Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Robert George on Brazil 's Legally Recognized Multi-Partner Union - Why Not ?

Have not commented on this story that is getting some play and of course is getting picked up in the USA because of the debate over same sex marriage.

See Legally recognized multi-partner unions: Why not?

Again why not? What is the principle ?

How Republican Appointed Judges Became More Pro Life Friendly On Abortion Issues

Mirrors of Justice here links a good article talking how the Judges appointed by the GOP after the Nixon era became more pro life friendly . By pro life friendly I mean there were was philosophy that at least in some cases could be helpful in containing the newly discovered right of abortion. Needless to say this has relevance for this election cycle.

The article is at Public Discourse at Abortion and the Courts: A Brief Political History of Judicial Conservatism

Part II of this article will be tommorow .

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Catholic Democrat Group Response To Democratic Convention Cardinal Dolan Invite - STAY AWAY

Or perhaps he does not view all Republicans as evil and immoral nor their contributions

Yeah That pretty much sums it up:

From Catholic Democrats president Steve Krueger:

Cardinal Dolan would be well advised to keep his distance from both Tampa and Charlotte in the next two weeks for the good of our Church and the good of a divided nation. The Church can, and should be, a powerful advocate for the common good in our country. Cardinal Dolan’s actions are jeopardizing that advocacy. In the process, he is not only Republicanizing our faith but also politicizing and dividing our parishes.

I realize that as to gay marriage , and the instrinsic evil of abortion problem the Catholic Democrats have an added problem of the HHS Contraception mandate to deal with. These are Catechism and Catholic Social Justice Issues. Also as to the latest develops on religious liberty the POPE HIMSELF has reference that. I don't think the Holy Father was "Republicanizing"

A fight that the Church did not choose to have and apparently the Catholic Democrats were unable stop with their influence.

I understand their problem. As a Catholic Republican I am fighting to get some rational immigration reform through and try to change the tone.

I thought the response at First Things was a lot more mature and need in our Catholic public life today.

We knew from the get-go that Dolan was willing to pray at both conventions, but the criticisms (largely from the left) came anyway. Now they’ll probably start coming from the right.

Such criticisms will be misplaced. Many pro-abortion and pro-same-sex marriage groups try to pain the Catholic church not as a religious body but rather as an “anti-woman” or “anti-gay” political lobby. Having Dolan pray at the Democratic convention makes it much harder for them to make that argument. After all, one never would invite the heads of Americans for Tax Reform or Freedom Works to the DNC podium. Christian moral commitments are not essentially partisan ones, and it important that Democrats as well as Republicans recognize this.

The takeaway is this: A silent, respectful reception for Dolan will constitute a minor affirmation of the special importance of religion in American life. And a rude reception? Well, that would embarrass all those who seek to discredit the church’s moral witness.

I for one expect a very gracious reaction from the Catholic Democrats in attendance. I truly don't think we have sunk that low yet.

The Trend of The Christian and Biblical Illiterate Continues In The U.S.A

Pretty bad news in my opinion. It is bad news on the cultural front in that being educated did mean at one time  you were aware of some of these things.

This also leads to problems with us having no  sense of our own Western tradition that is connected to such things. Very troublesome is if  this is going to play into continued friction between believers , and non believers in the public square since one side has no concept of what the other is talking about. This I think is a major problem

Of course it is far worse as to people that Self ID themselves as believers as to  their own salvation and the ability to spread the Good news.

I would point out that as this trend continues we are in a generation of Christian believers that think they have the insight to change doctrines from a to z. I think there is a connection.

First Thoughts has a lot on this today at Evangelizing the Illiterate Literate . : Catholic Church Causes Grief For Both " right " and " left "

Reason has a good piece on this at Catholic Church: Right-Wing Pawn or Left-Wing Front Group?
-Political enthusiasts are by turns infuriated and delighted by the church

Catholic Diocese of Charlotte North Carolina Erects Special Banners Downtown to Welcome Democratic Convention

These banners are  at the St Peter's Catholic Church located in downtown  Charlotte North Carolina where events related to the Democratic Convention shall be taking place.

Archdiocese of Boston leads Euthanasia Fight in Massachusetts

The pro life battles are going more and more into Euthanasia. The battleground this year , and a very serious one, is the state of  Massachusetts . An local newspaper article here shows what the Church is doing on a local level in the Archdiocese of Boston.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Color Me Skeptical That Obama Support Among Catholics Down to 27 Percent

This poll by the American Life League has got some play in Catholic social media. See
Poll: Obama Losing Support Among Catholics- American Life League Nationwide Survey Reveals Dramatic Drop May Be Tied to HHS Mandates

In this release we learn that Only 27 percent of the Catholics surveyed support President Obama .

I would love for this to be true to say the least but again color me skeptical. One problem is I have yet been able to find a link to the poll itself and very important how the question ( s) were worded. In other words were these push poll wrote type questions.

It just seems a rather dramatic decrease to happened since last polls we saw on this matter. Regardless we Catholics that find the Obama's administraion posititons on abortion and the HHS mandate a clear and present danger have a lot of work to do.

A Look At The Nation's First Catholic Discernment House for Women Vocations in New Orleans

An update on the new exciting in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This seems to be a first that New Orleans is leading the way on.

The Catholic newspaper of the Archdiocese has good story on this live in discernment house is all about. See Discernment house for women is a first

Jewish Rabbi That Will Give Opening GOP Convention Prayer Comes From Rabbinic Dynasty

The Tablet has a very good article on the Jewish Rabbi that will be giving the opening prayer at the GOP Convention. Besides standing up for pro life causes and lately religious liberty it appears he comes from a huge one of Orthodoxy’s most celebrated rabbinic dynasties.

See from the Tablet
GOP Convention’s Rabbi-in-Chief -Meir Soloveichik, scion of a famous Orthodox dynasty, will give the Republicans’ opening invocation

Rep Paul Ryan and St Augustine Both Slandered In Abortion Rape Discussion

A few days ago St Augustine of all people unfairly got trashed if you can believe it or not as to Congressman Akin's comments on abortion and rape. See ‘Let It Be Unto Me’: Akin, Rape, and the Early Church -A Q&A with historians of the early church .

Most people that have seem that and  have gone and actually read what St Aug was saying as to that  SINGLE LINE seem to agree the good Church historian has very much  warped what Augustine had to say here. Augustine in that single line is pointing out a half hearted what if and this as a part of his argument seems to dismiss it since that is not how the Romans view the story.

For more background on this famous bit of Roman prose St Augustine is referencing go here  via Westminster Wisdom The Rape of Lucretia and his related post to the issue at hand  St Augustine and suicide . See also St. Augustine on Rape by Alien in this World. As we see St Augustine is pretty PRO WOMAN here and yet the above Religious Dispatches column being re posted and re posted has clearly slandered him.

The Political season does weird things.

Which brings us to Rep and now VP nominee Paul Ryan. There is no doubt when we talk about rape , incest, and health of the mothers life as to abortion the conversation gets emotional will quick. See at the Catholic Thing  the post Reflections on Rape and Abortion which talks about the challenges here

One of Rep Akin's problem was he tried to dodge the controversial and tough question and with some wather controversial medical opinions to boot.

