Monday, April 30, 2012

University of Louisiana Lafayette Catholic Student Center Gets Article In National Catholic Register

This is a very nice article at the National Catholic Register regarding the University of Louisiana Lafayette Catholic Campus Ministry.It's part of a series of articles that are being done on  Catholic campus ministries

at secular universities.

Cajun Catholics Serve Home Cookin’ of Faith  -University of Louisiana at Lafayette Has Active Catholic Center

Its a great University, great fun town, and a very good Catholic Newman Center. I spent many many good  times visiting the Catholic center down there. A good place to send your children.

Florida Methodist Minister Walks the Aisle At Atheists Convention - Gives Confession of Non Faith

Have to put this lady and her family on a list of people I pray for.

I think NPR did a pretty good job with this article. See From Minister To Atheist: A Story  Of Losing Faith .

This appears to be one of a series of articles on people that lost Faith. There are no doubt Priests that were or are in her situation too.

On March 26, at the American Atheists' convention in Bethesda, MacBain seems almost giddy. The day before, she decided she would go before the conference's 1,500 or so nonbelievers and announce that she is officially an atheist.

"I am nervous," she says, "but at the same time I am so excited. I slept like a baby last night because I knew I wasn't going to have to live a lie anymore. Such freedom."

Moments later, in the darkened, cavernous conference room, MacBain steps onstage.

"My name is Teresa," she begins. "I'm a pastor currently serving a Methodist church — at least up to this point" — the audience laughs — "and I am an atheist."

Hundreds of people jump to their feet. They hoot and clap for more than a minute. MacBain then apologizes to them for being, as she put it, "a hater."

"I was the one on the right track, and you were the ones that were going to burn in hell," she says. "And I'm happy to say as I stand before you right now, I'm going to burn with you."

A few minutes later, MacBain strides off the stage into a waiting crowd. One man is crying as he tells her that her speech is "one of the most moving things I've seen in years." Another woman says she, too, had been a born-again Christian. "Join the club," she says as she hugs MacBain.

"I have never felt so appreciated and cared for, you know?" MacBain says later, noting that she has left one community — Christianity — for another. "New member, just been born — that's what it feels like."

A good well done article. Read it all as they say.

United Methodist Church This Week Might Withdraw Association From Abortion Group that Lobbied For HHS Birth Control Mandate

I have been watching the United Methodist General Convention down in Tampa Florida via social media. The Convention meets every 4 yrs , and is now into it's second week.

The UMC convention is indeed a rather unique bird among American Mainline Protestant Churches. That is it has a huge foreign delegate voting  group . I have seen stats saying 47 percent of UMC delegates were non American with 40 percent of those being African. The African delegation has been, is now, and projected to be very critical in the future.

The sense I get is that it is playing a crucial role in maintaining the UMC 's mission of Social Justice while on the theological ,and scriptural issues keeping it more linked to historical Christian views. The big issue that will get the noise this week is "Gay Marriage" and Gay same sex partnered ministers.

On that see this piece No change expected on UMC policy re: homosexuality .

In that piece a rather big possible bombshell is also there.

Sparks also reports there is exciting news for pro-life United Methodists. "They approved not sending any United Methodist moneys to the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, a pro-abortion advocacy group," he shares. "Beyond that, they approved and will be sending to the floor of this General Conference legislation that would withdraw the entire United Methodist Church from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights for the first time ever." That will be voted on later this week as well.

That is a rather huge deal. The Methodists are dealing with a ton of issues this week . I am also not that familiar with their legislative processs though I am doing my best to get up to speed.

The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice , which has a new leader it was announced today , plays of course a role in promoting , in the Catholic and indeed many Methodists view , anti pro abortion policies both in the USA and abroad.

However it also played a critical role in promoting the HHS birth control mandate which to say the least has MAJOR religious liberty issues for Catholics and other faith groups. In fact the leadership of the Coalition were upset it did not go far enough!! Regular readers of this blog know how dismayed I was that for the first time in recent memory an American Protestant group was playing a role in restricting Catholic Religious freedom ( as well as setting precedents for other worrisome things ).

For that see my link at United Methodist Church Doubles Down On Repressing Catholic Religious Freedom , and THIS MUST read from Reformed Pastor that gives a lot of background to the role of coalition at On Your Knees, Pro-Lifers (UPDATED) . I wonder if the HHS mandate might have  been the political straw that broke the camel's back  as to the link with the Religious Coalition For Reproductive Choice.

Atthis point I am not sure how real these threats that the UMC might make the break. I did see this tweet from a concerned Pastor and activist that was at the convention over the weekend.

28 Apr Becca Clark ‏ @pastorbecca

@RCRChoice the #UMC is dangerously close to withdrawing, and women need help. All call in Tampa! #gc2012

4:16 AM - 28 Apr 12 via Twitter for iPhone · Details

28 Apr Becca Clark ‏ @pastorbecca
If there are #UMC folks who care about #ReproductiveChoice, we need your support today. 9 people can't defend women's rights alone. #gc2012.

So we shall what develops.

It would be a good time to pray too.


First Global Orthodox Council Since 787 AD Could Produce One USA Eastern Orthodox Church ?

Get Relgion has a good piece looking at news story that seems to be rather important. See How to cover a complex religion story 101.

The rather big bombshell to me at least :

On orders from patriarchs in Constantinople, Russia, Serbia and elsewhere, all Orthodox bishops in this country are working on a plan for one American Church.

The patriarchs say they want to approve such a plan at a yet-unscheduled Great and Holy Council of global Orthodoxy. The last such council was in A.D. 787. In 2010, 66 American bishops formed the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, to devise the plan.

A Global Council of Orthodox Christians Bishops seems well rather a huge deal. It's like Council of Trent , Vatican I , and Vatican II combined. What I am left wondering is the Orthodox time frame and  what is sort of the date they are aiming at for such a Council. I have to admit such a Council would be very exciting , and at the same time a tad oh boy watch out".

If we are looking to see such a Council occur this decade perhaps it's time that the news media start covering Orthodoxy more here in the USA.

Diocese of Lafayette Louisiana Has Requiem Mass and Burial For 118 Unclaimed People ( Article and Photo Gallery )

I wanted to update a story that hit on a few weeks ago. The Diocese of Lafayette  this weekend buried and gave a Mass to the 118 unclaimed people. Some of those were also veterans. The story from the local paper is here , and there a great photo gallery of 41 pictures here.

I am tad worried what happens when this Gannett newspaper goes behind a paywall in the future so I am also link the Deacon Bench  who has copied a nice portion of the article at this site.

Richard Doerflinger With Catholic Bishops Conference On When Democrats Supported Conscience Rights

Again as I keep pointing out this is not really all that ancient Americna political history. See via Public Discourse Is Conscience Partisan? A Look at the Clinton, Moynihan, and Kennedy Records

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The New York Times Weird Obsession With the Catholic Church ( Vatican vs Nuns )

The New York Times this weekend gives us two the Vatican is just horrible screeds op-eds. From Maureen Dowd see Bishops Play Church Queens as Pawns and from  NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF We Are All Nuns .

A few observations if I may.

First I think its pretty clear that both columnists have not read the Vatican document , and if they had they are misleading.

Second , what is with the New York Times obsession with the Catholic Church? I fully get that there is a difference between the Op-Ed page and other reporting. However in this pundit age the op-eds and throwing meat to the wolves is what get the attention. I have always wondered what Baptist, Lutherans, Church of Christ, Hindus, Muslims, think about the SECULAR paper of record  odd obsessive coverage of Catholicism that seems one sided.. If one notices there are no people at the NYT that seem to have ample space to display their issues with Lutherans at the NYT.

