Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Demographic Deficit

I remember -- I swear I do -- people lamenting about the "population explosion" as if that were a horrible thing. More people on earth, I mean.

Thank God for the Holy Father and for for cryin' out loud (no pun intended) would you married people quit with the "birth control" and "be fruitful and multiply?"

Thank you.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Boss and the Bible?

A Marxist Perspective on 'Darkness on the Edge of Town' and The Boss and the Bible are among the academic papers to be presented when a New Jersey university hosts an academic symposium devoted entirely to US rock singer Bruce Springsteen.

I confess. I'm a Springsteen fan. But this is a bit much.

Papers will be presented by a Lutheran minister, a Roman Catholic theologian, Wall Street analyst and the principal of a private school in Washington.

Sounds like a joke...a minister, a Catholic, an analyst and a principal walk into a bar...ah well, never mind.

But why are they doing this? Why are they holding an international academic conference on Bruce Springsteen?

"He was always shooting for something higher - some broader socio-cultural theme," Kenneth Womack, one of the organisers and an Associate Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University, said.

Oh. Okay. (?)

Cute typo:

"I hope its not too 'fan-ish'," Ass Prof Womack said.

Dom Bettinelli gets editor spot at CWR Magazine

As of September 1, Dom Bettinelli will be the new editor of Catholic Word Report Magazine, replacing Phil Lawler who will remain as editor emeritus, and who plans to write an interesting book.

Prayers and best wishes to all concerned.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Need office supplies? Visit the monks!

The Laser Monks' site is so cool you might want to check it out, even if you don't want to save money on toner and ink cartridges.

(Thanks to Jeanne.)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Blessed Sacrament stolen from parish tabernacle

There are several "official" definitions of "hate crimes," but they generally follow the Anti-Defamation League's description:

"Any crime committed because of the victim's actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation."

Last Thursday, the Blessed Sacrament was stolen from a tabernacle at Saint Joseph's Catholic Church in Lynn, Massachusetts.

The "incident" is being handled as a larceny.

I don't get it. Why isn't it being handled as a hate crime?

Imagine what would happen -- and please, God, I pray it doesn't -- if, say, a synagogue experienced the theft or desecration of its Torah.

What if somebody stole into a mosque -- and please God, I pray nobody does -- and destroyed the Koran?

In Massachusetts and in the majority of these United States, such acts would be treated as hate crimes.

But when the very Essence of Catholicism is attacked, it's treated as a simple "larceny?"

When humans act like animals

Professor Bainbridge and Dom both comment today on what I've long felt to be a dangerous trend...the acceptance of so-called "animal rights activists" as "caring" people.

The credo among these folks seems to be devastatingly simple:

Animals are better than human beings.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

From a fellow pew guy on Confession

I got this today regarding a recent blog on Confession -- the subject? "Powerful Words."

"God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of His Son has reconciled the world to Himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church. May God grant you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from all your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.''

Let us meditate on the power of these words. When they are spoken by a priest (another Christ), simultaneosly with the Sign of the Cross, we are reborn into the grace of God. Heaven's gate is opened for us. That is awesome power. Now we once again try to change our lives by a firm purpose of amendment, doing penance, and concentrating on a spiritual direction in our lives.

Thank you, my Marine in the Pew! (Not his real name...his real name is Joe.)

Friday, August 26, 2005

JAMA editor defends article...sorta

Friday, August 26, 2005
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Catherine DeAngelis is a staunch Roman Catholic, used to give Holy Communion to her patients and says she strongly opposes abortion.

So the Journal of the American Medical Association's editor in chief says she had to take a walk around the block after receiving dozens of "horrible, vindictive" e-mails condemning her for publishing an article that says fetuses likely don't feel pain until late pregnancy.

"One woman said she would pray for my soul," DeAngelis said yesterday. "I could use all the prayers I can get."

Starts out pretty good...gee, maybe I was wrong. Except for this (it's pretty close to the end of the article)"

DeAngelis said she attends Mass at least weekly and also is a Eucharistic minister, which allows her to administer Communion to fellow Catholics. She said that while she opposes abortion, she also supports a woman's right to choose.

