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My Conservative Manifesto

"Standing athwart history, yelling Stop!" Is the famous line of William F. Buckley which gave a pithy call to arms to conservatives in times when conservatives had their backs to the wall. The impossible charge was a call to rally even when things looked hopeless, for perhaps the light can linger a bit longer if we can just slow them down.

Philadelphia's The Bulletin sums up the situation that existed for Buckley and the conservative movement in the early sixties.

During the 1960s, in which our political discussion was dominated by the Camelot of the Kennedys and the Great Society of Johnson, it seemed only Buckley stood in defiance of conventional wisdom, armed with wit, an understanding of who he was, and magnificently articulated logic. He not only published articles, magazines, and books to advance his cause, but he arranged televised debates with the intellectual heavyweights of the establishment. Faculty members from Harvard, Yale, Princeton; members of the Democratic inner sanctum like John Kenneth Galbraith; writers like Gore Vidal - all became his partners in the "Firing Line" series. Time after time, he scored knockouts, while charming his prey into submission.

Buckley's greatness would not have been nearly as impressive in a world where his ideas had already dominated. It was his remarkable willingness to stand alone at the firewall against the liberal establishment that made him so attractive. His refutations of his liberal opponents were spiced with the Latin names of the appropriate logical errors into which his opponents had fallen, and often included catechetical references to the teachings of his own Catholicism. The combination was not only intellectually powerful, but gave a glimpse into both Buckley's intellect and his soul.
Amazingly, just twenty years removed from this wilderness, the conservative movement triumphed (electorally) with the election of Ronald Reagan. This is a terrific example of the effects Toynbee's idea of a Creative Minority can have on the world. But that is another post.

Conservatives once again find themselves in the wilderness. I think a little examination of how we got here is required if we are ever again to emerge as an intellectual force with which to be reckoned. I know that many conservatives will not necessarily agree with my diagnosis, but never as one bullied by hopelessness I will proffer it anyway.

Succinctly, we used to aspire to be William F. Buckley but are now morosely content with being Christopher Buckley. Christoper Buckley famously had a falling out with fellow conservatives (I use this term very loosely)when he supported Obama. How could a "conservative" vote for Obama? Simply, he replaced one god with another.

Let me explain this rather cryptic statement. In order to explain it, I will use Christopher Buckley as an example, but he is by no means an isolated example. While others of the same ilk may not have gone so far as to vote for Obama, the problem is pervasive. Chris Buckley, after the election, gave an interview to a fawning New York Times.

As an only child, did you find one of your parents easier to talk to than the other? My mother. She got it. He often didn’t get it.

What didn’t he get? Religion.

He was a practicing Catholic. What are you? I am post-Catholic.

As opposed to a lapsed Catholic? I am probably more of a collapsed Catholic.

Do you believe in the afterlife? Alas, no...
That is what it comes down to I think. Men like William F. Buckley, like me, had a fundamental distrust of government. They also thought that free market capitalism as the best of the available -isms for generating prosperity for all. But, and this is a big but, they understood that these philosophies and viewpoints always needed to be tempered and informed by Christianity. Free market capitalism, untethered from Christian restraint, can be the source of as much evil as any other of the well known and pernicious -isms. Take your pick.

Christianity infused the political-economic outlook of these conservatives as much as the social issues are today obviously influenced by it. But somewhere along the line conservatives like Christopher Buckley lost faith in Christ. In the absence of the almighty, these post-Christian conservatives deified free-market capitalism. They traded one God for another.

Thus, conservatives split into two camps. The fiscal conservative, who worshiped capitalism, and the social conservative, who in their faith in God, found the most critical issues of the day the slaughter of the innocent. These two entities, joined under the banner of conservative, have had an uneasy and forced marriage. Cognizant that neither can survive electorally on its own, they have been wedded to each other for a generation.

But something happened this electoral cycle that may have forever altered and perhaps doomed this metaphorical marriage. The fiscal conservatives (and everyone else for that matter) found out their god of choice, untethered free-market capitalism, has feet made of clay. The fiscal conservatives can make the legitimate claim that government interference in the free market helped bring on this disaster, but that explanation only goes so far. What everyone sees now is the greed and excess of capitalism without Christianity. What the Christian ethic rightly decried as gluttony, was viewed by many conservatives as the ultimate virtue and attractively named competition. What we now through natural law was ignored as well, the hangover always follows the party. Unfortunately, this hangover occurred right in the middle of the election season giving us no time to sleep it off.

So now that their god has been revealed as a fraud, with their faith shaken, these fiscal conservatives are now free to apostatize. There were a few high profile defections such as Buckley which wounded, but it was the anonymous fiscal conservative who ultimately pulled the plug. They found no issue with voting for someone who believes that government is the answer to everything and higher taxes and wealth redistribution as goods in and of themselves. Apostasy complete.

Ironically, it was these very same "conservatives" who forced John McCain on the rest of a reluctant party in part because he did not wear his religion on his sleeve in the same way that Romney or Huckabee did . They wanted to distance themselves from the "religious right" in the party. Now, still stung with defeat, they want to pin the blame on, as one analyst called them, the God fearin' oogedy boogedy right. I can't take this point on at any length in this already lengthy post, but suffice it to say the religious right didn't have a dog in this fight.

So if the demise of a cohesive conservative movement was the result of the divorce between Christianity and conservative thought, what is the remedy? Marriage counseling? Yes, but with our pastor.

Conservatives need to understand that no political or economic philosophy is sufficient. This is a fallen world. I believe that free market capitalism is still the best approach available to general economic prosperity, but not by itself. It must always be tempered and regulated by a Christian ethic. Paraphrasing Gordon Gecko, "Greed, for lack of a better word, is still sin." We must always recognize our tendency toward sin in these endeavors, especially economic endeavors.

Our recognition of the attraction of sin, is also why conservatives should be wary of big government. Government is obviously inefficient and does most things poorly. But the power of government is attractive to those who wield its power. For these reasons, conservatives are right to be wary of big government. But today, there is more to fear than inefficient bureaucracy and burdensome tax rates. Big government has the ability to impose immorality and sin as the standard. This is true of the courts when the impose abortion on demand as the law of the land by judicial fiat. It is equally true when the executive branch turns to torture in the name of protecting the people. Conservatives should recognize and abhor both.

Conservatives, while promoting properly regulated free market capitalism as a way to to general economic prosperity, must also recognize its limitations. Take Jesus' parable of the good Samaritan. One could easily picture the modern fiscal conservative today walking by, pausing momentarily, only to tell the dying man that when he gets to town he will support tax cuts that will eventually lead to better things for him, but sorry, gotta go now. No, for a Christian conservative this is not sufficient.

Of course, private and personal charity, can and will do much for those suffering, but this is not enough. We must get government out of the way when it obstructs or wastes in the name of charity. But we must also recognize that sometimes government, through our tax dollars, can do good. We should never turn a blind eye to those in need due to our distrust of government or through deification of an economic model. Conservatives should not reflexively oppose and all public welfare projects, but rather focus on accountability. Make sure the programs work as hoped. If they don't scrap them. If they do, fund them. We should be the party of the poor.