Third, related to that last point you will notice that Kristof nor Dowd do columns on the horrible Eastern Orthodox Church and their various "sins" as to women. Why not?

I mentioned the other day I was wondering if the contribution of Vatican reporter John Allen would play a role in reporting of the Vatican vs Sister things. See Will Vatican VS American Nun Storyline Be More Nuanced Next Week?

John Allen is a rare bird. He is respected by both the Catholic "left" and Catholic "right" as to his reporting. I have to think he is both on Kristof and Dowd's radar. Yet there is no indication that they took his reporting into account as to their columns. I have a hard time believing they did not read his piece before hitting the submit button.

I don't care what side of the Vatican vs nuns debate you are on but the reality is this story is a lot more complicated than is being portrayed in the media.. Both Dowd and Kristoff and their master the NYT continues to do a disservice to their readers by their simplistic coverage of Catholic matters. To put it bluntly their readership is not getting informed which is sad for such a newspaper.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Will Vatican VS American Nun Storyline Be More Nuanced Next Week?

The Anchoress has a good piece LCWR and Rome: the Opera of Catholicism that is talking about the depressing  predicatble narrative that seems to be accepted of the supposed Vatican war on American nuns.

As the Anchoress points out people  actually might want to read the document itself that seems very much more pastoral than crackdown. As the Anchoress notes toward the end:

...The corrections prescribed to the LCWR are few, and in fact would not be extraordinary to the life of any committed Catholic layperson: they include liturgical prayer; Eucharistic focus; the putting away of “other” minds in order to conform more closely to Christ’s, and most challengingly, obedience to primary understandings — our shared stumbling-block since Eden. Even Jesus struggled with it once...

The very well regarded journalist  John Allen has a good detailed piece today Notes on the LCWR overhaul

A lot of good facts and backgroudn there. Basically let us not only get some stuff right about what is going on but also stop acting like we are defcon 1 at this very moment.

The question I have is this.

Allen is no doubt read by many of the reporters , and religious pundits that have commented on this event . I have no indication that don't view him as top shelf in the journalism department. How much of Allen's insight might be mentioned or incorporated  in to the articles we see this week? I will try to observe that . However everyone might have got bored of this too and then moved on. However as to religious media I suspect that will not be the case. We shall see.

When Race Is Overplayed In Media Readers Miss the Real Story - Dateline New Orleans Elections

There was some a interesting City Council race in New Orleans that is I think is an example of lazy news reporting on politics. That is making  the story so about race. Race no doubt plays some role often and I will admit in some races a major role. But too often it seems the default position of some reporters. The problem you don't get the full story of whats really happening.  I think this City Council race is NOLA is sort of an example of this. I suspect this can be duplicated many times around the country

On a side note , I think as to stories on a national level "Religion" is being used the same way sadly. That is not used correctly as part of   a very sophisticated analysis of elections.

As to this there  race are two stories on this I can not recommend enough. See from The Gambit The real game changers for sort of a overview . Then  go to this very well done post ( "Unspoken" Rules Of NOLA Political Coverage or Why We aren't "In" )  to see in detail how this played out in the media.

Random Thoughts On The Catholic Young Adults The Church Might Miss

I have been following the big United Methodist Conference they have every four years on the twitter. Like Catholics and most everyone else the YOUTH / YOUNG PEOPLE/YOUNG ADULTS is a major issue. The issues range from how do we get young people in the Church to hear our voice. So nothing new there.

I don't think a month goes by as to the Catholic angle I am preaching on the importance of College Campus Ministry and how that can solve a whole host of problems.  We see countless examples of around our nation.

However looking at various Methodist youth leaders talk about this it dawned on me that even the youth /young adult crowd maybe are not engaging all this demo. This is a problem.

A few thoughts-

What about young adults that don't go to college ? I can not speak for the Methodists but it does seem thing like Theology Tap, and like things seem mostly college educated. From the person working at Wal-Mart to the well paid Roughneck are we seeing them? I wonder if sometimes as to young adults engaging in this movement if they are sort of self segregating without realizing it.  I do think on the Catholic angle things like the Knights can help on this. At least in the past among males this seems to be pretty mixed

For those that go too college are we just hitting the traditional 4 yr colleges to the exclusion of Junior Colleges where many go. A place where also people are also thinking vocations. Yes I know the that strains already strained resources but well ....

For the non college crowd how do we get them involved , and as important guide them as to looking at the possibility of future vocations that God might be calling them too.

Fianlly what about the military both abroad and at home. How many of these youth leave the Church because well we just don't just think about them.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why Do Atheists Think Hating Gays Is Wrong ( Clever )

Bad Catholic is so clever!! I don't have this talent. Be sure the check out the link The Love Atheists Have For Gay Folks The non believers have shown up and the debate is on.

Sort of clever way too start a discussion with some humor that is not that biting.

Important Overlooked Aspect Of Paul Ryan Georgetown Budget Speech- Leslie Whittington and Family 911 Victims

The big Paul Ryan budget speech at Georgetown is over with all the  Catholic Social Justice controversy and related items. I thought it was a good speech. The full text is here.

People , and especially Catholics  , can and should  in good faith agree or disagree on the merits . I hope those merits are3 debated in a civil and Christian fashion .

However if we can all pull back from the disagreement for a second  for something to be noted.

Thank you so much for hosting this event. The challenges our country faces right now are complex and can be daunting, and the need for well-informed public discourse has rarely been greater.

That’s why this lecture series is such a moving tribute to the memory of Leslie Whittington. This policy dialogue elevates our debates, and I am truly honored that you’ve asked me to participate this year......

Wait who is Leslie Whittington?

She  along with her husband  Charles Falkenberg , and 2 daughers Zoe and Dana Falkenberg were 911 victims as the rerrorist crashed their plane into the Pentagon on Sept 11.

She was also a very distant cousin of mine I discovered when doing family research. We are both direct descendants of :

John Whittington, b. 1724, Albemarle county, Virginia, USA

Mother Sarah Woodroffe, b. Abt 1724, Surrey county, Virginia, USA ,

and his son
Cornelius Whittington, b. 24 Apr 1749, Albemarle county, Virginia, USA , d. Aft 27 Nov 1837, Liberty, Amite county, Mississippi, Mother - Rebecca
Cornelius Whittington served in the Revolutionary war, was an early important pioneer of Mississippi , and basically along with my other Great (s) Grandfather helped found the Baptist Church In Mississippi.

The Pentagon Memorial Site has this info-

Charles Falkenberg, his wife Leslie Whittington, and their daughters, Zoe and Dana Falkenberg, were killed on September 11, 2001, when terrorists crashed their plane into the Pentagon. They lived in University Park, Maryland and were on their way to Australia, where Leslie planned to work for a few months at the Australian National University in Canberra.

Leslie, 45, was an Associate Professor of Public Policy and an Associate Dean at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. She was known for her excellent teaching and organizational skills, her wit and her research on economic issues affecting children and families. Leslie was equally admired for her work in the PTA, neighborhood babysitting co-op and other volunteer endeavors. Before going to Georgetown University, she served as an assistant professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. She earned her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Colorado in 1984.

Charles, 45, was a gifted software engineer and scientist. An expert in developing software for scientific data management, he managed NASA-related databases and served as director of research for ECOlogic of Lanham, Maryland. He was known by colleagues and friends as a devoted father, community activist and energetic volunteer for the PTA and Adelphi Dolphin Swim Club. Charles graduated at the top of his class, with B.S. and M.S. degrees, from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he had served as a faculty research scientist.

Charles and Leslie were married in 1984 in Denver, where they had graduated from East High School. Zoe, 8, and Dana, 3, were at the center of their lives. Known for her determination, intelligence and ambition, Zoe was a top student at University Park Elementary School. She was active in Girl Scouts, ballet and swim team. She appeared in the school’s production of “Brigadoon” and a local production of “The King and I.” She was greatly loved by her friends, teammates, teachers and her friends’ parents.

