Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Getting Back In Gear After the Holiday

Sorry for the few posts this week. Been a busy after Thanksgiving week. Today I had to do Christmas Shopping and buy new shoes. Most tacky thing I saw in the mall today. a LSU cross with pictures if football players on it!!

Thing should start improving though on the blog.

Pro Dream Act Pro Immigration Reform Republican Running In California Profiled

Good for this guy. I think I might send him a small check. Fox Latino has Running as a Pro-Immigration, Dream Act Republican

We need some more diversity of view from people running on this issue to help perhaps tone done the excessive rhetoric .

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Seminarian from the Archdiocese of New Orleans Gives Vocation Story

This is a great story from a Seminarian from the Archdiocese of New Orleans. See Ad Majoriam Dei Gloriam The Eucharist its IMPORTANT.

I also like the web site he posted on that is geared toward Youth. Good stuff.

Is " And With Your Spirit " Pre Vatican II Bad Ole Clericalism ?

Over at the National Catholic Reporter at New missal translation subtly moves church away from Vatican II there is mention of the "new" liturgical response "And with your spirit."

..First, to me, these changes in a subtle way represent still another move away from the reforms of Vatican Council II. I think this is especially the case with Vatican II's emphasis that all of us as Catholics, clergy and laypeople, represent the church.
Symbolically, the priest now facing the congregation as well as the greater involvement of the congregation in the saying of the Mass framed this. The new response "And with your spirit," however, according to The Catholic Voice, published by the Diocese of Oakland, Calif., is supposed to stress the priest's ordination when the bishop confers the spirit upon him, and to remind us of his primacy.

I don't mind refreshing, in a sense, the priest's particular place in the church, but it seems to me that this ostensibly innocent new change detracts from the concept that all of us are Church. The change from "you" to "spirit" represents this moving away from this significant Vatican II reform

I see this charge echoed in may places and I think it misses the mark. The not so subtle undertone in many places is that this is big bad clericalism. First What I believe this article that she is quoting says a lot more than that. The article takes note:

...“And with your spirit.”Five times during the Mass, the priest (or deacon) will address the people with some form of, “The Lord be with you.” This is a substantially more significant greeting than the colloquial, “Hi, how are you?”The “Lord be with you” is a prayer. It is weighted with faith in the presence of the Risen Lord Jesus and it is laden with desire that all gathered be in Christ, in one spirit and one faith and one body

.Many times in the coming weeks we may automatically reply with the old form, “And also with you.” This time of transition calls us to pay greater attention to the mystery that surrounds us when we are involved in the Liturgy.The expression “And with your spirit” is only addressed to an ordained minister. That “spirit” refers to the gift of the spirit he received at ordination.In the response, the people pray that the priest receives the same divine assistance of God’s spirit and, more specifically, help for the priest to use the gifts given to him in ordination. “And with your spirit” is not an everyday greeting. It is a prayer, a prayer that the priest may fulfill his call to serve in the person of Christ in the midst of the Liturgy...

While yes the ordination aspect of the Priest is present in the "and with your spirit" it also reminds us of something else. That is that is not just Father X "doing" "saying" etc the words of Consecration but in a sense Jesus Christ himself. It shifts focus in fact from the personality of the Priest himself.

It should be recalled that we were often told that Vatican II wanted us to get back to the basics of the Mass. To do it more like the early Church did it. Well its hard to imagine there is not much more early Church than "and with your spirit"

It is of ancient origin and we see DOCUMENTED evidence of it established use in 215 AD!! (note there is some controversy about the date). See the “Apostolic Tradition” of Saint Hippolytus.

Regardless the once familiar response et cum spiritu tuo (“and with your spirit”) has been the universal response in both Eastern and Western Churches. The fact that term is used in the EAST even gives more reason for our sense of eventual unification hopefully that the Western Church use it.

Also "and with your Spirit" has been used by all Catholics since Vatican II except by ENGLISH SPEAKING CATHOLICS" . Right there blows away the argument many are making. Unless we are to believe that Vatican II wanted English speaking Catholics to have a different tone and experience with the Mass than the everyone else .

Returning to a prior point, what spirit are we talking about. Well a good source is the Church Father St John Chrysostom. He notes:

...If the Holy Spirit were not in this your common father and teacher, you would not, just now, when he ascended this holy chair and wished you all peace, have cried out with one accord, ‘And with your spirit.’
Thus you cry out to him, not only when he ascends his throne and when he speaks to you and prays for you, but also when he stands at this holy altar to offer the sacrifice. He does not touch that which lies on the altar before wishing you the grace of our Lord, and before you have replied to him, ‘And with your spirit.’
By this cry, you are reminded that he who stands at the altar does nothing, and that the gifts that repose there are not the merits of a man; but that the grace of the Holy Spirit is present and, descending on all, accomplishes this mysterious sacrifice. We indeed see a man, but it is God who acts through him. Nothing human takes place at this holy altar

Also see an overview of this via an article that Father Z links.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Last Black Catholic School In Arkansas Saved

Great news. See 'Miracle on 15th Street' In six days, Pine Bluff school meets challenge to stay open

Hopefully the day will come when we can be proactive and open more Catholic schools and maybe parish missions in the black community.

Top Ten Comments Heard After First New Translated English Catholic Mass

Well we Catholics surivived the first Sunday of the new English translations of the Mass. I found this pretty funny at Catholic Vote. See Top 10 Comments Overheard After the First New Mass

Friday, November 25, 2011

Three Cheers for Christmas Commercialism - Ann Rice and I Agree

I guess I am totally where Anne Rice is on this subject as she says in her book Called Out of Darkness.

.. Even Christmas shopping was part of this festive and holy time of year. For me, it was a matter of roaming five -and-dime stores on Canal Street for the simple little presents I could afford. But I well remember the Christmas carols paying in every store I entered, and the gorgeous Christmas windows of the fine stores, Maison Blanche and D.H. Holmes.

It seems to me in retrospect that the department stores and the dime stores did and excellent job of extending the "sacred space" of Christmas those days. And I sometimes wonder whether people of no religion, this might have been the only sacred space they knew. When people rail now against the "commercial nature of Christmas, I'm always conflicted and unable to respond. Because I think those who would banish commercialism from the holiday fail to understand how precious and comforting the shop displays and music can be. (Pages 96-97)

I totally agree with this. As a Catholic when I have tough times in my life that extension of "sacred space" was a comfort to me in the sometimes "Blue" Christmas seasons of my life.

History Repeats Itself With a Community of Catholic Brothers in Texas ( Hermits )

I have often pontificated on this blog that in the urge to get more Catholic men in the Priesthood we are ignoring having people explore a Vocation to being a Brother.

This is one reason why I am thrilled with this article that highlights some dynamic communities of Brothers in the United States. See Surprising Revival for Men in Religious Life

One of the communities that is highlighted is in Christoval Texas. I love this part of the story because it shows a dynamic we saw all over the World and indeed in my State in the Colonial days. That is a bunch of brothers would show up in the middle of no where and start reciting the hours and make Converts. While Christoval Texas is not like Spanish Spain 1780 it's still not the big city and well perhaps not all that Catholic compared to other parts of Texas.

CHRISTOVAL, Texas — Father Fabian Rosetti had a dream. The Cuba-born Carmelite wanted to build a hermitage on land that would provide monks with the necessary isolation they needed.
He found a suitable tract in central Texas, but the man who owned it made it clear that he was not willing to help.

“He was very blunt,” Father Rosetti recalled of the encounter he had with the landowner in 1991. “He said to me, ‘I don’t like you, and these are my reasons why: One, you’re Catholic. Two, you’re a priest. And three, you’re Hispanic.’ He had no plans whatsoever of helping me.”
Yet, this outspoken Protestant would eventually soften and agree to let Father Rosetti use 200 acres of his property.