Paul Ryan was asked about this and gave the straight forward answer. Sadly some , like the St Augustine quote,  tried to use it for something it was not. One being Think Progress that ran the very misleading headline  "Rape Is Just Another 'Method of Conception' which got repeated all over the web.

Of Ryan did not say that. He said that the" method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life,” That does not nearly sound as "flippant" does it.

Which brings us to Joel Landon Watts post via his blog Unsettled Christianity Rape is just another ‘method of conception’

He says among other things?
"I really want to give fellow pro-lifers the benefit of the doubt… but this is nuts"


...I’m not it is spiritually wise – who cares about politics – to declare rape, incest, etc… as just another method of conception.

Are we are callous to women that we can honestly say rape is another method of conception? The next step is to suggest rape is God’s will.

Well that is pretty much nonsense. Also as Mr Watts values science a topic of much interest on his blog does he call this something other than a conception? Of course Ryan did not say "it's just another form of conception" but that basically the living being still has rights and status.

Strangely we have gone to push back against Akin's comment that a woman's body can prevent a conception if it is rape to now don't call it a conception. It seems that we are a in a  damned if we do damned if do not situation.

Disagree with this if you may  , but it is a honest viewpoint .

Here is the larger question. Christianity is a radical religion at times and at some points the teaching is tough. In the Catholic Faith this teaching we are discussing in this context is very tough.

However we have a lot of other issues where Christians have to combat some very emotional hard cases. If you are anti State execution how do you go yes even the Aurora Colorado shooter despite his horrific crime should be be executed without sounding rather unfeeling toward the victims.

In the debates over torture it is often not a very winning argument to many that we can't water board a terrorist to perhaps save many lives.

If it now off limited for Christians to talk about the dignity of the unborn child in these hard cases , then how can we have the moral discussion on things such as the bombing of Dresden and the atomic bombings of Japan. Acts that might very well have saved lives overall , and indeed that that emotional hook. The Church views  these acts  ( at least through her Pontiffs) as an illegitimate war crime even though in the end they were done with good aims ( IE to end the war sooner).

We can go on and on with examples.

Christians I think both as a civil matter and as a religious matter must try to resist in a political season some errors I think we have seen.

Out Going Public Editor of New York Times Says It Has A Cultural Progessivism Problem ( Religion Coverage )

Some significant news out of the New York Times. The Public Editor in his last column says the New York Times has a problem. He said in part :

...Across the paper’s many departments, though, so many share a kind of political and cultural progressivism — for lack of a better term — that this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times.

As a result, developments like the Occupy movement and gay marriage seem almost to erupt in The Times, overloved and undermanaged, more like causes than news subjects.

The paper's Executive Editor responded. All this is looked at  the Get Religion piece  Paper of record or church bulletin of the left?

Of course when are talking about departments we are talking big time about religion and in particular their coverage of Catholic issues and the Church.

The Get Religion columnist points out something else. Newspapers play a role in making sure we have a civil discussion about hot issues in this nation. The Times might might not be helping matters.

City of Chicago to Tun over Some Homeless Services to Catholic Charities ( HHS Mandate)

Another reminder of why all sides need to be careful about the impact of the HHS Contraception Mandate on very Catholic groups that as a part of their Gospel misson operate outdise the walls of the Church.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

SNAP and Liberal Catholic Group File Lawsuit Against Missouri Federal Court

SNAP and the liberal Catholic group Voice of the Faithful have sued in FED Court over the Missouri House of Worship Protection Act. See Victim Rights Groups Sue Over MO House of Worship Protection Act

Friday, August 24, 2012

In New York Political Ad linking Democrat Senator Gillibrand To HHS Contraception Mandate Runs ( VID and Link)

In New York U.S. Senate Race Wendy Long, the Republican nominee is challenging Senator Kirsten Gillibrand . A group the above TV ad that hits her hard on the HHS Contraception mandate.

The Corner has a piece on her here. I like the ad. I think I would have changed it up a little at the beginning for clarity purposes but I hope we see more of these.

Nicene Creed- One Holy Self Absorbed United States Catholic Church

Two bits of horrible Catholic news for the day.

First 12,000 Greek Catholics are in danger, trapped , and starving in Syria as you read this at this very moment. 

Thousands of miles away the suppresion of Christ's Church and his flock contiune in China. See Shanghai seminaries are told they cannot re-open until further notice

I did not look for  updates on the latest persecutions in Pakistan or Vietnam and God knows what happened in Africa as we were asleep.

Yet this week the most powerful part of the Catholic Church in the world will barely take note. There will be no comments from the priest at Mass , no call for money to aid these people, no call for us to rally our elected officials to start doing something, and sadly few prayers for these Catholics.

In other words pretty much business as usual.

A few of the prestigious Catholic Magazines might take note on their blogs but like a dog getting distracted by a shiny object will go whoof whoof look transgendered lectors or something.

Now back in the day one of the good things about Latin as it was promoted wasYOU CAN GO TO ANY CATHOLIC CHURCH IN THE WORLD and  actively participate in the Holy Mass because we are saying the exact same thing literally . That was a big thing  to show the "unity" of the Church in the Pre Vatican II apologetic stuff.

They had a point. Well that day is no longer here. Still we got the real important stuff. We are all in union with the successor of Peter, most of use with exceptions of some rites follow the same Mass, and we follow the same readings at Mass and Feast days.

We also have the CREED which will all say each Sunday that has at the end:

I believe in one, holy, catholic

and apostolic Church.

I confess one baptism

for the forgiveness of sins

and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead

and the life of the world to come. Amen.

But American Catholics it sadly appears do not act like it. Not only do we have problems with Rome we pretty much think we are the Rome of the world.

To borrow some terminology from the gal that runs the Episcopal Church operation here in the United States the Holy Spirit  here in the U.S.A ( yes little ole well fed safe from trials us)  is involved in  “prophetic actions" on issues from

gay marriage,
to abortion,
to can I have sex with my boyfriend,
to new ideas of gender or no gender at all,
too even if perhaps if it  is time for some Christian communities  to move "beyond Jesus"

The Pope recognizing no doubt the power of the United States issued a warning to Catholic and non Catholics alike that  gather together  when he came to New York.

Too often those who are not Christians, as they observe the splintering of Christian communities, are understandably confused about the Gospel message itself. Fundamental Christian beliefs and practices are sometimes changed within communities by so-called “prophetic actions” that are based on a hermeneutic not always consonant with the datum of Scripture and Tradition. Communities consequently give up the attempt to act as a unified body, choosing instead to function according to the idea of “local options”. Somewhere in this process the need for diachronic koinonia – communion with the Church in every age – is lost, just at the time when the world is losing its bearings and needs a persuasive common witness to the saving power of the Gospel (cf. Rom 1:18-23)  .

Well sadly that went out ear and out the other including sadly for many Catholics that have no excuse.

But perhaps once the Holy Spirit tells us what has changed as to doctrines of the Church we can hopefully inform those Greek Catholics in Syria if any are around.

This is not to say issues in the U.S.A are not important. They are important because in the Catholic and political realm we affect well billions.

However I think at times we need to realize there is much more to the Church than just us and that guy in Rome that causes all the fuss for us.

There are real BROTHER and SISTER Catholics in real trouble and they need our fraternal assistance now in spiritual, in material, and in political ways. I think the most powerful part of the Catholic Church can spare some time for that.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Plague On Both Our Houses- Bipartisan Lies About Suppressing Military Vote and Changing Meaning of Rape

This is the state of politics today

A few weeks back there was a story that the Obama folks wanted to try to make it harder for military folks to vote in Ohio. OMG as a Romney supporter I must I have been thrilled. WRONG.