Dana was a robust, curly-haired girl, who was seen as a miracle by her parents. She was intense, funny and a charmer. She celebrated her third birthday on July 21, 2001 with her Falkenberg grandparents; her Grandfather Falkenberg shares the same birth date.

The girls were the adored focus of their grandparents, aunts and uncles. They were nurtured by their community, their nannies Sola Adeyale and Gloria Henry, and by the teachers of Greenwood Nursery School and University Park Elementary School.

Charles was the son of Janis and Bill Falkenberg of Denver. His sister is Ruth Falkenberg, also of Denver; his brother, Chris, preceded him in death. Very special family members are Anne Mansfield and Kathy McCarthy.

Leslie was the daughter of Ruth Koch and longtime stepfather George Koch of Athens, Georgia. Her father is Dr. H.G. Whittington of Houston, Texas. Her surviving siblings are Kirk Whittington of Atlanta, Georgia, and Sarah Guest of Watkinsville, Georgia. Her brother, Greg Whittington, died in 1991. Her half brothers are Michael and Alex Whittington; her stepbrothers are Eric and Jonathan Koch. Her stepsisters are Sara Kochav and Amy Hamilton. She also left loving aunts, uncles, cousins and spouses of siblings.

Charles and Leslie were hard-working professionals who lived their belief that families come first. All four family members were talented, beautiful people who loved life and other people. They were anticipating their adventure in Australia and their return to a new house in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Their future looked so bright.

CNN has this piece Remembering economist Leslie Whittington

Anyway in all this controversy I think it's important to recall in part why Paul Ryan was there. It was partly to have a speaker and subject fitting to  the importance of this woman and family.

I think no matter your position Georgetown chose wisely.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Archbishop Chaput Must Intervene in Philadephia Prom Travesty 2012

Some people view me no doubt as a hack sometimes as I defend Holy Mother Church. For those that do I will now shock you. I am about to bring the hammer down

The Archdiocese of Philadephia  appears to have one of the most idiotic polices as to PROMS I have ever heard of. See  Amanda Dougherty, Junior At Catholic High School, Banned From Prom For Having No Date

I have never heard of such a thing. I was sort of a late bloomer in the looks department. I was a rather geek like looking guy in High School. I was one of those guys or girls that had that transformation around my College Freshman year  in the looks and awkward department. So I am sort of very much in favor of dateless people going to the prom.

Further I had a good time at mine. Some pretty classmates danced with me , and it was one of those bonding Senior moments. I am sure there is some justification for this stance but I can't think what it might be.

Further for a Catholic school system this is sort of weird. What about Prom folks that might be , even at that early age, might be contemplating a religious life. Maybe they are not into dating for various reason including that.   SORRY  DATE NO PROM you got to miss out on the epic High School experience. Yes we all know the Prom is sort of overrated with all the buildup but still one cannot realize that till you go.It is still a rite of passage.

Pro Life Victories in Pennsylvania and Mitt Romney

The abortion political wars are pretty intriguing to watch. We can call them "culture wars" which sadly more of the Catholic left has adopted as a description.

I have been around for a while now and the talking point of "the younger generation" is not interested in all this abortion stuff has been around since the early days of Reagan. However year after year the prediction that the GOP will lose voters by their pro life position never seems to materialize.

It is also fascinating because both the pro abortion and anti abortion sides have what seems to have victories and depressing defeats. The issue is still  much in flux. Not a bad state of affairs since it was envisioned Roe V Wade would silence all this stuff as a political matter.

So last night's elections as to the State House in  the Pennsylvania primaries were very important. See Planned Parenthood’s Bad, Bad Night

Those races might be an indication that people are not buying that ultrasound regulations are like rape , and defunding Planned Parenthood is a Cardinal sin.

So what does this have to do with Romney.

For me this election is ALL about the court. With conservative Judges on the Supreme Court getting some age on them this election is critical. Even Justice Kennedy , in which many prolifers look with a wary eye, has allowed through his opinions for this discussion to continue at State level. You add the district courts and appellate courts to the equation and this election is huge.

Romney is viewed with some scorn by some prolifers. However not my me. This is one area , the picking of Judges and Justices, where he can throw the right some red meat. In fact he will have little choice not to do so. This is one area where he will need to appease the pro life base. Further with the former Envoy to the Holy See and pro lifer Mary Ann Glendon advising him I am pretty pumped abt this aspect of a Romney White House.

I am under no illusion that a Court in the immediate future will overturn Roe V Wade outright. But the sort of limiting it and chipping away at it so the discussion can continue in the States is vital for pro-life success.

I hope the PA results were noticed last night.

Catholics and Vatican Forces In State Affairs Again - Death Penalty Abolished In Connecticut

Lisa Miller , of all people , gives some recognition  to "powerful" Catholic forces some not even Americans that played a role in the Death Penalty being abolished in Connecticut. See Catholic activists pushing politicians to turn tide against the death penalty

A nice piece that I will forgive this little snark inserted in the piece: " Powerful, vocal Roman Catholics have been much in the news of late, mostly for their hard-line positions on abortion and birth control, and their self-serving rhetoric on the subject of religious rights in the health-care debate"

I can't help but notice the Church should get out of politics , beware of foreign Potentates ( the Vatican) , take away their tax exemption, violation of Church and State crowd   have been silent on this today.

Which leads to the obvious conclusion that some Speech and actions in the public square are "good" (Execution , the Poor, The Onzone layer , increasing social programs)  while others is "bad " ( gay marriage , abortion, any thing that is the distant cousin of sex , medical ethics ) and should be prohibited.

Which is one reason I am glad we don't make these choice on CONTENT of speech we like or don't like.

I am not that pro State Execution except for certain cases ( Terrorist, Treason in time of War, etc) so I am glad to see this happen. It also is good that this happened at a legislative level and not by dubious Judicial Fiat.

Louisiana Legislature 's Ill Advised End Run Around Electoral College

I learned today via the twitter from Times Picyaune Reporter Bill Barrow that a Louisiana House committee passed the popular vote bill that is pretty much an end run around the United States Electoral College.

The  bill would obligate La. electoral votes to top vote-getter  after same strategy is adopted by states totaling 270 EC votes.

To me as someone from Louisiana this is foolish beyond words.

The above 2000  Bush / Gore map of the vote county by county map has been seen a good bit. Some people see BUSH vs GORE or GOP VS Democrats in that map. I see rural vs urban.

A few stats from that map:

Counties won:

Gore – 677
Bush – 2,434.

Square miles won:
Gore – 580,134
Bush – 2,427,039

Population of counties won:
Gore – 127 million
Bush – 143 million

That was 2000. I suspect the popular vote margin would be more narrow now because of the rural vs urban dynamic.

Not everything is GOP versus Democratic Party. There are rural and urban concerns. There is in the end so much of the budget pie to go around. When a rural community in South Louisiana wants a Levee to protect itself from flooding they are in competition with lets say folks in urban San Francisco.

Think of Transportation!! Amtrack might be the best thing  in the world for people in that Northeastern Urban areas. However in more rural American, Amtrack has less value because well it is not here for the most part. So while we are waiting for Highways and bridges we are very much in competition with that Amtrack money.

The examples are numerous. Also "Urban" Monroe and places like even Urban Metro New Orleans are not going to help that much bringing this into balance.

We are coming to a point where a President  hopeful  could pretty much just focus on urban areas ,and not give too much of a flip for the rural areas. This would very true of an incumbent President who would likely not be challenged very seriously in a party primary.

