Saturday, June 27, 2009

Boo! Hiss!

Well that Ark business didn't last long . . .

The so called leader of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church today backed off on a much-anticipated announcement about the Ark of the Covenant — the ancient container holding the Ten Commandment — which he claims to have seen.

But no other evidence or, indeed, even any announcement, was made public today when word had been expected.

Ark hunters and Bible enthusiasts have been buzzing for two days on the report from the Italian news agency Adnkronos that Patriarch Abuna Pauolos, in Italy for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI this week, said, “Soon the world will be able to admire the Ark of the Covenant described in the Bible as the container of the tablets of the law that God delivered to Moses and the center of searches and studies for centuries.”

Paging Dr. Jones . . .

Yeah, I pretty much soiled myself when I caught this headline at WorldNet:

'Ark of the Covenant' about to be unveiled?Ethiopian patriarch tells pope he will show artifact to world.

You know how people comment on certain things with lines like, "Well that doesn't happen every day." I don't even know if there is language for something like this.

The patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia says he will announce to the world Friday the unveiling of the Ark of the Covenant, perhaps the world's most prized archaeological and spiritual artifact, which he says has been hidden away in a church in his country for millennia, according to the Italian news agency Adnkronos.

Abuna Pauolos, in Italy for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI this week, told the news agency, "Soon the world will be able to admire the Ark of the Covenant described in the Bible as the container of the tablets of the law that God delivered to Moses and the center of searches and studies for centuries."

This is just too wild. Assuming this is the real Ark, which I do think is a real possibility, this is one of those things I can tell my grandchildren about. If I have grandchildren, that is. This is probably going to whip the dispensationalists into a fever pitch not seen since the Millerites. We'll be wishing for the days when Y2K was the big topic.

My advice:

Shut your eyes, reader. Don't look at it. No matter what happens.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Enemies Are Within The Gates

We probably could have still said "at the gates" 100 years ago. Probably. As much as I like to think that things are getting better, though, folks like Nicole Sotelo at the NCR are there to put me back in line.

Ms. Sotelo's article, which I'm sure many of you have already seen, is entitled "Don't Tell the Pope." To translate, the Pope is a very naive and/or stupid man who needs correction in the most sarcastic manner possible. The topic used to provide this correction is that of the priesthood, what with Pope Benedict declaring it the Year of the Priest and all. Let's begin:

I hate to be the one to inform him, but Eucharist, mission and church existed long before the rise of priesthood.

Yes, I'm sure it pains you greatly. Having established your martyrdom of Enlightenment, let's review the evidence provided to support your claim.

According to the Gospels, Jesus was not a priest, nor were his disciples. We do see reference to Jesus as a priest in the Letter to the Hebrews. The author uses the word to refer to Jesus as the new and last “High Priest,” ending a long line of Jewish leaders. The author claims that priests are no longer necessary because no more sacrifices are needed. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice and is our final high priest.

A priest is one who offers sacrifices to God. Jesus offered Himself to the Father. He also told His disciples to do likewise, and it's fairly apparent from 1 Corinthians 11 that it's the same sacrifice. There are no "more sacrifices," merely the same perfect offering from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof, if you believe Malachi, at least. Ergo . . . seems pretty basic to me. Granted, she deliberately excludes Paul's letters and the Old Testament here. The last sentence here is actually correct.

Perhaps the pope has forgotten that Jesus was not focused on priesthood. He was focused on ministry. He called people to minister alongside him, regardless of their status in society. He called out to fishermen and tax collectors and the woman with seven demons. Everyone was responsible for engendering the kingdom of God.

Yes, but what was all this leading up to? Perhaps Ms. Sotelo has forgotten the Last Supper and the Cross. All this "ministry" would be absolutely worthless without the offering of the sacrifice and its continuation. Ministering doesn't count for much if we're all locked out of heaven. It wasn't until the Son of Man was lifted up on the Cross that He could draw all to Himself.

All were invited to minister and they did so with various titles given to them by the community based on their gifts. Some were called prophet, others teacher and still others apostle. It was only later that we begin to see the emergence of a formal ministry structure and corresponding terminology as the followers of Jesus were influenced and integrated into the Roman Empire. It is not until 215 A.D. that we have evidence of an ordination ritual for bishop, priest and deacon.

