Saturday, February 11, 2006
A reader wrote in to say that he is not able to get a combox to work for him. When he clicks the comments link something flashes on and off the screen, but no window appears for making a coment. For me they seem to be working.
Is anyone else having this problem, and does anyone have a solution for it?
Ever wonder who and what they are? Yeah, me too.
A reference in another magazine to NOR's defining them in their December 2005 issue prompted me to go looking for the article. Apparently the issue never came because I don't have it, and I save all the NORs. I checked the web and found the article online, fortunately. Here's a paragraph from it:
As we said in our September Editorial: "BeforeCrisis and First Things were even founded, the NOR was contacted by a neocon foundation -- right out of the blue. The foundation wanted to give us money -- 'free' money. A fellow flew out from the East Coast and asked me (the Editor) to meet him for drinks in a San Francisco restaurant -- on him. Sure! (We were desperate for money.) He told me he would fund us regularly -- if we would support corporate capitalism and if we would support a militaristic U.S. foreign policy." What I didn't say was that the fellow was a Jewish neocon with no interest in Christianity or Catholicism, and I suspected he was interested in getting us to promote Jewish neocon interests (which he had every right to do). As we said in the September Editorial, I said "no," and that was the end of that. But the neocon foundations didn't give up. Michael Novak (very pro-Israel) founded Crisis -- then called Catholicism in Crisis -- and Fr. Neuhaus (also very pro-Israel) founded First Things, both with huge financial support from neocon foundations. So the neocons found a way to get Catholic and Christian magazines to front for their largely Jewish neocon interests (which, again, is their right). Do we exaggerate? No we don't. When the Catholic Church denounced the war on Iraq -- calling it an unjust war, a war of aggression -- both Crisis and First Things supported it. A clear case of supporting Jewish neocon interests over Catholic Just War doctrine. For a synopsis of Fr. Neuhaus's support for the war on Iraq, based on his support for Israel, see our New Oxford Note, "What Does the Pope Know About World Affairs?" (Nov., pp. 13-14, 16-17). If you persist in seeing this as anti-Semitism, you're wrong again. In an editorial in The Forward, the oldest Jewish newspaper in the U.S., it was stated that: "Recently...reasonable people still could dismiss, as antisemitic conspiracy mongering, the claim that Israel's security was the real motive behind the invasion of Iraq. No longer.... Its advocates can no longer simply be shushed or dismissed as bigots. Those who disagree must now argue the case on the merits."
Now isn't that interesting!?! Catholic magazines financed by Jewish supporters in exchange for the magazine promoting the Jewish agenda, even when it opposes Catholic social teaching.
I may not even be the dimmest political light on the lamppost, but even I can recognize there is something wrong with this!
So who do you trust these days? Not the bishops, with a couple of exceptions. Not Catholic periodicals, with a couple of exceptions. Not the parish priest in far too many parishes.
The logical response is you trust the Pope. But then I reflect that John Paul II traveled while the Church apostacized.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Spirit Daily links this website that reports an earthquake in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday.
Of course when you look at this earthquake map of the last seven days, you get an idea that this may have been nothing to get excited about.
Ironically there was an earthquake in Mentor-on-the-Lake and one in Lake Erie yesterday as well. They didn't even make it to the map.
I can remember only one earthquake in Ohio that made the ground around Akron shake.
CARDINAL GEORGE APOLOGIZES TO THE FAITHFUL
for recent revelations and allegations, and then makes this appeal:
And then, the Archbishop of Chicago delivered a direct demand of all who wear the collar.
"There is so much I remain unaware of, yet I am, in the end, responsible for it all. I want to say now that if there is any priest that is leading a double life, he should for the sake of the Church come forward."
Obviously there is not going to be a line. In fact, I wonder who that statement was made for? Certainly no one is gullible enough to think the Cardinal expects it to accomplish a house cleaning, are they?
Imagine how things would be now if these sins were delt with properly when they first surfaced. Yet without Rome's blessing to deal with them properly, bishops had no choice but to cover up in the beginning.