Uh-huh. Got it.

There's nothing quite like the face...

...of a kid after making his or her First Confession.

No amount of reassurance can convince the kid beforehand not to be nervous. Do you remember your First Confession? I do...and despite everything the nuns and priests told me, I was scared!

But afterward -- today I saw 10 kids seemingly float out of the confessional, eager as anything to fly to the Tabernacle and pray their penance.

One little girl summed it up for me:

"I'm so much lighter now!"

Yup. Sin's a heavy thing, a shackle that keeps one as enslaved as the Israelites in Egypt. Only reconcilation to Jesus -- via the Sacrament -- can set us free.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Unborn babies' pain study "provokes controversy"

(KRT) - A controversial research article about when fetuses feel pain is sparking a heated debate about the nexus between science and politics and what information authors should disclose to scientific journals.

The report, published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed previously published research and concluded that fetuses probably don't feel pain until 29 weeks after conception because of their developing brain structures.


Undisclosed was the fact that one of the five authors runs an abortion clinic at San Francisco's public hospital while another author worked temporarily more than five years ago for an abortion rights advocacy group.


I'm wondering about the "developing brain structures" who bought into this pile of...uh..."research."

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Well, we didn't quite make it to the Red Sea...

...but we did — finally — get out of Egypt!

It was the plagues that sorta slowed me down. The kids simply could not get over the fact that the Egyptian water turned to blood. "Ewwwwww."

Observing the small classes was interesting. Sister Celeste chose to illustrate the nature of God's forgiveness via the Prodigal Son parable. When she got to the part where the guy was reduced to eating what even the pigs wouldn't eat, one bright fellow wondered aloud:

"How come he didn't just kill the pigs and eat them?"

In the class for the pre-schoolers, they talked about their guardian angels. They made paper "angels" to share with the other kids..."angels" that bore a remarkable resemblance to paper airplanes. One went flying out the window into the rectory parking lot, barely missing a parish priest.

Tomorrow is "field trip" day -- a trip to nearby Castle Island in South Boston. Wish I could join them, but, alas, work awaits. Class resumes, God willing, on Thursday.

"Women's Press" shoots self in foot?

Correct me if I'm wrong.

But after reading this article and then the comments that follow it, does it not seem to you that perhaps the Minnosota Women's Press -- along with its story star...the newly ordained "Catholic Deacon Regina Nicolosi" -- made complete idiots out of themselves?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Moses Update

At this writing, Moses and the Chosen Folk are still in Egypt. Wishful thinking on my part, I guess, but I'd hoped to have gotten them into the desert by the end of today's session. No dice.

Lemme give you an idea of the set up.

We all meet at around 9:00 AM. Opening prayers confer blessings, songs confer enthusiasm. Then I get my hour to spiel. (That would be an hour in psychiatrist's terms: read about 40 minutes.)

I'm convinced that the reason Moses et al are still in Egypt has much to do with the kids' fascination with his survival as an infant. Flabbergasted were they to learn that Hebrew boy-kids were, by law, killed at birth. Okay, the boys were perhaps a tad more chagrined than their female counterparts, but all were pretty ticked off...and delighted by how Moses' mom and sister saved his tush and got him into the palace to boot. Anyway, that delayed things, but that's was a good pro-life moment. (Hey, I happened to overhear a bit of talk about "designer babies.")

When my time's up, the kids break up into smaller groups, mostly according to age, and are taught by the catechists. After sneaking out to gulp some coffee, I sorta float around, eavesdropping on -- no, wait, wrong word, make that observing the progress of -- the small classes.

After recess -- a favorite time for all, including yours truly -- the classes resume for maybe a half an hour or so. Then we all get together and each class shows off -- nope, wrong word again, let's make that share -- what they've learned. Final prayers, a blessing from a parish priest, and that's it for the day.

Tomorrow, God willing, God will let His people go. 'Course, we've got the plagues to get through -- one little fellow informed me, quite firmly I thought, that he was especially looking foward to the frogs -- then Passover, the final plague, and at least we should be halfway through the Red Sea before long.

