Friday, November 30, 2007

Sorry For the Delay In Posting

Computer had to go into the Shop. For the second time in two months. I am hoping Santa will bring another one for my stocking this year :).

Picking it back up tonight. Till then Geaux Tigers and Geaux Louisiana Tech

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Louisiana Catholic Blogger Update for Nov 27th

Here is the Louisiana Catholic Blogger Update for today. By the way if you know of other Catholic Blogs in Louisiana let me know.

Fr. Victor Brown’s Catholic Daily Message has his daily meditation here at Feast of Saint John Angeloptes . He hits on the all the new Cardinals that were just made in Rome among other things.

From The Recamier had her always interesting update yesterday that is located here. She started out by mentioning that it was the Feast of Saint John Berchmans, Religious (died 1621). By the way he is the Patron Saint of the Cathedral for the Diocese of Shreveport Louisiana where I reside. She has a ton of interesting facts as usual for the day. Including quite a bit on Sojourner Truth died on yesterdays date in 1883.

Catholic Tube has two good vids since I checked in yesterday. Here is one called No More Cloning. He also has a vid from a Bishop from Canada I am hearing more and more about. Here Archbishop Collins, Archbishop of Toronto speaks at the Dufferin Peel Catholic District School Board Staff Faith Day - Celebrating the Human Face of God on November 7, 2007.

Big Update here. The Louisiana based, but worldwide listened too, Catholic Underground, has their new edition up for the week. Go see Episode 59: ChristmasLent. The description is "In this episode, we talk ChristmasLent, prepping for Christ's coming, our Orthodox bretheren dash into podcasting, as well as a good deal of backchat and our new ventures at cu. Enjoy! " Links to what they are talking about can be found here at Episode 59 Shownotes. Nice thing to listen too while you are blogging

Footprints on the Fridge is still with her Home Schooling family across America. Gosh it sounds like they are having fun. She gives a short update at On the Road--Just so you know

Dei Gratia has updated. Go see his latest post called Distinctions. I like this post a lot because it deals with a problem we all face. That is what do we make of members of the Body of Christ in the Church that are just not very Christlike. In fact at times quite the opposite.

Arrival : The Parousian Weblog has a new post up. It is on the "Latin Mass". It is called Summorum Pontificum

Alive and Young has funny picture up at Dehydrated Water

Thoughts & Ruminations from Fr. Ryan of the Diocese of Alexandria has a few posts up today that you should check out. I am having a hard time again for some reason linking the individual entries but you got to check the ones out today. He has a great one of Yoda that look very much like a Catholic we all know. He ahas some other noteworthy posts today too of a more serious nature.

Cajun Cottage Under the Oaks has a post up. Go see A Totally Lame Post. Yeah I felt like that two days ago Cajun :). A LSU loss really gives you the blue or at least it did me.

We end with the Brown Pelican Society. Those post and links are
Parents Play Key Role in Teen Choices
Celebrating Christ’s Advent
People of Faith of All Colors, Make it Clear They Will Not be Beholden to Any Party
Ideology Was Bush's Undoing
Four Points on the Church's Teaching About Homosexuality
Annapolis Summit, an Opportunity That Can't be Missed, Cardinal DiNardo Says
Tom DeLay: Expect Hillary as Next Prez...Says Republicans Have Nothing Like Clinton's 'Most Impressive Coalition'
Activist Says Pro-Family Movement 'Losing Momentum' in Homosexuality Debate
Retailers Continue to Assault Christmas
“Forgotten Piece of the Equation” - San Francisco Conference to Examine Effects of Abortion on Men
Save the Planet, Kill a Baby!
TODAY'S GOSPEL & MEDITATION - God, the Rock of My Salvation
TODAY'S SAINT - St. Francesco Antonio Fasani 1681-1742

Why is Pope Benedict Cautious As To Recent Muslim Overtures?

Last month there was quite a bit of buzz worldwide by " the Letter of the 138 Muslims" that was addressed to Pope Benedict and the heads of the other major Christian Communities. I think it was significant event.

However some people were curious why the Vatican did not respond in a more robust manner to this development. Leading Muslims are asking for dialogue and the Holy Father/The Vatican response SO FAR is measured. What gives? I think the Chiesa has a very good and insightful article on perhaps the reasons why at Why Benedict XVI Is So Cautious with the Letter of the 138 Muslims. A another good read.

A "Reluctant" Priest Celebrates the "Latin Mass" and Is Surprised

Father Z has a ton of good post up that I have missed over the past few days. I was struck by a post he did regarding a Priest that celebrated the Latin Mass that appeared in the very Liberal America Magazine. The post is here at From another entry: during the Roman Canon “I felt intense loneliness” . I really suggest reading it with its companions post America Magazine: two items on Summorum Pontificum: a jeer and a reflection . Here is an excerpt of what this Priest said.
Having decided to offer the Tridentine Mass, I began the arduous project of recovering—and reinforcing—my Latin grammar and vocabulary so that I could celebrate the liturgy in a prayerful, intelligible way. As I studied the Latin texts and intricate rituals I had never noticed as a boy, I discovered that the old rite’s priestly spirituality and theology were exactly the opposite of what I had expected. Whereas I had looked for the “high priest/king of the parish” spirituality, I found instead a spirituality of “unworthy instrument for the sake of the people.”
The old Missal’s rubrical micromanagement made me feel like a mere machine, devoid of personality; but, I wondered, is that really so bad? I actually felt liberated from a persistent need to perform, to engage, to be forever a friendly celebrant.

When I saw a photo of the old Latin Mass in our local newspaper, I suddenly recognized the rite’s ingenious ability to shrink the priest. Shot from the choir loft, I was a mere speck of green, dwarfed by the high altar. The focal point was not the priest but the gathering of the people. And isn’t that a valid image of the church, the people of God? The act of praying the Roman Canon slowly and in low voice accented my own smallness and mere instrumentality more than anything else. Plodding through the first 50 or so words of the Canon, I felt intense loneliness. As I moved along, however, I also heard the absolute silence behind me, 450 people of all ages praying, all bound mysteriously to the words I uttered and to the ritual actions I haltingly and clumsily performed. Following the consecration, I fell into a paradoxical experience of intense solitude as I gazed at the Sacrament and an inexplicable feeling of solidarity with the multitude behind me.

And right there this very honest priest tells his readership what so many of us have been screaming about. The "Latin Mass" will be in likelihood not the main Liturgy I attend. However I look forward to the day when the regular form of the Mass is affected by the extraordinary form in such a manner as we see above.

However Fathers Z comments to this article as a Priest really struck me and showed me that was missing something quite crucial here. He said in part:
Second, in Holy Mass (and elsewhere), because of the sacrament of Holy Orders, the priest is alter Christus. When he says Mass, he is both acting in the person of Christ (in persona Christi) as Priest and Victim.

Third, sacramental reality is not less real than tangible reality we perceive with our senses. The sacred mysteries of Holy Mass make present the very events they portray: the Last Supper, the Sacrifice of Calvary. By our baptism we participate in these sacred mysteries.

Fourth, one of the most important elements of a proper ars celebrandi described by His Holiness in Sacramentum caritatis is that the priest must be "transparent" (my word). It is an abuse to impose your personality unduly on the liturgy. By staying out of the way of the true Actor in Mass, Christ the High Priest, the priest is a greater bearer of the person of Christ in a special way in the liturgy. That is an act of charity: sacrificial love, sacrifice of self for the good of others. That is service.

One of the things that I was very struck by was the writer’s comment that during the Canon (which makes Calvary present) the priest felt loneliness


Another Great Article On the Nashville Dominicans!!!

Tip of the hat to Vox Nova for leading me to this article Buzzworthy Sisters in Habits Headed to Va. School which appeared in the Washington Post this past Sunday. It is a must read and again shows how much this Vocation crisis is self inflicted. I have some personal insight on this order out of Nashville because I knew the Mother Superior of it quite well. They do more than schools. The retirement Home they run in Mobile Alabama that I have been too several times is just lovely. I can't say enough about this article.

The Secret. Well there is no secret. What they do is not Rocket Science. I have seen this first hand. The article tells us in part:
The Nashville Dominicans stick out even within the traditional group because their identity has been so solid, said Michael Wick, executive director of the Institute on Religious Life, which is affiliated with the conservative Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious. They have never veered from teaching, and they move to new cities in groups so they can stick to their schedule: wake at the same time, pray and chant together three times a day, meditate together, eat together in silence. Their reputation is of being upbeat and young; promotional material shows them playing soccer and walking on the beach.
"They have always been clear as to what their identity is as a community and how it's expressed. If you diversify your ministry so much, it's hard to say what your community does," Wick said. "And young attracts young. I think other [traditional orders] are learning from them

Very Good read

Was Shakespeare a Catholic?