The buck does stop at the top. The legacy of JPII lives on.
Blogger credit to Spirit Daily.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Friday, February 10, 2006
AN ANALYSIS OF THIS WEEK'S "CARTOON" EVENTS
in an article at The Weekend Australian website where you can see a page of Holocaust "cartoon" replies...
The following passages from the article indicate the level of response, not entirely unexpected:
In Gaza, a Muslim cleric has called for the beheading of those European editors who published the anti-Islamic cartoons, while others are demanding that the hands of the cartoonists be amputated. As the smoke begins to clear - literally - from the extraordinary events, the so-called clash of civilisations between Islam and the West has opened again the gulf in values, between the freedom of expression that is central to Western democracy and to the spread of democracy in Muslim countries, and a religious ban on depiction of prophets, let alone their satirical association with terrorism.
"There are those who would argue that the controversy does not reflect a clash of civilisations," the Jerusalem Post said in an editorial this week. "Yet it is precisely this persistent refusal to acknowledge the obvious that weakens the cause of tolerance and liberty ... tolerance must be a two-way street."
The most glaring inconsistency about the protests is that many Islamic newspapers through the world have for years published highly offensive cartoons about Jews and the Jewish religion. One such cartoon in Egypt's largest daily newspaper, the government-controlled Al-Ahram, depicts laughing Jews feeding Arab children through a grinder and then drinking their blood.
"These are numerous blatant examples of anti-semitism such as this in the Islamic press around the world," says Ted Lapkin of the Australia-Israel Jewish Affairs Council.
Lapkin says the fact that the cartoons were in the public domain for four months before this week's protests "proves just how contrived and calculated and non-spontaneous this has been".
Some interesting questions are posed:
But the protests around the globe this week had more than a whiff of hypocrisy and selectivity about them. "Why are Arab countries recalling their ambassadors and closing their embassies because of 12 cartoons yet they refrained from adopting similar measures in response to the invasion of Iraq?" asks Amir Butler, co-convenor of the Australian Muslim Civil Rights Advocacy Network.
"Or why did they not react with similar rage and emotion to the hijab bans imposed in France and Turkey? Or the passage of laws in various Western democracies that pose a far greater threat to the practise of Islam than do these appalling cartoons?"
Those questions lead to a speculation that someone somewhere has an escalation of religious conflict on his or their agenda. That makes me then wonder if the high gas prices and the high heating bills are part of a plan to turn Americans against the oil rich Arab countries? If the violence escalates, so will the homeland security laws and power escalate. One could almost conclude that there are elements in the world that seek to incite war. So who wins? Perhaps ultimately only the devil himself.
It seems to me that the typical Western reaction to the Islamic world's reaction to the cartoons is exemplified by this statement:
"With Life of Brian we were vilified," recalls Monty Python's Terry Gilliam. "Yet Christianity is alive and well. If your religion is so vulnerable that a little bit of disrespect is going to bring it down, it's not worth believing in frankly."
That goes a long way toward explaining why Christians don't become upset to the point of violence when Christianity is vilified.
The article states that "The publication of tasteless cartoons was insensitive", yet I wonder if the surviving relatives of those who died in the World Trade Center bombing would find it insensitive?
"It adds to the sense, which has grown among Muslims since America launched its war on terror ... that their faith itself is being branded as violent."
How do you separate the faith from the terror when Allah is mentioned as a terrorist kills a priest? How do you separate the faith from the terror when you read articles like this one? We may not talk about what we think out of political correctness, but it's rather difficult not to make the association that is being rubbed in our faces.
The closing of the article is the most telling:
The magazine suggests a Danish imam, Abu Laban, "may have started the whole thing by touring the Middle East to drum up outrage, including distributing far more offensive cartoons of the Prophet [as a pig, as a pedophile] which he said had been received by Muslims in Denmark".
But the magazine speculates it "is more likely that Islamist forces of varying stripes have seized the opportunity both to assert their presence and to reinforce the sense of Muslim embattlement that suits their goals.
