Sunday, July 30, 2006

Big Stick Diplomacy?

From a speech by Abraham Lincoln, Hartford Connecticut, 1860:

If I saw a venomous snake crawling in the road, any man would say I might seize the nearest stick and kill it; but if I found that snake in bed with my children, that would be another question. I might hurt the children more than the snake, and it might bite them.

Whilst the esteemed gentleman from Illinois was talking about the subject of slavery, The allegory may have other useful extensions:

A Red Cross worker carries the body of a girl pulled out of the rubble of the destroyed building after Israeli airstrikes in Qana, Lebanon, on Sunday.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Dracula Sides With Scientists

In the movie VanHelsing, Dracula has captured Frankenstein's creation, much to the creature's distress:

"What are you complaining about? This is why you were made, to prove that God is not the only one who can create life. And now, you must give that life to my children."

Wow, sounds like the embrionic stem cell debate, in a nutshell, with the bloodsuckers insisting that embryos are created by Man, and thus can be disposed of according to Man's will.

Frankenstien's creation later says "I want to live." Can we let that be the embryo's a priori answer as well?

Clerical Silence and Moral Babbling

Via Pro Eccclesia, an op-ed by Kenneth C. Daniel, TV producer and armchair theologian:

A few years ago, there was a popular bumper sticker and bracelet. It was the essence of simplicity; four letters, followed by a question mark — WWJD? What Would Jesus Do? Most of the stickers have either faded into oblivion or have been replaced by other causes, such as Support Our Troops or God Bless America.

Frankly, because most people don't care what Jesus would do in ALL situations, they prefer to cherrypick issues that irk them, and leave their favourite vices unquestioned. Hey, you asked.

As the WWJD bumper stickers disappeared, did the message vanish as well? The idea began to haunt me. The more I mulled it over, the darker and more foreboding the tempest swirled, until a single question emerged from this maelstrom of thoughts and emotions: Where is the voice of our spiritual leaders? Where are the sentinels of our souls, raising their voices, asking the tough questions, protesting injustice, condemning corruption?
So, I ask you, clergy, where is your voice?

They're all around you, Kenneth, but because they're busy praying the Rosary in front of abortion clinics, you never get their perspective. There are plenty of shepherds, but many of the sheep aren't interested in being led that way. Something tells me you'd fall into that category, as you're expressing bewilderment at the silence of the stray sheep's backside in front of you.

• WWJD about a war initiated on deception in which, every day, men and women — American, Iraqi, Afghani and others — are dying?

First of all, Jesus wouldn't call someone a liar unless there was some proof. Second of all, violence didn't solve those problems, did it.

• WWJD about so many of our leaders who loudly proclaim their Christian faith and devotion to God to gain our vote, then, once elected, lie and cheat and deceive?

Back to my comment above, for starters. Jesus would call these sinners to repentance, like He did with ALL sinners He encountered. Including you.

• WWJD about a government that places more importance on corporate profit than on the environment or the welfare of its citizens?

You know, corporations are made up of people, all who like to have employment and earn money to feed their families. Funny that. They also like to spend their money on homes, home repairs, cars, clothes, golf, etcetera. Employed carpenters, car salesmen and auto workers, retail workers, and greens keepers, we salute you.

• WWJD about a government that closes its eyes to so many countries where every day thousands of men, women and children die from diseases that can be easily prevented with affordable, accessible medicines? Or a government that protects the obscene profiteering of its medical and pharmaceutical corporations while hundreds of thousands of its own citizens are unable to afford medical insurance and treatment and die needlessly?

Hmm, the American government is only one outlet of aid to the poor of the entire world. The american people are another, donating billions of dollars that you so callusly disregard. Unless you want the government to be in charge of all that. But, given recent examples of mismanagement in the government, who would want that?

• WWJD with those of us who cry "traitor" and "un-American" at anyone who even so slightly questions our motives in the Middle East, even a mother whose son died there?

Hey, oil is a big part of national security, including yours. You drive a car? If the answer is yes, you're part of the problem.

Where is the logic in fighting a war on terrorism with every terrifying weapon available to us, just short of nuclear bombs? I'm fairly certain Jesus had a clear position on this.

Yes, I agree. We may slay our enemy, but we cannot quell the cycle of resentment and hatred with continued violence. We must convert our enemies through love, not fear of our sword. Sure, they can kill us, but what better way to reach Heaven than with a martyr's crown?

