Thursday, June 30, 2011

Canon Lawyers Get No Respect ( Alabama Priest Goes Back To School)

Lawyers in the civil realm don't get a lot of respect till a person needs one. Sadly this attitude toward lawyers seems to have crept over to Canon Lawyers.

Governors, Catholic Deacons, and Priests nowadays get annoyed when a Canon Lawyer dare points out a problem.

I like this article that appeared at the Huntsville Times ( Tip of the hat Amywelborn2) Huntsville priest to study church law in Rome.

This part is important:
One book, about two inches thick - and three years to get a degree based on that one book?

"Well, it's a little more complicated than that," Father Bryan Jerabek said with a smile last week as he pulled the chunky green-backed book that contains the law of the Catholic church from the bookcase. "The law codifies in a legal way what the church believes to be truth."That means his studies will include the theology and history behind the statements collected over 2,000 years in the "Code of Canon Law."............

And canon law has been the response of the church to life on the ground of this earth, said Father Kevin Bazzel, who completed a similar course a few years ago and now is chancellor of the diocese, adjutant judicial vicar, pastor at the Cathedral of St. Paul as well as campus minister for UAB, Birmingham Southern and Samford.

"Studying law can sound like a very burdensome, onerous task," Bazzel said. "But I found that studying church law was another way to study theology, how the church sees itself, how the body of the church functions, how it has responded to different questions through the ages. It was a great walk through history."........

Yes it takes three years ( the time it takes a Civil Lawyer to Law degree) to study that little ole book that so many people think is just a bit of dry rules that really just get in the way of faith and have no Pastoral application.

The Code of Canon law in fact is based on pastoral experience. Like 2000 years of it!! See Ed Peter's Communion, Canon Law, and Pastoral Practice

Dr Peters also said something here that I think is at the root of the problem at another post.

Winters avoids the vulgarism of “First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”, but he just as surely dismisses the role of law in the Church when he says that “Recourse to the canons of the Church are [sic] not just a last resort, they [sic] are an admission of failure.” If that really is Winters’ position, why does he bother asking a lawyer, canon or otherwise, to defend the role of law in society? Any answers that a lawyer might offer would be futile, per Winters: “There is not a brief in the world that can explain the role of briefs in the world.” So, although I believe that there are many errors in Winters’ essay, I’ve been forewarned that my answering them will be pointless.

How regrettable, for I might have something perhaps useful to say, like, for example, how Winters’ essay is a prime example of the lingering effects of the destructive antinomianism that swept through the West, including the Catholic Church, in the 1960s and 1970s.

Whence sprang that pervasive distrust of law that so blindsided my parents' generation and still haunts mine? Who really knows? My hunch is that several pernicious philosophical currents finally came crashing together in two human meat grinders called World Wars One and Two, leaving large segments of Euro-American society deeply disillusioned about the possibility that reason (a constitutive element of human law, per St. Thomas) could be relied on to save us from ourselves. So, naturally, substitutes needed to be sought—science became a major one in the world, and the “spirit” of Vatican II became a major one in the Church. Whatever strengths these substitutes possessed, and whatever weaknesses they suffered from, both were fundamentally immune to law (or at least to lawyers), and many found that a highly attractive trait. Civil authority and lawyers cannot tell chemicals how to react in test tubes, and Church authority and canonists cannot tell Catholics how to live their faith. From there

Vatican Official Says Celibate Clergy Will Be In Anglican Ordinariate Future

Update- New post at Interview With Pontifical Council for Christian Unity Official Upsets Some in Anglican Ordinariates

Vatican Insider has a interesting interview at The difficult dialogue between the Catholic and Anglican . The interview is with Father Mark Langham who appears to be handling Anglican matters at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity .

Now what must excuse Father Langham if he appears to sound like Mr Debbie Downer about the Ordinariate. As he makes clear:

First of all, explains Monsignor Langham, "Ordinariates are not a task of this office, we take care of ecumenism. And, as the Vatican said, the road of ecumenism is different from that of conversion”. "But of course - he adds - the ecumenical message has changed a lot with Anglicanroum Coetibus".

So perhaps personally he think this is a great blessing or perhaps it is as to the position he has in the Church "a great headache" now having to deal with these now mistrusting Anglican bodies. Well that can be understandable too.

Regardless his input is interesting and gives us a insight on how things are going. Though again he is not with the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith that is running the show.

Let skip too the last part:

And, of course, there is the issue of celibacy. Many Anglican priests who entered the Ordinariate are married with children. The Vatican official uses a personal example: "When I was ordained we were in nine: four have resigned from the priesthood to marry. Seeing this, and seeing that there is a chance for others to marry and be Catholic priests, what will they think? It's very difficult".

Of course, he states, that of married priests in the Ordinariate is "an exception, an answer to a very specific situation, it is not a new way of being Catholic, but there are still many open questions. Maybe we should wait and see how things go. It will be interesting".

For Monsignor Langham, the birth of Ordinariates has also stimulated newthinking about what it means to be truly 'Anglican', especially in England. There,unlike the U.S., most Anglicans who have passed to Rome are already verysimilar to the Roman Catholic for their theology, liturgy and sacraments. "If after the first generation, they cannot marry - Langham asks - What will the Ordinariate consist in? We do not know. "The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has already said that the Ordinariate may "last or be a temporary way to enter the Catholic Church". "This, too, - he concludes - we do not know".

I think that last line is a tad unclear. I am not getting the impression at all that if successful the Ordinariate is too be viewed as some temporary thing. Also I am not under the impression that after a period of time people not be able to enter the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate. That would seem to go against the Misson work and the planting of Churches that the Anglo Catholics are wanting to do.

As many of us have said the Ordinariate will be most attractive we think to Evangelicals and other looking to come into the Church. Further one would think that the Ordinariate would of course be an option for people to become Priest through. If not how do you maintain this Anglican Patrimony.

I do think he talking about that for now married Anglican Priests and others in unique situations will be able to take advantage of non celibacy situation.

That being said this should be a good indication AGAIN that the admission of non celibate clergy to the Ordinariate is not a long term deal. So I would hope that right off the bat the good people of this new structure start fostering vocations among their young people with that in mind. In other words they better not start thinking about that 20 years from now.

In this vein ,I hope that they will be open to other celibate movements that the Holy Spirit might prompt them to do. I see nothing that would prohibits orders of nuns, sisters, brothers etc that would worship the Catholic Faith in the Anglican tradition. In fact I would hope to expect to see that.

Children Attending 4th of July Events Just One Increases Future Republicans Voters

So sez this very interesting Harvard Study.

2 John 10-11 Means the Catholic Church Should Not Be Concerned About Market Share

Over the last few days pundits , sadly many "Catholics" have said if the Church does get with the times many will leave. As to get with times they mean decide to disregard scripture and ignore 2000 years of consistent teaching and or Holy Tradition of the Catholic and many Protestant faith communities on such things as sexual ethics, marriage , abortion, etc .

Others have said that if the Catholic Church decides to act on:

Galatians 1:8-9 ,

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

9As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Romans 16:17,

Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them


2 John 1:10-11

John 1:10: If anyone comes to you, either as a teacher or a brother, and brings not the doctrine that Jesus had taught us, or he brings some error concerning the person or office of the Lord Jesus, or something that is anything contrary to it, receive him not into your house nor receive him as a teacher or a brother.

Do not give him any encouragement or God speed because he deludes souls, and undermines the glory and kingdom of the Lord Christ. Let us not think it strange, that there are deceivers and opposers of the Lord Christ's name and dignity now, for there were such, even in the apostles' times.

2 John 1:11- For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. He that gives him these prayerful greetings and encouragement becomes a partaker, to that extent, in that teacher or brother's evil deeds

Then people will leave and go elsewhere.

Well so be it and I don't take that lightly.

I saw this over via Catholic Underground at Effortless Catholicism .

