Saturday, December 31, 2005

(He means between a man and a woman, by the way)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI remembered his beloved predecessor yesterday and again stressed the importance that a family based on marriage has "in the life of the Church and of society". Benedict's remarks, as he presided over an evening Vespers service on New Year's Eve, came as the Catholic Church opposed proposals to give legal recognition to unmarried couples in Italy.

Source: The Jamaica Observer

(How long will it take for somebody to piously point out that "marriage" is, indeed, readily available in Massachusetts?)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

South Park blasphemy curbed: Thank you, Catholic League

On December 7, the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception no less, "Comedy (sic) Central" aired a "South Park" episode that did more than slap Catholics in the face.

(We can take that.)

It also slapped our Blessed Mother in the face.

(We can't take that.)

Catholic League and Bill Donohue stepped up to the plate.

Here's the result.

Warning, beautiful people. You don't wanna mess with our Mama. Ever.

To the Greatest Generation's soldiers: thank you.

"Before you go..."

So many WWII vets, I imagine, have left this world for the next. Here's a tribute to all of dad included.

(Thanks to Ed and to the "Marine in the Pew.")

P.S. Like you, I pray for peace. But you know? When somebody tries to kill you, to kill your freedom, to kill your right to worship, to eradicate you from the human's not a bad idea to fight back. God bless those who fought for us well over 60 years ago...and those who are fighting for us now.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Holy Innocents, abortion, and help for healing

In today's Gospel, Matthew tells us that the slaughter of the children two years old and younger by King Herod fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah:

"A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel
weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were
no more."

In the midst of grief, Jesus offers hope. If you, or someone you know, is living with the pain of a past abortion, please consider the healing services of Project Rachel.

(I imagine it's a coincidence that pro-abortion folks in Massachusetts choice today, of all days, to unveil proposed legislation to increase the "buffer zone" around the killing factories.)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Saint John, Evangelist, Apostle

I love the fact that we celebrate Saint John's Feast during the Christmas Season, because I love the way he describes Christ's Incarnation. No "Messianic secret," for John! Right from the start, he tells us exactly Who Jesus Christ really is:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us."

Monday, December 26, 2005

While we're on "The Feast of Stephen..."

Let's not forget "Good King Wenceslas," subject of a Christmas carol that actually has not much to do with Christmas at all but extols the good king's love of the poor.

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen,
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shown the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuel.

Anyway, Wenceslas is linked to Stephen not just because of the carol, but because they share the gift of martrydom!

Words from today's Gospel (for the feast of Saint Stephen) really brings this home:

"Brother will hand over brother to death,

and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”

While Stephen wasn't killed by his blood kin (I don't think), he was killed by his own people. Wenceslas, was actually killed by his own brother while he adored Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

But wait! There's more!

As we know, Wenceslas was a king, but loved the poor. As we read in Sacred Scripture (Acts 6), Stephen was one of the first deacons of the Church. Why was the diaconate established? Why, to minister to the widows — the poor — while the first Bishops (the Apostles) preached the Good News.

I don't know about you, but I love stuff like this!

And I wish I could claim originality for these musings, but I can't...the priest at today's Mass talked about it in his sermon.

(I walked all the way home singing "Good King Wenceslas," drawing not
too many odd glances and even a smile or two.)

To sing or hear the whole Wenceslas carol, go here.

To find out more about the saint, go here.

Saint Stephen: one triumph after another!

I'm not sure why the Church fathers placed the martyrdom of Saint Stephen on the day after Christmas, but I've been thinking about it.

A friend reminded me that the manger where the Infant Jesus rested wasn't the cozy looking affair that I, for example, display in my parlor. No, it was rather a disgusting thing, filled, no doubt, with animal slops and filth. Hardly a fitting bed for a newborn King!

Yet, for His life here on earth, God-made-Man chose humility
from an abomidable "crib" at his birth to an ignominiously shameful death.

When Saint Stephen knew himself to be dying, he looked up and saw the glory of Jesus, sitting at the right hand of the Father. Like Jesus, he prayed not for vengence upon his murderers, but for forgiveness.

Saul cooperated in this martrydom by watching the executioners' clothing. Even today, it's hard for me not to be shocked at this scandal.

But Saint Augustine sees it far more wisely than I:

"If Stephen had not prayed to God, the Church would not have had Paul."

Yesterday, we recalled the triumphant birth of Our Savior. Today we recall the triumph of His first martyr.

It's good to be a Christian.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Fall on your knees!

Tonight and tomorrow, we kneel at some incredible words of the Nicene Creed.

After professing: "For us men and for our salvation, He came down from Heaven:"

We proclaim an astounding truth:

"By the power of the Holy Spirit
He was born of the Virgin Mary
and became man."

While pondering — to say nothing of putting it into words! — this can we not fall on our knees?

Friday, December 23, 2005

Looks like the "Know Thy Neighbor" intimidation tactics are backfiring

Back in October, I wrote about a group of folks determined to publicize every Massachusetts citizen who signed a petition to define "marriage" as a union between one man and one woman.

The idea, of course, was to intimidate people.

It didn't work.

In fact, so many people signed the petition (over 120,000...easily double the number required to make it to the ballot) that the "Know Thy Neighbor" folks are having a tough time keeping their web-site in operation.

Evidently, folks (like me) are so eager to make sure their names are listed, the site keeps crashing. And the beautiful people in the upscale Manchester-by-the-Sea organization are actually begging for funds to help them in this broadband crisis.

Sorry, "neighbors." While I appreciate the chance to see who did — and didn't — sign the petition, you're going to have to look elsewhere for a handout.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Sexual abstinence among youth: a "controversial" notion

Ya gotta love The Boston Globe.

Who else would label the simple advice of abstaining a "controversial method of teaching Bay State teenagers about sex"?

The proposal by the state Department of Health, quietly posted on its website earlier this month, would add an abstinence education program for 12-to-14-year-olds in an unspecified number of schools.

Egads! No wonder the Department of Health "quietly" posted this controversial plan! Why it's positively...radical!!!

More breaking news from Governor Romney's spokesman:

"'No one will disagree that there are other ways to prevent teen pregnancy, but the only method that comes with a foolproof guarantee is abstinence,' he said. ''

Now there's a revelation for you.

Gee, is there a chance, then, that abstinence prevents...Syphilis? Gonorrhea? AIDS?

I tell you, people: this is big news...very, very, BIG news indeed. It could change the world!

Sex education and government. Taking a back seat to common sense, one paragraph at a time.

Comment Policy

I just had to delete a comment and wasn't thrilled about it.

Since I started this blog, I'm been very happy that the comments it draws — even (gasp!) those in disagreement with me — are well stated, and more important, on topic.

The deleted comment was added after the last post (the one linking to Dom's picture of the Pope in a red furry cap). It had nothing to do with the Pope or his hat, but was a reprint of an article from a local Boston neighborhood newspaper.

If you believe you've got news of interest to readers of this blog, use the "email Kelly" button on the left to let me know. Or, find a blog with a post on the topic of interest and comment there.


You better watch out!

Dom's uploaded a cropped photo of Pope Benedict XVI wearing a camauro, making him look like that jolly old elf! ;-)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

"Pro-choice Christian?" No such thing. (Today's Gospel proves it)

The Gospel reading of Wednesday, December 21, proves that to be Christian is to be pro-life. Period.

Keep in mind that when Mary visited Elizabeth, and the latter's baby "leapt for joy" at the encounter of Jesus. Jesus was probably, in human form, maybe 30 or 40 cells. (Remember: Mary "left in haste" to be with her cousin, shortly after the Annunciation.)

But He was alive! At the moment of conception, Jesus was a complete human being, just like us, in every way but sin.

Why do we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist?

