Catholic Interest

Interesting things Catholic

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    Friday, August 31, 2007

    The Twilight Zone up north there

    What if Miss Manners came to power and handed down laws and rules to prohibit embarrassment?

    If you are a reasonable person, you "should have known" that those "actions, comments, or displays" would have been unwelcome.

    Sounds like a rich script for a Twilight Zone episode. But no.. it's real in Canada.

    Could it drip down across the border into the northern blue states? I hope not, but what are borders anyway nowadays.

    Unfairness is also not allowed. Since the world is unfair, you might have a wee problem with this aspect. To narrow down the possibilities, the specific list includes "suggestive remarks" and unfairness regarding just a few things...

    race, "Wow, you guys are good at math!"

    sex, "Boys will be boys."

    color, "My skin can't take the direct sun."

    ancestry, "Are you French?"

    place of origin, "Are you from Paris?"

    ethnic origin "Were you born in Paris?",

    marital status, "How's your wife?"

    same sex partner status, "Are you still with Fred?"

    sexual orientation, "Which bathroom did you use?"

    age, "Do you find wisdom comes with age?"

    disability, "Did you win the basketball game?"

    citizenship, "Did you vote?"

    family status, "How's your family?"

    record of offences, "Did they convict you?"

    religion , "Is there a God?".

    All you have to do to stay safe is to replace your ugly bad behavior with sweet good behavior..

    Instead of threats... protection

    intimidation... hugs and smiles

    demeaning... uplifting

    humiliation... esteem

    embarrassment... silence.

    Does this sound like real social engagement to you? NO? Don't worry, it's only the Twilight Zone script in Canada. It couldn't happen here.

    When our kids graduate from school, they will be ready for the real, dirty, unfair world.


    Thursday, August 30, 2007

    Holy fear

    ROME. Aug 29 (Interfax) - Pope Benedict XVI of Rome and All Europe welcomes Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow's initiative to promote inter-church dialogue, but said some terms must be fulfilled before a personal meeting with the patriarch could take place.
    "Patriarch Alexy has said on many occasions that he wants to promote dialogue and cooperation with the Roman churchs, and this is a positive occurrence," Benedict XVI said in an interview published by the Italian newspaper Il Giornale on Wednesday.
    A meeting with the patriarch must be thoroughly prepared, he said. "It must not be merely an occasion for a few photos or for an appearance before TV cameras. It must strengthen ties between our two churches," Benedict said.
    "Even now, some of the Orthodox bishops and missionaries see Europe as a territory of missionary activities. But Europe, Holy Europe, which has been permeated with faith for centuries and the Roman church, guarded with God's blessing, is not a place for missionary activities," he said.
    Benedict XVI said that it is the first issue to be settled before organizing a meeting. The second one is the activities of the Greco-Catholics church. "We are concerned about the Uniates as a phenomenon and we can see this tendency even in the regions where it was not common - in eastern Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and even in Europe," the pope said.
    "When these issues are settled an opportunity will emerge for a meeting, and it will have sense then," Benedict XVI said.
    I don't know about you, but when in dialogue, my brain automatically fast forwards to consider the capabilities and background of the source so that I can understand what the speaker is really saying... where he or she is coming from, so that what is said can be put in context.
    This tendency though, makes observing the mistakes of the other speaker harder to recognize. With kids, it would be like automatically excusing Tommy for hitting playmates because "that's the way he is". That doesn't help Tommy or his playmates in the long run.
    Can you imagine Pope Benedict acting defensive and territorial regarding Orthodox missionary work in Europe? Of course not. The Pope does not act out of fear. Even with dancing, swooning, speaking in tounges Latin American Evangelicals luring Catholic folk to their auditoriums and storefronts, the Bishops only talk about further need for catechesis, not the need for protection from Evangelical missionaries.
    I know that the Russian Orthodox have only recently emerged from the heavy veil of communism, and that they are still adjusting to freedom. But the old days of one Russia, one rite, are not going to magically reappear. Bringing people to the Church again will take work. Real Catholic work.
    For Rome and the Orthodox to embrace again, fear of losing geographic boundaries can not be an valid issue. With God there is no geography, only hearts and souls.
    And within the two Catholic groups, there is the same Faith. Two rites, two developed theologies that need to merge and strengthen, but one Faith. That is all that is important... not geography and not geographic fear.
    Perhaps in another 10 years, the Russians will be more accustomed to a world view for Christ. Their fear of literally losing "ground" should be relegated to history.
    Forgive me for messing with the news. The real story........
    ROME. Aug 29 (Interfax) - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia welcomes Pope Benedict XVI's initiative to promote inter-church dialogue, but said some terms must be fulfilled before a personal meeting with the pope could take place.
    "Pope Benedict has said on many occasions that he wants to promote dialogue and cooperation with the Orthodox churches, and this is a positive occurrence," Alexy II said in an interview published by the Italian newspaper Il Giornale on Wednesday.
    A meeting with the pope must be thoroughly prepared, he said. "It must not be merely an occasion for a few photos or for an appearance before TV cameras. It must strengthen ties between our two churches," Alexy II said.
    "Even now, some of the Catholic bishops and missionaries see Russia as a territory of missionary activities. But Russia, Holy Rus, which has been permeated with faith for centuries and the Orthodox church, guarded with God's blessing, is not a place for missionary activities," he said.
    Alexy II said that it is the first issue to be settled before organizing a meeting.
    The second one is the activities of the Greco-Catholics church. "We are concerned about the Uniates as a phenomenon and we can see this tendency even in the regions where it was not common - in eastern Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and even in Russia," the patriarch said.
    "When these issues are settled an opportunity will emerge for a meeting, and it will have sense then," Alexy II said.