This is a pretty interesting article from the Boston Paper on the subject.

Nick Saban Is In the House!!!(Recruiting in Monroe)

I thought I would start off with a college football post that is not related to the nationwide Coaching sagas and rumors. That has been fun to watch though. Saban is back in his ole stopping grounds today the Monroe Paper is reporting:
Alabama coach Nick Saban flew into Monroe this morning and is making a recruiting tour of the area today.
Saban stopped at Ouachita this morning with recruiting interest in senior tight end Tyler Edwards. Ouachita coach John Carr said that Saban has a home visit planned with Edwards later today.

Edwards, whose brother Eric Edwards played for Saban at LSU, is considering the Crimson Tide and Tigers, along with Florida.Saban was also expected to stop in Rayville, where Alabama is wooing wide receiver Chris Tolliver. Other area high schools are also likely on his schedule.During their conversation, Carr said that Saban mentioned his recent loss to ULM earlier this month. "He talked about how hard they played," Carr said.

A little background. I am a tad concerned about Tyler Edwards. Even though he comes from a LSU football family somehow for some unknown reasons he was always a Bama fan from his childhood!!!! I consider keeping Tyler Edwards in State and with LSU something that is of high priority.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Louisiana Man That Tried To Burn New York

I thought I would update an observation I made in today's Louisiana Catholic Blogger Update. One of our fine Louisiana Catholic Bloggers From The Recamier made this "day in history" observation in her post of yesterday.
" 1864 during the American Civil War, a group of Confederate operatives calling themselves the Confederate Army of Manhattan started fires in more than 20 locations, including P. T. Barnum’s Museum, in an unsuccessful attempt to burn down New York City. (The objective was to overwhelm the city’s firefighting resources by distributing the fires around the city. Most of the fires either failed to start or were contained quickly"

I mentioned that I believed the person behind the plot was not only from Louisiana but also from the parish where I lived. Well that turns out to be true. His name was Robert Cobb Kennedy. His life and the plot is told in the book The Man who Tried To Burn New York by Nat Brandt. He was from Claiborne Parish Louisiana and was Confederate Secret Agent. He was later hanged for trying to burn the Big Apple down.

Here is a picture and short bio.
More on the plot from the 1864 New York Times
A must see Cartoon regarding the event from Harper's Weekly
More on Robert Kennedy Here.

If You Have Sent Me An Email

And I have not answered it don't worry. I am not ignoring you. I have not checked it since the day before Thanksgiving. I am just getting back into the computer world today. :) Actually I think I was real bad about checking the days before. Yes I am horrid. Sorry. I will hit that tonight.

Louisiana Catholic Blogger Update for Nov 26th

Sorry for getting the update out late. Here we go.

Yesterday was the Feast of Christ the King. Catholic Tube has some good vids up as to that. Go see Imitating Christ the King and Christ the King. Also see the vid he has today that is as he states " ‘Beyond Belief’ segment from ‘Hannity’s America’ looks at the many myths and legends surrounding the Holy Grail, from it’s association as the cup of Jesus Christ used at the Last Supper, to the medieval Arthurian romances, and the most recent debate originating from ‘The DaVinci Code.’ Fox News contributor and religion analyst Father Jonathan Morris also offers insight on this mysterious, mystical relic".

Full Circle has a few post up since I last checked in. I have not checked the Catholic Blogs since I left to go to Baton Rouge By the way. He has this one called Reprogramming method of stem cells a step in the right direction which is quite interesting. He also has a post that I shall spend some time on later. That is Ron Paul talk ... or why not Rudy part II . I am going to have to talk about Ron Paul and my real objections to him later. If I get a chance tonight I shall engage it later. I will say that anyone that wishes to support Alan Keyes (R): 70 (not on the ballot in all states) needs to email me before you make a tragic mistake :). On another Ron Paul note he has a post dealing called Subsidiarity. I am a big supporter of that concept and No Child Left Behind. I am hoping he does another post on that because I am not sure that the two are contrary to each other.

Arrival : The Parousian Weblog has two post since I last checked in. That is T.S. Eliot and Community: Part III of III and a thought provoking post here at The Truth about Security and the Security of Truth

Alive and Young has a a fun post up with a unique "ad" that promotes a youth retreat at God's Gym .

I am working down the blog list and I am shocked and sadden. That is Astonished Yet at Home has given us his Farewell . I hope he reconsiders. He is one of the best Catholic bloggers in Louisiana. Anyway I shall try to convince him just to go into hibernation for a short period and not totally pull the plug on his blog.

A Number of Things has a post up called Sweet Inspiration.

Thoughts & Ruminations from Fr. Ryan has a post up on how the "Latin Mass" is catching on with young people under today's entry.

Fr. Victor Brown’s Catholic Daily Message has his daily meditation up at Feast of Saint Conrad (26 Nov 2007).

Cajun Cottage Under the Oaks has a series of posts that really put me into the mood of the season. GO see Cinnamon Toast and Eggnog?, The Joy of Preparing, and Seasonal Blessings.

From The Recamier had her daily update yesterday. So see it here. Besides talking about the Feast of Christ the King she hits again a lot of history. I find this interesting:
In 1864 during the American Civil War, a group of Confederate operatives calling themselves the Confederate Army of Manhattan started fires in more than 20 locations, including P. T. Barnum’s Museum, in an unsuccessful attempt to burn down New York City. (The objective was to overwhelm the city’s firefighting resources by distributing the fires around the city. Most of the fires either failed to start or were contained quickly.)
I am aware of this. In fact I think one of the chief plotters was from the Parish in Louisiana where I live. I will have to check this out tomorrow at the library. I think there was a book written about him.

The Brown Pelican Society has a ton of posts and links as usual. Go see:
Do We Want Politicians or Preachers?
Marriage Reform Proposed to Lower Divorce Rate by Half
United Nations Admits to Having Exaggerated Statistics About AIDS in the World
Pope Asks New Cardinals to Pray for Peace and Unity
New Group Hopes to Return 'Moral Coherence' to Conservative Movement
The Mexico City Policy: Protecting the Most Fundamental Right
Huckabee, the False Conservative (I shall find something to respond to this later. It is pretty much ole Club for Growth false attacks. Sadly Mr Novak is spouting them.
Stem Cell Breakthrough Advances Science Without “Ethical Landmines,” Says Cardinal Justin Rigali
Mike Huckabee Says He's The Strongest Republican on Abortion Issues
Mitt Romney Open to Putting Abortion Practitioners in Prison After Ban
TODAY'S SAINT - St. Catherine of Alexandria (c. 310)

My Thoughts On the Arkansas Game and the Loss

Boy was I depressed.

(1) First let me tell you that was a very hard ticket to scalp. That game because of the timing is generally one because of the timing of it one can scalp it pretty easy. Ouch boy did I luck out. First it was the perfect "Chamber Commerce type of day". I got there around 11:00 and tickets in the nose bleed section were still going for a 100 a piece. There were tons of LSU fans and Arkansas fans that were looking for tickets. About 30 minutes before the game after holding up my finger for a hour and marching around Tiger stadium 10 times I managed to find one ticket for 45 dollars from a student.

(2) LSU fans will always be a night time fan base. The CROWD did not start getting into it till it started to get dark. I have no idea why we are like vampires. This was the 4th largest attendance by the way in Tiger Stadium History

(3) Les Miles and Team bashers just stop. Really. Just stop. The LSU fan base better start preparing for this game this weekend. It is the frackin SEC game. This is huge. The team needs us. Oh and if some fan bashes Matt Flynn around me prepare to get a bloody nose.

(4) We are a lot more hurt than ever was let on. That was so apparent. The injury question is my biggest concern this weekend. ON the bright side so is Tenn.

(5) Kudos to Arkansas. Seeing that offensive trio at full health for Arkansas was something to see.

(6) I am still proud to be a Tiger and I think we have a wonderful Team and a special Coaching staff. For those that want to use this loss to further other agendas(Coaching changes) you are a part of the problem. NOt saying there were not some mistakes by the Coaching staff. However I follow football enough to know that some of those the questionable calls are in the same percentage as Calls of the other so called Coaches. We are 10 and 2 in the SEC and that does not happened without giving its your all. Anyway the SEC game will be filled 70/30 with Tenn fans because of location. We don't have the time to start recriminations. We got to get the buzz going to help the team


Huck Huck Huck!!! Boy talk about twisting the knife.
Irmo (WLTX) - After spending time at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday night for the Carolina-Clemson football game, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee spent Sunday morning with members of Gateway Baptist Church in Irmo. The Presidential candidate spent time talking with members of the church as well as signing copies of his book, "Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork," which is a guide to healthy eating. One of the first statements he said in front of the entire congregation was, "I'm not here today in a political capacity." Huckabee went on to say that he wouldn't mention Saturday's in-state rivalry football game between the Tigers and Gamecocks. Instead he commented on the Arkansas Razorbacks' defeat over the #1 ranked LSU Tigers. "Most everybody in the entire Southeast Conference enjoys LSU getting beat as much as we enjoyed getting to beat them the other day." Huckabee will spend the rest of Sunday in the Upstate.


