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Today on CMR —

Weekend on CMR - September 29-30, 2007

Benedict At Gettysburg.
—It is a hard sell if you have to convince people that Lincoln was a boob after first reading to them from the Gettysburg address. The same goes for Pope Benedict.

Media Slams Justice Clarence Thomas
—What is his book actually about?

Plan D - Prevent Episcopal Implantation
—Justification for Episcopal Abortion

Connecticut Bishops Statement On Plan B and Catholic Hospitals
—Statement of the Connecticut Bishops.

Connecticut Bishops OK Administering Abortifacient
—Willful ignorance as an excuse for abortion.

Microscopic-American Rights
—Aren't Christians the ones who are supposed to be afraid of science? Aren't us religious nuts the ones who want to bring back the Dark Ages?

Katie Couric Uncomfortable with Patriotism
—What is this we @#!$ kimosabe?

Benedict At Gettysburg.

The National Post of Canada has a real gem (read hit piece) of an article on Pope Benedict XVI. I had planned to take issue with this article but something else became evident to me as I read it. When they attack the Pope, the truth often unintentionally slips out.

I have read a number of hit pieces on the Pope in recent months and this article definitely qualifies. However, because the Pope is so simple and clear on the issues at hand, even these dissenting Papal gnats are forced to inadvertently relay the truth and are limited to critiquing style. Hardly an effective approach. Check out these quotes from some of Benedict's critics. (Emphases and [comments] mine)

"He wants to draw a line, make distinctions, increase clarity [Indeed he does] - even if it upsets people," said Thomas Reese, a priest who stepped down as editor of the Jesuit magazine America under pressure from the Vatican just after Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope Benedict.

The article includes this quote from the Pope: "To have a clear faith ... is often styled a fundamentalism. Meanwhile relativism, meaning allowing oneself to be carried away 'here and there by any wind of doctrine,' appears as the only attitude to modern times. What's being constructed is a dictatorship of relativism, which recognizes nothing as definite and that regards one's self and one's own desires as the final measure." ['nuff said]

"The only way to confront the dictatorship of relativism is with a more robust assertion of the uniqueness of the revelation of God in Christ, which continues to be preserved in the Catholic Church," --Richard Gaillardetz, a professor of Catholic studies at the University of Toledo in Ohio [Yes, he is a critic. I am not making this up.]

"In a radically secular age, conservative Protestants have so much in common with Catholics that we find ourselves to be easy working partners," he said. "I give the Pope space because there is a public in the world that he thinks he needs to speak to and get something across. I wouldn't be surprised if it was intended for Latin America where there has been a great wave of conversions [to Protestantism]."--Brian Stiller, the president of Tyndale University College and Seminary, a Christian school in Toronto.
It seems that in their ardent desire to attack the Pope they are forced to repeat the clear and concise statements of the Pope. This brilliant and supposedly tone deaf Pope has a remarkable ability to speak so simply that the critics are cornered. In the end, they may very well hurt their own cause when they gripe and try to convince your that the pope is tone deaf and out of touch. After all, it is a hard sell if you have to convince people that Lincoln was a boob after first reading to them from the Gettysburg address.

Media Slams Justice Clarence Thomas

This from the Washington Post today"

Justice Thomas Lashes Out in Memoir
Book Attacks Liberals and the Media, Breaks Near-Silence on Anita Hill

Justice Clarence Thomas settles scores in an angry and vivid forthcoming memoir, scathingly condemning the media, the Democratic senators who opposed his nomination to the Supreme Court, and the "mob" of liberal elites and activist groups that he says desecrated his life.
This from the Virginia Daily Press:
After 16 years of public silence on his bitter confirmation hearings, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas settles some scores in his forthcoming memoir, scathingly condemning the media, the Democratic senators who opposed his nomination and the "mob" of liberal elites and activist groups who he says desecrated his life.
This headline from the LA Times:

In book, Thomas lashes out at foes
The justice decries the media, Democrats who fought his nomination, and groups that he says used Anita Hill.
Now did you glean from those article headlines and ledes from the Ordinary Ministers of the Media that Justice Clarence Thomas' book is about his relationship with his grandfather who raised him?

From those newspapers reviews you would expect to read a harsh Ann Coulter-ish screed against liberals which is not the case. I will never understand why the media hates Justice Clarence Thomas so much. Is it because he's a black Conservative? A Catholic? Pro-Life?

I look forward to reading this book. I'm right now in the middle of reading Chesterton's "Everlasting Man." Imagine what the media would've said about Chesterton today?

Today on CMR - September 28, 2007

Plan D - Prevent Episcopal Implantation
—Justification for Episcopal Abortion

Connecticut Bishops Statement On Plan B and Catholic Hospitals
—Statement of the Connecticut Bishops.

Connecticut Bishops OK Administering Abortifacient
—Willful ignorance as an excuse for abortion.

Microscopic-American Rights
—Aren't Christians the ones who are supposed to be afraid of science? Aren't us religious nuts the ones who want to bring back the Dark Ages?

Katie Couric Uncomfortable with Patriotism
—What is this we @#!$ kimosabe?

The Worst of the Worst!
—Hold on to your 1962 Missals folks! This is one of the worst responses to the Motu Proprio yet!

Rowan Williams Goes Into the Closet
—Archbishop of Canterbury to attend super secret meeting of LGBT clergy. Seemingly dares schism.

Papal visit to US set
—New York, Sep. 19, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI will visit the US in April 2008, for a major address at UN headquarters in New York.

When Was the Last Homily You Heard about Satan?
—We have ignored for a long time, has he gone away yet?

Plan D - Prevent Episcopal Implantation

The Catholic People of America, joined by all reasonable people in the State of Connecticut, have issued the following statement on the administration of plan D for the Catholic Bishops of Connecticut:

The Catholic People of America remain committed to the Episcopacy.
However, we now must advocate the administration of Plan D. Plan D calls for the prevention of implantation of (D)umb Bishops into their dioceses. Further when it cannot be scientifically proven that the Bishops have any noticeable brain function or conscience, Plan D calls for the immediate abortion of their Episcopal duties.

Recent events have made it scientifically clear that the Catholic Bishops of Connecticut have absolutely no brain function or conscience. Therefore, since diocesan implantation has already occurred, we call for the immediate abortion of their episcopal duties.

To lessen the blow of this terrible measure, the Catholic People of America, have decided that since these bishops have shown themselves to be without brain function or conscience, that we are not sure if they are actually Bishops. Since we are unsure if they are actually bishops, we do not consider removal from their dioceses to be Episcopal abortions. If at a later date it can be shown that these Bishops have brain function or a conscience, we will gladly re-open this matter.

Connecticut Bishops Statement On Plan B and Catholic Hospitals

This just came out on the Connecticut Catholic Conference website.

The Catholic Bishops of Connecticut, joined by the leaders of the Catholic hospitals in the State, issue the following statement regarding the administration of Plan B in Catholic hospitals to victims of rape:

The four Catholic hospitals in the State of Connecticut remain committed to providing competent and compassionate care to victims of rape. In accordance with Catholic moral teaching, these hospitals provide emergency contraception after appropriate testing. Under the existing hospital protocols, this includes a pregnancy test and an ovulation test. Catholic moral teaching is adamantly opposed to abortion, but not to emergency contraception for victims of rape.

This past spring the Governor signed into a law “An Act Concerning Compassionate Care for Victims of Sexual Assault,” passed by the State Legislature. It does not allow medical professionals to take into account the results of the ovulation test. The Bishops and other Catholic health care leaders believe that this law is seriously flawed, but not sufficiently to bar compliance with it at the present time. We continue to believe this law should be changed.