    Tuesday, August 28, 2007

    ...the single, universal condition to join the heavenly life

    My passport is not yet in order. The processing time as usual, is long.


    The way to eternal life is narrow because it is demanding, requires commitment and denial of one's own selfishness, Pope Benedict XVI said today in his Sunday angelus address. He was referring to today's Gospel in which Jesus calls on his followers to strive to enter the "'narrow gate' to eternal life, because many shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able".

    The path to the eternal life is open to all, but it is narrow because it’s demanding, asks for commitment, abnegation, and the mortification of selfishness.”

    The Pope added that Christ is the one Redeemer, “inviting us to his feast of immortal life, but on one and only one condition, that of following and imitating him, bearing as He did our own cross and devoting one’s life to one’s brothers. This is the single, universal condition to join the heavenly life.”

    The Pope stressed that on the last day, “it is not on the basis of alleged privileges that we shall be judged but on the merit of our deeds. The ‘agents of iniquity’ will find themselves excluded while those who did good deeds at the cost of sacrifices shall be welcomed.”

    The Pope added: “It will not be enough to say that ‘I was a friend” of Christ, and claim false merits such as: ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets’. True friendship with Jesus is expressed in how one lives; in the goodness of one’s heart; in one’s humility, kindness and mercy, in one’s love for justice and truth; in one’s sincere commitment to peace and reconciliation. This, we might say, is the ‘identity card’ that qualifies us as true ‘friends;’ it is the ‘passport’ that will let us enter eternal life.”

    The 'merit of our deeds'. The Pope better be careful with that merit and works talk.. very un-protestant.

