Friday, August 26, 2005


Reported at Bettnet:

A federal judge in Washington state ruled that all churches and schools in the Diocese of Spokane can be liquidated to pay legal settlements of sex abuse victims.

A federal bankruptcy judge ruled Friday that all the parish churches, parochial schools and other property of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane can be liquidated to pay victims of clergy sexual abuse.

The decision, expected to have ramifications for dioceses across the nation, is a major defeat for Spokane Bishop William Skylstad, who had argued he did not control individual parishes and thus they were not available to cover settlement costs.

“It is not a violation of the First Amendment to apply federal bankruptcy law to identify and define property of the bankruptcy estate even though the Chapter 11 debtor is a religious organization,” U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Patricia Williams wrote.

Continue reading...


I am adding this to the "it's possible to be too traditional" file.

Here is a group I found while researching Opus Dei:

Associação A Hora de São Jerônimo

Click on the words on the bottom of the page to get to the sub-pages.

I did not find much of an OD link here, although the HSJ clearly is sympathetic to the far right.
I learned of the group through reading the summer 2004 newsletter of Una Voce America, a group that promotes the Tridentine Mass under the papal indult of 1988.

One of the activists in the HSJ is Prof. Carlos Ramalhete.

In the article "Nurturing traditional Catholic culture at the grass roots: the Brazilian HSI Association," he wrote (emphasis in bold added by me):

"Our work, therefore, necessarily has a double goal: to protect this traditional Catholic identity and world-view among the lower classes (less touched by secularist education and ideologies) and to foster and spread the traditional Catholic culture among the elites, especially the youth, who have been more exposed to false ideologies in their formal education. The work, both among the poor and among the rich, evidently needs to have the Holy Mass at its center.

For the poor, we will offer courses on traditional arts and crafts related to the beauty and reverence of the liturgy: embroidery and hand-made lace for traditional liturgical garb; woodworking and joinery for kneelers; rosary-making, image-painting, and sculpture - simultaneously providing them the means to make these works financially sound through internet-based global commercialization of their production.

We will teach poor Brazilian girls to make traditional paraments - completely hand-made, without a shadow of machine-made embroidery or lace.

At the same time and in the same places (basically spare rooms in favela chapels) we will offer Apologetics courses to help them protect their Faith against Protestant fundamentalism.

For the sons of the elite, we will offer courses on traditional theology and Thomistic philosophy, as well as other ways of fostering interest in these studies (essay contests on Thomistic legal theory for Law students, textbooks on Thomistic philosophical anthropology for healthcare providers), including indirect ones (swordsmanship classes conjoined with Medieval ethics, Latin classes employing liturgical and patristic texts, rhetoric classes based on Medieval logic and Thomistic ethics.)" [pp. 8-9 of the newsletter]

Words fail me.

The mentality in this article fully explains (to me) why the French Revolution occurred, and was so violent.



summarizes Benedict's talks in Cologne during World Youth Day. This is noteworthy:

As for the rest, the script had already been written. And not everything was in keeping with Ratzinger's tendencies. The Masses, the vespers, and the Eucharistic benedictions celebrated with the trendy popular music choirs, rock guitars, Indian dances, African tambourines, and Andean flutes were the object of severe reprimands from him in the past, when he was a theologian and cardinal.

This time, in Cologne, the potpourri was a bit more moderated, with little bits of Gregorian chant or the meditative "canons" of Taizé popping up here and there, but there was also the Argentinian juggler who kept a number of hats in the air in front of the altar, like the "jongleur de Notre Dame." A patient Benedict XVI balanced it all with his sober and austere presence. At his side the pontifical master of ceremonies, Piero Marini, the director of these mass rituals dear to John Paul II, put the seal on one of his last performances.

It's going to be interesting to learn who the next director of rituals will be.


A public forum for Catholics and other interested parties will be held on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2005 at the Holiday Inn, 1200 Beacon Street, Brookline, Massachusetts, on the outskirts of Boston proper. Its purpose will be to review Canon Law (the body of laws of the church), especially those relating to celebrating Mass. It will explore the alternate worshipping styles that have taken place for many Catholics who no longer attend Sunday Mass in a traditional church building. There will also be a discussion regarding one's spiritual growth in the face of a crisis in faith.

CITI Ministries/Rentapriest.com, a free referral service of married Catholic priests, is sponsoring the day that will feature as keynote speaker, Fr. Tom Doyle, a Canon Lawyer and recent recipient of several Priests of Integrity awards for his many years of work in behalf of clergy sexual abuse victims. Fr. Doyle's topic will be, "Canon Law: Whom does it work for in today's church?"

Continue reading...

Will this compromise Fr. Doyle's authority on the sexual abuse crisis?


CHICAGO — The editor of a medical journal that published an article this week saying fetuses likely don't feel much pain until late in pregnancy says she has received dozens of angry e-mails from abortion opponents.

Dr. Catherine DeAngelis (search), editor in chief of The Journal of the American Medical Association, said Thursday she had to take a walk around the block after receiving dozens of "horrible, vindictive" messages.

"One woman said she would pray for my soul," DeAngelis said Thursday. "I could use all the prayers I can get." She said she is a staunch Roman Catholic (search) and strongly opposes abortion, though she also supports women's right to choose.