True he gets sort of a pass because he was a Arkansas Governor. But Governor yikes!!! I shall have some fun with this Governor when you come to Louisiana so be forewarned!!! I expect his response will be fun.

Anyway Geaux Huckabee

Friday, November 23, 2007

Geaux Tigers Beat Arkansas!!!!

Yes Opinionated Catholic is making a much spur of the moment trip to Baton Rouge to root on LSU. Like I decided at 1 am this morning. So I am going down through ole Natchez because of I-10 beng shutdown. Hopefully I will be there in frotn of the stadium by Noon to scalp a ticket.

ANyway turn on the TV and I might be one of thr 90,000 there you see at 1:30 this afternoon.

More regular posting starts tomorrow.

Geaux Tigers

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Have A Happy Thankgiving!!

No Lousiana blogger update today. I suspect t most are busy with Thanksgiving things. I have to help cook so I am keeping it a short day.

I might have a few things up tomorrow as I attempt to escape family for a bit. I will be of course commenting on the Arkansas/LSU game. Geaux Tigers

Live Blogging the Texan That Could Be Pope

Well this week is huge in Rome. It is Consistory Week. Which means the Pope is about to make a whole new slew of Cardinals. AKA as the people who will vote on his successor after he dies. They do much more than that of course. They really have important duties in the running of the Worldwide Church.

I noted we have a historic first. A Texan is about to become a "Prince of the Church". That is Archbishop Dinardo of Houston. Thus making him eligible to be POPE HIMSELF. A little know fact is that in theory a layman can be become Pope. However they would have to change the current rules for that to happen. Now the odds of College of Cardinals choosing a American as a future Pope is slim to none. However who knows what the Holy Spirit will do in the future.

I am glad that the secular media in Houston has keyed in on the significance that their city is about to be a SEE of a Cardinal. Generally that means that in the Catholic World, your city has hit the big time. The Houston Chronicle has a great blog that is following events here. Lots of great pics too.

Whispers in the Loggia has a much of other details on Dinardo as well as the Consistory as a whole. BE sure to check him out daily. To Vatican Watchers as he puts it this is indeed like the Super Bowl in many ways

A Louisiana Blogger Talks About His Experience with Water Boarding

I am still struggling with the issue of "waterboarding" and if it is torture. I am trying to take a step back and look at this issue with objective eyes. I know many say it is clearcut but I am not so sure. Anyway a Louisiana Blogger , As I see it! , put in my comment section that he had some real up close experience with this issue. His posts as well as others pro or con are indeed helpful. Go see his post What is water-boarding? A first hand account and his followup post here.

ALso check out the rest of his blog. He is from the Reformed tradition and has several recent post on what his view(and his Christian Community tradition's view) is on the Sacraments and the Real presence. I intend to post on that and interact with those interesting posts at a later date. Hopefully soon.

THe March For Les Miles and Louisiana Priorities

Be sure to attend!! Meet outside the stadium/Football Complex at 6 and then its on the Walk Ons for the show. By the way in Louisiana that should easily be heard live on the radio state wide at 7 pm tonight

I thought Revolution-21 had a thought provoking post today on the march and what should be our priorities at Give more for Les. Care less for more? . Let me say I agree. On the Tiger Internet boards I am constantly bringing this subject up. For instance we can't have rich recruiting classes if these areas continued to be threatened by Coastal erosion. The fact that the population exodus from Louisiana if not halted and reversed poses a true long term threat to LSU and its program. Of course my world does not revolve around football. However I do try to point out how the real problems we face touches us in a million ways. Even in places we least expect it. Such as the LSU football team.

He says in part:
BATON ROUGE NEEDS to hang on to a Michigan Man like Les Miles. Baton Rouge needs more men like Les Miles -- disciplined, smart, driven, upright, successful.
Baton Rouge has a funny damn way of trying to do that.
See, to keep men like Miles -- to attract more men and women like Miles -- my hometown needs to quit begging and start doing. Make Baton Rouge someplace that people like Les Miles would be crazy to leave . . . no matter how loud the siren song of home and how full the pot o' gold at the end of the rainb

There is much truth in that. Also LSU fans need to take off the purple and gold glasses at times. We might think LSU and Baton Rouge is like Disney World(who wouldn't love it) but there are drawbacks. Baton Rouge since Katrina has a whole new set of problems with such a population increase. I have heard on national sports radio shows that Ann Arbor is much nicer than Baton Rouge in many ways. It is hard to hear but there are some negatives around us that having nothing to do directly with LSU or football but do affect it .

So I say do both. March For Miles and lets get busy making this state a place where people like Miles wish to stay.

NOW as to the March- Bring the kids. We need a good crowd and that is tough because of the timing.School is out and well its the day before Thanksgivng. I saw this posted earlier
For those planning to attend, or even on the fence, come have a good time. Make an evening out of it. Bring the kids. Park in the lots near S. Stadium and the Nicholson Extension, walk to the stadium, walk with the march, and then hit up a local establishment of your choice. Don't forget that in addition to Walk On's, in that same shopping center on Burbank there is a coffee shop, an ice cream shop, and a sushi restaurant. Just a little further down Burbank there is an Arby's, Izzo's Illegal Burrito, Mellow Mushroom pizzaria, Subway, and Nine Dragon (a chinese place that may or may not be open.. that place is never open).
A little further away and on Nicholson there is Plucker's chicken wings, and a little further down from there is the relocated Rotollo's pizzaria. On Highland near E. Boyd, there is the Drunken Fish Vietnamese and Japanese, DeanO's pizza, TCBY, a coffee shop.

Today The Pope Talks Syriac Christianity and Welcomes the All American Dance Team

The Pope at today's Wednesday Audience

Wow who knew that one could put "Syraic Christianity" , the Church Fathers, and the All American Dance team in one post. However in the World of the Vatican these things happen. A very intriguing talk today by the Holy Father. Thanks to the Ratzinger forum for the translation.

Here is a translation of the Holy Father's catechesis at the General Audience in St. Peter's Square today.
Dear brothers and sisters, In our excursion into the world of the Fathers of the Church, I wish today to guide you to a little-known part of this universe of faith, into the territories in which the Churches of the Semintic language flourished, before the influence of Greek thought.

These churches, throughout the fourth century, developed in the Near East, from the Holy Land to Lebanon and Mesopotamia. In that cnetury, which was a period of formation at the ecclesiastical and literary levels, these communities were characterized by an ascetic-monastic phenomenon with autocthonous characteristics which did not come under the influence of Egyptian monasticism. The Syriac community of the fourth century thus represented the Semitic world from which the Bible itself had come, an expression of a Christianity whose theological formation had not yet come in contact with various cultural currents, but lived on in their own forms of thought.

They are churches in which asceticism under various eremitic forms (in the desert, in caves, reclusess, stylites) and monasticism in the form of community life exercised a role of vital impotrance in the development of theological and spiritual thought. I wish to present this world in the great figure of Aphraates, also known as The Sage, one of the most important as well as most enigmatic personages of Syriac Christianity in the fourth Century. A native of the Nineveh-Mosul area, now in iraq, he lived during the first half of the fourth century. We have little information about his life, but he maintained close rapport with the ascetic-monastic circles of the Syriac Church, which kept records of his work and to which he dedicates part of his reflections. According to some sources, he was the head of a monastery before he was consecrated a bishop.

He wrote 23 dscourses known as Expositions or Demonstrations, in which he deals with various themse of Christian living, like faith, love, fasting, humility, prayer, the ascetic life itself, and even the relationship between Judaism and Christianity, between the Old and New Testaments. He wrote in a simple style, with brief sentences, parallelisms which usually pointed out contradictions, but he produced a coherent discoursde with a detailed development of the various issues that he confronts. Aphraates was part of an ecclesial community which was on the frontier between Judaism and Christianity.