The story through a lot of sins of omissions was false and was misleading. I did not post on it nor promote it in social media. However a lot of folks did and some major media ran with it.

We come to this week.

Democrats and yes major media have been running with the story that Paul Ryan wanted to change what rape meant. Through a lot of lies of omission this is just as bad what Romney supporters were trying to do. See  NYTimes Falsely Reports Ryan Tried to 'Restrict the Definition of Rape'

What amazes me that people many people I follow of some standing on each side have to know each respective  stories is very false ( not  the misinformed that just repeat it ). Yet they run with both with no shame.

I get politics is not romper room but at some point there has to be some standards for the supposed " adults " in the room

In Deep South Alabama Troy University Partners With Catholic Church On New Residence Hall For Students

This is some very good news from the Heart of Dixie AKA Try Alabama. See TROY forges alliance with Catholic church for new dorm space.

A vid of the starting construction is here.
While Bama and Auburn get much of the college noise in the Deep South State of Alabama Troy is no slouch . It has a substantial system presence in the State.  However it is interesting the population of the main campus is just around 7,200 student.  To get a sense of where Troy is located in the State of Alabama and also the Archdiocese of Mobile see here.

The Archdiocese of Mobile has 68,662 Catholics out of a total estimated population of 1,761,543 people. The only other Diocese in Alabama , the Diocese of Diocese of Birmingham to the north has a Catholic population of 90,135 out of a  2.7 million population . That is about 3 percent of the population there. In other words while a vibrant, historical, and important community we still in the big scheme of things kind of small there.

That is what I love about this. An deep South Catholic Diocese taking proactive steps on as to some of the more important formation life moments of a person at a  SECULAR University.

As we read this is Construction of a new 376-bed residence ( where housing is needed) will feature a Newman Center, a Catholic ministry center , but still be geared not only to Catholics but all people of faith.or faith values. THAT IS PROACTIVE.

We have seen this partnership between the College campus , and Catholic Campus ministry in other places. For instance from this year in the State of Texas see here.

I hope we see more and more of this.

On a related note Mirrors of Justice took note of this and is  hoping the t's were crossed and the i's dotted as to legal issues.  Well as we see from the above vid construction is being started so I guess we shall have to put our faith in the Lawyers that made sure they were.

Woman of Faith Mo Isom Trying Out For LSU Football Team Appears On 700 Club ( Vid )

This is a very inspiring and good 700 Club piece on Mo Isom who is in the news quite a bit this week as the former female soccer player trying out for the LSU Football team.

Mo is one of those people that I think God uses in a dramatic way to say HEY I AM NOT AN ABSENTEE LANDLORD .

One thing I have read on her blog but is not mentioned here is an added detail of her car wreck. Moments before it happened her deceased dad appeared in the car seat. Mo said she felt at perfect peace and her body just relaxed. Which might have played a role in her surviving the crash. Again it's hard not too look a this and not see the Divine hand being used for many reasons

President of Southern Baptist Louisiana College Interviewed On Fight Against HHS Contraception Mandate

Important news on the HHS Contraception Mandate Fight. National Review has an interview with the President of Louisiana College which is the private Southern Baptist College in Louisiana.

See it here at  Baptists vs. Sebelius The continuing story of ecumenical outrage

Interracial Couples in Baton Rouge- Racism Versus Racial Anxiety

I have been following the Baton Rouge Advocate's series on interracial marriage with some interest.

One of the couple vids sort of through in a new dynamic that I find interesting and useful. That is a a white "Dutch" male from Iowa that met a Nigerian that was attending college there. Now they live in Baton Rouge . Click on the James and Bukky Harthoon vid. I think this is a cool vid because they are sort of giving an outsider viewpoint. I also get this couple is a tad different too because the wife really is an AFRICAN American.

What I found interesting among many things were his comments at the end. That is what perhaps seems the problem is not racism but the overwhelming "Racial Anxiety" by folks down here. He is not saying racism does not exist nor do people have to be colorblind. However there is such a nervousness about the topic or race or even calling someone "black" without being deemed racist that its gets  perhaps tiresome.

Christians For Retribution !! ( Updated With Link to Actual Post Now - Silly me )

UPDATE- I now provided the link to the post. No wonder hardly no one find the post as interesting as me. I forgot to link it!! Silly me.

 Marc DeGirolami  highlights a part of a book I am interesing in buying called  Getting Even: Forgiveness and Its Limits (2003). He looks as to punishiment theory and law a chapter called Christianity and Criminal Punishment where at Jeffrie Murphy writes on the kind of retribution is acceptable as punishing wrongdoing and the one kind of retribution or "desert" that is perhaps not.

See the post at Mirrors of Justice 's  The Problem of Deep Retribution and Rehabilitation

Gay Journalist Feels Guilty About Not Having Sex With HIV Positive Guys

Rod Dreher has an interesting column up looking at a piece that a journalist put up at the Gawker site. I have to admit I share the it is sort of watching a train wreck sort of thing.

See  A Subculture of Death

Rod hit on a part of this column that also gave me a WTH moment

So, right. No firm answers to be had here, except that abstinence is the only way to stay truly safe. And abstinence, as we know, is impossible. How terrifying.

“As we know”? Who’s “we”? And, from a morally neutral point of view (which is not my point of view, but indulge me here), is it really the case that the only extremes are total abstinence, or come-what-may (so to speak)? The impoverishment of the moral imagination here, and the slavery to desire, is profound.

What kind of culture teaches that it’s better to have an unfettered sex life than to, you know, live? A culture of death, that’s what.

A couple of random thoughts as to the comment that developed there.

One guy said HEY looks like we need gay marriage to cure this. Rod shot back with the studies that gay marriage according to some studies seem incredibly open. That is sex with multiple sex partner with the partner's permission. Again bringing worries that gay marriage might be a two tier system or worse it could influence "straight' marriage as to this. I suppose if gay marriage advances time will tell.

But again I turn back to that line  abstinence, as we know, is impossible. and Rod's thoughts on that. That is not something I suspect a few nice gay weddings turns off when one gets married and it's implications toward monogamy.

Which brings up a final point. I might not live in NYC but this attitude  is not uncommon among gay men and couples I know. There are of course  many exceptions. However it is such a high number that well I have come to expect it.

There are many Christians advocates out there for the LGBT community that stand up for people in these relationships. They also spend a good bit of their time criticizing those that oppose things like gay marriage. But I do see precious little from these same folks in the social media at least of going WAIT this attitude is not right. It is destructive. It is not a Christian way of sexuality.

At what one point does that sort of happen ?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

West Nile Virus Gives Occasion To Recall Catholic Priests & Sisters Martyrs Of Shreveport Yellow Fever Epidemic

Living in an area that is at risk for now the worst West Nile epidemic ever is not something I like to dwell on. We have had a few cases that been confirmed in the Parish next to me. We have had many more cases confirmed in Parishes right besides that one.

However this does give us pause to imagine how WORSE things were in this area and to celebrate eight Catholic Heroes which included five Priests and three sisters. This happened in Shreveport Louisiana.