Critics said the article in Wednesday's JAMA was a politically motivated attack on proposed federal legislation that would require doctors to provide fetal pain information to women seeking abortions when fetuses are at least 20 weeks old, and to offer women fetal anesthesia at that stage of the pregnancy. A handful of states have enacted similar measures.

Continue reading...


Some of you may follow Sergei's blog, "A Conservative Blog for Peace."

Sergei has written an essay detailing his thoughts on Charismatism-Pentecostalism from the Orthodox perspective that was sent to me by a reader. It's a good analysis. Unlike me, he is not coming from the experience of being in a parish where there was a charismatic movement that had the sympathy of the pastor and thus the leadership of the parish, and so he is not jaded by the experience as I am. He points out the good fruits along with the failings of the movement, and I mostly agree with what he says.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


found by Novus Ordo Watch.


European Jewish Press reports:

The leader of the Italian Jewish community has called for public displays of crucifixes to be outlawed.

In a statement released last week, Amos Luzzatto, Chair of the Italian Union of Jewish Communities (UCEI) spoke out against the symbols as irreflective of all members of society.

"We do respect the Christian people,” Luzzato said. “But a symbol of divine presence in a public school should be recognisable by the citizens of all faiths and it should address them all in an equal manner.
“Now, since every school hosts citizens with different beliefs or no belief at all, we should rather avoid displaying any symbol".

Silence broken

The new declaration broke the August quiet of Italian politics and followed Pope Benedict XVI’s homily on Assumption of the Virgin Day, August 15.

Continue reading...

Blogger credit to Novus Ordo Watch.


LifeSite reports:

ORANJESTAD, Aruba, August 24, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A lesbian couple “married” in the Netherlands in 2001 won a fight to have their same-sex relationship recognized by the government of Aruba Tuesday. Aruba’s Superior Court denied the government’s appeal of a lower court ruling, despite widespread opposition to the homosexual lifestyle on the island and in the Caribbean region in general.

“The Dutch marriage can be inscribed in the register,” the judge proclaimed in his written decision. “Since Aruba is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, it must comply with demands of the Kingdom.”

Continue reading...


William Donohue makes his point:

After Showtime, a Viacom company, aired the most obscene attack imaginable on Mother Teresa last May (e.g., she was called Mother F---ing Teresa), we mobilized Catholic bishops, priests, nuns, religious and lay persons to protest. And not without success: the vile episode of 'Penn and Teller' that we objected to, 'Holier Than Thou,' will never air again. That should have been the end of the story, but now Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone has made matters worse.

Redstone's letter reeks with arrogance. Showtime, he says, "frequently airs programs with controversial, differing points of view." So we are supposed to believe that calling nuns 'f---ing c---s' is just a 'differing point of view.' When he says that "we as an organization are committed to artistic freedom," Redstone is being deceitful: CBS is a Viacom holding and CBS refuses to air the reruns of 'Amos and Andy.' So much for artistic freedom.

Continue reading...


LYNN - When Rev. James Gaudgreau learned that there was a theft at St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Tuesday night, he was quite alarmed. But when he found out what was taken, he was downright flabbergasted.

"It is gravely sacrilegious," said Gaudreau, after learning that the thieves made off with communion hosts. " Webelieve (the hosts) are the body and blood of Christ," Gaudreau said.

The hosts were locked inside the tabernacle located on the first floor of the church. Gaudreau believes the thief or thieves entered through a boiler room door, which might have been left unlocked by a repairman who serviced the boiler last week.

Gaudreau, piecing together a trail of broken wood, said that the thief then punched a hole through a wooden cross located on a door to a small room behind the alter. Although valuable gold chalices are kept in a cabinet in the room, only the keys to the tabernacle were removed.

Continue reading the story

Blogger credit to Spirit Daily.


The Italian authorities are investigating a fax, allegedly signed by al-Qaida, which makes veiled threats against the Vatican.
The three-page document, written in Arabic, accuses the Vatican of supporting "the capitalist countries" who joined the war in Iraq and justifies terror attacks in Britain and Spain as "self defence against terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan".

The fax was sent in Barcelona to the offices of the Spanish conservative daily newspaper ABC and to a Spanish television station.

The interior ministry in Rome confirmed yesterday that it had been informed of the contents of the fax. "We are aware of it but we have no comment to make," a source at the ministry said. The Vatican also refused to comment.

The threats are bound to increase nerves in Italy, which has long feared it could be the next European country to be targeted by Islamists because of the government's support of the Iraq war. Italy maintains the third-largest contingent of US-led troops in Iraq.

Since the London bombings Italy has been on a state of alert described as "intense and prolonged" by the interior minister, Giuseppe Pisanu. Security has been stepped up at airports, train and subway stations and at major tourist sites such as the Vatican and the Colosseum.

Continue reading the article at the Guardian website...

Blogger credit to Spirit Daily.

New Oxford Review links a Reuters story that reports a man has been arrested:

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish police said on Thursday they had arrested a Spanish man on suspicion of sending threatening faxes in the name of al Qaeda.

The man, identified only as J.R.M., would be charged with "making threats in the name of a terrorist group", a police spokesman said.

Continue reading...


From Medical News Today:

The Washington Post on Monday examined efforts to stop the alleged overcharging of uninsured patients at not-for-profit hospitals and profiled "lead agitator" K.B. Forbes, executive director of Consejo de Latinos Unidos. According to the Post, federal lawsuits in 22 states have been filed over the past year accusing not-for-profit hospitals of "failing to meet their tax-exempt obligations to provide indigent care." Forbes "is racing forward with a new line of attack, focusing on what he calls the un-Christian behavior of religiously affiliated hospitals," the Post reports. Forbes said, "It's offensive these hospitals market themselves as providing the healing mission of Christ. There is nothing healing about charging someone quadruple and then sending the bill collectors after them."