It was closely related to the Mother Church in Jerusalem, and its bishops were traditionally chosen from among the so-called 'familiars' of Jacob, 'the Lord's brother' (cfr Mk 6,3): thus, they were persons linked by blood and faith to the Church of Jerusalem. Aphraates's native language was Syriac, a Semitic language like the Hebrew of the Old Testament and like the Aramaic spoken by Jesus himself. The ecclesial community in which Aphraates lived was a community that sought to remain faithful to the Judaeo-Christian tradition, of which it felt it was a daughter. Thus, it kept close ties with the Jewish world and its sacred books. Significantly, Aphraates defined himself as 'a disciple of Sacred Scripture', of the Old and New Testaments (Exposition 22,26), which he considered his only source of inspiration, referring to it so much as to make it the center of all his reflections. Aphraates treats of various themes in his Expositions.

Faithful to the Syriac tradition, he often presents the salvation worked by Christ as a healing, and therefore, Christ himself as a physician. He considrerd sin an injury that only penitence could heal. "A man who has been wounded in battle," Aphraates wrote, "is not ashamed to put himself into the hands of a wise physician... In the same way, whoever has been wounded by Satan should not be ashamed to recognize the injury and distance himself, asking for the medicine of penance" (Exposition, 7,3).

One other important aspect of Aphraates's work is his teaching on prayer, and particularly, on Jesus as a teacher of prayer. The Christian prays following the teaching of Christ and his example as a praying man: "Our Lord taught us to pray, saying 'Pray in secret to Himw ho is hidden but who sees everything', and also "Go into your room and pray to your Father in secret, and the Father who sees the secret will reward you' (Mt 6,6)....What our Lord wants to show us is that God knows the desires and thoughts in our hearts" (Exposition 4,10). For Aphraates, Christian life is centered on the imitation of Christ, in taking on his yoke and following him along the way of the Gospel. One of the virtues most appropriate for a disciple of Christ is humility. It is not a secondary aspect of Christian life: man's nature is humble, and it is God who exalts it to His glory. Humility, notes Aphraates, is not a negative value: "If man's roots are planted in the earth, its fruits will come before the Lord of greatness" (Exposition 9,14).

By staying humble, the Christian can enter into a relaitonship with the Lord even in the earthly reality in which he lives: "The humble man is humble, but his heart rises to the suoreme heights. The eyes of his face look on the earth but the eyes of his spirit see the supreme heights" (Exposition 9,2). The vision Aphraates had of man and his corporal reality is very positive: the human body, like Christ who was humble, is called to beauty, to joy, to light. "God comes near to the man who loves him, and it is right to love huility and to stay in a state of humility. The humble are simple, patient, quiet, peaceful, merciful, ready to repent, kind, profound, thoughtful, beautiful and desirable" (Exposition 9,14) In Aphraates, the Christian life is often presented in a clearly ascetic and spiritual dimension: its basis, its foundation, is faith, which makes of man a temple in which Christ himself dwells. Faith makes sincere charity possible, expressed in love for God and for one's neighbor. Another important aspect in Aphraates's teaching is fasting, which he understands in a very wide sense.

He speaks of fasting from meals as a practice that is necessary in order to be charitable and chaste; of fasting in the sense of (sexual) continence with a view to sanctity; of fasting from using vain and detestable words; of fasting from anger; of fasting from owning goods in the context of the priestly ministry; of fasting from sleep to devote more time to prayer.

Dear brothers and sisters, to conclude, let us return to Aphraates';s teaching on prayer. Acccording to this ancient Sage, prayer is realized when Christ lives in the heart of the Christian and invites him to a consistent commitment to love of neighbor. He wrote: "Give relief to the defeated, visit the sick. be concerned about the poor: that is prayer. Prayer is good, and its works are beautiful. Prayer is accepted if it gives relief to one's neighbor. Prayer is answered when it also forgives offenses. Prayer is strong when it is filled with the power of God." (Exposition 4,14-16) With these words, Aphaates invites us to prayer which becomes Christian living, a life realized, a life penetrated by faith, by an opening to God and therefore, to love for our neighbor.

Later, he gave an English synthesis of the catechesis:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, In this week’s catechesis we turn to Aphraates, an outstanding figure of fourth-century Syriac Christianity. The Syriac Churches, Semitic in their language and thought, remained close to the Jewish-Christian tradition, and were deeply influenced by native forms of asceticism and monasticism. Aphraates was thus part of an ecclesial community on the frontier between Judaism and the Greek world.

According to some sources, he was the head of a monastery and later consecrated a Bishop. He has left us twenty-three talks, known as Demonstrations, on various aspects of the Christian life. His style is vivid and close to that of the Bible. In the Syriac tradition, he presents Christ as the physician who heals us from the wounds of sin and our great teacher of prayer.

Aphraates presents a positive view of man, called in the flesh to beauty, joy and light by the imitation of Christ in his humility. The Christian life is seen in ascetic and spiritual terms, rooted in faith and flowering in the love of neighbour. Following the teaching of this great master of the spiritual life, let us strive to show charity and forgiveness to all, so that our prayers may be "strong with the strength of God" (cf. Dem. 4:16).

To all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors I extend a warm welcome. In a special way I greet Senior Staff members of the USS Harry S. Truman, deaconate candidates from the Diocese of Brownsville, and members of the All American Star Dance Team. May your visit to Rome be a time of growth and renewal. Upon all of you I cordially invoke an abundance of joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ.

After greeting the various language groups present, the Pope made a special appeal about Somalia:

We have been getting sad news about the precarious humanitarian situation in Somalia, especially in Mogadishu, which is more and more afflicted by social insecurity and poverty. I am following developments with trepidation, and I appeal to all who have political responsiblity, at the local and international levels, so that peaceful solutions may be found and relief may be brought to the beloved Somali people. I also encourage the efforts of all those who, notwithstanding security threats and difficulties, remain in the region to bring help and relief to its residents.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

March for Les Miles Planned For Tomorrow!!!

The Grassroots movement for Miles is starting. We shall not let him go without a fight!!!!

What started as a idea on a sports board is being broadcast around the State!!

March for Miles Planned Wednesday
By Chris Mycoskie
LSU fans are planning a rally to show their desire to keep Les Miles in Baton Rouge. The head football coach of the Tigers is likely the top candidate to replace Lloyd Carr at Michigan.Miles is a former Michigan player and assistant coach and has a passion for the maize and blue. But he has also made it clear that he loves LSU.The "March for Miles" is set to begin at 6 pm Wednesday from Tiger Stadium. Supporters plan to walk from the stadium to Walk On's, which is the site of the coach's weekly radio show. The program begins at 7 pm. Support for the rally has grown from posters on the message board and groups created on Facebook

BE there and spread the word!!!!!!!1

Sorry for the Lack of Post Today

Worn Out!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Les Miles Gets Emotional At LSU Press Conference(VID)

I posted earlier on this. Here is the vid.

Auxiliary Bishop of Iraq Thanks American Servicemen During Incredible Mass In Iraq

I usually try to keep my "Iraqi" post to one a day. However this is breathtaking. Michael Yon has some incredible pictures and commentary about what happened when Muslims and Christians came together for Mass in Baghdad.

The fact that American Soldiers are there is significant. I have talked to mostly Protestant and Evangelical chaplains that were stationed in Iraq. Thy informed me that despite the danger Iraqi Christians of all communities would welcome US troops to worship with them despite the danger to them. US policy was not to accept those invitations because of the danger to the local community. The fact that they were there speaks volumes.

I would interested in learning more about this.
Most Reverend Shlemon Warduni, Auxiliary Bishop of the St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Diocese for Chaldeans and Assyrians in Iraq officiated standing directly beneath the dome under the Chaldean cross. Speaking in both Arabic and English, Bishop Warduni thanked those American soldiers sitting in the pews for their sacrifices. Again and again, throughout the service, he thanked the Americans.

Great link.

Catholic Bishops Say Actions In Iraq Must Be Viewed Through the Traditional moral principle of “probability of success,”

I blogged on the US Bishops latest statement on the conflict in Iraq here at Are the Democrats in Line With the US Bishops on Iraq? . In that statement they said:

What does USCCB mean by a “responsible transition?”“Responsible transition” is a morally and politically demanding, but carefully limited goal that allows for a responsible withdrawal at the earliest opportunity. The moral demands of this transition begin with minimizing further loss of human life and addressing the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, the refugee crisis in the region, and human rights, especially religious freedom.Each course of action in Iraq should be weighed in light of the traditional moral principle of “probability of success,” i.e. the likelihood that the action will contribute to a “responsible transition” and withdrawal as soon as appropriate and possible.

I think as Catholics that must mean we should be informed about the facts on the ground in Iraq. One cannot analyze the "probability of success" if we don't know the facts on the ground. So it takes some work. AJ Strata that takes note of both bad and good news out if Iraq has some post we should look at.