And we wonder why so many people all over the world hate us. We continually claim that it is because they are envious of our prosperity, when the real reason is our insistence that everyone must submit to our rules. We wave the flag, puff out our chests and proclaim, "God is on our side." And, of course, our God is male, white and conservative Christian.

Way to beat that straw man down, kenneth. You have no problem hating the prosperous, why not let everyone else have a turn? Iran insists that we follow their rules, as does China, France, and Russia. We just have enough capital to have our way, for a little while longer, anyway.

I ask you, when did the God of compassion, inclusion, tolerance and forgiveness become the God of retribution, condemnation and punishment? Is your silence prompted by a fear that your congregation might be offended and reduce their offerings? Or that the government will reassess your tax status? Or perhaps you have convinced yourself that politics and religion should be kept separate?

Jesus ALWAYS told sinners to repent, or do you only have the DNC's version of the bible? Too many preachers don't touch hot-button issues for the reasons you mention, else we'd be hearing more from the ambo about the evils of abortion, contraception, and homosexuality, and how we should welcome the alien. You wouldn't want that, would you?

So, I ask again, where is your voice? How much more can you tolerate before you speak out? Perhaps the question now should not be, WWJD? Perhaps the more appropriate question should be, WWYD? What will you do?

I'm just going to keep plugging on, working out my salvation in fear and trembling, and hope that my fidelity to ALL the teachings of Jesus, and the Church that HE founded, will inspire others to do so.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


.but not quite as Catholic as GOP Soccer Mom. I scored a 91 to her 98 on this quiz:

What Kind of Catholic Are You?

You scored 91, on a scale of 0 to 100. Here's how to interpret your score:

0 - 35 You are a Centering Prayer (very progressive) Catholic. More about you. [bahrrrrfff]

26 - 50 You are an Ignatian Exercises (moderately progressive) Catholic. More about you.

51 - 75 You are a Divine Office (moderately traditional) Catholic. More about you.

76 - 100 You are a Daily Rosary (very traditional) Catholic. More about you.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

You saw this coming, right?

The DaVinci Code was just the beginning. From the pen of Kathleen McGowan comes The Expected One:

Maureen’s extraordinary journey takes her from the dusty streets of Jerusalem to the cathedrals of Paris, and ultimately to the scrolls themselves. She must unravel clues that link history’s great artistic masters including Botticelli and Jean Cocteau; the Medici, Bourbon, and Borgia dynasties; and great scientific minds like Leonardo da Vinci and Isaac Newton. Ultimately, she, and the reader, come face to face with Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist, Judas, and Salome in the pages of a deeply moving and powerful new gospel, the life of Jesus told by Mary Magdalene.

She apparently had trouble getting traction to publish this dreck until The DaVinci Code broke the barrier for her. USA Today goes on to gush a bit:

Is the world ready for a book and an author more controversial than Dan Brown and The Da Vinci Code?

Meet Kathleen McGowan, novelist and self-proclaimed descendant of a union between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. McGowan, who says she is from the "sacred bloodline" Brown made famous in his mega-selling novel, says she's ready to cope with people who think she's crazy or a heretic.

I'm sure it'll be a hit on the Call to Action reading list. The gullible are already there:

"It's an interesting back story, but we're marketing this fabulous novel," says Trish Todd, editor in chief at Touchstone, a division of Simon & Schuster.

Todd says she has no problem believing McGowan's claim that she descends from a marriage between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. "Yes, I believe her. Her passion and her mission are so strong, how can she not be?"

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Fritz Hippler, move over.

Goebbels would be proud. Syriana is a masterpiece of expository propaganda, and I have no doubt that it will be used as the proof text of American foreign policy in every mosque around the world. While Michael Moore’s films are over the top, and so obviously subjective, this film will have a longer half-life because it is fiction that will be taken as truth by those who “just know it’s true”. A ‘Book of Goldstein’ (from the book 1984), if you will.

The film is careful to avoid any Jewish stereotypes, lest audiences get distracted from despising the Oil Companies, Emirs, Bankers, Lawyers, Lawmakers, and the CIA. Muslim terrorists are excused, and eventually glorified, as victims of the conspiracy of the aforementioned parties.