This is all a very long way of saying that the resurrection of the conservative movement, in my view, all depends on whether our Christianity can once again inform and guide our entire political outlook. If we continue in our unhappy marriage, where believers do social issues and non-believers the economic issues, we will continue to fail to persuade. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

Unity is the answer. Unity of vision and of faith is the hope for the conservative movement. Let's once again aspire to faith infused William F. Buckley style conservatism. Let Jesus inform our entire vision for the future of this country and we will find our way out of the wilderness and the country will be better off for it.

Nifty Computer Animation of St. Michael's Church

I've done a few posts on the new church for Saint Michael the Archangel parish in Leawood, Kansas, even including a few photos. But this animated computer model shows it in a very compelling way. A few of the design details have changed since this video was made, most notably in the rear facade, but the fundamental scheme remains. The video shows the existing school as the grayed out block in front and also shows how the sloping site allows for a lower level parish hall, offices and adoration chapel which nonetheless have plentiful natural light. Interesting to note, too, is that the front facade of the church does not face the parking lot, but rather forms the fourth side of the courtyard formed by the school. In this way, it gives the church facade a piazza out front for the Easter fire, festivals and the like. Moreover, the rear wall of the school is largely glazed, so that when students come in the school they see directly through the lobby across the piazza to the church itself, reminding them that their education is intimately connected to the liturgy.
Enjoy this proof that the Second Spring has begun!

Rabbi Accuses Church of Oppression

So you remember this about the Maryknoller priest named Bourgeois who is being told he may be excommunicated for his participation in the unauthorized ordination of a female priest.

Well who's speaking out for the priest and against the Church but a self professed Rabbi. According to Front Page Magazine, former Hillary Clinton guru Michael Lerner, publisher of Tikkun magazine is now slamming the Catholic Church for threatening to excommunicate leftist priest Roy Bourgeois.

“It's not just Jews who demean others or see one type of human being as more valuable or closer to God or more appropriate to serve God than another,” Lerner bemoaned. “The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (the office that was previously named The Inquisition, but now no longer using violence to achieve its ends) has sent a letter to Father Roy Bourgeois threatening him with ex-communication (which effectively means an end to his income and to his teachings inside the church) for daring to publicly support the ordination of women and to offer remarks in a ceremony ordaining a woman as priest.”
They never wait long to bring up the Inquisition do they? But so many people see every institution as a power struggle between the powerful and the oppressed. I guess he doesn't believe that the Church has any right whatsoever to expect adherence to rules. But, according to Lerner, this has nothing to do with fidelity. Here's how Lerner sees the Church:
According to Lerner, the Catholic Church’s “current conservative leadership” aspires in “one fell swoop” to “rid itself of the progressive Catholic who has created the most important spiritual progressive demonstration taking place anywhere in the country for peace and against torture.”
Yes, of course, the ad orientem goon squad moonlights Tuesdays at the pro-torture "Go Gitmo" rallies.
Tikkun’s self-made rabbi knows exactly what is brewing within Roman Catholicism. “Politically conservative forces” have captured the church, Lerner warned, and are suppressing “progressive causes,” while protecting “those who support authoritarian and reactionary and violent causes.” Of course, he did not further describe these reactionary forces. Instead, Lerner condemned the Catholic Church’s “tenth century decision to exclude women from the clergy,” while the church ignores Jesus’ teachings against violence and for social justice, allowing priests who support “economic oppression and wars” to run rife. He urged his Network’s supporters to campaign against the forces of reaction within the Catholic Church. “We are not anti-Catholic,” Lerner insisted, even as he inveighed against the church hierarchy for bigotry and oppression.
I'm always amazed how little people know of Catholicism yet feel free to criticize it or even condemn it.

Weekend on CMR - November 29-30, 2008

The "Old" Liturgical Movement: 1947 "Benedictine" Arrangement
—Reform or discontinuity?

Mother Teresa on Becoming Holy
—The private writings of Mother Teresa are inspirational.

Villagers Kill Male Babies to Prevent War
—If women were in charge there would be no war, only mass infanticide.

Writer Sues Gibson for "The Passion"
—I wonder if Matthew, Mark, Luke or John are going to finally get some money out of this deal.

Schadenfreude Alert! Rosie Bombs
—Must not feel good about anti-Catholic bigot's dismal failure. Must not...heheheheh!

Movie Review About Bolt and Me
—Bolt is great. But I had a...difficult time.

Priests Top The Charts?
—Three Irish priests taking on Guns and Roses.

Fr. Barron: Biblical Themes in Indiana Jones
—Snakes! Why did it have to be snakes?



Thanksgiving Treat: Food to Laugh At
—The gallery of regrettable foods is really quite hilarious.

Elton John Against Gay Marriage?
—I'll admit I didn't see this one coming.

Fr. Barron: Biblical Themes in Indiana Jones
—Fr. Barron finds biblical themes everywhere. Straight from Israel!

Name that Convert!
—The most exciting home version of the most popular game on the Catholic blogosphere.

The Kmiec Catholic Re-Education Camp
—Sign up now before they come and bring you there anyway!

Mother Teresa on Becoming Holy

I recently finished a truly moving book on the life of Mother Teresa of Calcutta called Mother Teresa Come Be My Light. In my ignorance, I never really thought much more about her other than knowing she was a saintly woman who did wonderful work for the poor. This book showed me, using her own letters, how much much depth there was there and how much we all can learn from her. One of her quotes which really stood out for me was her advice to a friend on how to become a holy priest:

"First thing in the morning, kiss the crucifix. Offer Him everything you will say, or do or think during the day. Love Him with a deep, personal, intimate love-- and you will become a holy priest."

Great advice for priests, but also for all of us.


The "Old" Liturgical Movement: 1947 "Benedictine" Arrangement

Our friends at the New Liturgical Movement have done a great service in bringing photos of the the newly-rediscovered "Benedictine" arrangement of altar candles and crucifix to the fore. Pope Benedict is rightly given credit for the revival of this arrangement which had its original inspiration in the Liturgical Movement before the Council. I recently ran across these pictures from the Mass offered at the 1947 National Liturgical Week in Portland, Oregon which give some roots to today's newly flowering altar arrangement.

The proceedings from the Liturgical Week explain that the "Holy Sacrifice was celebrated in the same hall as in which the speaking sessions took place," which appears to be a school auditorium. However, the proceedings state, "the arrangements in the hall were planned and executed with splendid taste and rubrical exactness." It says nothing about the celebration happening versus populum, despite the obviousness of that fact.