"Recent electoral advances by Islamists, in Turkey, Iraq and Egypt as well as Palestine, had already emboldened these forces."
Something is being fomented.
I'm the last person to comment on politics. It's simply not my forte. But the signs of the times are pretty hard to ignore.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
"THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HOMOSEXUAL RIGHTS MOVEMENT"
is the title of an article in the current issue of New Oxford Review, and is currently posted on their website. The article is written by a former homosexual who describes the lifestyle he was familiar with.
This took courage to write and courage to publish. If you can possibly make the time to read it, please do it. Here's the first paragraph:
There was a "gay" bookstore called Lobo's in Austin, Texas, when I was living there as a grad student. The layout was interesting. Looking inside from the street all you saw were books. It looked like any other bookstore. There was a section devoted to classic "gay" fiction by writers such as Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, and W.H. Auden. There were biographies of prominent "gay" icons, some of whom, like Walt Whitman, would probably have accepted the homosexual label, but many of whom, like Whitman's idol, President Lincoln, had been commandeered for the cause on the basis of evidence no stronger than a bad marriage or an intense same-sex friendship. There were impassioned modern "gay" memoirs, and historical accounts of the origins and development of the "gay rights" movement. It all looked so innocuous and disarmingly bourgeois. But if you went inside to browse, before long you noticed another section, behind the books, a section not visible from the street. The pornography section. Hundreds and hundredsof pornographic videos, all involving men, but otherwise catering to every conceivable sexual taste or fantasy. And you would notice something else too. There were no customers in the front. All the customers were in the back, rooting through the videos. As far as I know, I am the only person who ever actually purchased a book at Lobo's. The books were, in every sense of the word, a front for the porn.
CATHOLIC COLLEGES DEVELOPING A CONSCIENCE AT LAST
This year the V-Monologues are not going to be a knee-jerk production at Notre Dame according to Salon.
The Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame's president, announced last month he was scaling back the play this year -- limiting it to a classroom setting and barring ticket sales. He is seeking input from students, faculty and alumni on whether it and another controversial event, previously called The Queer Film Festival, should be allowed at all.
It's a discussion more Catholic universities are having as "The Vagina Monologues" becomes a seemingly unsolvable dilemma for the schools. Allow the performance and they are criticized for going against church teachings. Ban the play and they're accused of stifling academic freedom.
"When you put Catholic university in your title and your Web site looks like the 'Bells of St. Mary's,' you set up an image that students expect," said Malcolm A. Kline, executive director of Accuracy in Academia, a nonprofit watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. "What I get from parents and students is, 'I thought I was going to a Catholic school and they're showing the 'V Monologues.'"
Better late than never! I'll take it. Maybe this will spread.
JUDGE REJECTS ATTEMPT TO SUE PRIEST
ROME – An Italian atheist lost his legal crusade against the Catholic Church on Thursday when a judge rejected his attempts to sue a priest for saying that Jesus existed 2,000 years ago, the priest's lawyer said.
Luigi Cascioli, 72, had argued his hometown priest and former schoolmate had effectively broken an Italian law meant to protect the public from being conned.
But instead of granting Cascioli his request to bring the case to court, the judge recommended magistrates investigate him for slandering priest Enrico Righi, Righi's lawyer, Bruno Severo said.
AN ACTIVE DAY IN THE REAL WORLD
will probably keep me from blogging until later today if at all.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
CARDINAL EGAN ACCUSED
A Catholic priest alleges in a lawsuit that the head of the New York Catholic Diocese, Cardinal Edward Egan, is himself secretly homosexual and involved in a pedophilia cover-up in the Church.
The New Jersey priest claims that Egan is “actively homosexual,” and that he “has personal knowledge of this,” despite the Cardinal’s public anti-gay stance.
MOUSE EARS TABERNACLE IN CHURCH FREQUENTED BY ST. EGIDIO
Church of St. Joseph Moscati, Rome.
Blogger credit to Novus Ordo Watch.