Go see
Does al-Qaeda Dare To Destroy The New Found Peace Of Iraqis Muslims?

How Much Good News Will Come From Iraq?

Hitchens On The Success In Iraq

Oh The Humanity! The Surrendercrats & SurrenderMedia Are Doomed.

Political Reconciliation In Iraq Is Alive And Well

Analysts See Bush Leaving Office With Success In Iraq

Now he does have a list of positive posts. No doubt there was horror and sadness this past week. Iraqi and American died this past week in this struggle. Still these are mainline news sources that are reporting this and has to be looked at.

Louisiana Catholic Blogger Update For Nov 19th

This is one of my favorite Catholic Churches in Louisiana. That is Holy Trinity in Shreveport Louisiana. Quite a history here and is very beautiful on the inside. For more on this Church go here. It has a nice history section. Let me before we proceed to the louisiana links for today highlight a important part of it.
The dreaded disease, yellow fever, had struck Shreveport twice before the year 1873, and Father Pierre had proved himself to be a model of charity and sacrifice in ministering the sick. The worst yellow fever epidemic to be experienced in Shreveport appeared in mid-August 1873 and lasted through mid-November. One-third of area residents may have fled before quarantines were enforced. Total cases numbered somewhere between 2600 and 3000 with 759 deaths. Five priests and two religious sisters died while caring for those who were ill. One of the priests was Father John Pierre.

Father Joseph Gentille record the following in his diary:
Father Pierre was struggling with the plague. The battle had commenced for the leaders. One had fallen. His young Assistant, Father Isidore Queremais, who was laboring under the dreadful disease Consumption was the first to pay his tribute to the epidemic. On the 15th of September he died. Father Pierre followed his assistant on the 16th of September. His death was a public calamity. He was beloved and esteemed by all.
Death was not yet satisfied. Father Biler, Chaplain to the Sisters at St. Vincent's, Fairfield stood alone on the ramparts. Before he fell reinforcements had come from two different priests. Two worthy, holy priests came to Shreveport to share the fate and the crown of those who had already fallen.
Rev. L. Gergaud parish priest of Monroe arrived in time to assist poor Father Biler who on the 26th of September answered the call of the Savior and received the reward of his christian charity and heroism. Father Gergaud ministered to the wants of the plague stricken on by four days. Yellow fever struck him dead on the 1st of October 1873.
Father F. LeVezouet came from Natchitoches in time to assist and console dear Father Gergaud. Out of five one was yet standing animated, worn and he fell, but before falling had entreated Most Rev. Bishop Perche of N.O. (New Orleans) to send help and assistance. He fought the dreadful disease until he himself could be anointed. Then he breathed his last Oct. 8th, 1973.
Rev. Father Duffo S.J. and Charles Ferec from the Cathedral left N.O. on Friday October 3rd and arrived here Wednesday, 8th. Father Duffo visited Father LeVezouet as he was dying at Dr. Moore's residence. Father Ferec had a mild attack of the yellow fever. He recovered, returned to N.O. at the beginning of December. Father Duffo stayed at Shreveport until the arrival of the new pastor Rev. J. Gentille who was coming from Lake Providence, Carrol (sic) Parish, La. He left Lake Providence November 24th. On his way to his new field of labor he stopped at Natchitoches to see Bishop Martin and received his instructions. On December 8th Father Gentille in company of Dom I. Robot took the Steamer Durfee. They arrived at Shreveport on Wednesday, Dec. 10. The new Pastor was received by Father Duffo and on the 11th at High Mass he was inaugurated, he entered immediatley into the discharge of his pastoral duties

First be sure to keep Dei Gratia in your prayers. He is need of our prayers.Go see Prayer Request.

Footprints on The Fridge is blogging on the raod while on her family vacation. Go to On the Road--Round One and On the Road--Round Two

Thoughts & Ruminations from Fr. Ryan has a post that is On Gary Wills .

From The Recamier has her daily post up. She starts out with what we Catholics were observing yesterday. That is the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilicas of St. Peter and St. Paul. Also the Saint for yesterday Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne, Virgin (died 1852). She has a ton of history for yesterday as usual.

Alive and Young has another in his series at Not Said By Jesus Sunday .

Arrival : The Parousian Weblog has a very good post today. Go seeT.S. Eliot and Community: Part II of III

We end with the Brown Pelican Society and his usual exhaustive collection of daily links and post as to todays news.
We Get What We Expect From Our Children
Memo to Fred: Infanticide is Not a State's Right
Top Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries
On Trust in God: "Let Us Not be Afraid of the Future, Even When it Appears Bleak"
Sunday Angelus: Natural Disasters and Human Tragedies Do Not Mean The End of the World, Says Pope
Fred Thompson: Backs Terri Schiavo's Parents, Courts Should Favor Life
TODAY'S SAINT - St. Agnes of Assisi 1197-1253

Just Listened to the Miles Press Conference- Michigan Thoughts

I just listened to the Coach Mile's press conference that he holds on Monday following the games. Of course with the resignation of Lloyd Carr this morning the "Les to Michigan" questions came up.

A few preliminary thoughts. I will be surprised if Les Miles gets the job. I think the powers that be at Michigan will have to give some sort of consideration to him. However it appears to me that the current regime at Michigan relating to the football department are "anti Miles". All year long we have heard rumors that Miles "dirty" and does things in a "non Michigan" way. Now in the SEC where recruiting is a vicious the fans broadcast every rumor about another Coaches ethics. Yet in three years there have been no such rumors about Miles. Also there appears to be none from his days at Oklahoma State. It is apparent to me that much of this is spread by the current Michigan regime that fears Miles coming up there. Why? Because Miles might just show them the door.

Loyd Carr in his press conference even gave a jab at Miles in a veiled way. This was in reference to Miles getting a Louisiana recruit that gave a "verbal to Michigan and that Les got to go to LSU. Sorry not impressed with Mr Carr. I also am very suspect at the timing. But heck I am a LSU fan and I want LES MILES TO STAY.

From his Press Conference. Let me tell you Les sounded emotional. He talked about the Ole Miss game and the the upcoming game with Arkansas. I am paraphrasing here but he said:
I'm not interested in jobs, don't want to talk about jobs, have not contacted Michigan, they have not contacted me. I love LSU. I'm happy here and my family is happy here. I am not going to get distracted by jobs, I'm not looking and I will not entertain questions about it. End of discussion".

He also got really emotional. In fact so emotional that there were very long pauses. He said he loved his team (Long Pause) and he would do nothing to hurt it. People who were there were commenting that Miles was trying to keep his composure.

A few other things. He was praising Carr and Michigan to high heaven. However he did say as to the timing of the the Carr announcement "Great Timing." I thought that he had a sound of disgust but whatever.

Sadly these questions will not die. We will just have to grin and bear it.

Here is the LSU paper that has done a quick recap of the Press Conference-
MILES: "I love this place"
LSU coach Les Miles was almost brought to tears at his weekly press luncheon today when speaking about the rumors surrounding the job opening at his alma mater, Michigan.

Miles commented on Michigan at the conclusion of his opening statement and refused to answer any additional questions about the matter."I'm not talking jobs, don't look for jobs, don't want jobs," Miles said. "I love this place."Lloyd Carr, who won a national title and five Big Ten titles in 13 seasons with the Wolverines, announced early this morning that he would step down as head coach at the conclusion of this season."As an alumnus of that school, I'm happy [Carr] was our coach," Miles said.In an ironic twist, it was year ago today that Miles had to postpone his weekly Monday press conference to attend the funeral of former Michigan coach Bo Schembechler, who Miles played for and coached under at Michigan for several years.Now, once again, most of the mid-November talk around the LSU football program is about Miles and a former Michigan coach, and not on the Tigers quest for a conference and national championship.After a few moments on the Michigan topic, Miles was almost brought to tears when speaking about his current team, and said he is focused solely on LSU and Friday's home finale against Arkansas."What I'm doing is what you should do," he said. "Let it rest."I love this team, and I will not do anything to hurt it."

Inital Reaction To Orthodox/Catholic Document on Issue of the Bishop Of Rome

Well we are seeing some reactions to the document "Ecclesiological and Canonical Consequences of the Sacramental Nature of the Church: Ecclesial Communion, Conciliarity and Authority" that was published by the Vatican on Nov 15. Pretty much this deals with the issue of the Bishop of Rome(the Pope) as to future reconciliation between the two lungs of the Church. That is the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox.