Interesting to notice here is that even though the arrangement is clearly temporary, it follows the precedent of many of the Roman basilicas. Though the offering happens "facing the people" the altar is raised up on the stage, keeping it dominant, then raised again on three steps as the rubrics specified at the time. The choir, while taken down from a loft, is wearing liturgical dress and is down low, not challenging the visual primacy of the altar. The "Benedictine" arrangement is simply the old ad orientem arrangement turned around 180 degrees. A simple tester is provided by the hanging fabric over the altar. The cross and candles give the screen-like effect of letting people know that the Mass is not said to them, but in a way that they can see the ritual action. Here we see the Mass offered ad Deum, even as the altar is turned versus populum. Here we learn that many of the reforms which the Liturgical Movement leaders presented to the Council fathers were intended to be made with a hermeneutic of reform in mind, as Pope Benedict has reminded us, not in a hermeneutic of discontinuity, as was often the case in actual practice.

Villagers Kill Male Babies to Prevent War

The old saw that there would be no war if only women were in charge was proven true today by a story coming out of New Guinea. They're right. If women were in charge there would be no war. There would only be mass infanticide of every male child.

A shocking report out of Papua New Guinea claims that for the past ten years, the members of the gentler sex in two villages have killed each and every male baby born in order to prevent them from growing up to become warriors and engaging in war.

Here are some quotes from the exceedingly sympathetic story from the Daily Mail via Ace of Spades:

"Babies grow into men and men turn into warriors,' said Rona Luke, a village wife ... It's because of the terrible fights that have brought death and destruction to our villages for the past 20 years that all the womenfolk have agreed to have all new-born male babies killed,' said Mrs Luke.
So congratulations! You stopped the death and destruction from being visited upon your village. You've actually just done it yourself. You've made modern day Herods of yourselves in order to prevent violence.

And this one:
'It's because of the terrible fights that have brought death and destruction to our villages for the past 20 years that all the womenfolk have agreed to have all new-born male babies killed,' said Mrs Luke.

'The women have had enough of men engaging in tribal conflicts and bringing misery to them.'
And presumably this little genocide has been misery free, making the act of childbirth a cliffhanger to see if a birth should be celebrated or mourned.
A resident of Agibu village, Mrs Luke said she did not know how many male babies were killed by being smothered, but it had happened to all males over a 10 year period - and she suggested it was still happening.

Choking back tears she added: 'It's a terrible, unbearable crime, but the women had to do it.

'The women have really being forced into it as it's the only means available to them as women to bring an end to tribal fights.'
OK. Let's remember. The women are the victims here.

No word yet on how these two villages won't die off for lack of males. Oh wait. I know. The moment another village which didn't kill off all their male babies realizes that there are no men to defend the village they'll come in and take over. And then there will be babies aplenty. Great job ladies! Brilliant!

Writer Sues Gibson for "The Passion"

This is kind of sad and kind of funny in a sad way. A screenwriter is suing Mel Gibson saying that he was underpaid for his work on "The Passion. Now, since this was a movie based on the Bible I'm thinking that pretty soon the estates of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are going to join in making it a class action lawsuit and really go after Gibson.

Newsmax writes:

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gregory Alarcon on Tuesday ordered Gibson to appear for a deposition by mid-January.

Screenwriter Benedict Fitzgerald claims he was underpaid for his work on "Passion."

His attorneys say Gibson spent tens of thousands of dollars on his children's education while filming in Italy and paid a chiropractor $78,000. They contend those expenses lowered payments to Fitzgerald.
I always hate to see these kinds of things go on but especially with this movie. If this is really about the cost of Mel educating his children I can't see it having much merit but one never knows. I hope it works out for everyone involved.

Today On CMR - November 28, 2008

Schadenfreude Alert! Rosie Bombs
—Must not feel good about anti-Catholic bigot's dismal failure. Must not...heheheheh!

Movie Review About Bolt and Me
—Bolt is great. But I had a...difficult time.

Priests Top The Charts?
—Three Irish priests taking on Guns and Roses.

Fr. Barron: Biblical Themes in Indiana Jones
—Snakes! Why did it have to be snakes?

Thanksgiving Treat: Food to Laugh At
—The gallery of regrettable foods is really quite hilarious.

Elton John Against Gay Marriage?
—I'll admit I didn't see this one coming.

Fr. Barron: Biblical Themes in Indiana Jones
—Fr. Barron finds biblical themes everywhere. Straight from Israel!



Name that Convert!
—The most exciting home version of the most popular game on the Catholic blogosphere.

Lennon Forgiven. Who Missed Out?
—Lennon's off the hook but Deniro and Affleck are still in big trouble.

Church Of Obama
—What church best fits Obama?

The Kmiec Catholic Re-Education Camp
—Sign up now before they come and bring you there anyway!

Schadenfreude Alert! Rosie Bombs

Please be warned that an epidemic case of schadenfreude has broken out among Christians across America due to the dismal failure of Rosie O' Donnell's variety show Wednesday night.

Thousands of Christians were seen walking around smiling and then breaking into loud guffaws of laughter after the ratings were announced today, signaling the probable end of Rosie O'Donnell's career.

Only 5 million viewers tuned in for the 8 p.m. premiere of "Rosie Live." That's bad. Bad enough to be the lowest rated show of the night. And critics killed the show. Heh,heh.

Hey! Stop smiling. Now, as good as it feels to see an anti-Catholic bigot self-combust on national television you really shouldn't allow yourself to be feeling good about Rosie's career failure. hee-hee...hee...So don't think about her anti-Catholic and anti-Christian comments like these (H/T Media Research Center):

-Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America.” (The View, 9/12/06)

-“You know what concerns me? How many Supreme Court justices are Catholics? … Five. How about separation of church and state in America?” (The View, 4/19/07)

-“If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.” (The View, 4/19/07)

-“Christopher Reeve died without hope because of the religious – separation – lack of separation of church and state by this administration.” (The View, 6/7/05)

-“I really hope the Catholic Church gets sued until the end of time. Maybe, you know, we can melt down some of the gold toilets in the Pope’s Vatican and pay off some of the lawsuits because, you know, frankly, the whole tenet of Christianity, of being pious, of living a Christ-like life, has been lost in Catholicism.” (MSNBC’s Donahue, 2/24/03)

I would continue but heh...heh...I'm having a...heheheheheh...hard time stopping an insane...hahahahahahaha...bout of laughter...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!.
HT Newsbusters

Movie Review About Bolt and Me

Bolt is great. I took four of my gang ages 3-9 and they all loved it. I, who am 40, loved it. If you're looking for stuff to do over this extended weekend go see this movie. I guarantee you it's better than all the scatological humor you'll get from Madagascar II.

I enjoyed it even though for the last half hour of the movie I had to go to the bathroom so badly I was bouncing in my seat. Word of advice -if you're at the movies with four children-don't order the large drink. It's too big. It's actually ridiculously big but I dove in and finished it somewhere in the second act. So I had to go really really bad but I couldn't leave the children and I didn't want to drag them out of the theater thus punishing my children who were smart enough to take measured sips rather than gulping their drinks down like a thirsty castaway. So I bounced. I'm not sure if that helps but I was doing it.

