Saturday, July 30, 2011

Death Of Papal Nuncio To the United States Could Some Significant Delays To Bishop Appointments

There are currently 8 vacant Sees in the USA 7 of those "Latin Rite" with of course more to come. The death of Archbishop Pietro Sambi's , the Apostolic Nuncio to the USA, will have an affect on many thing as to Diplomatic relations and for many your local Church.

Whispers points this out at The Shadow of Pietro "

..........On a procedural note, with 3339 Massachusetts Ave. NW (above) now fallen vacant for the first time upon the death of its occupant, the #2 diplomat at the Washington Nunciature, Msgr Jean François Lantheaume, now becomes interim chief of the Holy See's US mission pending Rome's appointment of the next Nuncio and the latter's presentation of his credentials to President Obama.While the current "deputy mayor" of Vatican City, 70 year-old Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, had been tipped to succeed Sambi as earlier indications foresaw a handover of the post on the late Nuncio's expected move to a Curial slot, any move is subject to change lacking a formal announcement from the Holy See.

Either way, the lack of a permanent legate for what could be several months until a successor's arrival is likely to create a backlog in the Nunciature's workflow, both as extraordinary matters would optimally be held for a new ambassador's input, and given the time needed for the fresh arrival to learn his sprawling, complex turf and form his own impressions of civil and ecclesial affairs alike.As internal tasks go, the transition-related delays are almost certain to impact the crucial area of the appointment of bishops, where a Nuncio's extensive dossier on the state of a vacant diocese tends to be the linchpin element of the selection process.

Even if the docket's turnover time has, of late, slimmed to its quickest levels in nearly a decade, it bears recalling that several vacancies extended anywhere from 24 to 30 months at the time of Sambi's arrival in early 2006, and the late Nuncio needed the better part of three years on the ground to build a sufficient network of information and fine-tune the searches to meet his standards.

Further up the chain, however, the presence of five American cardinals of divergent leanings on the Congregation for Bishops -- to say nothing of a Pope keen to "own" his personnel picks in the trenches -- has made for its share of curveballs in domestic appointments during Sambi's tenure. But even that crucial group is set to change markedly over the coming year, as two of the home-grown quintet will leave the Thursday Table on their 80th birthdays, at which point cardinals automatically "age out" of their Curial memberships.

The longest-serving US members of the body that recommends episcopal nods to Pope Benedict, the respective superannuations of Cardinals Bernard Law in November and Francis Stafford next July will likewise leave the Stateside church with eight electors in a hypothetical conclave, a figure which will have taken a net loss of four (that is, a third) just since early 2010.

Given Benedict XVI's prior elevation of five of the eight US electors who'll remain -- and, for three of them, their respective entrances into the "papal senate" in their early 60s -- the current and impending openings set the stage for the completion of the most sweeping revamp of American Catholicism's pre-eminent leadership caucus since the number of the nation's cardinals was multiplied from the US' historic quota of three in the years following World War II.

As Sambi's chosen cardinals-in-waiting in stand to remain in office for the better part of two decades, his successor isn't left with terribly much to shape on the bench's top tier, save for Chicago, where Cardinal Francis George reaches the retirement age of 75 in January. After the Windy City and barring the unexpected, the next of the traditional scarlet-clad seats to come open for reasons of age is Washington, but Cardinal Donald Wuerl's walking papers aren't due until the last weeks of 2015.

With seven Latin dioceses currently vacant and another seven led by ordinaries remaining in office beyond the retirement age pending their successors' arrivals, the wider docket is currently topped by the metropolitan openings in Denver and San Francisco. A dozen more diocesan bishops on these shores will turn 75 between now and the end of next year.

Ouch!! Now some Bishops in waiting may have been chosen already . One would hope for instance that the choice for poor Fresno (vacant since DEC 5 2010) and the small but very DYNAMIC Diocese of Salina Kansas (vacant since Dec 16 2010) would be completed.

Further I don't how much the current interim guy in charge ,Msgr Jean François Lantheaume, was in the loop as to all this. Maybe he was in the loop a good bit but maybe not.

So it looks like delays are likely and perhaps at a most inopportune time since the person that could give some good advice to the Nunico is now deceased.

If are of the camp that sees Pope Benedict is not getting any younger and like the direction of his appointments one would hope that not only is a good man put in charge but there are not major delays.

Prominent Louisiana Catholic Death In Opening Days of Civil War Sent Out Shock Waves

A History Prof at University of Louisiana Monroe is doing a series of interesting articles to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. In fact yesterday he had one at the New York Times blog.

This is interesting because it combines some Civil War history with one of Louisiana most prominent public and Catholic officials at the time. See July 1861: First blood

Federal Judge Gives Huge Victory For Louisiana Monks- They Can Keep Selling Caskets

The Federal debt limit talks are all consuming and thus a lot of big news is not being covered like it would . Things like an attempted attack on a American military base, an Congressional sex (possible crime) scandal, even the Norway terrorist horror is sort of back page news FOR NOW. It is not like it's not being covered but the focus is on other things here.

In Louisiana a rather big case was resolved last week for the a group of Louisiana Monks that I missed becaused I have been rather all consumed with the debt news. . MONKS 1 Louisiana Funeral Industry 0.

See Judge rules funeral industry can't stop St. Joseph Abbey from selling caskets

Friday, July 29, 2011

Spanking, Race, and Class and the Archdiocese of New Orleans

VOX NOVA has a pretty good post ( though it's not directly mentioned) related to the ever escalating events in New Orleans with the Archdiocese and the famous St Augustine School . See Spanking, Race, and Class .

First a few words on my conflicting views of the ever continuing St Aug trama as to spanking.

First and foremost the Archbishop words is final. One cannot in my view sanction spanking for the need to show discipline and authority and then on the other hand go to war with the authority of the Archbishop.

On the other hand I do think that perhaps the Archbishop has perhaps let his own personal bad experience color his views and I wonder why this issue is a must shown down now.

However on the other hand I am not sure why the school must spank if the parents can do it at home.

On the other hand there is a tradition and cultural thing going on here that actually might have some practical good that needs to be engaged or at least listened to my the Archdiocese.


On the other hand despite all the news reports that have this as Anti Spanking Archbishop versus Spanking parents ,I am sure there must be parents at St Augs that agree with the Archbishop .

Finally again First and foremost the Archbishop words is final. One cannot in my view sanction spanking for the need to show discipline and authority and then on the other hand go to war with the authority of the Archbishop.

So that being said I think this article has merit. This part struck me:

The pressures not to spank children are greater among upper class African Americans. As another Salon article notes, not spanking originated as an upper class, progressive movement. Of course one of the luxuries of being upper class is having abundant resources to be vigilant of your child’s behavior. Today’s children are for the most part under the constant care and supervision of some adult. Given that, there are simply not that many casual dangers a child of even lower middle class upbringing will encounter. Whereas in previous generations a twelve-year-old providing temporary care for an infant would be common, today many parents have difficulty leaving their children with a 16-year-old babysitter.

Why this disconnect in the Catholic Church. I hate to say it but part of it is the Church's fault. The Catholic Church that used to be very good at evangelizing African Americans ( as well as other poor from other ethnic backgrounds, has become dismal at it for decades. That is related to a second point. A major part of evangelizing African Americans and indeed getting African American Converts was Catholic schools.

As Catholic schools (as a matter of class which relates to race) become the enclave of the more offspring rich and successful parents of society then this disconnect grows. The grandfather who grew up in the Irish Channel and got spanked at Catholic schools now has Catholic grandchildren that just live in the above world that is described in the above post. The leading Catholic citizens of Shreveport that basically grew up in the Italian ghetto got spanked but their children now would be horrified to see their children or grandchildren spanked. CLASS is at play. The fact these kids are "soccer mom ed" from event to event with constant adult activity is a factor for the disconnect.

The question is if the Catholic Church and it Parishes were educating on average the more "lower class" like they were many decades ago would we be seeing a different viewpoint.

Just food for thought.

