Friday, August 31, 2007

Digest of Today's Posts (31 August 2007)

  • Catholic Priest Offers Festival-Goers the Chance to Confess Their Green Sins

  • Michael Denton's First Newspaper Column

  • Rock for Life Corrects Times of London: Christina Aguilera Actually Supports Abortion

  • Knute Rockne, Notre Dame, and the Eucharist

  • Republican Presidential Candidates Debate Will Focus on Questions From 40 Pro-Family Leaders

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (30 August 2007))


    Catholic Priest Offers Festival-Goers the Chance to Confess Their Green Sins

    From The Times of London:
    Forgotten to recycle any newspapers or tin cans recently? Feeling guilty because you neglected to carbon offset your flight to somewhere, anywhere, outside England this summer?

    The Roman Catholic Church is at hand with a new line in “green confessions” to help eco-sinners to find forgiveness.

    Dom Anthony Sutch, the Benedictine monk who resigned as head of Downside School to become a parish priest in Suffolk, will be at the county’s Waveney Greenpeace festival this weekend to hear eco-confessions in what is thought to be the first dedicated confessional booth of its kind.

    Vested in a green chasuble-style garment made from recycled curtains, and in a booth constructed of recycled doors, he will hear the sins of of those who have not recycled the things they ought to have done and who have consumed the things they ought not to have done.

    Father Sutch tries to practise what he preaches but has turned the heating down so low at his church of St Benet’s that at least one parishioner has fled to the warmer care of a neighbouring priest for winter services.

    He told The Times: “It is not, I hope, blasphemous to do this. I do not think it is. It is just an attempt to make people conscious of the way they live. The Church is aware of green issues and of how aware we have to be of how we treat the environment.

    My Comments:
    And so we have real Catholic priests who will make light of a real Catholic sacrament in order to advance the pseudo-religion of Environmentalism.

    The Curt Jester offers his take on this story.

    UPDATE #2
    On a related note, see Gerald Augustinus' "Global warming as dogma". (Hat tip: Custos Fidei)

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    Michael Denton's First Newspaper Column

    Michael Denton of For the Greater Glory has had his first column, "Louisiana Needs an Exorcist for a Governor", which addresses the Democrats' anti-Catholic smear of Bobby Jindal, published in LSU's The Daily Reveille. Check it out.

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    Rock for Life Corrects Times of London: Christina Aguilera Actually Supports Abortion

    False alarm. Looks like it's okay to go back to thinking of Aguilera as a skank:
    LONDON, August 30, 2007 ( - The Times of London has been corrected by US pro-life group Rock for Life after it claimed that a US pop singer is pro-life. On August 25, the Times newspaper ran the headline "Pro-life Rockers Clash with Amnesty," and claimed that the decision of the international rights organisation to support abortion as a "human right" was clashing with some well-known rock and pop stars who opposed abortion.

    The pop singers, Christina Aguilera and Avril Lavigne, the Times claimed, had "made statements against abortion," and were "among contributors to an Amnesty CD released to raise money for survivors of the atrocities in Darfur".

    Erik Whittington, head of American Life League's Rock for Life, however, contacted independently, correcting the Times. He wrote in an email that the Times had "attributed information to me that was actually meant to be attributed to themselves."

    "I never said that Aguilera or Lavigne were pro-life. Actually Aguilera is a well known abortion supporter," Whittington said.

    Indeed, in 2004, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, recruited Aguilera, along with other American celebrities to participate in an abortion rally. Planned Parenthood, along with the National Organisation of Women, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Black Women's Health Imperative, the Feminist Majority, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health enlisted the support of a large list of Hollywood celebrities to boost attendance at their April 25 "March for Women's Lives" promotional event.


    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Pro-Life Rockers Clash with ShAmnesty International

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    Knute Rockne, Notre Dame, and the Eucharist

    Dave Hartline reports:
    As College Football Season Gets Underway, Few Know The History Of How Knute Rockne A Norwegian Lutheran Came Into The Church. It Was His Players Devotion To The Eucharist

    One of those stories one may never hear since it describes the faith of Knute Rockne. Though his wife and children were Catholic, Rockne never felt compelled to convert until the mid 1920s. Rockne wondered why some of his players were leaving very early in the morning from their dorms. He thought they might be doing something detrimental to themselves but as the story goes, they were going to early Mass. He asked them why they got up so early. After their response about the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ Rockne started going to Mass. Soon there after he was received into the Church. Again, the faithful witness of some of his players brought him to the Church. A lesson for us all.

    Remarks of President Ronald Reagan at the Unveiling of the Knute Rockne Commemorative Stamp at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, March 9, 1988:
    ... And that inner strength is what Notre Dame and the legend of Rockne are all about. You know, so much is said about Rockne's influence on his ballplayers, but actually he liked to talk about their influence on him. In his autobiography, he described his inability to sleep one night before a big game. So, he was up early in the lobby and saw 2 of his boys come down the stairs and go out, and then others came and followed them. And though he had a pretty good idea of what was going on, he decided to follow along. ``They didn't realize it,'' he said in his diary, ``but these youngsters were making a powerful impression on me.'' And he said, ``When I saw them walking up to the Communion rail to receive and realized the hours of sleep they had sacrificed, I understood what a powerful ally their religion was to them in their work on the football field.''

    And after Rockne found -- here at Notre Dame -- his own religious faith, a friend of his at the University of Maryland asked him if he minded telling him about it. ``Why should I mind telling you?'' he said. ``You know all this hurry and battling we're going through is just an expression of our inner selves striving for something else. The way I look at it is that we're all here to try and find, each in his own way, the best road to our ultimate goal. I believe I've found my way, and I shall travel it to the end.'' And travel it to the end he did. And when they found him in the Kansas cornfield where the plane had gone down, they also found next to him a prayer book and at his fingertips the rosary of Notre Dame, the rosary of Our Lady. Someone put it so well at the time: Knute Rockne did more spiritual good than a thousand preachers. His career was a sermon in right living.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Annual College Football Kickoff Post

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    Republican Presidential Candidates Debate Will Focus on Questions From 40 Pro-Family Leaders

    From LifeSiteNews:
    Values Voter Presidential Debate" scheduled for Monday, September 17th at 7:30 p.m.

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida, August 30, 2007 ( - Pro-family advocates may soon have a chance to see where Republican candidates stand on American values in September's upcoming "Values Voter Presidential Debate."

    The debate is scheduled for Monday, September 17th at 7:30 p.m. at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Seven out of nine Republican candidates have indicated they plan to participate in the event, however their names have not yet been released to the general public.