Hat Tip to the Ever Sardonic Crescat for this quote:

… do you know some one who prefers to attend a congregation centered parish? You know, those churches where every one wears flip flops and swim trunks and Jesus is just glad you bothered to show up.

Well every time I hear an argument made in favor of such an environment all I hear is blah blah blah blah I’m too lazy to make any real effort blah blah blah blah

While it’s a bit harsh, it’s not wrong. Jesus didn’t ask us to casually wander in the direction of that-a-way, He told us to take up our cross and follow Him… Too often, we try to make everything to do with Christianity as simple and painless as possible. Why? Perhaps it’s because we’ve become infected with the corporate mentality that the Church is a business trying to attract customers and competing the “Christian Worship Center” down the road. In fact, only the Catholic Church has the sacraments and so we’re not really competing at all… At least, no more than the First Class $200 Steak House is competing with Burger King. Of course one is easier and faster and cheaper – but the burgers can legally come from 14 different cows!

Well that does sound harsh and indeed sounds like something one does not say nowadays but it needs to be said. If aCatholic wish to leave the Sacraments, the Body and Blood of Christ , etc over the fact the Church cannot change sexual morality at their convenience so be it.

My Priest gave a wonderful Homily for the Feast of the Corpus Christi. He said it is unpopular to say in some Catholic quarters but we along with the Eastern Orthodox have got the Real Presence and other's don't. That does not mean that God does not operate and cannot save Christians in other Faith communities. But as he put it that is GOD's business how he does that not ours.

Another part of our business is maintaining the Apostolic Deposit of Faith in which so many Christians are now in the business of denying. That is going to be useful when that house of Cards others are building based on supposed revelation of the Holy Spirit that just is about 40 years old at the most and just happens to be occurring while they just happen to be walking around comes tumbling down.

Now how do I maintain this with the thoughts of Mark Shea who I also agree with in his post This pretty much makes my point for me...

The distinction here is not that Catholic are in error or are missing the mark. It's not that we got to get rid of these sinful Catholics for indeed we just have too look at lives to know we should not be casting stones. In fact we are not talking about getting rid of Catholics at all.

However are talking about having to put sanctions , which the Church views as medicine, on Catholics that in quite public opposition to the Church and seek to undermine her teachings. Catholics being sinful, not following her teaching is nothing new. However what is a newer development is Catholics doing this publicly and using the power of the State, media , and other cultural forces to go against her. All while saying they are Catholics in good standing. At some point sanctions must happen. At some point one cannot take Communion which is a sign of unity with the Catholic Church when you are seeking to undermine the very basics of the faith.

If they wish to leave because of that well good luck and I will keep you in my prayers. I hate to see them go but what happens to them next is God's business not ours.

The Church should not fear this. As stated above we are not a business that is competing with anyone. If we lose "market share" in the short term because of our stance so be it.

Ole MIss Law Prof Defends New York Bishops Action Toward Pro Gay Marriage Politicians

Hopefully there will be more actions but regardless just the Bishops saying boo on this issue gives the "elite" the vapors it appears .

See The Catholic response to New York’s legislators: In defense of Bishop DiMarzio

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

IF the GOP Has It Way only The Rich Will Be Able To Eradicate Theirs Diseases ( Abort the Disabled and Special Needs)

LETS BE CLEAR HERE. Those "diseases" are human life. As one person just tweeted as to this EUGENICS. Important read (MY TITLE THREAD REPRESENTS THE AUTHORS VIEW I AM LINKING. Needless to say the GOP pro life movement opposes aborton)

From the Washington Post see The coming explosion in heath inequality, cont'd B

Episcopal Church Bishop Says Cover Up of Clergy Sexual Abuse Wide Spread

The Fr. Parry incident seems to be getting bigger. Virtueonline has Allegations made that TEC Presiding Bishop knew former Benedictine monk was a pedophile when he joined TEC

Note I am not in full agreement with that title because from what I know of the facts he was not a pedophile. He did have sex with boys of teenage age which I still think is a critical distinction when talking about facets of this problem.

Regardless this seem to slowly be causing some waves. What made my jaw drop to the floor on this:

............When VOL wrote to Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori, we received the following response from her Communications Director at the Episcopal Church's national office, "We do not comment on lawsuits or allegations." All questions were referred to the diocese in Nevada.

Bishop Paul Marshall of the Diocese of Bethlehem commented about the Bede Parry affair, "Now let's be serious. When 815-level lawyers threaten and cajole diocesan bishops not to reveal multiple sex-abuse cover-ups at the highest level lest former leaders be embarrassed, what can we expect, and why do we look down on the RCC?

"As a rector I had to follow a priest who was simply passed along by another bishop, and as a bishop have had the same experience with a staff member who was protected by his bishop, with catastrophic results here.

"On paper, we are a one-strike church, but in reality, too many people have walked. 815(national church headquarters) refused comment on this story with principled-sounding obfuscation, which essentially tells it all, doesn't it? There is no more transparency at 815 than previously, as some commentators know to their pain."

In an e-mail to VOL, Marshall wrote, "The anger has subsided for the moment, and I come to the office incredibly sad. As you know, I think we are doomed as a church unless our life is vigorously centered in the Gospel and see our mission in only those terms that are consistent with it." The bishop said he and his staff are planning on writing a full-length piece (and eventually a book) on this subject. ...........

Now it's not clear to me if he is planning to write a full length piece and book on cover ups nationwide, his experience with cover ups, or a book how the Church has to be Gospel centered or a combination of all three.

Regardless this is the first time I have seen an active Bishop of the TEC say that the main office and other Bishops have had their own "Catholic Bishop" like problem and it is not isolated.

Governor Cuomo Walks Into Buzzsaw Of " Man For All Seasons "

Dowd of the New York Times and Governor Cuomo have been the topic of some discussion on the Catholic blogs today.

The Anchoress has a a great piece Cuomo’s no Thomas More; Dowd’s Still Dowd.

However one of the best was Canon Lawyer Dr Peters (or as Gov Cuomo calls him some out of state blogger) at A note on Gov. Cuomo's devotion to St. Thomas More .


Also related Maureen Dowd, Andrew Cuomo, and the Public Death of Catholic Conscience

On Feast of St Peter and St Paul Pope Benedict Gives Reflection on His Priesthood -“I no longer call you servants, but friends”

See the full text at Homily of Pope Benedict XVI on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

When Should Catholics Mind Their Own Business?

This is becoming a much more difficult question that has some big Catholic everyday implications that touches on the how the Apostles set up the Church to be governed. From the start let me say I don't know the answers yet and have just started thinking about this as to the Internet age.

I thought of this when I saw how upset the Anchoress was at the denial by a Catholic Parish of a funeral to a gay bar owner in California. That has now been reversed by the Bishop. See her post: Gay Marriage, Eden & Our Constant Illusion – UPDATED

Let me say I am not being critical of the Anchoress here. In fact I am am torn on this issue and part of me is where the Anchoress is at. But the case here perhaps shows a danger. From the link we see

Local businessman and devout Catholic John Sanfilippo died last week after struggling with emphysema. Friends said Sanfilippo planned for the funeral mass to be held at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Little Italy, where Sanfilippo had attended for decades. Friends said he even left the church a large sum of money in his will.

Well again that word "devout" is around though we are not told how or the why of what made him devout. We also see he left a "large sum" of money to the Church. Which maybe is a sign he was devout or maybe not.

As to the bar he owned we see in the comments (that have run over 24 pages) on page one :

In addition to his homosexual relationship Mr. Sanfillipo was the proprietor of the SRO Lounge, a popular gay bar especially with transsexual persons. To quote from a review on a local website, "The SRO Lounge is a loud and proud gay bar that houses some of the most eccentric guests in all of Hillcrest. This fun bar serves strong drinks and great food in a warm environment. The SRO Lounge caters to the gay and cross gender community with weekly specials like Ladies Night to maintain an air of excitement. With a loyal following all week long, the SRO Lounge is always packed with party potential." Perhaps the totality of Mr. Sanfillipo's life gives sufficient scandal to warrant denial of a Catholic funeral. At a minimum, there is much more to the story than that which was previously reported.