Nonetheless, to administer Plan B pills in Catholic hospitals to victims of rape a pregnancy test to determine that the woman has not conceived is sufficient. An ovulation test will not be required. The administration of Plan B pills in this instance cannot be judged to be the commission of an abortion because of such doubt about how Plan B pills and similar drugs work and because of the current impossibility of knowing from the ovulation test whether a new life is present. To administer Plan B pills without an ovulation test is not an intrinsically evil act.

Since the teaching authority of the Church has not definitively resolved this matter and since there is serious doubt about how Plan B pills work, the Catholic Bishops of Connecticut have stated that Catholic hospitals in the State may follow protocols that do not require an ovulation test in the treatment of victims of rape. A pregnancy test approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration suffices. If it becomes clear that Plan B pills would lead to an early chemical abortion in some instances, this matter would have to be reopened.


As far as the science goes, this is from Plan B's own website:

How does Plan B work?
Plan B is believed to act as an emergency contraceptive principally by preventing ovulation or fertilization (by altering tubal transport of sperm and/or ova). In addition, it may inhibit implantation by altering the endometrium. Plan B is not effective if a woman is pregnant. Plan B is a contraceptive and cannot terminate an established pregnancy.


The drug manufacturers lay claim that it is not an abortifacient but on their own website they say "it may inhibit implantation." Implantation of what? the science is clear on this. To pretend ignorance is just that. Pretend.

Connecticut Bishops OK Administering Abortifacient

Catholic bishops in Connecticut have agreed to let hospital personnel give emergency contraception to all rape victims, reversing their decision days before a new state law requires it.

The church, which runs four of the state's 30 hospitals, had fought the state law requiring medical personnel to give rape victims emergency contraception, sold as Plan B, even if the women are ovulating.

Church officials had said the treatment was tantamount to abortion...but now (as far as I can tell) the bishops have now decided that if they don't know whether the woman is pregnant or not then administering an abortifacient is just fine.

As I'm still attempting to sort out the info here's the logic as it seems to me: It's OK to deliver a lethal drug to an infant if you're intentionally unaware if a fetus exists.

The law allows the hospital to administer a pregnancy test but those are very unreliable early in a pregnancy. The bishops were seeking to perform an ovulation test as well.

But now the Bishops, according to the AP, said the hospitals will be allowed to provide Plan B without ovulation tests "since the teaching authority of the church has not definitively resolved this matter and since there is serious doubt about how Plan B pills work," the statement reads. "To administer Plan B without an ovulation test is not an intrinsically evil act."

I don't even understand that. The teaching authority of the church hasn't definitively resolved the matter? Look, I didn't need the Ten Commandments of Driving to be promulgated by the Vatican before I understood that running people over was bad. When in doubt as to what to do refer to the Ten Commandments like "Thou Shalt Not Kill."

The Commandment doesn't say "Thou Shalt Not Kill unless the person is still in the womb and you're not really sure if they're there or not."

Barry Feldman, a spokesman for the Connecticut Catholic Conference, said the bishops had "an evolution of thinking" about "the state of existing science and the lack of definitive teaching by the church and the fact that there are many who are affiliated with the church that believe the ovulation test isn't necessary."

The bishops consulted with Catholic ethicists and various constitutional lawyers. Some lawyers agreed the state law is unconstitutional, but warned that such a lawsuit could drag on for years, Feldman said.

"If they could find a way morally to do so, they wanted to put the issue to rest, at last, for the moment," he said, adding that the bishops might reconsider if there's more "certainty in the science" about Plan B.

More updates to come. American Papist has excellent coverage.

Let’s Say Prince Charming Kisses…Shrek!

My daughter is in second grade. This story scares the heck out of me and is one of the main reasons why I would never send my children to public school.

In a deabte this week the top-tier Democratic candidates Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois and John Edwards refused to reject including the same-sex marriage as part of a second-grade curriculum.

Here's how the debate went:

Moderator ALLISON KING: "The issues surrounding gay rights have been hotly debated here in New England. For example, last year some parents of second graders in Lexington, Massachusetts, were outraged to learn their children's teacher had read a story about same-sex marriage, about a prince who marries another prince. Same-sex marriage is legal in Massachusetts, but most of you oppose it. Would you be comfortable having this story read to your children as part of their school curriculum? I'm going to start with Senator Edwards."

Former Senator John Edwards: "Yes, absolutely. What I want is I want my children to understand everything about the difficulties that gay and lesbian couples are faced with every day, the discrimination that they're faced with every single day of their lives. And I suspect my two younger children - Emma Claire, who's nine, and Jack, who's seven -- will reach the same conclusion that my daughter, Cate, who's 25, has reached, which is she doesn't understand why her dad is not in favor of same-sex marriage, and she says her generation will be the generation that brings about the great change in America on that issue. So I don't want to make that decision on behalf of my children. I want my children to be able to make that decision on behalf of themselves, and I want them to be exposed to all the information, even in - did you say second grade? Second grade might be a little tough, but even in second grade to be exposed to all -"
KING: "Well, that's the point is second grade."
EDWARDS: "- to all of those possibilities because I don't want to impose my view. Nobody made me God. I don't get to decide on behalf of my family or my children, as my wife, Elizabeth, who's spoken her own mind on this issue. I don't get to impose on them what it is that I believe is right..."
WHAT!? Actually you're supposed to decide on behalf of your children what they are exposed to? It doesn't make you God. It makes you a father.

Senator Obama (D-IL): "You know, I feel very similar to John that - you know, the fact is, my 9-year-old and my 6-year-old's - I think, are already aware that there are same-sex couples. And my wife and I have talked about it. And one of the things I want to communicate to my children is not to be afraid of people who are different, and because there have been times in our history where I was considered different, or Bill Richardson was considered different. And one of the things I think the next president has to do is to stop fanning people's fears...."
Just so you know Sen. Obama I consider you different right now. Different from sane! We're talking about a second grade sex ed curriculum. Now Sen. Clinton comes in with her perfect political non-answer answer that goes on for thirty seconds but says absolutely nothing.

Senator Clinton (D-NY): "Well, I - I really respect what both John and Barack said. I think that we've seen differences used for divisive purposes, for political purposes in the last several elections, and I think every one of us on this stage are really personally opposed to that and will do everything we can to prevent it. With respect to your individual children, that is such a matter of parental discretion. I think that obviously it is better to try to work with your children, to help your children the many differences that are in the world and to really respect other people and the choices that other people make, and that goes far beyond sexual orientation."
That said absolutely nothing.

This is the kind of issue that would've been laughed at just a generation ago. And now our presidential candidates can't even summon a raised eyebrow.

Don't we relish childhood anymore? Isn't there something to be preserved in children for at least a little while? It's funny I see parents all around me acting like children. Oddly enough those parents seem in a hurry to make their children act like adults.

Today on CMR - September 27, 2007

Microscopic-American Rights
—Aren't Christians the ones who are supposed to be afraid of science? Aren't us religious nuts the ones who want to bring back the Dark Ages?

Katie Couric Uncomfortable with Patriotism
—What is this we @#!$ kimosabe?

No Reverence for Eucharist?
—The problem when we treat Communion like it's just "Drive-Thru Jesus."

Holocaust Deniers in Prison; Holocaust Providers on Stage
—Those who plan to commit a holocaust are much more interesting.

Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead
—How many times do you have to say the same thing?

Caffeine and Anti-Catholicism
—Can I have a Anti-Cath Mocha Latte please?