About this time of year in 1873 Shreveport Louisiana  was hit by a yellow fever epidemic that alarmed the state. A brief history of that is here  and more is mentioned here.

Part of the heroes of this time were the Catholic Priests and Sisters in Shreveport that served the sick and dying knowing they were likely going to die themselves. In the end seven of them did.

From the Holy Trinity Church Web Site we see :

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 he 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. 10th. 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.

A few notes on the above historical sketch.

These five Priests are forever memorialized in the beautiful Stained Glass of the Church. Sadly I am having problems finding that online to post here.

I have read the Monroe Louisiana newspapers of this period and there is an touching  account of Rev. L. Gergaud's flock and non Catholics  seeing him off to Shreveport. He made it quite clear to them he knew he was going to his death and no doubt the people assembled knew it likely too.

Sadly we see this note :

The Ouachita Telegraph

Friday, October 17, 1873

Page 2, Column 3


[From the Daily Times]

SACRILEGIOUS. — The Catholic priest who died on Thursday was robbed of
his watch, cross and other paraphernalia after he was dead. The
suspected persons were arrested, but as nothing could be proven on them
they were set free. Suspicion however was so strong against them that hey were ordered to leave the city instantly.

MERCY !!! In the middle of an yellow fever scourge where you might fall from it and you are stealing off dead priests.

The three sisters that died were of the Order of the Cross and they died while caring for the ill. Those nuns mentioned here were Sr marie Marthe De Nes , Sr Rose of Lima , and Sister Marie Anglea, Nedlec.

The sisters as well as one of the above Priest that was mentioned were of course involved with the local school that had quite a few children of local Protestants in it.  The heroism of these sisters and priests were noted by the majority Protestant population as well and thus going into Shreveport lore. It also played a role that we see often in tragedy of this short of further acceptance of the Catholic faith in a non Catholic areas.

Legal Academy Push Back That Christians Just A Bunch of Whiners On " War On Religion "

See That Old-Time Religious Persecution

I pretty much agree with that. Also in other areas of rights I don't see this same attitude exhibited as much.

As he says in closing :

But I take it that the real challenge of the piece is to remind its readers about what real persecution looks like, and to accuse contemporary American Christians of being a “bunch of whiners.” As I noted in my previous post on this subject, I am struggling to understand the basic point, though perhaps I just haven’t yet seen it. Is it that we should wait to care about violations of religious liberty until they reach the sorts of persecutorial proportions that one sees in Iran or Somalia? Is it that it might be a very good thing if Christians experienced some of that old-time persecution? But why should one wish for that? And why should one not want to recognize admittedly milder forms of troubling developments respecting religious freedom as worrisome, even if they do not rise to the level of stonings and government-promoted animal maulings? I’ll be interested to see if this form of argument persists.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Is Skinny-Dipping In the Sea of Galilee Really Akin To Streaking At St Peters ?

I don't know what amused more about this GOP supposed scandal. I thought it was slightly funny but the media coverage was sort of whacked. I am a pretty conservative Catholic but  the sort of prudish attitude by the media struck me as funny. BUT THE SEA OF GALILEE is HOLY and IT IS IN THE HOLY LAND TO BOOT. Well ok.

Somehow I think there is a difference between the See of Galilee and lets say the various Churches that are on Holy sites in Israel.

Get Religion looks at the coverage yesterday on this. See  Skinny-dipping in the most holy and venerated Sea of Galilee

Minnesota Allows Person Employed By Catholic Church to Keep Campaign Donation Secret - Looking Back on Doe V Reed

I was kinda of taken aback by this article Campaign board allows Catholic to keep confidential his anti-marriage amendment donation

As you can read the donor who gave $600 dollars to the cause is worried he will get fired by the Catholic Church if his donation is found out.

I am struggling to see how the campaign board is going to do a coherent policy on this.

A few years back during the PROP 8 days there was a serious debate and concern over harassment of people that gave money to keep traditional marriage. Many of these people had folks show up at their homes and places of employment and were protested. In fact some people were pressured to leave their jobs or had their employer pressured to fire them !!

This controversy  around  this period showed up in the Supreme Court and put Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas at odds. Justice Thomas appears to think  that much of the  mandatory public disclosure of campaign contributions infringed too much on protected First amendment freedoms and chills free speech. Justice Scalia reaction is pretty much MAN UP QUIT BEING A WUSS.

This issue came up in a related matter. See  the  2010 Supreme Court case  Doe v. Reed . While there were some concurring opinions note Justice Thomas was the only dissent. Scalia was pure Scalia in the oral arguments as detailed by Slate at What's Your Sign? A Supreme Court case that puts Scalia and gay rights advocates on the same side.

...People often ask me how it is possible that Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia are such good friends despite their ideological differences. Argument today illuminates what they have in common: They are both the Jurists of Steel. First Ginsburg lays into Bopp about the fact that the initiative's own sponsors sometimes sell their list of signatures for fundraising purposes, so the names are really only private with regard to the other guys. "So that would be the end of a person's privacy," she snaps.

Then Scalia tags in to ask, "Do you have any case in which we have held that the First Amendment applies to activity that consists of legislating or of adopting legislation?" Working himself into an Originalist froth, Scalia notes that "for the first century of our existence, even voting was public—you either did it raising your hand or by voice," and then scolds that "running a democracy takes a certain amount of civic courage. And the First Amendment does not protect you from criticism or even nasty phone calls when you exercise your political rights to legislate." Scalia ends with the admonition that "[y]ou are asking us to enter into a whole new field where we have never gone before."

Ginsburg says that in his own brief, Bopp admitted that "you cannot tell anything about the signer's belief from the mere signature." It may signal support for the proposition or merely support for letting the people decide or a desire to get away from the signature collector. Bopp replies that "With all due respect, we do not say the third. We did say the first and the second." Ginsburg, looking as angry as I have seen her in a while, draws his attention to the page in his reply brief where all three arguments are laid out.

Justice John Paul Stevens, the model of civility, breaks in to ask the money question: "Wouldn't it be legitimate public interest to say, I would like to know who signed the petition, because I would like to try to persuade them that their views should be modified?" He adds, "Is there public interest in encouraging debate on the underlying issue?" Bopp replies: "It's possible, but we think this information is marginal."

This leads Scalia to bring down the house with: "What about just wanting to know their names so you can criticize them?" Scalia notes that the disclosure of your name is "so you can be out there and be responsible for the positions you have taken."

Bopp: "Well, then why don't they require both sides?"

Scalia: "What do you mean, 'both sides'? The other side hasn't signed anything

Then Scalia, wiping his hands on his own thick skin blurts: "Oh, this is such a touchy-feely, oh, so sensitive. …You know, you can't run a democracy this way, with everybody being afraid of having his political positions known!" And while braver men have died trying to out-Scalia Scalia, Bopp retorts with equal fervor: "I'm sorry, Justice Scalia, but the campaign manager of this initiative had his family sleep in his living room because of the threats!"

As I said pretty classic. While this is a dealt with a referendum it has very clear implications to the Prop 8 situation we saw above and campaign donations disclosure.

As in many cases both sides seem to have a valid claims. As somone that sort of entertained Justice Thomas's viewpoint  at one one time I have since then warmed much up too Justice Scalia's viewpoint.

I think in Minnesota  they are going to have to develop a consistent policy on this matter under their State law. This "discretion" seems very likely to be abused in the future . So Minnesota  are  you with Thomas or Scalia?