“When God wants something to get done, it gets done, and he uses whomever he pleases to get it done,” the priest surmised. “St. Thérèse of Lisieux said that her invincible arms were prayer and sacrifice, and that continues to be true for Carmelites today.”

And that, perhaps, is the case with religious life today, particularly the Catholic religious brotherhood. Once almost as omnipresent as women religious, religious brothers have become almost an endangered species. Their numbers in the U.S. have declined sharply in recent decades. According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), there were 22,707 religious priests in 1965, but only 12,629 in 2011. The center reports 12,271 religious brothers in 1965, with the number falling to 4,606 in 2011.

But new religious communities such as Father Rosetti’s Hermits of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel have emerged in recent years, offering signs of hope. From Wyoming to Connecticut, men are being drawn to lives of intense prayer and labor within the framework of poverty, chastity and obedience, and to communities that are overtly faithful to Church teaching.
The breakthrough with the landowner in Texas was only the beginning of a witness to the local Christian community. Through the deep commitment to prayer and work displayed by the Hermits of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, local Protestants gradually became less hostile and more willing to help.

In fact, the assistance needed to build a hermitage chapel was given mostly by non-Catholics.
“We had about 50 men working together to build our chapel, and almost all of them were Protestants. Can you imagine that?” said Father Rosetti. “Now, about half the people who come to our Mass in the chapel on Sunday are Protestants
. I don’t give them holy Communion, but they attend Mass, and I preach pure Catholic doctrine............

Read it all.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

In Surprise Appointment Vatican Appoints American Priest Nunico to Ireland

A rather big appointment with all the troubles in Ireland. See Vatican appoints 'doctrine of faith' priest as papal nuncio to Ireland

It is a surprise because as the article points out he does not come from the Holy See's Diplomatic Corp.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Diocese of Alexandria Louisiana Priest Alleged to Have Stole $250,000 From Basilica


How sad. Who knows how this happens but I bet it's a good bet there is a Gambling Problem involved if he is guilty. See Louisiana priest arrested for theft

Catholic Altar Girl Issue Stuck In 1970's Time Warp

U.S. gave a rally cry as to the Diocese of Arlington Altar Girl issue that is now of the utmost importance because the Washington Post reported it. See their piece Fighting back for female altar servers

This part struck me:

Yes, women do serve in a variety of roles within the parish, including as lectors and extraordinary ministers of holy communion, but allowing them to be altar servers also has an important purpose. The main argument put forth by the church against girl altar servers is that altar service is the first step on the path to ordination, and that allowing only boys to serve will increase vocations to the priesthood. But is the possibility of encouraging boys to serve really worth the damage caused by discouraging young girls from having a role in the Mass?

I've seen a number of parishes where girl altar servers have taken strong leadership roles. I was a member of one parish where a teenage girl not only led the altar servers, she was, outside of the pastor, the go-to person for questions about the liturgy. Any time we had a major liturgical celebration, she was sure to be on the altar, and we knew that everything would run smoothly. Even the pastor would likely say that she was one of the most trusted and reliable members of the parish, regardless of age or gender.

That girl, who has now gone off to college, will likely become a prominent woman in her future parish community. She may even decide to pursue a religious vocation of her own, which may not help us increase the ranks of the priesthood, but would be of great value to the church. And undoubtedly, she learned many important lessons from her years of service and set an excellent example for other young people--both boys and girls--within the parish community.

If parishes continue to eliminate girl altar servers, there is a chance that it could help promote vocations to the priesthood. But there's a greater chance that it will prevent many young women from making valued contributions to their parish and, down the line, will result in fewer strong adult women who are committed to serving their church. In the short term, it will likely alienate more women like those in Virginia, and drive away the lay people who are in many cases the backbone of parish life.

As more pastors consider the question of eradicating female altar servers, they should ask themselves if the potential gains are really worth the likely costs

I feel like that this argument all has a 1970's feel with an analogy to education. There was a time when girls were timid in class, did not go into the Law, into the engineering majors , avoided the math classes so forth and so on.

Now we have the opposite problem. We have young women the majority in many past disciplines where they were the a big minority while we are losing legions of boys in High School that are just dropping out. We have a singular focus on girls while many experts in various fields have been saying we have a huge boy crisis on our hands.

In the Church if you go to you Diocese office its often women running important offices. Most Catholic school teachers are women. Most religion teachers are women, most people that help make sure the youth group runs are women, most people that make sure the retreats go off are women, most people that do Sacrament preparation for kids are women.

We don't have a female leadership problem in the Church but a very critical male leadership problem. A male leadership problems that is not balanced out by a very overworked Priest that a child might seen on occasion. I think perhaps just perhaps like we see in education lots of boys are dropping out.

Maybe just maybe this Priest in South Carolina is right that maybe carving out a special place for boys in this regard is a good thing and that has nothing to do with "Priesthood".

I am not saying it's a cure all. But I am disturbed that this argument seems to be falling into the old camps and a dynamic that now might be very well reversed.

Catholic Pundit James Carroll Says Catholic Bishops Are Moving to the " Right " - Balderdash

Faith in the Public Life for some reason thinks this James Carroll column is a great read. See their post The Catholic Bishops and Religious Liberty: The Big Picture.

I find it pretty unconvincing myself . True it has a lot of scare quotes and of course the strong underlying message that we should not be associating with these conservative Evangelicals. How distasteful. James Carroll perhaps is searching to use a religious term similar to "white trash" that is used in the South but he gets close enough.

Of course the United States Catholics Bishop both at the national level and especially the state level are all involved with issues involving State Budgets, immigration related issues, the poor, education, etc etc. However if you don't report it I suppose it does not happen and thus we can just throw "religious right around like there is no tomorrow. The Bishops can and do walk and chew gum at the same time as they say.

Further as I posted yesterday it's quite apparent that it is not just the Christian "right" that has concerns over the religious liberty concerns. See my post The United States Catholics Bishops Religious Liberty Concerns Bigger Than Birth Control .

One really does not have to a Lawyer too see developments in the past two years, plus a rather alarming position that the Obama Administration took on the ministerial exception in a Supreme Court case, are very concerning. IN fact the Bishops are so rightly concerned they know must perhaps focus in like a laser beam on this to get the point across.

Last point. Have these people on the "non right" ever thought how some of these things the Bishops are concerned about might turn and hurt them in the future? It appears not.

Millions of People Get Their Wish - Pope Benedict Going to Prison In December

But nicely for us he is not staying long term. See HOLY FATHER TO VISIT ROME'S REBIBBIA PRISON

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Media Helps Stop Westboro Baptist Protest Of Funerals Of Catholic Sports Figures ( Oklahoma State And Univ of Arkansas )

The infamous Westboro Baptist Church protest all sorts of people the Catholic Church being high on their list. In fact in their hometown "protesting" Catholic Masses is a regular activity.

Last week in Oklahoma two devout Catholic Coaches at Oklahoma State who died in a plane crash were going to have their Funeral / Memorial service protested. Local media stepped in to give them air time if they agreed not to protest. That was accepted.

Just last Sunday there was the tragic death of a Catholic player on the Univ of Arkansas Football team. It appears local media has again stepped in and made the same deal that was accepted. See KEWI Statement Regarding Westboro Baptist Church Broadcast .

I am not thrilled at this blackmail but I am thankful for local media stepping in and making a bad situation better.

Excommunicated Catholic Priest And Louisiana Native Goes To Cleanse the Vatican Of Sexism

Roy Bourgeois is in the news!! See Why is it so hard to spoof the heresy and dissent of Priestettes and Co.?

Miracle of the Sun During Pope Benedict's Benin Trip Witnessed By Many?

I was over at Benedetto XVI Forum and was looking at this page that has a ton of nice photos of Pope Benedict's trip to Africa last weekend.