Now this is great for urban people and is in their best interest. But for the rest of us serfs in mainly rural areas that produce the energy and food for this country that is not a great deal. In fact it looks like a pretty huge power inbalance.

On a State level it would hurt places with not such great populations numbers. LIKE LOUISIANA. The Federal Govt is very much linked to some of the causes of Coastal Erosion down here. They also it seems don't seem to in a hurry to fix it or spend money on it.

When the Florida  Everglades is in danger people scream something gets done. As to Louisiana Coastal Erosion not so much. That is very linked to population numbers.

A view of the world of URBAN versus Rural in Federal Govt land was shown not too long ago . See Ed Markey’s Trying To Screw Louisiana Again. The key here is poltical party is not really key here. Its Urban Metro Reps against more rural reps.

Why oh why would Louisiana at this time ( or indeed any time) with a already weak Congressional Delegation want to have less influence. Louisiana being a working Coast  needs to have more influence not less. So therefore it makes sense to me that a future President might at least have to go through the motions to get our electoral votes.

Happy Birthday Archdiocese of New Orleans ( 219 Years Old Today )

The diocese of Louisiana and the Floridas was established on this date  on April 25, 1793.

The More You Know !!

LCWR and the Sex Abuse Bomb ( Don't Look Over There )

Father Z has post commenting on the musing of Sally Quinn over at Washington Post on the Vatican / American Nun Leadership news. See Sally Quinn of WaPo: a lesson in getting it wrong. Father Z drops the sex abuse issue bomb.

Like Father Z I have rather outspoken , and mixed views on SNAP which is the main sexual abuse "clergy" victims group. However if the media is going to hold a Conference of Bishops accountable to SNAP and sex abuse issues why not a confence of women?

This issue has not been really a secret but I think because :
(1) These are women
(2) These are often people with progressive views
(3) THEY HELP THE POOR as we are constantly reminded
(4) They at times like to make life "interesting" for the Catholic power structure

They get a pass.

Now I have no idea why  LCWR seems to be stonewalling on sex abuse issues. I honestly would not want to deal with SNAP either under their current leadership.

Still if one is in a cynical mood one would think in order to protect their Sisters ( a female Clericalism) , and to protect the assets that delaying till everyone died off was a good plan.

Here is the rub. A lot of problems as to the Church dealing with various issues such as sex abuse was because there was no one holding groups, orders , dioceses, movements accountable.

Some were in fact viewed as untouchable because they had powerful friends. In this way why would LCWR be that much different that say the problems we saw in Legionaires of Christ ? No oversight and a Church unto themselves has produced problems as we have seen. Not sure why LCWR would be different.
As to the media and pundit sif they wish to play the BUT LOOK AT PRIESTS and sex abuse card then they better deal what Father Z has mentioned.

Orthodox Jewish Men Arrested For Sex Abuse Don't Have to Be Named ?

Jewish Forward has a story on sexual abuse is a religious community that to say the least seems to out of the ordinary Legal wise. See Orthodox Abuse Suspects Get Exemption -Brooklyn Prosecutors Deny Request for Identity of Sex Suspects

Besides the obvious 1st amendment issues that lurking around I have a question. If this is such a tight kit community is it not sort of obvious that everyone that got arrested for sex abuse would be known already?

I know as much much about  Hasidic Brooklyn Jewish Community as I know about Hindus which is generally not much. So I could be very wrong here about making that assumption I just made.

Still this seems to have the smell of a powerful religious community exerting its political influence to be treated differently. However I could be wrong on that , and the DA's secular reasoning it puts forth could be sound.

Evangelical Progressive Jim Wallis Should Stay Out Of Vatican / American Nun Leadership Dispute

I saw progressive evangelical Jim Wallis post on the Vatican / American Catholic nun thing yesterday. Today that post has made it's way to Huff Post which will should make it the talk of the religious web today. See Having the Sisters' Back .

I actually like Jim Wallis though I often disagree with him a good bit. Not too long ago I saw a very good debate between Wallis and conservative Baptist  Al Mohler on Social Justice and the Church. There was agreement and disagreement. Long story short Wallis thinks the Church should proclaim ,and take position on various social Justice issues. Mohler thinks what the Church should take positions on is much more limited by scripture. However he saw the role of the "Church" as forming Christians that should take social justice positions. An interesting but important difference.

I like that Jim Wallis versus the Jim Wallis I often see on the net throwing bombshells all over the place.

But it appears that Wallis has now entered the Catholic debate.

Here is my view . Wallis needs to decide if he will be a friend or a pastor if he wishes to contribute to this internal Catholic matter. I will put this in term of marriage.

When there is a dispute between married couples friends are sometimes the worst people to put in their two cents. Nine times out of ten friends of the married couple will take sides. A Friend will validate every complaint a spouse has against another spouse. While this is appealing  to one spouse it often does help the couple to reconcile.

A Pastor on the other hand understand LIFE and marriage is complicated. Generally fault does not lie with just one party. Thus a pastor does not generally have one spouse's back over another.

It's pretty clear from his post that Wallis is a Friend and not a Pastor in my view. The situation here is complicated , and it appears that Wallis is making a ton of assumptions about how all this went down.

I was tweeting with a very far left ex nun on this matter. She admitted to me that within the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) there is are in fact many nuns /sisters that are not happy with their leadership and have points of disagreement. Wallis seems obvilious to this. This is not a war on nuns /sisters but a dispute over some pretty important Church teaching.

Wallis as a outsider should perhaps be wary of entering this domestic dispute. But if he does he should enter in as a pastor role , not a friend. If not he will just cause more damage , and like friends to a marriage not have to deal with most of the hurt they caused.

The Catholic / Pentecostal Alliance Gets Stronger With New Bestseller Book

I found this rather important news on the interesting blog Debating Obama . See the post  PENTECOSTALS and Catholics Together? (Update)

This deals with an interesting book deal with James Robinson ( who the blogger correctly I think says is a Preacher that is involved in a fusion of Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism) and major Catholic publisher Ignatius Press. The fact that this book  debuted number 5 on the New York Times Bestseller list well seems significant. For that reason I am kind of shocked this went under the radar. James Robertinson is of course a well know TV preacher , and many people would recognize him as to his aid mission LIfe Outreach International.

Of course labels are hard here. How much he is Pentecostal and or Charismatic mixed with Evangelical though I am sure is an  interesting debate among various Pentecostal scholars. However there is no doubt he is what I would call a sort of Baptcostal type of figure.

I of course welcome this development. I suspect others do not. But regardless it is interesting.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tip : Try Not To Sound Drunk At Confession - Slurring the Real Stuff

Catholic Hadley Arkes who a convrt from the Jewish Faith  has a nice positive piece talking about talks he gave to some of the inspiring young hopeful Priest of the Catholic Church . See The Jewish Past and the Young Priests .

I like this story  also because it has two Louisiana  Catholic connections also. That is Professor Brant Pitre and  convert  Federal Judge Martin Feldman.

However in the midst of this story something that made me laugh because it's all so true for even those of us that go to the Grace of this Sacrament often:

...They had all come through an exhausting weekend, dense with Masses. Why would they not put their feet up and have long naps? Why would they want to spend time following the weave of argument on matters of philosophy, law, and some vexing issues of the day? And yet these young men said that they found it so buoying for their morale to be in the presence of fellow priests, sharing their concerns – and their sense of mission.

They also found a certain pleasure in listening to talks that someone else had to do the work to prepare. They were also an audience to be treasured – they laughed readily because they listened closely. At times, I’ll unfold a long, winding sentence from Henry James, which cannot be understood until the last word falls into place. And that word has to be repeated: people don’t hear the word because it is a word they are not expecting.