How Freedom of Association in the First Amendment Got Weakened

This is an important article at First Things. See Freedom By Association -Neglect of the full scope of the First Amendment diminishes our rights

I have been worried about this trend for some time.

New Video Explains Religious Liberty and 1st Amendment Values Crisis at Vanderbilt University

One of the premier organizations that fights for speech rights and related First Amendment aligned issues on the college campus has produced this well done video  on the rather horrid situation at Vanderbilt that I have discussed before.

It is linked to this must read article  Vanderbilt exiles evangelical Christians, Catholics at the Daily Caller written by the Senior Vice President of F.I.R.E.

There is not much I don't think can legally be done against Vanderbilt since it is a private school. Still public pressure still might cause a reversal. It also helps in not having this virus spread elsewhere.

A Video of this quality that has some respected voices, including COUNTRY MUSIC LARRY GATLIN to boot, does help.

Northwestern State University In Louisiana Cites Right Source But Misses Point On Cyberbullying

I am planning to do a post on what an legally and sane anti cyberbully law would look like today , but  meanwhile ran across this Northwestern State "Demon" gem . See FIRE Cited in University Policy, But Speech Code Gets It Wrong on 'Cyberbullying'

Monday, August 20, 2012

Brick by Brick Catholic Restoration of Church Architecture - Altars At St. Thomas Church in Potosi Wisconsin

A little over a week ago I had a post Restoration and Expansion of Sacred Stained Glass In Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth ( Poor Man's Scripture )

The restoration of beauty we have been seeing in the Catholic Church  is one of more favorite topics. It is also one that Pope Benedict over the years has liked to comment on as these quotes demonstrate.  Just a few of those :

Pope Benedict XVI, 22 February 2007
The profound connection between beauty and the liturgy should make us attentive to every work of art placed at the service of the celebration. (122) Certainly an important element of sacred art is church architecture, (123) which should highlight the unity of the furnishings of the sanctuary, such as the altar, the crucifix, the tabernacle, the ambo and the celebrant’s chair. Here it is important to remember that the purpose of sacred architecture is to offer the Church a fitting space for the celebration of the mysteries of faith, especially the Eucharist. (124) The very nature of a Christian church is defined by the liturgy, which is an assembly of the faithful (ecclesia) who are the living stones of the Church (cf. 1 Pet 2:5).

Pope Benedict XVI’s Sunday Angelus Address on the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, 9 November 2008

...The beauty and harmony of the churches, destined to give praise to God, also draws us human beings, limited and sinful, to convert to form a ‘cosmos,’ a well-ordered structure, in intimate communion with Jesus, who is the true Saint of saints. This happens in a culminating way in the Eucharistic liturgy, in which the ‘ecclesia,’ that is, the community of the baptized, come together in a unified way to listen to the Word of God and nourish themselves with the Body and Blood of Christ. From these two tables the Church of living stones is built up in truth and charity and is internally formed by the Holy Spirit transforming herself into what she receives, conforming herself more and more to the Lord Jesus Christ. She herself, if she lives in sincere and fraternal unity, in this way becomes the spiritual sacrifice pleasing to God.

Dear friends, today’s feast celebrates a mystery that is always relevant: God’s desire to build a spiritual temple in the world, a community that worships him in spirit and truth (cf. John 4:23-24). But this observance also reminds us of the importance of the material buildings in which the community gathers to celebrate the praises of God. Every community therefore has the duty to take special care of its own sacred buildings, which are a precious religious and historical patrimony. For this we call upon the intercession of Mary Most Holy, that she help us to become, like her, the ‘house of God,’ living temple of his love.”

Many more quotes at the link.

Not every Church can nor should be like the Vatican or a great Cathedral .

So I every much enjoyed this story from the Diocese of Madision Catholic newspaper about a Church in Potosi Wisonsin. See New altars enhance historic church in Potosi

There is an interesting  news video of the installiation of these very heavy altars that has some good images and also gives us a take on this talented Catholic layman that is contributed his talent for the Gospel.

Step by step brick by brick we are seeing more of this happen.

New U.S. Air Force Regulations Takes More Explicit Restrictive Tone Toward Religious Practice and Liberty ?

Coat of Arms for The Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA

There are some religious liberty posts I might to try hit on this week. There were some new regulations issued by the Air Force's Newly-retired General Norton Schwartz on various issues before he left. These hit on many topic from social media to ever appears controversial  subject of religious freedom, practice, and related issues. I say controversial because it seems the Air Force often generates the headlines for some reason. I suspect part of that is the every in the press  is  Michael Weinstein , the President of his self-founded Military Religious Freedom Foundation

God and Country , a religious site from a military viewpoint,  takes a look at the religious side of the regs here at AF Publishes New Reg on Religion, Social Media, House Cleaning

He notes among other things that the regs

 "would seem to be the first time the Air Force has officially said free exercise can be limited by the military’s interpretation of its effect on good order and discipline. While the military can restrict virtually anything it wants when the mission requires, it is unusual for such a specific statement to address an otherwise protected freedom."


"The tone of AFI 1-1′s paragraph on religion is an interesting contrast to that of the 2006 Religious Guidelines that, rather than presuming a negative perception of religious freedom, presumed its virtue"

More at his link.

College Kids Can't Skip of Holy Day of Obligation Mass Because Of Test Or Class Conflict In Illinois Anymore

A new enacted State Law in Illinois closed that option SLACKERS. From Relgion Clause see At Muslim Ceremony, Illinois Governor Signs Bill Giving College Students Religious Attendance Accommodation

I find it interesting that this is also imposed on secular private colleges.

Australia Catholic Church Has War On Video Poker - Asking For Reforms

Kinda of an interesting article from Vatican Insider on efforts on Gambling in Australia and indeed even in Italy. See Australia: The Church takes action against gambling .

Reform to curb video poker -- the Australian Church sends out an appeal against gambling: “The Australian Government should change gambling reform” The appeal in support of a government proposal to change video poker machines was launched by Catholic Care, the agency for the welfare of the Archdiocese of Sydney, and consequently taken up by Vatican Radio.

The change would force players to declare in advance how much they are willing to bet, while the video poker machines would be reprogrammed to limit losses to $120 an hour, a change from the $1200 limit currently in place. Catholic Care Sydney (CCS) “strongly supports efforts to reduce the damage caused by video poker to communities and Australian families.” Indeed, it is extremely important, according to Bernard Boerma, Head of CCS, that “the government does not lose sight of this reform, which is a step forward in dealing with a devastating problem in Australian society.” .......

In Louisiana we have Video Poker all over the place such as bars, restaurants, and "Truck Stop Casinos". I wonder what the reaction would be if the Louisiana Catholic Bishops urged such limits.

Can A Catholic School 's Tax Exemption Be Removed Because Of Sex Requirements for Leadership ?

Law Prof  Martha C. Nussbaum , Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics in the Law School and Philosophy Department at the University of Chicago , continues to make some remarks that are troublesome for religious freedom and the First Amendment in my view. She was interviewed by the Boston Review at The New Religious Intolerance An Interview with Martha Nussbaum.

Law Prof Michael Moreland of Villanova picked up on the major concern at this post at Mirrors of Justice Nussbaum on Catholic University Presidents.