    Questions will be fielded to participating candidates from among 40 pro-family leaders include such notables as Phyllis Schlafly, President of Eagle Forum, Don Wildmon, Chairman of the American Family Association, Paul Weyrich, President of the Free Congress Foundation, Mat Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel, Bobby Schindler of Terri's Fight, Janet Folger, President of Faith2Action, Rick Scarborough, President of Vision America, Judge Roy Moore and many others.

    The debate intends to give "Values Voters" a means to ask the Republican candidates hard-hitting questions on life and family. Pro-family advocates can send their own suggested questions for the appearing candidates by e-mailing Faith2Action at The debate will also conduct a straw poll among registered viewers of the debate, and be used to develop a video voter guide/DVD for distribution.

    A Democratic version of the debate would have been held the following week, except that all candidates declined the invitation.
    [ED.: So much for the Democrats' stated desire of reaching out to "values voters". They must have had a prior commitment.]

    (emphasis and editorial commentary added)

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    Thursday, August 30, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (30 August 2007)

  • Annual College Football Kickoff Post

  • Good News From Notre Dame

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (29 August 2007))


    Annual College Football Kickoff Post

    At last! That most glorious time of the year is finally upon us.

    In addition to the Liturgical Calendar, I generally mark the seasons by which sport just happens to be played at that particular moment. By that measure, the autumnal quarter of the year must easily be judged the grandest of them all by virtue alone of the sumptious bacchanalia of pigskin served up across college campuses (campi?) every Saturday afternoon.

    In a feast that is almost religious by nature, Every Saturday in Autumn, Americans in every walk of life go on pilgrimages to Saturday Shrines and Autumn's Cathedrals to participate in the Rites of Autumn:

    Saturday afternoons in autumn. For more than a century they have stood as the showcase for what has become a true American ritual, a time reserved for one of the most richly colorful, spirited, and vibrantly exciting sports in all the world - college football.

    Baseball has its summer, pro football its Sundays and Monday nights, basketball its winters indoors, but tradition and college football's passionate following have indisputably claimed that first day of each autumn weekend.

    There are few spectacles in the sporting world to match the ceremony of an Army-Navy game, the color of a Rose Bowl pageant, the emotion when a chorus of thousands rings out with the Notre Dame fight song, the splendor of a tailgate party at a Texas-Oklahoma game, the beauty of the USC cheerleaders, or simply the great games that have been played and the extraordinary performances that have been given on college football fields over the years.

    ~ Richard Whittingham, Introduction to Rites of Autumn

    College football has always been something very special, with its heritage, its pageantry, and especially with the intensity of competition found on all levels. It has a spirit to it that lives; it has tradition that is unshakable.

    As a boy in Cincinnati I followed college football, especially Ohio State and Notre Dame. I had my heroes: Hopalong Cassady at Ohio State, Johnny Lujack and Johnny Lattner at Notre Dame, Pete Dawkins at Army, Joe Bellino at Navy. I dreamed of playing in college myself, and the dream came true.

    ~ Roger Staubach, Foreword to Rites of Autumn
    And so, as we prepare for this evening's official college football kickoff, followed by this Saturday's fare of fall-flavored football festivities, I leave you with some links to the coverage of the 2007 college football season by two of the more prominent players in the sports media. Enjoy the season.

    Sports Illustrated's coverage:

  • With college football's first game less than 24 hours away,'s Stewart Mandel provides 10 burning questions for opening weekend, talks about ND, West Virginia, USC and more.
  •'s experts make their '07 predictions
  • Top 20 games to watch this season

  • ESPN's coverage:

  • ESPN U - 2007 College Football Preview
  • Weis, Irish have plenty to prove this season
  • Top 25 Overview
  • The Nation's Best: Seventh Annual Herbie Awards (ED.: Must read)

    Eric Scheske of The Daily Eudemon has compiled a great list of college football quotes.

    UPDATE #2 (31 August)
    Fearless Prognostications - Making Fun of America's Colleges and Universities for Years
    (Hat tip: RobK at Kyrie Eleison)

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Some Fine Quality Student Athletes at "Big Blue"

    Bo Schembechler, Rest In Peace

    BS* ... errrr ...BCS Poll Comes Out - Ohio State # 1

    Sports Illustrated: Who's Got the Best Fight Song?

    QB Jimmy Clausen Commits to Fighting Irish

    Great College Football Weekend

    College Fight Songs - Comments Requested

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    Good News From Notre Dame

    (Hat tip: Custos Fidei)

    Be sure to read Dave Hartline's interview of Holy Cross Father Peter Rocca, Rector of Notre Dame's Basilica Of The Sacred Heart, over at The Catholic Report.

    Sounds like some great things are happening on the campus of Notre Dame - and I'm not talking about the football team, which appears to be in for a "rebuilding" year. I'm hoping to take my 2 boys, Jamie and Aidan, for a visit (and, if we can score some tickets, a football game) sometime this fall.

    Go Irish!

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    Wednesday, August 29, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (29 August 2007)

  • I Shouldn't Let This Day Come to a Close ...

  • HUGO’S EGO - Chávez Steps Up His Attacks on Venezuela's Catholics

  • A Strange Way to Woo Religious Voters

  • John Allen: "Evangelical Catholicism Triumphant"

  • First Things on "God’s Different Warriors"

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (28 August 2007))


    I Shouldn't Let This Day Come to a Close ...

    ... without wishing my beloved wife a happy birthday.

    Happy Birthday, Sarah! I love you.

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    HUGO’S EGO - Chávez Steps Up His Attacks on Venezuela’s Catholics

    Alejandro Bermudez writes about the overblown ego of Pro Ecclesia's favorite Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ in the September 2-8, 2007 issue of the National Catholic Register:
    CARACAS, Venezuela — Headlines began questioning the ego of the president of Venezuela after a rambling Aug. 16 speech in which, according to Reuters, he “anointed himself president for life.”

    Andrés Oppenheimer, the noted Latin American analyst of The Miami Herald, once said that Hugo Chávez’s ego grows proportionally to the price of oil.

    Time seems to be substantiating not only Oppenheimer’s law, but also the corollary postulated by Venezuelan Bishop Baltazar Porras: Chávez’s Catholicism diminishes as his ego expands.

    In fact, not only has the Catholic Church become the primary target of the Venezuelan leader’s frequent diatribes against his perceived opponents, he now is renouncing his Catholic identity.

    In 1998, Chávez described himself as a “practicing Catholic,” who refrained from taking Communion only because he was divorced and remarried illicitly.

    But this June, he described himself quite differently. “I believe in Christ and his social doctrine and just like Fidel [Castro], I believe that a socialist project can be built out of Christian principles,” he said.