Yet we know a hierarchy existed from the beginning. Otherwise, the bulk of the New Testament would be complete crap. Why are all these guys writing letters telling other people what to do unless they have the authority to make such commands? What was Paul talking about in Acts 20 when he told the people that the Holy Spirit had set bishops over them to rule the Church?

I know. This doesn't necessarily make the case for sacrifices and such, but as we'll see, Ms. Sotelo's real beef is that there are people who can do things she can't, not really with what those things might be.

The emergence of the clerical structure eventually led to a division of the Christian faithful into “clergy” and “laity.” In the early years of Christianity’s emergence, however, Paul reminded Jesus’ followers, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

After the rise of ordination and priesthood, there develops a hierarchical order among the faithful. The word “ordination” derives from the Latin “ordinare” which means “to create order.” It developed from the Roman usage of the words “ordines” that referred to the classes of people in Rome according to their eligibility for government positions.

Ah, there it is. Of course, this entire section is so much bull dung. Maybe she could ask Pope Clement I what he thought of hierarchy and clergy, given that he was writing when you still had at least one living Apostle. Since Ms. Sotelo knows so much more than popes, though, let's see what St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote around 107 AD:

Take heed, then, to have but one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup to show forth the unity of His blood; one altar; as there is one bishop, along with the presbytery and deacons, my fellow-servants: that so, whatsoever you do, you may do it according to the will of God...

For, when I was among you, I cried, I spoke with a loud voice: Give heed to the bishop, and to the presbytery and deacons. Now, some suspected me of having spoken thus, as knowing beforehand the division caused by some among you. But He is my witness, for whose sake I am in bonds, that I got no intelligence from any man. But the Spirit
proclaimed these words: Do nothing without the bishop; keep your bodies as the temples of God; love unity; avoid divisions; be the followers of Jesus Christ, even as He is of His Father.

Epistle to the Philadelphians

How about that? Of course, Ms. Sotelo's claims have no citations and for good reason. She has none. We must believe then that she is producing her "facts" from some bodily orifice.

The laity became “dis-ordered” from the clergy. The word “laity” originates from the word “laikoi” that referred to those in Greco-Roman society who were not “ordered,” or “ordained” within the established political structure. The word “clergy” comes from the word “kleros,” meaning “a group apart.”

Umm. . . Ok. Thanks for the vocabulary lesson. How about making a point?

While many Christians continued to minister within the church and even some women carried the titles of deacon, priest and bishop, most carrying this title were part of a limited group of men commissioned within the context of a particular socio-political and religious order.

I call bull-crap. Pick up the cards. You can make an argument on the deaconess front, although we know they weren't ordained. On the other hand, I admit you might even find some priests and bishops if you are willing to ignore the key distinction that marked such parties.

They were all heretics. I don't think travelling down the paths of Marcion and Montanus makes for good churching.

This endured until 1964 when the Second Vatican Council reminded the church that the role of minister, or priest, was not limited to the ordained, but was a call to all the baptized. The document, Lumen Gentium, proclaimed that the laity were “made sharers in the priestly, prophetical and kingly functions of Christ; and they carry out for their own part the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the world” (31).

Of course, it would be neo-Modernist garbage without the obligatory, "Vatican II changed all that." Let's check a couple of other things from that same part of Lumen Gentium:

What specifically characterizes the laity is their secular nature. It is true that those in holy orders can at times be engaged in secular activities, and even have a secular profession. But they are by reason of their particular vocation especially and professedly ordained to the sacred ministry. Similarly, by their state in life, religious give splendid and striking testimony that the world cannot be transformed and offered to God without the spirit of the beatitudes.

Any questions? You are a priest, in a certain sense, by virtue of your baptism. You are still secular. You don't share in all the ordained priesthood's unique stuff.

Since you hate to break things to the Pope, Ms. Sotelo, let me break something to you about Vatican II and what it says about the Holy Father:

This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will.

Lumen Gentium 25.

She closes by flexing some more hubris, especially with this bit:

I wouldn’t worry about telling the pope that Eucharist, mission and church existed long before the priesthood, nor that the Year of the Priest should really be a year dedicated to all the laity. Instead, we need to understand this ourselves.

We probably shouldn't worry about telling Ms. Sotelo how wrong she is and how she has bascally declared herself a heretic and schismatic in this article. Something about casting pearls, I think. Instead, let's pray for her (something she never suggests for the Holy Father in the whole article) and ask God to grant her the grace to repent of her insults and lies.