Normally, saints are remembered on the day of their deaths. Two exceptions: Mary and John the Baptist. Mary, because she was conceived without the stain of Original Sin and therefore born sinless.

John was conceived in sin, but sanctified — in the womb! — by the unborn Jesus.

You cannot be a Christian...a believer in Christ...while at the same time condone human "choice" in the matter of whether or not to allow an unborn baby to live.

It's a no-brainer.

"Beside the Manger" reflection

Offered by my friends at TFP.

(Thanks, Patte!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

"Voice of the Faithful[TM] encouraging sin? Sheesh.

I've long held the view that one should be careful in labeling dissident groups as "schismatic" or "heretical." There's a difference between dissent and heresy and there's a big difference between dissent and schism.

That said.

A reading of a letter signed by members of "Voice of the Faithful(sic)" in Saint Louis, the dissident group — and it is a dissident group — makes it pretty clear that the group is crossing the line from dissidence to schism.

Archbishop Burke of Saint Louis had the unhappy job of informing the Board and hired pastor of Saint Stanislaus Kostka Parish that it, and he, were no longer in communion with the Roman Catholic Church. That they had, in fact, excommunicated themselves.

What are the ramifications of receiving, say, Holy Communion from a schismatic priest?

Archbishop Burke explains:

The faithful who approach a schismatic priest for the reception of the sacraments, except in the case of danger of death, commit a mortal sin. All of the faithful of the archdiocese should guard against any participation in the attempt to celebrate the sacraments or sacramentals at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church. Also, they should caution visitors and others who are unaware of the status of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish, lest they unknowingly participate in the schismatic acts.

Seems clear enough, doesn't it?

So what does VOTF in Saint Louis do? Encourage people to do the very thing they should not, must not do: commit a mortal sin!

From the letter, headlined "Solidarity with St. Stan" (you've gotta scroll down's the meat of it, though:)

The archbishop said Rev. Bozek's decision "causes further damage to the Church, not only here in St. Louis, but in the diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau." Father Bozek said he is here to serve "the people of God in need of a spiritual leader and a pastor." If there is "damage" to the church, it is not because of Rev. Bozek's decision, or the actions of the people of St. Stanislaus. It is the result of the failure of our leaders to resolve disputes with their flock in humility.

We hope that all Catholics in the archdiocese will honor Rev. Bozek and his new parish by joining them for 10 p.m. Mass on Christmas Eve.

Robert Kaintz

St. Louis

Carol Williams

St. Louis

Voice of the Faithful St. Louis

"But Kelly...maybe it's just a couple of cranks in Saint Louis???"

Maybe. But an article on the VOTF national site is troubling, to put the best face on it.

"We call upon Archbishop Burke to relate to St. Stanislaus parish within the traditional Catholic principle of subsidiarity, which requires that the smaller community decide on and administer all its own affairs for which it has capability."

There's more. Read it if you want.

The thing is, VOTF has, since its inception, pushed (among other things) the notion of parishioners choosing their own pastors.

This is what Protestants do. This is not what Roman Catholics do.

(And it's a silly idea, don't you think? Kinda like a lamb choosing its own shepherd or ...a kid choosing his own parents: the ones most liberal in the ice cream department)

"Voice of the Faithful. [TM]." Promoting mortal sin — whether they realize it or not — one Catholic at a time.

Monday, December 19, 2005

"Schism" is a dirty word. So is "Sin." Prayers needed for cleansing

The act of schism, committed by the board of directors of the civil corporation of St. Stanislaus Parish, was the hiring of a suspended priest, that is a priest who is not in good standing in the Church, for the purpose of attempting to celebrate the sacraments and sacramentals St. Stanislaus Kostka Church. The priest in question, Father Markek B. Bozek, a priest of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, has left his priestly office of assistant pastor of Saint Agnes Cathedral in Springfield against the explicit direction of his bishop, the Most Reverend John J. Leibrecht, and after Bishop Leibrecht had explained to him more than once the gravity of his action and its consequences.

— Archbishop Raymond L. Burke

It's impossible for mortal men to succeed — and therefore inadvisable to try — to delve into the souls of other mortal men.

Nothing, however, as we learn from today's Gospel (Luke 1:5-25) is impossible to God. Therefore, it's a no-brainer. Ask Him to help in this situation.

While you're at it, as always, I'd appreciate prayers for the Archdiocese of Boston...and for the Church Militant in general.

Thank you!

Source: St. Louis Review

Relax this week...and give great gifts!

We're blessed this year with a full, Fourth Week of Advent so we might as well take full advantage of it!

One way not to do this is to drive yourself bananas in the stores...or The Post Office.

(Yikes! Today I had to stop by the P.O. to drop a letter in the slot. I had to wade through a sea of frantic people to do it.)

If you haven't finished your shopping yet and haven't a clue as to what in the bleep you're going to buy for fussy Uncle Fred or crazy Aunt Clara, STOP. Take a deep breath, say a prayer, and don't worry about it. Instead of torturing yourself, consider giving them what my mom used to call a "Spiritual Bouquet."

It doesn't have to be an "officially" thing.

You know what I mean. It's wonderful to be able to send a card with a beautiful picture of Our Lady on it, enrolling the recipient in a Mass Novena by a religious order of priests. But if you can't, for some reason, do that, you can still give a "holy" gift. Last year, I received a handwritten note, telling me that ten Rosaries would be prayed for my intentions. I was thrilled!

Still don't have those cards mailed?

Consider "Epiphany Cards." As far as I know, "Epiphany Cards" aren't for sale, but that just means the ones you make and print off all the more unique...and memorable. Don't worry about it if you're not "artistic." You don't need to be! In this case, words are worth a thousand pictures. And a Scripture passage or two (check out, or example, Matthew 2:1-12) along with assurances of your prayers will be as appreciated — or perhaps more — than a standard, "store-bought" card.

Any other ideas?

Fire away...I'd love to hear them!

Friday, December 16, 2005

"Brokeback Mountain: review revisited

Somebody at the USCCB seems to be in a snit. The movie "Brokeback Mountain" has been reclassified from "L" to "O."


The review itself remains basically unchanged. But the change in classification reads, to me anyway, like a cross between an apology to the movie's producers and a slap on the wrist for all those "confused" folks who found the review and rating objectionable.

The new, opening paragraph:

"Brokeback Mountain," originally rated L (limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling) has been reclassified as an O (morally offensive). This has been done because the serious weight of the L rating — which restricts films in that category to those who can assess from a Catholic perspective the moral issues raised by a moveie — is, unfortunately, misunderstood by many. Because, in this instance, there are some who are using the "L" rating to make it appear th Church — or the USCCB — position on homosexuality is ambiguous, the classification has been revised specifically to address its moral content."

Okay. So the USCCB now rates — albeit reluctantly and no doubt due to the folks who took the trouble to call or write — the movie "morally offensive." Fine. But the review itself still reads
like a breathlessly excited ad for it.

As in: "Sure we're forced to give it a `tut-tut'. (wink, wink) But heck, the films is sooooo...b e a u t i f u l !"

Do we really need a USCBB Film and Broadcasting Office?

Go figure.

Thanks, by the way, for making your viewpoint known.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

USCCB reviews "Brokeback Mountain." Sheesh.

Excerpted from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops Office for Film and Broadcasting:

"Except for the initial sex scene, and brief bedroom encounters between the men and their (bare breasted) wives, there's no sexually related nudity. Some outdoor shots of the men washing themselves and skinny-dipping are side-view, long-shot or out-of-focus images.

"While the actions taken by Ennis and Jack cannot be endorsed, the universal themes of love and loss ring true."