    “I do not pray; I just make the Sign of the Cross, but I don’t believe in the Catholic Church, especially in some of its most absurd dogmas, such as the Resurrection, heaven or hell,” he added during one of his weekly radio and television shows, “Aló Presidente.”

    (emphasis added)

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Makes Himself "President for Life"

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Replaces Statue of Virgin Mary with Bust of Che Guevara

    What I Got at the Revolution

    Hollywood's Love Affair with Commie Thug Dicatators Continues

    Venezuelan Cardinal Tells Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™: "Your Way Has Been Tried and Found Wanting"

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ to "Build Heaven Here on Earth"

    Going Off On Citgo

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Pounds Shoe on Podium at U.N.

    Venezuela's [Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™] Chávez Urges Pope to be More Careful With His Words

    Venezuela, Syria Join Forces Against "American Imperialism"

    Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Hugo Chávez Says Israel's Action in Lebanon "Worse" Than Hitler

    Israel's Critics Hail Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ Hugo Chávez

    Pro-US Candidate Wins Landslide in Colombia

    Saint Hugo - the Religious Left Begins its Embrace of [Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™] Hugo Chávez

    Pope Tells Castro-Loving Commie Bastard™ to Get With the Program

    Robertson's Remarks On Chavez Shock Baptists

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    A Strange Way to Woo Religious Voters

    Michael Gerson writes in The Washington Post:
    The Democratic Party has undertaken an ostentatious outreach to religious voters, creating a Faith Advisory Council and cultivating clergy around the country. But these efforts might be more credible if Democrats were not simultaneously trying to incite conflict between Roman Catholics and Protestants in Louisiana -- and managing to offend both groups in the process.

    According to a recent television ad run by the Louisiana Democratic Party, the leading Republican candidate for governor, Bobby Jindal, has "insulted thousands of Louisiana Protestants" by describing their beliefs as "scandalous, depraved, selfish and heretical." Jindal, the attack goes on, "doubts the morals and questions the beliefs of Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Pentecostals and other Protestant religions."

    The ad is theologically ignorant -- Methodism and the others are not "religions," they are denominations. The main problem, however, is that the ad stretches the truth so phyllo-thin it can only be called a smear.

    Jindal -- a convert to Christianity from a Hindu background -- has none of the politician's typical reticence on religion. "I'm proud of my faith," he told me in a phone interview. "I believe in God, that Jesus died and rose. I can't divide my public and private conscience. I can't stop being a Christian, and wouldn't want to for a moment of the day."

    And Jindal's chosen tradition is a muscular Roman Catholicism. In an article published in the 1990s, he argued, "The same Catholic Church which infallibly determined the canon of the Bible must be trusted to interpret her handiwork; the alternative is to trust individual Christians, burdened with, as Calvin termed it, their 'utterly depraved' minds, to overcome their tendency to rationalize, their selfish desires, and other effects of original sin." And elsewhere: "The choice is between Catholicism's authoritative Magisterium and subjective interpretation which leads to anarchy and heresy."

    This is the whole basis for the Democratic attack -- that Jindal holds an orthodox view of his own faith and rejects the Protestant Reformation. He has asserted, in short, that Roman Catholicism is correct -- and that other religious traditions, by implication, are prone to error...

    This Democratic ad is not merely a tin-eared political blunder; it reveals a secular, liberal attitude: that strong religious beliefs are themselves a kind of scandal; that a vigorous defense of Roman Catholicism is somehow a gaffe.

    On the evidence of the Louisiana ad, Democrats have learned little about the religious and political trends of the last few decades. For all its faults, the religious right built strong ties between conservative Catholics and conservative Protestants on issues such as abortion and family values, after centuries of mutual suspicion. Evangelicals gained a deep affection for Pope John Paul II and respect for Catholic conservatives such as Justice Antonin Scalia. And conservative Protestants recognize that secularist attacks on Catholic convictions are really attacks on all religious convictions and could easily be turned their way.

    (emphasis added)

    My Comments:
    Let me repeat that in case you didn't catch it the first time:
    This Democratic ad is not merely a tin-eared political blunder; it reveals a secular, liberal attitude: that strong religious beliefs are themselves a kind of scandal; that a vigorous defense of Roman Catholicism is somehow a gaffe.
    Yes, we all know what liberals in general and the Democrats in particular think of "deeply held religious beliefs".

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Louisiana Democrat "Know-Nothings" Attack Jindal

    Dems Go After Jindal's Catholicism & Ethnicity

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    John Allen: "Evangelical Catholicism Triumphant"

    (Hat tip: Custos Fidei)

    There are people who would never otherwise dirty their fingers with the newsprint from National Catholic Reporter who, nevertheless, will sing the praises of the Reporter's man at the Vatican, John Allen.

    For me, the jury's still out. Allen seems fair-minded, but every once in a while he writes something that has me scratching my head and wondering what his agenda is.

    The following piece is one of those moments. Allen uses the term "Evangelical Catholicism" to describe the traditional elements within the Church as opposed to the more "progressive" elements in the Church, which he describes as "Liberal Catholicism". And I'm left wondering: "What's Allen's angle here - why is he trying to link the traditional elements within the Church to evangelicalism?

    Here's an excerpt - see if you can make anything of it:
    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (National Catholic Reporter) – History always cuts deeper than headlines, a point that clearly applies to recent Vatican moves to dust off the old Latin Mass and to declare Catholicism the one true church. Beneath the upheaval triggered by those decisions lies a profound shift in the church’s geological plates, and perhaps the best way of describing the resulting earthquake is as the triumph of evangelical Catholicism.

    Beginning with the election of Pope John Paul II in 1978, Catholicism has become a steadily more evangelical church – uncompromising and unabashedly itself. Evangelical Catholicism today dominates the church’s leadership class, and it feeds on the energy of a strong grass-roots minority.

    Proposing a Catholic counterpart to evangelical Protestantism may seem the ultimate in apples-and-oranges comparison, especially since some evangelicals would view being lumped in with the pope as tantamount to fighting words. Yet in a secularized, pluralistic world in which Christianity is no longer the air people breathe, Protestants and Catholics face the same crucial question: Should the relationship between church and culture be a two-way street, as most liberals say, with the church adjusting teachings and structures in light of the signs of the times? Or is the problem not so much a crisis of structures but a crisis of nerve, as most evangelicals believe, with the antidote being bold proclamation of timeless truths?

    Liberal Catholicism enjoyed a heyday from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, and it’s not about to die off, overeager prophecies in some circles notwithstanding. During the last quarter-century, however, the evangelicals have won most of the fights in terms of official Catholic policy. Whether that’s a rollback on reform or the emergence of a “new, sane modernity,” as Pope Benedict XVI claims, is a matter for debate, but there’s no mistaking which way the winds are blowing.