SISTER MARGARET ANN PAHL
New Oxford Review links a story from the Toledo Blade indicting there are over 100 witnesses on the potential witness list. Some of the witnesses are mentioned by name, including a forensic anthropologist from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina.
THE COVER-UP ARTISTS ARE STILL AT IT
Spirit Daily links a Reuters story about new discoveries of abuse in Chicago.
Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, who played a prominent role in the U.S. bishops' response, has been hit with a home-grown scandal involving a parish priest charged with abusing three boys, one as recently as late last year. The priest remained a pastor despite allegations against him dating back several years.
George last week took the blame for that case and ordered a policy change under which any priest accused of abuse would be removed immediately from the ministry until the allegation is investigated. Previously in such cases monitors were assigned to watch over those accused, but the priests were allowed to keep working under certain conditions.
James Dwyer, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Chicago, said that overall "we are happy with our policies and procedures" though in the recent case they were not implemented properly. He said the concept of a "nonjudgmental leave" for those accused will provide "justice to the priest and the parish."
Great. If the policies are not going to be implemented properly, why have them?
Business as usual.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
NEW ORLEANS NORTH - BLACK MOUNTAIN MARDI GRAS
Downtown Black Mountain plans to host its first Mardi Gras parade on Saturday, February 25.
“This is exciting, because there is so much for people and pets to do,” Sandy Rector, one of the Mardi Gras parade organizers, said. “It is also exciting because all the proceeds go to benefit Animal Haven and Animal Compassion network, rescuers of pets affected by Hurricane Katrina. We’ll split the proceeds between the two groups, and that way people can see their money working at home to benefit the animals.”
Interesting place, Black Mountain, NC. It was the home of one of the EarthSpirit Rising Conferences. The one subtitled "A Council of Earth Elders" according to Earthkeeping News.
How do pets and Mardi Gras go together? Seems like an odd combination. I don't recall pets being central to the New Orleans Mardi Gras. Does anyone else?
The two animal organizations scheduled to benefit from the Mardi Gras doings seem to be the first two organizations listed on this Hurricane Katrina assistance website. One is locatd in Skyland, NC, the other in Asheville, NC.
Another animal friendly organization also contributed to Katrina relief--Best Friends Animal Society.
Best Friends has a curious history. You can read about it at CharlieManson.Com. A few passages stand out:
*** its key founders formed a movement that was accused - falsely, they say - of being a satanic cult. Best Friends President Michael Mountain, 57, says The Process, Church of the Final Judgment, was just a group of young people searching for spiritual truth in the crazy atmosphere of the late 1960s and early '70s.
*** ...Mountain was not overjoyed when asked about a series of corporate records that link Best Friends to the 1967 incorporation of The Process in the French Quarter of New Orleans. If he had it to do over again, Mountain says, he would have let The Process dissolve and incorporated Best Friends as a new nonprofit with no links to the church.
*** "A lot of it was really rather juvenile," says John Fripp aka Christopher Fripp aka Father John.
*** Michael Mountain...was part heir to Great Britain's largest television empire....Disinherited for his vagabond ways.
*** William Bainbridge, who is now deputyt director of information and intelligent Systems at the National Science Foundation, joined the group in the early 1970s to study it. He chronicled the group in a 1978 book, Satan's Power: A Deviant Psychotherapy Cult.
*** In late 1967, they found their way to the French Quarter in New Orleans.
*** Mountain says a rotund former lawyer for the Catholic Church was intrigued by the group and drew up the necessary papers. Mountain showed up at his home one Sunday morning. "I'm greeted by a completely naked lady," Mountain recalls. "And she says, 'Oh, come on in.' So there he is, an extremely large person, in bed with this cluster of equally naked ladies around, and he leaps up naked and says, 'Here are your articles of incorporation. Your church is complete.'" And so formally began The Process, Church of the Final Judgment.
