Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Filipino priest Eddie Panlilio: hey, if I lose the election, I can always go back to the priesthood!

Father Eddie Panlilio, a priest running for president of the Philippines, doesn't seem to care much about his superiors, Canon Law, or anything much to do with his presumed vocation, according to this ZENIT article.

The guy's running for president. Even though it's against Canon Law.

'Course, Canon Law doesn't seem to matter much to Father Panlilio...he already holds a political post: he's governor of the province of Pampangna. Which resulted in his suspension by his archbishop, but what the heck.

"The situation is causing division among the Philippine faithful."

Why is this? Are the Philippine faithful unaware of the Canon forbidding priests to hold political office? Perhaps they are. If so, why the ignorance? Do not the Filipino priests inform the faithful of this? Or is this another instance of—as we've seen in the U.S.—priests muzzled (or presuming they're muzzled) and therefore unable to preach against Catholics voting for certain candidates?
The situation is causing division among the Philippine faithful. Perhaps the most vociferous support for Father Panlilio comes from the Philippine Alliance of Xseminarians, PAX, which claims some one million members, some of whom are lay, others who are priests.
Ah..."some one million members." Perhaps. Are these "Xseminarians" (some of whom are priests) educating the Philippine faithful?

Read the whole article, if you have the time, but here's the money quote:
Father Panlilio…has affirmed that, if he were to receive authorization, he would take up again his priestly ministry in the event that he does not win the presidency.
Forgive me, but isn't this sorta putting this world in second place, so to speak, to the Kingdom of God?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

On -- I don't know, the "etiquette?" -- of receiving Jesus

There are times—I like to think of them as "extraordinary circumstances"—when I'm asked to help distribute the Blessed Sacrament. Primarily, this means taking the Sacrament to hospital patients. But sometimes this also occurs at Sunday Mass...usually when my parish church is unusually filled with tourists, as so often happens in the summer here in Boston.

The honor is awe-inspiring.

The point, though, is often—too often—I'm distracted from this amazing honor by the manner in which some folks receive the Lord.

Personally, I'd rather everyone receive on the tongue.

And, to my delight, many people do—many more than I can recall for several years. What's especially gratifying is seeing younger folks—college age, for the most part—receiving on the tongue.
And new communicants seem to receive with proper respect.

I've noticed that younger kids—say, from age 7 to 16 or so—seem to not only know Whom they are welcoming, but the proper way to welcome Him. Even when they receive in the hand.

But what's with the "liturgical hors d'oeuvre" crowd?

I've encountered people respond to my "The Body of Christ" in some of the following manners:
  • "Uh-huh"
  • "Thank you"
  • "Thanks"
  • ...silence...
  • "Okay"
  • "Yep"
Generally this is followed by an attempt to snatch the Host from my hand and pop the Sacrament into the mouth like a Frito, for Heaven's sake.

Often, I've found myself refusing to give the Host to people who don't, at the very least, indicate to me how they'd prefer to receive. (I.E.: "if you're receiving on the tongue, open your mouth, please." Or: "put your hand under the other hand, that's right, now please consume the Host.")

Am I alone in experiencing this, and in my dismay at it? Ordinary and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, please feel free to respond.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Celebrating life...and the first moon walk, 40 years ago today

Thanks to the great folk at Catholic Vote -- and a tip o' the hat to Father Dennis.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

"Voice of the Faithful?" (Who?)

Replete with questionable "facts," the AP story begins thusly:
BOSTON (AP) — A lay Catholic group founded in the worst days of the church's clergy sex abuse scandal said Monday it may be forced to cease operations because of a downturn in donations.

Leaders of Voice of the Faithful sent out a fundraising letter Monday to members saying it is "at the crossroads of financial survival" and needs $60,000 by the end of this month.

Bill Casey, chairman of the group's board of trustees, said Voice of the Faithful has been hit hard by the economic downturn and is making an "emergency appeal" for donations. The group is based in the Boston suburb of Needham.

"Our revenue has been dropping. We've made significant reductions in our operating expenses. We've cut salaries, we have cut contracts," Casey said.