For the first time in my experience this was an audience that actually heard that last word. What accounted for that? As Fr Arne suggested, these young priests were used to listening closely in confession as people tried to slur, at the end, the words that told the real story....

The First Mayor of Washington D.C. Was Catholic - Robert Brent ( Links)

I am enjoying looking through the entries of the  Ghost of D.C. blog .  They had a interesting post on the First Mayor of D.C Robert Brent. See Robert Brent: Friend of Thomas Jefferson and Washington City’s First Mayor

Now the post is interesting because it gives a lot of D.C. History and how involved Thomas Jefferson was involved in even the most mudane affairs such as Liquor permits. However it is mentioned as a side note part of the Carroll family of Maryland — a prominent Catholic family.

Well indeed he was. His Uncle was the first  Bishop appointed for the United States and his various Carroll relations were major players in our Country's  founding. Daniel Carroll , another uncle  was a member of the Constitutional Convention and a signer of the Constitution.

Brent's family was not  from early Catholic American Royalty ( persecuted but still Royalty as it goes) but his Catholic dad was pretty well off when he married into the Carrolls.  As noted here at this blog post via When Washington Was Irish  Robert Brent later married into another rather prominent Catholic family the of   Notley-Young via the his marriage with Mary Young.  . As is noted there the Carroll family and the Notely Youngs had a tradition of marrying between their respective clans . As to the Notley- Youngs see this interesting post Notley Young’s Mansion…and Chapel? and the comments that details a lot of this exciting early Catholic History.

While an earlier post made the comment that the Brent family line was not all that impressive it looks sort of impressive to me. For Robert Brent's ancestors and some of the role they played see here.

One final note as to politics. I am curious of the poltical leanings of Brent. Many Carrolls were Federalists , and were not always Jefferson politics  friendly to my knowledge. Thought as to people like Senator Carroll , a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the relationship was cordial. It appears that all worked out for the best.

Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act Might Have Some Major Free Speech Problems

I have to say this is concerning as to the of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011 which seems to make some very huge 1st amendment problems worse.

See Senate Considering Extending Statute That Led to Unconstitutional Prosecution for Twitter Messages That Criticized Religious Leader


Senate Considering Outlawing Anonymous Online Speech That’s Supposedly “Intended to Harass” the Person Being Criticized

I very much fear like the Louisiana bully law coverage where the only meme that could be found was GAYS VS CHRISTIAN RIGHT that these issues might not be coverage.

Unlike Louisiana this legislation might pass without us having a debate over the issues above.

Pope Benedict Enters the German "For All " or " For Many " Consecration Controversy ( Updated With Full Text )

UPDATE- Full text here

It is still early , but it appears the vast upheaval predicted by the retranslation of the English Catholic Liturgy have failed to materialized for the most part. At least in my corner of the World I am not hearing many complaints. Further from the lack of complaints or posts even on social media pro or con I have to think this might be nationwide.

One controversy was the change at the words of Consecration from " for all " to  " for many ".

It appears this controversy is also a huge one in Germany in which it appears Pope Benedict himself wrote an extensive document on addressed to the German Bishops on this. It has now just been posted on the German Conference of Bishops Web site. Father Z has the link and news at Benedict XVI explains to German bishops what the “pro multis” really says.

Father Z says in part after giving the background:

I don’t have the time or energy to translate it for you at the moment, but in short Pope Benedict explains that the bishops do, in fact, have to use “for many” and they have to engage in catechesis. He adds personal observations about the difficulty of having to say Mass in different languages and the dissonance there can be between the translations. He also heads off the common questions and objections raised by those who want to stick to “for all”.

Once again the Holy Father has offered good reflections on what the prayer really says. I am sure the text of the letter will soon be available in English.

I will be on the look out too for it in English.

The Thankless Job of the Catholic Conservative Middle - Defending Vatican II

First Thoughts has a good piece on Vatican II I recommend highly. See The Serenity of Vatican II. As he points out:

The progressive left sees the Council as an open-ended innovation whose revolutionary promise has yet to be fulfilled. The traditionalist right views it with deep suspicion and is sometimes heard to say (if not openly, at least sotto voce) that the Church would have been better off had it never occurred. But the vital center of Catholicism—if it can be called that—has always defended the Council as a necessary and faithful extension of the Church’s evangelical mission to the modern world.

Again read it all. I think it puts the Council in a proper viewpoint of history.

Labels are never precise which are their problem. But labels are pretty darn useful and needed in getting points across in a intelligible manner. He uses middle I use the word Catholic "conservatives". If you don't like "conservative" when I use it if middle works better for you use that.

I have often found that the many Catholic "conservatives" have the real, and often sometimes tiring task of defending and still implementing Vatican II. We seem to take it from all sides.

On one side are the extreme traditionalists.  They not only view Vatican II as a big mistake , but perhaps the work of an not so nice spirits. Everything was rosy in Fortress Catholicism of the 1950's , and if we just returned to that Catholicism would go gangbusters. They generally refer to us as NEOCATHS , or some other word that is not meant as a compliment.

We generally are the only ones that deal with these folks in serious way , and engage them. This is because it is pretty clear many  ( not all ) "liberals" find them out of lunch and perhaps wish they would just stay away. If The Society of St Pius the X is reconciled to the Church it will be us "conservatives" in the middle that we have to have the on going dicussion with them I suspect , and  help calm the tensions.

On the other other side is the Spirit of Vatican II liberals. They are most know  by the fact that "Spirit of Vatican II" can and often does contradict the documents of Vatican II . Unlike traditionalists they  cannot say much good about the pre Vatican II Church it seems. Dealing  with Vatican II theological progressives is more tiresome because they have the secular media on their side which often gives them kudos and "job well done" type remarks. Who does not like hearing that?

I sort of encountered this today or at leat elements of it  Teach What You Believe which is a blog run by a Catholic Deacon.

To be very fair I have not done a full review of his blog so I cannot ascertain with any certainty where he might fall on the theological Vatican II spectrum. I read two posting in recent days on the sin of rash judgments which have affected me ( which I will blog on later) so I want to put that CAVEAT out there.

However his  blog posting today Vatican Shuts The Window raises what I call the Spirit of Vatican of II alarm bells. He discusses  Pope John XXIII "  Vatican II 's fresh air opening the windows " in relating to the recent concerns of the Vatican over the leadership of one group of American nuns and sisters. I am not sure what this has to do with Vatican II , but it appears raising concerns about it is very anti Vatican II in some eyes.

We also find a crucial part of Vatican II  progressive mindset  is  though the Bishops can always be questioned the Vatican II "reformers" are above critcism. I am not sure who gave such groups a sort of unofficial Vatican II alternative authority , but they act like they have it. Also people at the Washington Post and NYT tell me they have it so I guess it's settled.

Being in the"middle" of all this never that fun and as one gets older one finds it even more tiresome.

Still I think there are signs of encouragement. Among us conservatives it appears that  herding all these cats is a lot less tense than it used to be. That is there at least appears to be a lot more toleration for different movements. The Charismatic /Steubenville crowd I use as an example. Further the New Evangelization  seems to be taking hold. A movement that I see in such groups as FOCUS in the USA, and Catholic Voices in the UK. Two distinct groups with different mission , but seems to embody what Vatican II was envisioning perhaps. To this we must add Communion and Liberation among many others.

Councils are never easy business , and as had been pointed out sometimes takes a few decades for the real fruits to come out. Hopefully we are in the time period.

Monday, April 23, 2012

U.S. Catholic Assistant Editor States Vanderbilt University Catholics Have Lack Of Openness Toward Non Catholics

I think the assistant editor at U.S. Catholic today did unfair slam on the Catholics of Vanderbilt University today at their blog post Non-discrimination policies aren’t a threat to Catholic groups .