    (emphasis added)
    Allen then discusses "the Vatican’s twin blows for traditional Catholic identity [which] have produced both consternation and delight": the motu proprio and the declaration from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith declaring the Catholic Church to be the Church.

    Okay, now here's where it gets dodgy and has me thinking "Okay, what's he up to?". Allen goes off on a tangent claiming that "such robust assertions of tradition" are "implied in Evangelicals and Catholics Together, a project of former Nixon aide and prominent evangelical Charles Colson and Father Richard John Neuhaus, a Catholic convert from Lutheranism." (emphasis added)

    Huh? What does what is essentially an American political coalition between conservative Catholics and Evangelicals have to do with tradition-oriented Vatican policy and Church teaching? Draw your own conclusions as to what Allen is getting at, but, among other things, I do think this betrays, once again, the prevailing America-centric ethos of the National Catholic Reporter.

    Allen continues by attempting to define this "Evangelical Catholicism":
    The evangelical impulse isn’t exactly “conservative,” because there’s little cultural Catholicism these days left to conserve. Instead, it’s a way of pitching classical Catholic faith [ED.: So, why not use "Classical Catholicism"] and practice in the context of pluralism, making it modern and traditional all at once.

    ... in terms of their broad underlying concerns, the evangelical agenda ... pivots on three major issues: authority, the centrality of key doctrines and Christian exclusivity. If so, there’s little doubt that Catholicism under John Paul II and Benedict XVI has become ever more boldly evangelical.

    To be clear, evangelical Catholicism isn’t fundamentalism. Benedict, after all, recently jettisoned limbo – understood as the eternal resting place of unbaptized babies – as a theological hypothesis that had outlived its usefulness. Yet just as Protestant evangelicals stay closely tethered to the Bible, evangelical Catholics strongly affirm the magisterium, meaning the church’s teaching authority.

    (emphasis added)
    Again, huh? Why are those concerns "evangelical" as opposed to "Catholic" or, if you will, "traditional Catholic"?

    Why the term "evangelical"? Is it merely to avoid using the term "traditional" with all of its connotations? If so, then why not use "conservative", which has connotations of its own but has been the term Allen has used in the past? There is Allen's assertion that this "impulse isn’t exactly 'conservative,' because there’s little cultural Catholicism these days left to conserve". Perhaps that explains it. Or, perhaps, Allen has taken to heart the criticism that the Reporter's coverage of divisions within the Church mirrors too much the divisions in the American polity - in that case, "conservative" also has connotations that Allen might want to avoid. But then, why does he use the term "Liberal Catholicism"? And as far as loaded terms with all sorts of connotations go, it's pretty difficult to find a more loaded word these days than "evangelical". So, I'm at a loss as to what's up.

    Please go read the whole thing. I would appreciate any feedback as to what readers think might be Allen's purpose behind using the term "evangelical" to describe this version of Catholicism.

    NB: As a former evangelical myself, I do not take issue with evangelicalism. Nor do I have any quarrel with those Catholics who have described themselves as "Evangelical Catholics", many of whom I hold in the deepest respect and whom I believe have much to offer. And I have absolutely no desire to reignite the debates over the meaning of "Evangelical Catholicism" that ravaged much of St. Blog's earlier this year.

    Suffice it to say that Allen is writing to a particular audience, and that audience has a particular point of view regarding evangelicals, especially conservative ones. In that context, I am suspicious of an attempt to paint a perceived direction in Vatican policy and in the Church itself with the brush of "Evangelical Catholicism", especially when there is an attempt to link such a direction in the Church with American conservative political coalitions.

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    First Things on "God’s Different Warriors"

    Nathaniel Peters writes at the First Things blog On the Square:
    Angry protestors line the sidewalk of a San Francisco street. Behind barricades and a line of policemen, they vent their rage at a group of young Christians in town for a rally. Cries of “Christian fascist” fly across the road, and on the other side, a teenager leads her group in a prayer: “God, I ask that as we do this BattleCry, Lord, that you would reveal yourself to the teenagers, God, here, God.” “They don’t belong here,” one of the San Franciscan protestors, quivering with anger, tells Christiane Amanpour, the host of CNN’s recent three-part series God’s Warriors.

    “This is the intersection of the secular and the religious world,” Amanpour solemnly intones. And so it is—or, at least, an intersection between the extremes of those worlds. The San Francisco scene appeared toward the end of the third installment of God’s Warriors, which aired on August 23. Amanpour, who spent eight months gathering interviews around the United States and the Middle East, made three reports on how groups on the fringes of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity work their religious beliefs into modern society. God’s Warriors did not offer much that was new, at least for those who have been keeping tabs on religion in public life. It did, however, serve as a reminder of how the three faiths differ in the ways they enter the public square.

    When speaking in her own voice, Amanpour generally echoes the claims heard often in the media. In the first installment, for instance, she begins by defining the common trait of all three types: “They have in common . . . the belief that modern society has lost its way. They say that God is the answer. They want God part of their daily lives, back in the seat of power.”

    And yet, despite her occasional bias, Christiane Amanpour’s interviews with the warriors themselves are interesting and informative—especially since, in those interviews, we see more differences than similarities among the three faiths...

    Toward the end of the final segment of God’s Warriors, Christiane Amanpour speaks to Mindy Peterson, a teenage organizer for Teen Mania, the evangelical organization that hosted the BattleCry rally against which the San Francisco protestors railed. Peterson is, she says, the product of an affair between her mother and an abortionist who wanted to have her aborted. Arguments over abortion, therefore, are more than political theory for Mindy Peterson. After the San Francisco protest, Peterson told Amanpour, “These people think that our war is against other people. They think that our war is against man. And our war isn’t. Our war’s against . . . the pain in teenagers’ hearts, like depression, alcoholism. Those things that—that are, like, tearing our teenagers apart.”


    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Amanpour's "God's Warriors" Airs on CNN

    San Francisco: Intolerant City

    California Assemblyman Calls Evangelical Youth "Loud ... Obnoxious ... Disgusting"

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    Tuesday, August 28, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (28 August 2007)

  • Ohio GI Killed in Afghanistan Described as "Devout Catholic Family Man"

  • Back to School - 1st Day of Kindergarten

  • Stand-Up Comic Sparks Outrage at Villanova U.

  • Christian Science Monitor Profile of Sen. Joseph Biden's "Frank and Abiding Faith"

  • Okay, I'm Going to Say Something Controversial ...

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (27 August 2007))


    Ohio GI Killed in Afghanistan Described as "Devout Catholic Family Man"

    From The Toledo Blade:
    A career soldier who died in Afghanistan last week was described by his family as a devout Catholic and a committed family man who saw service to his country as his duty.