So all that is a long way of saying I feared I was going to explode in the movie and yet I still enjoyed it. Bolt is great but the show is stolen by the way overeager hamster who teams up with Bolt. You'll love him.

So go see it. I'll share a quick story with you thus making this the worst movie review ever as it's more about me than the movie. After the movie we all ran down the aisle towards the exit. My nine year old wanted to stay and listen to the Miley Cyrus song during the closing credits but holy cow...did I mention I had to go. So I escorted them all out by their collars. As we reached the exit, the five year old announced she forgot her jacket. Arggghgh. At this point I was about to ask the three year old if he had any spare pull-ups leftover from the days when he used them. OK. Everyone back into the theater. What color is your jacket that you left in the dark theater?

Black. Great! We first argue about which aisle we were in and then my five year old gets on her hands and knees and begins crawling. ON A MOVIE THEATER FLOOR! I'm surprised she didn't stick to it like flypaper. STOP! I say. My six year old finds the jacket under the seat and now we're racing to the bathroom down the hall.

The girls go into the girl's room and the three year old boy and I go into the Men's. I was so proud of him. He "went potty" and then came out of the stall and washed his hands. I was actually thinking to myself how old he was getting until he put his hands under the air dryer and it roared like the Space Shuttle taking off. It was loud. And the boy freaked. He abandoned the hand dryer and ran back into the stall and slammed the door closed. There was a guy standing next to me and he started laughing and I started laughing and all of a sudden the door to the bathroom swings open and there's a guy standing there and what does he see? Two men giggling like schoolgirls at the urinals and a three year old peaking out from under the stall door. He closed the door without comment. I'm pretty sure he went and called the police. Good for him.

So go see Bolt. Don't order the big soda. And tell your children to use the handtowels.

Priests Top The Charts?

Three Irish priests may be hitting the top of the pops by covering songs like Benedictus, Panis Angelicus and Be Thou My Vision among others, according to the Daily Mail.

They're celibate, saintly and say they are not in it for the money - but thanks to their vocal talent, a band of brothers is set for superstardom.
As the name may suggest, The Priests are real-life, understated clergymen from Ireland, and yet they have created an unprecedented clamour around their debut album.
Within 24 hours of its release, The Priests' album had sold a staggering 29,000 copies, and it's heading for a top position in the charts this weekend in a battle against American rock band Guns N' Roses, The Killers and last year's X-Factor runner-up, Rhydian Roberts.
Choose your stars!


The priests say that no matter how big they get they'll always wear their collars in public. This will be an interesting story to follow. There's some videos on Youtube. Really great!

Today On CMR - November 27, 2008

Fr. Barron: Biblical Themes in Indiana Jones
—Snakes! Why did it have to be snakes?

Thanksgiving Treat: Food to Laugh At
—The gallery of regrettable foods is really quite hilarious.

Elton John Against Gay Marriage?
—I'll admit I didn't see this one coming.

Fr. Barron: Biblical Themes in Indiana Jones
—Fr. Barron finds biblical themes everywhere. Straight from Israel!

Name that Convert!
—The most exciting home version of the most popular game on the Catholic blogosphere.

Lennon Forgiven. Who Missed Out?
—Lennon's off the hook but Deniro and Affleck are still in big trouble.

Church Of Obama
—What church best fits Obama?

The Kmiec Catholic Re-Education Camp
—Sign up now before they come and bring you there anyway!



Catholics Need Not Apply (To Catholic School)
—Catholic School dumps the Catholic for coin.

Santa's a Jerk
—He's no saint. He's practically Archie Bunker with a beard!

Save the Tofurkey!
—We are shocked, horrified, and hungry.

Thanksgiving Treat: Food to Laugh At

The LILEKS Gallery has many very funny things to look at, including old advertisments, catalogs and one of my favorites, the gallery of Interior Desecration. Maybe its just my warped sense of humor, but after giving thanks and eating too much pie, I recommend taking a spin here to the Gallery of Regrettable Food. It really makes you wonder what they were thinking back in the age of yore, as evidenced in the "Bran-Plus for Minus People" catalog from the 1930s promoting the value of dietary fiber, or the "Cooking With 7-Up" gallery (7-Up with milk for your kids?) Many of the comments are tears-down-the-face funny (and just as a warning, some of them are also a bit "R" rated). This site will keep you laughing for a long time. Here's a page to get you started from "More Fun With Coffee."

Elton John Against Gay Marriage?

Who'd a thunk it? This may be the first fairly rational thing out of Elton John's mouth in a decade.
According to Michael Medved via USA Today:

One of the world’s most prominent gay entertainers offered some rare common sense on the explosive issue of same sex marriage. In New York City for a gala AIDS benefit, rock legend Sir Elton John appeared with his long-time partner, David Furnish. “We’re not married,” he told the press, “Let’s get that straight. We have a civil partnership…I don’t want to be married! I’m very happy with a civil partnership. The word ‘marriage,’ I think, puts a lot of people off. You get the same equal rights that we do when we have a civil partnership. Heterosexual people get married. We can have civil partnerships”. If more people on all sides of this issue embraced the simple, irrefutable logic of this clear-thinking superstar, a vastly divisive, unnecessary controversy could reach a successful and amicable solution.

Today On CMR - November 26, 2008

Name that Convert!
—The most exciting home version of the most popular game on the Catholic blogosphere.

Lennon Forgiven. Who Missed Out?
—Lennon's off the hook but Deniro and Affleck are still in big trouble.

Church Of Obama
—What church best fits Obama?

The Kmiec Catholic Re-Education Camp
—Sign up now before they come and bring you there anyway!

Catholics Need Not Apply (To Catholic School)
—Catholic School dumps the Catholic for coin.

England Proves Chesterton Right...Again
—A tale of two fishermen.



Santa's a Jerk
—He's no saint. He's practically Archie Bunker with a beard!

Cease The Peace
—My suggestions on where to stick the Sign of Peace.

Save the Tofurkey!
—We are shocked, horrified, and hungry.

Fr. Barron: Biblical Themes in Indiana Jones

Fr. Barron finds biblical themes everywhere. Straight from Israel!

Name that Convert!

Now, it's once again time to "Guess the Convert" where we see a rather doom-and gloom quote and have to guess which noted convert said it.

"Because it is America's largest denomination, and the only one with strong central authority, the Catholic Church can be a major opponent of the nihilism of modern liberal culture. Pope John Paul II has been attempting to lead an intellectual and spiritual reinvigoration, but there is resistance within the Church. Modern liberal culture has made inroads with some of the hierarchy as well as the laity. It remains to be seen whether intellectual orthodoxy can stand firm against the currents of radical individualism and radical egalitarianism. For the moment, the outcome is in doubt."
As always, please don't cheat by simply cut and pasting it into Google. The CMR Detective Agency will be dispatched to find you and then the CMR Goon Squad will be alerted. And then...bad things, man. Bad things.