Before I get to the rather unfair slam IMHO in the second half of their article let me deal with other matters.

I disagree with ther first half of their column that basically is saying this no big deal. For Catholic and Non Catholic Vandy views see my prior posts :

To Protect Church Autonomy Vanderbilt Catholic Will Not Register With University ( Which has many links at the bottom giving a background to this situation )

Southern Baptist Seminary Head Albert Mohler, Jr., On Vanderbilit Catholic And Dire Situation of Other Religious Groups On Campus ( which also points out this policy seem to fall on Religious groups)

Vanderbilt Catholic Told To Drop University Name & Campus Religious Groups Up the Ante (Thought of the Campus Priest is linked there too )

There are several issues here.

 First these people Catholic ,and non Catholics are not just "playing Church". They are the Church on Campus. So that means that they are linked with their larger Church or Faith communities in many cases.  In the Catholic Case their Bishops , and in Protestant situation Bishops, Baptist associations, etc. Therefore Statement of Faith and practice are in many cases just as important here as to leadership as to real "adult" Churches off campus.

Second American Catholics have a larger responsibilty to the Christian Community as a whole in this country. That is our fight that has often been shared from the beginning for Church autonomy

The ability of religious groups to choose their leadership is among our most highly protected freedoms. As Justice Brennan wrote, "religious organizations have an interest in autonomy in ordering their internal affairs, so that they may be free to ‘select their own leaders, define their own doctrines, resolve their own disputes, and run their own institutions.’" Corporation of Presiding Bishop v. Amos, 483 U.S. 327, 341-42 (1987) (Brennan, J., concurring), quoting Douglas Laycock, Towards a General Theory of the Religion Clauses: The Case of Church Labor Relations and the Right to Church Autonomy, 81 Colum. L. Rev. 1373, 1389 (1981)
( Taken From Legal Scholars letter Sent to Vanderbilt University Dec 2, 2011. Can be provided upon request)
Now on to what I feel is the unfair slam. From today's piece ( BOLD is all mine ) :

...The real negative of opposing the non-discrimination policy is that it shows a lack of openness on the part of Catholic students toward their non-Catholic brothers and sisters. Those non-Catholics who do want to join a Catholic group could present positive opportunities to teach the faith and to learn about others' beliefs.

What if a non-Catholic wanted to join the group to learn more about Catholicism because they were considering the possibility of converting? Being turned away because of their lack of faith might forever turn them off to the Catholic Church. And what if a Jewish student did want to join the Catholic organization, and perhaps invited Catholics to join their Jewish student organization, as a way of building interfaith relationships?

College is perhaps the best time in our lives to explore what others believe, to learn about different faith traditions, and to discover where God is calling us in our own lives. Non-discrimination policies shouldn’t be seen as a hurdle to practicing one’s faith in college, but as an obvious component of our efforts to welcome, evangelize, and spread the Gospel.

Of course there is no indication that Vandy Catholic is not active in ecumenical affairs or is slamming the door on all non Catholics. A point that could confirmed I bet if the powers that be at U.S. Catholic ever bother to pick up the phone and talk to people on the ground in Nashville. Top people they might want to interview is the Campus Minster and other Catholics at like I don't know Vanderbilt.

If not an interview then maybe even taking notice of what is on the Vanderbilt Catholic website is a good place to start. Like this letter from the Campus Minister sent to alumni, parents and friends of Vanderbilt Catholic .

....After much reflection, discussion, and prayer, we have decided that Vanderbilt+Catholic cannot in good conscience affirm that we comply with this policy.  While organizational skills and leadership abilities are important qualifications for leaders of Vanderbilt+Catholic, the primary  qualification for  leadership is  Catholic  faith  and  practice.  We are a faith-based organization.  A Catholic student organization  led by  someone who neither professes the Catholic faith nor strives to live it out would not be able to serve its members as an authentically Catholic organization.  We cannot sign the affirmation form because to do so would be to lie to the university and to ourselves about who we are as an organization

While this policy may change our status as a registered student organization, it will not change our mission.  We will continue to serve the Vanderbilt community as a welcoming and faithful Catholic campus ministry, proposing Jesus Christ in all that we do.....

....With Bishop Choby’s complete support, we will continue to serve the students of Vanderbilt as a non-registered ministry.  We will open our doors wider in order to make a greater effort to reach out to the Vanderbilt campus and to all college students in Nashville.  We have already received a very warm welcome from Belmont University:   “Know that you always have a home here,” said Dr. Todd Lake, Belmont Vice President of Spiritual Development, in a recent email.... 

Note it has not escaped my attention that Belmont University is the second Baptist voice I have linked in this post that seems to get what the Catholic students and others are up against. Hint it is not about be non open or not welcoming.

Further for reaching out and spreading Christ's message the fact that Vanderbilt Catholic has linked themselves with FOCUS Missionaries seems a good indication of a welcoming heart.


When The White House Had A Prom

I discovered this rather cool website Ghosts of DC today.

They highlighted a post they did from earlier this year which seems apt for the time of the year it is. See Senior Prom at the White House. There is a pic of the Susan Ford dancing the night away.
It tells some interesting details like the First Couple ( the Fords) were out of town that night. I guess this is one place where sneaking booze into the prom might have been problematic though. They have talk about the Band and other matters.

I thought this was also an rather charming pic of the  First Daughter washing her car at the White House.

Reuters Bombshell - Lay Presiders of the Eucharist in Greek Orthodox Church ?

Contrary to what one might have read, in an otherwise interesting Reuters  article, the Greek Orthodox Church has not dumped 2000 years of Christian Tradition and started Lay Presiders of the Eucharist.

See from Get Religion   Orthodox lay presidency at the Eucharist? plus the comments that clarify matters.

It's a good article that talks about how the Greece Financial crisis is affecting the Greek Orthodox Church. It just has one of the WHAT THE HECK bombshells in it that one with any knowledge of Orthodoxy has one wary.

Senator David Vitter and Senator Mary Landrieu Relationship Improving A Bit ?

In Louisiana political news a subject I have touched on before. That is can U.S. Louisiana Senators David Vitter and Mary Landrieu even talk to each other in the same room.

This article , with both quotes from Vitter and Landrieu , indicated maybe the relationship is a TAD better than in the past. See Landrieu, Vitter exchange volleys

Catholics Being Inconsistent In Opposing HHS Birth Control Mandate & Not Arizona Immigration Laws ? - Response to Michael Winters

Michael Winters has a post on the Immigration laws in Arizona that is heading to the Supreme Court.  See AZ Anti-Immigrant Law Heads to SCOTUS .

Winters makes a HHS Mandate connection.

...It will be curious to see if those conservative Catholic commentators who have spilt plenty of ink writing about the importance of human dignity on other issues will defend that principle on immigration. The bishops have done so. They cannot be charged with inconsistency here. But, I am waiting to hear what our friends at, and the American Principles Project have to say on the Arizona law.

It is especially incumbent upon our friends on the right to vocally oppose the Arizona law, and even more so its Alabama stepchild because, as the USCCB brief makes clear, there are issues of religious liberty at stake here. If there is a “war on religion” in this country, it is wise to recognize that the assaults come from all sides and that both parties should be called to task when they brush aside the practices of the Catholic community in pursuit of their policy objectives. It is as insidious, actually I think more insidious, to demand that the Catholic Church cease helping immigrants, as it is to require our insurance policies to become vehicles for the provision of contraception, is it not? ..

Prof Rick Garnett who I believe has some connection to Catholicvote .and who is a fighter for religious liberty responds at
Thoughts on the Court, Arizona's immigration law, and consistency .