On that page I came across this interesting bit of news:

Beninese see solar phenomena during Benedict XVI’s visit

Translated from the Italian service of Vatican Insider Nov. 21, 2011

The day after the Mass celebrated by Benedict XVI at Contonou’s Friendship Stadium, even the bishops of Benin are now wondering about the extraordinary phenomenon around 8:00 a.m. attested to by the 80,000 faithful who had gathered for the Pope’s Mass.

They saw the sun and the moon at the same time – an extremely rare occurrence in Africa at the latitude of Benin – and this aroused great wonder among the faithful, as Vatican news director Fr. Federico Lombardi pointed out to newsmen yesterday.

Some witnesses even claimed to have seen the sun move but that they they were able to look directly at the sun as long as they could without being blinded. Many Africans of course interpreted the phenomenon as something associated with the presence of the Pope. But African bishops and media are now more than interested because it has also been claimed that the phenomenon [of the moving, non-blinding sun] was reportedly not an isolated incident but one that took place many times during the visit.

Monsignor Renè-Marie Ehuzu, bishop of Porto Novo and president of the Benin bishops’ Commission for Social Ministry, who was the principal coordinator for the Pope’s visit, told the Italian news agency AGI that “On Saturday afternoon, while the Pope was en route to St. Rita’s parish in a Cotonou suburb, he stopped to bless the patients of a nearbyhospital, a similar phenomenon occurred, so that afterwards, many of the patients went to the hospital chapel to offer up a thanksgiving prayer”.

“During the three days of the visit,” Mon. Ehuzu said, “there have been testimonials to such occurrences with pictures captured on their cellphone cameras by those who saw them, some of them priests. I personally cannot offer an explanation but I do not think it is a result of mass hysteria”.

“The moon at this time of year is actually seen quite close to the sun, but usually as a pale sickle in the dawn light, and impossible to see when the sun is out. So if it could be seen with the sun, it could mean it was because the brightness of the sun itself was subdued which explains why the witnesses say they could look at it without being blinded”.

Some Catholics have pointed out that the phenomena described in Benin resemble those associated with the apparitions of Mary in Fatima. It is well-known that the ‘miracle of the sun’ took place in Fatima on the days following a Marian apparition, and many times in Rome at Tre Fontane [I have to research the Tre Fontana allusion – I’m reading about it for the first time.]

In Cova da Iria, Fatima, as the three shepherd children prayed on October 13, 2917, as the news reports said at the time, the sun appeared a like a giant wheel on fire which spun and emanated multicolored light. It stopped spinning three times, and after the last pause, it seemed to detach itself from the firmament to hurl itself into the earth. A similar phenomenon was observed by thousands of faithful at Tre Fontane [the site where the Apostle Paul is believed to have been beheaded] on April 12, 1947, and then again in 1968 and in 1980. In Fatima, it was repeated on May 13, 1918. At Tre Fontane, the description of the first occurrence was similar to that at Fatima, without the final impression of the sun hurling itself towards the earth, but the next time, it was described to resemble a host, as if the sun itself had been covered by a gigantic host.

A private note by Pius XII, published in Andrea Tornielli’s 2009 book on the late Pope, recounts that he saw a similar phenomenon of the sun while walking in the Vatican Gardens in 1950, and that the Pope took this as a sign confirming the validity of the dogma of Mary’s Assumption that he was about to proclaim.

Georgia Supreme Court Gives A Victory to National Church Bodies In Church Property Cases

One little facet of this blog is that I keep track of the major Church property cases that are happening all over the country in recent years. The Georgia State Supreme Court with a very divided Court just issued two huge opinions.

Basically ruling in favor of the interest of the National Episcopal and Presbyterian bodies over the local congregations.

See Georgia Supreme Court Awards Christ Church to Diocese on Implied Trust Theory via Anglican Curmudgeon .

Very significant.

Trailer Video for the LSU Arkansas 2011 Football Game ( Battle for the Boot and The West )

THIS IS IT!! And the Valley Shook has thoughts here at Delusional Optimism Wants an Undefeated Season or Nothing

The United States Catholics Bishops Religious Liberty Concerns Bigger Than Birth Control

It seems twitter, the blogs, and newspaper articles are all framing the Catholic Bishop's various Religious Liberty concerns as a war on "Birth Control" That seems to be missing the big point. The bigger issue is where exactly does the United States Government get this grant of power and does this alleged grant of power violate the First Amendment. It might be Birth Control today but what else tomorrow.

The Progressive Catholic Michael Sean Winters seems to get this at his piece Obama's Choice one is proposing to “take away” any benefit from anyone. It is the pro-choice groups that are trying to change the status quo. More importantly, the effort to narrow the conscience exemption, in fact, is likely to end up in less access to all health care, because some religious organizations will decline to offer any health care coverage rather than violate their conscience. That might strike some people as an extreme consequence, but it is a foreseeable one. People get touchy about conscience rights, as liberals of all people should understand.

I noted last week that there is something more than a little ironic about these liberal champions, the type of people who normally celebrate the “wall of separation” between Church and State, now clamoring over that wall as fast as they can to tell Notre Dame and Providence Hospital what they can and cannot do. Ironic, too, that liberalism which was founded on the principle of conscience rights, and at a time when the Catholic Church was unalert or hostile to the idea of conscience rights, has grown so indifferent to them while it is the Catholic Church today that champions them. But, irony is the coldest of comforts.

Prof Vischer correctly noted earlier this year that underneath this is the debate between positive liberty and negative liberty. His conclusion is worth noting:

.....The second question: how did rolling back – or at least holding the line on – conscience protections become a hallmark of a progressive political agenda? This is a much trickier inquiry than parsing regulatory language. One relevant development is progressives’ tendency to conceive of freedom – and the government’s responsibility to safeguard that freedom – in terms of positive liberty, not just negative liberty. Negative liberty requires protection against interference with the pursuit of basic goods; positive liberty requires affirmative assistance in securing basic goods. As progressives have tended to expand the range of goods for which the government’s affirmative assistance is required, the potential for conflict with a provider’s liberty becomes greater. Nowhere is this trend more pronounced than in the debates over reproductive rights. Arguments for conscience protection emerge from a long tradition of negative liberty; arguments for guaranteed access to a particular good or service – backed up in many cases by state power – emerge from a much more recent tradition of positive liberty.

A closely related development is a shifting view of professional licenses. Generally the state’s licensing authority has been viewed as a means by which to ensure a provider’s competence. As access to goods and services becomes an essential dimension of meaningful liberty (in progressives’ eyes), there is a stronger justification for viewing licensed providers as quasi-public officials, and the license becomes a means of ensuring that governmental objectives are met.

Progressives are quick to rally to the defense of a student forced to violate her conscience by participating in the pledge of allegiance. Few progressives have rallied to the defense of pharmacists required by state law to sell the morning-after pill. In my view, this is a progressive blind spot that stands in tension with the overarching progressive commitment to freedom from state coercion in matters comprising a person’s moral identity and integrity. Progressives have shown a steady shift in their willingness to accept incursions on conscience in order to further other socially desirable goals. Progressives may eventually come to regret this shift – state power unbounded by conscience protections is not necessarily captive to progressive causes – but so far there is very little indication of remorse. President Obama’s foray into the debate, though certainly not a disastrous turn of events, shows little indication that the partisan presumptions about conscience will change anytime soon.

Yet many Liberals , who I suspect agree with this, seem cowed by some forces to even have this discussion.

America's most "Anti Catholic " University 's Magnificant Catholic Art Collection

I should note what I mean by Anti Catholic. From what I can tell Bob Jones is anti Catholic as they very much disagree with our theology which I don't have a problem with. Not anti Catholic in that we American Catholics are bad citizens.