*** The satanic part of it all is a bad rap, he says. No one prayed to Satan....Mountain says the core philosophy was that Christ was the unifying element of mankind. "In theological terms, as he explained it, the ultimate reconciliation of opposites would be a reconciliation between Christ and Satan. Christ said, 'Love your enemies.' In the end, even the most negative, the most evil can be redeemed with the power of love." Bainbridge, who taught at Wellesley College and Harvard University before joining the National Science Foundation, agrees that the group didn't pray to Satan, who to the group bore little resemblance to the Satan of the Bible anyway.
*** The group had trouble gaining traction, no matter how outrageous they acted. Mountain chalks this up to their philosophy of abstinence from sex and drugs...
*** Some members had been animal advocates for years, and German shepherds had been associated with them since they first left London in 1966. Mary Ann Degrimston, for one, had been active in the anti-vivisectionist movement.
*** The group, renamed The Foundation Faith of God...
*** Best Friends...has "become something of a flagship for this whole movement."
CBS News reports on an arrangement made between Marcello Forte, Director of Animal Haven, and Best Friends. Michael Mountain is quoted.
I have not been able to find a story that makes a direct connection between Animal Haven of Asheville and Animal Haven run by Marcello Forte. It is possible they are not the same. It is also possible that the Asheville facility is a branch of Forte's organization.
In any case, the coincidences are interesting.
Charity Navigator reports on Animal Haven. Marcello Forte, Executive Director received $84,846 in compensation.
Charity Navigator has no report for Animal Haven of Asheville.
THE MICHAEL JACKSON WEIRDNESS ESCALATES
In a story from newkarala.com Michael Jackson's spokesperson claims that Jackson has not been in discussion with either the Vatican or Edizioni Musicali Terzo Millennio. But, they add this curious bit of detail to the story:
Bain said that Jackson was contacted by the Vatican “about a year ago” about working on some music.
“Because he was in trial at the time, he was not able to focus on it,” she said, referring to Jackson's child-molestation trial, which ended in June with his acquittal on all charges.
For its part, the Vatican has said it is unaware of any contact with Jackson.
The Vatican contacted Jackson during the trial??
indystar.com also makes the claim, citing the AP:
Jackson spokeswoman Raymone K. Bain said that last year the singer "was contacted by the Vatican to work on some music. Because he was in trial at the time, he was not able to focus on it."
This time Fr. Moscati is cited as saying "the recording label would have to buy the rights from the Vatican". He also says it has not been proposed to the Vatican.
A report from the Irish Examiner casts a different shadow on the story:
A spokesman for the religious record label behind the project, Edizioni Musicali Terzo Millenio, which is associated with the Vatican, said they had the rights to the papal prayers and Michael Jackson was very interested in the project.
So, does Fr. Moscati's recording company have the rights to the prayers, or doesn't he?
Out of Australia, The Daily Telegraph offers a slightly different slant:
Father Giuseppe Moscati of the Edizioni Musicali Terzo Millennio, which specialises in church music and organises musical events at the Vatican, said his company had the rights to 24 of Pope John Paul's prayers and wanted to put together a group of international artists to set them to music.
"We have been contacted by people close to Michael Jackson who have expressed interest and we are thinking about it," Father Moscati said.
So who contacted whom for what?
Eonline offers a possible explanation:
As consumed as he's been with his move to Bahrain, job hunt and various outings to shopping malls, it's understandable that Jackson hasn't found the time to respond to Moscati's inquiries. (Or to finish up his Hurricane Katrina relief single. But that's entirely another matter.)
Let's see...Sing for the Pope? Buy a new suit? Gosh that's a tough one.
Catholic Explorer respins the story in Catholicease, making the priest look good. Ya gotta read the whole report. Picking up pieces of it won't do it justice. The picture of John Paul II they have used just about sums this up.
Disinformation campaign? By whom? To what purpose?
I ask because Fr. Moscati's company has produced Gurdjieff music.
Or perhaps Fr. Moscati might want to consider contacting the former editor of America magazine to see how you go about looking for a job!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
UPDATE ON YESTERDAY'S STORY ABOUT MICHAEL JACKSON
Over in Dom's blog, where this foolishness is also a topic, a commenter has found another offering of Edizioni Musicali III Millennio:
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
GROUP SAYS DES MOINES DIOCESE IS TRYING TO "OUT" ABUSE VICTIM
When the sexual abuse scandal first broke in the Globe, a contributor to a message board I used to frequent asked what would happen when the Catholic world discovered that the abuse victims were homosexuals?