An especially ironic moment, a Saudi Imam is feeding some poor hungry workers, and preaching to them. He tells them their problems, and the world’s, are caused by the West, Free Trade, emirs, and those that support them. Ironically, this also happens to be the message of this film.

The imam also does not mention Jews, which proves that this film is a complete fantasy.

Another ironic moment comes at the end of the film. Our CIA hero dashes off to warn a prominent Saudi about plans to assassinate him (at the behest of Oil Companies, of course). In the process of warning him, by stopping his motorcade, he has unwittingly aided the perpetrators by turning a moving target into a stationary one. Duh.

Leave it to a liberal to think that they’re helping when they’re actually making things harder. But it’s the thought that counts, right?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Gumbleton's new Gospel

Apparently, retired bishop Gumbleton thinks that "Hitler's Pope" is gospel truth, and is parroting those accusations for his own ends. I don't have much to say about that...but I do have a picture!

h/t Dad29 and Gerald Augustinius


The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!

Your fate has been decided....

You are one of the lucky ones! Because of your virtue and beliefs, you have escaped eternal punishment. You are sent to Purgatory!


You have escaped damnation and made it to Purgatory, a place where the dew of repentance washes off the stain of sin and girds the spirit with humility. Through contrition, confession, and satisfaction by works of righteousness, you must make your way up the mountain. As the sins are cleansed from your soul, you will be illuminated by the Sun of Divine Grace, and you will join other souls, smiling and happy, upon the summit of this mountain. Before long you will know the joys of Paradise as you ascend to the ethereal realm of Heaven.

Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Extreme
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Moderate
Level 2 (Lustful)Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Low
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Very Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante Inferno Hell Test

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Must. Destroy. Embryos.

This whole debate over ESCR (embryonic stem cell research) is hilarious, people ducking under semantics, avoiding certain logical conclusions, and making the wildest claims. According to proponents, ESCR will make lame men walk, blind men see, crazy people sane, and fat people thin. To hear them tell it, ESCR IS JESUS IN A BOTTLE! Who are we pro-life christians to deny the return of Jesus? I'll stay vigilant and skeptical, thank you.

While ESCR pros keep calling embryos by their basic description of "cells" let them answer this: If these cells are so mudane as to not ponder the morality of destroying them, What other kinds of cells, when planted in the human womb, will continue growing into a human being? It's basic biology, gang, stop squirming and answer the question.

The 40,000 embryos in cold storage are like Godiva chocolates in a store window to these folks. The urge is too great. The embryos we've already destroyed didn't yield the results we were seeking, ergo, we need to detroy more of them. And after they've destroyed the 40,000, and have come up with nothing more, what then? Bokanovsky Process manufacturing? Do we let the embryo develop a bit more before destroying it, ".. after all, they're fair game at 2 days. Why not 2 weeks?" will be the reasoning.

And the whiners are making it sound like Dubya's outlawed the practice, rather than declining to fund the research with Federal $$$. If there's so much potential in ESCR, why aren't the major drug companies falling over themselves starting labs and awarding grants? What's more apparent is that the drug companies want the Gov't to fund the research, then the drug companies get to make the meds and treatments without all the up-front research investment in that shaky field. Win-win, right?

The President will get flak from Left and Right on this veto, but he's done what he believes is right. Sometimes, it seems that George is in a party of his own, neither Republican nor Democrat, and I feel that way sometimes as well. Have a good day.

Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
And before you were born I consecrated you;
I have appointed you a prophet to the nations."

Saturday, July 15, 2006


A discussion at another blog questioned the validity of Pope John Paul II's addition of the 'Luminous Mysteries' to the devotion of the Rosary. I'll break it down into two issues: Why the Luminous Mysteries, and Why by the Pope adding them.

a link to JPII's document Rosarium Virginis Mariae for starters.

According to legend, in the early 13th Century, St. Dominic was instructed by Our Lady to institute the devotion of the Rosary, as a defense against heresy and sin. The meditations on the Mysteries, Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious, were codified by Pope Pius V in the late 16th Century. Pope John Paul II, in 2002, added the Luminous Mysteries to these meditations. The Luminous Mysteries are: The Baptism in the Jordan, The Wedding at Cana, The Proclamation of the Kingdom, The Transfiguration, and The Institution of the Eucharist.
To answer the Why of the addition, it is another way to contemplate the Glory of Jesus through key events that define our christology as Catholics.