Continue reading...

Here is a link to the website of Consejo de Latinos Unidos where you will find the issue front and center, along with the phone numbers to contact them if you are struggling with hospital bills from uninsured hospital visits. The organization website says race, ethnicity, and income are not factors they consider.

The Associated Press article gives more information about pending lawsuits and notes that it is a Catholic hospital system that is being targeted:

Forbes said his organization will spend up to $20,000 next week to run announcements on English- and Spanish-language radio stations asking people to report possible incidents of overbilling and deception at facilities owned by Catholic Healthcare West and other companies.

The group, which offers free legal aid to the uninsured, will analyze the responses and prepare a report for Congress and the California Attorney General's Office. The investigation will later expand to target facilities in Arizona, Colorado and Ohio.

San Francisco-based Catholic Healthcare West operates 40 hospitals in California, Arizona and Nevada.

A spokeswoman for the hospital system counters the allegation:

Jan Emerson, spokeswoman for the California Hospital Association, said the allegations are unfounded. She said California hospitals lost $6.5 billion last year by providing health care to uninsured and underinsured patients.

The Washington Post story as reported by Medical News Today (linked above) claims that Forbes is working on behalf of J. Patrick Rooney, GOP donor and insurance giant. Forbes does not deny it, but says that it has no bearing on the allegations he makes. The hospitals claim that negotiating large discounts for major buyers is just the American way of free enterprise.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Last Friday the washer gave up the ghost. Ok, I've had it awhile. This was not unexpected. Since I believe in patronizing the little guy, I buy my appliances at a local small business instead of the big box store. I went down there and picked out a General Electric washer, arranging to have it delivered the next day.

My daughter took delivery on the washer since I had an appointment and couldn't be at home. When the delivery men set it up, they discovered the cord was a few inches too short to reach the plug.

Mind you, the plug hasn't moved, and every other washer I've had plugged in easily, but not this one.

The installers persuaded my daughter to round up an extension cord in the garage, plugged it in with the extension cord, saw that it worked, and left. When my husband got home he took one look at the 15 ft. extension cord and said it's going to burn up the motor. Get them to change the washer cord to one that is long enough.

I called the appliance store and explained the problem. They told me to buy an appliance extension cord to solve it. I called the fire department to see if that was an option. Absolutely not! they told me. Extension cords are only for temporary use. Running an appliance with an extension cord as a permanent solution is a fire hazard. They transferred me to the zoning department who said the same thing. It doesn't meet code.

I called the appliance store. They insisted the extension cord is perfectly safe. They refused to do anything about the problem. I called the owner of the store. His secretary (or whoever she was) said it could easily be fixed. I just needed to have a 6 ft. cord installed on the washer. Then the owner called me back. The owner would not support installing a 6 ft. cord. That would void the warranty. I had to use the extension cord.

I emailed GE who called back and came up with the solution that I should return the washer and buy one with a 6 ft. cord. Changing the cord would void the warranty.

I checked at Sears. They have the same model and could change the cord, but I have to pay for the cord. No problem but they didn't mention the warranty, and I suspect the sales person doesn't really know if it will void the warranty or not.

So five days after I bought a new washer, I still don't have one that works. But I bet some pencil sharpening accountant at General Electric is proud of the cost savings of going to a 4 ft. cord as opposed to one that would actually reach the outlet in an older home built when they installed 6 ft. cords on washers.

S--i--g--h !


A reader sent in an article about Brother Roger's funeral.

TAIZÉ, France, Aug. 23 - Brother Roger Schutz pursued many ecumenical dreams in his long life, but in death one of them came true: At a Eucharistic service celebrated Tuesday by a Roman Catholic cardinal for Brother Roger, a Swiss Protestant, communion wafers were given to the faithful indiscriminately, regardless of denomination.

Cardinal Walter Kasper, the president of the Vatican's council for the unity of Christians, who celebrated the Mass, said in a homily, "Yes, the springtime of ecumenism has flowered on the hill of Taizé." Beyond religious divisions, Brother Roger also abhorred the division between rich and poor. "Every form of injustice or neglect made him very sad," Cardinal Kasper said.

Were these consecrated "communion wafers"?

Why was a Swiss Protestant provided with a Catholic burial?

Notice that Cardinal Kasper morphs the "unity of Christians" into the social gospel.

The last paragraph is enlightening:

Petra Simmert, a schoolteacher from southern Germany, came with her husband and two children. She is Protestant, he Catholic; one child is Catholic, the other Protestant. "We're an ecumenical family," she said, with a laugh. Watching the funeral of Pope John Paul II on television, they saw Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, give communion to Brother Roger, even though he was not Catholic. "That struck us," she said.

So, is the new Ecumenical Religion better than Catholicism, and where in the Tradition of the Church do we find this teaching?