One gets a feeling there is a lot more to this story whether you agree or not with the Parishes choice to deny a funeral or agree or not for the Bishop to deny the funeral.

In other words for many of us ( that across the country are advocating opinions on this matter) we really have no idea of the facts. Which will not stop us Catholics of making this a national issue to be debated. How does this undermine the authority given by seen by scripture to the local Church? Does it at all? We sort of are led to believe these must be some horrible non feeling non pastoral priests at that Church. But are they?

This reminds me of the issue of a few months back about the severely mentally mentally challenged child whose parents were told by an Priests(who was backed up by the Bishop) that his state at this point left him unable to have communion. Over night the Priest and Bishop are viewed as bad. Of course we are were not there!!

I am guilty as anyone about this by the way.

There is no doubt some things in local Diocese have much more national importance than others. For instance one can make the argument what happens in NY as to politicos and others that went against the Church on marriage is of vast importance to the entire American Church. On the flip side ff a Bishop decides to say crack down Catholic heads of Masonic lodges in his Diocese perhaps a little less so.

How does this affect our theology of Church and are the local Bishops being undermined? What about the Priests that have to deal with these pastoral mattes on the ground. Do we really trust the media sources we link to give him a fair shake? If not then what is our responsibility ? In this internet age how do we handle that. If there are level of abuses in a Diocese when does it rise to the level that the CHURCH UNIVERSAL VIA INTERNET should be engaging it. When is something of truly a local matter that it is none of our business and when does it have more national or even worldwide importance. Maybe now it is impossible to make a distinction

I don't have any answers to this but I am worried how my actions might in a very small way be affecting the God Given authority that is given to the local Church.

I will no doubt keep posting my opinion about what is happening in a local Diocese and the latest outrage that is going on that I think you should be outraged about. MAYBE IN THE NEXT POST!! But I know I need to think more hard before hitting that submit button about these matters and be more careful in my tone at least.

Bad Day China and the Church Universial- China Govt Ordains Illicit Bishop

I find it hard not to believe as to active persecution of Protestants and Catholics in China if American Christians starting raising an uproar China would have to take note.

Sad day for China, sad day for Catholic Chinese, sad day for the Universal Church, sad day for freedom.

See Leshan: seven legitimate bishops take part in Episcopal ordination that had no papal mandate

The intimidation of Catholics lay and clerical to be involved with this shame continues.

Vatican Insider has a lot more at China defies Vatican ordaining Bishop without Pope's approval

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wild Goose - Progressive Christians Have a Come to Jesus Camp Meeting

I was over at The Reformed Pastor blog and notice this at Quote of the Day:

Paul, in the Bible, tells my wife to be silent in church, screw St. Paul, screw him!

Frankie Schaeffer, son of evangelical icon Francis Schaeffer, at the “Wild Goose Festival,” a religious left shindig down in North Carolina last weekend...

Well oh well!! Mr Schaeffer talks about his experience here in his own words at The Wild Goose 'Revival' for Doubters and Jesus Victims (Like Me)

I was alerted the National Catholic Reporter had a series of articles on this camp meeting. See Tattoos, music, and 'legitimate questioning of theology' The links to the other must read articles on it are at the bottom.

I found the first article pretty funny for some of the comments of the organizers about how they viewed religious America and if they could pull this conference off

I don't think it has occurred to them yet that even in the Bible Belt south with its collections of faith Healers, the child ministers, the female Pentecostals dancing around the sanctuary dancing in the aisles and playing the sax, the Jehovah Witness, the hard line Baptist hell and damnation tent ministers, the snake handlers, the folks speaking in tongues, and mysterious Catholics for some color that even many of the most Fundamentalist of the Fundamentalist they have come to recover from would pay them little heed.

When you live in such close quarters with this "diversity" tolerance believe it or not is very much part of the social contract to survive down here

I mean they are in the State of the PTL club for goodness sake.

Anyway I enjoy the guys writing and one gets indications that the tolerance only went so far at the Camp Meeting. Also inclusive is in the eye of the beholder. That being said it is an event I very much would I liked to have been at. I think I would have a blast observing. It sounds like fun.

A commenter at NCR actually summed up my thoughts though and I shall quote him in full . ( The bold is mine.

Not to burst anyone's bubble

Not to burst anyone's bubble or anything, b/c I know the organizers of this event were well intentioned... but, it's a bit of a misnomer to describe the gathering as inclusive. Yes, the event created space for people who feel harmed by "organized religion," and it also brought together folks from diverse ecclesial backgrounds; but, I guarantee you that it was exclusionary in its own way. You know how I know why: I went to divinity school with several of those who were in attendance. And, in that context (shaped by the same values that undergirded Wild Goose), if you even tried to have a theological discussion about women's ordination or to uphold the Catholic Church's moral theology, you were labeled a bigot and shunned. In other words, this crowd has their own theological shibboleth's which one must adhere to for inclusion in the group.

The fact of the matter is there is no religious group that is completely inclusive. The reason: anyone who is seeking to follow Jesus is seeking the truth, and truth is inherently exclusionary. To say something is true necessarily entails excluding those who do not agree. For instance, if someone says, "Those who follow Christ should be completely nonviolent," they will at some point experience a rupture in communion with those who think otherwise. Now, people of different beliefs can gather together for worship and fellowship to a certain degree. But, I just know from experience that this only goes so far. If you were to say to some of the speakers at Wild Goose that sacramental marriage is a lifelong union between a man and a woman, they would consider you a mean-spirited, narrow bigot. Exclusion.

So, on the one hand, I applaud the organizers of Wild Goose for their intentions. On the other hand, I still wanted to point out that it's a bit inaccurate to contrast the inclusion of Wild Good against the supposed exclusion of other manifestations of Christianity. The key difference is that the two simply have different interpretations of the truth. But, both crowds end up excluding opinions that they think are false. Jesus came not to bring peace, but the sword. Yes, the truth sets us free, but it also brings us into conflict with others (obviously, we should navigate such conflict with patience and charity). At the end of the day, I just think it's false to portray progressive Christians as wholly inclusive and Christians who maintain tradition as wholly exlcusionary. I say this as someone who's experienced concrete exclusion by progressive Christians.

Country Of Tajikistan Bans Religion For Children (Not the Onion)

UMM say what. Stand Firm has Tajikistan Bans Religion For Children

Fun Item!! Because Monroe Kept Its Congressional District Louisiana Has 800 New Jobs!!

From a couple of months back From a Denver paper:

....True, CenturyLink's hometown paper in Monroe did report April 6 that the company -- Louisiana's largest -- was unhappy about a plan in the state legislature to end Monroe's status as the center of a congressional district.

"That would never happen in Denver," CenturyLink EVP Stacey Goff told lawmakers, a not-so-subtle hint if you ask me.

In any case, says the Monroe News Star, the offending part of the redistricting plan was dropped after Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal threatened a veto.

CenturyLink remains in Monroe, and it doesn't sound like Post will be ordering Rocky Mountain oysters instead of the kind that come out of the water anytime soon.

Today we see CenturyLink announces expansion, creation of 800 new jobs which creates 1,250 indirect jobs in the market, which would be a 3 percent increase in total employment in Ouachita


Pope Benedict Tweets and Launches Half Decent Web Site For News

Well what a busy day. The Pope send out his first tweet ever or for a Pope ever needless to say (see above) , Apple gets publicity money can't buy with a video of a much interested Pope using a iPAD to launch for once a Vatican /Holy See web page that is not awful and is actually is useful. See www.News.Va.

Are Religious Exemptions to New York Gay Marriage Bill Based On Clericalism ?

I finally got to take a look at the text as to the religious liberties exemptions of the New York Marriage bill. See here.

I was to put it bluntly unimpressed and disappointed. For the debate we had about religious liberty before the bill was voted on these exemptions seem to not focus on many of the issues at all.