The Baptism in the Jordan: Jesus was already holy before His Baptism, as proclaimed by John the Baptist upon meeting Jesus on the bank of the river. It's important, as it dispells the Adoptionist myth of Jesus 'becoming' Christ upon His Baptism.

The Wedding at Cana: Not only Jesus' first public miracle, but also shows the intercessory role of Mary with Jesus.

The Proclamation of the Kingdom: Jesus is the King, and therefore it was good news to Israel that the Kingdom of God was really as hand.

The Transfiguration: As a spiritual consolation or strengthening to His closest disciples, Jesus allows them to see Him as He really is.

The Institution of the Eucharist: The Eucharist as Source and Summit is meaningless without this event, and so it is right to be a frequent topic for meditation.

The question as to 'Why the Pope adding them' is simple: The Pope, as Vicar of Christ, has every obligation to safeguard the Faith and promote the spiritual growth of Catholic Christians. As the successor of Peter, he is also gifted with the Holy Spirit, which proceeds from the Father and the Son, whose testimony gives glory to Jesus. These added mysteries invite meditation on key events in the Gospel, to glorify Jesus, and so are beneficial to our spiritual growth.
Some may dismiss these additional Mysteries as an unwarranted innovation, but they do so at their own peril, for in that dismissal lies a contempt for the Pope and, by extension, the Chair of Peter. The Church has seen many trivializations of prayer and liturgy, by liberal elements, in the years since the Second Vatican Council, and many blame the Council itself for these lapses. But this dissatisfaction does not excuse contempt for, and even defiance of, the successor of Peter in the name of 'Tradition'. The Church teaches that the successors of the Apostles were guided by the Holy Spirit, and that the Holy Spirit is the guidance to the Church. Either you believe it, or you despair of it.

The Good and Peaceable Man

In addition to reading about the Desert Fathers, and Bl. Teresa of Calcutta, I'm reading through 'The Imitation of Christ' by Thomas à Kempis. I read this part this morning, and thought that it should be a good reminder to all christian bloggers on the tenor of our discussions. From Book 2, Ch III:

First keep thyself in peace, and then shalt thou be able to be a peacemaker towards others. A peaceable man doth more good than a well-learned. A passionate man turneth even good into evil and easily believeth evil; a good, peaceable man converteth all things into good. He who dwelleth in peace is suspicious of none, but he who is discontented and restless is tossed with many suspicions, and is neither quiet himself nor suffereth others to be quiet. He often saith what he ought not to say, and omitteth what it were more expedient for him to do. He considereth to what duties others are bound, and neglecteth those to which he is bound himself. Therefore be zealous first over thyself, and then mayest thou righteously be zealous concerning thy neighbour.

I guess that instead of incessantly venting our spleens about bishop Invertebrate or sister Heresychaser, OP, we should be first as ruthless in routing our own sins. I get in posting ruts, where it's only the things that rile me enough to write about that get onto the blog. I suspect that others get into that rut as well.

Thou knowest well how to excuse and to colour thine own deeds, but thou wilt not accept the excuses of others. It would be more just to accuse thyself and excuse thy brother. If thou wilt that others bear with thee, bear thou with others. Behold how far thou art as yet from the true charity and humility which knows not how to be angry or indignant against any save self alone. It is no great thing to mingle the good and the meek, for this is naturally pleasing to all, and every one of us willingly enjoyeth peace and liketh best those who think with us: but to be able to live peaceably with the hard and perverse, or with the disorderly, or those who oppose us, this is a great grace and a thing much to be commended and most worthy of a man.

Is there any point to reading heretical journals, if one only does it to stoke resentment and provide fresh accusations? It's one thing to expose a heresey, and offer corrective proof, and another to just lambast the author with aspersions about their faith or intelligence (Mea Culpa).

There are who keep themselves in peace and keep peace also with others, and there are who neither have peace nor suffer others to have peace; they are troublesome to others, but always more troublesome to themselves. And there are who hold themselves in peace, and study to bring others unto peace; nevertheless, all our peace in this sad life lieth in humble suffering rather than in not feeling adversities. He who knoweth best how to suffer shall possess the most peace; that man is conqueror of himself and lord of the world, the friend of Christ, and the inheritor of heaven.

Peace to you all, as there are many trials ahead for us all.

