, Pope Francis stood before close to 200 participants and a small gathering of reporters and announced that “all went well,” before going on to tell everyone that they were “welcome to now leave.”

“Thank you so very much for your concern,” Francis told reporters. “Honestly, it really means a lot that you’re here and reporting on this very important matter that we’re all taking super seriously as can be seen by this summit that we were not at all pressured to do, but did it because we care. But, after a full day of work on this matter—many hours, mind you—we’ve figured it all out. And it wasn’t even that hard too, I gotta be honest.”

The pope went on to exhort those in attendance to leave the Vatican and to please start focusing on other “crazy things going on in the world.”

“So what’s up with this whole Zion and his shoe blowing out thing? Crazy, right? You think he should stop playing until he gets into the NBA? You guys should totally focus on that and I’d totally be down to give you guys quotes and stuff if you guys wanted it.”

After being asked what steps the Vatican planned on taking to address sex abuse in the future, Francis said that the details were “rock solid” and that “this kinda thing won’t happen again.”
“Trust me, it’s super complicated and, to be honest, kinda tedious. I don’t wanna bore you and waste your time with the details. Just leave here knowing that it’s all figured out. Like, totally figured out.”

Don't Forget!

Fat Tuesday Pancake Race!

.- Fat Tuesday celebrations have included parades, carnivals, and parties. But have you ever heard of a pancake race?  
Olney, England, and Liberal, Kansas, will compete against each other March 5 in the International Pancake Race, a 415-yard competition involving pancakes, skillets, and some serious flipping skills.
This is the 70th race since the friendly feud began in 1950. Last year, Liberal beat Olney with the victory of Gaby Covarrubias, a local parishioner at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church.
“It was an awesome experience. My first time running and winning was not what I expected. I had always wanted to race but never had the courage to sign up,” she told CNA.

Originating in Olney in the 15th century, the tradition stems from the tale of a woman, who was so late to church she ran with pan in hand and apron still tied around her waist.

Like other pre-Lenten observances, the event is traditionally a means for Christians to purge their kitchens of provisions which would be surrendered during the 40 days of fasting and abstinence.
“Getting ready for Lent, everyone was trying to use up all their fat before Lent started. So there was a [woman] in Olney cooking up pancakes trying to use up her fat, when the Church bells started ringing for the shriving service,” Bird told CNA.
“The story is she got there a little bit late, the door was closed so she had to knock on the door of the Church to get permission to come in and the minister had to open the door, give her a kiss of peace, and let her come into the service.”
The race still clings too many of the old traditions. It is only permitted for women, 18 and older, who must compete in an apron, a headscarf, and a skirt. Once the race begins, the women must flip the pancake, run on an “S” shaped course similar to one in England, and complete the race with a pancake flip. As tradition demands, the winner of the race then receives a “kiss of peace.”

Monday, March 04, 2019

The Pontifical Swiss Guard

Collop Monday!

We have arrived at the final days of Shrovetide.  “Shrove” is from “shrive”, “to absolve a penitent”.
On this day one customarily in earnest began to consume the leftover meat in the house, before Lent began.

Remember: once upon a time Latin Church Catholics were more serious… about everything.
Hence, today we would eat collops – slices of bacon – reserving the bacon fat for pancakes and so forth on Tuesday, when we would consume the last of the animal fats… Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras.
In this time of “carne-vale” we would, as Catholics, say “good-bye – Latin vale!” to meat.
So, have some bacon today.  Perhaps bacon and eggs?