In particular her viewpoint that the Federal Govt could deny the tax exemption to Catholics schools that have have their Presidencies open to one sex only. This of course brings forth the still controversial Bob Jones Supreme Court opinion , and issues if tax exemptions are a "gift" or grant by the Government. I think Moreland makes a good push back here.

What got so many religious groups concerned  about the Bob Jones case ( tax exemption denied to School that forbid interracial dating ) was could this extend beyond the special case of race . To let us say gender and now in this day and age perhaps even sexual orientation.

The more we see Nussbaum argument mirrored in the legal academy the more some of their concerns from decades ago might prove to be right.

Bread of Life Discourse Continued This Past Sunday August 19th 2012 ( 20th Sunday Ordinary Time )

We the Bread of Life Discourse continued at with our Sunday mass reading yesterday. The Scared page that have been reading each week as to the input  had some commentary on them. See
The Feast of Wisdom: Readings for the 20th Week of Ordinary Time .

Se also - My Five Weeks of Eucharistic Posts - July 29 through August 26 ( Bread of Life )

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Catholic Conservatives In Both Religion and Politics Should Embrace the SLOW Pace of Change Not Revolution

One of my favorite blog posts has this week has been at Practicing Catholic . See Indivisible: Jay Richards on Embracing Incremental Change

I can think of some practical applications to this. John Paul the II and even Pope Benedict even has not been exactly forgiven by some for down laying down a 6 Pack of Theological whoop ass when they came into office. The problem is of they ( and very much John Paul II ) has a Church that was very much in practical schism. They might have won the battle but lost the war. A war that has high internal consequences. However in the end it looks like not Orthodox Catholicism survived its is now emerging in a new growth stage.

You also see it on the issue of abortion. Every 4 years you hear Conservatives and the GOP has not really done much on abortion. LOOK ROE V WADE is still law. Well that ignores that by slow change we have managed to chip away at Roe and it's got people like Planned Parenthood  running scared. Some legislation being passed the state legislatures and upheld by the courts would have been unimaginable in the 80's.

Also we see more people becoming pro life. It should be recalled that as late as the early 1970's the Southern Baptist Convention was still issuing pro choice statements.

Now that does not mean sometimes major changes are needed that are quite a revolution. For instance one could argue that we have run out of time on the Federal Budget for much slow incremental anything.

Still we need to be careful in draw and quartering our Friends ( see current Cardinal Dolan situation) because things we might object too ( rightly or EVEN  wrongly perhaps) are not running on our time table.

Christians today are often called to task about certain Old Testament passages that are problematic in some people's view. God in Salvation history has at times to bring his people along slowly to get to know him again. God's time is not our time. Thus we see regulations on such things as multiple marriage and slavery that while not supporting the practice had the purpose of  mitigating the damage.

Needless to say the errors Catholicism has had to deal with in last few decades may be some of the worse the Church had hit them all at one. The recovery will not happen over night.

Friday, August 17, 2012

There Are Reasons Why The Catholic Church Can't Be Like Walmart - Response to the Economist

A good response to a piece that the Economist has done on finances and the WORLD WIDE Catholic Church. See Spot the difference...

Here is just part what many people don't get :

What The Economist doesn’t get is that the institutions of the Church are incredibly decentralized—operating as individual entities under the pastoral umbrella of the Church. The pope is not a CEO sitting in the Vatican with a big map saying “build a parish here, a hospital here, and close that school over there.” Yet this is what The Economist wants the Church to be (maybe they’ve watched The Da Vinci Code a few too many times?). Throughout The Economist’s story there is an underlying tone or belief by the reporter that the Church has this information but is withholding it—“the Church does not release such figures.” The reporter fails to understand that the Church does not have these figures (e.g., aggregated annual spending by all entities of the Church, all donations to Church entities) because it has no apparatus to collect them.

There very well could be some reform and in fact we might see that coming. But the Church can't be Walmart and neither is the Vatican equipped to run it like it was.

Pat Robertson Says Something Off The Wall Again- Russell Moore Responds Again

As I have stated before I do wonder if  these latest in a serious of WTH  comments are because of age. At least that is what I keep hoping they are caused by.

See Pat Robertson vs. the Spirit of Adoption by Dr Moore. You can view the vid at Denny Burk's place.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Front Page of New Orleans Paper Highlights Innovative House of Discernment For Possible Future Nuns

The front page had nice coverage of a big event in the life of the Church and in particular New Orleans. This appears to be a first in that all female religious orders are doing this as a joint venture.

See Women considering the religious life now have a haven in New Orleans

Swine Flu and Its Life Threatening Complication Could Not Keep Louisiana Boy From First Communion

This is really a delightful story out of New Orleans that also fovetails nicely with my My Five Weeks of Eucharistic Posts - July 29 through August 26 ( Bread of Life )

See from the Archdiocese of New Orleans newspaper Little Boo's long road to the altar.

" Common Sense " Victory For Religious Liberty at SUNY Buffalo Campus

With the still distressing situation at Vanderbilt it is good to point out good news elsewhere. See via Mirrors of Justice SUNY Buffalo Student Judiciary: Group Requiring Leaders to Agree with Its Beliefs "Is Common Sense, Not Discrimination"

Archdiocese Of Atlanta Inherits Half Of the Rights To Gone With the Wind & Other Major Mitchell Family Properties

Updated - See their other articles also
Gift Called ‘Most Significant Catholic Legacy’ , Margaret Mitchell’s Family: Learned, Quiet Lives , Habersham Address To Become Archbishop’s New Home , Church Inherits 50 Percent Of Rights To GWTW

WOW!!! See Mitchell Heir Leaves Estate To Archdiocese.

As you can see this was a rather substantial givt that all the Archdiocese Catholic Parishes are going to share in too some extent. There is also good bit how Margaret Mitchell and family help defend and spread the Catholic Faith in Georgia. They are descended from one Georgia's earliest Catholic families.

Paul Ryan 's Catholic Bishop Comes To His Defense

Speaking to the Catholic National Register Bishop Morlino of Madison Wisconsin said :

“I know him very well. He is in regular communication with his bishop.

“I am defending his reputation because I am the one who, as his diocesan bishop, should have something to say about this, if anyone does,” Bishop Morlino told the Register during an Aug. 15 telephone interview.

“Since others have, I believe, unfairly attacked his reputation, I have to look out for his good name. That is Church law. If someone disagrees with Paul, he is free to do that. But not on the basis of reputation destruction, really calumny,” he added.

More at the link.

The Bishop has more extensive thoughts both on Pual Ryan, Catholic politicos in the public square, and Catholic Social Justice applications to this election at at his  own column Subsidiarity, solidarity, and the lay mission

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Lots of Articles on How Southern Evangelicals View A Mormon Catholic GOP Ticket

I keep reading articles about what those Evangelicals and in particular  Southern Protestants must be thinking about a Mormon/ Catholic GOP ticket.

My sense is they are not nearly fascinated about this dynamic as people think.

A few observations of why this continues to annoy me and this of course also has regional Southern impact since there are so many protestants  down here. The Mormon element is of course new , and I guess my last point hits that point somewhat.

First for whatever reason the long term alliance between the Catholic vote and Southern Protestants/evangelicals   that was quite strong in the FDR days and beyond is just ignored.

Second among Southern Protestants there is diversity and voting for a Catholic at many levels of Government is not new.