Bishop Duca Gives Vision For Future of Diocese of Shreveport ( Vid and My Notes)

Bishop Duca Speech at the 25th Anniversary Celebration from Jessica Rinaudo on Vimeo.

One can download it here and also view it there too. (its a HUGE FILE) This is from the 25th Anniversary of the Diocese of Shreveport that was held in June in which Bishop Duca ( the second Bishop of this relative young Diocese) gives his outlook for the Diocese of Shreveport and his vision. It has just appeared Online.

He is a very good speaker and I hope people go and watch the VID instead just of my inadequate notes.



He talks about ROAMING CATHOLICS and what Parish Boundaries mean nowadays. Some Churches grow but the number of Catholics don't increase overall in the area.

He talks that we are getting low on Priests and wonders why we are not producing them

He talks about the need that giving(Financial) to the Diocese needs to be more spread out.


Challenges should not be viewed as depressing. The Church has had to face hard challenges as the status quo forever. Christ is with us and will be till the end of time. Our biggest challenge is trusting God, dying to self, etc. ( HEY HE SOUNDS LIKE CHAPUT :) )

Bishop Duca says nationwide Mass attendance is a huge issue and it makes us lose our connection with Church.

Bishop Duca talks about the need for us spread the faith to others (Clapping at my computer)

Our Faith is not just our personal salvation (while it's important) but we are called to spread the good news. Evangelizing is the final maturing of our faith.

Quotes 2nd Timothy as the scriptural theme ( Stirring into a flame)


(1) Starts with us as individuals.

(2) Then we go out

Evangelising shall be a standard and a model that will show how the Faith is happening in our lives, in our Parish etc.

There shall be a plan for each Parish. -

One big idea for this year as go through this "year of process"" as to what is working and what is not working as to spreading the good news: Is our Church life, what we are doing, the programs we do etc inspire us to go out and proclaim the Good News.

When you are asked what it takes to be a good Catholic we need to think that it means that bringing people to the Church.

Tells reality that the Catholic Church will not grow because of population growth in North Louisiana but because we bring people to it.

Talks about Hispanic growth ( the only area of growth we have had).

We are in a crisis of culture. We must now depend on the Church more than ever to give us Christian teaching and ethos. The culture is having less and less a Christian ethos that gives us teaching and guidance .

There are people in the Church that want to be part of the Church but are in opposition to the basic tenets of the faith ( this happens in the office and elsewhere).

Charity is a key which is why he started Catholic Charities in the Diocese.

Our actions are the most key. When we live the Gospel people are drawn to it even if we say nothing. Again renewal must start in our own hearts.

We must be able to witness our Faith in a way that speaks to the modern culture.

In closing:
How we evangelize should be the standard of how we are doing.

He uses the Gospel lesson of the rich man who would not sell all his possessions to follow Christ as to calling (very good).

-We Shall go through this process as an Diocese and in Union with other.
-We must look at our individuals Parish, demographics and how we grow.
-We must look to new future leaders , Priests , Sisters, Lay people,
-Charity and which includes the immigrant.

In a years time we shall have a Diocese wide pastoral council of every Parish in which we shall come together and move forward together.

Bishop Duca says WE NEED A BIGGER VISION!!

In essence if I may I think the Bishop is saying if you are not sharing your faith and we ( as a Parish, Diocese, etc) is not sharing it then its a good indication our Faith needs to be renewed. Time for a gut check. How we spread the Gospel is a positive measuring mark of that.

Rep. James Clyburn Nonsense Executive Power, the Debt Limit, and the 14th Amendment

It's frightening this man got elected. Volokh Conspiracy has From Rep. James Clyburn on Executive Power

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vatican Newspaper In 1867 Had Female Cigar Smoking Writers and Cosmetic Ads

She wrote a "soap opera" for the Pope's Newspaper!! We also learn:

...A reading of our newspaper from a century and a half ago reserves many surprises: ads for cosmetic balms and hair dye, Russian stocks, second-hand carts, steam boat rides on the Nile and Upper Egypt, lotteries to finance missions and charity works and serial stories which aimed to attract new readers and make them faithful to the paper. Glancing through the minute and sometimes wobbly print of the Osservatore of the 1800s, the lively and quick prose of the author stands out in stories where the bad guys mercilessly employ their wicked plans and the good ones confront the troubles of life with courage and a spirit of sacrifice, “sublime in content, firm in pain;” two-dimensional characters, without real artistic value, who, however, manage to capture the attention of the reader through a freshness of dialogue and a solid narrative. ...

Hair dye? Soap Operas ? for readership and ad revenue? The Vatican always so practical.

Are Arkansas Democrats In Big Trouble?

I talked Texas this morning ( see Texas Democrats , Including Hispanics , Some of the Most Conservative in USA ) now to Arkansas.

The fact that popular Democrat's Congressman Mike Ross of Arkansas has announced he will not run again is not all bad news for Democrats since he is no doubt running for Governor. However as this article points out that has still not helped the mood among some. See ARKANSAS DEMOCRATS' OVERREACTION SHOWS SIGNS OF DESPERATION.

I see a similar dynamic here in Louisiana sometimes among democrats. That is some incredible frustration and lack of direction that leads to so something similar to what we are seeing in Arkansas.

As to the district of Mike Ross if the GOP can get the right person in it could very well be a pick up. Arkansas Democrats in this District on the whole might not be quite as conservative as those mentioned in the Texas link but many are in the ballpark.

“Latina Sexualities,” and Virgin Mary Porn ( Catholic College Update)

Oh and it gets far worse. Meet Prof Bianca Laureano at Catholic College Prof Promoted Poem Blasting USCCB Pro-Life Campaign.

Texas Democrats , Including Hispanics , Some of the Most Conservative in USA

This is an good article by an Texas Democrat with some fun quotes that is trying to get through some people's heads the whole State of Texas is not like Austin. See Texas Democrats' conservatism widespread outside of Austin

Perpetual Adoration And Other Activities Planned By Catholics for London Olympic Games

The London Herald has Perpetual Adoration planned for Olympic Games

Yankee Congressmen Rep. Rush Holt and Ed Markey Hate Louisiana ( Coastal Erosion )

Oh boy what's up with these guys. See Democratic congressman push to strip states' share of offshore oil revenue

Those comments are frightening. They both need an opponent in their primary and or the general.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Has Died

Whispers is broke the news at Rest Well, Big Boss -- "Super-Nuncio" Sambi Dies at 73

I had the opportunity and honor to meet him once. He served his Church and Lord well.

Tomb of the Apostle Phillip Discovered?

Major cool if this pans out. Can't wait for some pictures.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Twelve Democratic senators Oppose United Nations Gun Control Treaty

Wow I can see the campaign ads already next fall on this. Obama does does NOT need this in 2012. This is sort of thing that in some more moderate to liberal states that have a strong gun rights tradition that will cause him heartburn.


Yes Yes I am willing to bet the Holy See thinks this a grand idea but this is one of those areas where Catholics in the United States can safely disagree I think as to domestic policy. I am not one of those that freak out when someone says the UN is about to do x (insert the black helicopters) , but the fact that 11 democrat Senators are quickly showing opposition gets my attention. Maybe there is nothing to this but maybe there is with these folks opposing.

Here is the list of DEM Senators I actually think they could easily get a few more Democratic signatures too boot including my U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu I bet.

In Louisiana News- Man Dead For 27 Years Found In Bank Chimmney is Identified

I assume he was trying to rob the bank or whatever was in that building at the time. What a horrible way to die. I guess he got stuck and no one could hear him perhaps. See Skeletal remains identified as missing man from 1984

Louisiana Tech Journalism Grad Now A Contributor At Get Religion

As regular readers know I link that site a good bit. GO Bulldogs.

See Scribe with big feet joins GetReligion

Shariah takeover in America is about as likely as a zombie apocalypse.

I largely agree with this article from Reason that Mirrors of Justice highlights. See Cathy Young on "Fear of a Muslim America"

It seems to me this obsession again Shariah law sets up precedent that could hurt Christians in the long term. There just will never be the immigration patters that will make this a problem in the USA. Not saying that there are not still some issues but the talk on it here is a tad overblown.