That being said this Washington Post article is pretty cool. Who knew that in the hardest of shell Baptist country in South Carolina there a Catholic art mecca. See Want Catholic art? Fundamentalist Bob Jones University has it

Here is a link to their collection. Sadly their online image collection links are not quite up yet.

Monday, November 21, 2011

New Vatican Commission Hopes To Stop Garage Style Catholic Churches

HURRAH!! If only this had been placed in the 70' and 80's. Vatican Insider has New Vatican commission cracks down on church architecture

Inside the Louisiana Monks Casket Making Operation

This is a well done article on the Louisiana Coffin making Monks that has been in the news ( And the Court System) recently. See Benedictine monks seek economic freedom to pursue spiritual mission of casket-making

Anglican Bishop Of London Tells His Priests To Quit Doing Roman Catholic Liturgy

I am kind of shocked that this has been going on for so long. Anglo Catholic has Anglicans Using The Roman Rite The Catholic Herald article that is linked at that post is a good read too.

Canon Law and New Orleans Politics Collide

An update to the interesting case of A Jesuit Priest serving on a Civil Service Commission. City employees group claims Rev. Wildes is forbidden by Church from serving on Civil Service Commission

It appears the Archbishop has looked into this and the City Employee's advocate is not thrilled with the response. See Archdiocese says Wildes can serve on commission

Washington Post Tries To Report On The Altar Girl Issue

The Washington Post had a rather infuriating article on the whole Altar Girl issue that had a hysterical huge pull at the heartstrings staged pic.

Get Religion properly noted that the article is very on sided. See Altar girl debate minus the debate

A couple of other things would have been interesting for this writer to explore. First the Diocese of Arlington has had for years a great number of Priesthood vocations even in the very lean years that the American Catholic Church went through. Could it be that these" Traditional" practices play a part in that?

Second the article correctly notes that women are in all parts of the Church running things. In fact perhaps that might be part of the problem that the only male Altar servers is trying to address. It is common that when Alar girls come on the scene the boys drop out. Further it is a sad fact that most Catholic boys have little male interaction in the Church. The person that teaches CCD, the person that leads the youth group, the person that helps leads the retreats, etc etc is very likely to be a woman. That is all well and good but one wonders if the lack of males we often see NOT interacting with Catholic boys is creating a problem. The over feminization of Christianity perhaps is causing Catholic males to drop put after they get out of house. Having a all male Altar boy group perhaps plays a small part in stopping that.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Suspension of Arkansas Latin Mass Community Priest Over Alleged Slap of Child Generates Heated Comments

This is an interesting case up in the Diocese of Little Rock I just found about today. Arkansas Catholic has Diocese removes Father Demets from Latin Mass Community in Cherokee Village

As you can see the comments below the piece are extensive and quite opinionated.

The Catholic Faith of Coach Kurt Budke of Oklahoma State ( Rest In Peace )

What sad news on the Oklahoma State Coaches Head Coach Kurt Budke and his assistant coach Miranda Serna

I had met both through a Lady Techster Basketball support group a few times that a friend of mine was a part of. Both Coaches were at Louisiana Tech before they went to Oklahoma State. I met him or saw him more at St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Ruston. Miranda Serna might have been a member of that parish too. I don't recall .

From what I heard from people in Parish at the time I have no doubt one thing he would like to most recalled for is being a good Catholic dad for his kids and wife.

Just last year there was this nice piece on him in this Catholic publication on Budke that I read back then and found again today where he talked about his Faith and how that played out on the Court.

Pope Benedict Talks Pentecostals and Evangelicals On Plane to Benin

There was the usual Press Conference on Papal One or whatever we now call the airplane that the Pope is on when he goes on this visits. The full transcript is here .

I thought this part was interesting and has more than just a Africa focus:

Holy Father, here on board the plane there are forty journalists representing various agencies and broadcast outlets. In Cotonou, there are a thousand journalists waiting who will follow the visit on-site. As usual, I’ll ask you a few questions collected in these days from our colleagues.
While Africans suffer from a weakening of their traditional institutions, the Catholic church is confronted by the growing success of Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, which are sometimes created in Africa. They propose an attractive faith, with a great simplification of the Christian message. They emphasize healing and mix their cult with traditional religious practices. How should the Catholic church react to these communities, which are often aggressive towards the church? How can the Catholic church seem attractive, when these communities present themselves as warm and inculturated?

Benedict XVI

These communities are a global phenomenon, on all the continents. Naturally, they’re present above all, in different ways, in Latin America and in Africa. I would say their characteristic elements are very little ‘institutionality’ and few institutions, giving little weight to institutions; a message that’s simple, easy, and understandable, and apparently concrete; and, as you said, a participative liturgy expressing the sentiments of the local culture, with a somewhat syncretistic approach to the religions. All this guarantees them, on the one hand, some success, but it also implies a lack of stability. We know that some [followers of these groups] return to the Catholic church, or they move from one of these communities to the other.

Thus, we don’t need to imitate these communities, but we should ask ourselves what we can do to give new life to the Catholic faith. I would suggest, as a first point, a message that’s simple and understandable, but also profound. It’s important that Christianity doesn’t come as a difficult European system, one which someone else can’t understand or realize, but as a universal message that God exists, God matters, God knows us and loves us, and that in concrete, religion provokes collaboration and fraternity. Thus a simple, concrete message is very important.

Second, it’s important that our institutions not be too heavy. What must be prevalent is the initiative of the community and the person. Finally, I would say that a participative liturgy is important, but one that’s not sentimental. Worship must not be simply an expression of sentiments, but raise up the presence and the mystery of God into which he enter and by which we allow ourselves to be formed.

Finally, I would say with regard to inculturation that it’s important we not lose universality. I would prefer to speak of “inter-culturation,” not so much inculturation. It’s a matter of a meeting between cultures in the common truth of our being as humans, in our time. Thus we grow in a universal fraternity. We mustn’t lose this grand thing that is Catholicity, that in all parts of the world we are brothers and sisters, we are one family, where we know each other and collaborate in a spirit of fraternity.

It is Finished - Crystal Cathedral Now Catholic

With some mixed reactions from the Catholic community I can tell you. How they make the building look "Catholic" is going to be watched closely.See O.C. Catholic diocese to buy bankrupt Crystal Cathedral

Though I find this to be unlikely to happen , Rocco Palmo in his own piece notes thew why this significant new financial obligation could still be scuttled by the Vatican.

Catholic Medals and Crucifixes Very Expensive This Christmas Season

I was out of town for most of yesterday for my birthday and one of my stops was the Catholic Bookstore. I needed to get a another quality crucifix to wear since I had sadly misplaced mine.

Catholic Christmas shoppers prepared to be shocked. The cost of sterling silver has gone through the roof , about 40 percent in one year according to the owner of the bookstore yesterday. A nice sterling silver silver crucifix that would cost me 40 ish dollars last year cost me 71 Dollars this year!! So better budget a little more if a crucifix or medal is on the Christmas list.

If you want gold of course you can forget that.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Pope Is Heading to Benin Over The Weekend ( Preview)

This is the time of year when a lot of American ,mostly non going Church white folks, talks about Africa and condoms. It's significant because it's the only time of year most of these folks care or think about Africa which is important for them to do of course.

Yes the Pope is going for a quick trip to Africa. So far maybe perhaps because so much is in the news neither condoms or this trip has been mentioned yet. But we have still have time for this to get on the MSM radar.

Even without the required "condom controversy" there is a lot of interesting sidelines to this trip. Including one that revolves around a comic book.

John Allen has a preview of Pope Benedict's trip to Benin at From rumba to voodoo, subtext abounds on pope’s Africa trip

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

80's Roman Catholic Liturgy Hits the Episcopal National Cathedral -Consecration of Mariann Budde

It seems the migration of some Catholicism's best and brightest to the Episcopal Church can be seen in it's fullest glory here at the National Catherdral in the elevation of Bishop Mariann Budde to the Office of Bishop of Washington D.C.