Exhibit A, Jack T. Chick v. 2000 years of Christian Tradition

H/t Crescat,

In a related story, a blogger had posted a picture from a Chick tract, about Catholics going to hell:

If you actually read the scripture quoted from Mark 2, notice that Chick sides with THE PHARISEES!
5 And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

6 But some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts,

7 "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?"

8 Immediately Jesus, aware in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, "Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts?

9 "Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven'; or to say, 'Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk'?

10 "But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"--He said to the paralytic,

11 "I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home."

12 And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this."

At the risk of being uncharitable, I'd say that Jack may have misread that section, or is really stretching to justify his bias against the Catholic Church. Here's a section, from John 20, that Jack needs to re-read:

19 So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you."
20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

21 So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you."

22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.

23 "If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained."

As successors to the apostles, a Catholic priest has the faculty to hear confessions, and relate God's forgiveness to the sinner! Thanks for playing, see you next week on "What Has Jack Been Smoking"...

Friday, July 14, 2006

Foresight and Worthiness

From Athanasius' biography 'the Life of Antony of Egypt'
[Antony] denounced the Arians, saying that their heresy was the last of all and a forerunner of Antichrist. And he taught the people that the Son of God was not a created being, neither had He come into being from non-existence, but that He was the Eternal Word and Wisdom of the Essence of the Father. And therefore it was impious to say, 'there was a time when He was not,' for the Word was always co-existent with the Father. Wherefore have no fellowship with the most impious Arians. For there is no communion between light and darkness [20]. For you are good Christians, but they, when they say that the Son of the Father, the Word of God, is a created being, differ in nought from the heathen, since they worship that which is created, rather than God the creator. But believe ye that the Creation itself is angry with them because they number the Creator, the Lord of all, by whom all things came into being, with those things which were originated.

If one looks at the contemporary plagues of Mohammadeans, Zionists, and blithering christians sects, one will see that Arianism is alive and well. Dan Brown's 'DaVinci Code' is just one more grenade in the bandolier of Arianism, denying the Divinity of Jesus and calling the Apostles liars. Antony predicted this. Antony spent the better part of is life in spiritual combat against evil spirits and the fallen angel they serve, Satan. I'll take his word for it.

I've been reading ' The Eternal wisdom of the Desert Fathers' , published by Paraclete Press, and while I've just read up though Antony, I'm astonished at the love and dedication to our Lord that these men and women lived. It really shames me to compare my life to theirs, my comfort to their mortification. As much as we kvetch about loopy liturgists, Brokeback bishops, and heretical theologians, we cannot compare in our witness to those who've given up EVERYTHING for Christ. I get the same feeling when reading Bl. Teresa of Calcutta, her complete surrender to Christ, unselfish love, and gentle criticism of the rest of us slackers. Time for a wee attitude correction..

"Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come immediately and sit down to eat'?

"But will he not say to him, 'Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterward you may eat and drink'?

"He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he?

"So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, 'We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.'"

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Women Priests and Dead Parrots...

I was stumbling along the shoulder of the Information Super highway (thanks, Al), and spotted this paper explaining the philosophic genius of Monty Python:

Mr. Praline, the man attempting to return the parrot, is our verificationist, as is evidenced by his attempt to verify the death of the parrot by reference to experience, such as seeing that it's dead, its falling to the ground when sent aloft, its being nailed to its perch, and so on. The shopkeeper is our philosophically more sophisticated holist. He knows that maintaining the truth of other statements, concerning for example the bird's strength and its affection for the fiords, will allow him to maintain that the parrot is alive. Notice who wins: the shopkeeper is never brought to accept that the parrot is dead. Indeed, the sketch could go on indefinitely without that ever happening.

Makes me think of the spate of faux ordinations foisted by self-acclaimed "Women Priests".
A paraphrase and parody:

Mr. Praline: Look, I took the liberty of examining that issue when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the first place was that it had been heralded by the mainstream media.


Owner: Well, o'course it was heralded by the mainstream media! If I hadn't heralded that issue in the mainstream media, it would have nuzzled up to the USCCB, bent 'em apart with the Spirit of Vatican II, and
VOOM! Feeweeweewee!

Mr. Praline: "VOOM"?!? Mate, this issue wouldn't "voom" if you put four million volts through it! 'E's bleedin' demised!

Owner: No no! 'E's pining!