Here's the movie's website. You might want to take a look at the "stories shared" (along with the trailer). Then maybe you can tell me why the USCCB seems breaking its back to, in someway, justify not just the movie...but Catholics paying to see it.


To express your views on the USCCB review of this movie, here is the contact information:

Harry Forbes, Director
USCCB Office for Film and Broadcasting

and his boss:

Most Reverend William S. Skylstad
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
(509) 358-7305

Thank you, Father DiLorenzo

Father Tom DiLorenzo, Holy Rosary Church in Winthrop, Massachusetts, is not a priest known to mince words. The Boston Globe printed a letter from him today:

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A good effort by George Weigel, but...

In today's op-ed section of the Boston Globe, George Weigel echoes the points many bloggers have made regarding the Menino/Catholic Charities fiasco.

Two questions remain in my mind.

1.) Why was the mayor honored in the first place?

2.) Why aren't the words of Weigel the words of the Archbishop...or at least his spokesman?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Caught in the act!

Yesterday, after Mass, I chatted awhile with a couple of pals. Most, if not all, of our conversation concerned friends, mutual foes, people we knew, people we'd heard of, and people we didn't know squat about (which didn't stop us from speculating about them).

As we tromped through the snow, the name of a priest we hadn't seen for awhile came up. His mention sparked a lively discussion of the fellow's good points...and not-so-good points.

"He's a great guy, but a real rumor-monger."

"What do you mean? He's one of the most honest person I know!"

"Oh, I didn't mean he spreads lies. It's just that he really enjoys a good gossip."

"Yeah, I know what you mean. The guy's always talking about somebody else."

Suddenly an thundering silence fell upon us, and we each did everything humanly possible to avoid each other's eyes. After a few awkward moments, one of us made an inane — but altogether welcome — observation about the weather.

I'm amazed, and enormously grateful, that amid the din of our chatter about others, God allowed us to hear His gentle whisper about ourselves.

Saint Lucy

Today we remember the virgin martyr Lucy, whose name means "light." Of noble birth, Lucy was killed under the brutal reign of Diocletian circa 304.

Patroness of the blind and vision impaired, Saint Lucy is named in the Roman Canon of the Mass (my favorite.)

Monday, December 12, 2005

Psst...don't tell anybody about Roxbury...but...

As I might've mentioned before, I happen to live in the Roxbury section of Boston...probably the poorest neighborhood in the city.

I like it.

One reason I like it is that nobody pays much attention to us. This is evident from the public neighborhood park.

Every year at about this time, I'm amazed and delighted at the park's Christmas theme. Always, there's a manger scene.

Tonight I noticed something incredible. In typical Roxbury gleaming neon, in letters a zillion feet high (well, maybe a little shorter) are the words:


How we keep getting away with this stuff is beyond me. But keep it under your hat, would you?

And God bless us all.

Our Lady of Guadalupe...

...Patroness of the Americas, pray for us.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Today is Gaudete Sunday. The word "gaudete" is the imperative, second person plural form of the Latin word "gaudare," which means "rejoice." And so, translated, "Gaudete" means" "Rejoice, all of you!"

(Or "Rejoice, y'all!" depending on where you live.)

And, despite the frequent gripes that spatter this blog, you and I have much to rejoice about.

Jesus is coming!

And in so many ways, He's already here! First and foremost, of course, in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. He's present in Sacred Scripture, too, hard as it is for me to remember and I ask you to pray that I do each person we meet.

So rejoice! And expect nothing but the best!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Failing Mayor Menino

I read Mayor Menino's remarks at last night's gathering of the beautiful people to support the inappropriately named "Catholic" Charities with deep sadness...and not a little bit of anger at the people who applauded him.

"....what moves me most about being a Christian is what Jesus taught us about being religious," Menino said. "He did not give priority to piety. He didn't make holiness the big thing. And he did not tell us to go around talking up God, either."

In three sentences, the Mayor — as he has in the past by denying that the Church's teachings on abortion and homosexuality were "not doctrine" — openly displayed his ignorance of Catholicism.

And how did the Archdiocese of Boston respond to this?

Terrence C. Donilon, a spokesman for the archdiocese, applauded the speech. "Mayor Menino's remarks clearly demonstrate this is a person who loves his city and is dedicated to helping others," Donilon said. "We appreciate his many good deeds on behalf of the needy.."

Leaving aside for the moment that the Mayor's "good deeds" are funded by Boston taxpayers (I just got notice that my property taxes are increasing) Donilon — and by implication, the hierarchy of the Archdiocese — make it plain that the priority is not the salvation of souls. No, the priority is to do "good deeds." And to make bleeping sure that everybody knows that "good deeds" are being done.

I wish — I pray — that somebody points out the Gospel passage we hear every Ash Wednesday.

"Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father." (Matthew 6)

Even more, I pray that somebody — preferably the Archbishop, if not Mayor Menino's parish priest — pay attention to the salvation of Mayor Menino's soul, and those of all of us in this Archdiocese.

I pray that our shepherds gently but firmly correct the Mayor and all who hear him, and remind all of us that holiness, is, in fact, "the big thing."

Source: The Boston Globe

Friday, December 09, 2005

Saint Juan Diego

"Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything."

—Words of Our Lady to Juan Diego

"Conservative Catholics Demand": those labels again

If you, like I, had trouble getting to Dom Bettinelli's site this morning, it probably has to do with a front page Boston Globe article which ran today.

With a mix of traditional theology, cutting-edge technology, and deep determination, a group of Catholic conservatives has changed the atmosphere surrounding tonight's Catholic Charities annual Christmas fund-raising dinner from gaiety to guardedness.

See, I find labels like "conservative Catholic" and terms like "demand" and "force" disconcerting.

"They demanded that Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley withdraw from this most glittering social event of the local Catholic calendar..."

There was nothing "demanding" about either the letter or the petition to Archbishop O'Malley. It respectfully requested, with good reason, that the Archbishop absent himself from the dinner. The honoree, as has been noted endlessly, publicly dissents from Catholic teaching. It's a no-brainer.

"But they were unable to force Menino to step aside or to persuade Catholics to boycott the Christmas party in opposition to the mayor's support for abortion rights and same-sex marriage."

"Force?" Nobody held a gun to the Mayor's head! Again, the petition to the Mayor respectfully asked him to take the high road and decline the honoree's seat, given his public statements which deny Catholic teaching.

And the term "conservative Catholic" makes my teeth hurt. You're either a faithful Roman Catholic or you're not. This isn't a political's essentially a moral one. The rules are clear. The notion that following the rules makes one a "conservative" is as absurd as is the notion of breaking them makes one a "liberal."

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Her Immaculate Heart Will Prevail!

See the movie.

(Ask for the book!)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Vatican: stop adoptions to same-sex couples

From the Boston Herald:

A top church official in Washington is urging Archbishop Sean P. O’Malley to stop Catholic Charities of Boston from brokering adoptions unless same-sex couples are excluded, a source close to the hierarchy in the capital told the Herald.

The recommendation was contained in a letter sent recently from the office of Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo Higuera, the papal nuncio, the source said on condition of anonymity.

The archdiocese, asked about the letter, issued a statement saying, “As a matter of course, the archdiocese does not comment on any private communications it might receive from the Holy See.”

This comment is ironic:

The chairman of Catholic Charities, Peter Meade, declined to comment. He said he wanted to speak with the archbishop first.

Good thinking on Peter's part. Because the last time he opened his mouth on this issue he put your foot in it. Let's pray his guardian angel is tapping on his shoulder...and that his Archbishop either instructs him or reinstructs him on Catholic teaching.

And the rest of us, as well.

For the Herald article, go here.

For background on this from the Pew Lady's perspective, go here.

For the Archdiocese of Boston, go to your room — or even better, before the Blessed Sacrament — and pray. Thanks!