Good Concise Overview of Irish Catholic Church Scandal ( Cloyne Report )

This is very good. See from the The Thirsty Gargoyle his post How Many Questions on the Cloyne Report?

That clears up a lot for me.

Thou Shall Not Tweet At Funerals Says Bishop Christopher Coyne

I have to admit I really wonder about people in this day and age. The Bishop has "Tweeting" at Funerals (Part 1) and "Tweeting" at funerals (part 2) .

I really hope this does not become a Catholic problem.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Why Do People Say We Are Going Default On the Debt?

No matter what side you are on in this debate I am not sure why we keep hearing that we could default on the debt.

If the worst scenario comes August 2nd we are facing a massive Government shutdown, but there will be money to pay the debt payments. Its the first thing that will be paid.

The Movie " The Undefeated " Shows The Bipartisan Sarah Palin

It's strange how political narratives and impressions can change. Ann Althouse has
"The Undefeated" — that movie about Sarah Palin — unwittingly shows why she's not a good candidate for President. bipartisan

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I Am Dancing My Way Out of The Baptist Church

In doing my genealogy research, I am exploring various Church minutes from Baptist Churches in the Amite county area of Mississippi. Several KEY Great (s) grandfathers ( and by implication Great Grandmothers) were not only the first American settlers in Mississippi after it was acquired from Spain, they also played a pivotal role in literally establishing the Baptist Church in Mississippi and also laying the foundations for the Baptist faith Community in neighboring Louisiana.

It is interesting looking at these Church minutes and seeing the various practices regarding Church discipline. There is actually a lot to commend to this and in fact have of course a basis in both Scripture and Tradition. In many ways this is very Catholic. Except instead of going to a Priest privately to confess your sin (who represents the Church) you go in front of the Church committee.

It also played a pivotal role in in the "Frontier" where one did not ( or really could not ) go to Law enforcement for every grievance against your neighbor. The Church stepped in to do that. In essence besides it's spiritual role the Church maintained social order .

However perhaps by 1882 times were starting to change a tad and the degree to which this was happening was getting a tad too much for some folks.

From the March 12, 1882 meeting of the Ebenezer Baptist Church:

March 12, 1882: The Ebenezer Baptist Church of Christ met in
conference. The privilege of the Church was extended. The
Minutes of last conference read and adopted. The building
committee was continued. The Resolutions on drinking
intoxicating liquors was postponed until next meeting. The Clerk
reported that Bro. Lewis Neyland had sent a statement to the
Church through him, that he and his wife had been dancing for
the purpose of being excluded from the Church; that there
existed some hard feelings between him and some of the members,
which caused him to pursue this course. On motion the Brothers
request was granted by excluding him and his wife from the
fellowship of the Church. Bro. Albert Caston was reported for
dancing, and Bro. H. S. Duck and wife for having dancing in
their house. On motion the Clerk was instructed to notify
Brothers Caston, Duck and Sister Duck to appear at our next
conference to answer to the above charges. Collection for
Foreign mission, $7.00. Conference adj. Eld. T. Lansdell, Mod.,f
R. D. J. Smith, Clerk.

Well that is pretty interesting and one sort of sees this dynamic a few times quite a few times in these minutes. The minutes are pretty interesting just to reach from start to finish.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Best Catholic Blog Post of the Day -Eucharistic Adoration Turns Around Parishes

Is it really As "simple" as this . Well Yes IT IS!! See Why Eucharistic adoration builds parishes via Outside the Asylum .

I have observed this in almost all Parishes where this happens. The question is why don't we do it most Parishes that are capable of it (which 99 percent are).

I say it's simple but it takes a little work of course. However when there is an effort but he whole Parish

To take an hour or two out a week
To remove themselves from the hustle of bustle of life
To do in prayer
To do so in the Front of the Blessed Eucharist in the Parish
TO do so as a Parish family (local church)

Of course you shall see results in many ways.

Brother of Pope Benedict Interviewed About His BRO

Vatican Insider has a nice and insightful interview with Father Georg Ratzinger. See The Pope told by his brother

Canon Lawyer Looks At Movement To Destroy Seal Of Confession

Father Z had Dr Peters piece at Ed Peters on attack on the Seal of Confession

It should be clear to those that have not thought of this that deals with a lot more than Catholic Priests, the Sacrament of Confession etc. It deals with similar Protestant and other religious bodies. Also why stop here what about Attorney Client privilege, spousal privilege , etc.

And why oh why do people think it will stop at crimes against children?

I am hoping that this is just a lot of smoke and not too much fire to all this.

First LSU Beer and Now PURPLE RICE

This is a pretty interesting article on the new LSU beer and some other related interesting news. Purple Rice? Nola Defender has LSU Brew Tiger Faithful to Get Their Own Beer, Courtesy of Microbrewery

Welsh Vicar Burns "Nasty" Parts of the Bible

Goodness he is actually shown barbecuing it. Anglican Samizdat has Welsh vicar cuts out the nasty bits of the Bible

Is the Fourth Cup BY Scott Hahn Too Neat and Tidy

I actually agree somewhat with the good Jesuit from NOLA on this a tad. The Fourth Cup all seemed a tad new neat and tidy to me also so I an not still too sure about it. Though let me clear I am a big fan of Scott Hahn , Pitre , and others like him and their work. So I am not endorsing the criticism by the the other Priest he links as to a earlier article. See Brant Pitre, Benedict XVI, And Why The Pope Has It Right

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Same Sex Marriage Without the "Gay"

American Thinker points out something I have tried to bring up before. See Same-sex Marriage: No Gay Required

Hey buddy I need to get on you health insurance. Lets get married!! When you think about one would not even have to make all that public in your community you are married to a person of the same sex . Just go out of state and "Get married". Basically the only people would know or have to know are the various employer and Govt agencies in which you are dealing with which"marriage" give you some benefit.

I suppose this happens to some extent as to people of the opposite sex (traditional marriage) but one can envision this could become a much bigger problem in the future.

Which leads to the question. Will future same sex marriage advocates demand a LEGAL requirement of something akin to consummation so that the special moral anchor that marriage gives and thus opens to the door to all sort of new rights is not put in peril?

Bishop OF Kansas City On Persecution of the Catholic Church In Chian

Hopefully a lot more American Bishops will be getting the word to their flocks. Catholic Key has : Will China Buy Our Silence About Persecution of Catholics? – Bishop Finn

Washington Post Does Update on From Soccer Pro To Priesthood Story

Katherine Frey over at the Washington Post has a nice update on that big story from a few years back. That is a American Pro- Soccer prayer leaving to the game to become a Catholic Priest. He seems to be doing fine.

Get Religion has the link at The soccer pro and the seminary

A Look At The Diocese of Savannah Georgia's New Bishop -Fr Gregory John Hartmayer

It was all things Archbishop Chaput the last two days but Pope Benedict made an important appointment down the Deep South. Whispers has a overview at With Savannah, Father Francis Gets a Two-Fer

LSU To Produce it's Own Beer

Just in time for Fall Football Season . Now word on a name yet. See LSU to brew and sell its own beer

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Comments on Archbishop Chaput's Appointment At National Catholic Reporter

Goodness hat sad people. Domine, da mihi hanc aquam! has Commenters at NCR: "joyless people with no hope"?

Good American Theocrat Versus Bad American Theocrat

Reformed Pastor has a good post here at Theocrat Watch XII.

Whats the difference? By the way I am a big supporter of the Dream act but that is besides the point. You have people of Faith that because of that that are against abortion, gay marriage etc. These are the "bad theocrats" we are told.

On the other side we have people of faith and because of that are for gay marriage, against state Execution, want to reform the immigration system etc etc.

Are those good theocrats? No one is going to label them as such but as we see there is not much difference in their actions. WHY NO SCREAMING OF SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE as to this second group.

For the record I don't think Senator Durbin is doing anything wrong. However the double standard is amazing.