As expected the Russians are bellyaching. I actually think that this is a very interesting document to read outside the whole "Primacy Issue". I might try to do a post that compares this document with the document that was issued earlier by the Holy See. That is RESPONSES TO SOME QUESTIONS REGARDING CERTAIN ASPECTSOF THE DOCTRINE ON THE CHURCH. I think when both are read in tandem it shows us a lot about how we Catholics and Orthodox view "Church".

The Ratzinger Forum on this page of the thread has several articles that should be read if you follow Othodox/Roman Catholic saga.

Articles they have:
Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue Takes Important Step Commission Recognizes Primacy of Bishop of Rome a article by

Bishop Hilarion says Russian Orthodox Theologians Commission must examine 'ambiguous' document adopted at the Orthodox-Catholic conference in Ravenna a interfax article.

Orthodox-Catholic dialogue incomplete without Moscow Patriarchate - Bishop Hilarion another interfax article.

Update- I think the always great blog Sacramentum Vitae has an excellent post Ravenna: the latest chapter in Catholic-Orthodox ecumenism

THe Pope Talks About The End of the World-Yesterday's Angelus.

Thanks again to the Ratzinger Forum for the translation of yesterday' Angelus.
ANGELUS OF 11/18/07
Here is a translation of the Holy Father's words at noonday Angelus today.

Dear brothers and sisters In today's Gospel, St. Luke re-proposes for our reflection the Biblical vision of history, referring to the words of Jesus, who invites his disciples not to be afraid, but to face difficulties, incomprehension and even persecutions with confidence, persevering in their faith in him. "When you hear of wars and insurrections," the Lord says, "do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end" (Lk 21,9).

Mindful of this admonition, the Church, from the beginning, lives in the prayerful expectation of the return of its Lord, scrutinizing the signs of the times and warning the faithful against recurring Messianisms, which from time to time announce that the end of the world is imminent. In fact, history must run its ourse, which includes human tragedies and natural calamities. Within it is situated the plan of salvation which Jesus fulfilled in his incarnation, death and resurrection.

It is this mystery that the Church continues to announce and to actualize in its preaching, in the celebration of the Sacraments, and in the testimony of charity. Dear brothers and sisters, let us accept Christ's invitation to face the events of every day, trusting in his providential love. Let us not fear for the future, even when it appears dark to us, because the God of Jesus Christ, entered history in order to open it to transcendent fulfillment, of which he is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end (cfr Ap 1,8).

He guarantees us that in every small but genuine act of love, is found all the sense of the universe, and that he who does not hesitate to lose his own life for Christ, will find it back in fullness (cfr Mt 16,25). Keeping alive this prospect for us, consecrated persons invite us with particular effectiveness, because they have placed theri lives unconitionally in the service of the Kingdom of God. Among them, I would like to remember particularly the women who heed the call to the cloistered life.

The Church dedicates a special day for them on Wednesday, November 21, memorial of the presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the temple. We owe so much to these persons who live only by what Providence gives them through the generosity of other faithful. The monastery "as a spiritual oasis, shows today's world the most imprtant, and in fact, the only decisive thing: that there exists an ultimate reason for which life is worth living, namely, God and his inscrutable love" (Heiligenkreuz, Sept. 9, 2007).

The faith that works through charity is the true antidote to the nihilist mentality, which in our time, continues to extend its influence throughout the world. May Mary, Mother of the Word incarnate, accompany us on our earthly pilgrimage. We ask her to sustain the testimony of all Christians that it may always rest on a firm and persevering faith.

After the Angelus prayers, he spoke of the victims of the cyclone in Bangladesh:

In recent days, a poweerful cyclone hit the southern part of Bangladesh, with numerous victims and severe destruction. In renewing my expression of sincere condolence to the stricken families and to the entire Bengali nation, which is very dear to me, I call on international solidarity which is already in motion to attend to the imemdiate necessities, and I encourage every possible effort to help our brothers who are so severely tried. Today, in Jordan, is the opening of the 8th assembly of states who are signatories to the inernational convention prohibitng the use, stockpiling, production and transport of anti-personnel mines and for their destruction. The Holy See has been one of the principal promoters of this Convention, which has been in force for the past ten years. From my heart, I express my hope and my encouragement for the success of the conference, so that these types of ordnance, which continue to claim new victims, among them many children, may be completely banned.

This afternoon, the venerable Servant of God Antonio Rosmini will be beatified in Novara. He was a great figure as a priest and illustrious man of culture, who was animated by a fervent love of God and the Church. He bore witness to the virtue of charity in all its dimensions and at the highest level, but what mae him best known was his generous commitment to what he called 'intellectual charity', which is the reconciliation of reason with faith. May his example help the church, especially the church communities in Italy, to grow in the awareness that the light of human reason and of Grace, working together, constitute a spring of blessings for the human being and for society.

In English, he said:

I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors gathered for this Angelus prayer, including the communities of the Neocatechumenal Way from Malta. Today’s Gospel urges us to be steadfast in our faith, trusting in Christ’s victory and the coming of his Kingdom. May we find in prayer the strength to remain always faithful to the Lord and his Church! God bless you and your families!

What A Weekend For Louisiana College Football

Before we get into regular posting!!

We saw a rarity over the weekend. Every Division I Louisiana Football team won over the weekend.
LSU beat arch Rival Ole Miss
Louisiana Tech beat San Jose State
Tulane beat Rice
LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE beat Florida International(without their starting QB that got injured early on)

And of course in the game that even overshadowed the LSU /Ole Miss game in aftermath buzz.
Louisiana -Monroe beats and upsets Alabama!!!!!!

In Non Div I College Ball with the exception of a loss by Grambling. We have positives . Mcneese is still one of the best Non Div I college teams in the country and they beat CENT. ARKANSAS .

Further the Northwestern Demons beat rival and Foe Stephen F Austin.

In a instate game, the young Southeastern program gets a upset over Nicholls St.

Now we just have to deal with the million rumors of Les Miles going to Michigan. Oh and LSU HAS TO WIN THIS FRIDAY

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pope Benedict Quickly Appoints New Bishop For American Armed Forces

Wow this was quick. In case people are keeping track my little ole Diocese of Shreveport is still Sede vacante.

Whispers in the Loggia has a important post on the man that will head archdiocese for the Military Services USA (AMS) and its fold of 1.4 million Catholics. Go see Father-General: Nuncio's Four-Star Homecoming. Here is a part:
Not even seven weeks after Archbishop Edwin O'Brien -- the military's shepherd of a decade -- was installed in the Premier See of Baltimore, the homecoming of the 55 year-old veteran diplomat, a former chief of staff to the Secretary of State, would come with a speed unseen in recent times for an American appointment. The rapid pace of the succession process would seem to signal the import with which the Holy See holds the pastoral care of the nation's armed services spread across the globe, but would also match the DC-based post with a prelate keenly aware of the Vatican's oft-critical views of American policy, both at home and abroad.

I shall try to learn more about him over the weekend.

Senior Vatican Diplomat Lashes Out at Israel Over Vatican/Israeli Relations

I am very much pro -Israel in many ways. However this diplomat in this story I think pegs it right on. It is a scandal how largely Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Clergy and their faithful have been treated. Every few months there is another "crisis" that is brought on by the State of Israel. Again I have very hawkish like views generally that are supportive of Israel. However, American Christians must be aware of how Christians are treated in Israel. Especially as to their rights.

Senior Vatican diplomat says ties with Israel worsening
VATICAN CITY: A senior Vatican diplomat who served as papal envoy to Israel has described Vatican-Israeli relations as worsening, blaming the Jewish state for failing to keep promises related to church land, taxes and travel restrictions on Arab clergy.
Archbishop Pietro Sambi lashed out at Israel in an interview posted Friday on, an online publication about the Holy Land.
"If I must be frank, the relations between the Catholic Church and the state of Israel were better when there were no diplomatic ties," said Sambi, interviewed earlier in the week in Washington, where he now serves as Pope Benedict XVI's envoy to the United States.

"The Holy See decided to establish diplomatic relations (in 1993) with Israel as an act of faith, leaving to latter the serious promises to regulate concrete aspects of the life of the Catholic community and the Church" in Israel, Sambi said.

Among the issues hanging are the status of expropriated church property, services that Catholic groups perform for Israel's Jewish and Arab population, and tax exemptions for the Church.
The Vatican diplomat also cited a current sore point — the granting of permits for Arab Christian clergy traveling to and around the West Bank.

Israel has rescinded some travel privileges for those clergy because of security concerns.
Israel and the Palestinian territories are home to a small Christian minority.

Sambi complained that the Knesset, Israel's legislature, has failed to give necessary approval to various accords that had been signed by both sides, and noted that an impasse over taxes has been discussed on and off for nearly 10 years without resolution.
He blamed the situation on Israel's "absence of political will."