Update: The answer is Robert Bork. I must admit that before today I didn't know he was a Catholic convert. We should all truly understand what a grievous blow the pro-life movement was dealt when the Senate rejected Bork for the Supreme Court. Instead, we got Justice Anthony Kennedy. Not a good trade.

Lennon Forgiven. Who Missed Out?

Fresh on the heels of its embarrassingly outdated pronouncement by the Vatican newspaper that it has finally forgiven John Lennon for declaring the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, the Vatican also has a list of inane incidents that it considered for forgiveness but has not yet actually forgiven:

I. The director and writers of Highlander II, the worst sequel...evah.
II. The cast of Caroline in the City for boring America for like...four years.
III. Martin Scorsese but not for the heretical "The Last Temptation of Christ" but for "Gangs of New York." Come on, a movie where the final battle is between Daniel Day Lewis and Leonardo Dicaprio. What are the two arguing about, which one's arms could more easily be snapped like a twig by a third grader?
IV. The geniuses behind New Coke.
V. Ozzy Osbourne for biting the head off the bat. (Come on Vatican, I think this guy's suffered enough.)
VI. Anybody who had anything to do with the creation of Jar Jar Binks but especially George Lucas who also was implicated in the "Howard the Duck" fiasco.
VII. Dan Fogelberg for feminizing a generation of young men in the 1970's.
VIII.Ben Affleck and Matt Damon for that so-called Christian movie where they played angels. Some might argue that the two are just too stupid to know they were being offensive but they should probably be kept on the list for a while.)
IX. Ron Howard for the DaVinci Code. (Tom Hanks is actually forgiven because he's just so darn likable.)
X. Robert Deniro and Sean Penn for that movie where they pretend to be priests in the 1920's. I mean, seriously, they made Ishtar look good. Why couldn't they have been Episcopalians or something?

Church Of Obama

Much discussed over the past few days is which Church will Obama join. Obama's failure to attend Church this past weekend was noted, but chalked up by some to the fact that he has yet to choose another Church after throwing Rev. Wright under the bus leaving Rev. Wright's Church.

You might recall that I secretly uncovered Obama's thoughts on the subject some months ago through some creative undercover work.

But what now? What Church will he join? I suspect, he won't. That is actually the recommendation of Susan Jacoby at the WaPo On Faith Blog.

Obama is of course a Christian, but there are a number of excellent reasons why he should not join any particular church. There is also an important historical precedent: Abraham Lincoln refused to ally himself with any denomination or congregation, although he sometimes attended services at different churches in Washington. Lincoln, who was suspected by many of being (gasp!) a secret freethinker and religious skeptic, resisted considerable political pressure in his refusal to join a church. Obama, who is a believer, might choose to remain unaffiliated for different reasons.
Don't you just love the smugness of the Jacoby extolling the virtues of freethinking skeptics. You understand of course that to be a freethinker requires skepticism? Leaving that aside, which church best fits Obama's theological perspective? Well, Obama gave some hints in his answers in a 2004 interview.
GG: Do you believe in sin?

OBAMA: Yes.

GG: What is sin?

OBAMA: Being out of alignment with my values....

So you got yourself born again?

OBAMA: Yeah, although I don’t, I retain from my childhood and my experiences growing up a suspicion of dogma. And I’m not somebody who is always comfortable with language that implies I’ve got a monopoly on the truth, or that my faith is automatically transferable to others.

I’m a big believer in tolerance. I think that religion at it’s best comes with a big dose of doubt. I’m suspicious of too much certainty in the pursuit of understanding just because I think people are limited in their understanding.

I think that, particularly as somebody who’s now in the public realm and is a student of what brings people together and what drives them apart, there’s an enormous amount of damage done around the world in the name of religion and certainty.
Sin is violating Obama values, dogma is out and doubt is in. Certainty is a sin and truth is non-transferable. Welcome to the Church of Obama.

Honestly, I know that Obama isn't the Antichrist. But I have a suspicion that one day in the future, the son of perdition will read of Obama and say to himself, "That man was good."

Today On CMR - November 25, 2008

The Kmiec Catholic Re-Education Camp
—Sign up now before they come and bring you there anyway!

Catholics Need Not Apply (To Catholic School)
—Catholic School dumps the Catholic for coin.

England Proves Chesterton Right...Again
—A tale of two fishermen.

Santa's a Jerk
—He's no saint. He's practically Archie Bunker with a beard!

Cease The Peace
—My suggestions on where to stick the Sign of Peace.

Save the Tofurkey!
—We are shocked, horrified, and hungry.

The Last Gasp of the Hippies
—Priest faces excommunication for participating in female ordination.



Modernly Immaterial
—L'Osservatore Romano updates itself to irrelevance.

The Culture of Death and Miracle of Life
—Must see video about the heartbreaking and inspiring story of Haleigh Poutre.

Fr. Barron on Advent (and Road Rage)
—The spiritual solution to traffic jams!

Palin Pardons Turkey But Not All Of Them
—Sarah Palin teaches horrified mainstream media how the turkey gets from the farm to the plate.

The Kmiec Catholic Re-Education Camp

Are you having trouble understanding how voting pro-choice is actually a pro-life decision?

Experiencing difficulty seeing how the most radically pro-abortion President is actually the best thing to happen to babies since pacifiers?

Feeling like you're not a "cool Catholic" or you're out of step with the majority of Catholics?

If you answer yes to any of these simple questions, then you might be a candidate for the Kmiec Catholic Re-Education Camp.
The camp is a great way to be re instructed in your faith and fall in line with what the majority of Catholics believe.

It's fun. Movie night is when we put toothpicks in your eyelids so you don't miss even one second of the lesson...uh...movie. There are classes in counter intuitive logic taught by the great Doug Kmiec himself to make it easier for you to accept difficult and elusive "truths."

But wait. There's more. You can spend hours in our spacious library which has the latest bestsellers "The Audacity of Hope" and "Dreams from My Father." Or if inspirational life stories aren't your cup of tea we have the "Newly Revised Catholic Catechism" with newly added chapters like "Why Your Uninformed Conscience Trumps the Thinking of Great Theologians and Saints" and "The Confusion Around Abortion from Augustine to Aquinas" by Nancy Pelosi.

Dine in our new cafe called "The Cafeteria Catholic" and try the Maria Shriver soup, or the Father Pfleger filet of soul.

Also, don't forget to visit our newly remodeled "Vox Nova" wing everyone's just screaming about!

And best of all is that you can stay at the Kmiec education camp for a few days, a month, or even a few years.* And don't worry about paying, the Kmiec Catholic Re-Education Camp is taxpayer subsidized due to the hard work of Nancy Pelosi, Vice President Joe Biden, and HHS Secretary Tom Daschle.

And you don't have to worry about enrolling. We'll come get you. Just speak out against Obama or pro-choice Catholics and our Kmiec Wagon will come get you any time of night. Free of charge!

*Stays lasting longer than two years without positive results may end in your permanent disappearance.