Third it fails to note the continued migration of Catholics to the South and mid South that has been going for decades. From industry to people that stayed after serving time in the very military base saturated south it is very likely people actual know , work live, and play with Catholics down here than let us say 1920. See Atlanta See North Carolina etc etc.

Last but not least down here I am sensing some relief that some one besides a "born again" is not at the top of the ticket. It does get exhausting I think for many of my evangelical neighbors to have one of theirs at the top of the ticket because the hits their faith takes in the public square.

Archdiocese of Washington D.C. Has Produced Nice Short Priesthood Vocation Vid

I think this a very well done You Tube VID !!!

Time for the Feast of the Assumption and Tribute to Elvis - Southern Catholicism

Mixed feelings on that video :)

A kind of fun quirk of American Catholicism that happens in Memphis each year on the date of our Lady's Assumption

August 15 is always a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics in the United States. Here at St. Paul, the mass intention for our 3:00 PM Mass is for Elvis Presley. Visitors from around the world join St. Paul's parishioners in a very moving and spirit-filled liturgy. With music led by the St. Paul Choir, we gather together a great mix of languages, cultures, and religious backgrounds to remember, give thanks, and pray. This mass celebrates Our Lady and pays our respects to our former Whitehaven neighbor, Elvis.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Looking At This Past Sunday 's Mass Readings for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time ( Bread of Life Discourse Continues )

With the Olympic being over I hope to blog more and especially do more of  My Five Weeks of Eucharistic Posts - July 29 through August 26 ( Bread of Life ) .

I have been pretty glued to the tv and computer trying to get feeds ofthe different games.

Yesterday at Sunday Mass we continued the  Bread of Discourse. As I am doing each week I am looking what the commentary of the readings. See Taste and See the Goodness of the Lord: Readings for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Romney's Embargo In Talking About His Mormon Faith Is Hurting Him

So argus Ross Douthat at the NYT and I happen to agree. See Romney’s Mormon Story

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Is Obama Really Much Less Pro Life Than Romney

This is the clam Morning Minion at Vox Nova tries to make at  Being Pro-Life: Rhetoric Versus Reality. As to the  Stericycle issue go here.

As to the broader claim he makes this comment at the post by Law Prof Rick Garnett I think is largely correct:

Once again — and I apologize for being a broken record — this claim of Prof. Cafardi’s is badly mistaken. It is beyond debate, among serious observers of American politics, that a GOP administration will use its powers, and a GOP-controlled legislature will use its powers, to reasonably regulate abortion (and to appoint judges who will uphold such regulations) to a far greater extent than their Democratic counterparts (who are nearly-certain to use their powers to reduce such regulations, and to subsidize abortions, and to appoint judges who will strike down regulations of abortion). People as smart as Morning’s Minion and Prof. Cafardi know this, and so — in my view — really should stop asserting that the abortion-related stakes in this election are not stark. And, this starkness has nothing to do with the two candidates’ personal virtues or how they made their money. The *political* reality is, again, that administrations staffed by Democrats promote abortion rights, and those staffed by Republicans do not (or, at least, do so much less). I’m happy to concede that reasonable, faithful people can disagree about whether, in the end, this stark difference should matter. But such people should not pretend the difference is not there.

This political reality of course is manifested every day. There are reasons pro abortion groups see Romney as a threat and will spend lots of money and resources till election day.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Signs Religious Liberty and Tolerance To Return To Vanderbilt Campus ? - Newspaper Op Ed

I have posted a good bit on the problems with religious liberty at the Vanderbilt campus. If he can happen there one has to think places like Tulane and who knows where  else might be next.The Catholic Campus Minister gives an overview of what happened here.

It was then of great interest to see that the Nashville Newspaper had an editorial to mark the occasion of  the resurrection of the position of university chaplain and the appointment of the Rev. Mark Forrester as chaplain and director of religious life for the private university. See New Vanderbilt chaplain a good choice

It is refreshing to see a major newspaper stand for religious liberty on campus and as you can tell from their jabs they still think that Vanderbilt has some learning to do.

In the piece the Catholic campus minister seems to like this appointment and who knows maybe this will be steps to get Vanderbilt Catholic and others back on campus as an official organization again .

Though certain remarks made by good Rev Mark Forrester in this press release  make me wonder if he is going to just be carrying out the regimes orders. To wit:

During the past year, questions arose around religious life at Vanderbilt, particularly how the university’s nondiscrimination policy applies to religious student groups – some of which feel their beliefs and missions are inconsistent with the policy designed to protect the entire Vanderbilt community from discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation.

Forrester said he welcomes this kind of dialogue on campus and believes “faith via conversation” can play an important role.

“The faith we practice weekly through prayer, liturgy and study are core teachings that help shape and maintain personal continuity with tradition, but what vitalizes these beliefs are the experiences that cause us to grapple with them. And we can only grapple with truth within the free-flowing, ‘all-doubts-are-welcome’ dynamic of religion,” he said.

I am not sure what that last line I put in bold indicate as to the current troubles over autonomy and leadership.

However on a positive note Father Baker sees this as Godsend. So perhaps there is hope for Catholics and others on campus that the Vandy folks realize people are not just "playing Church" on campus and deserve autonomy in leadership.

If it takes a combination of student, alumni, national religious comment , newspapers op eds , with a heap of WHAT THE HELL moments from the Tennessee legislature maybe it will happen. Hopefully this is a sign that Vandy Catholics and others can return to campus with full rights as all other student groups on campus.

This is an important battle that has implications beyond Vandy.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Confusing Conflicting Messages On Catholic Diocesan Web Sites ( Example Archdiocese of New York City )

The whole Al Smith Dinner invite of President Obama has been in the Catholic social media line of fire this week. I am actually am a little protective of Cardinal Dolan here against his critics. I might post on that later.

However this matter brings up a related issues we perhaps see too much. How do we know what we see on an official Diocese web site is the mind of the "Bishop" or the Diocese.

Strangely this has come up in this case in a real practical way. See from Mirrors of Justice Update regarding Archdiocese of New York

As the earlier his earlier post indicated he assumed people in charge " approved that message". We appears not , but it is certainly something I would have assumed.

The topic here is not so much the  Al Smith Dinner , but how to avoid this confusion I think.

Detroit : Just Another Story Where Parish Adoration of The Eucharist Brings Blessings From Unity to Vocations

This seems again and again like a blueprint to success for the Church and the Faith  on so many levels.

That is a very good story on just a few Parishes in one area and the results it brings.

Nun in Training Gives Best Take on America Magazine and CARA Study On Religious Vocations Controversy

There has been a lot of back and forth over an America article on a CARA study, conducted in 2009, of religious vocations in the US.

With the LCWR meeting happening and all that drama tensions are a tad tense.

One American female prenovice, aka nun in training has a must read and take on all this at Shame on America Magazine (and all of us really..)

I think those are good observations. I also think it picks up a huge neglected part of this story that I have picked up from some people in these Orders. That is even in the LCWR and in particular the religious orders that belong too it there is of much more diverse opinion on this than the media ( Catholic  and secular) report.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Almost 30 Percent of Catholic Diocese of Nashville Tennessee Seminary Class Are Converts

Technically the percentage is 29.4 percent.