    Army Sgt. 1st Class Daniel E. Miller, 43, originally of Thornville, Ohio, near Buckeye Lake east of Columbus, died Friday near Herat, Afghanistan, when the Humvee in which he was riding overturned.

    The father of six children ranging in age from 13 years to 7 months, Sergeant Miller was deployed in Afghanistan as an advanced individual trainer on what was to be his last tour of duty before retirement, his brother-in-law, Jerry Ulm, said.

    Sergeant Miller returned stateside and visited his wife's family in northwest Ohio in June while on leave.

    "That was the last time, the only time, he got to see his 7-month-old daughter," Mr. Ulm said.

    Military services for Sergeant Miller are being planned for later this week out of state. Local services and burial are pending at St. Rose Church in Perrysburg, Mr. Ulm said.
    Requiescat in pace.

    UPDATE (30 August)
    For more information, see this post at Disciple of the Dumb Ox.

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    Back to School - 1st Day of Kindergarten

    Today was Jamie's 1st day of Kindergarten at Norwalk Catholic School. What a big boy!

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    Stand-Up Comic Sparks Outrage at Villanova U.

    From Philadelphia's Action News 6:
    August 27, 2007 - There were plenty of red faces at Villanova University over the weekend. That's because of a lot of blue language by a comic at a school welcome event.

    The comedy show was part of freshman orientation held last Friday night, but the comedian hired by the orientation committee of staff and students got the hook 15 minutes into his hour and a half show.

    Los Angeles-based comedian Steve Trevino is billed as one of the countries up and coming comics, but when he took the stage at the Pavilion, incoming Villanova freshman and staff weren't laughing for very long.

    "At some point, it was just too offensive. I didn't like what he was saying at all, especially the racial jokes," said Jessona McDonald.

    McDonald is one of many students who walked out during the barrage of bad language, including the n-word and racist and sexist humor.

    University officials say they hired Trevino after they saw a benign tape of his work and he promised a clean show.

    "We have a contract and we say we are a Catholic university. We have standards that we want met. Even when he was here that day, we talked about having a PG-13 show. So, we really did the things that we normally do.
    It was very upsetting. He was very offensive," said Kathy Byrnes, and assistant vice president of student life.

    After 15 minutes the show was stopped and Trevino asked to leave the stage.

    (emphasis added)
    My Comments:
    And, of course, there was absolutely nothing out there to tip off anyone at Villanova beforehand that this individual might not be an appropriate guest to do his stand-up routine at a Catholic university.

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    Christian Science Monitor Profile of Sen. Joseph Biden's "Frank and Abiding Faith"

    The Christian Science Monitor's puff piece claims that Joe Biden's "Catholic ideals of fighting the abuse of power have shaped the life and politics of the presidential hopeful":
    Washington - From his childhood bedroom in a treeless industrial suburb of Wilmington, Del., Joe Biden looked out on Archmere, an Italianate mansion and Catholic boys high school that he called "the object of my deepest desire, my Oz."

    Archmere was also the home of financier John Jacob Raskob, who ran the 1928 campaign of Gov. Al Smith (D) of New York, the first Roman Catholic to become the presidential nominee of a major US political party.

    Against long odds, Senator Biden aims to be No. 4. He sees faith and values, as well as his own deep experience in public policy, as a key to that race.

    "The animating principle of my faith, as taught to me by church and home, was that the cardinal sin was abuse of power," he said in an interview with the Monitor. "It was not only required as a good Catholic to abhor and avoid abuse of power, but to do something to end that abuse."
    [ED.: And yet, you fight to defend - indeed, it could be said that your role in "borking" Judge Robert Bork is, in part, responsible for - the greatest abuse of power in the world today: the murder of the most innocent and powerless among us via legalized abortion. Save your sanctimonious ******** about defending the powerless, you disingenuous hypocrite!]

    The issues that have most engaged Biden in public life draw on those teachings [ED.: Yeah, too bad you've been engaged on the wrong side when it comes to abortion and ESCR.], from halting violence against women to genocide [ED.: Somehow the genocide of the unborn seems to have escaped his notice]. At a personal level, his faith provides him peace, he says. "I get comfort from carrying my rosary [ED.: In case I need to shove it down any Republican throats.], going to mass every Sunday. It's my time alone," he says.

    But the interface of faith and policy has long been problematic for Catholic presidential hopefuls. Governor Smith faced withering criticism over whether Catholic politicians are obliged by their church to take policy orders from Rome. John F. Kennedy famously disavowed "outside religious pressures or dictates," swept the Catholic vote, and won the presidency. By the time another J.F.K. from Massachusetts ran for president in 2004, the ground had shifted. Sen. John F. Kerry lost the Catholic vote because many of his faith questioned whether he was Catholic enough, given his strong support for abortion rights.

    But Biden believes he can bridge much of that divide. "My views are totally consistent with Catholic social doctrine,"
    [ED.: What a piece of work! "Totally consistent with Catholic social doctrine" - yeah, abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, etc., etc., are just what Catholic social teaching calls for. What chutzpah!] says Biden, a six-term Democratic senator from Delaware. "There are elements within the church who say that if you are at odds with any of the teachings of the church, you are at odds with the church. I think the church is bigger than that." [ED.: Self-serving tripe.]

    In the Biden family, children were taught to respect the habit, but not necessarily the person in it. As a boy, Biden took endless ribbing from classmates for a stutter he later overcame. Much of the time, the nuns tried to help. But when a seventh-grade teacher mimicked Bu-bu-bu-bu-bu-Biden's stutter in front of the class, his mother, Jean, demanded a meeting with the principal and the offending nun. "If you ever speak to my son like that again, I'll come back and rip that bonnet off your head," she said. Later, when then-Senator Biden told her he was going to visit the pope, she said: "Don't you kiss his ring."
    [ED.: Nice. After all, he's only the Pope. Why should a "Catholic" show any respect for him?]

    "I was raised at a time when the Catholic Church was fertile with new ideas and open discussion about some of the basic social teaching of the Catholic Church," Biden says. "Questioning was not criticized; it was encouraged."

    He recalls a question in a ninth-grade theology class at Archmere. "How many of you questioned the doctrine of transubstantiation?" the teacher asked, referring to the teaching that the bread and wine change into the body and blood of Christ during the Eucharist. No hands were raised. Finally, Biden raised his. "Well, we have one bright man, at least," the teacher said.
    [ED.: Between his mother and this teacher, it looks like Biden had a nice AmCath education and upbringing to help set him down the primrose path.]