It sounded bizarre at the time, but I've never forgotten the question. What would the Catholic world think if such a discovery were made?
That question came to mind once again as I read this story from Radio Iowa:
A support group for people who were abused by priests is charging that the Des Moines Catholic Diocese is trying to "out" a plaintiff in a recent case. Paul Koeniguer is an outreach director for SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and he says when people bring accusations they don't always want to become a public figure. He says many victims are intimidated, as they've been abused and had a crime perpetrated against them, and they're not yet ready to identify themselves -- and being named publicly would feel "like they're re-victimized a second time."
In most crime scenerios it is the victim we learn about long before the perpetrator. The evening news carries pictures of the victim, talks about the name of the victim, and describes the crime scene. Only in the case of a child victim is the identity kept secret sometimes. Even then the victim is sometimes identified.
The sexual abuse scandal is being treated somewhat differently. In this crime victims are being sheltered. If the victim is still a minor, there is good reason for that. Even if the victim is a teenager, it is probably justified. But mostly what we see are victims who are adults, since they are describing something that took place a long time ago. Psychological defences against revealing names are presented. Is the same care taken with women who are raped? Or do their names appear along with the story of the crime?
It seems disingenuous to me to refuse to divulge the names of adult victims unless you are also going to refuse to divulge the names of the priests being accused. If all names are kept secret, the story will dry up and go away. It takes names to make this a story.
If the names are not divulged...
1. The perpetrators benefit.
2. The scandal continues unabated because the news media has no story and thus nothing will be revealed.
3. The victims will keep their anonymity.
4. The Church can be sued, and the facilities that parishioners worked for will be taken away from them, even though they had nothing to do with the crime.
If all of the names are divulged...
1. The news media has a story.
2. The victims will be able to sue.
3. Victims, and not just the perpetrators, will shoulder a measure of accountability for the conditions that they have created by bringing the crime to the eyes of the public and the law years after it took place.
If only the names of the accused are divulged...
1. The news media still has a story.
2. Victims will be perceived as "children" in the eyes of the public even though they may actually be adults today.
3. There will be an unbalanced exposure of the event in the media since the life of the priest accused is an open book, but we know nothing about the life of the victim.
4. Priests will be vilified, and sometimes they will be innocent of wrongdoing since trust in the Church and the priesthood is being compromised.
5. All of our attention will be focused on the perpetrator, and there will be no opportunity to evaluate the credibility of the victim.
6. No responsibility for large settlements, that appear to be bloodthirsty when parishes have to be closed, will have to be shouldered by the victims; thus the door is wide open to greed.
PRIEST CALLS FOR CARDINAL'S RESIGNATION IN HIS HOMILY
(CBS) CHICAGO A Chicago priest wants Francis Cardinal George to resign if he blocked the removal of a priest accused of sexual abuse.
CBS 2's Kristyn Hartman reports on his remarks and how the archdiocese is responding to the request.
Pastor William Kenneally said when people hear the stories about allegations of sex abuse in the church by priests, they don't just cringe they bleed.
So sexual abuse charges against Father Daniel McCormack alleging he victimized young boys and the removal of Father Joseph Bennet from his parish for decades-old allegations, prompted the pastor of St. Gertrude in Edgewater to tackle the tough subject matter in his Sunday sermon.
In his homily, the long-time priest says he wanted to acknowledge the crisis in the Catholic Church.
POLISH WOMAN SUES OVER ABORTION DENIAL
STRASBOURG, France (Reuters) - A Polish woman who was refused an abortion despite doctors' warnings that giving birth could damage her eyesight accused Poland on Tuesday of failing to protect her rights under its strict abortion law.
Alicja Tysiac, whose vision worsened after the birth and is now registered as disabled, asked Europe's human rights court to consider her complaint that she was unable to obtain an abortion on therapeutic or health grounds.