Catholics Need Not Apply (To Catholic School)

In the diocese of Arlington there exists the reasonable requirement, in my considerably cultivated judgment, that the headmasters of any Catholic school should be Catholic.

The Trustees of Notre Dame Catholic High School find it simply too difficult to comply with this draconian requirement. The trustees (an ill fitting moniker in this situation) have decided to hire a non-Catholic headmaster because they could not find a Catholic one. As a result, the school will have to disassociate itself from the Church.

One could be forgiven if they harbored the smallest suspicion that perhaps the trustees really didn't look that hard. One person who thinks so is Chief Operating Officer of the school Dan Dolan. Mr. Dolan, a Catholic, has applied for the job but been ignored. Now I certainly can't speak to Mr. Dolan's qualifications, but its seems that if is the COO of the school, at the very least he could run it long enough for the trustees to conduct an actual search.

Needless to say, the parents of the students at Notre Dame are none too pleased with the decision of the board. I almost called it the inexplicable decision of the board, but alas its seems rather explicable. Money. A former member of the board who has filed a $24M lawsuit alleges that a donor is pulling the strings and keeping the school afloat while they are likely to lose many students over this decision.

Of course, the board (who could not find a qualified candidate in a Diocese of over 400,000 Catholics) says there is absolutely nothing to worry about.

Clark said parents need to realize that the trustees have the best interest of the school at heart and that Catholicism will still have a role at the school.

"Notre Dame Academy is choosing to be a co-ed, college preparatory school, which celebrates the Catholic heritage," he said. "We will continue to offer the religious curriculum that is consistent with the Catholic faith."

Oh, well if they just need to realize that, then no worries. Sure, they sacrifice their money to send their kids to a "Catholic" school, only to be betrayed. They need only realize that the school will celebrate its Catholic Heritage.

Celebrate the "Catholic Heritage?' How? Like France?

England Proves Chesterton Right...Again

Would it be a surprise to GK Chesterton that as faith dwindles in his homeland, belief in the supernatural would soar? OK. Let me thumb through my mental index of Chesterton quotes which every good Catholic blogger has handy for every occasion. Ah yes...here it is: "When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing- they believe in anything."

That quote comes to you apropos of this sad story from the UK's Daily Mail:

Believing in ghosts and little green men from outer space appears a touch easier than having faith in God, according to a survey.

The researchers found that while 54 per cent of us are convinced the Almighty exists, 58 per cent believe in the supernatural...

The research put out to coincide with the DVD release (of the X-Files DVD) also claimed women were more likely to believe in the supernatural than men, and were more likely to visit a medium.

Nearly a quarter of the 3,000 surveyed claimed they had had a paranormal encounter.
Some 37 per cent said aliens and ghosts were the basis of their belief system.

Earlier this year reports released by the National Archives detailed UFO sightings logged by the UK Government. These included a fisherman who described being taken on to a spacecraft - only to be rejected because of his age.
Hey, that last anecdote sums up this whole problem quite nicely. The fisherman claims to have experienced an encounter with the supernatural only to be thrown back into his regular old life completely unaffected. And that's exactly why belief in the supernatural is more enticing. It's simply easier than an encounter with God.

About two thousand years ago, a group of fishermen encountered Jesus but He didn't just take them for a wild ride and then say "OK, ride over. Go back to your regularly scheduled life." He asked the fishermen to change their lives. He called them to be better than they were before. Nothing was the same.

The merely supernatural makes no demands on us and that's why so many of us are drawn to it. God, however, calls to us at inconvenient times and asks us to throw away everything we thought we knew. And that's why we shun it.

It would be much easier to walk along the street, see something odd in the sky and go merrily on our way with a story to entertain the other patrons at the bar. God, on the other hand, often asks us to leave the bar.

Today On CMR - November 24, 2008

Santa's a Jerk
—He's no saint. He's practically Archie Bunker with a beard!

Cease The Peace
—My suggestions on where to stick the Sign of Peace.

Save the Tofurkey!
—We are shocked, horrified, and hungry.

The Last Gasp of the Hippies
—Priest faces excommunication for participating in female ordination.

Modernly Immaterial
—L'Osservatore Romano updates itself to irrelevance.

The Culture of Death and Miracle of Life
—Must see video about the heartbreaking and inspiring story of Haleigh Poutre.

Fr. Barron on Advent (and Road Rage)
—The spiritual solution to traffic jams!



Palin Pardons Turkey But Not All Of Them
—Sarah Palin teaches horrified mainstream media how the turkey gets from the farm to the plate.

Roseanne Barr: Give Jerusalem To Vatican
—Anti-Catholic and schizophrenic is a bad combo.

Town Official Attacks Catholics -On Video!
—Democrat officials learns that if you're going to be stupid don't be stupid on video.

Part 5: Architectural Theology at the New Saint Michael Church
—Part 5 in a series on Architectural Theology.

Santa's a Jerk

Last night, all of a sudden everything became Christmasy around my house. I was going through the house taking down Halloween decorations. (I know it's late. I know! Don't you dare judge me.) But as I took them down my wife and children were right behind me with the Christmas decorations. They threw on the Alabama Christmas CD (which really is great) and we were all in a great Christmasy mood. When we were about halfway through decorating the kids went AWOL and threw in the old Rankin/Bass Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer while my wife and I continued placing sheep in the manger.

But as I watched it I grew horrified that barring Donner who is the worst father ever, Santa was the biggest jerk in the North Pole. Wait. Forget the North Pole. I'm going to say it. In that cartoon, Santa was the biggest jerk ever. What were these animators thinking? Now the kids don't seem to mind or notice but what the heck?

My wife tells me I look into these things too much but here's my case. I'm sure you'll agree.

Santa's jerkiness starts with the elves begging Santa to listen to a song they wrote for him and Santa's like all bored and like 'whatever' to these poor little elves who work night and day for cookies and all they want is for him just to listen to a little one minute song they wrote in praise of him. But then His Jerkiness harrumphs at the end of the song something like "needs work" and stomps off while Ms. Claus tries to pick up the pieces and applauds and praises the heartbroken elves.

OK, you think maybe Santa was having a bad day. No. It gets worse. When Rudolph starts flying around all great, Santa hails Donner for his boy's success but then when it turns out Rudy's got a shiny beak, Santa turns on him and tells his good buddy Donner, "You ought to be ashamed of yourself.” What?

No Santa, you should be ashamed of yourself. What's with this guy? His weight is fluctuating wildly. He's refusing to eat. He's threatening to cancel Christmas throughout the entire freaking video. He's banishing any toy with any defect whatsoever into the island of misfit toys. This guy is supposed to be a saint? He's a monster!

I mean, he tossed a 'Charlie in the box' onto the island of misfit toys because it had a wrong name. I mean come on. How much red tape could there be in the North Pole it to change the toy's name? Santa just doesn't care.

And whoever heard of a Santa afraid of driving in the snow? Well here's an idea, if snow's gonna' be a problem old man, move out of the North Pole!