    It doesn't matter sometimes

    You can't take Californicate too seriously. It's mainly Disneyland and Arnold.
    The kindest thing to remember is that perhaps all these religions strive toward some understanding of God.
    Less kind is to mention that monkeys and elephants and holy cows make up that understanding. More kind is to remember that St. Francis liked animals too.
    What I didn't know is that hindoos say 'Ommmmmmm' just like the buddhists. That's nice. It shows up on the cat scan in Psychology Today to aid in meditation for the reduction of headaches.
    Anyway, let's celebrate our rich diversity. And like on the West Coast, let's not take God too seriously in the halls of representative government. Most often our representatives are more show and tell, rather than do and be.
    Hindu priest Rajan Zed opened the California State Senate session with prayers Monday after he created history by chanting the Gayatri Mantra in the US Senate last month.
    He also delivered hymns from the Bhagavad Gita and ended the prayer with the last mantra of the Rig Veda, 'samani va akutih', before concluding with 'Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti', which he then translated as 'Peace, Peace, Peace be unto all'.
    Zed, the director of interfaith relations at a Hindu temple in Reno, New Jersey, made history in July when he opened the country's senate with the chanting of ancient Hindu scriptures in a ceremony disrupted by a few Christian protestors from the visitor's gallery.
    Yes, peace be unto you. Woof woof roar meow.

    Tuesday, August 21, 2007


    The Pope here advises Priests. A post-Christian or never-Christian world puts us in a position much like the early Church. Tiny seeds that may be asked what is the reason for your Hope.

    The tough part of course, is that you will never be asked about your Hope, unless it is displayed so as to prompt the question. Long standing patience.

    And perhaps you will never be asked at all. Nevertheless, the witness is real and effective, the results of which may only be known in the hereafter, which is always closer at hand than it may seem.

    This as I look back, is where the gift was given to me. So many dear people long gone who looked like Hope. I don't remember asking any of them specifically why, but watched closely. That cloud of witnesses mentioned in last Sunday's Gospel. They proclaimed through living. And now gone, proclaim through memory. The real salt of the earth.


    A uniform world no longer exists. All the other continents, the other religions, the other ways of living human life are present especially in the West. We are living a permanent encounter where we resemble the ancient Church because she experienced the same situation.

    In his First Letter, St Peter said: "Always be prepared to make a defence to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you" (3:15). Thus, he formulated for the ordinary person of that time, for the ordinary Christian, the need to combine proclamation and dialogue. He did not say formally: "Proclaim the Gospel to everyone". He said: "You must be able, ready, to account for the hope that is in you". I think that this is the necessary synthesis between dialogue and proclamation. The first point is that the reason for our hope must be ever present within us. We must be people who live faith and think faith, people with an inner knowledge of it. So it is that faith becomes reason within us, it becomes reasonable.

    All this makes us capable, first of all, of truly living as the neighbours of non-Christians -- here, mainly Orthodox Christians, Protestants and also exponents of other religions, Muslims and others. 
The first aspect is to live beside them, recognizing with them their neighbour, our neighbour; thus, living love of neighbour on the front line as an expression of our faith. I think that this is already a very powerful witness and also a form of proclamation: truly living love of neighbour with these others, recognizing the latter, recognizing them as our neighbour so that they can see: this "love of neighbour" is for me. If this happens, we will be able to more easily present the source of our behaviour, in other words, that love of neighbour is an expression of our faith. Thus, our dialogue cannot move on suddenly to the great mysteries of faith, although Muslims have a certain knowledge of Christ that denies his divinity but at least recognizes him as a great Prophet. They love Our Lady. These are consequently elements that we have in common, even in faith, and are starting points for dialogue. A perception of fundamental understanding on the values we should live is practical, feasible and above all necessary. Here too, we have a treasure in common because Muslims come from the religion of Abraham, reinterpreted and relived in ways to be studied and to which we should finally respond. Yet, the great substantial experience of the Ten Commandments is present and this seems to me a point that requires further investigation. Moving on to the great mysteries seems to me to be moving to a level that is far from easy and impossible to attain at large meetings. Perhaps the seed should enter hearts, so that here and there the response of faith in a more specific dialogue may mature. But what we can and must do is to seek a consensus on the fundamental values expressed in the Ten Commandments, summed up in love of neighbour and love of God, and which can thus be interpreted in the various life contexts. We are at least on a common journey towards the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God who is ultimately the God with the human face, the God present in Jesus Christ. But if the latter step is to be made in intimate, personal encounters or small groups, the journey towards this God, from which derives these values that make life in common possible, I think this is feasible also at larger meetings. As a result, in my opinion a humble, patient form of proclamation should be undertaken here, which awaits but already realizes our life in accordance with knowledge enlightened by God.