She says two articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, protecting the right to respect for human life and forbidding inhuman or degrading treatment, were violated.
The article explains that she was told by three opthalmologists that she would lose her eyesight through retinal hemorrhage if she carried to term, and that she is now the single mother of three who cannot see beyond 12 feet away
I have a couple of questions...
1. Why is she a single mother? Did her husband die after he fathered this last child?
2. Why wasn't the baby delivered sooner considering that it was a C-section delivery? Or is it that the C-section took place early to attempt to head off the blindness, but was not successful, in which case an abortion would not have been successful either?
3. When the EU court gets involved, do they have the power to force abortion on Poland? The article says no. If not, then why is she going to court? Money? In any case, it's an interesting development.
CALIFORNIA SCHOOLS ARE TEACHING ISLAM ?
If your child is unfortunate enough to study in California, he or she will be taught Islam is a fountain of modernity, liberty, and feminism. More importantly, he will be taught every aspect of the Islamic faith is historically accurate.
The Houghton-Mifflin textbook, currently in use in many schools, lists one Shabbir Mansuri, Founding Director of Council on Islamic Education, as its consultant. Mansuri is a businessman with a degree in chemical engineering, and not an academic. That did not prevent the California State Board of Education (SBE) from inviting Mansuri to a closed-door meeting, apparently to advise the board on Hindu edits, on January 6, 2006.
Revelation as history
The textbook presents Islamic beliefs as verifiable history. A paragraph, introducing the origins of the Quran, begins innocuously, “The first verses of the Quran, believed by Muslims to be the written record of God’s words,” and makes the subtle shift to add, “were revealed to him at that time.” From there on, the textbook abandons any pretense of objectivity and begins indoctrination:
Monday, February 06, 2006
I WOULD RATHER NOT BAN IP ADDRESSES
but some commenters need to know that badgering me is not going to accomplish anything, and you're starting to look simply rude.
THE BLUNDERING CLERGY
Here is a link to the de Niro story from which Atilla the Nun quoted in a combox below.
Here is Reuters version of the Michael Jackson story. This one exempts the Vatican from culpability.
Vatican deputy spokesman Father Ciro Benedettini said the Vatican was not involved in the initiative.
This would appear to be the homepage of the production company Edizioni Musicali Terzo Millennio. If you can read Italian, you can learn a little more about Father (Don) Giuseppe Moscati, and there is an email address on the website.
VATICAN REACTS TO THE OFFENSIVE CARTOON OF MOHAMMED
Meanwhile I suspect that a lot of Christian sentiment over this matter is closer to at least some of what is contained in the Front Page story which also includes a link to the cartoons if you haven't seen them.
Ironically, as so often happens when a fuss is made over artistic expression, a lot more people see it who would never have paid any attention at all if non-response had been maintained.
IT BOGGLES THE MIND
Just when you think it can't descend any lower, it does. Just when you think there are no new outrages left, a new one appears. Just when you hope they are finally getting the message, they demonstrate they haven't got a clue.
SECRET discussions between the Roman Catholic Church and Michael Jackson to put the prayers of Pope John Paul II to music appeared to be in disarray last night after the singer fled members of the press who had got wind of the project.
Pope John Paul, who died last April, wrote 24 religious prayers and chants and Church officials now want to set them to music.
Jackson, recently cleared of child sex abuse charges in California, is seen as a prime candidate because of his worldwide celebrity status.
Yesterday, Father Giuseppe Moscati, of the Millennium Music Society, which specialises in church music and organises musical events at the Vatican, reluctantly confirmed the details.
Fr Moscati said: "We have the rights for the 24 prayers written by Pope John Paul.
Michael Jackson at least had enough integrity to run and hide. Sadly we can't expect the same awareness of reality from the other half of this failed deal.
Why are they so lacking in wisdom?
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
MAGIC EXHIBIT IN ITALY
Palermo, February 6 - A new show here aims to explore the possible links between Christianity and pagan rituals and superstitions, through a series of charms and spells from Sicilian tradition .