    On the Senate floor, the tough votes also came early and often. In his first term, Biden faced the first of many votes on whether to curtail abortion rights for women. As a freshman Democrat, he was approached by all sides. He told them that while he personally opposes abortion
    [ED.: I think if I hear another Catholic politician use that tired and discredited phrase, it's going to be I who will be shoving my Rosary beads down someone's throat!], he would not vote to overthrow the US Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that gave women the right to terminate a pregnancy. Nor, however, would he vote to use federal funds to fund abortion.

    "I don't think I have the right to impose my view – on something I accept as a matter of faith – on the rest of society," he writes in his autobiography.
    [ED.: So, the prohibition against murdering people is just "something I accept as a matter of faith"?]

    (emphasis and editorial commentary added)

    Cross-posted at Catholics in the Public Square.

    UPDATE #2
    A commenter over at Catholics in the Public Square doesn't like what I have to say about Sen. Biden (emphasis and editorial commentary added):
    I don't think I've ever read such ugliness on a blog before. [ED.: Riiiiiight. Ever spend any time over at Kos or Democrat Underground? Hell, even a devout Catholic like Mark Shea, when he gets on a roll, his stuff is waaaaaay more inflammatory than anything you'll read here. Besides, your comment is rich coming from a defender of a man who threatened to shove his Rosary beads down Republicans' throats.] Your views on abortion have obviously blinded you to all the good things Senator Biden has done as a member of the Senate [ED.: Obviously.] -- helping stop genocide in Bosnia, fighting for passage of the Violenece [sic] Against Women Act, and so much more.

    If you call yourself a Christian, you are truly a disgrace to the basic idea of Christianity.
    [ED.: I will be the first to admit that I - a sinner - am unworthy of the title "Christian".] You can't even carry on a civil discussion about a man who so obviously tries to live his faith every day as he sees his duty. [ED.: Obviously.]

    Shame on you. [ED.: Yes, don't look at the full-bodied shamefulness of a man who professes the Catholic faith and claims to defend the powerless against "abuse of power", yet who wholeheartedly supports the legalized murder of the most powerless among us; rather, look at the "ugly" and "shameful" way people point out the man's hypocrisy.]
    Look here. When a man proclaims that his "views are totally consistent with Catholic social doctrine" and professes that "the animating principle of my faith" is to defend the powerless against "the abuse of power", but then has this to say about abortion ...
    Joe Biden, a Delaware senator, got the next abortion question and indicated he "strongly supported Roe v. Wade" which allowed unlimited abortion throughout pregnancy.

    He said he would "make sure that the people I sent to be nominated to the Supreme Court shared my values" and supported pro-abortion rulings like Roe.

    "That's why I led the fight to defeat Bork. Thank God he's not on the court or this would -- Roe v. Wade would be gone by now," Biden added about the battle over a pro-life nominee for the high court defeated in the 1980s.

    Biden pointed to his opposition to Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, all of whom voted to uphold the partial-birth abortion ban.
    ... you can damn well bet that I'm going to point out his hypocrisy and disingenuous sanctimony.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Joe Biden Says Democrats Have Been Too Fearful to Discuss Religion

    Blunt Talk from Catholic Joe Biden

    Democratic Candidates for President Give Unanimous Pro-Abortion Views

    During First Debate, Democrats Back Abortion, Criticize Efforts to Save Terri Schiavo

    Media Sycophant Says: "Joe Biden Does Something Heroic"

    Could You Imagine a Prominent Republican Senator Saying This About Gen. Colin Powell?

    The Ego of the Senate

    Lie of the Day

    Biden: Chance of Filibuster on Alito Stronger

    Biden: "I'm Going To Shove My Rosary Beads Down Their Throat"

    Biden To Roberts: "You're The Best"

    Letter to the Editor

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    Okay, I'm Going to Say Something Controversial ...

    ... Imagine that. Me? Say something controversial?

    Well, here goes:

    I do not believe that Michael Vick, disgusting and inhumane as his actions were, should get any prison time. An 18-month suspended sentence with probation, a hefty fine, and something like 1000 hours of community service in a local animal shelter seems to me to be an appropriate penalty.

    And frankly, I can't justify a prison sentence for Michael Vick while that thug Ray Lewis is walking around a free man.

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    Monday, August 27, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (27 August 2007)

  • New Marriage Prep Program in My Former Diocese

  • "Reporting's Easier When You Don’t Worry About Facts"

  • Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Resigns

  • U.S. Catholic Bishops Decry ShAmnesty International Decision to Support Abortion

  • Pro-Life Rockers Clash with ShAmnesty International

  • Ted Strickland, "Hillary's Psychologist"

  • A Fellow Southern Evangelical's Journey to Rome

  • (Digest of Weekend's Posts (26 August 2007))


    New Marriage Prep Program in My Former Diocese

    (Hat tip: The Curt Jester)

    The Catholic Virginian reports:
    Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo has approved a new diocesan-wide program recommended by a committee formed to review and recommend enhancements to the diocese’s existing marriage preparation process.

    Engaged couples will still begin their marriage preparation process with the important initial meeting with their parish priest or deacon.

    Under the new structure, however, that meeting will be followed by a pre-marital inventory to assess the couple’s strengths, as well as areas that need further exploration.

    Additional components of the marriage prep process will provide engaged couples with a compelling and thorough catechesis on marriage and sexuality through a new program based on John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body,” as well as a full course in natural family planning.

    These new additions will supplement and round out the marriage preparation gained through existing programs such as Engaged Encounter, Unitas, Christian Marriage Formation, and Catholic Charities.

    A new curriculum to help standardize these programs also was approved by the Bishop. These curricular concepts and components will serve as a yardstick for the various programs to ensure quality preparation for the engaged couple.

    “Marriage preparation was an area in our diocese that needed to be strengthened and updated, and this program does that,” Bishop DiLorenzo said in late July.


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    "Reporting's Easier When You Don’t Worry About Facts"

    NewsBusters reports that Chris Wallace recently slammed Public Television's disingenuous lickspittle, Bill Moyers, for his usual shoddy reporting:
    As NewsBusters reported last Saturday, PBS's Bill Moyers went on an absolutely disgraceful rant about Karl Rove, George W. Bush, and religion during the August 17 installment of "Bill Moyers Journal."

    Two days later, Rove was Chris Wallace's guest on "Fox News Sunday," and took issue with Moyers's comments: "Mr. Moyers ought to do a little bit better research before he does another drive-by slander."

    Moyers followed this up with a letter to Wallace posted at his blog Wednesday suggesting that Wallace didn't do his homework concerning Rove, and that Wallace shouldn't "take his every word as gospel."