Immaculate Conception Plenary Indulgence

At times like this, it's difficult to imagine anything better then being a Catholic.

Mary, Mother of the Church, thank you for your prayers.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Voice of the Faithful [TM] Misses the Point. Again!


Less than a month ago, disgruntled friends of ousted priest Father Walter Cuenin graced my parish church with their presence.

Now it appears that this Sunday their compatriots are following suit.

That's right, friends:

Voice of the Faithful [TM] is in a snit over the recent "instruction" from the Vatican regarding homosexuality in seminaries. And if you live in Boston, Fall River, Springfield, LA, Chicago, or Philadelphia, you can look forward to green-ribbon-bedecked protestors a'knocking at your door, this weekend.

Here's the email: (thanks to a me on this one, I don't subscribe)

We invite you on the weekend of December 10-11 to join in a national action to demonstrate the following:

* your conviction that a vocation to the priesthood is not and should not be restricted by one’s sexuality;

* your belief that excluding homosexuals from the priesthood is not a solution to the clergy sexual abuse crisis;

* and your support of Voice of the Faithful’s second goal – to support priests of integrity.

What can you do? Voice of the Faithful’s National Office invites you on Saturday and Sunday of December 10-11 to

* wear a green ribbon visibly displayed at the Mass you attend;

* forward this email to as many Catholics – and non Catholics – as you know, and ask them to wear a green ribbon that weekend to show their support;

* and, if you live in or near the following cities, join us on Sunday, December 11 for a prayerful candlelight vigil at the following locations to show your support for our priests. (Please bring a candle or small flash light.)

CA Los Angeles Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W Temple St. 6:00 PM

IL Chicago Chancery Office, 155 E. Superior St. 7:00 PM

MA Boston Cathedral of the Holy Cross, 1400 Washington St. 7:00 PM
Fall River Chancery Office, 423 Highland Ave. 3:00 PM
Springfield St. Michael’s Cathedral, Eliot St. 7:00 PM

PA - Philadelphia Cathedral of Sts. Peter & Paul, 18th & Parkway 7:00 PM

As many Catholics have been aware since January 2002, our good priests have been under siege. In February of that year our fledgling organization pledged our support for those “priests of integrity” – we knew our servant leaders by their pastoral presence in our lives. We know them still.

The support of Voice of the Faithful for priests of integrity comes with no “asterisk” – in the wake of the recently released Vatican document on homosexuality in US seminaries, it is time to be demonstrable in that support. We invite you to join a National gesture of our conviction that a vocation to the priesthood is not and should not be restricted by one’s sexuality. As was quoted in the Tablet by Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, “We should be more attentive to whom our seminarians may be inclined to hate than whom they love. Racialism, misogyny and homophobia would all be signs that someone could not be a good model of Christ.”

We are told in Acts that the early Christian community was recognized when observers would say of them, “See how they love one another.” What better time to live that message?

We urge you to share this email with family and friends. The National VOTF office will follow up with a reminder later in the week.

I can hardly wait. At least, this time (one hopes) they won't disrupt the Mass. And...uh...I think I'm busy on December 10 and 11 at 7:00 PM. So folks? All I ask is that you place your Dunkin' Donuts trash in the receptacles provided, and don't leave your green ribbons behind. Tie 'em on your Christmas — excuse me, "holiday" — trees instead.

For more Voice of the Fuddled interpretation on the Vatican document, check this guy out.

Maybe somebody can explain to him the difference between celibacy and chastity.

Or even better? To the whole group the difference between fidelity and apostasy.

"The Most Sublime Charity"

Speaking of charity...

From my post below, a reader might assume that I don't believe in practicing the corporal works of mercy. This isn't true. I understand and embrace what Jesus told us about feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned.

(Although this is not always easy, given the fact that I'm a cheapskate.)

My objection to Boston's "Catholic" Charities is rooted in my -- and I believe your -- passionate desire for salvation for everybody. The last time I looked, salvation isn't easily obtained by adopting out children to same-sex couples, or by publicly honoring people who -- whether they know it or not -- sin.

In today's Gospel (Matthew 18:23-14) Jesus speaks about "the lost sheep."

"What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them
has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go
in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly,
I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that
never went astray. So it is not the will of My Father who is in
Heaven that one of these little ones should perish."

Back in 1979, Pope John Paul commented on this passage:

"Unfortunately we witness the moral pollution which is devastating
humanity, disregarding especially those very little ones about whom
Jesus speaks."

"What must we do? We must imitate the Good Shepherd and give ourselves
without rest for the salvation of souls. Without forgetting material
charity and social justice, we must be convinced that the most sublime
charity is spiritual charity, that is, the commitment for the salvation
of souls. And souls are saved with prayer and sacrifice. This is the
mission of the Church!" ("Homily to the Poor Clares of Albano," 14
August 1979).

Too often we hear that the "mission of the Church" is limited to feeding the hungry, and tending to the earthly needs of our brothers and sisters. Certainly this is a major part of our vocations, but it's not the be-all and end-all of our lives here on earth.

We need to be as committed -- even more so -- to saving souls.

Pray for me. I pray for you all the time.

Please sign a petition to Archbishop O'Malley

Yes, yes, I know. Yesterday, I asked you to sign a petition to Boston's Mayor Tom Menino, asking him to "take the high road" and bow out of his honoree's position at Boston's "Catholic" Charities annual bash.

Now there's an opportunity to ask Archbishop O'Malley to do a bit of clean-up work at the organization which insists on calling itself "Catholic" but then does things like honoring a prominent pro-abortion, pro "same sex marriage" fellow.

(Truthfully? I've long thought that the Archdiocese of Boston should just lose "Catholic" Charities altogether, but I'm not holding my breath for that to happen.)

Anyway, if you'd take the time to sign this petition, I'd appreciate it.

Saint Nicholas of Myra

Happy Saint Nicholas Day!

Here's an interesting site.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Filling Mary's Basket

I went to Confession today and got a surprise.

After confessing my sins, I told the priest: "I want to make a good Advent."
And this 80+ priest gave me a good suggestion. He called it:"Filling Mary's Basket."

Here's the point. As you all know, Advent is a time for preparation and repentance. Father V remembered from his childhood (he's about as young as an 80-year-old can be) "filling Mary's basket." Picture yourself helping Mary on her way to Bethlehem. No time to pack a bunch of stuff...and no stuff to pack anyway!

But fill a useful basket for her to take.

It can't be really big, because, practically speaking, she and Joseph don't actually have an SUV to carry stuff in.
Fill it instead with stuff that will please both Our Lady, her husband...and most importantly, her Son! Write it down, said my confessor!

What can you pack up for Mary as she's on her way to Bethlehem?

A vow to avoid altogether those near occasions of sin?
A plan to pray the Angelus every day? How about a promise to never gossip about another? The gifts we can put in our "Basket to Bethlehem" are endless. And fun!

Let's have some fun and give Our Lady a "Savior Shower."

Let's fill up a basket and give it to her. Ask your guardian angel for ideas...and share them with us!

Please sign a petition to Mayor Menino

On Friday, December 9, the Mayor of Boston, who opposes Catholic teachings on abortion and marriage, is to be honored at a fundraiser dinner by Catholic Charities of Boston. Please sign the online petition to Mayor Menino to respectfully ask him to withdraw.

Please don't consider this just an "Archdiocese of Boston" issue...stuff like this effects the whole Church.

Thanks a lot...and if you'd spread the word, it'd be appreciated.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Time for another "spot the errors" game...

...only this time, Ellen Goodman makes it way too easy. Still, go for it! (The headline's a gimme in itself.)

thanks to commenter Grace

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Do you know anyone who takes "The Da Vinci Code" seriously?