Wynn Resorts CEO Steve Wynn Not Very Hot On Obama Anymore

Everybody’s afraid of the government, and there’s no need to soft peddling it, it’s the truth.…..And I’m telling you that the business community in this company is frightened to death of the weird political philosophy of the President of the United States. And until he’s gone, everybody’s going to be sitting on their thumbs.

Oh hand it gets a lot more critical!! Such as:

And a lot of people don’t want to say that. They’ll say, “Oh God, don’t be attacking Obama.” Well, this is Obama’s deal, and it’s Obama that’s responsible for this fear in America. The guy keeps making speeches about redistribution, and maybe we ought to do something to businesses that don’t invest or holding too much money. We haven’t heard that kind of talk except from pure socialists.

This was one of Obama's critical supporters talking. Much more at Red State's post

Buyer’s Remorse In Sin City. Steve Wynn Regrets His Support For Obama.

Pope Benedict Names Atlanta Priest Fr Gregory John Hartmeyer Bishop of Savannah Georgia

It's not all Archbishop Chaput this morning. Pope Benedict has named Atlanta Priest Fr Gregory John Hartmeyer OFM Conv, 59 to be Bishop of Savannah , accepting retirement of Bp Kevin Boland, 76

Via Rocco Palmo

Monday, July 18, 2011

Can We Send Louisiana Leading Republicans To Family Therapy

The personal relationships among the top Louisiana elected officials are so dysfunctional even for the tough world of politics.

Republican David Vitter ( and Staff) and Democrat Mary Landrieu ( and Staff) seem to rarely talk to each other which even if they are in two different parties reached a level of absurd silliness a long time ago. I am not placing the blame on one party but both of them. Yeah Mary can be one first class (rhymes with a character in the Wizard of OZ) but David has his moments too.

Vitter folks ( and staff) don't seem to get along with the Governor Jindal's Office ( and Staff) and the feeling is mutual it seems.

Our Lt Governor Jay Dardenne and Vitter it appears don't get along too well which is one reason why I guess Vitter is about to REALLY get involved in that race. I am not sure what the relationship is between Jay and Jindal but I suspect there is some drama. Though if Vitter is supporting Jay''s opponent then I expect Bobby might support Jay.

Now today we see this unnecessary drama. See David Vitter and Bobby Jindal vie for influence among GOP legislators

Each side (or sides) keep escalating this battle and at some point who "started it" gets to be a worthless question

The Advocate rightly points out that many will have great fun in watching the GOP fight as we devour their own.

There is nothing about legitimate intra party debate but this and other things seems all so personal. Here is one other point. The Louisiana Democrat party might be on LIFE SUPPORT RIGHT NOW but they will come back. We in the GOP should using this time period wisely and this is not the way to do it.

Political Connections and Sexual Child Abuse in Grand Isle Louisiana

Thank goodness Slabbed has been staying on top of this situation and writing about this from the start. . I am shocked that no one seems to give a damn. See his last post Hung Jury: Molestin’ Jerry “Captain Jay” Dantin gets a mistrial.

Southern Baptist Leadership Not Happy With Herman Cain

I really like Herman Cain but his comments on Muslims , things that sound like religion tests for public office , and the building of mosques just drive me up the wall. At one point I thought he would crawfish on it but as we saw yesterday he just keeps doubling down on it.

Needless to say these comments make it impossible for me to vote for him.

The Southern Baptist recall the religious persecution that they had to endure in the Colonial days. Religious liberty is in their DNA and the leadership is quick to remind their flock of that. In fact some of the early battles that Baptist Slaveholder themselves had were with their State Governments that tried to interfere with the right of slaves to worship. This happened to some degree in Mississippi where my ancestors helped found the Baptist Church. It's a rather big deal to them.

The response from the Southern Baptist leadership to Cain's comment was fast and furious today. See SBC's Land disagrees with Cain on mosques

I would not be shocked if some other Southern Baptist heavy weights such as Albert Mohler weigh in quickly. He is already upset on another issue that relates to Islam and religious liberty of us all.

Archbishop Chaput and His Future Relationship With The East Coast Media -

I mentioned below in my post below, Archbishop Chaput to Become New Archbishop of Philadelphia (Links) , that Archbishop Chaput has no problem speaking his mind . In that post I linked a past article The Bishop's Ax Falls on Obama. And on the Vatican Curia.

Archbishop's Chaput's public bully pulpit is about to increase big time with his move from Denver to Philadelphia .

Chaput has an interesting relationship with the media ,and it will be something to watch as he will now be in the important Northeast Corridor of media that pretty much decides what the news is that filters on our front pages out in the sticks.

Chaput is not an unknown quantity to the east coast media , and if he was he surely was not after last year's Religion news writer conference in which he was a speaker at.

The speech was typical Chaput which means good , intelligent and thought provoking .

However what got people attention was the Q and A session after wards which depending on your point of view was "awkward" or "we need more of this". Get Religion had a post on that at Bam: Chaput boycotts the NYT .

Chaput is actually quite open with interacting with the media. What should not be missed is this very good speech and again Q and A session with some big media heavey hitters that happened in 2009. See this where The Pew forum had a Q and A session between Archbishop Chaput and the press. See The Political Obligations of Catholics: A Conversation With the Most Rev. Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Denver. Good stuff.

Archbishop Chaput to Become New Archbishop of Philadelphia (Links)

I think when the Philly Inquirer pretty much breaks the story we can bank that is what will be announced at Roman noon tomorrow. Secular newspapers in the USA rarely break this news since people keep the EMBARGO stuff pretty seriously. However this is not a usual situation to say the least. However the cat is now out of the bag as it were.

I am pretty pumped to say the least over the the Chaput move. This means of course that at some point he will be in line for a Cardinal hat.

There are "indications" "Rumors" that this be might ACT I of an Archbishop shuffle int he good ole USA by Pope Benedict

I will try to keep updating this page today and of course tomorrow with links.

Rocco has his big post up (where he goes as far as he can in confirming it) and needless to say he will be a person that will have a good bit on this. See Render Unto Chaput -- Sources: Denver's Capuchin = Philadelphia's Revolution

Archbishop Chaput is a often in demand speaker. One of my favorite talks of his did not get the attention I thought it should have at the time. See Thoughts on a New Knighthood which he gave at the Air Force Academy

This writer at U.S. Catholic says Chaput is not very "Pastoral" (whatever that means) and is a bad fit for Philly. I think that is nonsense from what I hear in Denver. Chaput is the type to speak the truth i and one can be that and be Pastoral. See Jesus, See Peter, See Paul.

The main religious writer over at USA TODAY has a good post up . See Denver's Chaput rumored pope's pick for Philly. It examines comments made by Tom Peters ( a fan of the pick) and Michael Winters over at NCR (not a fan it appears). Winter's I guess picks up on what will be a theme. Chaput is not very "Pastoral". He uses this as an example:

Whether you think Chaput is the ideal pick depends on what you think is needed there
If you think you need the marshal going in to Dodge City to put the bad guys in jail, Chaput would be your guy. If you want some one who would spread balm rather than throw the bomb, that's a different kind of personality.

Chaput, says Winter, is
... a culture warrior. It puts blinders on him that make him do regrettable things. A perfect example: He ruled that children of gay parents can't go to Catholic schools. His classmate at seminary, Cardinal Sean O'Malley (both are members of the Capuchin order of Franciscan priests) reached the exact opposite decision in Boston, saying that you don't make decisions for children based on their parents' behavior

That story he mentions got a lot of Press. I suppose people can disagree. But is that an example of someone not being Pastoral? The child would be put in a very uncomfortable position very often as she would be dealing (in front of other kids and her peers) with Catholic teaching that said what her "parents" were doing was wrong and went against Church teaching . I am not sure how "pastoral" it would be to put a child in that situation because of the unavoidable conflicts. Winter , no doubt who has vast years of Catholic Teacher classroon experience ,does not tell us how he would handle that. My gut reaction is Winters did not think it was "Pastoral" because it embarrassed him at parties to have to talk about it.

Also don't get me started on the term "culture warrior".