Are there two classes of people, the Protestants who are worthy of receiving the Eucharist and the Protestants who are not worthy of receiving, and on what is this distinction based? The "Guidelines for the Reception of Communion" on the last page of the Seasonal Missalette state:

Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to holy communion. Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law. (Canon 844 SS 4)

Here is Canon 844 #4:

ß4 If there is a danger of death or if, in the judgment of the diocesan Bishop or of the Episcopal Conference, there is some other grave and pressing need, catholic ministers may lawfully administer these same sacraments to other Christians not in full communion with the catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and who spontaneously ask for them, provided that they demonstrate the catholic faith in respect of these sacraments and are properly disposed.

So, were all of the people who received questioned as to whether they believe what the Church believes with regard to the Eucharist before they were permitted to receive?

The article indicates that TV screens were set up on the grounds to accommodate the crowd. That must have been one long funeral service considering the necessity to quiz each recipient.

Oh, but maybe they were all in danger of death. There was one knife wielding killer, so maybe there were more lurking in the crowd and so they were all in danger of being stabbed. Yes, that must be the reason they were all permitted to receive. Are the police searching for the potential killers? No? Well, the police are not doing their job, then, are they? Or is it the Cardinal who was not doing his job of defending Canon Law and the sacredness of the Eucharist?

Will the "ecumenical family" feel free to receive communion together in the next Catholic Mass they attend?

This is insane! The laws of the Church apply to some but not to all and not in every circumstance and basically whenever the presider decides to invoke them or to dispense with them.

The cafeteria is still open, folks! Big time open! If it's open for the ordained, why should they be surprised when the laity think it's open for them as well? This garment is full of seams and tatters.

This article about Taize says it all. This is the latest fad in Catholicism and other religions. Concentrate on meditation and silence, and out of that silence form a unity. The Gnostic Christians will find a nice home here, too. But will Jesus Christ? Cardinal Ratzinger is pictured giving the Eucharist to Brother Roger in this article.


A reader sent in this item from Spero News:

While it won’t be a World Cup Quidditch match out of a Harry Potter movie, the Witch School Education and Leadership Conference, hosted by the Correllian Nativist Tradition at Trinity Temple in Albany, NY on September 1st through 4th, will draw witches from around the world, both in person and via the internet.

The organizers believe their religion, Wicca, as a faith and practice is being greatly challenged by Christian authorities. According to a press release from the Correllian Nativist Tradition, "These Christian leaders seek every legal means to stop the Wiccan faith from gaining a foothold in the American mainstream. Christian preachers quote 'Never to suffer a Witch to Live' as biblical law."

An expert on religious and educational reporting requirements, Davron Michaels says, "This conference will help pagan educators and leaders to understand what steps they must take to secure their rights under the [U.S.] Constitution. Being proactive in securing our rights requires basic education and networking."



and a host that contains yeast.

The question came up on one of yesterday's blogs about the Catholic worker priest saying mass on what appears to be a coffee table with what appears to be levened bread.

The Catholic definition of "valid" matter is contained in "De Defectibus". Section III item No. 5 addresses yeast in the host. It reads:

5. If the bread has begun to mold, but it is not corrupt, or if it is not unleavened according to the custom of the Latin Church, the Sacrament is valid but the celebrant is guilty of grave sin.

Take another look at the picture. Presumably Father Kelly knows the requirement for validity. Is he dedicated to doing what the Church specifies, or is he doing his own thing? Out of that question arises the question of validity of the sacrament because a sacrament cannot be valid if the priest is not intending to do what the Church intends.


An article from the mailbox:

CANTON, Ohio -- There are 490 female students at Timken High School, and 65 are pregnant, according to a recent report in the Canton Repository.

The article reported that some would say that movies, TV, videogames, lazy parents and lax discipline may all be to blame.

School officials are not sure what has contributed to so many pregnancies, but in response to them, the school is launching a three-prong educational program to address pregnancy, prevention and parenting.

Gee, I bet all those school officials know what will fix this problem. And I bet those same officials are not about to admit that they know. (Abstinence. Shhhhhh. We wouldn't want them to know that we know, would we?)


Diogenese wades in on a controversial new study reported in JAMA.

The study, summarized by the Associated Press at breitbart.com asks whether a child being aborted feels pain and thus requires an anesthetic.

Diogenes asks two questions:

If it's likely that you won't feel pain, does your dentist give you novocain? Or does he make sure?

Can a "blob of tissue" feel pain? Or are we staring at yet another clear piece of medical evidence showing that the thing inside the womb is a fellow human being?

The mere asking of the question already assumes that there is substantial evidence for a decision of "living being" where the fetus is concerned. Does a rock feel pain? Does a stuffed animal hurt? In order to ask the question, we must first assume that the object of the inquiry is living.

From the mailbox, forwarded by a reader, Orthodox priest Fr. Demetrios has some comments that I hope he will not mind if I post:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I am sending you this very sad and sickening article as a reminder that our nation is rapidly becoming 'soul-less!' Not only is the research to 'prove' that a pre-born child (fetus) does not feel pain until the 7th month, a revolting project (As the Lord said, "You strain the gnat and swallow the camel."), but - on the other side -even the idea of anesthetizing the pre-born baby so it feels no pain as it is being murdered, is sick. Simply let the child live!!! Note particularly the 3 paragraphs I have put in red --- especially the one in the biggest print. I humbly suggest that every women ask their gynecologist if they do abortions, and - if so - get another one that does not kill babies. As long as we continue to legalize the murder of the most innocent of God's children, we have no right to call ourselves a 'civilized nation!'

Let us imitate the Jews in Egypt and CRY OUT to the Lord for deliverance, in this case from the slaughter of His innocent ones, before it is too late!