Prayers are deeply appreciated!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Pleased to meet you...

As I was putting the finishing touches on my first presentation for Vacation Bible School tomorrow morning, I was serenaded by Mick and the boys by Sympathy for the Devil.

Ooo, whoo.

I have no intention of running to the shelter of my "Mother's Little Helper," nor am I on my way to my "19th Nervous Breakdown." Nevertheless, some prayers are needed. I heard, although I can't confirm it at this point, that a woman was injured at the concert. I pray it's not serious, or even that it didn't happen.

Speaking o' prayers, I'd appreciate them for tomorrow. Hey, did you know that Moses is a saint in the Catholic tradition?

Father Zuhlsdorf is a very cool guy.

The Rolling Stones...

...are now rockin' away at Fenway Park. They started out, appropriately enough, with "Start Me Up."

I can hear them and I live in Roxbury. Wonder what the Fenway folks are doing? (The neighborhood folks, not the ones in the stands.)

They said they'd stop at 11:00 pm and -- I know this makes me sound old -- I sorta hope they do.

From an AP story:

The tour may well test the band's stamina. After all, the three remaining original Stones, Jagger, Richards and drummer Charlie Watts, are 62, 61 and 64 respectively. Guitarist Ron Wood, now going on 30 years touring with the band, is the baby of the bunch at 58.


Friday, August 19, 2005

Think about Moses for a minute: suggestions welcomed!

Moses is the topic of a 4-day sort of seminar I'm leading for about 30-40 kids beginning on Monday. I've got the basic course all set, naturally, but I'm looking for more suggestions to connect his life to stuff going on today. The students range from kids prepping for First Confession to Confirmation candidates. (I know, it's odd, but strangely enough, it's worked in the past.)

For example: last year we focused on John the Baptist. The DRE insists on Old Testament figures -- and, I've come to believe, with some good reasons -- and I was able to draw on him as the last of the old time prophets, so to speak.

What worked so well with The Baptizer is that I was able to draw from his life two important issues: the reality of life in the womb ("the babe leapt") and his defense (to his death) of marriage.

I'd like to do something similar, using Moses as our guide.

So what I guess I'm asking is this: in what ways do you think the life of Moses can teach kids (and adults) about what we, as Church and as individuals, are facing today?

God willing, I'll let you know how it turns out, but if you've got some light to shine, by all means...turn the lamp on!

Thank you!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Saint Jane Frances de Chantal...

...with her spiritual director, Saint Francis de Sales, founded the Visitation Nuns in France is 1610. (Yes, I know this link takes you to Philadelphia!)

The life of Saint Jane Frances is a fascinating and inspiring one. A beautiful woman, a rich baroness, a mother of several children, a young widow, Saint Jane wanted to join a Carmelite monastery after the tragic death of her young husband in a hunting accident.

Her spiritual director, Francis de Sales, had another idea...he urged her to found a new order for women whose circumstances -- primarily age and physical health -- prevented them from acceptance in the religious orders of the day.

Her nearly chronic suffering from spiritual "darkness" did not -- perhaps could not -- keep Saint Jane from productive work and fidelity to God and His Church. Her memorial is celebrated on August 18.

Read more about Saint Jane Frances de Chantel here...with a bonus on a 15-year-old martyr.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Brother Roger...R.I.P.

Adieu, Frere Schutz. May his soul rest in peace with the Prince of Peace.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Two heterosexual men decide to get married

Two single heterosexual men in Ottawa have decided to "marry" each other...and a gay activist is in a snit about the whole thing.

I wonder if this will catch on in Massachusetts?

As my friend Jeanne puts it (thanks for the link, Jeanne):

"When you make laws against discrimination, I guess you, er, well, can't discriminate."

Swan Fake?

In its continuing effort to glorify homosexuality, the Boston Globe gives us...a "same-sex swan couple."

Boston's beloved pair of swans -- feted by city leaders, residents, and tourists alike as one of the Hub's most celebrated summer attractions -- are a same-sex couple. Yes, scientific tests have shown that the pair, named Romeo and Juliet, are really Juliet and Juliet.