Rocco is no longer being coy. In this post he confirms (and celebrates with some music). It appears other sources are rapidly confirming what the Philly paper broke this morning.

The Anchoress tell the sticks in the mud to get a life at Chaput to Philadelphia

Now from CNA this is indeed interesting

On June 30, the Vatican's Congregation for Bishops picked the name of a potential Philadelphia archbishop from a list of three candidates – known as a “terna” – to recommend to Pope Benedict.

However, after praying over the issue during the Fourth of July weekend, Pope Benedict decided not to select any of the recommended candidates, and specifically chose Archbishop Chaput for the post.

By the way it does not shock me that some int he Holy See were not in Chaput's corner. Recall when he posted for Vatican consumption that they were out to Lunch on Obama. See The Bishop's Ax Falls on Obama. And on the Vatican Curia

I have added another post on my blog. See Archbishop Chaput and His Future Relationship With The East Coast Media -

On a Louisiana note guess who the Archbishop's Role Model is? See Why is Archbishop Rummel a Role Model for Archbishop Chaput? Press Q and A Part II

Archdiocese of Philadelphia has a Chaput page.

Thomas Pringle has a nice write up here.

According to Rocco Palmo the installation is scheduled for Thursday, 8 September, the feast of the Birth of Mary.

OK it's "official" Roman noon has struck. From the Vatican:

Il Santo Padre Benedetto XVI ha accettato la rinuncia al governo pastorale dell’arcidiocesi metropolitana di Philadelphia (U.S.A.), presentata dall’ Card. Justin F. Rigali, in conformità al can. 401 § 1 del Codice di Diritto Canonico.

Il Papa ha nominato Arcivescovo Metropolita di Philadelphia (U.S.A.) S.E. Mons. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., finora Arcivescovo di Denver.

S.E. Mons. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

S.E. Mons. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., è nato il 26 settembre 1944 a Concorida (Kansas). È membro della tribù nativa americana dei "Prarie Band Potawatomi". Dopo aver frequentato la scuola primaria "Our Lady of Perpetual Help" nella città natale, è passato per gli studi secondari alla "Saint Francis Seminary High School" a Victoria (Kansas). Nel 1965 è entrato nell’Ordine Francescano dei Frati Minori Cappuccini della Provincia di San Agostino. Ha studiato presso il "Saint Fidelis College Seminary" di Herman (Pennsylvania) dove ha ottenuto il Baccalaureato in Filosofia nel 1967. Successivamente ha studiato presso il "Capuchin College" in Washington, D.C., dove ha ottenuto un Master in Educazione Religiosa nel 1970 e presso l’"University of San Francisco", dove ha conseguito un Master in Teologia nel 1971.

Ha emesso i voti perpetui come Cappuccino il 14 luglio 1968, ed è stato ordinato sacerdote il 29 agosto 1970.

Dopo l'ordinazione sacerdotale, è stato insegnante di teologia e Direttore Spirituale presso il "Saint Fidelis College Seminary" (1971-1974). Ha svolto poi l’ufficio di Segretario Esecutivo e Direttore delle Comunicazioni della Provincia Cappuccina di San Agostino con sede a Pittsburgh (1974-1977). In seguito è stato Parroco della "Holy Cross Parish" a Thornton (Colorado) nell’arcidiocesi di Denver (1977-1980) e, sempre a Denver, della Provincia Cappuccina del "Mid-America", è stato Vicario Provinciale (1977-1983), Segretario Esecutivo ed Economo (1980-1983) e Ministro Provinciale (1983-1988).

E’ stato nominato Vescovo di Rapid City (South Dakota) il 29 aprile 1988 ed è stato consacrato il 26 luglio successivo.

Il 18 febbraio 1997 è stato nominato Arcivescovo di Denver.

In seno della Conferenza Episcopale è Membro del "Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church" e del "Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development" e Presidente del "Subcommittee on Native American Affairs".


Chaput is interviewed this morning

Archbishop of New Orleans In Newspaper Op Ed - The New Battle of New Orleans - STOP THE VIOLENCE

The now Archbishop of New Orleans with Pope Benedict

I pray ( and at this point I think that's a crucial part) this works. See A call for the end of violence: Archbishop Gregory Aymond

Were the Very First Slaves In Virginia Catholic?

As usual when I do genealogy research I get sidetracked for hours by all sort of interesting history. Last night I was researching the branch of my family that settled in Jamestowne. The National Park service has several great resources that are available online for those researching family in this area and in this time period. Those include:

- Documentary History of Jamestown Island, volume I: Narrative History
-Documentary History of Jamestown Island, volume II: Land Ownership
-Documentary History of Jamestown Island, volume III: Biographies of Owners and Residents

In preparing to write the genealogy of my family I do not want it just be a litany of names and dates. I want to give a narrative of what my ancestors saw. Part of that is the interaction of my ancestors with slaves. More specifically as to that is perhaps how they saw and played a part in of the transformation of a society with slaves to a slave society. There is a difference From the below linked PDF document from the National Park Service:

Ira Berlin
argues in his recent book, Many Thousands Gone:
The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North
America, is that in societies with slaves:
slaves were marginal to the central productive
processes; slavery was just one form of
labor among many. Slaveowners treated
their slaves with extreme callousness and
cruelty at times because this was the way
they treated all subordinates, whether indentured
servants, debtors, prisoners-of-war,
pawns, peasants, or simply poor folks. In
societies with slaves, no one presumed the
master-slave relationship to be the social
exemplar (Berlin 1998).

When societies with slaves became slave societies,
Berlin continues, “slavery stood at the center
of economic production, and the master-slave relationship
provided the model for all social relations”
(Berlin 1998: 8). It was an all encompassing
system from which, in the words of Frank
Tannenbaum, “Nothing escaped, nothing, and no
one” (Tannenbaum 1946: 117)

I happened upon a very good read last night that I spent hours on. See A Study of the Africans andAfrican Americans on Jamestown Island and at Green Spring, 1619-1803. For Genealogy purposes this a great resource no matter what. It also at the beginning has some nifty maps of where the first settlers owned land.

However it is a vivid picture of how what was to become the colonies and thus the United States went from a society with slaves to a Slave society.

In August 1619 an event occurred that Virginia history and thus American history forever. A Dutch frigate,Hampton Roads bearing 20-some Africans.

From a Catholic viewpoint this caught my eye. (on pages 28 to 29 of the PDF)

The Probable Origin of
Virginia’s First Africans

In recent years, scholars Engel Sluiter and John Thornton have learned much about the origin of
the Africans whom John Rolfe indicated had arrived at Old Point Comfort in late August 1619.

After studying records in the Spanish archives, Sluiter concluded that these people had been removed from a Portuguese slave ship, and that they had been captured in Angola, on the west coast of Africa. He found that during the fiscal year June 18, 1619, to June 21, 1620, six slave ships arrived at Vera Cruze, having taken their human cargoes aboard at Sao Paulo de Loanda, the capital of Portuguese Angola.

One of the ships (the San Juan Batista) reportedly was attacked by English corsairs and captured. As it was the only vessel listed as being attacked out of 36 making the voyage in
1618-1619 and 1621-1622, Engel Sluiter surmised that it was the one captured by the Treasurer and Captain Jope’s Flushing man-of-war, which John Pory and John Rolfe spoke of. As the attack took place off Campeche in late July or August 1619, there would have been enough time to reach Virginia by the end of August (Sluiter 1998:395-398). John Thornton built upon Engel Sluiter’s findings and proffered that the Africans, who came fromSao Paulo de Loanda, probably had been baptized and made Christians, in accord with Portuguese

Even so, the Dutch and Portuguese probably considered them slaves. Some of the African
people aboard the San Juan Batista may have been enslaved in the Kingdom of Kongo (north of
Angola) or in territory to Angola’s east. On the other hand, some of the Africans brought to Virginia may have come from the area south of Angola, across the Kwanza River, for the Portuguese had been buying slaves there since the late sixteenth century.