Regarding Evil And Darth Vader

I just wanted to be sure and plug Captain Eclectic's new blog. The current topic is evil and how it is manifested in the workings of Darth Vader.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Don't Like Father's Day Anymore

I used to. Before I had kids.

It was a tough weekend. I basically woke up thinking of the baby we lost back in December. That didn't really stop for the whole day.

After that, I was treated to a viewing of UP! which, as a Disney/Pixar production, I foolishly thought was going to be a barrel of whimsical and joyous laughs. Instead, it opened with what might be the most depressing 20 minutes of film I've ever seen.


***********It was even nice enough to include a scene where there is either a lost pregnancy or a couple finding out they can't have children at all. Real comedy gold, there.******************


The movie then builds on the theme of fulfilling promises, or rather, the failure to do so and what that means. Yeah, I probably took the "lesson" completely wrong, but the pump had already been primed for a nice round of self-loathing at this point.

Of course, the worst part is following this up by having your kids tell you how great you are. Nothing is more shameful than to be honored for something you don't deserve. It's like the movies and TV shows where the soldier or whoever is getting the medal even though he knows that it was someone else's blood and courage that paid for it. All he did was cut and run.

I guess it is a good thing to have such a day on our calendar. At least there is some secular acknowledgment that family is important. This one just didn't go so well.

By the way, UP! is not a bad movie. It's actually quite funny once you get past the initial bout of abusing the elderly.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Glories Of The Martyrs

Thanks to The American Catholic for this. I don't have Showtime, but these clips might convince me to get The Tudors from Netflix.

The Martyrdom of St. John Fisher:

The Martyrdom of St. Thomas More:

May these witnesses for Christ grant us their prayers.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Destined To Reign

This is the title of the TV program from Joseph Prince, an increasingly popular preacher. I was in BooksAMillion this week and noticed that he now has a book by the same name.

The cover says the following:

The secret to effortless success, wholeness, and victorious living.

I haven't read the book and don't plan to. I've seen the guy on TV and have a pretty good idea what he's about. The cover sentence encapsulates it pretty well.

The amazing thing is that he can sell this crap as Christianity.

Effortless success? How many times in the Bible does anyone make off with "effortless success"? Does martyrdom, torture, a pierced heart, etc. remotely resemble effortlessness? What about success? Who in the Bible did not experence failure? We know for a fact that Paul failed to convert all those preached to. We know that there were blow-ups between himself and his colleagues. Where is the effortless success?

Unless Mr. Prince is claiming to know something that the Apostles, et al, did not know. This is a good example of the emerging Gnosticism in many Protestant arenas. Whether on purpose or not, these false teachers are setting themselves up as delivering something that is nowhere in Scripture or Church history. In fact, it is an insult to every martyr that has ever died for Christ. If they would have just known Mr. Prince's take on things, they would have never had to go through all that suffering.

I'm going to skip the "wholeness" part of the above line as it's unclear exactly what he means. Considering that he preaches on TV that taking consideration of your sins is a bad thing, I'm betting he's referring to the idea that what drags people down and deprives them of peace isn't sin. It's really just thinking about sin and accepting suffering. Anyways, let's move on.

"Victorious living." For the Catholic (and many Protestants as well) the notion of victorious living is in a victorious death. I've never heard Mr. Prince mention such a thing. The fact that the book cover refers to "victorious living" instead of a "victorious life" implies that this remains his meaning. It's all about temporal satisfaction and the glory of this world and overcoming current hardship. A lot of the folks I know who converted from Protestantism have noted the decrease or utter lack of a theology of suffering. You basically have whole congregations of Job's buddies. If you are in a mess, it's your fault and God isn't going to help you until you pull a Pelagius and get your mind right.

Charles Vance was saying much the same thing last night on his show. Folks who aren't being healed are still sick because they don't know about God's message of healing. Folks who are having personal and financial difficulties or having to endure some other sort of suffering have these problems because they don't know God's message of empowerment.

In other words, the Apostles who wrote the very books that Messrs. Vance and Prince consider authoritative had no idea what they were doing. Not only did they not have the faith to avoid suffering, they were stupid enough to be happy about it.