I suspect that Prof Garnett and I are largely on the same page here about immigration reform , and perhaps the policy here is not great. But I think he wisely points out these issues can be a tad different:

......I probably agree with Winters that, as a policy matter, laws like Arizona's (and Alabama's, which was criticized in the Bishops' recent religious-freedom statement -- you know, the one that is so "partisan"?) are bad policy (though the current regime and its enforcement are a disgrace).  Immigration reform is a tough issue, and the left demagogues it with no less vigor than does the right (no, it's not "racist" or "nativist" to worry about the costs of unlawful immigration or to support voter ID laws; no, it's not un-American to note that immigration has many benefits and that our current system makes lawful immigration, in most cases, too difficult).  It is not the "Catholic" view that a political community is not entitled to police its boundaries, nor is it the "Catholic" view that a wealthy community can exploit the cheap labor and sales-tax revenues provided by unlawful immigrants while simultaneously demonizing and arbitrarily deporting and / or incarcerating them.  For more, see this First Things piece, "Principled Immigration," by Mary Ann Glendon, or this essay by our own Michael Scaperlanda.

Winters is right that immigration is, as a constitutional matter, a "federal issue." However, the question whether a law like Arizona's is inconsistent with immigration's being a federal issue is trickier than Winters's post suggests. It is not the case that all state laws whose operation and enforcement affects unlawful immigrants, or shapes their decision-making, unconstitutionally interfere with the national government's prerogatives in this area. It depends, and the answer to the question whether or not it does is not supplied by Catholic teaching.

In my view, "conservative Catholic commentators" who care (as we all should) about "the importance of human dignity" and religious freedom are not required, on pain of being charged with inconsistency (or worse), to think that the Arizona law and others like it crosses the constitutional line (I have not studied the matter closely enough to have a firm view), even if do they think, as I think I do, that what is urgently needed is not piecemeal, and largely symbolic, state legislation, but meaningful enforcement, fair sharing of the burdens and benefits associated with unlawful immigration, and comprehensive reform...

I agree with that. Also as these things go some state immigration laws are much more problematic than others from a Catholic Social Teaching standpoint. I am thinking of some aspects of the laws in Alabama.

But as a supporter of immigration reform I recognize that the Bishops are when combatting these laws on much less 1st Amendment protection footing compared to other cases where religious liberty is at risk.

I was trying to make this exact point at my post Illegal Aliens and Church Sanctuary Versus The HHS Birth Control Mandate . That post talked about about a recent meeting of Baptists with the White House where the issue of Federal immigration  Law enforcement and Churches came up.

I said in part :
..Currently in the States we have seen some reluctance to impose this anti immigration laws on the Church. For instance Catholics schools in Alabama do not have the same reporting requirement as Alabama public schools. I would contend this is because currently there is a respect for Accommodation and some quasi sovereignty to the Church.

What happens if the HHS Mandate is allowed to succeed? I would suggest it sets in part a new tone and a new precedent. Other political currents , even those opposed to the mandate, might use that in the future. I would suggest this issue of immigration is but just one where that ax might fall..

So Winters is right to see a link perhaps. But I am not sure he has connected all the dots from where I am coming from at least.

Bizarre Sex Abuse Charges Dismissed against Diocese of Knoxville Catholic Deacon

I think I highlighted this charge of Sexual Abuse against a Catholic Deacon in the Diocese of Knoxville. In case I did I wanted to highlight the Grand Jury returned a new true bill and that he will be returning to ministry and his position in the JROTC program. See McConnell to resume ministry in Catholic Church

Because of there was a minor involved it seemed the press accounts were a little skim. Though it appears these charges were to say the least rather bizaree.

From the comments:

It was puzzling from the first that a grandfather could be arrested for such a heinous crime, supposedly committed in such a public place, in full daylight, in the company of the child's mother (the Deacon's daughter), his wife, another couple and a parish priest. Puzzling and a little scary! Must I keep my little granddaughters at least three feet away from me in restaurants? Or could it possibly have been the presence of the priest that triggered someone's surreptitious surveillance? If so, would that constitute a "hate crime?"
Scary indeed.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Why is the Vatican Having to Intervene With Leadership Conference of Women Religious ? - Here is Why - Case Closed

You have heard it a thousand times this week. Why is the Vatican going after some nuns that help the poor over a little doctrinal purity!

Ummm this is why

Really no words. If you don't see the problem with that in a Catholic setting well .......

That is one small example of whats been going on with this leadership.

In New Orleans Retired Priests Find They Can Be Really Priests

“I told (former) Archbishop (Alfred) Hughes the other day, ‘Now I am doing the things that the seminary prepared me to do as a priest,’” Msgr. Tomasovich said, smiling. “I can go hear confessions. I can talk to people about their problems. I don’t have any administration to do or have to fix things or write reports. That’s all been waived. After all these years, I’m free to be a priest!”
“What has struck me is how the archdiocese is really taking care of us in our retirement,” said Msgr. Roy, the former Holy Spirit pastor who has moved to St. John Vianney. “They make sure we have a social worker who is assigned to us. Your grass is cut, and someone comes in to clean one day a week.”

A nice and illuminating story from the Catholic Newspaper of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

The Cardinal Benedict Voted For Pope In 2005 - Cardinal Biffi

Put this in sort of the well that is interesting file. Translated on this page here:

So do we now know who Cardinal Ratzinger voted for in the 2005 conclave?


Translated from La Repubblica

April 19, 2012

If this lip-smacking indiscretion is reliable, it was the only time that Cardinal Giacomom Biffi, emeritus Archbishop of Bologna, failed to keep his word. In fact, he never did smack his intended victim in the face, as he had threatened for rhetorical emphasis during the 2005 Conclave.

It was April 18, 2005, and after the third balloting, the cardinal heard himself for the third time credited with having received one vote. With his usual good humor, he turned to the cardinal next to him and said, "I've been getting this one vote. If I ever find out the obstinate person who is responsible for this, I'll smack him in the face".

His colleague retorted: "Eminence, clearly we are about to elect a Pope... And it seems obvious that this candidate chose to vote for you! So if you are to keep your word, you'd have to smack the Pope!" A Catholic journalist, Francisco Grana, who has often had access to behind-the-scenes information, has written about this on the site, and concludes that whereas almost everyone was voting for him, Cardinal Ratzinger himself was voting for Cardinal Biffi.

Grana does not identify his source, although he was known to be a close friend of the late emeritus Archbishop of Naples, Cardinal Michele Giordano, who was also a good friend of Cardinal Ratzinger. But seven years since the incident, which sounds plausible at the very least, it is quite amusing, but it also serves to cast some light on the figure of Cardinal Biffi.

Biffi was not exactly a papabile in 2005. Although he was the theological and moral reference point for the conservative wing of the Church in Italy, the then Archbishop of Bologna never wanted to be a standard-bearer for anything.

Well-known for his independence and original preaching, he was never interested either in climbing the ecclesiastical ladder. And surely, Cardinal Ratzinger was his candidate. It is said that when the new Pope was delivering his first address to the Conclave cardinals, Biffi was seen nodding emphatically from his seat. To those who had been asking him earlier if he was interested in becoming Pope, Biffi avoided the standard 'Domine non sum dignus...' (Lord, I am not worthy) demurral for an ironic "No, life is better in Bologna".

It was known he had no appetite for the atmosphere in the Roman Curia, although he was called once to preach the Lenten spiritual retreat by John Paul II. Then called again for the same task by Benedict XVI himself in 2007.

Biffi was most original, as usual, in his approach, and in concluding the retreat, Benedict XVI said: "I would like to thank you for your realism, your humor, and your concreteness," going on to refer to "the rather daring theology of one of your housekeepers", cited by Biffi in one of the meditations. "I would not dare refer her words 'The Lord perhaps had his defects' to the judgment of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith," the Pope remarked.