Thanks be to God for those in RCIA and the others that planted those seeds. Imagine if we took the Great Commission seriously ? Among other things Priesthood shortage problem is taken a bite out of a good bit.

See Nashville Bishop announces thirty-four men to study for priesthood as 2012-13 seminarians for the various stats.

From Rome Herald Empire Enquirer 236 AD : Catholic Leadership Escalates Culture Wars - Abortion

It is sort of an irony that as more and more Evangelicals are rediscovering "Tradition" and the Church Fathers that some Catholics are going in the opposite direction. In fact they are almost taking a extreme weird red letter" fundamentalist" like  reading of Scripture. This is called in another irony is called "evolving".

If the conversation starts out "Jesus never talked about that" it is a good sign the conversation is about to go down hill fast.

On that note Msgr. Charles Pope has a great post up at  Ancient Testimonies Against Abortion. Be sure to read the comments where other text is mentioned.

There is truly nothing new under the sun. It is telling that many issues of the so called culture war ( that seems to be an ever expanding list ) were at issue when the faith was in it 's infant stage. In a society that was quite hostile to it.

Here we see quite a consistent voice  from Church Fathers from both the East and West on this topic.

Incoming Archbishop Of San Francisco Say No Drag Show At Parish - OUTRAGE Occurs

New Ways Ministry has collected the angry responses. Which I think when viewed by most practicing Catholics would have them shaking their heads.

This card is predictably played

"It looks like the Archdiocese of San Francisco wants to protect its image by not condoning cross-dressers. By doing so they show that they care more for their image than they do for gay people trying to overcome alcohol addiction. Here the church looks like it values its own image more than it does human life. This is not Christian, but callous,’ Camisa said.”

Um ok.

John Maginnis Hits The Real Issue As To the Bobby Jindal " Exorcism "

John Maginnis who has covered Louisiana forever has an excellent article on the Jindal Exorcism "issue" and in second half of it hits on something I have been saying for weeks. See Demonizing Gov. Jindal's exorcism

To the part I am interested in:

..............Those willing to shell out $29.95 to read the article online will be struck as much by his account of the ritual as by how he expresses his caring, conflicted feelings toward his platonic friend Susan, though she, allegedly possessed by the devil, sounds a bit of a drama queen.

Still unsure of what he had witnessed, in conclusion he acknowledged "the reality of spirits, angels and other related phenomena that I can neither touch nor see." There is nothing wacky or wildly zealous here, for Jindal's writing only exposes a young convert's unguarded, searching spirit, his compassion and humanity, the likes of which we have not read or heard from him since. Congregants in Baptist and Pentecostal churches may have experienced the authentic Jindal, though. According to those who have heard him three or four times, he usually says the same thing the same way.

Perhaps what really holds Jindal back is not the candor of his youth but his bland, carefully scripted persona of today. Talking points have their place, but voters are still attracted to leaders they can connect with on a personal level, even if it's just a feeling. That could be Romney's greatest shortcoming in the end, despite Republican fervor to get rid of the President, and why Jindal for vice president doesn't solve the problem.

A national TV producer who once met with Jindal and later talked to me was suitably impressed with his intellect, but asked, closing her fist to her chest, "Where's the heart?"

He showed more of it 18 years ago in the New Oxford Review, even if he wishes now he hadn't. His attitude might change one day, when he's gray around the temples, after he's had the job he really wants, or realizes he won't get it, and feels that by speaking straight from the heart he has nothing to lose, if he ever did.

As much as I support Jindal he has a big point. Which is why I have been saying the article on the whole I think was a plus for him. It does make him a little bit the less of the technocrat in that we get to see the man behind the curtain.

Now I slightly disagree that being Governor of Louisiana of Jindal is not a job Bobby really wants. I think we are basically dealing with Jindal's personality. The fact that Bobby seems to be giving the rather "same" story in Churches is rather telling too. I am not saying he is insincere. But again he is guarded. It's striking that the preachers close to Bobby have not been able to convince him to open it up or change it up a little.

Bobby has assets. In many ways he has very much profited from Louisiana natural disasters.

His "I am in control we are going to get this through this" persona is comforting. In fact I have seen how Bobby interacts with the people on the ground encouraging them and it works.  However thanks be to God the State nor the Nation is in constant natural disaster mode. That means in other times Jindal has to bring something extra to the table .

I do think if Jindal has higher ambitions in the future he might have difficulty in bringing that. In the end after 40 odd years you can't just can't change who you are overnight.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mary Ann Glendon - Just Another Old Catholic White Woman For Mitt Romney ?

Morning Minion over at VOX NOVA  has a post up Who are the “Catholics for Romney” co-chairs?

I am not going to go through defending all the good Catholics that Morning Minion seems to have a very well  to put it bluntly a superficial analysis  of their merits and their careers. Skin color and age is  all that seems to matter as to diversity.

However I was shocked at the treatment of former Envoy Mary Ann Glendon. It was basically "has strong ties to the ‘Weigel wing” of the Catholic Church in America, and its alliance with the evangelical Republican right."


Back to the Catholics for Romney: what do we have here? Six white people, including five white men. The only Hispanic ambassador, appointed by Obama, is obviously absent. Two people in their 80s. Three people in their 70s. One baby boomer, a sprightly 59-year-old!

So here we have it. Forget that they are Vatican ambassadors. What stands out more is that the Catholics for Romney co-chairs are old, white, and most likely pretty wealthy, people – and nearly all men. How does this compare to the complexion of the US Catholic Church today? How about in 30 years time?

Well ok.

As to former Envoy Mary Ann Glendon  of course her accomplishments are a mile long  in the Church, for women, in the law , and for her country seems sort of not important . For extensive look at her published  work go here.

Nor is it mentioned that Glendon spent some time working for Civil Rights in Mississippi at a very dangerous time. I am not sure she was a big name but her activities were observed  note many believe files are missing as a whole from the Commission archives ) by the Mississippi Spy Agency that existed back then. Type in "Glendon" in the search name feature and her name will come up. From this spy report here and here  it does not look like it glamorous work .

From that time she had a civil marriage with an African American attorney  which from this account at some pointed resulted having her interracial child in a southern hospital segregated ward.

Of course such an diverse life experience sometimes comes from being "old".

From that last link:

Laurence H. Tribe, a professor of constitutional law who supports a woman's right to choice, described Glendon as "an insightful and probing scholar" who is "charming and persuasive and can be authoritative without being overbearing."

Of her political views, Glendon says: "I always laugh when I hear myself described as a conservative."She characterizes herself as "politically homeless," because she believes that she is "more liberal than the hard right wing of the Republican Party and more conservative than the liberal wing of the Democratic Party."

On most economic issues, Glendon says: "My thinking grows straight out of the social teachings of the Catholic church. The Earth and its resources are the common heritage of mankind and the rich are privileged and should give to their brothers and sisters."This has led her to favor debt-reduction policies embraced by the developing world and made her a powerful advocate of greater support for women and children in divorce.

She does seem close to Romney and if he does obtain the White House I have to think people on the right and yes even on the Catholic left will be glad she is there.

The poster here seems to have a crystal ball and has figured well all the Latino, minority voters, and young folks are going to go. Well maybe so or maybe not. Morning Minion himself just 4 years ago was making bold proclamations that the GOP would now be forever AMEN just the party electoral wise of the "old confederacy". Well that had to be rather radically adjusted just two years later.