I admit it...I borrowed Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code about a year ago. A friend thought I might be interested, given my interest in puzzles and all.

It was a disappointment, to say the least.

Oh, well, I knew beforehand that it was a bash on Catholic doctrine, and that it was filled with fallacies about the Church. So I figured I was forewarned and tried to concentrate on the enigmatic storyline, being, as admitted, a puzzle lover at heart.

What a waste. I wasn't even clever.

The title should've tipped me off.

But the error, irritatingly, repeated itself throughout the book. The characters kept referring to works like the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper as "Da Vinci" works. Nobody does that! They're known as "works of Leonardo."

"Da Vinci" wasn't Leonardo's last name, for Pete's sake...he was from a town called "Vinci." I kept thinking: gee...if I wrote a book or created a painting, what would this guy have called it? I'm originally from Detroit, Michigan. I live in Boston. Would my opuses be known as "Of Detroits" or "Of Bostons?" Duh. I couldn't figure out what all the fuss was about.

Others — more learned than I — feel differently.

Amy Welborn, for example, wrote a book called De-coding Da Vinci.

And my good friends at Tradition, Family, and Property are alarmed enough at the upcoming movie (and video game!) to have produced a book called Rejecting the Da Vinci Code.

If you know anybody who has, or may, take this ridiculous novel as historical fact, I urge you to arm yourselves with the information these books have to offer.

Thank you.

And thanks to new friend Patte for the nudge ;-)

Friday, December 02, 2005

Catholic Crossword Puzzle Update

I'm delighted with the response of folks interesting in receiving weekly crossword puzzles as described here.

Couple of minor points:

If you want to receive the puzzles, please do use the "Email Kelly" link at the left. Why? Thanks to ingenious approach to all things technical (I stole the code from somebody else), when you click on the link, the subject line is automatically in place. This keeps my aggressive spam filter from relegating email to the "junk" folder. So use the link and don't change the subject line.

(If you did write me and haven't received any puzzles — I sent Sunday's out today — try again and don't change the subject line. And please accept my apologies in advance.)

Please add me to your address book. Otherwise, your aggressive spam folder might keep me out!


Thursday, December 01, 2005

And so this ISN'T Christmas

Christmas is in the air!

But — uh — it isn't Christmas.

This is the season we call "Advent." The Christmas season starts after sundown on December 24.

I'm prompted to bring this up by two bloggers.

Amy's hosting an interesting discussion, prompted by a reader who asks how to keep the seasons — both of them — holy and Christ-filled. The suggestions are good and it's even worth reading all the comments, if you've got a spare quarter hour or so.

Then there's this ridiculous "Let's honor a pro abort in the spirit of Christmas" thing Boston's Catholic (sic) Charities is into up to its ears. Dom posted a letter to Archbishop Sean O'Malley, signed by about four-score and twenty people, asking him to see to deep-sixing the honoring of pro-abortion, pro-same sex marriage advocate (but open handed) Mayor Tom Menino on the organization's "Christmas" fundraiser. To be held on December 9 (which is before the third Sunday of Advent).

(I didn't sign the letter. Lest you think I am not in agreement with the signees, I hasten to assure you I wasn't asked to sign it. That's not my point.)

Anyway, seeing both these posts today reminded me of something that bothers me, year after year. To wit:

Why the bleep do Christians — especially Catholics — celebrate "Christmas" during Advent???

Advent is a holy season. Christmas is, too, of course, but Advent comes first. And it should come first! It's a time for preparation, for quiet reflection on our lives, for getting ready, not just to remember Christ's first coming, but to greet him worthily when He comes again for the second and most decisive time.

And how to we behave during this gift of a season? Too often, I'm afraid, like drunken sailors on a short leave. We shop. We decorate. We plan. We fight with each other in the shopping malls for a parking space, cursing each other out even as the words "happy holidays" slip glibly from our lips.

We go to parties. At the office, at our friends' homes. (At the Boston Harbor Hotel.) We do everything possible to feverishly cram inane activities into the very short amount of time we've got to prepare our souls for the coming of Jesus.

Don't get me wrong. I love Christmas. But I love Advent, too. Both seasons have their purpose. Both merit our attention. I'm starting to think the Grinch didn't steal so much Christmas, but the weeks of preparation needed before the blessed event.

I don't know...sometimes I think the next thing in store is an Easter egg hunt on Holy Thursday. You know what I mean?

Or am I being Kelly Scrooge?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Take the "PC Vision Test"...

As presented by The Curt Jester.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

How to Save the World

John Mallon makes an excellent point about the Sacrament of Confession. When we sin, we hurt ourselves of course...but we also hurt the entire Body of Christ. When are sins are forgiven, the entire Body is healed in some way.

He puts it much better than I can, so enjoy his short but on-target article.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Prayer Opportunities: What are yours?

If you're like me — (and I sincerely hope you're not!) — you might find it hard to follow a prescribed prayer life.

For example: do you pray, regularly, the Liturgy of the Hours? I don't. If you do, then don't tell me because I'll have to go to confession and pray for forgiveness for my jealousy.

(Okay, if you do, then do tell me. I'll get over it.)

But you know? I've discovered — probably not I've discovered, but God showed me — a pretty nifty way to "pray without ceasing" as Saint Paul told us to do.

It has to do with everyday life.

Yes! Here's a secret that shouldn't be a secret (and probably isn't a secret to you and all, but it may be a secret to somebody you know) to praying pretty much all the time.

God gives us reminders.

I live around the corner from a funeral parlor. I live in Boston, which means I pass by cemeteries — old and not so old — every day. These are reminders for me. Every time I pass one, funeral parlor or cemetary — I'm reminded to pray for the dead. It's a no-brainer!

I pass by hospitals a lot. A zillion times, while tromping around the city, an ambulance passes me by. These are reminders to pray for the sick.

Often I see a police car, either with siren on or just passing by. Aha! A reminder to pray for at least two groups of folks: those who put their lives on the line, daily, to protect us...and those who we need protection from.

These are just a few reminders to pray. Can you think of others? Let us know!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Happy New Year!

As we enter the new liturgical Year B, I wish you a blessed Advent, and a year filled with holiness and grace.

"Rejoice, rejoice, o Israel, to thee shall come Emmanuel!"

Friday, November 25, 2005

Catholic Charties makes the simple complex

You probably already know that, not surprisingly, Archbishop Sean Patrick O'Malley of Boston has declined to attend the December 9 Christmas fundraiser, to be held at the ritzy Boston Harbor Hotel, honoring pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion Mayor Thomas Menino.

Points to ponder:

From a Catholic Charities spokesman:

"But with respect to same-sex marriage and abortion rights, Catholic Charities added, ''We differ with the Mayor on both of these issues, even as we recognize his contributions to those we seek to serve each day in our city."

That's rather silly, and awkwardly put, at best. The above sounds like an difference in "opinion" when it's most emphatically not about "opinion" at all but Church teaching and the definition of "sin."

Given these "differences of opinion," Catholic Charities erred seriously in choosing to publicly honor the Mayor. Period. They can still fix the problem by either "uninviting" him or — a much better idea, in my view — calling the whole thing off and just asking the invitees for the dough.

Think about it. The peon seat at the black tie affair costs $500 per...and out of that, only $325 is tax deductible. The higher up one goes in the Catholic Charities dinner pecking order, the more dough needs to be shelled out. If you pay enough, you get the glory of your name in the program.

Why not just skip the "honors" (along with the expense of throwing a wing-ding like this) and...just ask people for the money?

Just a thought.

Another thought.