Post Resurrection Jesus Eats Stuff In This Sunday' s Readings ( 3rd Sunday of Easter )

The physical accounts of Jesus post resurrection are interesting because we sort of get glimpses of what I future bodily experience will be like in the future ,and for eternity for that matter.

The New Theological Movement examines the aspect of Jesus eating in this weekend's Sunday readings at Did Jesus really eat after the Resurrection?

Is Governor Bobby Jindal 's Link With Trial Lawyers Really A Future Problem ?

Jindal was in New York City last night for the a big New York State Party Dinner as the keynote speaker. It seems from following along on Twitter he did pretty good. Though someone remarked at 40 minutes he might have gone a tad too long as the crowd was getting a little chatty at the end.

It's clear Jindal will be a person to watch. Which bring up this Louisiana Record post Jindal's ties to trial bar noted which brings up nationwide some have taken note for a Republican he does not shun the Plaintiff bar.

......The PoliticalDesk report notes The Politico's reporting of a $5,000 per couple fundraiser Jindal "pulled off" last year with American Association of Justice Vice President Burton LeBlanc. LeBlanc - a shareholder in the Dallas firm Baron & Budd - was hired by Jindal last year as special counsel on behalf of the state in the BP oil spill litigation.

The PoliticalDesk also cites a Forbes magazine article that questioned Jindal's hiring of Baron & Budd for the BP case. "While most Republicans are known for their hands-off approach to relationships with trial lawyers, Gov. Bobby Jindal has managed to develop close ties with the bunch without upsetting his base," the PoliticalDesk story states.

The article lists trial lawyer contributions to Jindal from 2008 through 2011 that total nearly $300,000.

The fact that Bobby is close to trial lawyers does not bother me. I like both the Plaintiff and defense bar.

I also understand " tort reform " is complicated. Yes on one side you have the problem of frivolous lawsuits. However I think it is under appreciated how Tort Lawsuits are a critical part of the free market. For instance some activities are just inherently dangerous , but as society we need. The cost of when something goes wrong in incorporated into the market price so everyone is justly compensated and made whole if something goes wrong. Putting perhaps unreasonable caps or getting rid of "Strict Liability" in these cases I find problematic. That is just one example.

A few observations as to Jindal.

-It is striking that Jindal does not go out of his way to be "anti trial" Lawyer. The Governor who brought Jindal into politics in a huge way Governor Mike Foster was to say the least not trial lawyer friendly.

-Despite not making war on Trial Lawyers , Bobby Jindal has a good relationship with the business lobby. In this case the LABI- The Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. LABI and the Trial Lawyers are often at each other throats. Yet Bobby has got a good bit pro LABI friendly legislation through.

-The fact that Jindal has not declared war on trial lawyers like many GOPers like to do has had benefits. First the trial lawyers are diverse. There are many factions of conservatives among them. On a personal level not cutting Trial Lawyers throats might be one factor that these deep pockets did not fund an opponent against him. Further by not unduly agitation them trial lawyers were less likely to have form coaltions that would put them opposite Bobby's other agenda.

-There is no doubt Jindal has at times done things some Trial lawyers might not like. But it does seem not playing the " bad trial lawyer " theme as many like to do has had benefits. Those include as I mentioned perhaps allowing other business friendly legislation to get passed.

As to the future it might benefit the GOP level on a national level to see how Jindal seems to be making this balance act work.

If You Look Hispanic But Not Still Go Take That Free " Hispanic " Money - Slate Columnist Advice

Ann Althouse takes a look at some perhaps questionable advice .

I have to admit I am tad conflicted here , but still come down on the ummm not sure this is ethical side. I am adopted , and I very much like embracing the heritage of my family though genetic wise I am not linked to it. However at the end of the day I have no clue if I am half English and Half German. I might be half French ,and half Italian ,or fully Polish for all I know.

Also at the end the Scholarship she is taking in the end is not going to someone who is some degree of Hispanic or Latino . As pointed out in the comments in the Steve Martin movie The Jerk in real life could someone like that say I am black because I have that ?

Vanderbilt University "s Discrimination Against Catholics and Christians Gets Tennessee Legislature Involved

It appears the battle at Vanderbilt has taken a significant new turn. See The Battle of Vanderbilt: The Tennessee Legislature Steps Up

Missouri Synod Lutherans March On Catholic Cathedral To Offer Religious Liberty Support ( Both Lutheran & Catholic Links )

This is an update to an very special event I blogged about that was coming up.

That is Missoui Synod Lutherans in the Catholic Diocese of Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend showing support for the Church in our battle for Religious Liberty.

It appears the event was a huge success and got some nice media coverage.

The Catholic Newspaper of that Diocese has a good article on that there with a good many great photos, and indeed audio. See Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod offers solidarity with Catholics defending religious liberty.

The Lutherans Missouri Synod covered this signficant event too. See from their official publication Catholic bishop 'overwhelmed' by Lutheran support

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Can Outside Money Can Help Us Discern the Movement of the Holy Spirit In Our Churches ?

Discerning what is and what is not an authentic movement of the Holy Spirit is made more challenging for us when outside money, politics, and secular moralism enter into an equation that is supposed to involve the prayerful study of God's Holy Word by believers in that Word. When a spirit of the age is in conflict with scripture, it is the new spirit that is to be revised, not Holy Scripture, but when powerful forces want a new spirit to be legalized, and the Church has been sufficiently weakened in its confidence of what we used to call the "Gospel truth," the progressive strategy works amazingly well.

This is from a rather good post that Not Another Episcopal Church Blog has done at The Mighty Move of the Spirit is Headed to the UMC

He reference and links a Methodist that is bringing up issues that will come at their general convention. That piece is a good read as to the who is supplying this outside money. It should be notes that those groups are also giving a TON of money to Catholic groups to help them help us "discern the Spirit.

Of course in a more democracy based Churches the effects are more evident and drastic.

Some Sane Sober Measured Thoughts on The Vatican Intervention Of The Leadership Conference of Women Religious

The Anchoress has a rather good thought out post on the whole Vatican intervention. See LCWR, the SSPX and the Vatican; Welcome to Eden – UPDATED

On that post she has many good links that are also sane and measured . These caught my eye

First Reaction from the LCWR UPDATED ( good piece - Not all Sisters are alike and in fact this is a very narrow focus )

He also hit something that irks me:
I dislike this idea, implicit in Fr. Martin’s Twitter effort, that the criticism of the leadership of the LCWR is somehow a criticism of American women religious as a whole. The LCWR is the equivalent of a professional society for school principals or CEOs, there to provide training and leadership formation. This is not about American women religious. This is about a tiny, noisy slice of their leadership that has lost its way and no longer understands its role in the universal Church. Here’s a hint: it has nothing to do with issuing position statements on politically divisive issues and building labyrinths.

Also a must read-
Let’s Be Sober About the LCWR Assessment

Mennonite Women Watching Fleet Week and Still Building Houses In New Orleans Post Katrina

Mennonites come up in the most amazing , and unexpected places. Part of my family is from Lake Providence Louisiana which is in extreme North East Louisiana. The Mennonites had an awesome Bakery ( sadly it burned) , and the community also made money by cleaning houses.

I ran across some Mennonites in Southern Arkansas not too long ago that had a fish raising business. They would raise Fish in their ponds ,and then sell them all over to people that wanted to stock their ponds or lakes.

In other words they are diverse.

So it was interest I saw this post and pictures from NOLAFemmes ~ New Orleans women talk that had a picture o Mennonite women Observing New Orlean FLEET WEEK. See Mennonites in NOLA

Now what is interesting is she mentions they have been in New Orleans ever since Hurricane Katrina building houses. I never knew that. I suppose at some point someone did a story on them , but interesting they are still there.