Mr. Praline: 'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This issue is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! Read Ordinatio Sacerdotalis! If you hadn't hoisted these women on a barge on the St. Lawrence River, They'd be blessing twinkies in their kitchens! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the
bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-ISSUE!!
So. There you have it. Random thought for a Tuesday night.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Take up your cross

What Kind of Cross are You?

You are the Celtic Cross: This cross was first made out of stone and is often found atop hills, in front of castles and in graveyards throughout Ireland and Scotland. The stone was carved with various symbols including a circle or halo (representing eternal life) and variations of the celtic knot.
Take this quiz!

h/t Mormon 2 Catholic

Friday, July 07, 2006


Watch out, Boomers, there another group with which you can share your gripes about the Church, and plot to "Take Back Our Church". As if there weren't enough outlets for neo-retro-heretical musings, Robert Blair Kaiser wants you:
In fact, without your help, and the help of a million others like you, we won't be able to demand the action necessary to create the Church we need.

Mr. Kaiser, like the millions of others that he's seeking, was not properly catachised as to the origins of the Church:
Matt 16:
18"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

19"I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven."

Notice that Jesus said "I will build My church": The Church we need is already built, and was built by Christ. Why does someone need to build another? Ask Photius, Henry VII, Luther, and Rev. Jonas Q. Biblethumper why a "New Church" needs to be made, and how that Men are worthy to build it.

The need of another SoVIIette (Spirit of Vatican II worshipper) group is also in question. Here's a poster in TakeBackOurChurch's forum:
Honestly, aren't the goals (both stated and implicit) of pretty much the same goals of the "We Are Church" movement, Voice of the Faithful, the Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church (ARCC), and those of a myriad of other dissident groups?

Even Commonweal is a bit skeptical:
I'm all for having a serious discussion of Roman centralism, a problem the Church has been struggling with since at least the Gregorian Reform, if not earlier. But pretending that the Council fathers at Vatican II had the same mindset of the Founding Fathers of the American revolution is just nonsense.

Mr Kaiser responds to the Commonweal argument:
Those in favor of "the divinely instituted hierararchical constitution of the Church" can, of course, like Talmudic scholarsm, quote paragraphs 18 and 19 of LG [Lumen Gentium](and other grafs) to support a position that simply isn't working in the context of our times.

FYI, I think it is poor scholarship to quote verses from Vatican II in order to make any kind of case for anything. We have to look at the legislative history of the Council, some of which is written down, and some of which I was personally privvy to because I was there, conducting Sunday night salons and watching the drama of the Council unfold for four sessions. I can attest that phrases like "the divinely instituted hierararchical constitution of the Church" were inserted AFTER the decisions for a people's Church were already made by huge conciliar majorities.

Hearsay also makes for poor scholarship, Mr. Kaiser, but you probably already know that. But, these assertions also highlight my contention with anti-Vatican II bloggers, that the cancer of dissent was already in the Church before the documents hit the street, as evidenced by the popular reaction to Humanae Vitae.
I'll take Jesus' Church over a 'people's Church' any day, and twice on Christmas. You want a 'people's Church'? Check out the Episcopalians, and their weather vane doctrines.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Power and Courage in Richmond

h/t Amy Welborn

From A Voice in the Diocese of Richmond, an exhortation to courageous rebellion, anonymous poster.
I'm deeply distrubed by the Catholic heirarchy. Power, authority, and control appear to be their criteria. It is as if the heirachy believe all the laity is good for to follow whatever they dictate. Well, do you know what, it aint so. We the laity do have power. All we need to do is exercise our power. The powers-that-be seem to believe we are helpless. All the power, authority and control of the heirarchy will only operate for them if we permit it to have power, authority and control over us.

What power is this person talking about? The power of performing all the duties of a parish priest, from Matins to Vespers, and every pastoral and business task in between? I'm sure that the 'power' that those posessed by the Spirit of Vatican II&trade (SoVIIs, for short) are seeking is the power to change Catholic doctrine. In that case, they will forever be disappointed, not matter how many extraordinary Eucharistic ministers they co-opt, diocesan positions they fill, or DREs they plant, for the power to change doctrine is not in the Church.
They speak like marxist revolutionaries, substituting the word 'laity' in for 'proletariat', and 'heirarchy' for 'bourgeoisie'. What Would Lenin Do?

To defy this authority we must all have courage, the courage of our convictions.