(You have to look hard to find out that the City of Boston only orders female swans for its Public Gardens, since the males are aggressive and could be a threat to tourists.)

Blessed be her glorious Assumption!

For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma:

that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.

from Munificentissimus Deus, Pope Pius XII, November 1, 1950.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

May I present...

Mr. & Mrs. Domenico Bettinelli!

Ignore this if you want

I keep trying to edit a teeny typo in the post just below this one, but the Blogger People keep telling me that the "blog can't be found." So let's see if this shows up.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Good churches in Boston

Amy does this a lot. I don't, but a reader writes:

I was wondering if you could recommend any good churches in Boston, from both an architectural and devotional point of view.

My answer:

I'd start out with the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, from both points of view.

(Email the Keely Society for specific architectural information -- the link's on the website -- and tour information.)

Ditto for The Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (a.k.a. "The Mission Church.") Its website is much more informative.

Devotionally, for Sunday Mass, there is Holy Trinity Church which celebrates the Latin Mass at noon (for's slated for closing).

And devotionally, you simple can't go wrong with Saint Clement's Eucharistic Shrine.

Finally, for week-day Masses, I favor Saint Francis Chapel. Not for Sundays or holy days though -- it's totally different. The key word is "weekdays." Adoration begins after the 12:35 pm Mass...Benediction at 4:30 PM. Follows is the Rosary.

If all went according to plan...

Dominic Bettinelli and Melanie Scott were united in Holy Matrimony today, Saturday, August 13, 2005.

Unitas mirabile vinculum!

Why don't Catholics do stuff like this?

Today, two gentlemen knocked on my door. They explained that they were from the nearby Twelfth Baptist Church and wanted to "give folks a chance to get to know the congregation." To this end, they are planning an cook-out next Saturday afternoon for the whole neighborhood. FREE! (A favorite word in my book.)

Two questions: why is it the "Twelfth" Baptist Church?

But more important to me is...why don't Catholics do stuff like this?

Or maybe they do. My parish doesn't. We have events, but they're always for the parish members.

(Is this a question similar to "why don't Catholics sing?")

Friday, August 12, 2005

Okay, get it out of your system

He's accused (note "glamorous")

He quits.

He quits.

He's the "other man".

Saint Blog's is either having a ball with this one or...well, they're squirming.

A friend suggested prayer. Not a bad idea.

Okay, I've officially blogged on it.

Here's a question for you (don't let it spoil your weekend!)

Have you ever considered the fact that the facts aren't all they claim to be?


Have you ever found yourself (not publicly) in the Monsignor's position...or his secretary's?

I'd be interested. Because I have. Found myself in the secretary's position, I mean.

Am I an adulteress?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Fran Kissling blasts NARAL (no typo here)

From the (now pulled) NARAL ad:

"Supreme Court nominee John Roberts filed court briefs supporting violent fringe groups and a convicted clinic bomber... Call your senators. Tell them to oppose John Roberts. America can't afford a justice whose ideology leads him to excuse violence against other Americans."

Leaving the "violence against other Americans" ideological irony aside (I mean it's just so easy) here's another bit of irony for you.

Within the larger liberal coalition of which NARAL is a part, there was considerable uneasiness about the advertisement, although leaders of other groups generally refused to speak on the record. One who did, Frances Kissling, the longtime president of Catholics for a Free Choice, said she was "deeply upset and offended" by the ad, which she called "far too intemperate and far too personal."

Kissling, who initiated the conversation with a reporter, said the ad "does step over the line into the kind of personal character attack we shouldn't be engaging in." She added: "As a pro-choice person, I don't like being placed on the defensive by my leaders. NARAL should pull it and move on."

They pulled the ad. And, although I don't consider NARAL my "leaders," Fran, I agree with your statement here...although I believe the word "out" is preferable to "on."

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Before hitting "forward," try a prayer instead. Chain letters are EVIL. Period.

I just got another "prayer wheel" email assuring me that if I forwarded it to at least 10 people, or, preferably "everybody in my address book" (duh) that God will indeed answer my prayer.