Get Religion has a good piece on this at Gay rights, religious liberty and silence

I have not commented on this because I have been waiting on two people with more expertise than I too comment on these exemption through their social media. If they dont comment today I will go ahead regardless and comment on the issue(s) at length.

A few observations.

These exemptions sort of reek of a kind of clericalism do they not? It protects clerics and lay employees doing the specific mission of a faith community within those 4 walls. If you are not in that special circle well too bad.

Second I do wonder how many Catholic legislators who voted for this bill thought the exemptions went far enough? If so they must have missed out on the HUGE MESSAGE that the post Vatican II Church correctly has been trying to promote. That is vocations mean a lot more than just priests, brothers, and sisters. That is one can have a vocation to live a Christ centered life in the work place in many occupations. Which leads to another point.

Religious faith or id is not just something one does on Sunday ( or whenever ) and then is shunned away as we spend time in the workplace. It seems to regulate "Religion" to the very private or just in Church structures.

It seems odd that people that are against "organized religion" and are spiritual or see their Faith in a greater power as personal not impeded by "structure" don't see the problem here.

Next that those oppose going beyond these exemption to deal with the individual believer don't seem to realize that both religious liberty and same sex marriage claims are very much based on a common concept.

Finally this appears to be another front where the tension and fight between negative liberty and positive liberty will be fought out.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Canon Law Sanctions That Governor Andrew Cuomo COULD Face

A Canon Lawyer looks at this at What canonical consequences might Andrew Cuomo face now?

A Possible Eucharistic Miracle And A Faith Healing Louisiana Pastor Journey To the Church

Feel blessed that on that on Corpus Christi today I ran across this Louisiana "newly" Catholic blog last night. See Universal Difference.

I shall also be adding him on the Diocese of Houma Thibodaux links. He also has a twitter account at UDtimbogan where he aptly describes himself as "former protestant healing evangelist that has converted to Roman Catholicism, because of the Eucharist".

For why that picture is important see his post
Angel or Host?.

He just came into the Church congrats. His blog and this picture got me thinking about Bishop Sam Jacobs of the Houma Thibodaux. See Bishop Sam Jacobs and Tim Bogan

I am a pretty big fan of Bishops Jacobs for his work in the Diocese of Alexandria Louisiana and now Houma Thibodaux. God put him in these Dioceses at a critical time to say the least. Mr Brogan is blessed and indeed we are all blessed that he came into the Church in this Diocese.

Looking up Bishop Jacobs bio we see that he is getting very close to retirement age for Bishops. His replacement will be critical!! Bishop Jacobs is a "Charismatic" which served the Church well at critical times in the both the Diocese of Alexandria Louisiana and now his present Diocese. I hope that the Vatican is considering replacing him with some one similar.

In both of these Dioceses there are two of the biggest successful events for Catholic youth in the nation. That is Steubenville South (Diocese of Alexandria) and Steubenville on the Bayou (Diocese of Houma Thibodaux). His Diocese is also very ethnically diverse much more than people think. It is not all Cajuns. It has a significant Latino, and especially Vietnamese presence. I think he has handled that well. He in fact has governed a Diocese that in many ways is going to look more and more like the typical American Catholic Diocese.

So lets hope who ever replaces him down the road is equally gifted.

Jim Gill's Confusing Op Ed On Senator David Vitter - Is it Bribery?

A little Louisiana politics.

Jim Gill has a confusing Op-Ed out in Louisiana papers this morning. See Sen. David Vitter is still shameless: An editorial

Gill of course mentions the sex scandal in the past and says:

...So long as he publicly espouses the agenda of the Christian right, his private betrayal of its principles is jake with Louisiana voters.....

Gill needs to look at Driver's License. I assume it says Louisiana. Much of this agenda by the Christian RIGHT as he calls it is shared by many Louisiana democrats, blue dogs ,and assorted populist that still have "social conservative values". They still exists and in great numbers.

However that is not the real complaint Gill has which makes one wonder why Gill brought it up.

But, though his sexual peccadilloes no longer shock, Vitter is by no means in the clear because his latest stunt raises much more serious doubts about his fitness for public office. We expect senators to abuse the power of office more subtly than this. Vitter, when he decides to try a little blackmail, puts out a press release.

Vitter is miffed at Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who has somehow gotten it into his head that deep-water drilling in the Gulf can be dangerous, and who has therefore been wary about issuing new permits.

Vitter, being gung-ho for drilling, decided to lean on Salazar by threatening to block his scheduled pay raise in the Senate. Only when permits were issued at a pace that met Vitter's approval would he allow Salazar to collect the extra $20,000 a year to which he was entitled.

Salazar turned up his nose in disgust and announced he would reject the raise whatever Vitter did. If Vitter didn't feel any shame then, he never will.

He did not, to judge from remarks made by his spokesman Luke Bolar after one of those watchdog outfits that abound in this country pointed out that offering monetary award for official action appears to meet the definition of bribery. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington suggested an ethics investigation or maybe prosecution.

Bolar scoffed. "They'll make fools of themselves in court and make my boss a Louisiana folk hero at the same time," he said.

More calumny. Vitter's constituents may be long-suffering, but I can't sit back when Louisiana is accused of an unlimited tolerance for his sordid politics.

Well what to say about all that!! This "bribery" charge seems to be all the rage on twitter and social networks. Cable news legal pundits and other legal sites seemed to be a lot more less interested with this "issue" which should tell folks something.

First most people don't try to "blackmail" do "sleazy" or "torrid" things that are looked at with public disdain or could be criminal through a press release.

What Vitter is doing , is similar to putting an hold on appointment, which I have to admit Vitter does a lot too. But so do many other Senators.

To be honest the people in the New Orleans area would perhaps be more interested on his thoughts about maybe a real abuse of this power much closer to home. See Former Sen. Ann Duplessis rejected for LSU board .

As you can read on that matter Sen. Cynthia Willard-Lewis, D-New Orleans , unlike Vitter, issued no Press release to tell us of her reasoning.

Returning to Vitter its hard to see how this is "bribery" and it is pretty silly for people to say it is.

In fact Gill should be really outraged about this path so many want to go down. That is the criminalization of politics. I find that a lot more concerning than what Vitter is doing here to be quite frank. I don't like when either sides does it and it's happening more and more. Don't like David Vitter or any other politicos well bring on the PROSECUTORS!! What is this? a banana republic?

Democrat Senator Landrieu has a practice a using holds on nomination till she gets satisfaction on how the World should operate in her view. As I mentioned I think this is very close to the Vitter situation. See here.

Now Mary Landrieu is witholding a thing of value , a job for a person, a job with a paycheck, till she gets her way. Is that Bribery?

What if some if on some committee someone blocks legislation as politico pay raises on Bill X till his legislation he has a personal issue is passed? Is that unethical? Is that "blackmail"? Should we bring in the FED PROSECUTORS?

One can disagree with David Vitter. Further one can disagree with the various power U.S. Senators have that I have mentioned. But to call them unethical and torrid seem a tad too far.

Vitter knows he will not get his way here. This is a form of public protest and to bring attention to a issue Louisiana folks have concerns about.

What Is Going On With the Bishop of Saltillo in Mexico- Support for Same-Sex Unions?

This story caught my eye for several reasons last night. See Bishop-supported homosexual ministry calls for same-sex 'marriage'

One reason is a good many Southern USA Catholics have done mission work in this Diocese through the efforts that the Catholics in the State of Mississippi have done there. I have gone to Saltillo twice.

Would love to know more of what is going on here. I don't pretend to understand the dynamics of the Mexican Catholic Church so I have to just go off what I read. This does seem odd though and it's difficult to tell if a mountain is being made of a molehill or if it is bad as it looks.