MCJ has the details at TRAIN WRECK . And yes if you look down in the comments there is video of all this.

I have noticed over the years that a good many movers and shakers in the Episcopal Church are former Catholics that have degrees in "alternative Liturgy" or "Sacred space" or something that makes you know to "watch out". If they were not former Catholics there is a good chance they were taught by a Catholic with this alternative liturgy viewpoint I bet.

No doubt many had their workshops with the wacko WATER, the Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual, and other groups /people that still cling to the Catholic ID so they can get their names and agendas in the newspapers.

However as women ( of a particular thrological vision) and various progressives have taken a hold of the Episcopal Church curiously the anti hierarchy , anti priesthood , down with the vertical up with hortizonatal , theology and liturgy of such movements is muted. The reason for that is obvious.

So what you have left is THIS. It truly looks like the worse of 1980's and 1990 Catholicism and trust me there is a reason for that.

The big elephant in the room is truly not many people like this including I daresay some of the most progressive in the Episcopal Church. I shared this with a friend of mine that is gay Catholic and much more "progressive" than me and his reaction was "no words".

From Heated Battles With The KKK to Modern Day Secularism Univ of Florida Catholic Student Center Fights On ( Updated Link Fixed)

This is pretty nice write up on the Catholic Student Center at the University of Florida. Whose past problems included the Klan castrating their Priest which brought forth a well armed Knights of Columbus to defend the building. It talks about the problems of today that the Center is facing , a sort of new Anti Catholicism as it were, and what it is doing to combat it. The Univ of Florida and its Catholics appears one of those places where they are getting it right.

See University of Florida Catholics Boldly Witness to Christ

In the United States Women Catholic Canon Lawyers Are Increasing

This is an interesting article on a relatively new female Canon Lawyer in the USA. In this article is the interesting fact that women are increasing in this field at a rapid rate where there were few before.

See Canon Law Grad Finds Meaningful Work

GOP U.S. Senator Rubio Tell Conservative to Lower Temperature on Immigration Language

Rubio among many things makes this great point.

..."You're talking about somebody's mothers and grandmothers and brothers and sisters," Rubio, the 40-year-old son of Cuban immigrants, said in Dallas...

Exactly. In fact one can be "right" lets say on a topic and still lose the war. Think Christian apologetics and how "tone" is so important. You might win the argument but if you come off as an jerk who wants to be part of that. There is a basic human emotional element to this I think people forget.

See On immigration, Marco Rubio urges the right to tone it down

Tip of hat to the Catholic Vote.

The Date Has Been Set- Anglo Catholic Ordinariate Will Be Established Jan 1 2012

This is one of the major news items from the big Bishop's meeting that came out yesterday. The date has finally been set. On 1 January 2012 the Ordinariate for Anglo Catholics will be established. Huge day.

Rocco has In the New Year, a New Ordinariate

Reading between the lines at Cardinal Wuerls report to the Bishops and later press conference one gets the strong sense that the Ordinary of the new Ordinariate will be a married former Anglican Priest that has been a Catholic Priest for some time. Thus he will be not be able to be a Bishop but beside ordaining will have most of the powers of a Bishop. Including voting rights in the Bishop's conference. I have a strong idea of the top 3 or 4 names of who that might be.

Anglican Patrimony has some more detail here an fleshes out Cardinal Wuerl's remarks at Wuerling Out the Ordinariate!

Pope Benedict Urges Catholics To Pray Liturgy of the Hours and Hits on Kingship

Getting and urging Lay Catholics to do the Liturgy of the Hours has not been from the lack of trying the last few decades.

Today the Pope has a nice talk on it at this Wednesday Audience. Father Z has Pope Benedict: Everyone should pray the psalms, Liturgy of the Hours

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Washington Post Opinion Piece Notes Obama's War On The Catholic Church

An apt topic as I am watching the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting where Religious liberty is a huge topic today. I am still kinda of shocked why the Obama administration is going down this route.

See Obama turns his back on Catholics at the Post.

Also the Anchoress has some thoughts and other links at Obama Admin vs Religious Conscience

Monstrance Connected To Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos Saved From Auction Block Being Returned To New Orleans

Mormon and Baptist Bashing Is Fine At the New York Times

This Bloom Op Ed is just breathtaking. This is far worse than anything that the Baptist minister in Dallas said. Get Religion has Harold Bloom, Mormons and spleen-venting

Archbishop Dolan's Rally Speech to Restore the United States Catholic Church

This quite the speech by Archbishop Dolan. I wish ever Priest and Deacon would read it in their Parish this Sunday. See The King's Speech . Here is a part:

...Perhaps, brethren, our most pressing pastoral challenge today is to reclaim that truth, to restore the luster, the credibility, the beauty of the Church “ever ancient, ever new,” renewing her as the face of Jesus, just as He is the face of God. Maybe our most urgent pastoral priority is to lead our people to see, meet, hear and embrace anew Jesus in and through His Church.Because, as the chilling statistics we cannot ignore tell us, fewer and fewer of our beloved people -- to say nothing about those outside the household of the faith -- are convinced that Jesus and His Church are one.

As Father Ronald Rolheiser wonders, we may be living in a post-ecclesial era, as people seem to prefer

a King but not the kingdom,

a shepherd with no flock,

to believe without belonging,

a spiritual family with God as my father, as long as I’mthe only child,

“spirituality” without religion

faith without the faithful

Christ without His Church.

So they drift from her, get mad at the Church, grow lax, join another, or just give it all up.If this does not cause us pastors to shudder, I do not know what will...

Read it all

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Time Magazine Worries Catholics Can't Understand Big Words

When Catholics recite the 4th-century Nicene Creed, for example, Jesus will be described as “begotten, not made, con-substantial with the Father,” instead of “begotten, not made, one in being with the Father.” Begotten is hard enough—how many people know that “consubstantial” means substances that are the same? That’s a word found most often on tests in theological graduate school programs.

This is a strange attitude since Catholic thoughts on other matter via opinon poll are portrayed as being good reason to change Church Doctrine

Get Religion has Sigh. Time for another bad Mass changes story

Catholics That Support the " Common Good " Say Abortion Is A Cultural Issue

This says it all about the Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good

There was a disquieting story in yesterday's Wash Po about the fall meeting of the Bishops to start tomorrow in Baltimore. The writer states that the bishops will not --repeat not-- spend any time on the plight of the American poor nor even the child abuse scandal of the Church.
Instead, the bishops will center almost exclusively in the cultural issues of contraception, abortion, and same sex marriage . They will do this, the writer reports, for internal political reasons
We'll key u posted.

WOW. Those are "cultural issues". I don't get the impression that the Universial Catechism, the COMPENDIUM OF THE SOCIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH, scripture, tradition, Bishops conferences worldwide, or the Holy See has ever viewed those as "cultural issues".

Yes there is something disturbing going on and it is not with the Bishops.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

CBS 's Gregg Doyel 's Journalism Failure As To Penn State Scandal

I will give my extensive thoughts on the whole Penn State saga later. However I want to make a point to the sports media. They are going to have act like grown ups in this matter. This is not Conference realignment or who the next Coach at Ole Miss will be where you just throw every rumor out there.

As a Catholic I am reminded of this from the catechism that is related to the the BIG TEN.

2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.278

He becomes guilty:

- of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;

- of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another's faults and failings to persons who did not know them;279
- of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them

OK enough of the Sunday school lesson.

The line between opinion/ advocacy and fact reporting is often blurry. However as to sports media that line is very blurry indeed. When we are dealing with something as serious as the Penn State Scandal this becomes dangerous.