The implication — or in many cases, the outright statement — that if one doesn't forward said message, God will be Very Angry, or Very Hurt, or something equally as dire.

For Heaven's sake, people (if you don't do this sort of thing, please don't take this personally) STOP IT! What you're doing is making the Devil laugh his evil head off!

Chain letters -- and "prayer wheels" are included in this category regardless of how holy the intent seems to be -- are at best, annoying, but at worst, idolatrous.

Anyone who thinks he can manipulate God's Will by pressing the "forward" button is treading on dangerous -- very dangerous -- territory.

When you get anything in your email box that instructs you to forward it to any number of people, do yourself, and the sender, a big favor.

First, delete the message. Remove the occasion of the sin of susperstition from your eyesight.

Then, say a real prayer. Direct it to God. He's listening, and He doesn't need a computer to get the message.

Update: I just got another one which reminded me of something else that is just plain wrong. God won't grant you your "wish" if you respond to any given email. Try and trust me on this one...God isn't a genie.

Sheesh! ;-)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A woman's vocation...

"After the life-and-death struggle of a World War, the nations of Europe have collapsed alongside one another. Whether a policy of international reconciliation will gradually prevail against strong counter-currents is impossible to predict with certainty. But one thing is clear: the issue involves women. If a woman's vocation is the protection of life and the preservation of the family, she cannot remain indifferent as to whether or not governments and nations assume forms which are favorable to the growth of the family and the well-being of the young."

Edith Stein, addressing a group of Catholic professional women following The Great War

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, pray for us.

Monday, August 08, 2005

And about Saint Dominic and the Rosary..

Since childhood, I've loved the notion -- true or tradition -- of Mary giving the Rosary to Saint Dominic. What I've gotta admit is that it was only today, at Mass during the sermon, that I learned the motivation for Mary's gift.

I'd never heard of the Albigensian heresy, nor the Manicheanism heresy for that matter. You probably have, but in any case, you might be interested in this link, and, for that matter, this website.

Please remember the Dominicans -- the Order of Preachers -- in your prayers.


Update: the link's fixed. Thanks, Dan!

Jesus cracks me up!

I love today's Gospel reading (Matthew 17:22-27). I didn't hear it at Mass today because the priest chose the readings for the Memorial of Saint Dominic, but I read it this morning.

Jesus again tells His disciples about his upcoming Passion and Resurrection, and the latter were "overwhelmed with grief."

Then, almost or maybe most definitely to cheer them up, He performs what might be described as a "fun miracle." A discussion with Simon Peter regarding the temple tax led to the conclusion that "subjects," meaning folks like Jesus and Peter, were technically exempt from the tax. But on the other hand, Jesus didn't like the idea of offending the tax collectors. So here's what He told Peter, the fisherman, to do:

"...go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and you."

Is that priceless or what???

Walsh authors bill to force church financial disclosure

The legislation, which would require all religious organizations to file annual financial reports and a list of real estate holdings with the attorney general's charities division, is opposed by the Catholic Church and major mainline Protestant denominations. It is being watched as a test of how much clout the archdiocese still retains with the state's political establishment.

I'm not sure if this is a bad idea or not, frankly. But I'm under no illusions about the bill's author.

Walsh's leadership on the issue is rooted in strong anger. Until recently she and other Catholic public officials never questioned the church, she said. ''There was acceptance of their moral authority."

When? I ask because of this.

About that Boston City Council referendum...

Remember that non-binding referendum against the Archdiocese of Boston the local wizards on the Boston City Council wanted to place on the ballot? (My tax dollars at work.)

Guess what. It's been shelved.

Of course it's been did it's job by getting quoted in the two major Boston papers at least twice.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Former IRA bomber now a seminarian

The Boston Globe Magazine's cover story profiles a former Irish Republican Army terrorist (parenthetical comment -- interesting to see the Globe using the term "terrorist") now studying for the priesthood.

The cover itself blaringly headlines what evidently the Globe considers news:

"The Catholic Church believes no man is beyond salvation."