However, in Thornton’s opinion the most likely source of the people aboard the San Juan Batista was the Kingdom of Ndongo, against which the local Portuguese military had been waging large military campaigns since 1618. During that conflict thousands of Kimbundo-speaking people were captured and enslaved. While Portuguese governor Luis Mendes de Vasconcelos was in office (1617-1621) approximately 50,000 slaves were exported from Angola. According to Bishop Manuel Bautista Soares of Kongo, approximately 4,000 baptized Christians were captured and enslaved by the Imbangala tribesmen who fought on the side of the Portuguese governor.

Many of these victims came from the royal district of Ndongo, between the Lukala and Lutete Rivers.Within the district of Ndongo were several towns that were nucleated and enclosed by a palisade.The largest of these urban centers was Angoleme. Interspersed among the urban communities was a rural population that tended livestock and raised crops such as millet and sorghum. The people of this region participated in markets and dressed in clothing made of tree bark and cotton or imported fabric. If the Africans who came to Virginia aboard the Treasurer and the man-of-warfrom Flushing were from the Lukala-Lutete River area, they probably spoke a common language but shared a complex ethnic identity. Moreover, as Portuguese law required all African slaves to be baptized and to receive religious instruction, someof the 20-odd who came to Virginia in 1619 probably
had been introduced to Christianity (Thornton 1998:421-434).

So it appears from this region where these Slaves came from there was already a Christian presence and as the Bishop noted a vast number of these had been captured.

Redneck Christianity!! Jesus Appears on Wal Mart Receipt

Only in the South. What next ? 100,000 rabid Alabama fans seeing a miracle of the sun (like Fatima or Medjugorje) at the Spring Football game?

Creative Minority Report has Jesus on Wal Mart Receipt?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Awaits Pope Benedict's Choice This Week- It's On ( I place my bet)

Archbishop of Denver Chaput

Archbishop of Atlanta Gregory

UPDATE- I LOST THE BET See Archbishop Chaput to Become New Archbishop of Philadelphia (Links)

Whispers in the Loggia is reporting that this is the week with "Roman Noon" perhaps to be on Tuesday. See It's On.

According to Whispers Pope Benedict is supposed to have made his choice two weeks ago but as he mentioned anything can change.

It has been a rough few months in Philly ,and Cardinal Rigali as they deal with the valid perception that there was bad of the g sexual child abuse problem.

It's a situation where the media ,and some of the Faithful are outraged and with cause. On the flip side you have many Priests that are outraged, with cause, that it appears they will be thrown under the bus by any accusation.

Of course in the back ground of this is any Bishop that is appointed the new Archbishop will very likely be made a Cardinal and thus the stakes are huge.

Add to this other problems including the prospect of another hot election cycle coming up in 2012 in which the Keystone State is key and the politics are not for the lighthearted, the changing demographics that this area is combating , and various other issues one sees the need for the right choice.

There are several names mentioned as "likely" two of which are Archbishop Chaput of Denver and Archbishop Gregory of Atlanta.

Both men have dealt with the issue of Catholic Clerical sexual abuse quite well with Archbishop Gregory getting major big kudos as being head of United State Catholic Bishops during the time of reform. Further both men have had very good success with other parts of their "domestic" Church that they are the Head.

Chaput of course is quite a vocal voice for the Church in the public square ,and I am in the camp that would love too see him going to Philly. Both men would be a good choice in my view.

OF COURSE IT COULD BE NEITHER. In fact I would not be shocked if it was someone else at all. However these are teo big names that are mentioned by those that follow such things.

Rumors have had it that Chaput is likely to be the choice , but I think Benedict has have chosen Gregory.

Pope Benedict has a good relationship with Gregory dealing with sexual abuse issues when Cardinal Ratzinger was moving heaven and earth at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith to get the Holy See to see the scope of the problem.

We have reliable reports before Dinardo (and thus Houston) was elevated to a Cardinal See that Pope Benedict considered (Gregory and thus Atlanta) for this honor and position.

On the flip side there are two other factors (among others) that perhaps would indicate that it would not be a good time to move Gregory.

Archbishop's Catholic " Hotlanta" is growing and has good vocations. However a significant part of that Church , that being the Latino population, is feeling under siege by the States related immigration laws that have just been enacted. Is this a time for the See to be vacant? ( I am not sure how much the actions of the Georgia State Government is on the Holy See's radar) .

Add to this the good Archbishop Gregory has had a cancer scare in the past and one can question if it would be wise or even "fair" to put move him into this needless to say tough and challenging situation. We do know that stress at times cannot be great for a past cancer victim. Of course I am not a doctor , and I think it is thought that Gregory is , despite that successful cancer fight, in good health all things considered. Still....

Last but not least, It is largely thought that in the future that Atlanta will receive a Red Hat so why not just keep Gregory there.

I am personally rooting for Chaput because I think in the future he will be a better fit there ( and by implication the American Church) as we deal with more assaults on the Catholic and Christian faith in the public square. However various voices in the Holy See might not see it that way including in the Sec of State's office perhaps.

However with that being said Benedict might also be seeing a move ahead in his appointments of Bishops ( and indeed perhaps future Cardinals chess game) . While the immediate crisis is in the Archdiocese of Philly is of the prime concern one would be negligent not to think of the future.

A Gregory move to Philly would allow perhaps Benedict to install a Latino Bishop Archbishop in Atlanta. One those Latino Bishops that er likes that has a history of being a Shepherd to both the emerging Latino population but has worked the Anglo side of the street too.

Again there are other people that are in the running besides the two I have focused on. However if I HAD to make a bet I would Gregory (a good choice) though my heart hopes that Chaput gets it.

I also think it would be wise to keep Gregory in Atlanta for other reasons. First if Atlanta is elevated to the RED HAT having the first African American Cardinal in ATLANTA and thus in the South would be huge important symbolism.

Further it is apparent to me that evangelicals , including the powerful Southern Baptist, are about to make a huge push into non Anglo areas in the South. This is one reason Southern Baptist leadership made a push on getting their recent Convention to endorse comprehensive immigration reform and elected as their VP an dynamic and popular African American Pastor from New Orleans . This new push will includes both the black, Latino, and other ethnic segments of the population. It might be good to keep Gregory there that knows the lay of the land as to that. I am under no illusion though that the Holy See is aware of these pending evangelical moves in the American South as those on the ground here are.

As to Chaput this would this would seem an very APT time to make the move to put him in the position of the Red Hat and put a good competent and Holy man in a See in Crisis.

No matter what the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and it's new Archbishop will need our prayers.

After A Tough Summer and Spring Southerners Need SEC Football

SEC MEDIA DAYS!!! are upon us this week. Good times. I would add of of course large parts of the South are not out of the woods yet as the wrathful year that Mother Nature has given us. We are about to enter the heart of Hurricane season.

Via the Birmingham news see Southerners need SEC now more than ever

It's 1991 All OVer Again!! - Edwards, Duke, and Quite fasicanting Buddy Roemer

Boy I feel sort of old after I read this. This seems like just so yesterday when I was young and carefree but it has been 20 YEARS!! Yet as pointed out here all three are on the scene again this year. See Edwin Edwards, Buddy Roemer and David Duke are forever linked by history

(as you can see I got my computer modem finally running this weekend)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cardinal Joseph Zen - IT's WAR IN CHINA ( Please Read)

I am pretty computer illiterate and right now I am trying to get my computer to recognize a blessed driver on my new modem. The other one got zapped by a surge caused by lightning. So blogging and tweeting my be sparse this weekend except for the Saturday morning hours.

That being said Whispers in the Loggia has a much needed and well written post on the huge Catholic Crisis in China. American and UK Catholics live in countries that have a somewhat zone of influence still with China. We need to start raising hell about this. THIS IS A HUGE CRISIS.

See In China, "It's a War"

As alwasy besides calling politicos MUCH prayer is needed. One way to get both is to urge your Priest to talk about this at Mass and it discussed in other Catholic venues.