Sorry for the rant. But Santa put me in a mood. I'll still be up for Christmas. I got the Amy Grant Christmas CD on right now. I'm going to finish putting the animals around the manger now. I'm feeling it again. And I've hidden Rudolph in a drawer.

And one more thing, doesn't it seem like Herbie the Elf might just be dealing with one or two more issues than wanting to be a dentist? I'm just saying.

Cease The Peace

As was reported last year, Pope Benedict has asked that the placement of the Sign of Peace be reviewed perhaps placing it earlier where it will be less disruptive to the preparation of the faithful for communion.

Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, brought the topic up again in an interview with L'Osservatore Romano on Friday. Pope Benedict has asked the Bishops for their thoughts and then he will make a decision.

Since the topic is still open for discussion and on the off chance that any Bishop would stumble across our humble site, I offer my suggestions for where they can stick the sign of peace.

  • Ten minutes before mass.
  • (Kiss of peace) Right before you tell your brother Fredo that you know it was him.
  • Ten minutes after mass.
  • Since those who foisted this on us always make the point that this was an ancient practice, I say we do it it right after we find and slaughter an unblemished red heifer.
  • On Good Friday right after the ol' school prayer for the Jews.
  • Let's not and say we did.
However, if we are going to keep it, why not make it more relevant, you know, for the kids.
  • Chest bump of peace
  • Slap on the butt of peace. The altar boys could ... um ... never mind on this one.
  • The jive handshake of peace.
Actually, my preference is that the SOP is moved to before the offertory and is changed into the barely perceptible nod of peace. That way, at weekday mass, I will no longer have to sit in a pew with a minimum 5 empty pews between me and another human to insure that nobody gets any funny ideas. At five pews distance, you typically get the nod or the muted wave of peace. That is more like it. However, if somebody looks overly friendly, I increase the minimum safe distance to 8 pews and try to sit in their blind spot or behind a column if available. No sense taking chances.

Ideally, would should return to the even more ancient and venerable practice of leave me alone.

Save the Tofurkey!

Vegetarians around the planet were horrified to learn today that the popular Thanksgiving dish for vegetarians called Tofurkey doesn't actually derive from the vegetarian bean curd known as Tofu but from a very small and extraordinarily cute endangered species called the Tofurkey.

This is the first photo of a Tofurkey taken at a farm in Rhode Island just moments before it was skinned, torn limb from limb, had its eyes removed while still alive, and was finally dipped in boiling oil.

A tofurkey farm is not a typical farm. The tofurkey is extraordinarily cute and very inexpensive to keep because they're fed exclusively by hugs and smiles. "That's all they need," said one tofurkey farmer. "And they've got these huge expressive eyes that melt your heart." It's those expressive eyes that make "slaughter season" very hard for tofurkey owners.

Most tofurkeys spend their days playing with balloons, blowing bubbles, and singing in high pitched angelic voices. "They don't speak English or nothing but sometimes just listenin' to 'em makes me think about puppies and angels," said one tofurkey owner.

The misunderstanding for vegetarians originated because of the similarities between the names Tofurkey and Tofu. One Tofurkey farmer said he never lied about where Tofurkey came from but he's glad to profit from the misunderstanding. "I think those wacky vegetarians just wanted to believe they were eating Tofu and I wasn't about to tell 'em no different."

He said that back when his "product" began doing brisk business he wondered why. "I know those little cute tofurkeys don't really taste so good so I wondered why so many people was eating 'em. But hey, who am I to complain?"

Vegans and vegetarians have been shocked and horrified at the discovery of this Tofurkey farm. "Every time I ate Tofurkey on Thanksgiving I felt so principled and better than everyone else," said one vegetarian. "I'm going to miss that feeling."

Weekend On CMR - November 22-23, 2008

The Last Gasp of the Hippies
—Priest faces excommunication for participating in female ordination.

Modernly Immaterial
—L'Osservatore Romano updates itself to irrelevance.

The Culture of Death and Miracle of Life
—Must see video about the heartbreaking and inspiring story of Haleigh Poutre.

Fr. Barron on Advent (and Road Rage)
—The spiritual solution to traffic jams!

Palin Pardons Turkey But Not All Of Them
—Sarah Palin teaches horrified mainstream media how the turkey gets from the farm to the plate.

Roseanne Barr: Give Jerusalem To Vatican
—Anti-Catholic and schizophrenic is a bad combo.

Town Official Attacks Catholics -On Video!
—Democrat officials learns that if you're going to be stupid don't be stupid on video.



Part 5: Architectural Theology at the New Saint Michael Church
—Part 5 in a series on Architectural Theology.

That's It! Al Qaeda Guilty of Hate Crime!
—Terrorists seen as threat now that they called Obama a mean name.

Down With Catholics In Name Only
—My proposed legislation to end Catholics in Name Only.

eHarmony Succumbs to Gay Pressure Group
—The moral of the story is that morals are not allowed in the public sphere.

The Last Gasp of the Hippies

Consider this the last gasp of the hippie generation. This entire generation is stunned that they were unable to completely overhaul the Church during their lifetime. They had such success changing academia and even local parishes but now they wander around commiserating with each other that the Church didn't bend to their will. They blame Pope John Paul II. They blame Pope Benedict XVI and they know they're running out of time so with each passing day they grow more desperate.

Case in point: Father Roy Bourgeois is being threatened with excommunication for taking part in a female ordination ceremony, according to the Altanta Journal and Constitution:

Fr. Bourgeois gave the sermon at her "ordination." He has called the Church's rules against female ordination "sexism." And he is obstinate in his decision and is demanding a meeting with the Pope. And yes, like all good hippies he compares himself with Rosa Parks. I mean, give me a break. It's one thing to be compared to Rosa Parks but once you go around comparing yourself, it crosses the line between idiocy and megalomania.

In the interview it's interesting to note he never once shows any respect or deference to the Vatican or the Pope.

Here's the key quote from Fr. Bourgeois: "I began to ask myself: Who are we, as men, to say to women, 'Our call is valid, yours isn’t.'”

Well the truth is that it's not up to you as a man. That's where these folks often get messed up. It's up to the Church to decide that and the Church has made their thoughts on this pretty clear.

Q: You say the church’s position on women as priests doesn’t stand up to scholarly scrutiny. But the Vatican would say it stands up to God’s scrutiny.

A: To try and use God to bless discrimination does not hold up. Just saying “the pope says” doesn’t work. Just a footnote: In the early church, women were ordained. There were women priests and bishops. …


Q: I’ve never heard of that before.

A: Well, you and many Catholics have not. It’s something the pope doesn’t want to talk about. It was really in the Middle Ages that the patriarchy really had such a concentration of power that men began to say, “No way are we going to allow women priests.” It’s documented. The pope [the late John Paul II] says, “Jesus chose 12 apostles and they were all men.” But there’s a problem when you start talking about chosen. When Jesus resurrected from the dead, he appeared to Mary Magdalene and Mary. Jesus chose women to bring this important message of resurrection to the men. The core of this issue is the issue of sexism.