The sentiment is repeated in the article's kicker:

He was a teenage terrorist. He tried to kill a bishop. After 14 years in prison, he got married. Now the Catholic Church wants him to become a priest. Is no man beyond salvation?

Judge for yourself the merits of the article, and the motivation, if any, behind it. But do so with all the facts. Here's what you won't find in the online version of the Globe Magazine, but will if you've got the hard copy:

When Globe reporter Kevin Cullen tracked down former terrorist Shane Paul O'Doherty at Ireland's last Catholic seminary, he wasn't sure the school would let him in. But when the silver-haired Cullen (below, at left, with O'Doherty), in his customary black pants and windbreaker, approached a guard, the man nodded and called him "Father." The mistake was a stroke of luck, because this week's cover story is one the church is not anxious to talk about and declined to cooperate with.

Okay, the reporter gets in under false pretenses. Some might call that dishonest from the get-go. Still, the seminarian evidently was okay with being profiled.

But what's with the "declined to cooperate with" slur? (Which is what it is.) And how is the Globe defining "church?"

The answer, if you want to call it that, is almost at the end of the multi-paged feature. (Please keep in mind that the seminarian once tried to murder a bishop, which is more than just a "no-no" when it comes to becoming a priest, and evidently requires a papal dispensation.)

The Rev. Kevin Doran, who recruits candidates for the priesthood for the Dublin Archdiocese, says O'Doherty was accepted last year with the understanding that neither he nor anyone in the Church would publicly discuss his story during his study for the priesthood. Doran, in an e-mail, says: "There is, undoubtedly a `story' in Shane's journey to seminary. The diocese has taken the view, however, that this is not the time to focus on that story."

The Boston Globe overruled the Dublin Archdiocese.

My question is this: did O'Doherty, whether intentionally or not, screw up his own candidacy? The wording in the beginning of the quoted paragraph is confusing. Does the "he" refer to Father Doran or to O'Doherty himself?

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Another "spot the errors" article

Okay, let's call it a contest, but this time no way can I judge it (or give a prize for the winner, for that matter.)

But sheeesh!!!!

This piece has my head spinning.

Once again, we've got a Catholic, Senator Joe Biden, (who -- surprise! -- might run for the Big Spot) using his Catholicism to drag in the "separation of church and state" myth.

On the "intelligent design" stuff, I do hope that Father Bob Carr weighs in...for reasons pretty obvious when you visit his site. (Look at his book on the sidebar.)

Thanks to reader Deborah (who wants no credit) for the tip. (By the way, she's got some pretty good observations regarding the article, which I hope she'll post here.)

To get you started, let's begin with the end. Biden (evidently highly educated in the Norbertine tradition) says:

"When Jesus met Mary Magdalene, he didn't stone her," he said. "He invited her to dinner."

Friday, August 05, 2005

He's "not comfortable with intelligent design"

Rick Santorum, R. Pennsylvania, has a problem, apparently, with intelligence. Or, Intelligence.

"I'm not comfortable with intelligent design being taught in the science classroom."

This is plain wacky, with all due respect to the senator from Pennsylvania.

Evolution is a legitimate theory (and not inconsistent with Catholicism, by the way.)

Intelligent design can and should easily be seen as an equally legitimate theory, even to atheists.

Actually neither theory is incompatible with the other.

What's with Santorum?

Human Life: gifts from God. Susan and Susan Torres

"Her passing is a testament to the truth that human life is a gift from God and that children are always to be fought for, even if life requires-as it did of Susan-the last full measure of devotion."

Thank you, God, for Susan Michelle Rollin and Susan Anne Catherine Torres.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Galvin upset about cemeteries (Catholic ones, natch)

Massachusetts Secretary of State Bill Galvin has had some grave issues with the Archdiocese of Boston. (The story I'm linking to doesn't happen to mention that his parish got closed down.) The latest concerns are about, well, graves.

''The archdiocese has failed to keep its commitment, not only to the families, but to the deceased," Galvin said.

He got, apparently, a Boston Globe photographer to take pictures of two Catholic cemeteries. Several toppled headstones were discovered, along with some grass that hadn't been mown for awhile.