And calling in the apostles, after they had scourged them, they charged them that they should not speak at all in the name of Jesus. And they dismissed them. And they indeed went from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were accounted worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus.
Acts 5:40

If so ye continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and immoveable from the hope of the gospel which you have heard, which is preached in all the creation that is under heaven: whereof I Paul am made a minister. Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church...

Colossians 1:23

What a bunch of failures. All this rejoicing in suffering (and there are more examples than just these) and not a single act of faith to escape it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

One More Thing...

Please pray for me. I have had some stuff go down lately, and things have been difficult.

Much obliged, all.

"We Have a Vatican II President."

Reflect on how utterly bankrupt that sentence is as we wade through the following poop-pile provided by Fr. John O'Malley, SJ (insert joke here), in America.

We have a Vatican II president. Barack Obama, I am sure, does not think of himself in those terms, but when I heard his speech at Grant Park in Chicago the night he was elected, and more recently his commencement address at Notre Dame, that is what immediately struck me. On those occasions he embodied and professed in his public persona the spirit of the council.

We should thank Fr. O'Malley for making all this clear from the get-go. Nothing in this article is going to be about Vatican II at all. It's the "spirit of the council."

Translation: We're going to ignore what the council actually said so that I can wax poetic about the president.

On a side note, who would be the Chalcedon president? Or the Florence President? I nominate William Henry Harrison as the Lateran V President, since neither of them really did anything.

In making that statement I know that I am entering a minefield. Catholics who denounce the president for his stance on abortion are of course responsible for many of the mines in the field, but their mines have been so thoroughly discussed lately that for the sake of brevity I will bypass them here.

Translation: Pay no attention to the dead babies behind the curtain. The spirit of the council is ok with them. You should be, too.

Notice the implication that denouncing the president for his abortion policies is somehow bad. It is truly amazing how many people are willing to check their brains at the door just to get in a few paragraphs of fawning.

The other set of mines in the field comes from the expression “the spirit of Vatican II.” The expression, used widely at the time of the council and given a certain official standing at the Synod of Bishops in 1985, has lately in Roman circles been quietly downgraded, if not dismissed as meaningless. No doubt, the expression has been abused to justify interpretations far removed from what the bishops intended, and it has seemed all too prone to ideological manipulation. Your “spirit of the council” is not my “spirit of the council.”

"Certain official standing." Care to elaborate on what that standing is? Of course not. Such things might get in the way of the ideological manipulation that is about to break loose in this article.

Yet the expression has a legitimate place in our vocabulary and is in fact almost indispensable for grasping the big message the council wanted to deliver. By “the spirit of the council” I mean simply general orientations that transcended particular issues. In my book, What Happened at Vatican II, I argue that beneath the particular issues the council dealt with—episcopal collegiality, for instance, and religious liberty—more profound and far-reaching issues lurked. I call these the issues-under-the-issues. I ground them in the texts of the council and in that way ground “the spirit of the council” and give it verifiable substance.

Translation: You can't read Vatican II and get its meaning. The spirit is the message. Only the hidden knowledge of the "issues-under-the-issues" really illuminates what was going on.

Fr. O'Malley is basically preaching Gnosticism here. I still haven't read his book, but I will. We are about to deal with Vatican II, the spirit and the texts, in great detail here. And yes, there were "issues-under-the-issues," foremost among them the desire of certain parties to warp and distort Catholic teaching. Clearly, Fr. O'Malley is siding with those people, since he distrusts what the texts actually say.

Among the issues-under-the issues was style, the issue especially pertinent for grounding “the spirit of the council.” The council spoke in a new style, a style different from all previous councils. It eschewed words implying punishment, surveillance, hostility, distrust and coerced behavior-modification that characterized previous councils. It employed words that espoused a new model for Christian behavior—not new, of course, to the Christian tradition as such, but new to council vocabulary. I am referring to words like brothers and sisters, cooperation, partnership, human family, conscience, collegiality and especially dialogue. The new words cannot be dismissed as casual asides or mere window dressing. The council used them too insistently, intentionally and characteristically for them to be that. This new vocabulary made the council a major language-event in the history of the church.

Hey, at least he admits it. The substance isn't what is significant at all. It's the style. We should focus on that instead of that nasty doctrinal stuff.