When John Paul the II Almost Recognized State of Israel

Vatican Insider , the world wide effort of an Italian newspaper, has had a nice first week. They have had some interesting stories such as this one this morning.- When John Jaul II nearly recognized Israel: an untold story

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Slanders Against U.S. Supreme Court Justices Will Get Out Of Control

And I agree it is very dangerous. See
The Dangerous Effort to Delegitimate Supreme Court Justices

Head of the Episcopal Church Might Get Dragged Into Catholic Abuse Scandal

One of those tragic abuse stories hit the papers regarding the Catholic Church. See
Ex-leader of boys choir at Missouri abbey admits sexual misconduct

You have to get down to almost the end to pick up this twist:

.......Parry, 69, became a priest in the Episcopal church in 2004 and for the past 11 years had worked at All Saints Episcopal Church in Las Vegas, most recently holding the positions of organist, choir master and assisting priest.

He resigned Thursday and said he’d also asked to be removed from the priesthood.

Bishop Dan Edwards, of the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada, confirmed to The Star that Parry had resigned from All Saints.

“That is a done deal,” Edwards said. “But resigning from the priesthood is a more complicated kind of thing. It’s a process called renouncing your orders and has to go through a disciplinary process, and I cannot comment on that disciplinary process. What I can say is that I have referred the matter to the chancellor of our diocese.”

Edwards said Parry did not have contact with children or youth in his ministry at All Saints....

So you are an assisting Priest and in all that time yo had no contact with youth and children. Even if THAT is true why was that restriction placed ?

Then we hear the big boom!!

..........After the plaintiff reported the abuse in 1987, Parry was sent for three months of treatment at Servants of the Paraclete in New Mexico. Then he stayed in the Southwest, working at Lutheran and Catholic parishes.

In 2000, the lawsuit says, Parry underwent psychological testing because he was considering entering another Catholic monastery.

The results of this testing revealed that Fr. Parry was a sexual abuser who had the proclivity to reoffend with minors,” the lawsuit says.

The results were provided to Conception Abbey, the Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas and the Episcopal bishop for the Diocese of Nevada, the lawsuit says. Yet from 2000 until Thursday, Parry was employed by All Saints Episcopal Church in Las Vegas.

In an interview Thursday with The Star, Parry admitted the allegations.

“When I left Conception Abbey in ’87, it was for sexual misconduct,” he said. “But that was all that was ever said or known.”

Parry said after treatment he was placed on leave for three years, which meant he could not live in the monastery.

After serving about two years as the music director at All Saints, Parry noticed “they needed clergy, and I felt called. I talked to the bishop, and she accepted me. And I told her at the time that there was an incident of sexual misconduct at Conception Abbey in ’87. The Episcopal Church doesn’t have a ‘one strike and you’re out’ policy, so it didn’t seem like I was any particular threat. She said she’d have to check the canons, and she did.”

The bishop at the time was Katharine Jefferts Schori, now presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States. Parry said, however, that he did not tell her about the incidents before 1987 at Conception Abbey.

A spokeswoman at the Episcopal Church’s national office said Thursday that “we do not comment on lawsuits or allegations” and referred questions to the diocese in Nevada...........

Well oh well!!

Now a Little bit of fairness here to the Primate of the Episcopal Church. Any informed Catholic that keeps up with sex abuse cases knows this lawyer. So I am not taking everything he says as GOSPEL. However it if it is true that the report was forwarded to her as Bishop then she has got some explaining to do!! Or perhaps not since the media might yawn and go that is just for Catholics.

Now I am curious to see how this story is followed up. During the bad 70's and 80's quite a few Priests left the Catholic Church and became Episcopal Priests. For what its worth I saw the spokesman from SNAP estimate it was at least 400. What happened to all these people. That number would not include former Catholics that were Catholic Seminaries but left or those that failed for whatever reason to get into seminary and then migrated over to the TEC.

Second this is not the first time we have seen this happen in the Episcopal Church. Lets look at the very recent case of the now deceased Bishop Steven Tsosie Plummer . You can see the tributes here. You can see wonderful obit here. You can read about the wonderful school they are building here.

Oh and you can read how he admitted he sexually abused a teenager and had to be removed from active ministry here .

Needless to say if this happened to a Catholic Priest today he would be out the door forever!

Returning to the topic of the Nevada Priest MCJ had a post on it here. See I-WON-EE . Now what is striking is these are no fans of the current leadership of the TEC. Yet they make some important distinctions in this case. I make those in Catholic circles but when I do I am accused of saying this is all "no big deal".

Yet I do agree with the points they are bringing up. Perhaps a case can be made that the Episcopal Church operated in the right manner here in both cases. (THOUGH THAT ALLEGED ABUSE REPORT IS A SMOKING GUN).

But if so then why are Catholic Priests that had an encounter with a teenager decades ago treated differently. Why are Catholic Bishops treated differently than Episcopal Bishops? It looks like the current head of the TEC might have been going along with the medical advice at the time.

WHO KNOWS! We might never know if this story go no further and media does not care to investigate.

Thoughts on Patriarch of Lisbon Going Off the Reservation On Female Priests

Last night during the big gay marriage debate a New York State Senator got up and said an amazing thing.

He said he could think of no LEGAL reason out there to oppose gay marriage. Now that is a quite a statement. If you have a legal problem and a lawyer tells you there is legal argument against your case he can think of go get another lawyer. If a person is running for Judge and makes a similar statement he does not belong on the Bench. Needless to say a Legislature that MAKES law itself should not be there if he has this this attitude.

I oppose gay marriage a but I can think of several well reasoned arguments for it. I don't agree with them and I fight those arguments but they exist. Needless to say on our side there were well reasoned legal reasons too oppose it.

Which brings us to the equally shocking statement of Cardinal José da Cruz Policarpo, referred to in Portuguese as Dom José IV da Cruz Policarpo who presides over Lisbon.

I don't know much about this Cardinal and I really don't know much about Portugal. I am aware he is hitting retirement age this year though it appears he will be staying on two more years. However in five years he will not even be able to elect the the next Pope when he turns 80. So for that we can be perhaps blessed.

Vatican Insider has The Patriarch of Lisbon: "There are no theological reasons for excluding women from the priesthood"

Now this question has largely been settled one would think but perhaps not for the good Dom. He says among many things

There will be women a priest «when God wills», for the moment it is better «not to raise the issue». But there is «no fundamental obstacle», from «a theological perspective», for women to say mass on the altar. It is, instead, a «tradition» that dates back from the time of Jesus. ........

Now what to say about that. Like the Senator from New York this is quite a quite a statement. There is no fundamental obstacle from a theological viewpoint? Well I have heard quite a few myself. I suspect also from what John Paul the II called the Second Lung of the Church, the Eastern Orthodox, they have some too.

Also what does he mean by tradition.?

..It is a fundamental equality of all members of the Church. The problem is a strong tradition that comes from Jesus and the ease with which the Reformed churches have granted priesthood to women...

So does he mean very strong but yet small t tradition from the Apostolic age or does he mean big T Holy Tradition from the Apostolic age. I am afraid changing big T tradition is off the table even for a POPE!

Now I have a certain viewpoint of how this whole female Priestess (Notice he can't see to use that word though there is no theological objections) is going in the reformed communities. That is not well. One cannot help but notice that the introduction of female "priests" has seemed to have accelerate some of the most extreme deviations from the Orthodox Christian faith. We see that as to the issue of gay marriage and same sex sexual conduct? We see this as to certain eco-theologies ? We see that in not only in the toleration of abortion but in the USA making abortion something akin to a Sacrament and participation in the Divine plan.

In the Catholic Church I have run into women involved in the female Priest movement. I have not met one that seems to be remotely Orthodox on any other matters. They seems to disdain the structure of the Church. They don't really like how the Mass is done. They are all generally pro gay marriage and object to traditional Catholic sexual ethics. None of them seem to wild about traditional Catholic devotions to the Saints or the Eucharist. They almost all seem to be devoted to the worst elements of liberation theology. Why is that?

The Cardinal also says this:

...The Patriarch of Lisbon also explained that he believed the demand for women priests is a «false problem», because the same girls that pose the question, when he retorts if they would be willing to become priests, shake their head....