Greg Doyell of CBS ( The Tiffany Network) has run a piece that if it was the CBS political news department or dealing with business matters would elicit I suspect some outrage from journalism watchdogs. See Gricar's 2005 disappearance only one of many mysteries in PSU scandal

In this piece he does mention the interesting disappearance of the District Attorney that had links to the Sandusky's matter. OK fair game. However now he brings the DA's brother death in for some reason that is beyond me except perhaps then to give his piece a shade of "evil intrigue".

However at the end he says:
The other clue is even more mind-bending. Gricar's computer was found in pieces, the first piece in July 2005, three months after his disappearance. Fishermen spotted his laptop under a bridge, damaged by water and missing its hard drive. Two months later a woman walking on the riverbank found the hard drive, about a half-mile from where the Mini Cooper had been abandoned. The hard drive was so water-damaged, investigators couldn't get any information from it.

But in 2009, investigators announced what they had found on the home computer at Ray Gricar's house. In the weeks before he vanished, someone had used that computer to research ways of destroying a computer hard drive.

What does that mean? It's a mystery. One guess -- my guess -- is that Ray Gricar had used his laptop in 2005 to visit websites that disturbed him, disturbed him so much that he wanted to kill any sign he had been there ... before killing himself in the same way his brother had killed himself in 1996.

That's a guess, but at this moment that's all we have. All we can do is speculate on the connection between Ray Gricar, his brother Roy and Jerry Sandusky -- three men in various states of being, all of them presumably doomed. One way or another

Wow did I just read that? Is this CBS or TMZ sports or Deadspin.

The implication in this is well GRICAR was a pedo too I guess. There could be numerous reasons ( or guesses) on the state of his computer. Such as:

- someone besides him wanted to destroy it
-he had a personal diary that dealt with issues of depression
-maybe he has having an affair
-maybe just maybe it had work product on it and he as a part of tidying up his affairs he decided -to make sure confidential info (unrelated to this case) was disposed of
-heck maybe he had some type of Porn fetish , that while not illegal, he did not want to get out.

Who knows? But to make the leap , in which is implied, that he was visiting child porn sites is far from the only "guess".

Millions of Americans will be going to this man for news. Already all sorts of accusations and mmurmors are being said about anyone that was associated with Sandusky's charity. Whoever are the editors at the CBS website better start maintaining some quality control and soon.

Could his "guess" be right? Well maybe it could. But when are dealing with people's lives and reputations throwing out "guesses" "rumors" which often readers will to start to see as "facts" when repeated enough on social media is not responsible.

Again as he say this is based on nothing but a "guess" and by that admission I guess no evidence. But that is not what the average reader will recall from this piece. If you print it have sources for it and say it.

Vatican Holds Conference On Why the Church and Media Are Often At Odds

This seems like a incredible conference ( that no doubt took place mostly in Italian sadly for me in future search for transcripts). However the good news John Allen was there and I expect a well done article from him on this.

See Church and media: The story of an old misunderstanding

Friday, November 11, 2011

Louisiana Catholic Teenage Ponders A Carmelite Vocation

I really need to start my Louisiana Catholic Blog update again. This weekend I am going to review how many are still active and how many new ones there are too see if its worth the effort.

That being said I came across this very interesting blog and teenage Louisiana girl. See Pilgrim's Paean. Now I encountered her on twitter and I learned she is located somewhere in the Diocese of Lake Charles. For some reason , perhaps because of the vocation she was considering, I thought she was in College. She is not. In fact she is only 15 !!

In fact she is considering very ACTIVELY a Vocation to the Carmelite ORDER perhaps in Lafayette Louisiana.

She her post on that here

I think that is pretty amazing.

I can already see people though just rolling their eyes in this day and age. What is she doing!! She is only 15. What are her parents thinking!! She needs to go to College Etc Etc. Heck I bet some would be thinking of calling Child Protective Services it is so bizarre to them.

Yet we have no problem having college coaches already scouting rreshmen and sophomores High School Football players and giving them offers. HEck at 16 we got kids where we tell them it's the NFL or NBA or MLB or bust baby

We all know parents that have children around this girls age that are suggesting vocations such as doctor or lawyer ( follow in our footsteps as it were). In fact Life is full of parents with their boarding schools , proper summer camps, right connections , that pretty much have their child on a career path at 15 or 16

So why not especially if her calling and vocation is only promoted primarily by the ULTIMATE HIM.

Sort of uplifting. I hope she blogs more.

Best Louisiana Winning Lottery Quote EVER !!!

“I went to bed a nutria and woke up a mink,"

Baptist Abuse Victims Should Not Repeat Catholic Abuse Groups Mistakes

I noted this article yesterday and it's significance. See Penn State Scandal About To Change Southern Baptist Practices Toward Church Sexual Abuse . The secular media has failed to picked up perhaps the bombshell this is. That's is not really a shock since well most papers have cut their Religion reporting staffs to the bone. But the religious press got it.

Now a Southern Baptist Watchdog group has picked up on this and given a response Al Mohler Wakes Up... Finally! I am not sure the tone is productive but that is not my main complaint.

....Let's see what happens now.

1. Will Al Mohler have the courage to reintroduce the motion Wade Burleson proposed at the 2007 SBC?

2. Will he lead the rally to support Burleson or another messenger who proposes a similar motion in 2012?

3. Will Mohler now implement mandatory training for all seminary students in how to handle any knowledge or even suspicion of sexual abuse? (This shouldn't be "uncharted waters," but apparently it still is for many, including seasoned pastors.)

4. Will he publicly rebuke Southern Baptist "ministers" who are caught committing these crimes? Not to publicly humiliate them but to warn people about these wolves. Or will he continue merrily on with his CBMW agenda warning against the evils of women teaching men, not submitting to their husbands, and young people not getting married as soon as possible and popping out as many babies as nature allows?

5. Will he now begin to publicly rebuke Southern Baptist pastors who knowingly cover for confessed child molesters? Or will he continue to bring them in to speak in chapel services and fill the pulpits of their churches?

The "elite" among the SBC seem to think they're "appointed by God." Someone needs to explain to them that while they may be called by God to preach, they are hired by people to perform a job. Otherwise they wouldn't be so concerned about their salaries (and keeping them a secret).

What worries me is that little language in paragraph four.

It is often forgotten but much of the early work on exposing predators in the Catholic Clergy was done by Conservative and even Traditionalist groups. In other words it was not just their polar "ideological" opposite the National Catholic Reporter.

SNAP ( Catholic Division) is the main public advocate we see for abuse victims. The problem is, and there are others ones I can mention with SNAP, is it has aligned itself with the most "liberal "heterodox" wing of Catholicism. Such as Call to Action.

Thus when SNAP releases statements or it's interviewed it seems all sorts of unrelated agenda items unrelated to sexual abuse come into play. This has been unfortunate and I would make the argument has impeded protecting children. This division did not have to take place.

From what the little I have seen "Baptist" Snap has avoided this. It would be good to continue to do so.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Guadalupana Mexico-New York Torch Race Coming To Catholic Louisiana Dioceses Today

Wow I have never heard of this event before. Fun stuff. See Guadalupean Torch Run to make annual stop in Diocese of Lake Charles As you see it hits the Diocese of Lake Charles but there are events for the Diocese of Baton Rouge and Also Lafayette.

Go see if it you are near.

Second in In Command At Vatican In Uproar Over Vatican Banking Document ( Updated- Maybe Not )

This is pretty interesting. See Too Much Confusion. Bertone Puts the Curia Under Lock and Key.

Now to be honest I think there is some difference of opinion when the Cardinal Sec of State saw the document. I suspect the truth is in between and that he actually got to read it and technically approve it being released after it had been leaked all over the place. But the fact it appears he did not get the document till such a late hour ( if this report is true from a generally good Vatican observer and reporter) shows a problem

I also think there is another part of this drama. The perhaps unexpected explosion on this document also took off lens off the Holy Sees push in immigration and migration concerns that was happening that same week. Which the Holy See has a lot more invested in , as well as Catholic around the world, than the proposals in the Banking document. But that is my speculation.