+Fr. Demetrios

The paragraphs he highlights are these taken from the AP article on this research:

Rosen also said that administering anesthesia or painkillers to the fetus could pose health risks to the mother.

When doctors operate on fetuses to correct defects before birth, general anesthesia is given to the mother primarily to immobilize the fetus and to make the uterus relax, Rosen said. Anesthesia during fetal surgery increases the mother's risks for breathing problems and bleeding from a relaxed uterus, the researchers said.

Rosen said those risks are medically acceptable when the goal is to save the fetus but there's not enough evidence to show any benefit from fetus-directed anesthesia during an abortion.

Suddenly, as a result of this study, abortion advocacy will focus on the physical welfare of the pregnant woman. Mostly what I read are horror stories about how little concern for the woman is expressed by abortion providers. But now the providers will have a reason to "care". Now that their business could be at stake they will develop a misplaced compassion. Naturally they can ill afford to have any compassion for the baby.


Amy Welborn has bloged a new twist to the story.


A flap has developed in Australia over Cardinal Pell's invitation to Mel Gibson to stage the crucifixion for World Youth Day 2008. It seems that the interreligious dialoguers don't want this to happen because it dampens Christian-Jewish relations.

Let me try to assimilate this... Interreligious dialogue is opposed to Christian history because that history offends the Jews, so we Christians must not talk about it? What exactly do they dialogue about at the dialogue table, since apparently they have decided to travel light and leave their doctrine at home?

Ecumenism, thy name is heresy.


A brief summary of the article:

The Parents Television Council was founded 10 years ago but became more visible after marshaling complaints when Janet Jackson bared her breast during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.

Hollywood fights back with:
Three major media companies - NBC Universal, Viacom and News Corp. - have launched TV Watch to advocate parental controls and oppose government intervention. This newly minted group, which has brought together an unusual mix of corporations, creative types and conservative, free market proponents, is emerging as the council's adversary in an escalating battle over what's appropriate for the airwaves.

You know how this works...We are going to destroy the morals of the nation, but we'll give you a switch to prevent our perversion from getting into your livingroom as long as you are there to make sure it's in the "on" position.

Of course if your kids happen to be visiting a friend, or shopping in a store with TVs, you won't be there to turn on the switch, will you? And then we can do whatever we want with your kids. And anyway, once we've destroyed the culture, what happens in your livingroom is a moot point. So we've got you, and there isn't a damn thing you can do about it because we've played the "freedom" card and now America is on our side.


Pat Robertson, one of the most influential Christian evangelists in the United States, has sparked controversy by calling for the assassination of the left-wing leader of Venezuela.

Mr Robertson, who heads the Christian Coalition and has close links to the White House, said the US should kill President Hugo Chavez because he wanted to turn his Catholic country into "the launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism".

"We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability," Mr Robertson said on the Monday night broadcast of his religious programme The 700 Club. "We don't need another $200bn war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."

Venezuela, whose relationship with the US has become increasingly difficult in recent years, described Mr Robertson's comments as a form of terrorism and called on the White House to condemn them.

Speaking in Caracas, Vice-President Jose Vicente Rangel said: "This is a huge hypocrisy to maintain an anti-terrorist line and at the same time have such terrorist statements as these made by Christian preacher Pat Robertson coming from the same country. The ball is in the US court now, after this criminal statement by a citizen of that country."

Read the rest of the story...


Winning the gold star award for creative headlining...

Did you ever think you'd see the words "dirty dancing" and "nun" in the same sentence?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


TORONTO, August 22, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Canadian non-profit company is to be the primary manager for a new internet domain, .xxx, a new virtual red light district approved for the internet by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in June.

The Toronto-based International Foundation for Online Responsibility (IFFOR) is the sponsor for .xxx., according to a PC World report. ICM Registry is the owner of the domain, but IFFOR will independently oversee all aspects of the operation of the .xxx domain.

According to its web-site, the IFFOR includes as part of its goals to: “promote the principles set forth in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights related to free expression” as it relates to pornography; and “protect the privacy and security of consenting adult consumers of online adult-entertainment goods and services.”

Where would we be without the United Nations, defenders of the right to reduce society to the lowest common denominator?

Blogger credit to a reader.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!


Fashion designers and advertisers continue to push the twin envelopes of skin and taste as a European firm features an ad for ultra-low men's pants that clearly shows the model's pubic hair.

The fall 2005 men's wear line of Dolce & Gabbana includes jeans that plunge so low they've been dubbed "pubic pants," the Houston Chronicle reported.

Read the rest at World Net Daily...

Blogger credit to New Oxford Review.


may eliminate the need to use embryonic stem cells while at the same time providing a better patient match.


(PRWEB) August 23, 2005 -- CosmeticVacations announced today a partnership with Dr Henrique Radwanski, a plastic surgeon specializing in hair restoration surgery; he is a full member of the Brazilian Society of Plastic Surgery -- www.cirurgiaplastica.org.br.

Dr Radwanski is a consultant to the prestigious Ivo Pitanguy Clinic for hair transplantation. As Assistant Professor of the Post-graduate course in Plastic Surgery of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, he is active in teaching all aspects of plastic surgery.

Read the rest here...


Cardinal Kasper will say the funeral Mass for slain Brother Roger. (I thought Brother Roger was a Protestant.)

Successor to the leadership role was designated by Brother Roger eight years ago.