Then why are you bringing it up? Sadly I think this will just cause confusion in his Archdiocese and demoralize the Faithful that are having problems already.

Bombshell - Vatican To Release Document On Reorganizing American Diocese in the USA

Well this was a shock via the Vatican Insider site from Italy. See Vatican document on the reorganisation of U.S. dioceses.

By the way Non Catholics interested in the history of the grand ole USA should be cheering this too. Places like the historic Archdiocese of Baltimore are selling Catholic and indeed American patrimony at an alarming place. Those buildings can't be replaced. One architect in that area wrote me recently about this with huge concerns.

I like this part:
It will provide guidelines on how the U.S. Bishops' Conference, and each individual diocese must act to rebuild its presence in their area.

YES REBUILD!! Which means going out and making NEW CATHOLICS!! These places have not become depopulated wastelands in most cases. It is very true that population movement have caused many of these problems. That is Catholics moving elsewhere. Well so what!! We have been living off past efforts of nearly a Century ago and before too long. REBUILD- FOLLOW THE GREAT COMMISSION!! GO FORTH AND BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER SON AND HOLY SPIRIT.

Another interesting part of this

....a diocese in difficulty does well to reduce the number of parishes, but must maintain churches and chapels where they exist, perhaps entrusting the care to families of the faithful who are willing to look after them and keep them open. Then on Sundays it is easy to send a priest to celebrate Mass. This solution would take into account various factors, the first being the singular issue of distances, which in the United States are so large. Outright closure of places of worship often oblige the private faithful of the parish to take long journeys to participate in the holy Sunday service.


There is also a section on the issue of Catholic hospitals.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pope Benedict's 2011 Corpus Christi Homily ( Full Text)

I have been waiting for a translation of this that was readable. Vatican Radio had one but the way it was formatted made by head hurt looking at it.

Whispers has the full text thank goodness. See "You Will Not Change Me into Yourself... You Will Be Changed Into Me"

The Pope with his style hits it out of the Park of course. I thought the lat two paragraphs were striking and beautiful:

............Let us return to Jesus’ act in the Last Supper. What happened at that moment? When He said: This is my body which is given to you, this is my blood shed for you and for the multitude, what happened? Jesus in that gesture anticipates the event of Calvary. He accepts his passion out of love, with its trial and its violence, even to death on the cross; by accepting it in this way he transforms it into an act of giving. This is the transformation that the world needs most, because he redeems it from within, he opens it up to the Kingdom of Heaven. But God always wants to accomplish this renewal of the world through the same path followed by Christ, indeed, the path that is Himself. There is nothing magic in Christianity. There are no shortcuts, but everything passes through the patient and humble logic of the grain of wheat that is broken to give life, the logic of faith that moves mountains with the gentle power of God. This is why God wants to continue to renew humanity, history and the cosmos through this chain of transformations, of which the Eucharist is the sacrament. Through the consecrated bread and wine, in which his Body and Blood is truly present, Christ transforms us, assimilating us in him: he involves us in his redeeming work, enabling us, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, to live according to his same logic of gift, like grains of wheat united with Him and in Him. Thus unity and peace, which are the goal for which we strive, are sown and mature in the furrows of history, according to God's plan.

Without illusions, without ideological utopias, we walk the streets of the world, bringing within us the Body of the Lord, like the Virgin Mary in the mystery of the Visitation. With the humble awareness that we are simple grains of wheat, we cherish the firm conviction that the love of God, incarnate in Christ, is stronger than evil, violence and death. We know that God is preparing for all people new heavens and new earth where peace and justice prevail - and by faith we glimpse the new world, that is our true home. Also this evening as the sun sets on our beloved city of Rome, we set out again on this path: with us is Jesus in the Eucharist, the Risen One, who said: "I am with you always, until the end of world "(Mt 28:20).

Thank you, Lord Jesus! Thank you for your loyalty, which sustains our hope. Stay with us, because the evening comes. "Jesus, good shepherd and true bread, have mercy on us; feed us and guard us. Grant that we find happiness in the land of the living". Amen.

Here is a thought!! What happens when are not prepared to receive our Lord? What happens when we receive him while we are in mortal sin? What happens when we receive him while we we have anger in our hearts toward our neighbor. As the Pope says there is not "magic" in any part of Christianity. I plan to read this before I go to communion ( and maybe confession) to make sure when I walk out I resemble that last paragraph.

Catholics, Evolution, and the Adam and Eve Problem

Some Catholics, that proudly say they have Catholic educations and their teacher taught them X,, say some most astounding things about the Bible. Such as I was taught that it's all stories and myth.

When it get to topics about Creation and theories of evolution things going really off the rails.

To be clear one can be a Catholic in good standing and believe in aspects of evolution.

In fact what shocks many people is you can be a Catholic in good standing and think the Earth was created in a literal 7 days and it's less than a 100,000 years old!! Now perhaps that is not where the "mind" of the Church is as to that timeline but you are free to believe it. If any Catholics tell you that you cannot be a Catholic if you believe in the literal 24 hour Creation timeline you are free to tell them to jump in a lake.

However there are a few things a Catholic must believe. This was summed up nicely by Pius the XII and further his thoughts are summed up nicely in this wikipedia article:

Pope Pius XII's encyclical of 1950, Humani Generis, was the first encyclical to specifically refer to evolution, and took up a neutral position, again concentrating on human evolution:

"The Church does not forbid that ... research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter."[30]
Pope Pius XII's teaching can be summarized as follows:

The question of the origin of man's body from pre-existing and living matter is a legitimate matter of inquiry for natural science. Catholics are free to form their own opinions, but they should do so cautiously; they should not confuse fact with conjecture, and they should respect the Church's right to define matters touching on Revelation.

Catholics must believe, however, that the human soul was created immediately by God. Since the soul is a spiritual substance it is not brought into being through transformation of matter, but directly by God, whence the special uniqueness of each person.

All men have descended from an individual, Adam, who has transmitted original sin to all mankind. Catholics may not, therefore, believe in "polygenism", the scientific hypothesis that mankind descended from a group of original humans (that there were many Adams and Eves).

Some theologians believe Pius XII explicitly excludes belief in polygenism as licit. The relevant sentence is this:

"Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion (polygenism) can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own." (Pius XII, Humani Generis, 37 and footnote refers to Romans 5:12–19; Council of Trent, Session V, Canons 1–4)

And there you go. So these Adam and Eve characters existed no matter what a Catholic tells you he was taught otherwise.

The huge ELEPHANT in the room has to deal with that polyenism problem and the related matter of Original sin.

Well an Anglican that does a very good job in tackling this in a series of post. Here is his last post (that has the links to the others in the series).

From Anglican Curmudgeon see Did Adam and Eve Exist? (Part IV: Conclusion) . Also see his important Evolution Versus The Fall - A Postscript .

I have read that post and it seems plausible. I cannot see anything there that would contrary to the Catholic Faith at first glance and indeed second and third glances . As to his discussion that this is compatible with the Eastern Orthodox view of Original sin let me say I think it also fits with the Catholic concept of original sin. Partly because after arguing with Eastern Orthodox for years I am convinced we are pretty much saying the same thing.

So if anyone is interested I would love your comments either here or at his post. On a related matter one should check out the blog of an Eastern Orthodox woman on this topic. ONE CAN SPEND HOURS AND HOURS on her blog and I think it's helpful. See Just Genesis. I am anxious to see her comments.

Catholic Paper Cleared By Vatican Secretary of State Absolves Obama and USA As to Bin Laden's Death

It would be wrong to say this is an official Vatican statement.

It would wrong to say that the Vatican itself is saying GEAUX USA WAY TO KILL BIN LADEN.

It would be wrong to say that the Vatican officially is going Thank God Your Special Forces killed him and spared us all a trial that could have brought more death.

It would be wrong to say everyone in the Vatican agrees with all this.