    This Sunday, Wallace fired back (video available here):
    He quoted four print stories for his contention that Rove is agnostic, none of which offer any proof other than what Rove supposedly told colleagues over the years.


    Well, to save on postage, Bill, here's my response. If you want to find out about someone's religious beliefs, a good first step might be to ask him. If you had talked to Rove as I did, you would have found out he reads a devotional every day and the biggest charitable contribution he ever made was to his church. Of course, you never called Rove. That's reporting 101, but it would have gotten in the way of a tasty story line about a non-believer flimflamming the Christian right. I guess, Bill, reporting is easier when you don't worry about the facts.
    (emphasis in original)


    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Bill Moyers: "Rove Turned Religion Into a Weapon of Political Combat"

    Feddie, on Behalf of Jimmy Akin, Tells Bill Moyers and His Lawyers to Go Pound Sand

    Bill Moyers - Still An Idiot After All These Years

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    Attorney General Alberto Gonzales Resigns

    From Cybercast News Service:
    ( - U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigned on Friday in a telephone call to President Bush, the New York Times reported on Monday. The formal announcement is expected to come shortly. US News and World Report reported Saturday in its Washington Whispers section that Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff would replace Gonzales, but none of that is confirmed. Gonzales has been under fire for his role in the firing of U.S. attorneys -- politically motivated, his critics have said. Even a number of Republicans have refused to defend Gonzales' job performance, although Bush has stood by him. "This was long overdue, but thank God it has come," said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Schumer, speaking to Fox News on Monday, said the Justice Department was "nonfunctioning" under Gonzales' leadership.
    My Comments:
    The one positive development that has come from Alberto Gonzales' disastrous stint at the Justice Department is that there is now no chance that the President will ever nominate that ridiculous person to sit on the Supreme Court.

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    U.S. Catholic Bishops Decry ShAmnesty International Decision to Support Abortion

    (Hat tip: Catholic World News)

    From the USCCB Office of Media Relations:
    WASHINGTON (August 24, 2007)— The U.S. bishops decried Amnesty International’s recent decision to support abortion, calling the change in the organization’s longstanding position divisive and an affront to “people in many nations, cultures and religions who share a consistent commitment to all human rights.”

    The bishops also urged the organization to reverse its policy to correct its error.

    Their position was outlined in an August 23 statement from Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    The statement follows.


    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Pro-Life Rockers Clash with ShAmnesty International

    ShAmnesty International Backs Right to Abortion Despite Church; Bishop Quits (2 Articles)

    Catholics Ask ShAmnesty International to Revoke Abortion Stance

    Vatican Urges Catholics to Stop Donating to Amnesty International

    First Things on "Amnesty International’s Dirty Little Secret"

    Just to Let You Know Where Amnesty International is Coming From

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    Pro-Life Rockers Clash with ShAmnesty International

    From The Times of London:
    Amnesty International risks alienating some of its high-profile rock star backers in the row over its decision to support women’s access to abortion.

    The group has been accused of “duping” the singers Christina Aguilera and Avril Lavigne, who have both made statements against abortion and are among contributors to an Amnesty CD released to raise money for survivors of the atrocities in Darfur.

    Two weeks ago, just two months after the album’s release, Amnesty adopted a worldwide policy to back the right of women to abortion in carefully defined circumstances — for example, when their health or life are in danger or when they have been victims of rape in areas of conflict such as Darfur.

    The policy on abortion has brought Amnesty into conflict with the Roman Catholic Church, and has shown how new divides have displaced the old left-right geopolitics that gave rise to Amnesty. The group was founded in Britain in 1961 by Peter Benenson, a radical socialist lawyer and a Catholic convert, to campaign for the release of prisoners of conscience.

    Now Rock for Life, a collaboration of musicians linked to the antiabortion movement, has accused Amnesty of using the album to promote abortion without making its intentions clear to the singers.

    But Aguilera, 26, is a devout American Catholic. She is reportedly expecting her first child and has taken part in a television show in which she interviewed a teenager who had kept her baby rather than have an abortion.

    Lavigne, 22, is a French-Canadian from a tight-knit Christian family. Her song Keep Holding On is the backing track to a pro-life video on YouTube that declares “abortion is murder”.

    Aguilera and Lavigne were unavailable for comment. An aide to Lavigne said: “I don’t think she would want to comment on this. But what has abortion to do with Amnesty? It’s for a lot of different things such as prisoners of conscience and human rights.”

    My Comments:
    I'm not a fan of either Aguilera or Lavigne, but I do have some new-found respect for them.

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    ShAmnesty International Backs Right to Abortion Despite Church; Bishop Quits (2 Articles)

    Catholics Ask ShAmnesty International to Revoke Abortion Stance

    Vatican Urges Catholics to Stop Donating to Amnesty International

    First Things on "Amnesty International’s Dirty Little Secret"

    Just to Let You Know Where Amnesty International is Coming From

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    Ted Strickland, "Hillary's Psychologist"

    Jean at Catholic Fire offers some thoughts on the possibility of Ohio Governor Ted Strickland becoming Hillary!'s running mate.

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    A Fellow Southern Evangelical's Journey to Rome

    You really should read Tertium Quid's outstanding series on his journey from evangelicalism to the Catholic faith over at From Burke to Kirk and Beyond...

    In fact, you really should be reading From Burke to Kirk and Beyond... on a daily basis.

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    Sunday, August 26, 2007

    Digest of Weekend's Posts (26 August 2007)

    Sunday, 26 August
  • University Linguists Working to Preserve Historic "Texas German" Dialect

  • Fr. Finigan in Scotland

  • Introit - "Laudate Dominum"

  • (Digest of Friday's Posts (24 August 2007))


    University Linguists Working to Preserve Historic "Texas German" Dialect

    From The Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
    AUSTIN -- Although stories of der Cowboy and die Stinkkatze mayno longer get told in Texas, Germanic linguistics professor Hans Boas wants to make sure nobody forgets them.

    Boas, an assistant professor at the University of Texas, is the founder and manager of the Texas German Preservation Project. Every month or so Boas ventures forth from his campus office in Austin to small towns like Boerne, Fredericksburg and Crawford to conduct interviews with the dwindling number of old-timers who speak the odd mixture of English and 19th-century German.

    It's a dialect unique to the Lone Star State, and most of the 8,000 or so remaining speakers are in their 60s, 70s or 80s. Their numbers are expected to dwindle precipitously over the next few years, and Boas says that by 2040, the dialect will probably be gone.

    And so die Stinkkatze -- the Texas German word for skunk -- and der Cowboy will become just a memory.