Courage? Why then hide behind anonymity, if thou art so confident in thine righteous convictions?

If there are people who are afraid. that's ok too.

I believe that category is for anonymous agitators.

Sometimes Catholic brainwashing is so ingrained in a person's mind they will not, or cannot, defy Catholic authority and tradition. Our Church trained us to believe if the Church said it was so, then it was, no questions asked. A few of us have broken the mold and are using the brain power the good Lord gave us.

I guess that it's only after a trip to Room 101 that we can love the Church, to hear it from 'anonymous'. And here I am, sipping clove-flavoured gin, and loving God as He has been worshipped by 2000 years of Catholic tradition. 1 + 1 + 1 = 1.
I choose to harness the brain power in service to the heart power, which reports to the soul power, which is guided by the Holy Spirit. God wants us to use all three in our love of Him.

The new bishop in Richmond must be doing something right, if the SoVIIs' knickers are in such a twist. God bless him and his endeavors.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Falling Flat


.Rush Limbaugh gets busted at an airport with someone else's Viagra..

.and then Kim Jong Il's big missile fails.


I think not!

The real questions will be: How DID Rush get into Kim's medicine cabinet, and what was he REALLY looking for?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Another Traditionalist position?

From the Catholic Encyclopedia's entry on Donatists, a schismatic group which denied the validity of Sacraments administered by those they considered as traitors:

"St. Optatus gives a vehement catalogue of the excesses committed by the Donatists on their return... Since they did not admit the validity of the sacraments administered by traditors, when they seized the churches they cast the Holy Eucharist to the dogs; but the dogs, inflamed with madness, attacked their own masters. An ampulla of chrism thrown out of a window was found unbroken on the rocks."

My thoughts turned to this after I read the following joke:
Q. What are the only things that never change in a Jesuit liturgy?

A. The bread and wine.

Ahh, yes, another soul who's fed up with the relentless stream of public dissent and scandal to the Church by weak and errant clergy. I won't even go into the 'picking on the poor Jesuits' argument posited by the joke, as it belittles the efforts of faithful Jesuits who get tarred with the same brush as their copiously heretical brethren. Fortunately, our salvation doesn't hinge upon another man's fidelity to Christ and His Church, but on Christ's saving work already accomplished:
The Catholic champion, St. Optatus, Bishop of Milevis, published his great work "De schismate Donatistarum" in answer to that of the Donatist Bishop of Carthage, Parmenianus, under Valentinian and Valens, 364-375 (so St. Jerome). Optatus himself tells us that he was writing after the death of Julian (363) and more than sixty years after the beginning of the schism (he means the persecution of 303)... In the first book he describes the origin and growth of the schism; in the second he shows the notes of the true Church; in the third he defends the Catholics from the charge of persecuting, with especial reference to the days of Macarius. In the fourth book he refutes Parmenianus's proofs from Scripture that the sacrifice of a sinner is polluted. In the fifth book he shows the validity of baptism even when conferred by sinners, for it is conferred by Christ, the minister being the instrument only. This is the first important statement of the doctrine that the grace of the sacraments is derived from the opus operatum of Christ independently of the worthiness of the minister.

St. Augustine took up that same argument when dealing with the Donatists later:
After St. Augustine had become bishop in 395, he obtained conferences with some of the Donatist leaders, though not with his rival at Hippo. In 400 he wrote three books against the letter of Parmenianus, refuting his calumnies and his arguments from Scripture. More important were his seven books on baptism, in which, after developing the principle already laid down by St. Optatus, that the effect of the sacrament is independent of the holiness of the minister, he shows in great detail that the authority of St. Cyprian is more awkward than convenient for the Donatists.

Pope Innocent III puts the truly traditional Catholic perspective on efficacy of the Sacraments:
Nothing more is accomplished by a good priest and nothing less by a wicked priest, because is it accomplished by the word of the creator and not the merit of the priest. Thus the wickedness of the priest does not nullify the effect of the sacrament, just as the sickness of a doctor does not destroy the power of his medicine. Although the "doing of the thing (opus operans)" may be unclear, nevertheless, the "thing which is done (opus operatum)" is always clean
- Pope Innocent III (1160-1216)

But will that explanation suffice for detractors and critics? Probably not, but then they lose a measure of credibility when claiming to be really traditional Catholics.