In stories about the Catholic Church, it seems to be part of the Boston Globe's style sheet to ask somebody to say something stupid...and in this instance, Boston College prof Thomas O'Connor manfully steps up to the plate to accommodate:

''It seems to be a bit of a contradiction," said Thomas O'Connor, a Boston College history professor who has written extensively on the relationship between the Catholic Church and City Hall in Boston. ''People who are pledged to the right to life are adopting a policy that will, in effect, be denying the raising of money for Catholic Charities, whose function is to prolong life."

"Adopting a policy?" O'Malley didn't "adopt a policy" against abortion, for heaven's sake! Again, if people want to buy into to Catholic Charities mission to "prolong life," they can write a check.

And the implication, repeated time and again by Catholic Charities apologists — that the "mission of the Church" is to help the poor — is really wearing thin.

The mission of the Church is to get you and me and Mayor Menino and Thomas O'Connor to Heaven.

You don't do that by putting on a strapless dress, or donning a tux, and toasting a guy who doesn't object to people killing babies and homosexuals playing house.

Source: The Boston Globe

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

It's a Catholic Crossword Puzzle After All!

Last Friday, I "confessed" that I've made crossword puzzles for publications like the New York Times. My work has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Simon & Schuster Crossword Puzzle Books, Games Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and others.

But what I really enjoy is making puzzles for my parish and other friends, based on Sunday Scripture Readings.

Folks who don't belong to my parish get them via e-mail in a format called "Across Lite." The software is FREE, easy to use, and available for quick download here. You can solve the puzzle on your computer, or you can print it off and solve it with a pen or pencil.

If you'd like to receive these weekly, 15 x 15 crossword puzzles, use the "Email Kelly" link on the left and let me know!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Pro-Life Search (powered by Google)

If you use Google — and who doesn't? — please do try ProLife Search. Why? Because when you search anything on the Web using this sight, the two Catholic guys who run it donate money to pro-life groups like Priests for Life, American Life League, EWTN, Sisters of Life, and more...and it doesn't cost you a dime!

Check it out, and tell your friends!

Fellow bloggers...consider linking ProLife Search to your site. Thanks!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

"Our Lady's Friends" visit my parish

I'm not very good at crowd estimates, but I'd guess that at least 250-300 red-attired, button-boasting guests from Newton, Massachusetts' Our Lady, Help of Christians (and their friends from "Voice of the Faithful"[TM]) dropped in for Mass (and protest) at Cathedral of the Holy Cross today. Permit me to address them.

First, thank you for coming. We're a small parish, despite the size of the church building, and it's always good to see the pews more amply filled. You are cordially welcome to join us in worship anytime your buses are available to bring you into the city. Remember always that this is your Cathedral, and the Cathedral of every Catholic in the Archdiocese of Boston.

With this is mind, let me offer a few words of counsel.

Please change your name. I do hope that you are "friends of Our Lady," but I don't think that using a Mass — any Mass, but particularly one to honor her Son as King — to protest would please our Blessed Mother. You might consider a more appropriate name, like "Walter Cuenin's Friends."

Please do not bring food and beverages into the church. While we're happy to welcome you, we're not all that happy about picking up empty Dunkin' Donuts coffee containers after Mass.

Please remain standing until the deacon or master of ceremonies places the Book of Gospels on to the high altar.

Please pony up a bit as the collection basket passes your way. For those of you who contributed, thank you. But next time, you might consider more than a dollar. For those of you who thew a penny into the baskets, please know that in our parish, this is known as "rude."

Please kneel after the Agnus Dei. (That would be the prayer that translates into "Lamb of God.")

Please consider a change of costume. I love red myself, but it's the color reserved for martyrs. (There are no martyrs in your situation, regardless of how you might feel about your former pastor.)

Please consider losing the buttons. This is a house of worship, not a political convention arena. The focus is on Christ...not on you.

Please leave your signs at home. See above. If you have a disagreement with the Archbishop, the place to voice that agreement is the Chancery...a building with which you are very familiar. (And besides — duh! — the Archbishop is rarely, if ever, at the Cathedral on Sundays!)

Please do not ignore the one or two victims of abuse that remain faithful to their witness even after you folks abandoned them. This makes you look very, very bad. I noticed only one red-shirted lady — bless her — who took a moment to shake their hands. (Correct me if I'm wrong...aren't you the folks who's Numero Uno raison d'etre is to "support victims of abuse?)

Thank you for attention. Again, on behalf of my fellow parishioners, thank you for joining us...and don't be strangers!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Confiteor Meme

Domenico, Domenico! The man hath taggeth me with a meme entitled:

::::::::: drum roll ::::::::::::

"I Confess"

I suspect it's a conspiracy to find out why I don't have anything on my blog entitled "What I'm Reading Now," so okay, BettNet Boy, here ya go:

I confess that What I'm Reading Now is an autobiography of Esther Williams, the old time swimming movie star. And that I'm hooked on Agatha Christie mysteries. And Sue Grafton novels.

I confess that I'm a strong adherent of "meatless Fridays." I confess that I took up this cause when I discovered lobster.

I confess that I laughed my tush off when, on April 19, 2005 (my birthday!), I beheld the tragic-looking faces of some of my friends when Cardinal Ratzinger got the Big Job.

I confess that, often, when I'm skimming through Amy's "Open Book" blog, I scroll down to the last few comments...who on earth can read every single one???

I confess that when I open a newspaper, my first stop is the comics section. Generally, it's also my last stop. (Unless you count the editorial page of The Boston Globe...which I consider to be an extension of the comics section.)

I confess that I make crossword puzzles for the New York Times and other lib pubs. (I also confess that I am unable to solve any crossword puzzle without cheating. And that I actually subscribe to a mailing list called "Cruciverb-L" which is primarily for nerdy people like me who make crossword puzzles.)

I confess that, when giving tours of my parish church (which is a Cathedral) I sometimes make eerie sounding noises when we get to the crypt.

I confess to thoroughly enjoying "The Simpsons."

I confess to — often! — starting the sing the Agnus Dei at daily Mass, solely in order to avoid having my hand pumped during the "Kiss of Peace."

(Okay, one time I happened to be sitting next to a good looking guy and forgot all about starting the Agnus Dei. I confess.)

I confess that often, while taking my morning shower, I break into a Dolly Parton rendition of "Nine to Five." (I also confess that I will never give Dolly Parton any sleepless nights.)

I confess that my work often requires me to convince people to buy stuff they really don't need. (I'm in advertising.)

Finally, I confess that I have no idea how to create a comment box hyper link on Dom's blog or anybody else's and that I am consumed with jealousy for those with the ability to do so!

Having confessed, I happily tag Melanie Bettinelli and Jeff Miller. Enjoy!

Maccabees...a great read!

Disclaimer: I am most emphatically not a scripture scholar.

That said...I don't get why the Books Macabees are considered apocryphal by Protestants Or, I guess, at least I understand it to a certain extent....these books are not included in the Hebrew Scriptures.

I wonder why?

We've been hearing from these books at daily Mass now for a number of days. The writings underscore the zealous love of God's law displayed by many of His Chosen, in the face of incredibly brutal persecution.

What inspires me the most is how these martyrs faced gruesome death with courage and confidence. At age 90, Eleazar preferred a horrible death to leading astray the young men of his community. The account of martyrdom of the woman and her sons — while, I grant you, not exactly easy reading — is a superb testimony of faith.

As we continue to step up the prayers for the souls in Purgatory this month, it is good to reflect on the actions of Judas Maccabee, when he ordered prayers and sacrifices in Jerusalem for soldiers who had died in battle. The soldiers had been found wearing "good luck charms" which, of course, went smack against the First Commandment.

"He then took up a collection among all his soldiers, amounting to two thousand silver drachmas, which he sent to Jerusalem to provide for an expiatory sacrifice. In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if he were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death.
"But if he did this with a view to the splendid reward that awaits those who had gone to rest in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought.

"Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from this sin."
Today's reading describes the purification of the Temple, which had been defiled by the Gentiles.

"Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of dedication of the altar should be observed with gladness and joy for eight days, beginning with the twenty-fifth day of the month of Kislev."

That 8-day festival is called Hannukkah.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Boston Protestants aren't stupid, guys!

Catholic Senator Marian Walsh and Catholic Secretary of State William Gavin are no doubt a tad miffed at their separated brethren.

Protestant church representatives were able to table a bill requiring all religious organizations to disclose financial matters to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
(See this post, if you want, for background.)

The point of this bill, of course, was to punish the Catholic Church in Boston. Protestant leaders aren't having any of this, and rightly so. So they fought back, and least temporarily. Good for them!

Source: The Boston Globe

Seems like everyody's doing it...

Source: Mother Goose & Grimm Comics Page (c) Grimmy, Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

McBrien bestows imprimatur on Benedict XVI papacy

Well, we can all relax.

Father "where's my collar" Richard McBrien tells us the Holy Father is okay in his book.

The Notre Dame prof, who is trying ever so hard to help director Ron Howard (Sheriff Taylor? Would you come wup that son of your'n!) make cinematic sense out of Dan Brown's silly Da Vinci Code, offered his unique assessment of the Holy Father's pontificate to date:

“I have observed little or nothing from my vantage point that would trouble me or other reform-minded Catholics,” McBrien said.

Evidently, he managed to squeeze in a bit of apostasy while grading the papal report card:

McBrien said that there was historical evidence to suggest women were ordained in the very early centuries of Christianity. He also pointed out that there is no express law that prohibits women from receiving the sacrament of Holy Orders.

Source: Herald-Argus News

(Hat tip to Mare Streetpeople)

Monday, November 14, 2005

Show Michael Newdow the (godless) money!

The phrase "In God We Trust" is apparently anathema to Sacramento attorney Michael Newdow, who plans to ask a federal court to remove the phrase from U.S. coin and currency.

You might think that Attorney Newdow is a non-believer. Au contraire!

In fact, Michael Newdrow is a churchman. Yes indeed!

Attorney Newdrow founded the "First Amendment Church of True Science" according to the Associated Press. His church's creed -- 'scuse me, "suggestions" are:

1.) Question
2.) Be honest
3.) Do what's right

Now, every dictionary I've consulted indicates that the word "church" has to do with "worship." The word "worship" indicates that reverence due to a "deity." The word "deity" means — unabiguously — a god or goddess.

So what's Newdrow's beef? He says that the phrase "In God We Trust" violates the religious rights of those who belong to his "church." Indeed, claims Newdrow, it wouldn't be right to take up a collection when the money says "In God We Trust."

I question this, Michael. If you're in a church, you worship, and if you worship, the worship is aimed a deity, and a deity is either a god or goddess.

I ask you to be honest, Michael. You don't have any more of a relationship to a "church" than I have to the Queen of England.

Do what's right, Michael. Cut the crap and admit that you don't want the word "God" anywhere near you or anybody else in the world because you abhor the notion that anybody is the slightest bit greater than you. (I have no way of knowing this for certain,'s just a "suggestion.")

Incidentally...if you really have founded a "church" then I strongly suggest that you avoid the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, if you value your privacy and that very currency whose wording you'd like to eliminate.


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Gee, Ted...what should we do? (Bishops in DC this week)

Okay, it's from the Washington Post...but still.

One of the issues, evidently, the U.S. Shepherds will address this week in DC is:

The question of whether to limit access to Communion or take other actions in 2006 against Catholic politicians who oppose church teaching on abortion or gay marriage.

Fine. That's a good thing to address. But...uh...

A bishops' task force led by Washington's Cardinal Theodore McCarrick plans to seek advice on this at meetings with Catholic Democrats and Republicans who were recommended by their local bishops, but the bishops' headquarters declined to provide further details.

Let's get this straight. They're seeking advice from Catholic politicians on what to do about...Catholic politicians?

Source: The Washington Post

Friday, November 11, 2005

Veterans Day: Ministering to those who died in battle

"Those who fall in battle deserve to be gratefully remembered. Innocent
citizens who were killed are to be counted among the heroes who faced the
enemy without weapons. In life they were ready to carry on with quiet bravery,
doing the ordinary things necessary for life...

"Now some are buried under the pile of rubble of shattered cities; the
remains of others are scattered about deserted prison camps. Many of them died
in the state of grace, it is true, but suddenly and without benefit of the
Last Sacraments, and with a debt upon their souls.

"We could not minister to them and ease their pain while they were dying,
but through our prayers we can help now, and obtain for them a speedier
release from their sufferings in Purgatory."

Pope Pius XII

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Massachusetts "Catholic" gets her way in the senate...

(Protestant minister nails the tactics)

Churches and other religious organizations would be required to disclose their finances like other nonprofit groups under a bill overwhelmingly approved by the state Senate on Wednesday.

"We have a law that enables that darkness," said state Sen. Marian Walsh, D-Boston, chief sponsor of the bill, which was approved 33-4 in the Senate. "Moral transparency and financial transparency are inextricably linked."

The Rev. Dr. Diane C. Kessler, executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches, criticized the Senate for rushing the bill to the floor for a vote on the same day that they debated a complex overhaul of the state's health care system.

"It is ironic that those advocating transparency would resort to these tactics which are far from transparent," Kessler said in a statement.

Source: Boston Globe

(emphasis: mine)

Canadian Kill Bill Update: It's "alive" and well

Father Dowd lets us know that Bill C-407 didn't die in Commons.

Secret Agent Man presents offers a challenge.

(Warning to Canadian readers: the latter isn't for the thin-skinned.)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Remembering the souls in Purgatory

From today's First Reading (Wisdom 3:3-7)

They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction, and their going from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of Himself. As gold in the furnace, He proved them, and as sacrificial offerings He took them to Himself.
Try to cultivate the habit of offering up the pains you endure — minor and major — for those being "proved, as gold in the furnace."

Sunday, November 06, 2005

In England, Gene Robinson bashes Vatican

The Bishop of New Hampshire said the Vatican's ban on ordaining gay men was "vile", in a speach in London.

Noting that "so many Roman Catholics" are evidently joining Robinson's demonination (huh?), he said:

"Pope Ratzinger may be be the best thing that ever happened to the Episcopal Church."

I find it interesting that Robinson chose to make his remarks on Guy Fawkes Day.

Source: BBC News/Gay bishop attacks Catholic stand

Friday, November 04, 2005

Fired Loretto (pro-abortion) teacher files complaints

From today's Sacramento Bee (registration required, but it's free):

A former Loretto High School drama teacher alleged Thursday that her firing last month for having volunteered at a Planned Parenthood clinic was a case of sexual and religious discrimination and violated her free-speech rights.

Bishop's actions likened to "Taliban-style"

"Unfortunately, the action of the bishop, cowering to noisy fundamentalists, threatens to turn Loretto into a Taliban-style institution of thought control and repression."

Bishop Weigand of Sacramento ordered a Catholic school drama teacher fired after learning she was a Planned Parenthood "escort."

Oddly enough, the media isn't saying anything about the pro-life Loretto High School student's recent status as an expelled Loretto High School student.

"A Modern Seminarian's Dictionary"

Dom dug up this classic Fidelity spoof from 1987. It's hard to believe the piece is that old!

Catholic Leaders Form Committee to Decide If It's Okay to Sin

The Catholic Church teaches that the adoption of children by actively homosexual couples is "gravely immoral."

So what do the Catholic Bishops of Massachusetts do when confronted by the fact that Catholic Charities of Boston has facilitated these gravely immoral acts?