"Everyone can see what kind of trust you can give to Israel's promises," Sambi said.
Asked about Sambi's criticisms, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said: "Israel is interested in good relations with the Vatican and Israeli and Vatican officials are working to overcome gaps that exist."

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the interview with Sambi "reflects his thinking and his personal experience" during the diplomat's former posting in Israel.
Lombardi said the Holy See reiterated the hope, expressed in September when Benedict met with Israeli President Shimon Peres, for a "rapid conclusion of the important negotiations" and a common solution to "existing problems."
Earlier this year, tensions developed between the Vatican and Israel when the Holy See's ambassador to Israel initially decided to boycott a Holocaust memorial service because of allegations that during World War II Pope Pius XII was silent about the mass killings of Jews

Louisiana Voters Please Vote For Royal Alexander Today

I have known Royal for some time. He is a good man. He also is a good Catholic. Despite all the misleading ads you are seeing on TV that might indicate otherwise he is the best man for the job.. Did you know that this so called "Alliance for Justice" that is sponsoring these horrible ads against Royal is just a post office box in Baton Rouge!!!!!!!

Even though I am a Republican I voted for Fotti for Attorney General in the primary. I did that for several reasons. IT was a tough vote for me. One of the main reasons was because I feared that Royal would have not the money to hold off Caldwell. I was very disappointed that so many New Orleans area voters went with Caldwell. They have no clue what the area that Caldwell is a public official at is like.

East Carroll and Madison Parishes are places where time has forgot. The corruption is unreal. Caldwell, as a part of the good ole boy network, did little to police it. IF it had not been for the FBI and the Justice Department no one would have been sent to prison up there.

The ads against Royal ALexander are so over the top it has even shocked me. Fotti, though controversal, was honest. It will be a step back for Louisiana if Caldwell wins tonight. It is really a shame that South Louisiana media did not come up here and see the train wreck he has presided over as District Attorney for 20 odd years. That would have been a nice service to their readers and viewers.

Please vote for Alexander and keep the trend of reform that we saw a month ago keep going.

Louisiana Catholic Blogger Roundup(Special Opinionated Catholic Birthday Edition!!)

St Edmonds Catholic Church in Lafayette Louisiana.

Because of time limitations yesterday , I was not able to do the daily Louisiana Catholic blogger roundup. Here is the post that Louisiana Catholic Bloggers have been doing since I last updated on Thursday.

Full Circle has a couple of good posts up . Go see Pope gets radical and woos the Anglicans, Vatican-Orthodox commision agree on primacy of Pope . I agree 100 percent with his post here. That is Oh that wonderous modern music in our liturgy .

Thoughts & Ruminations from Fr. Ryan hits the Boston Globe article that is about the lack of Pro-life Democrats and that cities Cardinal feelings about that. Go see his post From the Boston Globe:

Cajun Cottage Under the Oaks has a very nice post here Time for Thanksgiving. She also gives us a sneak peak at another book she is writing here at Sneak Peek... A nice post here at Poetry Friday: Where We Do School on Cold, Blustery Autumn Mornings . She also has a Book Walk Up-Date.

Alive and Young has a post here that tell us of a Cardinal Sin that happened. The puring out of so much good Jack Daniels. Go see NOT THE JACK! . Also see his post Preparing for Christmas Part 1: Parking

Catholic Underground has their weekly update as to their podcast. A podcast that has a worldwide following I not looking at their past comment sections. Go see Episode 58: No Matter How You Slice It. The description is "In this episode, we talk about forming a Catholic Open Source movement, our CU pick of the week is in there somewhere, and a very merciful bishop attempts to save the souls of some lady sheep. Also, some audio backChat, no news is good news on the CatholiCon front, and we chat a little about scripture and tradition. Wow!"

Arrival : The Parousian Weblog has a very nice post here An Ecstatic Suffering .

From The Recamier had a very good post yesterday which is located here. She starts out with the Saints we honored yesterday. That is Saint Margaret of Scotland (died 1093). This by the way is the Patron Saint of the Church I attend in Homer. I have always thought that was an appropriate Saint for Catholic Parish in this region. Mainly because of the Scottish ancestry of so many people here. Imagine if we started asking her intercession. We might have many converts in my my neck of the woods. She also hits on Saint Edmund Rich of Abington, Bishop (died 1241) and Saint Gertrude the Great, Virgin (died 1302). She also is talking about a comet that perhaps we can see. I am not sue if we can see ti tonight but if we can I shall post on it.

Catholic Tube has several vids up since I last checked them out on Thursday. Go see Pope Benedict XVI Plans U.S. Trip , and Fr. Groeschel - Attack of Hedonism. His latest one is Father John McCloskey speaks on the subject of disordered views of sexuality on the Road To Cana TV series.

A Number of Things has a a great recipe up at Baked Spaghetti.

Astonished, Yet at Home! is in need of our prayers. Go see In the Hospital Again .

I will end with the posts and links that The Brown Pelican Society has for today.
Cardinal O’Malley Rebukes Democrats on Abortion: Voting for Pro-Abortion Candidates 'Borders on Scandal'....Endangers One's Salvation!
Use of Contraceptive Pills Icreases Risk of Uterine Cancer
Pope is Working on Three Documents Simultaneously, Vatican Sources Say
No One is Talking About Giuliani's History of Liberal Judge Appointments
DISTORTING THE TRUTH: CNN Misleads on Catholic Bishops’ Abortion Views, Quotes Only Liberal Dissenters
URGENT PRESS RELEASE From Eduardo Verastegui, Lead Actor and Producer of Film "Bella"
Bozell Says Media 'In Lock-Step' With Clinton Campaign; Pitching Her Softball After Softball
Colorado Supreme Court Permits Embryonic Personhood Ballot Measure
Mike Huckabee: Pro-Life, Pro-Family Republican
Presidential Nominee(let me say that while good, this article has many misconceptions about Mike Huckabee that are largely myths)
TODAY'S GOSPEL & MEDITATION - The Best Scenario Possible
TODAY'S SAINT - St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231)

Geaux Tigers , GO Dawgs, Go to Hell Ole Miss

What a great football weekend for my birthday. It did not start out well last night. Homer just got slaughtered by St .James. I was so so impressed with St James. People have commented how Homer has speed. That speed is nothing compared St .James. It was just unreal. I see why they upset John Curtis. They are for real this year. One of the best High School Football playoff games that was played last night was West Ouachita and HOly Cross. Two every evenly matched teams. Holy Cross won by 24 to 17. AHHH ESPN I BET IS MAD. West Monroe was upset last night. I suspect ESPN after investing all that money in covering them and doing that special were anticipating them going to the dome.

Very excited about today. THe Ole Miss game is on TV this afternoon. After that I will be rushing to LA Tech to watch them play Sna Jose State

Friday, November 16, 2007

No Louisiana Catholic Blogger Update for Today

Time has run out. My Homer Pelicans are preparing to battle the No. 2 seed St. James at home tonight in the High School football playoffs . So I have some things to do before going to watch what will hopefully be a upset. However I will post and link all posts by Louisiana Catholic Bloggers that occurred since we looked at them yesterday afternoon. That will be in tomorrows roundup

Are the Democrats in Line With the US Bishops on Iraq?

It is clear the US Bishops were not big fans of Bush's invasion of Iraq. We can see that here in their 2002 statement. Now I do not wish to argue the merits of that 2002 document. There are many Catholic and Christian bloggers that are doing that in reality right now. I have made tried the case that no matter what your position is on the initial entry of Coalition Forces into Iraq that we are WAY WAY WAY past that point. Debate it if you like as to what lessons should be learned for future policy of the United States. However I find the debate if the war was "just" or to put it exactly the choice to invade Iraq was just or not has little bearing on what to do now as to Iraq.

It appears the US Bishops agree. That is my take in their latest Document on the Iraq War. That is A Call for Bipartisan Cooperation on Responsible Transition in Iraq. Now I take issue with parts of this document. But on the whole it is very responsible. I do think there is a glaring and tragic omission. That is a call to the Catholics in the pews and Catholic Organizations to actively support our fellow Christians in Iraq. Their only statement on this is:
A neglected policy priority is the dire situation of refugees outside the country, internally displaced persons within Iraq, Christians and other vulnerable minorities. The suffering of the Christian community has a particular claim on our hearts and consciences. We remain in solidarity with the suffering Catholic Church in Iraq and welcome with joy the naming of Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel-Karim Delly of Baghdad to the College of Cardinals by our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.