The shift in vocabulary had profound ramifications. It meant a shift in values and priorities. Critical among these new values was civility in dealing with persons of different faiths or convictions and a willingness to listen to them with docile heart and mind. This civility was not a superficial tactic but a manifestation of an inner conversion. It of course did not mean surrendering one’s beliefs, but it did mean a willingness to learn from others and a refusal to condemn them without a hearing. Such openness of mind and heart is the essence of genuine dialogue.

Conversion to what? Politeness? Good manners? This is a fairly typical revisionist ploy, where the Church pre-Vatican II is portrayed as populated by a bunch of jerks. We've discussed this before.

One would think that the essence of dialogue is charity. Fr. O'Malley chooses to muddle charity with "openness of mind and heart." He doesn't really explain what that means, though. When I hear "open-mindedness," I think of accepting the possibility that the other's views might be correct. When those views are contrary to Magisterium, though, such openness is impossible. This is strikingly similar to Obama's call that ND students nurture their doubts.

The council hoped that this new style of being, which brings with it a new way of proceeding, would lead to cooperation among all persons of good will—Catholics and non-Catholics, Christians and non-Christians, believers and non-believers—on the new, massive, and sometimes terrifying problems that face humanity today. This new way of proceeding in large part constituted “the spirit of the council.” It was one of the big messages the council delivered to the church and to the world at large.

Ah. Secular common good.

That is why when I heard Obama’s two speeches I was struck by how much he spoke in accord with the spirit of Vatican II. In those two addresses, as well as in his other speeches, he called for civility, for the end of name-calling, and for a willingness to work together to deal with our common problems, including abortion, rather than a stand-off determination to impose one’s principles without reckoning what the cost to the common good might be.

President Jenkins of Notre Dame called attention to Obama’s oratorical gifts. Such gifts are consonant with the rhetorical tradition that produced the spirit of Vatican II. The council deliberately chose to speak as much as possible “in the pastoral style of the Fathers,” who were schooled from their earliest days in the rhetorical tradition. That tradition is what made them such effective preachers and leaders of their communities.

Notice the shift. He is using the Jenkinsonian definition of "common good." He just left off the "secular" part. Right and wrong must be shuffled into the background. It is far too inconvenient to worry about the dead babies. There are bigger fish to fry, of course. We should just agree to disagree on that murder of the unborn stuff.

And again.What is said is not important. It's how it's said. As long as it sounds nice, it's ok.

I often hear laments that the spirit of Vatican II is dead in the church. Is it not ironic that not a bishop but the President of the United States should today be the most effective spokesperson for that spirit? To judge from the enthusiastic response he received from the graduates at Notre Dame, his message captured their minds and hearts. Maybe through young Catholics like those at Notre Dame who are responding to Obama’s message the spirit of Vatican II will, almost through the back door, reenter the church. The history of the church has, after all, taken stranger turns than that.

The president is the most effective spokesman for an ecumenical council of the Church. This hedges on blasphemy, I think. And why is he the most effective spokesman? Because he has called on the faithful to set their priorities according to his will, rather than that of God.

Yes, we might see this "spirit of Vatican II" re-enter the Church, but I don't think it's the Holy Spirit that Fr. O'Malley is describing.

On that note, I must announce our next series. I'm going to go through Vatican II section by section and do a bit on the footnotes and historical accounts that we have available. We'll see just how Obama-ish things are. I hope you will join us for this. I'm sure it will take a couple of years, but I need a hobby anyway.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Satan Has A Sense Of Humor

He's just not funny. Clearly, he does as he is using people like Jim Carrey and Oprah Winfrey to spread his apostasy. Note this article where we find that Carrey is teaming up with Oprah-prophet Eckhart Tolle in order to bring spiritual enlightenment to the masses.

Carrey described his spiritual awakening to his flock: “Suddenly I was thrown into this expansive, amazing feeling of freedom—from myself, from my problems. I saw that I was bigger than what I do. I was bigger than my body. I was everything and everyone. I was no longer a fragment of the universe—I was the universe.”

Tolle followed Carrey. Blogger James Hibberd is a fan and, unlike me, very familiar with Tolle’s teachings. He says Tolle “generally preaches against people distracting themselves with TV and movies.” But that’s not what he had to say in front of the Hollywood crowd. Instead he talked about movies in which he finds “even a hint of spiritual truth and transformation” because “transcendence” can come from movies. And those in which he finds such hints are as diverse as Groundhog Day, The Last Samurai and Titanic.