They form a committee to "review" the whole thing.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Please pray this for the souls in Purgatory

Thank you!

November, of course, if the month we pray for the Church Suffering. But it needn't end in November!

I've got some tips to remind you and me to remember those folks who are waiting to be purified enough to enter the Kingdom.

Meantime, let's pray this.

Thanks again!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Pro-life student expelled from Catholic school

As Jane pointed out in the comment box below, pro-life blogger and high school student Katelyn Sills has been expelled from Loretto High School in Sacramento.

Her mother blew the whistle on a teacher who is evidently a Planned Parenthood proponent, causing diocese Bishop William Weigand to direct the school to terminate the teacher's employment.

Lots of interesting comments at Katelyn's blog, "Stand Up and Speak Out."

Monday, October 31, 2005

All Saints, All Family!

On November 1 we honor all saints...our brothers and sisters!

Yeah, sure, we don't know that all of our deceased friends and family members have entered the Kingdom. But what we do know is that those who have are our relatives...our siblings!

We're all of us children of God our Father. Ergo (I love using words like "ergo") the saints in Heaven are our brothers and sisters. It's sorta like a family reunion!

And, during this month of November, there's no need to fear about those we're not sure have been purified enough to enter Heaven. Heaven's no! This month, especially, has been set aside by Holy Mother Church to pray especially for the holy souls in Purgatory — a favorite intention of mine, and I hope yours.

So, enjoy November — our family month. Thank the saints...

...excuse me, a parenthetical comment is coming up here...

(and by the way, when I say "saints," I know that you know that I don't mean I'm talking just about those who have been canonized by the Church...I'm talking about all of God's children who have, since time was created by our God, have entered into everlasting glory...canonized or not)

...for showing us the way, and for interceding for us.

Ask them, too, to pray for those who are waiting to be purified enough to behold the Beatific Vision! In other words, devote this month in praying for those souls in Purgatory. And as long as we're at it, ask the saints to pray for us! I don't think I'm being selfish or greedy here, do you?

After all...when the saints go marching in, don't we want to be in their number?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Canadian Kill People Bill Debated

Father Dowd of "Waiting in Joyful Hope" warns of a proposed bill slated to be debated in the Canadian National Parliment tomorrow, October 31, which will legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide.

For some reason, this proposed law isn't getting much publicity.

Details — and, action items for Canadians — can be found at Father Dowd's blog.

Why is this fellow a Catholic, never mind a priest?

From the Reverend Robert E. Nee, a public supporter of "same-sex marriage":

''The church is a human organization and, like any human organization, its investment in the status quo is a political reality," Father Nee says. ''In the history of the church, when has dissent ever been welcome?"

He's spending the semester at Harvard Divinity, where he hopes to get sociologists to study the "fallout" of the 58 priests who signed a letter calling for Cardinal Law's resignation. (He's one of them, natch.)

He's also studying gender and moral theology.

Any questions?

Source: Eileen McNamara, Boston Globe columnist

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Pro-life mom has "history of complaints"

A Planned Parenthood escort who also taught at a Catholic prep school in Sacramento recently got canned by Bishop William Weigand. Sadly...this is news. It should be business as usual, but there you are.

"I am directing you, under the provisions of Code of Canon Law ... to dismiss Ms. Bain with all deliberate speed." The letter also states that the termination should be handled with "dignity, sensitivity and appropriate decorum."

What is business as usual...

The media is blaming the mom who blew the whistle on the teacher. She has "a history of complaints."

I could only find one other incidence of this woman's "history" of complaints. Seems the woman dared to gripe about a brochure listing Planned Parenthood as "go-to" agency for domestic violence concerns. Indeed.

An interesting thing:

Her daughter's a blogger.

If nothing else, you've gotta see how Halo Scan can handle multi-hundreds of comments!

I wouldn't bother reading them all unless you've got a few days with nothing to do staring you in the face.

But I do wish you'd stop by 15-year-old Katelyn Sills' blog: Stand Up and Speak Out, and at least scan the last three or so posts. And check out at least some of the comments this kid -- no, not kid, -- sensible young woman -- has had to put up with.

God bless you, Katelyn.

Friday, October 28, 2005

My "inspiration" (I've been tagged)

Brendan Allen in Dublin tagged me with this meme:

"What inspired the title of my blog?"

It's embarrassingly simple, actually. My greatest joy is being in the pew of a Catholic church. That's how I participate. As my website fine print reads, I'm your basic nobody. No parish pastoral councils for me, thanks. No Leadership Positions. The only organization I care to belong to is the Roman Catholic Church.

('Course, the fact that I'm also a tad lazy might play a small part in all this.)

Speaking o' names...I'm wondering how the Summa Mamas came up with theirs?

Hey, Jude!

Today we celebrate the memorials of Saints Jude and Simon the Zealot. I don't much about the latter (except he was either a member of a certain political party or was simply a man filled with zeal). I do know -- as you probably do, too -- that the former is the patron of hopeless and desperate cases. He's often called "the saint of last resort," tradition tell us, since in the early days of the Church, people confused him with Judas Iscariot.

Speaking of this Jude the same one who wrote this short letter? It's one of my favorite parts of the Bible.

Saints Jude and Simon, pray for us.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Confessing those same old sins, over, and over and...

...over again.

Are you like me? Do you tend to commit the same sins repeatedly, despite a "firm resolve to sin no more" after confessing them?

Probably not. But just in case you happen to know somebody like me, you might want to point him or her to John Mallon's latest Catholic Online's "Reality Check" column: Confessing the Same Old "Sticky" Sins.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Is Archbishop O'Malley thinking like LBJ?

Church turns to critic to aid Catholic schools

(If you don't get the allusion, try googling the words LBJ, tent, and Hoover.)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

An unholy purge?

A reader writes:

This "Commentary" [note: requires free registration by the Philadelphia Inquirer] was published hot on the heels of the uproar created by the grand jury report and in the midst of editorial sympathy towards striking down statutes of limitation that prevent charges from being filed and lawsuits filed. It interested me for several reasons. First, it caused me to wonder if there might not be some sort of loose coordination within certain groups so that anti-Church articles appear at about the same time (such as the Catholic Charities piece and others you cite). Second, there are several factual errors circulated here by editors who are sympathetic to attacks on the Church. For example, Briggs says "The first count of scapegoating is the shameless effort to blame homosexuality for child abuse. No credible study supports that view, but the Vatican reinforces that erroneous conclusion anyway. It's flagrantly unjust." This ignores the existence of the only "credible study", the John Jay College USCCB report, that found that over 80% of the allegations concerned homosexual abuse of adolescents. Also, for example, I doubt - but can't prove - that Paul VI ever "sided with nature over nurture".

I can't answer this lady's questions. A "loose coordination" of anti-Catholic mainstream media articles? Maybe. But I'm thinking that Catholicism is, as has been said many times, the last acceptable bigotry target, and maybe that's all there is to it. Maybe not.

Maybe, as the editorial headline writer put it, without thinking, that there is an "unholy purge"...against the Church, that is, not against "chaste gays."

Which gets me to my only point. The column, as the reader indicates, is filled with holes. The biggest one being the term "chaste gays." That's like saying "dark light," or "male woman," or "cool heat." Or "square triangle." You get what I mean. There's no such thing.

The opening graph is sort of a giveaway, I think:

Picture a journeyman priest called Father Cronin who has served the church faithfully and well for decades. He is gay - a matter he shares only with God - and has heard that the Vatican intends to stop homosexuals at the seminary door and root out gays who had made it inside. He wonders, "Will they come for me next?"

"A matter he shares only with God?" Doesn't look like it, does it?

If you can offer anything to help the reader -- and me, too -- fire away. Thanks.