The Worst of the Worst!
—Hold on to your 1962 Missals folks! This is one of the worst responses to the Motu Proprio yet!

Rowan Williams Goes Into the Closet
—Archbishop of Canterbury to attend super secret meeting of LGBT clergy. Seemingly dares schism.

Papal visit to US set
—New York, Sep. 19, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI will visit the US in April 2008, for a major address at UN headquarters in New York.

When Was the Last Homily You Heard about Satan?
—We have ignored for a long time, has he gone away yet?

Microscopic-American Rights

Aren't Christians the ones who are supposed to be afraid of science? Aren't us religious nuts the ones who want to bring back the Dark Ages? Then why is it that Christians are the ones embracing science when it comes to looking inside the womb and the secularists want to keep the womb in the dark.

US Senator (and Catholic convert) Sam Brownback has introduced federal legislation that would require an ultrasound examination of any woman seeking an abortion.

Brownback added that the measure could "cause a deeper reflection on the humanity of unborn children." The pro-abortion community is, of course, up in arms. But it was much easier for the left to have this discussion in the 1960's when they could convince everyone that it was just a clump of cells in the womb until just about the time a woman gave birth.

But science is now showing the womb to be home to...gasp...a little human being! What exactly were we all expecting? And the more research that's done we've found that each fetus from the moment of conception is a completely original DNA endowed individual.

So the pro-abortion community is desperately attempting to keep the fetuses in the dark. Don't look at this ultrasound. The pro-abortion is like the Wizard of OZ still wildly pulling levers and trying to scare everyone all the while pleading for us not to look behind the curtain because when we do their power will be gone.

I want to pull the curtain. So I'm officially announcing a new club: Pro-Science Catholics for Microscopic Americans. Wanna' join?

Katie Couric Uncomfortable with Patriotism

Katie Couric is uncomfortable with patriotism: The CBS had this to say in a recent speech:

“The whole culture of wearing flags on our lapel and saying ‘we’ when referring to the United States and, even the ‘shock and awe’ of the initial stages, it was just too jubilant and just a little uncomfortable. And I remember feeling, when I was anchoring the ‘Today’ show, this inevitable march towards war and kind of feeling like, ‘Will anybody put the brakes on this?’ And is this really being properly challenged by the right people? And I think, at the time, anyone who questioned the administration was considered unpatriotic and it was a very difficult position to be in.”
I'm all for a healthy debate about the war but complaining about wearing flags on your lapel and referring to the U.S. as "we." How could that be a problem? Aren't we all Americans? If we can't agree on that then on what basis can we build a conversation?

Today on CMR - September 26, 2007

No Reverence for Eucharist?
—The problem when we treat Communion like it's just "Drive-Thru Jesus."

Holocaust Deniers in Prison; Holocaust Providers on Stage
—Those who plan to commit a holocaust are much more interesting.

Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead
—How many times do you have to say the same thing?

Caffeine and Anti-Catholicism
—Can I have a Anti-Cath Mocha Latte please?

Front and Center
—The reform work of a generation gets a head start.

Time: Was John Paul II Euthanized?
—There are lies, damned lies, and then there is Time Magazine.

Good Music is Bad!
—New York Times advocates bad music in order to drag heaven down to earth.


The Worst of the Worst!
—Hold on to your 1962 Missals folks! This is one of the worst responses to the Motu Proprio yet!

Rowan Williams Goes Into the Closet
—Archbishop of Canterbury to attend super secret meeting of LGBT clergy. Seemingly dares schism.

Papal visit to US set
—New York, Sep. 19, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI will visit the US in April 2008, for a major address at UN headquarters in New York.

When Was the Last Homily You Heard about Satan?
—We have ignored for a long time, has he gone away yet?

No Reverence for Eucharist?

This was a letter in Newsday to the "God Squad" that astounded me. Notice the self righteousness.

I'd like to get your opinion about a very strict priest I encountered during my nephew's first Communion. It was recommended that we be at church an hour before the Mass. With about half an hour to go, the pews were nearly full. Our two rows were filled with family members from around the country, most of whom had not seen each other in years. It seemed reasonable to think we could all talk to each other. Members of the whole congregation were also engrossed in conversations. During this time, the priest came out to tell us we were all in the presence of Christ and needed to be reverent. He said we were breaking the First Commandment that we should have no other Gods before us, and because we were not being silent, we were putting chit-chat before Christ. He told us we were sinning and were only to speak if it was absolutely necessary, adding that we were setting a bad example for the children. Then, he hastily walked away. As soon as he left, the talking resumed. The priest returned and stared at everyone. When they quieted down, he repeated the same things as before. I'd think that Jesus would love to see families gathered at church for such special occasions. Do you think this priest was out of line? Did we really violate the First Commandment? The priest from my hometown encourages parishioners to greet the people around them before Mass. - S., via e-mail


Notice he calls him a "very strict priest." You gotta' love how this guy says proudly how everyone went back to talking as soon as the priest walked out. What kind of people are these? But then comes the rationalization that Jesus loves to see us talking to each other.

Is there really this little awe and reverence of the Eucharist? Or is it simply no belief?

Father Tom Hartman responded that perhaps the priest had been too severe but added:

The treating of holy spaces as if they were corner bars is a growing problem, and the priest was right to say something to you and your family about proper decorum in church. Your family had plenty of time to catch up on things after Mass.


The communion rails are gone. We run through Communion like it's just "Drive-Thru Jesus." We receive from Eucharistic Ministers in sneakers and shorts. We hide the tabernacle in a closet. We can't really be shocked that the people show no reverence towards the Eucharist when too often the Church has ignored Jesus.

Today on CMR - September 25, 2007

Holocaust Deniers in Prison; Holocaust Providers on Stage
—Those who plan to commit a holocaust are much more interesting.

Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead
—How many times do you have to say the same thing?

Caffeine and Anti-Catholicism
—Can I have a Anti-Cath Mocha Latte please?

Front and Center
—The reform work of a generation gets a head start.

Time: Was John Paul II Euthanized?
—There are lies, damned lies, and then there is Time Magazine.

Good Music is Bad!
—New York Times advocates bad music in order to drag heaven down to earth.


The Worst of the Worst!
—Hold on to your 1962 Missals folks! This is one of the worst responses to the Motu Proprio yet!

Rowan Williams Goes Into the Closet
—Archbishop of Canterbury to attend super secret meeting of LGBT clergy. Seemingly dares schism.

Papal visit to US set
—New York, Sep. 19, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI will visit the US in April 2008, for a major address at UN headquarters in New York.

When Was the Last Homily You Heard about Satan?
—We have ignored for a long time, has he gone away yet?

Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead

How many times do you have to say the same thing?

From Zenit: There is no fourth secret of Fatima and the third secret in its entirety has already been revealed, says Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.
...
During the presentation, Archbishop Loris Capovilla, Pope John XXIII's private secretary, said that there is no fourth secret. He is the only living witness who was present when John XXIII opened and read the third secret in 1959 at Castel Gandolfo.

The 91-year-old prelate said: "It never even entered my mind that there could be a fourth secret. No one ever said such a thing to me nor did I ever claim any such thing."
I hope this is the last time anyone tries to convince them of this fact. For those who obstinately persist in such folly, immune to all reason, it may be time to consider Matthew 10:14 "And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words: going forth out of that house or city shake off the dust from your feet."

Some people just refuse to see the facts. For those who love such conspiracies, continued denial just adds fuel to the fire. Don't believe it? By the way, did you know Pope John Paul I was murdered due to an excess of reformist zeal? See.