I'm betting some serious doobage was involved in generating the above comments.

It sure does seem like a short drive to hell when people are buying into this crap.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Results Are In!

And the consensus is apparently that the nominations sucked. Low turnout this year. That's something we'll have to work on, I suppose.

St. Thomas Becket Awesomeness Award for Bishop of the Year

Archbishop Burke For His Discussion Of The Obama/ND Invite

St. Pius V Papal Moment of the Year

Pope Benedict's Defense Of His Lifting The Excoms

Loisy Award for Modernist of the Year

Nancy Pelosi For Scaring The Hell Out Of Us

St. Ephrem the Syrian Award for Best Catholic Media Effort of the Year

The Pave The Way Foundation's Work In Promoting Pope Pius XII For Sainthood

I'll admit that I was a bit surprised by some of the results. I definitely didn't expect for the Pave the Way Foundation to win out, nor for Nancy Pelosi to win in such runaway fashion. Clearly, the Call to Action folks need to turn the volume up to Eleven for next time. Not to much that can really be determined, though, given the sample size. Just that I'm still getting to know my readers, I think.

Much obliged to all who participated. The aforementioned big announcement is coming up later this week, so keep tuning in.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Seems Like Old Times

When the Dominicans are running the Holy Office, er, I mean, the CDF, again, I have to believe that things are on an upswing. I had no idea that there was an OP still that highly placed there. Short-lived, though. Whispers has Fr Joseph Augustine Di Noia from the USA as the new Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

The article says that he was the director of doctrine for the USCCB. I wonder if he had anything to do with the removal of the wacky statement about Judaism from the US Catechism.

Another thought here. What with Cardinal Levada being the boss at the CDF and Archbishop Burke's position (and rumored red hat), how did the USA come up with so many highly-placed prelates in the Vatican? And in doctrinally sensitive areas at that?

Makes me believe all the talk about how, no matter how bad we think things are here, Europe et al have it much worse.


Wow. That Makes 500 Posts.

More News From The SSPX Front

Rorate is reporting several items that bear directly on the prospects of regularization. First, you've got Bishop Fellay visiting the CDF. Second, you've got the beginnings of the doctrinal dialogue. Third, reports are out that the merger of Ecclesia Dei with the CDF is imminent.

All in all, things seem to be going well. I hope that the what-not behind the scenes is remaining cordial.

I'll have some blog news soon that relates to the doctrinal talks, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Brothel On Every Corner

I know very little about the prevalence of prostitution in society. That being said, I'm wondering if we are approaching the point where the oldest profession is permanently shuttered.

In the last couple of weeks, I've seen television advertisements for two different online services whose sole market is people looking for sex. One of them was specifically targeted at married people looking to have an affair. In other words, I'm not talking about Cupid or EHarmony. In fact, one ad actually made the point that such services are inferior because they set up dates rather than sexual encounters.

This leaves me to wonder what the economic incentives are for prostitution these days. If there is an internet whoremonger who can arrange a liaison for free, why not just pay your "brokerage fee" or whatever and then hump away? You have to figure that these places are doing well or they wouldn't be in a position to pimp themselves on TV.

It's a pretty tragic thing that we can realistically (I think, at least) ponder a world where sexual license has reached such epidemic proportions that brothels could be shut down due to the widespread availability of free fornication.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Are Christians Hypocrites?

Shouldn't we act differently if we believe what we claim to believe? We should, but so should everyone else.

A constant reproach addressed to Christians: 'Your faith has no outward effect on your way of life. If you really believed in such marvellous and astonishing things, you would live in a different way.'

Answer: 'Surely you believe that death is inevitable? Not only do you believe this but you know it for certain. And yet, does it make any great difference to your way of life? None at all.'

---Alexander Elchaninov, The Diary of a Russian Priest, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

To the Bishops- Re: Obama/ND

This is my last entry regarding Obama/ND. And yes, both of my regular readers, I heard you cheering.

Anyways, please do not regard what follows as stuff in the "I know better than you" vein. My standard qualifiers apply here as everywhere else on this blog.

To those brave shepherds who spoke out on this issue, you have my thanks and prayers.

To those who did not, you also have my prayers.