Perhaps this document is not the place to make such a plea to the faithful. But if not there then where and when? There are other parts of the document that I am not thrilled with. Again much is omission. It would have been helpful if the Bishops would have taken note of some of the progress in Iraq the last few months. The situation on the ground has changed radically in some areas of Iraq since their last statement of January.

The statement is also followed by a interesting Question and Answer section. Now I think its clear that the Bush Administration wants to start a withdrawal from Iraq. In fact the whole Surge that we started seeing earlier this year was based around the FACT that a withdrawal would be happening. The US military and the Bush Administration know that having so much of the US military in Iraq is untenable and in fact presents a long term danger in the ability to respond to other possible global events.

What I find ironic is this. That the conventional wisdom promoted by some many that the Democrats are radically more in line with the US Catholic Bishops than the Bush Administration. I shall quote the Bishops in "LSU" purple and the the Democrats in "Ole Miss" red. My commentary will be in black.
The dangerous political stalemate in Iraq that blocks national reconciliation finds a parallel in our own nation. We are alarmed by the political and partisan stalemate in Washington. Some policy makers seem to fail to recognize sufficiently the reality and failures in Iraq and the imperative for new directions. Others seem to fail to recognize sufficiently the potential human consequences of very rapid withdrawal. These two forms of denial have helped contribute to partisan paralysis.

The Senate was voting Friday on a $50 billion bill that would pay for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan about one-fourth of the amount that President Bush has requested but which would also require that troops start coming home. The measure sets a goal of ending combat by Dec. 15, 2008.

The House tonight passed a $50 billion Iraq funding bill that sets a "goal" of having all U.S. forces out of the country by Dec. 2008, the latest move in the ongoing political struggle over the war.
The "Orderly and Responsible Iraq Redeployment Appropriations Act" was adopted by a vote of 218 to 203, with only four Republicans - Reps. Phil English (Pa.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Christopher Shays (Conn.) and James Walsh (N.Y.) - backing the measure

Now let me suggest that setting that taking a date out of the air of Decemeber 2008 and stating that all US Forces must be out is not responsible. Thought that appears to be a long way off it is not. That is is the very essence of rapid withdrawal. As I posted earlier the withdrawal is happening now as Iraqis themselves can take over security. I do take issue with the Bishops that the political stalemate in Iraq is so bleak. An expert for the Council of Foreign Relations commented on this in very enlightning article. He said in part:

Has there been any sign yet of any effort at high-level or even middle-level reconciliation talks between Shiites and Sunnis?
Lots of talks, but not much legislative progress. If you look at the big five legislative initiatives that we’ve been trying to pursue, for example, none of them has been signed as a law yet. But I think what’s going on, on that front, is quite interesting. Take for example hydrocarbon legislation and de-Baathification, the biggest of the big five. There are no laws passed yet on either one of them, and yet the government is distributing oil revenue to Sunni provinces proportionately to their populations. And the government is hiring Sunnis into the Iraqi security forces.
You get this very bizarre situation in which, even though they won’t pass the laws we’re leaning on them so hard to pass, they’re behaving as though the laws had been passed
I think this phenomenon of the government behaving as though it has passed laws it refuses to pass warrants a couple more observations. I find this bizarre, so I don’t have a complete answer, but let me spin out a hypothesis as to what might be happening. One hypothesis might be that the Shiite government is still scared to death of the Sunnis and they’re reluctant to legislate iron-clad guarantees for the Sunnis yet. What they want to do instead is kind of dip their toe in the water and do some trial experiments with reconciliation.
For example, they are not willing to mandate that they absolutely must give the Sunnis oil revenue, but maybe they’re willing to try it a little bit as long as they retain the right to withdrawal it if it doesn’t work.
But if it works, maybe they’ll take another step forward. And I think a lot of this again has to do with their change in perception of the U.S. role here. If it looks as though the Americans have stabilized things and are willing to stick around, it becomes safe to engage in these little trials, this toe-dipping phenomenon. So maybe if we allow it to continue, it will blossom into something more

The Bishops Continue:
Our Conference encourages our national leaders to focus on the morally and politically demanding, but carefully limited goal of fostering a “responsible transition” and withdrawal at the earliest opportunity consistent with that goal. The moral demands of this path begin with addressing the humanitarian crisis in Iraq and minimizing further loss of human life.

Again are we not doing this?

We do not have specific competence in political, economic and military strategies and do not assess particular tactics, but we can, as teachers, share a moral tradition to help inform policy choices. Our Catholic teaching on war and peace offers hard questions, not easy answers. Our nation must now focus more on the ethics of exit than on the ethics of intervention. The grave moral concerns we and others raised prior to the war now give way to new moral questions. In the current situation the traditional principles of “noncombatant immunity” and “probability of success” suggest these questions: How can we minimize the further loss of human lives? What actions will do the most good and least harm? What elements of a responsible transition are attainable? How can theybe achieved? What actions should be avoided? How can decision-makers take into account both the realities and setbacks in Iraq and the likely human consequences of rapid withdrawal? What are the financial costs and global consequences of continued war and occupation? And, how can our nation effectively counter the perversion of religion and ideologies that support terrorism, which in all cases merits condemnation?

I think that sentence is quite welcomed. That is "Our nation must now focus more on the ethics of exit than on the ethics of intervention. The grave moral concerns we and others raised prior to the war now give way to new moral questions".

That has been what I have been screaming. That is the moral questions we face before intervention are now quite frankly not that relevant as to what we do now in Iraq. Yet many Catholic and Christian bloggers and writers continue to say that the the Vatican and the Bishops want our troops out now period. That is a rapid withdrawal. The Bishops here are quite clear that while withdrawal is needed how that happens and at what rate gets far more complex. Are the democrats asking these questions?

The responsibility for stabilizing and rebuilding Iraq rests primarily with Iraqis, but the United States as well as other nations have a practical and moral obligation to act. Given the extensive devastation in Iraq, the U.S. has a unique and inescapable obligation to continue to offer major and continuing support for economic development and reconstruction. Respect for Iraqi self-determination suggests that our nation should reiterate our pledge not to seek permanent military bases in Iraq, nor control over Iraqi oil resources.

Now I think it clear we are not going to be controlling Iraqi resources. In fact the Iraqi people it is becoming clear believe this also. I shall pass over the issues of military bases. It will be up to the IRAQI people to decide if they wish for a continued presence of the US military. To be honest I don't see that occurring unless it is a long term presence in sufficient numbers on the Iranian/Iraq borders to deter Iranian ambitions in the region. Or something akin to a peacekeeping force in Kurdistan where relations with Turkey are to say the least explosive.

My only major complaint , besides the fact that the Bishops seem to the ignoring real progress on the ground, is the continued use of the word "occupation" ,At what point is it not a Occupation? For instance are we still occupying Germany? Now of course US bases in 21 century Germany is quite different than Iraq. Still it appears that the elected Iraq Govt wants us there. More to the point so do the locals. AJ reported a few days ago on a major event that happened in Vermont. Go see Anbar Awakening Shiek Comes To America To Give Thanks.
An important sheik from an Iraqi province had a reunion on Thursday with some Vermont soldiers at the state National Guard headquarters.
(Abu Risha) (voice in Arabic, then translator) “We would like to express our appreciation to the National Guard and to the state of Vermont.'’
(Host) Sheik Ahmed Abu Risha spoke through a translator. He said his province has overcome terrorists and insurgents.
(Abu Risha) (voices shift back and forth from Arabic to English) “Today in this state … we present this victory … to the families of the victims of the soldiers in Iraq … and specifically express our appreciation to the state of Vermont.'’
(Host) He was one of three officials from the Al Anbar province who visited the US

Again the ethics of withdrawal.
In the question and answer section:

2. What does USCCB mean by a “responsible transition?”“Responsible transition” is a morally and politically demanding, but carefully limited goal that allows for a responsible withdrawal at the earliest opportunity. The moral demands of this transition begin with minimizing further loss of human life and addressing the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, the refugee crisis in the region, and human rights, especially religious freedom.Each course of action in Iraq should be weighed in light of the traditional moral principle of “probability of success,” i.e. the likelihood that the action will contribute to a “responsible transition” and withdrawal as soon as appropriate and possible.

I think that is significant. That is the Bishops talking about "probability of succcess". I will say that Catholics and Christians that oppose much of the current policy in Iraq largely shy away from talking about the real success we are seeing period. They have a ways to go to change their mindset into thinking about "probabilty of success" IMHO. I hope to se it.

An interesting document to say the least. In the end it does not endorse the Bush Policy or the Democrat policy. However it is pressing those that have opposed thios intervention from the start to think differently as to the moral questions we are facing. I think that is important