Holocaust Deniers in Prison; Holocaust Providers on Stage

Historian David Irving served time in prison for denying the Holocaust. But while we're putting people who don't believe in a past holocaust in prison we're putting people who are actively pursuing a future holocaust on podiums at Columbia University.

This from Irving: I don't think there was any overall Reich policy to kill the Jews. If there was, they would have been killed and there would not be now so many millions of survivors. And believe me, I am glad for every survivor that there was.

But these quotes from Ahmadinejad should scare us a little more:

"Israel is a rotten, dried tree that will be annihilated in one storm...With God's help, the countdown button for the destruction of the Zionist regime has been pushed by the hands of the children of Lebanon and Palestine . . . By God's will, we will witness the destruction of this regime in the near future... Are they human beings?... They (Zionists) are a group of blood-thirsty savages putting all other criminals to shame."


I ask, who is more dangerous? Would Columbia allow a holocaust denier like Irving a forum? So why are they giving a forum to a man who is blatantly and outspokenly seeking a new Holocaust and the destruction of Israel and Jews.

Today on CMR - September 24, 2007

Caffeine and Anti-Catholicism
—Can I have a Anti-Cath Mocha Latte please?

Front and Center
—The reform work of a generation gets a head start.

Time: Was John Paul II Euthanized?
—There are lies, damned lies, and then there is Time Magazine.

Good Music is Bad!
—New York Times advocates bad music in order to drag heaven down to earth.

When Was the Last Homily You Heard about Satan?
—We have ignored for a long time, has he gone away yet?

Guidelines in New Orleans: The (not so) Big Easy
—Guidelines for the implementation of Summorum Pontificum for the Diocese New Orleans.

The Worst of the Worst!
—Hold on to your 1962 Missals folks! This is one of the worst responses to the Motu Proprio yet!

Rowan Williams Goes Into the Closet
—Archbishop of Canterbury to attend super secret meeting of LGBT clergy. Seemingly dares schism.

Papal visit to US set
—New York, Sep. 19, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI will visit the US in April 2008, for a major address at UN headquarters in New York.

Caffeine and Anti-Catholicism

In case there weren't enough reasons to avoid Starbucks (corporate anonymity, insane prices, questionable charitable policies, etc), Starbucks has signed on with singer Joni Mitchell to release her new album called "Shine" in all of its stores. Fox News is reporting that the album's title song is a rant attacking all sorts of things that Ms. Mitchell finds objectionable, including the "Catholic Church and all the prisons that it owns." For a company that is so proud of its "social responsibility," it seems awfully strange that attacking one of the world's great religions (to speak in the "religious studies" language of secular academia) would be acceptable. To make a comment to Starbucks, click here. But in the meantime, buy your coffee somewhere else.

Front and Center

I try not to get my hopes up. The reform of the reform is going to be the work of a generation or more. This has been quite a summer on a global scale with the release of Summorum Pontificum and all the newly minted Traditional Latin Masses popping up. Exciting, but one has to be realistic about the effects. I have no doubt that the extraordinary form will eventually exert the 'gravitational pull' for which many of us hope. As I said, eventually.

I try to take the long view on these things. However, something happened yesterday that has me almost as excited as when the motu proprio was released. While at mass yesterday, the pastor got up to give the homily. After speaking for a few minutes on the readings and gospel, he began to speak about reverence in the church. During the summer, he published a series of articles in the bulletin that spoke of what our attitude in church should be along with some practical steps, like be quiet and turn off your phone. Our pastor spoke about this too. He then said, in order to foster the proper tone of reverence in the church proper, he would be relocating some events that currently occur in the church into the parish hall or the school auditorium. Great, I thought!

Then the pastor really threw me. He advised us all that at the request of Bishop Murphy (Diocese of Rockville Centre) that the church would be moving the tabernacle back to the center of the church. WOW!

While the blessed sacrament was by no means relegated to a broom closet, as is so common these days, as It is housed in a beautiful little side chapel I was still very excited to hear of this development. I assume that this request applies not just to my parish but I will have to verify this.

Over the past 15-20 years or so as I watched the tabernacle being placed in purposeful obscurity, I assumed that it would be the work of a generation to undo what had been done. I have never been so glad to find out that I was wrong.

Thank you so very much, Bishop Murphy!

Time: Was John Paul II Euthanized?

Time Magazine is quoting a doctor who never saw the Pope in person but based her diagnosis over the television in saying that the Pope was likely euthanized. Are you getting this? A doctor is saying the Pope was killed based on a diagnosis off television. And Time Magazine is reporting this as a real news story.

Remember when Senator Bill Frist diagnosed Terri Schiavo after watching video of the poor woman. Remember how he was ridiculed by the mainstream media including Time Magazine? But I guess it's OK when you're against the Pope.

In a provocative article, an Italian medical professor argues that Pope John Paul II didn't just simply slip away as his weakness and illness overtook him in April 2005. Intensive care specialist Dr. Lina Pavanelli has concluded that the ailing Pope's April 2 death was caused by what the Catholic Church itself would consider euthanasia. She bases this conclusion on her medical expertise and her own observations of the ailing pontiff on television, as well as press reports and a subsequent book by John Paul's personal physician. The failure to insert a feeding tube into the patient until just a few days before he died accelerated John Paul's death, Pavanelli concludes. Moreover, Pavanelli says she believes that the Pope's doctors dutifully explained the situation to him, and thus she surmises that it was the pontiff himself who likely refused the feeding tube after he'd been twice rushed to the hospital in February and March. Catholics are enjoined to pursue all means to prolong life. Indeed her accusations are grave, questioning the Catholic Church's strictly traditional stances on medical ethics, including the dictum from John Paul's own 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae to use all modern means possible to avoid death.


WHAT!? Time is either guilty of a complete misunderstanding or an outright lie. Nowhere does the Church say that Catholics must use all modern means possible to avoid death. Evangelum Vitae forbids euthanisia.

The Vatican has quickly fired back. John Paul's longtime doctor Renato Buzzonetti said that doctors and John Paul himself all acted to stave off death. "His treatment was never interrupted," Buzzonetti told the Rome daily La Repubblica. "Anyone who says otherwise is mistaken." He added that a permanent nasal feeding tube was inserted three days before the Pope's death when he could no longer sufficiently ingest food or liquids.

So here you have a doctor who made a diagnosis from the television vs. doctors who were there. And just as you would think Time Magazine calls it a draw.
The medical aspects of the Pope's final days are clearly difficult to verify from afar, and the Vatican is convinced that the actions of the both its doctors and its Pope were in absolute good faith. Of course, medical opinions can often vary. So too can those on bioethics.


Gotta' love that closing line. Leaves everything in a moral gray area. What is not gray, however, is that Time is guilty of an outrageous piece of filth that not only pushes a bias but lies outright about the Church and its teachings. Shame on Time Magazine.

Weekend on CMR September 22-23, 2007

Good Music is Bad!
—New York Times advocates bad music in order to drag heaven down to earth.

When Was the Last Homily You Heard about Satan?
—We have ignored for a long time, has he gone away yet?

Guidelines in New Orleans: The (not so) Big Easy
—Guidelines for the implementation of Summorum Pontificum for the Diocese New Orleans.

The Shadow Catholic
—The lukewarm leave us with a bad case of the dry heaves.

Academy Award Winning Actress Regrets Abortion
—"It was the wrong thing to do and I really didn't understand that till later."

Ivy League School Attacks Conservative Speaker; Invites Terrorist
—If you have double standards, you might as well be arrogant about it.