This is not just a Catholic thing of course. See from a Baptist Minister in Baton Rouge When you know those Christians on the news being arrested (or) Shouwang Church

SO talk to everyone about this. This is not something that can wait a few years to engage on.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Little Texas Rug Rats Catholics Show Adults Singing Latin Chant Is Not That Hard

But But the adults say it hard to learn something new ( or in this case not really new but Sacred and Ancient and in practice just decades ago). More please!! Would it not be great if a Devout Catholic like Bill Gates came along and put one Sacred Music teacher in every Catholic school. IMAGINE the difference in just a few years.

Or perhaps we can just pay for it.

National Media Discovers Anti Catholic Preachers And Churches Today

First it was Michelee Bachman see Catholic Republicans- Don't Fall For the Michele Bachmann's Papacy Is Anti Christ Distraction (Updated)

Now it's blessed Rick Perry. Creative Minority Report has Sally Quinn: Rick Perry's Anti-Catholic "Pastor Problem"

In some ways a few Catholics of some influence are to partially to blame for this from the last Republican primary . Some were APPALLED that Huckabee went to Hagee's Church. Though they did not realize at the time that the numerous GOP folks go to Hagee's Church not because of his anti Catholic THEOLOGICAL views but everything about Israel. Once it appeared even John McCain talked to him people sort of shut up on what I thought was a faux controversy and still do. However the media noted someof the reaction by a few and heck why not feed it again. It sold somewhat last time.

Regardless I think most Catholics of Orthodox Faith after the last few years are far more concerned about the anti Catholicism rants of the NYT Op-ed page and now being called people of hate because one opposes gay marriage. That is much more important than the ignorance of Hagee or other folks on the Papacy or issues of Catholic Doctrine relating to Saints or Marian Doctrine. Our religious liberty is at stake now.

So hopefully , and I am seeing encouraging signs, the beast that some want us to feed on so to divide and conquer is not going to be fed on.

Back in the 60s we asked Protestants that did not agree with us on Christian Doctrine not to be prejudice against us as to public office. I am not going to return the favor by now demanding that people have a perfect theology that does not "offend" my Catholic beliefs if they run for office ,or that they must not associate with those that have such an "offensive" viewpoint.

Don't fall for the distraction.

Louisiana Conference Of Catholic Bishops Rates The 2011 Legislative Session

I would put up a picture of the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops emblem ,but then their Lawyers might get upset and Bishop Duca would have to call me again :) Though I do love when the Bishop calls me.

So despite the lack of pleasing enticing pic please give it a look here

The Economics and Business of Prison Tattoos From A Louisiana Man

This is an enlightening interview with a man that has had a rather extensive stay in some of the finer establishments in Louisiana and Texas . He also gives Angola State Prison 5 Stars. The Independent has PEN & INK

New Vatican Nunico To United States Should Engage Obama On Foreign Policy

Whispers has a nice post on the yesterdays big news coming out of Rome. See "Super-Nuncio," Rome-Bound?

He gives a overview of the performance of what we believe to be a outgoing Nuncio Archbishop Pietro Sambi of whom I am a big fan. I got the pleasure of meeting him when he came to the Diocese of Shreveport. He also gives the background of the new Nunico coming in.

I don't think there is a lot a Papal Nunico can do about the current Administration's viewpoint ( and add to that the 50 Governors) various views on abortion, stem cell research, gay marraige etc.

However I think there is A LOT they can do to spread the Holy See viewpoint on American foriegn policy on population control , abortion, and all sort of other matters that they ( in our name) are pursuing in the UN and it's conditions on aid to various countries.

Further what about CHINA? We have influence with China and yet everyone (not just Obama's State Department) seem to be silent on the latest persecution of Catholics and other Christians. Including the latest outrage.

Catholic Republicans- Don't Fall For the Michele Bachmann's Papacy Is Anti Christ Distraction (Updated)

It's a distraction. We see far more anti Catholicism from Catholics in the New York Times that is more important than what a sect of 400,000 Lutherans believe.

I thought many Catholics went off the rails with the Hagee situation a few years back. Don't fall for this. Please!! It is purely divide and conquer. I am confident that a lot of Catholics in her district "get this" and put it in it's proper place.

For the record I am not supporting Bachmann but this is just silly.

Update- Get Religion has must read on this non story here.

Look It's A LSU Tiger Cow with Blue Dog Mask

Well this is different. Coming to the LSU Museum of Art

Sci Fi TV Catholicism - Falling Sky and Lourdes

Mirrirs of Justice has a nice piece (plus some vids) on a show I am starting to enjoy watching. See A Powerful Catholic Character in a New Science-Fiction Television Show -- "Falling Skies"

We have not had a good Sci Fi Catholic related discussion on the web in a while so it's nice to see a character like this on.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Why Bobby Jindal Is Such A Good Louisiana Politician

Cenlamar has been running a series of blog post on Progressive Louisiana folks. He talks to retiring (and consistent Jindal critic) State Senator Butch Gautreaux. See Summer Interview Series (Part Three): Senator Butch Gautreaux.

Now I am not going to debate the policy differences between Jindal and Gautreaux and between Louisiana conservatives and progressives.

But let me point out these parts:

If I were Governor, my top three initiatives would all involve communications. I’ve observed Governors become more and more removed from the citizens of Louisiana. There was a time not too long ago when a citizen could actually get the Governor on the phone. Understandably, that can’t routinely happen, but there are cases where, once screened, a return call should come from no one but the Governor.........

He them later says:

I would say that Bobby Jindal is the most effective politician I have ever witnessed. I have not ever before witnessed the State being ruled by one person.

While creating fear among legislators, Jindal has created an adoring fan base...

Fear? Well there is always that tension between the Governor and the legislature so I would not read too much into that. However he is not alone in that viewpoint is a very good politico with a lot of fans. In fact he echos sentiments of another white democrat :

"Bobby Jindal is the best politician that Louisiana's ever seen. And that's not a compliment." - Sen. Joe McPherson, D-Woodworth.

Now policy differences aside how does Jindal do this? This is where the disconnect comes in and what the good Senator does not get. There have been vast areas of this state where you are lucky to see a Governor more than once in his term. In fact there are many parts of this State where you might see a Governor not come by in nearly a decade.

Republican Governor Mike Foster was the worst at this sadly as too North Louisiana. There were running jokes about it in the newspapers. Still with most Governors in my lifetime their travels was pretty much within a 100 miles of Baton Rouge.

To be fair former Governor Blanco seemed to realize this problem as evidenced by her 8 years of Lt Governor. As Governor though Katrina woes though sidetracked her early. Yet that PHYSICAL PRESENCE in all parts of the State as LT Gov is one reason she beat Bobby when he first ran.

Governor Jindal on the other hand is all over the State and not just in the major cities or even mid major cities. It was rare to see a Governor in my small rural Parish yet I think Jindal has now been here 12 or 13 times. He has talked to various groups, local politicos, and average folks. This is being played out in numerous parts of Louisiana every week.

This new attitude coming out of Governor Mansion is something I had not seen in my lifetime. Thus when Louisiana Democrats tried to make hay out of Jindal's out of State travels it made little headway with parts of his base out in "provinces" as it were. They could not complain about Jindal going to Florida when they had an opportunity to meet their Governor numerous times in their own backyard.

Jindal like all executives have made mistakes , and yes Jindal has made some that have baffled me. However his real physical presence in parts of the State gives people a connection to Baton Rouge that perhaps they thought was missing before. This has helped him a great deal mitigate the bad decisions he might have made in the course of his first term. It has also been effective in putting out some serious fires on his right.

As they say all politics is local ,and Jindal has got that down to a science. The fact that he has done this translates into real influence. He is so powerful perhaps because he is bypassing the legislators and going directly to that next layer of politicos at the local level.

Now of course what was once great appreciated will now be expected as the norm. So Jindal in the future will no doubt get a diminishing rate of returns on this practice. However Jindal has changed forever I expect how the Governor , whether he is democrat or republican, must interact with his citizens both rural and urban and north versus south.