Brother Alois, a 51-year-old Roman Catholic who Brother Roger designated as his successor eight years ago, has been named as the new leader of the Taize.

Read the story here...


CNN reports:

BRUSSELS, Belgium (Reuters) -- A Belgian nun's acrobatic and indecorous dancing with a missionary during the Catholic World Youth Day in Germany over the weekend earned her a reprimand from her mother superior, a Belgian paper said on Tuesday.

Daily Het Laatste Nieuws showed pictures of a dancing Johanne Vertommen being held up in the air by the missionary, and then clinging to him with her legs wrapped around his body.

Nice example for the youth. Do the religious have even half a clue...? Did the missionary's superior reprimand him as well? What's it going to take to return morals to the Catholic Church?

Back in the 80's there was the nun who danced with the priest during the picnic Mass in the park at the end of Vacation Bible School at my former parish. They danced, and the rest of us stood there open mouthed.

Maybe we could start be evicting the other gospel--the channeled luuuuuuv gospel.


Los Angeles Catholic Worker style Mass.

Let's see...vestment consists of kakhis, blue shirt, and sandals. Altar is a coffee table. Bread being consecrated looks like it contains yeast. Wine not in evidence, but there are some other things on the "altar." Is this consecration valid?

Monday, August 22, 2005


This report comes from the Solomon Islands.

A TRAINING of trainers programme for Liturgical Animators of Catholic parishes began last week at Tenaru as part of the church's three year strategic plan.
The training of trainers programme will address topics of ecclesiology, mission of the church, gender sensitivity, Christian leadership, ecumenism, creativity in liturgy and communication skills.

Read the rest of the story...

What on earth is a "liturgical animator"? When did Mass become a cartoon?


Three years after the clergy sex abuse crisis rocked the Roman Catholic church, a Vatican-directed evaluation of all U.S. seminaries is scheduled to begin late next month.

Archbishop Edwin O'Brien, the U.S. coordinator for the review, said 117 bishops and seminary staff will visit more than 220 campuses, working in teams of three for smaller programs or four for the larger ones, Catholic News Service reported Monday.

The visits are one result of the abuse crisis that hit the American church with full force in 2002. The study will give special attention to schools' preparation for the celibate life and fidelity to church teachings on morality.

Another brewing issue that could be involved is whether seminaries should enroll priestly candidates who are homosexual but willing to abide by the celibacy rule.

Read the rest of the story...

Since it has been announced that they are coming, what will be done to eliminate the problem the last evaluation did not overcome, namely the seminary administrators were ready for them and put on a show that it was assumed the evaluators would view favorably, which effectively made the evaluations a waste of time and money? Can we count on this team of evaluators actually seeing what is really there?


A reader sent in this website called "Catholic Books Review." Their definition of "Catholic" might just be a little different than a Roman Catholic definition of "Catholic," however. As the website states: "The term Catholic should be understood inclusively. Most churches accepting the Nicene creed consider themselves as catholic." I guess by that definition Monika Hellwig is Catholic. She makes the list in any case.

But it was this book by Robert E. Long that caught the attention of a reader:

Men, Homosexuality, and the Gods: An Exploration into the Religious Significance of Male Homosexuality in World Perspective

The first paragraph of the review is interesting:

Dr. Ronald Long ambitiously and effectively explores the various ways world religious traditions have understood and evaluated male homosexuality. His insightful narrative advances the thesis that traditional religions have been concerned to promote traditional gender roles and images of male superiority. Within this context full masculinity has been defined as involving the penetration of others, i.e., their territories, their possessions, their women, and even their very own bodies. The sexually penetrated male is seen as weak, impotent, effeminate yet becomes a source of curiosity, interest, and longing for some other males. The careful examination of the complex though common recurring ways in which religions have managed this ambivalence provides several provocative insights and a reanalysis of a wide range of religious and philosophical sources, including Plato, Socrates, St. Paul, St. Augustine, as well as Eastern, Muslim, and Native American sources. Long humbles the reader with his impressive range of knowledge, his consistently clear thinking, and most importantly, by his revelation that conflicts surrounding human sexuality in modern times are rooted in metaphors of war and domination, making the appreciation of male homosexual love impossible. Long optimistically envisions the emancipation of men and women, both heterosexual and homosexual, in a re-imagination of these sexual metaphors. Thus, what begins as an examination of social and religious constructions of homosexuality ends with a cry for liberation of all.

Hmmmm. Not everything that bears the name "Catholic" actually is.


CBS 2 has learned exclusive details of what may have happened between a high-profile monsignor and his secretary at a Long Island motel.

Monsignor Eugene Clark has kept a low profile since the scandal broke last week, but now says nothing improper happened in that hotel room.

You'll recall that Clark, the former rector at St. Patrick's Cathedral, is accused of having a long-running affair with his secretary, Laura DiFilippo.

In July, the two of them spent five hours together at the White Sands Motel in Amagansett, caught on video by a private eye hired by Laura's husband. But a source tells CBS 2's Tony Aiello that Clark insists nothing improper went on, saying they merely stopped to rest after a long lunch before the drive back to Manhattan.

Click for the rest of the story.

I think this is where Carrie says "Duh...how dumb does he think we are?" and Mark chimes in with yet another condemnation.

Perhaps silence is the better part of wisdom for everyone concerned?

Never being one to lapse into silence when I have an opinion--just one question...considering the present climate within the Church, did they get separate rooms for the sake of propriety, or were they more concerned about money than morals?