William & Mary President Gets Crossed Up
—University President wonders “What does it mean to love God with your mind?” Well, you should start by using it!

The Worst of the Worst!
—Hold on to your 1962 Missals folks! This is one of the worst responses to the Motu Proprio yet!

Rowan Williams Goes Into the Closet
—Archbishop of Canterbury to attend super secret meeting of LGBT clergy. Seemingly dares schism.

Papal visit to US set
—New York, Sep. 19, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI will visit the US in April 2008, for a major address at UN headquarters in New York.

Madonna Traded to Jews
—For two Jewish comedians and a minor leaguer to be named later. A good deal.

Whose Rite Is It Anyway?
—"They said we had no right to be there and that they were the only legitimate worshippers in that church." Problems with the Latin Mass? Think again.

Good Music is Bad!

Good Music is bad!

So sayeth Bernard Holland in the New York Times. I must admit, I am no musical expert, liturgical or otherwise, but I am very perplexed by Mr. Holland. Maybe you can make heads or tails of it.

He starts by decrying the banality of the music in a recent ceremony at St. Patrick's cathedral.

With its hand-clapping, inspirational, just-folks character, how different this music is from a tradition that ran from plainchant through Josquin and Palestrina to Mozart and Beethoven, and finally to Messiaen and Britten. Without the church to inspire — not to mention finance — great composers, how diminished the history of music might seem to us.

Beauty of musical color, elegance of harmony, soundness of construction and exquisiteness of originality once worked as the lure that would draw the faltering worshiper nearer. Music, as well as architecture and visual art, represented heaven to the earthbound, something dazzling and unapproachable, an advertisement for a paradise still held at arm’s length.
So far, so good. But then things get weird.
The church has reason to fear great beauty, hence the effort to rescue our attention, through plainspoken and deliberately flat-footed modern texts, from the mesmerizing graces of the Latin Mass or the splendid poetry of the Anglican Church’s Book of Common Prayer. I am one small example, having spent the Sunday mornings of my youth in the Episcopal Church allowing Thomas Cranmer’s magical imagery and liquid liturgical responses to roll off my tongue without a thought to God at all.
Bad and banal music is apparently the answer.

In a television interview not long ago the novelist Margaret Atwood gave as good a reason as any that a recognizably human, touchable God so engages spiritual seekers. People are lonely, she said. When they look out at the universe, they don’t want to see rocks and gases; they want someone to talk to.

Do we go the other way, approach God as spectators and accept religious art’s tantalizing promises of a kingdom of heaven filled with nonstop Mozart and Michelangelo? Or do we sit down, take our maker by the shoulder, put beauty in its place and work things out person to person?

Simple music forms faith. Good music is a distraction. So good music that lifts us up to heaven and God is bad. Instead, bad music is to be preferred because it brings God down to our level.

Which heaven do you want? A kingdom of heaven filled with nonstop Mozart and Michelangelo or do you prefer a poor mans heaven with angels singing Marty Haugen or Paul (ch-ch-ch) Inwood. I will take Mozart any day.

When Was the Last Homily You Heard about Satan?


How come we don't talk about the Devil anymore? I haven't in years. Jesus talked about him quite a bit. Do we, as His Church, think He was lying? Speaking hyperbolically? I don't think so either.

Cardinal Georges Cottier, O.P. wrote this piece as an introduction to Father Gabriel Amorth's book reprinted this week by CatholicInsight.com.:

The Church must speak about the devil. Though he sinned, the fallen angel has not lost all the power he had, in the governance of the world, according to God’s plan. Now he uses this power for evil. John’s Gospel calls him “the prince of this world” (John 12:31) and also in the First Letter of John, one reads: “The whole world is in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). Paul speaks of our battle against spiritual powers (cf. Ephesians 6:10-17). We can also refer to Revelation.

We must fight not only against the human, but also the superhuman, forces of evil in their origin and inspiration – suffice it to think of Auschwitz, of the massacres of entire peoples, of all the horrendous crimes that are committed, of the scandals of which little ones and the innocent are victims, of the success of the ideologies of death, etc.

It is appropriate to recall some principles. The evil of sin is committed by a free will. Only God can penetrate the depth of a person’s heart; the devil does not have the power to enter that sanctuary. He acts only on the exterior, on the imagination and on feelings of a sentient origin. Moreover, his action is limited by the permission of Almighty God.

The devil generally acts through temptation and deceit; he is a liar (cf. John 8:44). He can deceive, induce to error, cause illusion and, probably more than arouse vices, he can support the vices and the origins of the vices that are in us.
It seems to me that in this day and age when temptation is all around us through this culture that now would be the perfect time to discuss this issue. But we continue to remain silent.

In the face of deceit, it is desirable that the Catholic faithful have an ever-more-profound knowledge of Christian doctrine. The apostolate must be promoted on behalf of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is of extraordinary usefulness to combat ignorance. The devil perhaps is instigator of this ignorance: he distracts man from God and it is a great loss that can be contained by promoting an adequate apostolate in the media, in particular television, considering the amount of time that many people spend watching television programs, often with contents that are culturally inconsistent and immoral.

The action of the devil is also unleashed against the (priests) of the Church. In 1972, Pope Paul VI spoke of the “smoke of Satan that has entered the temple of God.”
I actually wonder what would happen if a priest spoke about Satan at my local Mass. Would there be giggles? Would there be a rolling of the eyes? Or would there be recognition of a long ignored fear? Would there finally be thanks?

Today on CMR - September 21, 2007

Guidelines in New Orleans: The (not so) Big Easy
—Guidelines for the implementation of Summorum Pontificum for the Diocese New Orleans.

The Shadow Catholic
—The lukewarm leave us with a bad case of the dry heaves.

Academy Award Winning Actress Regrets Abortion
—"It was the wrong thing to do and I really didn't understand that till later."

Ivy League School Attacks Conservative Speaker; Invites Terrorist
—If you have double standards, you might as well be arrogant about it.

William & Mary President Gets Crossed Up
—University President wonders “What does it mean to love God with your mind?” Well, you should start by using it!

Whose Rite Is It Anyway?
—"They said we had no right to be there and that they were the only legitimate worshippers in that church." Problems with the Latin Mass? Think again.

The Worst of the Worst!
—Hold on to your 1962 Missals folks! This is one of the worst responses to the Motu Proprio yet!

Rowan Williams Goes Into the Closet
—Archbishop of Canterbury to attend super secret meeting of LGBT clergy. Seemingly dares schism.

Papal visit to US set
—New York, Sep. 19, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI will visit the US in April 2008, for a major address at UN headquarters in New York.

Madonna Traded to Jews
—For two Jewish comedians and a minor leaguer to be named later. A good deal.

Guidelines in New Orleans: The (not so) Big Easy

Please find the Guidelines for the implementation of Summorum Pontificum for the Diocese New Orleans. My emphases and [comments]. (Note, I had to do a bit of editing as the original was a little messy, format wise. HT to Ellen in the Combox)


GUIDELINES FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM

The Holy Father wrote to the bishops with great trust and hope that his apostolic letter Summorum pontificum would be accepted in the best positive light as the Church's attempt to be more inclusive in our worship of God as he welcomed the faithful who are committed to the form of worship practiced in the Church before the reforms of the liturgy according to mandate of the Second Vatican Council in Sacrosanctum Concilium.[Run on sentence. Sorry] With that same trust and hope, I offer to you a positive framework for establishing a process in the Archdiocese of New Orleans to guide those who wish to celebrate the Holy Mass using the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII. [So far, so good.]