Update- Alternative view here at Did Cardinal Bertone really ‘disown’ the document on economic reform? They pick up on what I talked about up in the post about the fact that it was announced he did in fact read the document. I suspect here the truth is somewhere in the middle as to the reaction among Holy See factions.

The Intolerant Catholics At Vanderbilt University in Nashville

I mean what are these Vandy Commodores Catholics thinking with such a radical idea as this:

...Vanderbilt Catholic began praying for religious freedom in front of Kirkland Hall earlier this week. Senior Grace Burnworth is president of Vanderbilt Catholic and participates in the daily noon prayers. Burnworth said through this expression of faith, she believes the will of God will prevail.

"Personally, I think Vanderbilt Catholic would not be able to operate with integrity if we could not limit our leaders to Catholics," Burnworth said.
Affiliated Chaplain to Vanderbilt Catholic Father John Sims Baker also suggested Vanderbilt Catholic would not be able to function on campus if the university continued its enforcement of the policy.

"This is a serious issue, it's not just a minor change," Baker said. "We need to be able to say we're a religious organization and that religion is an acceptable criteria for leadership."..

Orthodox Catholics having to lead Catholics how untolerant!!

See Religious groups mobilize in preparation for Board of Trust meeting

Penn State Scandal About To Change Southern Baptist Practices Toward Church Sexual Abuse

A rather important column was done by Southern Baptist Al Mohler today. See The Tragic Lessons of Penn State — A Call to Action.

Al Mohler I think for the most part has been one of the few high profile Southern Baptist Leaders not to come into criticism by the people that monitor abuse in the Southern Baptist Church. At least he is not on this list. I will be interested to see the reaction by people such as Christa Brown of "Baptist" SNAP.

I have always maintained that the evidence is all around that the many exact problems we saw in the Catholic Church as to sexual abuse can be found in equal number in the Southern Baptist Church and other like Faith communities. The reason they don't get the publicity is well defense attorneys cannot easily pierce the "corporate" veil in order to find liability beyond the local"Church" that can just close down and reopen.

Several recent high profile cases ( at least high profile in local media) might have jarred people into thinking different.

He says:

Church leaders and pastors must decide now — not later — that we will respond to any report of sexual abuse with immediate action and an immediate call to law enforcement officials. We must decide in advance what we will do, and not allow ourselves to think that we can handle such a challenge on our own. Every church and Christian institution needs a full set of policies, procedures, and accountability structures. As leaders, we must develop the right instincts for right action.

That is preganant with all sort of implications. Does that include mandatory reporting of sexual abuse allegations to the Convention ( both State and National) which has been resisted to give one example. We shall see. Times might be a changing.

It will be important to follow Mohler and see if this is just his first shot in the battle for reform.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Why Do Conservatives Not Care About Too Many Federal Criminal Laws?

Go to a U.S. Federal Courthouse some time. It is not like going down to your local courthouse. From the moment you walk in the whole experience is geared to let you know that the full weight and majesty of the United States is about to fall on you as a defendant. Intimidating.

For that reason stuff like this should be concerning to perhaps conservatives and tea party types. Forgive the boring title link and just read it. See How DOJ Can Use the CFAA to Try to Federalize State Crimes .(Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

It is a concern I have to think that for all practical purpose it's impossible to have any idea if you might be breaking a Federal law or not.

St. Augustine High School Situation Flairs Up Again. Asks D.A. to Investigate Archbishop of New Orleans

This is so counterproductive. See

St. Aug supporters ask DA to investigate claims of paddling injuries at school .

I have been somewhat sympathetic to these parents views on being pro corporeal punishiment but this move makes little sense. I was hoping because of absene of news both sides had calmed down some. Guess not.

In fact this letter appears not to make any sense when you read the whole thing according to the news report. It's an contradiction.

Church Where Second Council of Nicaea Happened to Become Mosque

Good grief TURKEY!!!! Vatican Insider has Nicea, a church transformed into a mosque

Shaking my head.

The Mormon Angle In Russell Pearce Recall In Arizona ( Immigration)

Get Religion has a pretty good piece relating to the rather nationally known head of the Arizona State Senate being recalled last night. See Religion angles in recall elections

This Mormon dynamic and the real tension on immigration between Church Leadership / Laity and indeed the split between the laity itself is a fascinating undercovered part of Mormons in the public square. Indeed we have seen this dynamic play out several times in elections that have got some national notice. The GOP House Rep Chris Cannon race in Utah a few years back is just one big example.

If Romney is the nominee of the GOP, I wonder how that will play out between him and the Church.

First Veterans Day to Be Celebrated With No World War I Survivors

See Nation's old veterans are fading away from parades

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Diocese of Corpus Christi Makes Aggressive Move As to Campus Ministry at State Schools

Another Diocese in Texas getting quite agressive and proactive on Catholic Campus Ministry at SState Universities. This time the Diocese of Corpus Christi . See Land swap helps Texas A&M-Kingsville gain student housing, Diocese of Corpus Christi expand ministry

An interesting dynamic partnership between Texas A & M and a growing college where the Catholic Newman center will be handling in addition to their regular duties housing and food service. Would love to see some of the plans.

Are American Southern Catholics Wary of Talking About Their Faith

I have to admit I was nodding my head at this piece and sadly realizing how I have been guilty of it at times. See
A Catholic in the Bible Belt
How I discovered the line between community and communion, neighborliness and non-negotiables

Many times it is just easy to do what is talked about there but its not a ringing endorsement of 1 Peter 3:15.

Of course this watering down has had an effect at times on the Faith we pass down to our children. It did not help that the Catholic Southern Migration to the South happened about the same time as some confusing and misapplied "Spirit of Vatican II" directives were happening. (Eucharistic Devotion etc)

But I still think the Faith in the South is pretty strong and like many things Southern the situation is not the same everywhere.

With what appears an even more dramatic uptick in Catholic migration to the South happening now and for the forseeablbe future coupled with a return to CATHOLIC ID . Tradition, and doctrine it will be interesting to see if this dynamic changes.

Catholic Sports at A Young and Dynamaic Nashville Catholic School

This is an interesting blog post about how a very young and dynamic Catholic school in the Diocese of Nashville treats Catholic sports. This school appears to be one the "success" stories that dot the American landscape. Pretty amazing that in just about a decade it has become the second largest non public school in Nashville.

Some Austrian Catholics Will Play Game Of Pretend As To Liturgy

Dissident Austrian Catholics announced lay people will start celebrating Mass when a priest is unavailable.

PRIESTS are important but it strikes me the Laity has forgot their history. The Catholic Faith was often kept very much alive in the New World when Priests were scarce.

Of course the next question some laity should ask is if their own lives have contributed to the Priest shortage we see in certain areas of the world.

Current State of Catholic Vocations Coming From Texas A & M

A Texas A & M (HOWDY) Catholic Student update on Vocations. See Aggie Catholic Vocation Numbers

The state university is often the front lines as to Vocatons Congrats Texas A & M.

Diocese of Forth Worth Expects Catholic Population To Almost Double in next 15 Years

Wow talk about growth. The litte brother of Dallas is growing up. See Diocese of Fort Worth plans $50 million expansion .From 710,000 to 1.2 million by 2030. That is a lot.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Interesting Baptist Personal Experience- Catholic Marriage Preparation

This is an interesting article to see from a Baptist viewpoint

Being Black and Catholic In the United States in 2011

Whispers has a good post here at "To Be Black and Catholic" . Besides November being the month we pray for the pour souls of faithful departed it is also Black Catholic History month. In Louisiana of course there is a lot to talk about as too that.