I offer an observation based on this event very similar to what my colleague Karl pointed out when the first condemnations came down.

A lot of the Church is currently in the shape of an unruly kindergarten. Think Swartzenegger when he first takes on the class in Kindergarten Cop. Children need discipline in order to grow and mature. The same is true with a large portion of the Church, and when I say that, I mean all of us, priests and laity. It is the job of the bishops to insure that such discipline is applied.

Pretty much all our problems can probably be traced to this lack of teaching and discipline, whether it's lack of Mass attendance, liturgical abuse, Pelagian morality, or whatever. What Jenkins and ND did is precisely what the rebellious have been doing for quite some time now (anybody remember the response to Humanae Vitae?). They just did it in a large-scale forum that owes much of its reputation, whether deserved or not, to its association with the Church.

The issue now becomes what is to be done, and I offer this thought: You will be hated no matter what. Those who do not listen to you now do so because they have absolutely no respect for your office. They might share some laughs with you over a beer or something, but ultimately, they don't like you or your position as a successor to the Apostles. Those who do listen to you will continue to do so. I doubt anyone is going to be driven away from the Church because you condemn stuff like this ND fiasco. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong here.

Please reflect on history a bit. When is the Church at Her strongest? Is it when we have guys like St. Leo I, Innocent III, St. Pius V, Leo XIII, etc.? Or is it when Leo X and Clement VII are in charge? Leadership requires taking a stand and telling people when they are wrong. Those who oppose you will either be converted due to your leadership or continue ignoring you or make their hate manifest. Those who are obedient now will only be encouraged by your strength.

This is a bit Pascallian, I suppose, but I don't see much of a downside to taking these stands more often. The cost of continued silence and/or Jenkinsonian dialogue is the potential to lose the devout, while the Church's enemies become more emboldened, as their disrepect increases due to the perception of your weakness.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


I need some examples of Christ and/or the Apostles seeking common ground with those who opposed the Church.

After thinking on this, I've come up with two such instances:

First, the Apostles found some common ground with the Jewish leaders and Romans who killed Christ. They ran away, and let Him be taken in, rather than quibbling over the justice of such an action.

Second, Peter found common ground with the Judaizers by joining with them in refusing to eat with the uncircumsized converts.

Any others? Maybe some that lend some sort of credence to the call that the Church should capitulate to its adversaries?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Anglican Communion Death March

Originally, I expected the full-blown shattering of the Anglican Communion to be an explosion. I was wrong. It's going to be a long, drawn-out, decomposition.

The latest from the Washington Post:

National leaders of the Episcopal Church have ousted 61 clergy who aligned with a former bishop in California when he broke with the national church in a dispute over the Bible and homosexuality.

Former Bishop John-David Schofield led the Diocese of San Joaquin to become the first full diocese to secede from the U.S. denomination in 2007. Four years earlier, Episcopalians consecrated their first openly gay bishop, setting off a wide-ranging debate within the church and upsetting conservative congregations.

Schofield ultimately was removed as head of the diocese and barred from performing any religious rites. He maintains he is an Anglican bishop under the worldwide church.

Episcopal leaders said Wednesday they were deposing all clergy who severed their ties and joined Schofield in affiliating with an Anglican archdiocese in Argentina.

Of course, there's the typical finger-pointing of who really left who here. Of course, the correct answer is that they all left the Catholic Church 500 years ago and need to just come home.

In December, the breakaway diocese joined with three others and dozens of individual parishes in the U.S. and Canada to announce that they were forming a North American Anglican province to rival the Episcopal Church. Schofield said Wednesday that 23 dioceses now plan to affiliate with the new province. Its future status in the worldwide Anglican Communion is unclear. It's unprecedented for an Anglican national province to be created where a national church already exists.

Not with a bang, but a whimper.

This is what ex-Fr. Cutie opted for? That reminds me of when Ted Danson exchanged his career on Cheers for Whoopi Goldberg.


Wanted to share Turgonian's Blame the Pope article.

Make sure you read the whole thing, taking special notice of his point about Protestant vs. Catholic views about what the Pope can do.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The X-Men Are Satanic.

Crap. Who would have thought that Grant Morrison, John Byrne, and Chris Claremont were instruments of Evil One?

Now that I think about it, though, Chuck Austen is pretty obvious. Nobody could write that garbage without infernal inspiration.