Precis of the Holy Father's apostolic letter Summorum pontificum

The Holy Father expressed multiple purposes in his letter which should be of note to all. He issues the letter:
  • to re-emphasize that the Missal of Pope Paul VI is the ordinary text of the Mass in the Latin rite;
  • to grant legitimate freedom in the choice and use of liturgical texts which have been judged by the Church to be faithful doctrinal expressions of liturgical prayer;
  • to present the Missal of Bl. John XXIII as an extraordinary text approved for use as long as there is full acceptance and use of the ordinary text of the Missal of Pope Paul VI and of the Second Vatican Council;
  • to recognize that the extraordinary form of the Latin rite is attractive to some people because of a perceived loss of a sense of the sacred in some celebrations using the Missal of Pope Paul VI; [Other reasons as well, we should not be so limiting]
  • and, to specify parameters for the celebration of the extraordinary form of the Mass, specifically:
  • Any priest has the option to celebrate a private Mass using the extraordinary form;
  • The Archbishop and the pastor may grant requests for Mass using the extraordinary form to any group of stable faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical form; [I wonder if this is a Freudian slip? Instead of any stable group of faithful, he states a group of "stable faithful". I realize this is probably just a slip, but still funny. Further, what does adhere mean? This does not mean exclusively.]
  • The celebration of the Mass using the extraordinary form takes place under the oversight of the Archbishop; [No more or less than any other liturgy]
  • Any group of stable lay faithful [There it is again!] may petition the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" to have Mass celebrated in the extraordinary rite if the pastor or the bishop cannot satisfy them.
Process to be used in the Archdiocese of New Orleans to make for a smooth introduction and use of the "extraordinary form" of celebrating Holy Mass.

1. St. Patrick's Church, where Mass according to the Missal of Bl. John XXIII is already celebrated is the first locus of the extraordinary form of Mass.
# At St. Patrick's the Sunday Mass is celebrated using the extraordinary form.
# The other sacraments and sacramentals are also celebrated, according to their extraordinary forms, at St. Patrick's Church.
# Pastoral care can be and is appropriately provided to the people attracted to the extraordinary form of the Latin rite at St. Patrick's. [Status quo, but good!]

2. The Archbishop will consider a public or parish Mass in the extraordinary form wherever there is a stable group of lay faithful attracted to the extraordinary form of the Mass. [Why just the Archbishop, the Motu Proprio granted this liberty to priests and pastors?]But before authorizing such a Mass, the affected deaneries are to meet and discuss the best way to accomplish regularly scheduling such a Mass.
# The Dean(s) may want to offer opportunities to the/a community claiming to be a stable group of lay faithful to meet with them to determine size and commitment to the extraordinary form. [This is kind of like when immigration checks on a couple to see if they are really married If they are faking it, deported. Again, this should be up to the pastor.]
# The Dean(s) are to recommend a location/parish at which services according to the extraordinary form will be offered.
# The Dean(s) will recommend two priests to the Archbishop who will be the celebrants of the extraordinary form of the liturgy. [These last two are fine as long as they don't overrule the liberty of the pastor. If he willing and able and has a group that wants it. He need not ask anybody.]

3. All priests who wish to celebrate according to the "Extraordinary" form are to have appropriate formation and education for this purpose.
# Prior to any training programs being developed, the Pastoral Practices Committee of the Presbyteral Council will survey the priests to determine who, and how many, priests desire to celebrate the "extraordinary" form of the Mass. They will also determine which churches are properly equipped for the celebration of the 'extraordinary" form of the Mass. [Not sure what properly equipped means. This can vary from the reasonable and practical considerations (e.g. vestments) to the unreasonable (must have high altar and communion rail)]
# Notre Dame Seminary, with the participation of the Office of Worship, will develop a program to provide training to and to determine the competency of, priests who wish, or are approved by the Archbishop, to celebrate the 'Extraordinary" form of the Mass.[All this just smacks of being overly controlling and bureaucratic]

A. Training is to be a practicum/workshop designed by the Liturgist [Uh Oh] and Latinist who teach at the seminary. Other help may be brought in if needed. The practicum/workshop will have a tuition charge.
B. At the completion of the practicum/workshop, assessment will be made of the competency of the priest as regards the Latin language, and familiarization/knowledge of rubrics and requirements for vesture, plate and furnishings. Remedial work, including attendance at the seminary's Latin class (2 years) will be recommended if necessary. Tuition will be charged. This judgment is based on the Holy Father's statement that Apriests who use the Missal of Bl. John XXIII must be qualified to do so@ (Art. 5'4)
C. One practicum/workshop will be provided in the fall semester and one in the spring semester.

# Approval for a parish Mass to be celebrated is conditioned on the acceptance of the Holy Father's and the Ordinary's policies regarding celebration of the "extraordinary form" of the Mass.[Signed in blood?]
# Priests will celebrate the "extraordinary form" at St. Patrick's Church with Fr. Stan Klores in attendance to "fine tune" the celebration. Fr. Klores will give an analytical critique to assist the priest.


4. Deacons who wish to participate in the extraordinary form of the Mass will need to attend a special training program sponsored by the Office of the Permanent Diaconate and staffed by Notre Dame Seminary personnel. The Office of Worship and Fr. Klores will assist in this training program as called upon.

5. Costs for all vesture and other items needed are to be borne by the priest(s) who wish to celebrate the "extraordinary form" of the Mass, except in those instances where the Archbishop designates/approves a parish for the celebration of a Sunday Mass using the "extraordinary form". [In other words, you will get absolutely no help from the Diocese!]

6.. It is recommended that worship aids, such as the Latin-English Booklet Missal for praying the traditional Mass published by the Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei, be purchased for each parish or church where the Mass according to the Missal of Bl. John XXIII is used.

7. Administrative records of priests approved to celebrate and deacons approved to assist in the celebration of the "Extraordinary"form of the Mass will be handled in the Office of Worship and forwarded to the Office of Priests Personnel and the Permanent Diaconate Office. [They sure do seem to love their paperwork down there. I thought it is called the Big Easy. Not so much].

[Source]

Academy Award Winning Actress Regrets Abortion

Academy Award winning actress Ellen Burstyn known for her starring role in "The Exorcist" says her abortion was the Worst Thing in Her Life. While she was in Toronto promoting her new book "Lessons in Becoming Myself" the interviewer asked Burstyn "what was the lowest moment" of her life.

After a pause during which the interviewer prompted with her single motherhood, struggles with her son and more, Burstyn said, "You know, I guess, I hate to talk about this on the air, but having an abortion."

Burstyn continued, "You know that was really an extremely painful experience."

"Did you feel you didn't have a choice?," asked the interviewer. "At the time I was just young and dumb, I didn't really want to have a baby then," she replied. "It was the wrong thing to do and I really didn't understand that till later."

"That was very very painful, that was probably the worst," she said. "I try not to allow regret to settle over me like a shroud, because I think its an unhealthy way to live."

Burstyn was raised Catholic but rejected her family's religious background. "I got to the point where I realized the Catholic Church would reject me," she said in one recent interview. "I did not play by their rules, so I went 10 years without any spiritual practice in my life, as Sartre said: 'There was a God-shaped hole.'

It's so sad to hear that people believe the Catholic Church would reject them. We are a church of sinners. Burstyn has now taken to practicing Sufism which she said uses teachings from all great teachers, Jesus, Mohammed, Martin Luther King, Gandhi.