Whispers in the Loggia has a good column but this struck me as very apt (the bolding is mine):

In the years since, though, many leaders and layfolk in the community have expressed discouragement over a diminishing tide born of two convergent domestic trends: a shift of the national church's wider focus toward the booming Hispanic population, and the prominent emergence of a fresh immigration from Africa, above all from Nigeria and Ghana, whose impact has been most powerfully felt in the South.

Along those lines, it is indeed conspicuous that next month will mark five years since an African-American priest was last named to the episcopacy, after a decade that brought the appointments of no fewer than six others. Yet lest anyone forgot, "increas[ing] the Catholic community’s understanding and acceptance of cultural diversity in the church" has been one of the USCCB's five national priorities in the conference's most recent cycle of at-large concerns.

I commented on the needless to say immense African Catholic presence in the South just a week ago. See African Catholics In Archdiocese of Atlanta A Massive Presence . While there are similarities between Black American Catholics and recent African immigrants no doubt there are major differences and thus perhaps the tensions.

Part of this is we are sowing what the American Catholic Church reaped as a whole. While my experience is just one person I can not help but notice that some of the post "Spirit of Vatican II" Priests with perhaps a Social Justice view only (often white) were appointed to many black parishes.

While social justice has always been a part of the black Church both Protestant and Catholic there appeared to be a crucial difference. The Protestant black Church also made a emphasis on evangelizing in the community. To put it bluntly getting butts in the pews. For whatever reason this did not happen in far too many places in the black Catholic community as we entered the second half of the 2oth century.

If you think that is controversial then explain to me why once thriving Black Catholic congregations are a shadow of themselves in some places while the Protestant black Church is still going gangbusters. I cannot tell you how many black former Catholics I know are now Protestants. Largely because , like the American Catholic community as a whole, there was lack of formation of Catholic ID and formation.

Further to put it bluntly , I got the impression at time often Bishops might have had a false idea of what black Catholics wanted and needed. Like everyone else they do not all think the same.

Trends that hit the Catholic Church as a whole might have hit the black Catholic community worse. This is not to say there are not thriving Black Catholic Churches in the USA . There are indeed. But the emphasis on actually spreading the Catholic message in black communities faltered. Thus at one time we saw numerous conversion to the Catholic in the black community because of the Catholic school. Nowadays where those Black Catholic schools still exist in many areas the students are mostly Protestant. So yes that might be a reason why in part we have had less black appointments to the Episcopal purple etc lately. At least that is my theory.

Still I am positive. I am hopeful we might come to our sense and realize that we should not be closing down black Catholic schools but opening them up. That we should be expanding our service in the black community. We should also recognize this not 1960 and that a significant Black middle class has developed that must be "marketed" too also.

Big Celebration for the Diocese of Baton Rouge 50th Anniversary This Sunday

I just hope events in Alabama the day beore put people in a festive mood!! See
Baton Rouge Catholic Diocese Jubilee set Sunday

How George Washington Destroyed The Anti Catholic Guy Fawkes Day- Do we another Need Washington?

It's that time of the year again and Guy Fawkkes day is upon us in a good bit of the English speaking world.

Unlike most areas of the old British Empire now the Anglo Sphere Guy Fawkes day never became a big day in the United States. We have one man largely to thank for destroying an largely anti Catholic holiday. That was George Washington. I did a rather extensive post on that here at Today Is Huge Day In American Catholic History- George Washington Orders End To Guy Fawkes Day .

Anti Catholicism by no means ended but it was a critical moment in Catholic and indeed American history as a whole that is often forgotten.

One wonders if we another George Washington to appear on the scene. Some strains of anti Catholicism can be seen now more than ever but come from a more secular viewpoint. In fact looking at it reminds me of some of the bizarre anti Catholic literature of the late 1800's.

But regardless we should be thankful that a man like Washington appeared on the scene when he did.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Must Read on Les Miles Ever

Best article I ever read on Les Miles and family ever read.

Vatican Unveils 10 Commandments Against Child Sex Abuse Crimes

This something to follow of note. See Paedophilia: Mgr. Scicluna's ten commandments against child abuse

This appears to be happening at a Conference in Italy that might make some important news if anyone is in the USA is watching. I will try , but can't promise, to find some english translations of the events.

Mississippi Zionist Pentecostals Attack Eastern Orthodox Hermitage ?

I saw this interesting post Orthodox monastery in Mississippi desecrated

....In 1979 Hieromonk Eliah Yakovian returned from the Holy Land and founded the Palestinian Hermitage of the Burning Bush on the Forrest county line just outside Petal, MS. The hermitage was one of the more humble houses of poverty in the United States and as closely as possible resembled a cave dwelling in the Kidron Valley.

For over thirty years Fr. Eliah lived a life of harsh asceticism at the Hermitage with little contact except for the internet and his friends, the wildlife.Recently, health issues forced Fr. Eliah to go to a hospital in Boston, MA. While out of town, the hermitage was all but knocked to the ground and is no longer livable. Priceless liturgical antiquities from the Holy Land as well as Icons were desecrated and strewn about on the ground.

The vast Library which contained irreplaceable theological works in several languages were also left out in the elements.Authorities claim that it is most likely not Albanian Muslims, but the work of the local Pentecostal Zionists that were after the Land the monastery grounds are located on, and were probably totally ignorant of the fact that the Hermitage was a Christian house of worship having heard the word "Palestinian" used in reference to the Hermitage. Fr. Eliah has been granted asylum at HTM where he is recovering.

Hmm. Well as you can see from the comments this happens months ago and I must say I am doubtful of the Mississippi Pentecostal Zionist story line here. Still this Monk having a hermitage in Mississippi of all places seems like a fascinating story. I would like to know more about him

Signs That Mary Landrieu Not Running For Reelection To U.S. Senate

Jim Brown has an interesting column up that looks at some important Statewide elected offices with an eye to the future.

As to U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu he makes this observation:

...There has been talk of Jindal angling for a cabinet position in a new Republican administration, or even a Vice Presidential slot. But his ill advised endorsement of Texas Governor Rick Perry, whose presidential campaign seems to flounder more as each week goes by, has limited Jindal’s future choices. His options would seem to be either head back to the private sector, or go for the U.S. Senate seat.

What about the current incumbent, Mary Landrieu? She is serving her fourth term. But if she is making plans for a reelection effort, any close political observer would hardly know it. Her current campaign disclosure statement shows a little over $800,000 on hand for a 2014 race. That’s weekend walking around money for the Jindal campaign. She rarely comes home to Louisiana. And her actions in Washington are troubling to a number of Louisiana democrats.
Landrieu had the chance recently to hand pick a new 5th Circuit Court of Appeals judge. This was the first opportunity to make such a choice, since the present opening was the first with a sitting democratic president in office. Obama, as with past presidents from both parties, adheres to the wishes of the home state senator from the same party. One can imagine the number of democratic state and federal judges salivating over the opportunity for such an appointment. But Landrieu turned her back on a fellow democratic appointee, and adhered to a campaign supporter of Republican Senator David Vitter.

An obscure assistant prosecutor, Stephen Higginson, who had given Vitter multiple campaign contributions, was Vitter’s pick. Higginson might show up for work as a judge, but he had rarely bothered to vote in local and state elections. Since 2007, Higginson passed on voting numerous times, including in a number of judicial elections. And even though Higginson is not even a democrat, Landrieu apparently decided it was to her advantage, perhaps as a future Washington lobbyist, just to go along with Vitter.
I was in Washington a few weeks ago, and the consensus from a number of capitol political observers is that Landrieu isn’t looking much like a candidate for 2014. With Louisiana becoming a solid red state, and her chances for reelection questionable, Landrieu seems more focused on firming up her Washington relationships in both parties to set the stage to pass on reelection, and do what retired members of congress generally do — stay in Washington and build a lucrative lobbying career....