    My Comments:
    The most important "Texas German" words to know:

    Shiner Bock


    Fr. Finigan in Scotland

    Head on over to The Hermeneutic of Continuity to see several posts (with lots of photos) about Fr. Tim Finigan's recent travels in Scotland.

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    Introit - "Laudate Dominum"

    I came home from Mass today with the intention of writing a blog post titled "Introit", when I discovered that Rich Leonardi had already beaten me to the punch.

    I was pleasantly surprised to hear "Laudate Dominum", fantastically accompanied on piano by the multi-talented Alex Fries, and on a variety of other musical instruments by several other outstanding youth from our parish.

    Rich, on the other hand, was greeted by this:
    Gather us in -- the lost and forsaken! ...

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    Friday, August 24, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (24 August 2007)

  • Some Fine Quality Student Athletes at "Big Blue"

  • Packin' Padre

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (23 August 2007))


    Some Fine Quality Student Athletes at "Big Blue"

    We're still a week away from the official kickoff of the greatest sport in the history of the world - college football. And my annual official kickoff blog post won't come until next week.

    But in honor of the upcoming season, I just couldn't resist a link to this story about the facebook profile for a fine student athlete up at the University of Michigan - Marques “Grand Marques” Slocum. [EXTREME VULGARITY ALERT!]

    Wow. That's class and then some. By far not the most offensive entry in the facebook profile, but arguably the most relevant given recent news events:
    Q: Are you a cat or a dog person?

    A: im f****n wit a rock [Rotweiller?] or a pit [Pit Bull?] just so it can cha cat
    Now, I have no idea what this U of M scholar has just said, but in light of the Michael Vick imbroglio, I have to stop and wonder just what Mr. "Grand Marques" plans on doing with a "rock" or a "pit" that can "cha cat".

    Generally, it's The Ohio State University who is being raked over the coals by Michigan fans for the quality of its so-called student athletes (see, e.g., former OSU running back Maurice Clarett). It's good to see that at least they're keeping it clean (and "keepin' it real") up in Ann Arbor.

    Here's another entry:
    Q: Walking past a beggar, spare change or ignore?

    A: shit ima be askin him 4 sum change
    Alright, I'll give some credit to the "Grand Marques" on that one. Given the virtual pauper status that the NCAA forces upon student athletes in order to keep schools and alumni from cheating, that IS funny.

    Oh, and here's an awsome photoshop of the "Grand Marques" that someone at another blog put together.

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    Packin' Padre

    Fr. Erik Richtsteig of Orthometer shows off his newly acquired Springfield Model 1861 repilca. Nice, albeit a Yankee rifle (for standard CSA issue, see 1853 Enfield). Nice duds, too, Father.

    You'll have to head over to Fr. Richtsteig's blog to see the other photo, which will have the gun-grabbers peeing themselves.

    UPDATE (27 August)
    Fr. Richtsteig is sponsoring a caption contest for the photo above. First prize is a Mass offered for your intention. Have at it.

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    Thursday, August 23, 2007

    Digest of Today's Posts (23 August 2007)

  • President Bush Gets 20-Year-Old College Student Pregnant

  • Presidents and Abortion

  • Sandro Magister on Efforts to Eject the Holy See from the United Nations

  • "Surpass[ing] John Kerry as the Biggest Massachusetts Flip-Flopper

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (22 August 2007))


    President Bush Gets 20-Year-Old College Student Pregnant

    Dennis Byrne writes at Human Events:
    So, it has come to this: A 20-year-old Illinois college student is whining because she won’t be able to vacation in Costa Rica, because she got pregnant, because she couldn’t get birth control anymore, because it cost $20-a-month more at the university clinic, because its federal funding was cut, because President George Bush signed the Deficit Reduction Act.

    Boy, doesn’t that beat all. Bush lied to us, got us into an unnecessary war and now he got a 20-year-old pregnant and denied her the entitlement of drinking mai tais on a tropical beach.

    You can’t make this up. Here’s the August 13 story, from the Chicago Sun-Times...

    My Comments:
    It's always Bush's fault. How long before we hear stories about Bush being responsible for a college student's abortion because his policies made birth control less affordable at college health clinics?

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    Presidents and Abortion

    Daniel Allott writes at The Washington Times:
    What are pro-lifers looking for in a presidential candidate? Fed up after more than three decades of court-imposed abortion-on-demand, and now tantalizingly close to realizing the 5-4 Supreme Court majority needed to overturn Roe v. Wade, the court's decision declaring a constitutional right to abortion, pro-lifers, the conventional wisdom holds, crave just one thing: a president who will appoint pro-life judges to the Supreme Court.

    Accordingly, the Republican presidential candidates have spent the last few weeks touting the kind of judges they would appoint if elected president.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Giuliani's strategy [of promising to nominate "strict constructionists" to the bench] is founded on a false premise — that presidents cannot do much to affect abortion policy except to appoint judges. In fact, the president can do many things, both concretely and symbolically, to affect federal abortion policy other than appointing judges. Here is a partial list...

    My Comments:
    All I know is that the pro-life issue and the promise of nominating strict constructionist / originalist judges are about the only reasons that I bother to even consider the GOP.

    Well, I also know that I do not trust Rudy Giuliani on this issue, among others, and will NOT support him under any circumstances.

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    Sandro Magister on Efforts to Eject the Holy See from the United Nations

    Sandro Magister writes in Chiesa:
    ... The idea of expelling the Holy See from the concert of nations is not new. Since 1995, “Catholics for a Free Choice” has tried to do this through petitions signed by various countries. The American group is led by a former religious sister, Frances Kissling, but it’s Catholic in name only – more than that, it’s been officially excommunicated by the bishops of the United States. The campaign was called “See Change,” and it was aimed at expelling the Holy See from the United Nations.

    The reasons advanced in support of expulsion were the same ones that “The Economist” has now brought back to light: the Catholic Church is the only religion in the world that sits at the UN as a permanent observer, with “privileges” similar to those of sovereign nations; it thus represents an anomaly that moreover foments disagreement; if the Church strives to bring peace to Burundi, that’s unobjectionable, but when it opposes abortion and euthanasia, no, it is not right that in order to support its own interests it should make use of an international juridical status that doesn’t truly belong to it.

    It is no accident that the campaign for the expulsion of the Holy See from the UN heated up after the international conference in Cairo in 1994, on population, and the following conference in Beijing, on women. At both conferences, the Vatican delegation played an effective role of opposition to the pro-abortion policies promoted by the UN itself, and by the major Western powers.

    Apart from life and the family, another issue on which the Holy See becomes a “sign of contradiction” – as archbishop Mamberti recalled – is religious freedom.

    It follows that the campaign to eject the Holy See from the UN is not motivated by what the Holy See is, but by what it does.

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