Pope Benedict To Appoint Archbishop Viganò New Apostolic Nuncio to the United States

Interesting background on him here via Vatican Insider. See New Nuncio in Washington. And a canonist enters the Governorate

Doing a good job I guess means cracking a few heads at the Holy See but once you are ousted for it you at least get a important new job. :)

More Hints Major Bombshells Will Implicate 3 or 4 SEC Schools

This is the third time I have heard wind of this in days. I am afraid LSU might be on this list though I hope not. At the bottom of this interesting piece Winds of Change Blowing Again? which examines if Texas A & M will enter the SEC we see this:

He told me that in the spring, the SEC was really focused on working with CBS and ESPN to restructure their TV deal given how the dollars have skyrocketed with the ACC , new Big 12, and Pac-12. He also told me that the SEC felt they could get a new deal by expansion of two teams to get the networks to the table and that a priority was Texas A&M. I

In fact, my source claims that the SEC has/had Clemson ready to go and they were simply waiting to see if Texas A&M could get their ducks in a row and leave the Big 12. When I asked whether the SEC would still take A&M, he said paraphrasing “are you kidding me, the SEC is drooling over the Aggies. They bring the state of Texas to the table.”

But he was clear to say that was the focus in the spring. He says that while the SEC would take A&M and expand in a minute, he questioned whether Texas A&M would want to come to the SEC right now given what he called “the mess that is building here”. He told me that with all the media attention on the Cam Newton situation at Auburn along with the Will Lyles stuff and other things that “there are other allegations that will come out that will implicate 3-4 other SEC schools”, the SEC has shifted its attention to managing the fallout he said will likely come when these allegations hit.

So instead of worrying about whether the SEC will take A&M, it appears the issue could be whether the time is right for A&M to take the SEC. So that is another strike against an immediate decision. However, if the NCAA starts cleaning up the SEC, that could actually be a positive for the Aggies since the biggest hurdle on the AD side has been the concern about the recruiting environment and the infamous SEC tactics. But, a multiple school scandal likely won’t sit well with CBS .

Reviews Of New York Times Editor's Book Review On Bad Pope's Book Coming In

I mention this review on Sunday. It appears I was not alone in thinking it was a tad over the top. Get Religion looks at the reaction at The Times grinds Its ax

Is the Prayer Breakfast A Contradiction To Christ's Teaching?

If one is going to preach on preach on humility and in the same breath judge a lot of people one should not perhaps with little less snark.

That is one area , among others, where I fear Law Prof Mark Osler's piece fails that he wrote for the Huffington Post. See Prayer Breakfast Heresies .

Now that does not mean there is not some grain of truths to what Mr Olsen is saying. We need to make sure that we are not honoring ourselves too much and have the focus on Jesus. Also we need to make sure we are not the hypocrites that Jesus talks about.

The Prayer Breakfast is actually quite common and many occur every week and are low key affairs. I assume that Mr Osler is not targeting these. Rather he might be hitting on those that have perhaps a politico or athlete as it's focus. The occasional biggie.

He says in part:
..........What fascinates me about these events is that they drape themselves in the faith, yet create a scene that Christ himself would (and did) directly condemn. They are the epitome of a culture that celebrates itself, rather than embracing what Jesus actually taught. ...

A pretty big charge but can he back it up?

The pattern of a prayer breakfast can be as ritualized as Kabuki theater. There is music to kick things off, one or two introductory speakers, and then a primary speaker (often a politician, successful businessman, or a former athlete) who will offer a lengthy prayer.......

In essence I think this is part of his problem as we see when he takes Christ's teaching on private prayer out of context. In all honesty I would not call a good many of these things prayer meetings though in a Protestant non liturgical world it is as close as one shall get.

In my perfect world a prayer breakfast would include something akin to the Morning Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours with the speaker. However I am not sure if Mr Osler would find that as "ritualized" as Kabuki theater or not.

The Prayer Breakfast is largely protestant in nature I find and what we see here is some attempt to impose some public liturgical order here so all can participate. This is prayer but largely a opportunity for someone to give their "testimony" to which I don't see as un biblical at all.

When I have attended a prayer breakfast put on by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, I usually find nothing there Jesus would condemn. It's purpose is give testimony and indeed edification to believers. This seems a somewhat Biblical concept.

He continues:

One regular feature of these events is a "head table," where there are seats for the speakers and other dignitaries.
I have been invited to dozens of prayer breakfasts, but not once have I been invited to a prayer lunch or a prayer dinner. I suspect that there is a good reason for this -- lunch is reserved for business, and dinner is a time for families. In other words, prayer gets America's least popular meal, because we are busy with apparently more important things the rest of the day. This, of course, inverts the very dictum that prayer breakfast speakers usually recite: That God comes first in their lives. At least ... if it is before noon.

Well I think that is a rather silly argument. I am not sure what world Mr Olsen is in but I am evening prayer events all the time. Further morning "Prayer" is one of the "Hours" that the public life of the Church hinges on.

Jesus never directly commented (at least as recorded in the gospels) on gay marriage or abortion or government budgets, but he was pretty straightforward in coming out against how a prayer breakfast is structured.

Actually as to what was recorded in scripture actually not as to structure.

First, the centerpiece is usually the very public prayer by an honored figure such as a governor or former quarterback. But how does this jibe with Jesus' teaching? The truth, if you believe the gospels to contain truth, is that prayer is to be a private matter; Jesus's instructions were that "when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

This is where Osler's piece goes off the rails big time. I followed to it's logical conclusion all sort of Catholic devotion, Catholic practice, and modes of worship would be prohibited. We can tell by Christ's own practice this was not what he was getting out. Mr Osler fails to see the difference between priestly and affective Prayer. In fact in a Catholic context see this good article Priestly and Affective Prayer.

Thought that article is in "Catholic terms" one could apply it to the world of the Prayer Breakfast where testimony is a key ,some liturgy imposed on diverse Faith traditions, or as Mr Osler calls it "ritualized Kabuki theater" is taking place.

..Second, a truly Christian prayer breakfast would feature an utterly vacant head table. This is what Jesus taught about banquets: "When you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, 'Friend, move up to a better place.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." Yet, somehow, the head table always seems full from the start...

Too be honest when I am invited to something I sit where my host tells me.

Finally, the prayer breakfast is structured so that the primary speaker is presented as a heroic figure. He (and it is usually a "he") is given a glowing introduction, a seat of honor, and more often than not a standing ovation when the prayer is concluded. How seductive this must be! Those of us with theological ambitions, meanwhile, cannot help imagining ourselves as one of these Super Christians as we watch from the back. Of course, like all who are honored, these Prayer Heroes are held to impossible standards and when subjected to scrutiny too often see their status dissolve in scandal or confusion. Is it the seduction of power and privilege? Could this be what Christ himself warned against in teaching "when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men?"

Like all things it can be abused. People can come with the wrong intentions. However I am not sure if that is cause to eliminate the whole thing. Let me return to the Christian athletes example. In a world where we see athletes making all the wrong choices it is important for the young especially to see another figure. I rarely walked away from these events thinking the speaker was there to have himself glorified. Further again we see Mr Olsen's misapplication of "private prayer".

In the end, the prayer breakfast is structured to ignore the key nutrient of the Christian faith, which is humility. It is not in gazing up at the Super Christian that I glimpse God in others. More often, it is in a humbler scene, fraught with quiet and light: The silent circle of Quakers, the Catholics kneeling with reverence and cupped hands, the Mormons on bicycles, and the Baptists with hammers, building a home where once there was none.

Of course Baptists with hammers, tMethodists that work the food kitchens, Catholics that at immigration marches, evangelicals that work the pro-life activities, and Lutherans that work for causes relating to environment can be ,if they have the wrong attitude, be put in that Prayer Breakfast group Osler paints with a broad brush too can they not. Are there not a certain amount of people at these events that go "LOOK AT ME" I am super Christian doing God's work what are you doing.

Of course to paint with such a broad brush would be wrong and not very Christian would it.

I think Mr Osler has some legitimate areas he brings up we should watch out for. However that is no reason to throw the bay out with the bathwater.