    Thursday, August 16, 2007

    More than a little odd

    There is goodness in the hospitality.

    And God's mysterious ways are always a marvel.

    But there's something odd here about the islum component I think. It reeks of fear and ignorance. Maybe even danger.


    The Catholic Church has given a commitment that it will not try to convert members of other religious denominations taking part in inter-faith forums and volunteering facilities.

    It is also calling for 8000 people, including those of other faiths, to volunteer for the largest Catholic event on the 2008 religious calendar. There will be roles in areas including operations and crowd management, customer service, language and translations, staffing, hospitality and catering, accommodation, production, communications, liturgy and evangelisation.

    Sydney Muslim leaders have offered to open their mosques and schools to World Youth Day pilgrims while the Catholic Church has given a commitment not to try to convert WYD volunteers of other faiths.

    OK already. The first thing that springs to mind is not trying to convert other Christians. We just don't do that. But everyone knows how touchy muslums are about conversions. It results in the killing of the convert. That does not sound like a good environment to be sending enthusiastic Catholic youth.

    The president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Ikebal Patel, said Sydney's Islamic leaders had responded positively to the overtures of the Catholic Church and saw World Youth Day as an opportunity to "break down barriers" between the two faiths.

    Some mosques would be willing to open their doors to inter-faith forums, and could even invite Catholics to Friday prayers. At least four or five schools present at the meeting would be willing to offer their school halls for boarding.

    "I think as Muslims in Australia we want to demonstrate very positively we are part of the community. There is not inherently that much difference between Islam and Christianity and this is an opportunity to educate the general community and Christian faith."

    Again, in the last sentence is the punch line. Good Ikebal can't be that seriously mistaken in his knowledge of Christianity.

    Unlike Hindus or Buddists who have no issue with Jesus, islum is directly opposed to Him. That angel who whispered to Mahotmet told all the secrets needed to set up islum dirctly opposite Christianity and Israel. Muslums are founded upon the falsehoods of Jews and Christians. They are the true over-and-against religion.

    Much like how protestants can only define themselves by their differences with Catholics, muslims can only define themselves as the people who have corrected the lies and errors of Jews and Christians.

    In case you didn't know, the angel whispered that it was not really Jesus on the cross... it was Judas. Because God was unhappy with people shouting Hossana to Jesus, God punished Jesus by not letting him be crucified. He made people believe that Judas looked like Jesus. So poor Judas got crucified, and Jesus hid out to live another day without any crazy resurrection of course.

    For Ikebal to say "There is not inherently that much difference" is astounding. He may be referring to our supposed common worship of God the Father. Which is a really nice link of course, unless you dig into how God the Son is the same God. End of discussion.

    And without the peace of Jesus, the sermon on the Mount, the sacrifice of the Cross; you get a religion of killing warriors. Killing converts, killing inhabitants of land claimed as muslum, stoning women, cutting off hands for stealing food.

    There are inherently some difference after all it seems.

    Again, not a place for the energy of our wound up Catholic kids to remove their shoes, bow to Mecca, and hunker down for the night. They might sign their death warrant.