I've been, often, to at least one of the cemeteries Galvin's investigating and they're huge...and for the most part, beautiful. (I'm one of those nuts who likes cemeteries.)

Could be I'm all wet, but I'm thinking Galvin's digging, so to speak, into something that's a non issue.

But then, this is Boston.

For me, the most amazing thing about this story (and another one in the rival paper, The Boston Herald,) is that the words "sex," "abuse," or "scandal" don't appear.

Talismania continues!

Ellen and Mare contribute to our collection of talismanic terms with "Diversity" and "Religious Freedom," respectively. Nice job, ladies! (Check the comments box on the link and continue it in this post, if you'd like.)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Like a bat out of you know where!


I was in my little sitting room, reading a book (don't ask the title...there's a reason why I don't post a wonderful section called "What I'm Reading Now" on this blog) when all of the sudden a BAT appeared!

It was at least 12 feet wide (okay, maybe a wee bit smaller) and it eerily swooped around me, around my sitting room, into the connecting was horrible!

Bravely, I ran out of the room, shutting the doors (in order to protect the student who lives upstairs with me) and returned with a dust mop. This didn't do much good, I admit, but gamely I tried to cajole the monstrous thing into leaving my house while shouting encouragingly things like "Get lost!" and "Scram!" and what I thought was the foolproof "I'm not kidding!"

(Meanwhile, I tried very hard to shoo away thoughts about how bats get entangled in their prey's hair...and, of course, anything I've ever heard about vampire bats. Good grief.)

My downstairs neighbor, hearing the commotion, obligingly asked if I needed assistance. Shamelessly I shoved the mop at him, slammed the doors, and, yeah, to check and see if my poor student roomer was okay. (I couldn't believe it...she was actually at her desk if nothing out of the ordinary was going on!)

As it turned out, the bat flew out the window. (Who the bleep knew you were supposed to open windows to get rid of bats and by the way, what the bleep are BATS doing in the city???)

I'd like to tie up this episode with some profound theological observation, but none leaps to mind.

Except of course the absolute necessity of praying to my Guardian Angel each and every night!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Contest Results

Thanks, everybody.

Before I name the winner, a couple of announcements.

Lee Ann gets the Miss Congeniality Award.

The quote that grabbed me the most was that of non-competitor Julie, who wrote:

"It's an extremely widespread idea that people can make all kinds of inappropriate remarks about the groups they are a part of, without 'technically' offending. It's a sort of `Let he who is of the same sin throw all the stones, but all the rest of y'all back off' thing."

Jim Belna's post is thoughtful, well put, and certainly worth the read. As he said, it was a "different take."

Patrick Coffin! You were doing fine until you went over the limit. That's what the "preview" button is for, as you well know! And never mind appealing to a higher authority!

Now, for the First Runner-Up. As you know, this is a very important, since, if for whatever reason, the Winner is unable to accept the title, it is the First Runner-Up who will assume the award. The First Runner-Up is..................

TSO! Good job, TSO.

And the winner is:

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


Thanks to all for participating.

Monday, August 01, 2005

The results are (almost) in!

Whew, what a night!

The judges fought, made up, fought again, threatened to sue me, the Church, the Archdiocese of Boston, (?) and the Good Lord knows who else before making a decision on who most accurately pointed out the errors in the Pew Lady's "Errors Contest."

Right now, while drinking horribly stale coffee and waiting for another pizza order to come in (and I hope the driver takes his time -- we're all so p.o.'d at each other that nobody's offered to pay for it) we all realize there's just one hope to break this hopeless stalemate.

When the fax from Rome comes in, I'll be reporting.

Meanwhile, this is Kelly Clark. Good night, and good pews.

Physicians more religious than expected, survey says

90 percent of doctors in the United States attend religious services at least occasionally, compared to 81 percent of all adults.

If I'm reading this right, more U.S. doctors go to church (or temple, or whatever) as a group than most U.S. adults as a whole.

This, I think, is good news.

Fifty-five percent of doctors say their religious beliefs influence how they practice medicine.

Ditto...I think. What do you think?

Here's the article.