It might be wrong to assume that Pope Benedict agrees with every dotted i and crossed t here. (but maybe he does)

But for a paper whose Op eds are cleared by the Vatican Secretary of State and reading the tone it seems a significant article to be noticed on the "mind" of the Holy See.

At the very least as it is mentioned mentioned the USA and Obama are "absolved" from any Nation sins , if any occurred , as to this affair it appears. It does carry some weight to say the least.

An interesting piece via Vatican Insider Jesuite magazine says Bin Laden was a menace to mankind and had to be stopped

Sportswriter Mike Lupica Slams Archbishop Of New York Over Gay Marriage

Impies that he is doing this just because he wants to to be a Cardinal or something. See The Sportswriter vs. The Archbishop

Sadly as you might have guessed this writer graduated from a Catholic High School and a Catholic College. The Church should sue for a refund.

Anti Immigration Group Slams Southern Baptists

The theologians at the Center for Immigration Studies are not happy with the Southern Baptists . I suspect they realize that is because of the real threat this is.

See Baptists Call for Amnesty We learn among other things that sharing the Gospel with illegals is a "private matter" and that Southern Baptist are not applying "Biblical principles"

I have said this all week that the actions of the Southern Baptist Convention on endorsing some pathway to legal status was huge.

Catholics that have relied on the fact for too long that individuals in Southern Baptist congregations would not aggressively go after "illegals" better wake up. Times are changing. The Southern Baptist Church is making a major push toward "minorities and Hispanics and that includes familes of mixed legal status.

Now this is not really to get "more people in the pews" and shore up declining numbers. It is because the laity that works in Mission work (sadly far more than do Catholic lay folks) have caught up with most of their clergy on the issue of immigration reform. That is the status quo we have creates real life problems for these folks and society. This is truly a Christ centered response in my view. There is nothing cynical about it.

Regardless of the fact that the Catholic Church is going to have to redouble it's efforts among Hispanics as a whole and indeed as to those living in the shadows as a result of this new "competition" , this is a welcome game changer for all of us in the immigration reform movement . That includes Catholic Bishops and the laity.

Thus the Center for Immigration Studies has every reason to go bonkers over this. I have a feeling though Baptists, like most Catholics ,will not understand how to deal with CIS.

CIS has as it ethos a belief in population control. That is the United States MUST reduce it's population in order to survive. For many a population of 150 million is ideal. This is a quite radical agenda in my view. It is not so much CIS is anti illegal immigrant but pretty much anti IMMIGRATION period till we get these population numbers down to their "ideal" number.

A new front is opening up as to the immigration reform wars and it will be interesting to see how the Baptist leadership reacts too it as well as CIS and related groups.

U.S. Supreme Court Makes Some DWI and Crime Lab Report Law Yesterday

Yesterdays Supreme Court opinions, while not getting the media attention of other sexy opinions, were for the most past all very interesting. It was also a day where the typical so called Liberal versus conservative lines on the Court did not hold. Which happens much more than the pundits portray.

Of particular interest was a case dealing with the right of a defendant to confront a witness. This came in a case involving A DWI and BAC blood lab report out of New Mexico. That case was Bullcoming v. New Mexico (09-10876).

See from around the legal blogs
Opinion analysis: New curb on crime lab reports
Formalists Prevail in Bullcoming v. New MexicoThree Liberals + Two Conservatives on the Confrontation Clause (and the Jury Trial Clause)

In Atlanta The Huge Eucharistic Conference Begins

Whispers has a nice post on it at In Hotlanta, the Juggernaut Returns

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Why the New Vatican Insider Media Site Is A Rather Big Deal

GOING ON THE LINKS TODAY!! This is a project of a major Italian paper (which will be in English among other languages) that looks good. Here is their web site.

John Allen gave a overview here:

On Thursday, June 23, La Stampa will take a big step toward delivering on that promise with the launch of a new global service called “Vatican Insider,” offering content in English and Spanish as well as Italian. The idea is to provide news, editorials, interviews, and analysis concerning the Vatican and the Catholic Church, as well as broader religious, ethical and theological issues, including the relations and contrasts among different religions. It can be found online at

In terms of regular contributors, La Stampa has assembled an Italian dream team. In addition to Tornielli, they’ve got Giacomo Galeazzi, a superb Vatican beat writer, and veteran correspondent and commentator Marco Tosatti, known both for great sources and a balanced perspective.

Two veteran journalists, both of whom know the States well, direct the project. One is La Stampa’s managing editor, Marco Bardazzi, who served from 2000 to 2009 as the U.S. correspondent for the Italian news agency ANSA. Bardazzi is part of the Communion and Liberation movement, having served as spokesperson for the annual “Meeting” in Rimini and as co-founder of the movement’s “Crossroads” center in America. The other is Paolo Mastrolilli, a former U.S. correspondent for La Stampa. Mastrolillo likewise has strong Catholic credentials, having worked for both Vatican Radio and L’Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference.

“Vatican Insider” will mark the first time the work of Tornielli, Galeazzi and Tosatti is available in English on a regular basis, and that alone is worth the price of admission. The service will also feature occasional contributions from other Catholic writers around the world. I’ll have a piece for the June 23 launch, for instance, explaining why Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York is potentially key to the Catholic future.

“Vatican Insider” shapes up as an important new contribution to global Catholic conversation. Make a point of checking it out this Thursday

Well it's Thursday and looks promising. At their link decribing what this is all about they say in part:

....La Stampa's new information channel directed by the newspaper's editor Mario Calabresi and managed by Paolo Mastrolilli and Marco Bardazzi will be available in Italian, English and Spanish and diffused across digital and social network platforms.

Readers will be able to get news and in-depth analysis updates and access videos and photo galleries and dedicated special sections, for free, seven days a week. A subscriber's section reserved for use by newspapers and editorial partners is also available, containing services for journalists, inquests, interviews and exclusive information packages.

After a 24/48 hour period, after the articles in the subscriber section have been made available exclusively to the VaticanInsider's editorial partners, these will be moved to the public homepage where they can be consulted by everyone

That seems like a rather good deal!! These are heavy hitters in Catholic and Vatican reporting and it's good they shall be getting a world wide audience more.

My Thoughs On Obama's Speech On Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan

is summed up by Max Boot. See History Will Not Be Deceived

Catholic Eucharistic Flash Mob In UK City (Incredible Vid)

This is really great and takes a little amount of courage in this day and age. Would be good too see this spread here in the USA.

Happy Corpus Christi.

Don't Give What's Holy To Dogs and Other Hard Sayings of Jesus to The Modern World

This is a apt post from a Priest in the Archdiocese of D.C. and not just because for most of the world it's the Feast of Corpus Christi. See Three Hard Sayings of the Lord That Offend Modern Notions.

This is one reason why I don't get "open Communion" or even the more radical practice of communion to non Baptized folks. Of course the truth be told the title of this sadly could be "Three Hard Sayings of the Lord that That Offend Modern Catholic Notions.

HOW DARE YOU say I can't go to communion thought I have skip Mass regularly , have not been to confession in a decade , living with a significant other without being married and just got from the Pro-choice rally. Of course any one of factors above alone is enough.

One reason why I want to see in the USA The Feast Corpus Christi reformed and revitalized here in the USA.

On another matter I like he talks about how people get too easily offended.

Rolling Stone Goes After Michele Bachmann Christian Faith

I have not got behind anyone yet in the GOP primary fight which is sort of nice I have to admit. I can take a more general view of the field that I did nearly 4 years ago.

So here is an story that caught my eye from the Blaze. Rolling Stone Attacks Bachmann’s Faith: ‘Crazed Divine Wind Kamikaze-for-Jesus’

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Video of a A "Bad" Priest

Oh I am still laughing about this vid.

Are Priests Being Thrown Under the Bus? Archbishop Chaput Responds

See Go-To Investigator on the Dallas Charter Archbishop Chaput discusses his approach to combating sexual abuse.