Oh, and maybe a couple more...Where can I find a priest to work for who will wine me and dine me, and arrange for me to work on my tan (assuming I had one) for an afternoon without my giving anything in return; and will I be paid for my afternoon of leisure out of the collection basket which presumably was also the source for the meal ticket and motel room? Do we assume that she had packed her bathing suit before leaving for lunch or do we assume she worked on her tan in the nude, in which case where exactly did she disrobe? If she packed her suit, then this must have been a planned stopover. At a motel. Nice! And the spy who caught this on tape was there because her husband was paranoid, right? I thought priests were supposed to have a modicum of intelligence.

Blogger credit to New Oxford Review.

Our Lady of Fatima pray for us!


The US introduced Patriot Acts and violated all international laws after 9/11 to fight “terrorism.” After 7/7, the British government went one step further to the extreme to fight “extremism.” It proposed many laws, contravening the established legal principles, human rights and all norms of moral decency.

The stress on the need for more and more laws gives us the impression as if it was the lack of laws that lead to “terrorism” in the first place.

These developments in the US and UK led to similar initiatives and debate in other Western capitals on whether to follow the suit. Puppet regimes in the Muslim world don’t even need such discussions about terror and law. Thanks to the unflinching, fully determined support of the Western leaders and the terrorist attacks abroad, which are good enough for the dictators to round up, torture and even kill hundreds of people without any reference to any law.

Because of 9/11 and 7/7, the legislatures now see a problem and attempt to solve it with new laws along with permitting the war lords to invade and occupy sovereign states on the basis of lies. The question is: would these laws and occupations address the root causes of the problem?

Even a cursory analysis reveals that the main target of the proposed terror laws is the basic principles that ensure justice and fairness. Principles such as "due process,” “no crime without intent,” “innocent until proven guilty,” “habeas corpus,” “no self-incrimination,” “no ex post facto laws,” “the right to counsel,” “the right to remain silent,” “the right to see the evidence that incriminates” and “the right to confront one's accusers" are the first victims of these laws. These principles are the target because without doing away with them, acts such as racial profiling would be impossible and without that, singling out Muslims would not be easily legitimized in the public eyes.

The most basic understanding of law is that it provides the people with their most important safeguard against "predatory actions of government." The understanding has been turned upside down. The purpose of law, “the greatest happiness for the greatest number,” has now been changed to the greatest happiness of the totalitarians, who want to silence their critics in the name of “greatest safety and security.”

The world needs not be deceived with the concept of terrorism used an excuse to consolidate tyranny at home and abroad after 9/11. Efforts were already underway in the US for controlling public opinion and curtailing freedoms. Roberts and Stratton argue in their book, “The Tyranny of Good Intentions,” that in “recent decades, both conservatives and liberals have cut swaths through the law as they pursued drug dealers, S&L crooks, environmental polluters, Wall Street inside traders, child abusers, and other undesirables." In fact, "with the exception of Benthamite ideology, the greatest damage to justice has been done by the unintended consequences of the conservatives' war on crime." The war on terrorism became the perfect excuse for consolidating what was already on the cards.

UK is now moving one step ahead with Blair's plan to criminalize not just direct incitement to terrorism but anything the totalitarians may categorize as "condoning," "glorifying" or "justifying" terrorism anywhere in the world. Words like that are far too vague, elastic and subject to selective use by the world mastering demi-gods. Worse still is the government's plan to expand its list of deportable offenses to include the expression of "what the government considers to be extreme views." The idea of making naturalized British citizens deportable for "extremism" means one has to believe and fully support every single word and deed of the government; otherwise the person will be considered an extremist, whose difference of opinion might “indirectly” lead to terrorism.

All these measures are based on the pre-determination that what the US and UK and their allies have done over the last many decades is absolutely correct. Only there was a lack of the proposed new laws. They didn’t violate any international law and norm. They didn't assist tyrants and aggressors. They didn't support occupations and tortures of innocent populations. They didn't starve 1.8 millions to death. They did not fully legalized state terrorism. And they didn't disregard any international law and even bypassed the UN after 9/11.

Continue reading...

If you read far enough into the article, you will come to this:

These so-called laws are for the ordinary citizens to make them toe the line, to stop questioning the official stories about the terrorist acts, the logic and reason for going to wars and all associated policies. Andrew M. Greeley, a Roman Catholic priest, equated such measures to a “whiff of fascism American style in the air” (Daily Southtown, Chicago, November 25, 2001). He wrote it long before the real face of the new laws regarding terrorism was exposed. Mr. Greeley concluded: “The closet fascists among us, however well-intentioned they may be, are far more serious threats to us than the followers of bin Laden. They would, given half a chance, destroy the American soul.”


They sang "Alleluia'' with a little oompa.

Accompanied by the sounds of an accordion — and the rest of the polka band — the faithful offered upbeat songs of praise.

Nearly 500 worshippers gathered inside St. Irene Catholic Church in Warrenville on Sunday morning for a polka Mass, a celebration that mixed the traditional liturgy with the jubilant, toe-tapping sounds of The Good Times band.

"It allows people to really joyfully celebrate,'' said the Rev. Jim Antiporek, pastor at St. Irene. "They're familiar with the music and it's easy to move right into the spirit of celebration.''