    Wednesday, August 08, 2007

    Still stuck with Adam and Eve

    Lots of people don't believe in God.
    And for those of us who do believe, we have been given an unfair advantage; the gift of Faith.
    "Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves."
    I have seen the "works" in my life. This is most unfair, and I fear some payment is due to the devil in balance for such gifts. For whenever I am tempted with the same arguments against God that unbelievers live by, I remember the works I have seen, and am compelled to remain an adopted son.
    So Faith is all gift it seems. Which should cause much compassion for those without.
    The current storm of human rights regarding sexuality is pushing God's design to the limit. Man and woman he created them. Yet civil liberties are loud to put an end to this.
    Two women and no supposed father. This still can not be since the father, although usually anonymous, is still necessary and exists in lesbian birthing. He is simply ignored. And unlike Mr. Cheney, I do not agree that it is a happy couple or circumstance.
    Two men and no supposed mother also still can not be, since some mother gave birth somewhere. She is simply ignored also. Unlike lesbian birthing, the two boys must adopt some abandoned helpless child. There can not be but few among us that do not know in their gut that young boys coming of age can not be abandoned to homosexual men behind closed doors.
    So God's design of man and woman still holds, although civil liberties and science are struggling mightily against it. Like abortion, these liberties succeed by ignoring the facts of life.
    Just as I can not ignore the works I have seen which unfairly keep me faithful, these people without faith can not ignore the contorted works that produce their play houses. Somewhere down deep and forever there will always be that reminder which is perhaps their works to see, their conscience nagging them about the tree of knowledge that has led them astray.
    And so perhaps all things are ultimately fair. Perhaps it's a gift not taken rather than a gift not not offered.
    Just in case, I still here and there pray for some works, a little miricle in the unbeliever's life to make faith unavoidable. Unfair to the devil I know, and in justice to him there's probably a price to be paid, but worth it I think.
    Somewhere someone probably prayed for me in the same way, and somewhere someone paid the price.
    The case started in 2000 when the physicians, Christine Brody and Douglas Fenton, refused to perform IVF for Guadalupe Benitez, a lesbian who lives with her partner in an area north of San Diego. Benitez in 2001 sued the physicians, claiming that they violated California's anti-discrimination laws that protect gays and lesbians.
    USA Today on Friday also examined how physicians are becoming "more assertive in refusing to treat patients for religious reasons." According to USA Today, physicians have refused to provide abortions and IVF; to use fetal tissue; or to prescribe certain drugs, including Viagra. According to USA Today, the "shift" is "prompting a new round of debate in courts and state legislatures over the balance between protecting" physicians' constitutional right to religious freedom and upholding anti-discrimination laws.
    According to Jill Morrison, legal counsel to the National Women's Law Center, the distinguishing factor in the case is that Brody and Fenton refused to perform IVF for one patient, even though they provide the procedure to other women. "Usually, providers who object to certain services object to them for everyone," Morrison said, adding, "In this case, they don't object to the service, just the patient."

    Sunday, August 05, 2007

    The end of Anglicans

    Why Anglicans?

    The reason is that this merry ol King could not get a divorce. To fix all things Roman, the King or Queen was made the head of the church.

    Now what would happen do you suppose if a Catholic were to become head of the Anglicans? Yup, that would be the end of that. No more Anglicans. Sort of like an ecumenical atomic bomb. They would immediately become Roman Catholics.

    Since logic created their being, logic could uncreate them also.

    So in 1701, the crucial safeguard law was made... no Catholic may become royal.

    Except for that tiny dike all of Anglicanism would fall like a house of cards.

    That proud sissy practicing homosexual bishop Gene Robinson would have to go too. Well, since Anglicans practice apostolic succession, I guess it wouldn't be that easy. Perhaps he could be banished to Sodom to find some repentance.


    This past week Buckingham Palace announced the engagement between Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly, a Canadian management consultant, but no mention of a date for their marriage was made.

    Even more interesting, is the fact that Autumn Kelly is Catholic. Ms. Kelly’s Catholicism brings to the light of day the 1701 Act of Settlement which bars any member of the Royal family from becoming or marrying Catholics.

    The Tablet, the Catholic weekly, has now established that she was baptized on June 18, 1978, at St. John Fisher parish church in Point-Claire, a suburb of Montreal. A spokesman for the church told the Daily Telegraph that Ms. Kelly's mother, Kitty, had authorized the information to be disclosed, saying that her daughter was proud of her religion.

    According to the Act, which discriminates uniquely against Catholics, there is nothing barring a monarch from marrying a Hindu, Muslim or someone from any other faith.

    Gods humor

    Funny stuff sent from that lawyer on the East Coast.

    catholic interest.