Priests aren’t being “thrown under the bus,” if the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” is followed correctly, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver affirmed.........

Well that "if" is big part of it.

Ohio State President Gordon Gee Sorry About Comments about Little Sisters of the Poor

A little fun this morning. See Gee apologizes to Little Sisters of the Poor

The Execution of St Thomas More And St John Fisher From the Tudors Series

Big day today Saint Wise!! For some of us we think because of trends in society it might get bigger. For background see Thomas More and John Fisher.

Most people are Familar with this scene from the A Man For All Seasons

But the more recent Tudors series brought these scenes to a dramtic new area

For St Thomas More see

And for a rather stunning image of St John FIsher's execution

17 Perecent of New Blacks in The South Are From New York

Pretty interesting. It's the reverse Great Migration. See Many Black New Yorkers Vote With Their Feet for the South

Recent Yale Divinity School Graduate Says Traditional Marriage Folks Are All Wet

There seems to be two kinds of people that have recently graduated from law schools, medical schools, and theology schools. First there are those that realize they have been given the tool to explore some of lives biggest questions. Law school for the most part gives you the tools fro argument, for legal theory and yes where too look it up.

A recent graduate with the above education has (or should) have made the discovery that his jorney is just beginning and there are now are more questions thant answers. Then there are those that think they know it all.

It appears Jonathan Dudley , a recent grad of Yale Divinity school, that for some reason has been given space at CNN's religion blog is in the latter category. See My Take: Bible condemns a lot, so why focus on homosexuality? . He makes this rather astounding statement at the beginning:

Growing up in the evangelical community, I learned the Bible’s stance on homosexuality is clear-cut. God condemns it, I was taught, and those who disagree just haven’t read their Bibles closely enough.
Having recently graduated from Yale Divinity School, I can say that my childhood community’s approach to gay rights—though well intentioned—is riddled with self-serving double standards...

Well there you go lol.

A Baton Rouge Pastor at Live the Trinity pretty much rips into this piece at Recent poor attempt to address(?) same-sex relations and Christian tradition. A must read!!

Our young man from Yale also has other annoying errors that we see often such as giving a too simplistic version of history as to the abortion and ensoulment questions he mentions.

Further he says this in his piece:

....But the community opposed to gay marriage has itself revised the Christian tradition in a host of ways. For the first 1500 years of Christianity, for example, marriage was deemed morally inferior to celibacy. When a theologian named Jovinian challenged that hierarchy in 390 A.D. — merely by suggesting that marriage and celibacy might be equally worthwhile endeavors — he was deemed a heretic and excommunicated from the church.

How does that sit with “family values” activism today?

Yale New Testament professor Dale B. Martin has noted that today’s "pro-family" activism, despite its pretense to be representing traditional Christian values, would have been considered “heresy” for most of the church’s history....

Well that is quite the charge. First I am sure that at some point at Yale a group called the Manichean heresy was mentioned. Jovian's arguments and the counter arguments to his argument have to be viewed in that context. He also said such things as once a person had received baptism, a man could no longer sin and that neither fasting nor abstinence from any kind of food was of any avail.

In fact what perhaps got got Jovian in real trouble was a tendency to call out all that disagreed with him has Manichean heretics. Including the Clergy of Rome. A severe tactical error to put it mildly. For a detailed look at this see


The responses to Jovian are pretty fascinating. In fact Jerome's response to Jovian was not well received in quarters of Rome because it was viewed as going to far. Which might have prompted Augustine himself to delve into the matter. See this excellent piece Sex, Sin and Salvation: What Augustine Really Said by again David Hunter.

When one looks at the Church Fathers as a whole one actually sees a GREAT defense and love of marriage. I would content that they are much closer to the pro family activism of today than our Yale graduate would like to admit.

One other book I suspect that author did not read at Yale was Newman's works on Development of Doctrine. However here is the problem for our Yale Grad. No where is there even a tiny kernel or acorn in scripture, in Tradition, or in Church Teaching that can develop into a full blown tree of gay marriage? None and he offers none in his piece. The fact the concept "gay marriage" in both he religious and civil concept has pretty much just happened in our lifetimes

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Maureen Dowd Uses Sexually Abused Victims As A Punchline

I think as to Maureen Dowd and her rants against the Catholic Church it has reached a tipping point. That is her latest screed against the Catholic Church has got people thinking why the NYT is giving a forum for Dowd with her personal issues as to the Church.

A good many people have taken her to task.

See Louisiana Catholic blogger Alive and Young post Know Nothinger Dowd takes aim at Archbishop Dolan's stance on Gay Mariage. See American Papist and his post Archbishop Dolan & My Dad: “Vintage Deja Vu Dowd” . Weigel hits its out of the ball park with
Maureen Dowd’s Catholic Problem

However In Light of the Law, that got dragged into this, in his post Oh no! Maureen Dowd doesn’t seem to like me! hit it best in his post when he said

"Dowd does not blush from piggy-backing her "gay marriage" agenda onto the suffering of clergy abuse victims, like some politico attaching a dubious rider to a sure-to-pass bill in Congress, hoping to short-circuit a debate on the merits of the matter."

The tragedy of Clerical abuse of children has litte to do with the Catholic position on abortion, divorce, gay priests, bisexual Catholics, transgendered nuns, out of wedlock sex, female priests, birth control , stem cell research, or a variety of other matters that people like Dowd includes them in.

Dowd rarely writes on clerical sexual abuse in Protestant Communites, in Jewish communities, in Islam communites ,in Hindu communties, or in govermental agencices that have charge of our children. She does not write about it because she frankly is not worried about the problem

Sexually abused childen are nothing more than a punchline in her latest rants. It really is a shame that the group that is put forth as THE ADVOCATE for people that were sexually abused by Catholic authority figures, SNAP, does not call her and others on it.

Right Wing Bishop Upsets Liberal Berkeley Catholics

I saw this local story tweeted today. See Berkeley parishioners protest at church

BERKELEY -- Parishioners of a liberal Catholic Church demonstrated outside the facility Sunday, protesting what they say is a more conservative direction the parish has taken the past two years.

About 100 members of St. Joseph the Worker Church took part in the demonstration, timed to coincide with a visit by the Most Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, bishop of the Diocese of Oakland, which includes both Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

They were requesting the removal of the Rev. John Direen, the church's pastor, and objected to the ouster of the Rev. George Crespin, St. Joseph's pastor emeritus. Direen was appointed to the parish two years ago.

In the past, St. Joseph's has been used to plan antiwar protests and labor organizing drives; it once was used as a safe house by United Farm Workers founder Cesar Chavez.

The protesters objected to Direen's dismissal of the parish council and its Latino counterpart, the Consejo Latino. Membership of the parish is largely Latino.

In addition, parishioners assert that Direen has closed the conference room in the rectory to the church's Social Justice Committee, the St. Vincent De Paul Society and Berkeley Organizing Community for Action, an interfaith political action group that lobbies the city and the school board on issues affecting the poor.

Phone calls and emails seeking comment from Direen were unsuccessful. ..............

Much more at the link.

Now any Catholic that has been around for a while knows there has to be a lot more to this story. Catholic Bishops, no matter your opinion of them, are pretty pro St Vincent De Paul and pretty pro poor folks. The Diocese wisely perhaps has decided not to comment. However I have to think there are tons of other Catholics that have an opposite positon of those quoted in the story that have an informed position on what is going on. Why are they not quoted? It's that lack of an opposing viewpoint that leaves me skeptical about what is going on as reported.

Again the story leaves me with the feeling that the real problems and issues are not being discussed.

Catholic Convert Story of 2011 ?

As Maureen Dowd uses the NYT as a forum with her personal issues with the Church (more on that later) this conversion story is pretty amazing. See Baptist Convert: Stacy Trasancos . Her Baptist faith is actually a rather small partof the sotry and I would have chosen a different title but it really is something to read. How many Stacy Trasanocs are out there but we never here. Needless to say Dowd will not highlight them.