This is the second time St. Irene hosted a polka Mass — the last time was about five years ago and also featured The Good Times, he said. If the reaction of parishioners at the end of the ceremony is any indication, the special Mass had a grateful audience.

"This was our first standing ovation in church,'' said band leader Dennis Motyka, who is also Antiporek's cousin.

Continue reading the story...

This thing is a pet peeve of mine. I'm part German. Polka is part of my heritage. My husband is part Polish. What's more, I think this thing started in my diocese, in Parma where many Polish people live, a suburb of Cleveland.

Think about the Stations of the Cross. Try to picture Jesus crucified, dying on the cross. Imagine Him bleeding and in torment. Imagine Him saying His last words. Look at His face contorted in agony. Now look down there below the cross and see the polka band. See the people dancing the polka round and round the cross in a grand explosion of color and joy.

It mocks the cross and the death of God. Not even the Romans were so bold.

Yes, He rose from the dead. Yes, the resurrection is a cause of our joy. But that joy must be serious. It must be tempered by the sacrifice. It cannot be a wholesale burst of exuberance unless the crucifixion is forgotten. Unless the Holy Sacrifice is banished from our thinking. And if we banish the sacrifice, there is no cause for the joy of resurrection because there is no resurrection without first there is a death; and we may as well sleep in on Sunday. The message sent by this ritual is one of confusion--of obfuscation of the meaning. Calvary was not a polka Mass.


We took the side roads home from an afternoon wedding reception yesterday, mostly because we missed a turn. Driving through one yuppy neighborhood it was surprising to see a psychic reader's shop nestled in and right at home in the business district, located in a substantial building that probably could have been a doctor's office in another incarnation. I guess psychic reader is a career choice these days. While adjusting my thinking to that development, I noted as we drove by the building that there in the window of the psychic shop was a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. My thinking switched to stall mode upon that discovery!

Sunday, August 21, 2005


COLOGNE, Germany (AP) - Pope Benedict XVI has been cautious about making any links between Islam and terror strikes during his four-month papacy, but he chose his first major address to Muslim leaders to issue a stern warning that terrorism risks exposing the world "to the darkness of a new barbarism."

The 78-year-old pontiff urged Muslims to join Christians in trying to combat the spread of terrorism and said Muslim leaders had a "great responsibility" to properly educate younger generations.

Continue reading...


THE Pope has issued a dire warning about the state of religion in Australia, saying mainstream Christianity is dying more quickly here than in any other country.

In remarks to priests in Italy, Pope Benedict spoke of a crisis for the main Christian churches as people in the Western world felt self-sufficient, with less need for Christ and Christianity.

"Certainly this is a suffering linked to the present historical moment in which generally one sees that the so-called mainstream churches appear moribund," he said. "This is so in Australia above all and also in Europe but not so much in the United States." He said the Catholic Church was not as badly off as the mainstream Protestant churches, which were in a "profound crisis" because of sects.

Many people felt Christianity was antiquated, he said. But it actually represented the future because it responded to socio-ethical problems that could not be handled by an approach based solely on a scientific mentality.

Pope Benedict made the comments during an improvised talk to priests on July 25.

The source of his information about Australia is not known although the largest denomination in this country has been struggling to reverse declining church attendance and dwindling numbers drawn to the priesthood. Rates of Mass attendance among young people are as low as in parts of Europe.

Continue reading...


COLOGNE, Germany —

More than 1 million Roman Catholic young people who had camped out overnight in an enormous field welcomed Benedict XVI on Sunday for the concluding Mass of his four-day trip to Germany, his first foreign travel as pope.

As he began his homily, calling on the pilgrims and visitors to World Youth Day to make wise use of the freedom God had given them, the sun broke through the thick, gray clouds.

"Freedom is not simply about enjoying life in total autonomy, but rather about living by the measure of truth and goodness so that we ourselves can become true and good," he said.

He said there is a "strange forgetfulness of God," while at same time the sense of frustration and dissatisfaction has led to a "new explosion of religion."

"I have no wish to discredit all the manifestations of this phenomenon. There may be sincere joy in the discovery," he said. "Yet, if it is pushed too far, religion becomes almost a consumer product. People choose what they like, and some are even able to make a profit from it."

"But religion constructed on a 'do-it-youself' basis cannot ultimately help us. Help people to discover the true star which points out the way to us: Jesus Christ."

Continue reading the report...


NEW YORK, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Fifty-seven percent of Americans consider spirituality a very important part of their daily lives, according to a Newsweek/Beliefnet poll, conducted August 2-4, 2005.

But not all of those polled define spirituality in terms of a traditional religion. While the majority (55%) report that they are religious and spiritual, a significant number (24%) consider themselves spiritual, but not religious.

Of those who say they follow a religion (64%), 19 percent say that they are not traditional in how they practice it. That number jumps to 29 percent of those in the 18-39-age bracket, according to the poll, which is part of the August 29-September 5 issue (on newsstands Monday, August 22). In this double issue, Newsweek examines the rise of spirituality in America and looks at why many Americans are choosing to seek spiritual experiences outside the framework of traditional religions.

Experts say that American religions have always been characterized by creativity and individualism. "That's their secret to success," says Alan Wolfe, director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College. "Rather than being about a god who commands you, it's about finding a religion that empowers you."

The cover package also profiles individuals who embody this trend including a Pentecostal minister from Memphis, students at a Catholic university, a Kabbalist rabbi and Muslim youth-group members.

Continue reading the story...

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