It's terrible to hear these stories about young women making these decisions and even being praised for these decisions and then suffering through its after effects alone. It'll be interesting to see if the mainstream media picks up on her point about abortion.

What's worse is that the same people who laud "choice" refuse to support those women who regret their abortions because they can't admit there's anything to regret. Sad.

(H/T Lifesite)

The Shadow Catholic

"But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth"

Jesus may vomit them out when the time comes but until then, we are stuck with them. The lukewarm to which I refer are the "Shadow Catholics." This is the term used in a Catholic Herald article to describe those Catholics who are somewhere between practicing and fallen away. The Herald laments:

Once upon a time, there were practising Catholics and non-practising Catholics. That is, there were Catholics who went to Mass, confessed their sins, received Holy Communion and occasionally sold jam at jumble sales to raise money for the Church. And there were Catholics who did not go to Mass, did not confess their sins, never received Holy Communion...Things were simple. You knew where you stood. You were either a believer or a doubter; a regular Mass attendee or a stay-at-home Sunday car-washer; you were in, or you were out.
Today, things are much more complicated.
More complicated is an understatement. In some ways, the lapsed catholic is an animal easier to tame and potentially less dangerous. A fallen away Catholic, even those who claim victim status because they once felt guilty when they sinned, for all their sound and fury they are on the outside looking in. Sure, they can be dangerous and damaging to people's faith, but people generally understand where they are coming from and can keep their comments and attitudes in perspective. More insidious are those Catholics who go to church most Sundays, but do not really believe any of it. From the Herald:
Another friend and his wife, who have two children, look like a picture-perfect Catholic family in the front pew of their church every Sunday morning. Yet they, too, are shadow Catholics. They regale me with stories about their priest’s “pointless and boring” homilies. “The things we have to suffer in the name of our daughters’ education,” they openly opine.
Opine, opine, and opine they do without either faith or understanding, all the while maintaining the guise of a 'practicing' catholic. I am sure you know some. I certainly do. They go to church each week and pick up their birth control on the way home. They put their check in the basket and go to communion, even though they have no idea what the inside of the confessional looks like.

These 'shadow' catholics worry me more than the lapsed. At least the lapsed have the courage of their lack of convictions. When the shadows undercut the church with their friends or colleagues I worry that the impression the unsuspecting listener has is "Well, if this is what the church-goers believe, why bother."

I suspect that Jesus knew that the lukewarm are much more dangerous in the long run should be subject to a good hurl. Instead, we are stuck with a bad case of the dry heaves, neither in or out, but still very painful.

Ivy League School Attacks Conservative Speaker; Invites Terrorist



Here's how Columbia University stormed the stage and attacked a conservative speaker last year. But now at the request of the Iranian government, Columbia University will host the president of a terrorist regime which is right now responsible for the deaths of American soldiers on the field of battle.

Monday, September 24, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will speak and participate in a question and answer session with university faculty and students at Columbia.

University President Lee Bollinger said in Columbia's press release: "It is a critical premise of freedom of speech that we do not honor the dishonorable when we open the public forum to their voices. To hold otherwise would make vigorous debate impossible. That such a forum could not take place on a university campus in Iran today sharpens the point of what we do here....This is America at its best."

How utterly hypocritical! How much do you want to bet that the anarchy that ensued when a conservative speaker dared to speak won't rear its ugly head.

How about this to highlight the idiocy: ROTC has been banned from the Columbia campus since 1969. Ahmadinejad is welcome.

Today on CMR - September 20, 2007

William & Mary President Gets Crossed Up
—University President wonders “What does it mean to love God with your mind?” Well, you should start by using it!

Whose Rite Is It Anyway?
—"They said we had no right to be there and that they were the only legitimate worshippers in that church." Problems with the Latin Mass? Think again.

German Pol Proposes Seven-Year Limit on Marriages
—Too bad there is no time limit on stupidity.

No Priests? Fine. Women and Gays Can Celebrate Eucharist
—More evidence that the Dutch are still smokin' dope.

The Worst of the Worst!
—Hold on to your 1962 Missals folks! This is one of the worst responses to the Motu Proprio yet!

Grapes, Raisins and God
—Never get into a debate with a four year old. You don't stand a chance.

High Noon for Sheriff Ben
—Is it Gary Cooper time for Pope Benedict?

Pope and the McCanns
—Expect to see this picture more often than O.J.'s Bronco

Rowan Williams Goes Into the Closet
—Archbishop of Canterbury to attend super secret meeting of LGBT clergy. Seemingly dares schism.

Madonna Traded to Jews
—For two Jewish comedians and a minor leaguer to be named later. A good deal.

William & Mary President Gets Crossed Up

Remember the Wren Cross Debacle where the President of William & Mary, Gene Nichol, attempted to remove a cross from the Wren Chapel. It gets better. Earlier this year, campus ministers received a letter from President Nichol who offered to come give a talk entitled “What does it mean to love God with your mind?”

Everyone was quickly informed that note-taking was forbidden. But a reporter from the Virginia Informer showed up anyway.

Nichol reminisced about his days as an altar boy, growing up in a devoutly Catholic family. President Nichol continued that he considered himself so religiously inclined that he wanted to be a priest for some time. He, however, is no longer a practicing Catholic. He got into Eastern religions for a while and now attends an Episcopal Church.

Then he stepped into it:

Mr. Nichol shared his personal opinion that the Ten Commandments should not be posted in public buildings. Instead, Mr. Nichol stated, if anything, the Sermon on the Mount should be displayed.

He refers to the Sermon on the Mount as “the most beautiful, moving speech of all time.” Reading to the audience a passage from the Bible, Mr. Nichol pointed out how much he liked the New Testament orientation of the story, and found his political opponents to characterize the “Old Testament” way of thinking.
Is he suggesting that Jews who read the Old Testament are bad? I doubt it. We all know what he's saying: Christians with standards are bad.

But all in all we must acknowledge this attachment to the New Testament is a very odd statement from the guy who attempted to remove the cross -which happens to be the culmination of the entire New Testament. Maybe Mr. Nichols hasn't thought all this through very well.

Whose Rite Is It Anyway?

Well, this was bound to happen. There are those in the Roman Catholic Church who look down upon those 'other' Catholics. They think they have no right to their 'strange' and 'ancient' liturgy in a dead language, well at least not side by side in churches with the ordinary form of the Roman Rite. Now things are starting to get ugly at St. Michael's Church.

"On that day, people from the ... parish started provoking us. They said we had no right to be there and that they were the only legitimate worshippers in that church. A heated argument followed and some of us were pushed and hit. It seemed to be a pre-planned job as the police had been stationed there from 6 am," said Sunil John
I know what you are thinking. It was inevitable. This bitterness and infighting is the inevitable result of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. That progressives are fighting the traditionalist in the church over which liturgy is better? Think again.

This sad tale actually has nothing to do with the traditional Latin Mass at all. This is actually a fight between Catholics of the Latin rite and those of the Syro-Malabar rite in India. You may be wondering, "the syro-whosy-whats-it rite?" From Wikipedia:

The Syro-Malabar Catholic Church is a Major Archiepiscopal Church in communion with the Roman Catholic Church. It is one of the 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in the Catholic Church. It is the largest group among the Saint Thomas Christians tracing their origins to St. Thomas the Apostle who came to India in AD 52. The Syro Malabar Church is the largest St Thomas Christian community in India.[1]

The Syro-Malabar Hierarchy was founded on 21 December 1923 with Ernakulam as its centre and its Major Archbishop as the Head.