The exhibit, Il Potere delle Cose: Magia e Religione (The Power Of Things: Magic And Religion), features over 150 items and documents from a special collection housed in Palermo's Pitre Museum .
Most of the objects date back to the 1800s and early 20th century. At the time, many - particularly the documents - were banned by the Catholic Church, which considered them the 'devil's work' .
The exhibit covers a wide variety of items, from 'scientific' objects, through charms and spells used for white and black magic, onto traditions connected to the church itself.
A DIFFERENT VIEW OF HOMOSEXUALITY
The newspaper editors say they are exposing people who engage in "deviant behaviour". Some 50 people have been named and the papers have sold out.
Homosexual acts are banned in Cameroon, with up to five years in jail.
But the campaign has been condemned by the state communication council for invading people's private lives.
The BBC's Jean-David Mihamle in Yaounde says the campaign has sparked a national debate about gay rights and privacy.
Like much of Africa, Cameroon is a conservative society, where homosexuality is frowned upon.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
GOOD COMMENTARY ON THE ISLAMIC CARTOON THAT SPARKED THE RIOTING
from Carl Olson over at Ignatius Insight Scoop.
FEAST OF ST. BLAZE
and Candlemas Day, today. Father blessed a variety of candles right before beginning Mass. He prayed the prayer to St. Blaze over the entire congregation during the homily. Still we lined up to receive the individual blessing after Mass was over.
During the homily Father discussed sacramentals, explaining what they are as opposed to Sacraments which he also discussed briefly. Sacramentals and para-liturgical rituals have always been part of Catholic life and Catholic culture. Well...not always, really. After Vatican II they disappeared for a time, but they seem to be catching on again. They are good reminders of who we are and what we are about.
Today kids collect trading cards of sports figures. When I was in parochial school we collected holy cards. The premier cards were the ones with a personal message from S'ter on the back. It was sort of like the autographed baseball card, I guess. We also increased our collection with holy cards from funerals that had the name of the deceased on the back. Then there were the nativity holy cards with "Keep Christ in Christmas" on the back that were passed out before Christmas Mass each year by some group or other.
Being given a holy card was a big deal, and a reward for a job well done, whether the job was school work, or helping sister with classroom work after school, or even just because it was our birthday.
The primary place to keep the holy cards safe was in our St. Joseph Missal which came to school with us every day since we attended Mass every day. Since the Missal had a plastic book cover, we could place the favorite card under the cover on the front. Of course when we dropped the missal the cards went flying, which was not all that uncommon.
I still have my collection stashed away in a box somewhere. Wonder if the habit will ever catch on again with Catholic school children?
My parish deacon also happens to be the principal of the parish school. In the bulletin today he spells out the school mission which reads in part:
As stated on the signs at the main doors, "Christ is the reason for this School." We believe strongly that the sole reason that we exist as a parish school is to spread the Gospel message to the children of [the] parish and neighboring parishes without schools so that we can prepare the next generation of Catholics in the practice of the faith. This is not the same mission that is shared by all schools. Some operate on the "fill every seat" principle. They do extensive advertising campaigns to recruit students so that the school will reap the benefits of extra tuition revenue. While finances are always an important concern and a fact of life, we at [this] school will always put our mission first. We will never become just another private school. We believe that this is what our parishioners want. While our parish school has doubled in size, most Catholic schools have lost substantial numbers from their enrollment.
Isn't that what most parents assume will be the mission of the parish school--to spread the Gospel and teach the next generation about Christ? Yet how often we learn that there are many non-Catholics in the school. Does the Gospel suffer when non-Catholics are part of the student body? Are the religions of the other students taken into consideration when they are present? While courtesy to non-Catholics is certainly a Catholic concept, doesn't it get in the way of the primary mission to educate Catholic children?
In years gone by, part of my parish school building was rented out to a dance studio and to a preschool. That is no longer the case. The enrollment forced the parish to convert the rented rooms to classrooms. Somebody is doing something right down there! More likely a lot of somebodys.