Q: I’m gathering you read “The DaVinci Code,” then, with some amusement?

A: No, I don’t read novels. And I didn’t go to the movie. I don’t have the time.


Q: How did you meet Janice Sevre-Duszynska, the woman who was ordained?

A: We met in the School of the Americas Watch movement years ago. When I met her, she shared with me that she was a devout Catholic in our church who felt called to priesthood. Janice was just one among many who forced me to look at this issue, the call to priesthood. As Catholics we profess that the call comes from God. So … I began to ask myself: Who are we, as men, to say to women, “Our call is valid, yours isn’t.”

Q: What was the ceremony like?

A: Where we gathered, in this Unitarian church, there were Catholics there who came in the name of their faith to support and who believed in Janice’s call to the priesthood. The ceremony I went through for my ordination in 1972, it was the same ceremony. That event [Janice’s ordination] was filled with joy and hope.

Q: Why did you do it at a Unitarian church? Not to be disrespectful, but wasn’t that sort of cowardly in that, if you’re going to be in-your-face, then do it at a Catholic church?

A: There was no Catholic church available. There was no priest or bishop that would allow them to do that ceremony in a Catholic church.


Q: There was no other like-minded priest willing to take the risk?

A: A bishop who would have done that would have been immediately excommunicated. A priest, a pastor who would do that in his church would be excommunicated.

Q: What would women bring to the priesthood that men don’t?

A: In our church, we profess that in the eyes of God women and men are of equal stature and dignity. All I’m saying is that we need the wisdom, the compassion, intelligence, the experience and the courage of women to make our church complete.


Q: Well, there are nuns.

A: No, no, no. Nuns are not ordained.

Q: How many women have been “ordained” in the U.S.?

A: 36. The numbers in Europe and Australia are not known.


Q: You’d be the first U.S. priest excommunicated for such an action. Why didn’t you do it anonymously like a handful of European Catholic bishops are said to have done?

A: Why act in the shadows? I believe in transparency.

Q: So was this your Rosa Parks moment?

A: The Rosa Parks moment was earlier for me in the Vatican in 2000. When I was invited to speak on Vatican radio. I had 15 minutes, and 13 of those minutes were devoted to talk about the SOA. I knew what I had to say, I said, “There will never be justice in our Catholic Church until women can be ordained.”

Q: What happened?

A: The [station] manager came in, furious. I had 30 seconds to go, but they just cut me off and came in with Gregorian music.

Q: Will you recant?

A: I could never recant.

Q: What does your family want you to do?

A: My brother and two sisters said: “You are gonna break Daddy’s heart. He’s 95.” They were asking me to reconsider. My daddy said: “God is gonna take care of Roy. Roy is doing the right thing, and I support him.” Then my siblings came onboard.

Q: Have you heard any more from the Vatican?

A: Nothing. They might have the hope that this sinner, this priest who has gone against church teaching, will perhaps at the last hour repent.

Q: You’ve led protests outside the gates of Fort Benning against the School of the Americas. Will you protest at the Vatican if you’re excommunicated?

A: Of course. I do believe that, as a priest for 36 years, I should be allowed 10 or 15 minutes with the pope to make a personal appeal.

Q: Has this experience shaken or strengthened your faith?

A: It has brought me closer to God. It has brought me deeper peace. “Weeping will endure the night, but joy comes in the morning.”
How bourgeois of him. What? You thought I was going to get through this entire post and not make that joke?

So let's do the math. He's been a priest for 36 years so he was ordained around 1972. Kinda' fits, right? I know a few priests from this generation and they are almost uniformly in shock that they weren't able to completely overhaul the Church to their will. They know they're running out of time because they bemoan the younger generation of conservative priests. I suspect that in the end the hippie generation will have only succeeded in making the Church more able to stand against dissent. It's kind of like the Big Bad Wolf. Sure he had some successes blowing the first two houses down but then he couldn't understand how he couldn't knock down the third one. It had been built too strong.

Modernly Immaterial

Even the most frivolous among us would likely agree that we live in dark, dramatic, and disturbed times. Renouncing any call to seriousness or significance, ostensibly demanded by events of the day, the official Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano turned its eye to the momentously immaterial.

[Telegraph] Saturday's edition of the Vatican's official newspaper absolves John Lennon of his notorious remark, saying that "after so many years it sounds merely like the boasting of an English working-class lad struggling to cope with unexpected success".

In a lengthy editorial marking the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' famous White Album, L'Osservatore Romano heaps lavish praise on the British band.

"The talent of Lennon and the other Beatles gave us some of the best pages in modern pop music," said the newspaper, which has recently tried to shake off its stuffy image by covering popular culture events such as the Oscars and inviting articles from Muslim and Jewish contributors.
Even to say "who cares" would necessitate me to feign more interest than I can actually muster.

What caught my eye in this brief blurb, if the Telegraph is to be believed, is that L'Osservatore Romano is taking its own stab at "aggiornamento." It seems delicious that like the institution for which they report, any attempt at relevance by modern standards has as its primary fruit the promotion of the totally irrelevant.

It is sadly didactic that in forty years of reading its own pages, the editors of this venerable newspaper have managed to learn exactly nothing.

The Culture of Death and Miracle of Life



Remember Haleigh Poutre. She’s the little girl who was nearly beaten to death by her stepfather and then nearly killed by her doctors and the state in their attempts to remove her from her ventilator. But due to the thanks of many, Haleigh Poutre is alive.

Haleigh awoke from her vegetative state and is now writing her name, brushing her hair, and even feeding herself.

This is must-see video. It will break your heart and inspire you but most of all I hope it reminds us all to never accept the culture of death.

HT Culture 11

Today On CMR - November 21, 2008

Fr. Barron on Advent (and Road Rage)
—The spiritual solution to traffic jams!

Palin Pardons Turkey But Not All Of Them
—Sarah Palin teaches horrified mainstream media how the turkey gets from the farm to the plate.

Roseanne Barr: Give Jerusalem To Vatican
—Anti-Catholic and schizophrenic is a bad combo.

Town Official Attacks Catholics -On Video!
—Democrat officials learns that if you're going to be stupid don't be stupid on video.

Part 5: Architectural Theology at the New Saint Michael Church
—Part 5 in a series on Architectural Theology.

That's It! Al Qaeda Guilty of Hate Crime!
—Terrorists seen as threat now that they called Obama a mean name.

Down With Catholics In Name Only
—My proposed legislation to end Catholics in Name Only.



eHarmony Succumbs to Gay Pressure Group
—The moral of the story is that morals are not allowed in the public sphere.

Fr. Barron on the "YouTube Heresies"
—One of Father Barron's best.

Can I Pray For A Smiting?
—Kathleen Parker needs a good smiting and I have some ideas.

Update: New Chapel at OL of Gudalupe Seminary
—One of the earliest full-fledged buildings of the Catholic New Classical Movement is underway.