Apparently the Syro-malabar Catholics, primarily located in Kerala in India, has many adherents outside of that region. In Delhi, the SM Catholics are under the jurisdiction of the Latin Rite bishop and have their liturgy in the Latin Churches there. Some of the Latin rite Catholics are being less than hospitable. Some of the fight stems over hikes in the rent payments and by the fact that the SM Catholics in the area now want their own diocese. They are awaiting approval on their new diocese from Rome.

In the meantime, these two rites will just have to find a way to be 'Catholic' together. Good thing that this type of nonsensical infighting doesn't happen here, right?

German Pol Proposes Seven-Year Limit on Marriages

A German politician on Wednesday proposed making marriage contracts expire after seven years, with the option to renew for those not feeling the proverbial itch.

"I propose that marriages lapse after seven years," Gabriele Pauli told reporters in Munich. "This would mean that one will only commit for a fixed period and will actively have to renew your vows if you still want to continue."

Pauli, 50, has been divorced twice. You probably could've guessed that, right? Donald Trump and Larry King are both hoping the suggestion becomes international law.

Children, I guess, will be left to fend for themselves. And we know that always turns out well. See Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and the Artful Dodger.

A spokesman for the Catholic archdiocese of Munich said temporary marriage was a 'contradiction in terms.' Agreed. It's nice when personal failings can be generalized and made law to ease the consciences of the weak.

Today on CMR - September 19, 2007

No Priests? Fine. Women and Gays Can Celebrate Eucharist
—More evidence that the Dutch are still smokin' dope.

The Worst of the Worst!
—Hold on to your 1962 Missals folks! This is one of the worst responses to the Motu Proprio yet!

Grapes, Raisins and God
—Never get into a debate with a four year old. You don't stand a chance.

Mystery Illness Strikes Village after Meteor Crash
—CMR Zombie Watch: You can't be too careful!

Rowan Williams Goes Into the Closet
—Archbishop of Canterbury to attend super secret meeting of LGBT clergy. Seemingly dares schism.

Madonna Traded to Jews
—For two Jewish comedians and a minor leaguer to be named later. A good deal.

High Noon for Sheriff Ben
—Is it Gary Cooper time for Pope Benedict?

Pope and the McCanns
—Expect to see this picture more often than O.J.'s Bronco

Marriage is the New Dating
—Marie Claire toasts the modern woman who disposes of her marriage as easily as cheap summer fashions.

Pope Benedict's 2008 US visit may include Boston, DC and New York
——Details about Pope Benedict XVI’s much-anticipated apostolic journey to the United States next year have begun to emerge. Anticipated stops for the Pope’s first-ever US visit include, New York, Washington, Boston and possibly Baltimore.

USKKKB - U.S. Konference of Katholic Kollaborating Bishops?
—Will the USCCB do the right thing?

No Priests? Fine. Women and Gays Can Celebrate Eucharist

The leaders of the Catholic Dominican order on Tuesday censured Dutch members who said unordained ministers, including gays and women, should be able celebrate the Eucharist if priests were not available, according to IOL.

A booklet sent to parishes in the Netherlands earlier this month sent shock waves through the Church by making a radical proposal to deal with the shortage of Roman Catholic priests. It said unordained ministers chosen by their priestless congregations should be allowed to celebrate the Eucharist.

The booklet said:

"Whether they are women or men, homo or hetero, married or single, makes no difference. What is important is an infectious attitude of faith."
An infectious attitude of faith? There's something infectious here, that's for sure.

Underscoring its concern, the Vatican distributed a statement by the Rome headquarters of the Dominicans saying the solution by the Dutch Dominicans was not acceptable. "While we share their concern about the availability of the Eucharist and priestly ministry, we believe this concern must be responded to in careful theological and pastoral reflection...," it said.

That's the way-too-nice way of saying, "Are you out of your minds?"

The Dutch Dominicans' booklet based its argument on the traditions of early Christianity when priests were able to marry. Does that means they're also celebrating the Latin Mass? I doubt it.

The Worst of the Worst!

This one is special folks. This is literally one of the worst responses to the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum yet. Were I to put in my own comments, this might be my longest post ever. Further, I do not think that my comments are at all necessary, this piece speaks for itself. I will however emphasize a few items.

This piece comes to us Rev. Denis Dougherty OSB, Pastor of St. Josephs Church in Springfield MO. Read it and weep, yell, scream, cry, and sigh.

PASTOR’S REFLECTION by the Rev. Denis Dougherty

I think that Pope Benedict’s recent decree reviving the old Latin Mass was a step backwards in the implementation of the decrees of the Second Vatican Council, which were approved and promoted by Pope Paul VI. The Council never intended there to be two forms of the Roman rite existing simultaneously. Latin at Mass, yes, but the old rite stemming back to the 16th Century, clearly no. To keep a group of objectors in the Church, Pope John Paul gave permission to have the old Mass on a very limited scale in 1984 despite the nearly unanimous opposition of the bishops throughout the world. Now, Pope Benedict has given permission to go over the heads of the bishops as long as a “stably existing” community requests the old Mass and the pastors can prevent a disruption in their communities. The Council clearly wanted to give such power to the bishops, but in this too the Council’s teaching is being reversed.
I don’t anticipate having a Latin Mass problem in our parish [Surprise! Sorry, I couldn't help myself], although a group of people who formerly sought to introduce such a Mass here has sought to do so again. We will follow Pope Benedict’s instruction and not introduce the Latin Mass here because we do not have a stable (longstanding) group of active parish members requesting it. You are aware that to be an active member of our parish requires current registration, regular Mass attendance, and tithing to support the parish, as I have told you at least once a year. Very few of those suggesting the Latin Mass here are active members of the parish. The vast majority clearly do not qualify as a stable existing group of parishioners. I also perceive that the group would he disruptive if they came here with the idea of ‘gritting their teeth (as one described it) until they could dominate the parish again. Also, should we ever be required to introduce a Latin Mass in the future, such a Mass would fall under the supervision of the pastor and the appointed Liturgical Committee, like all other liturgical matters, not under the direction from some other group requesting it.
We should all ask ourselves questions like the following: Do we really want to introduce a liturgy emphasizing sin and its expiation in preference to the celebration of the paschal mystery centering on the death and resurrection of Christ. Do we really want to exclude women from the sanctuary, go back to the old lectionary, which had only a one year cycle of readings rather than the three year cycle we enjoy now; Do we really want to go back to the celebration of a Macs in which we do not understand the language in which the priest is praying and reading, and doing so with his back to us. Do you really want to reintroduce the disruption the parish previously experienced from some of the very people now requesting the old Latin Mass?
The old Mass has been called the “traditional” Mass but that is erroneous because the tradition of the Church from the most ancient times was to celebrate the Mass in the language understood by the people. That is the reason the Mass, probably first celebrated by Jesus in Aramaic, was soon celebrated in Greek, and then in the 4th or 5th Century celebrated in Latin in the Roman Church. The “tradition” of the fathers of the Church was to celebrate the Mass in the language of the people. The fathers of the Second Vatican Council were simply returning to this traditional Catholic practice in providing us with the Mass in the various languages which we understand.
So we at St. Joseph’s will follow the ancient tradition of the Church and continue to celebrate the Mass in the language of the people, as we follow the practice given us by Pope Paul VI and the Vatican Council and in doing so we will not be violating the decree of Pope Benedict because we do not have a request from of a “stably existing” community and our parish and because the pastor doesn’t feel we can do so in a non-disruptive way.
I just thought I would explain.
God bless you all!—Fr. Denis
So what do you think, do we have a winner?

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