"But I think for us, the killer has been the inability of people to continue to contribute because of the economic crisis."

This, in my not-so-humble opinion, is a crock. The group never was a "voice of the faithful." The group was—and the emphasis is on was—a bunch of dissidents (with, admittedly, some people sincerely distressed by the scandal...who pretty much left the organization within a year or so of its inception) who used the scandal to try to push "reform" in the Catholic Church in America. You don't have to take my word for it. Somewhere in the bowels of my computer is the slide show that outlines the whole sorry plan.

Wait, I just remembered something. 'Way back in 2002, I wrote about the group here.

Bye, bye, VOTF. You're not even history...you're gone.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mark Shea on Mariology by ZENIT: part 1

Terrific interview with fellow blogger and author of "Mary, Mother of the Son."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Crossword solvers and constructors: alert!

Hey, gang! Alden and I just got a cool new client—folks who are in the final stages of a game combining crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, brain-teasing hints from old and new game shows like "Concentration," "Wheel of Fortune" and even "Jeopardy!" What a blast!

I realize experienced American-style crossword puzzlers aren't the main readers of this blog, but if you are one, or know of one, drop me a line!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Judge Ruth Ginsberg on Roe, according to Bill Donohue

Excerpts of a New York Times Magazine interview with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which will appear on July 12, include the following quote by the Supreme Court Justice about the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion: “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”
Stay tuned to see if the NYT prints this. (Sheesh.)

The president seens the sights in Rome...

Obama: Baby Got Barack

(Sorry...couldn't resist)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Welcome, Benedict Bettinelli!

Dom and Melanie's boy was born today!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Make new friends...they're saints!

Okay, there's Twitter and Facebook and all sorts of ways to make and keep contact with your earthly friends. And that's great! But let's not forget those "cloud of witnesses"—the saints—who right now are cheering us on from our eventual home.

Although the Church calendar honors many saints, there are gazillions who aren't necessarily recognized in the liturgy of the day but are saints nevertheless. One way to meet them? Check out the Saint of the Day.

In just a few minutes, you can learn about the essentials that made holy men and women friends of God—and your friends, too. And, you can ask them to pray for you…they'll be happy to do so!

Saint of the Day—because nobody can have too many friends.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Monday, July 06, 2009

Father Z on "toning down the rhetoric...and why we probably won't do it"

Chittister graciously demonstrates the reason for the Vatican's "nun" inquisition

Modestly dubbing herself as "A Voice of Reason," the lady opens with her never failing blatherskite:

Well, we're in trouble now. U.S. bishops, not all of them but clearly a vocal few, have brought the church to the point of serious confusion. By denouncing Notre Dame for inviting President Obama to give the university's 2009 commencement address and, in the course of that ceremony, to receive the honorary degree awarded to eight U.S. presidents before him, the bishops are surely in an awkward position. To say the least.

The problem is that on July 10, Pope Benedict XVI will receive President Obama at the Vatican itself. That kind of reception is, of course, no small honor for anyone and surely a symbol of dialogue and listening at the highest level of Vatican diplomacy.

So will those same bishops denounce the Vatican, too, as they did Notre Dame? And if not, what is that saying?

Look, sis. While Our Fearsome Leader might—actually, outta—consider an audience with the Holy Father an "honor" (and somehow, a doubt is niggling at the back of my mind, no doubt unworthy of me), the Holy Father isn't giving the guy an Emmy, an Oscar, an Honorary Degree, or even a silver star to stick on his forehead.

For Heaven's sake, please Lord, start this investigation now!


Saturday, July 04, 2009

Freedom Prayer

Archbishop Allan Vigneron of Detroit posted this beautiful Independence Day prayer on the archdiocesan website. (H/T Father Dennis Brown)

You must try Colleen Hammond's daughter's...

...no fail PERFECT flaky pie crust!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Obama: "expect a `robust conscience clause'"

The President met with some Catholic media types yesterday.
Obama began the meeting with brief remarks, describing his conversation with the Holy Father just after his election, the National Catholic Register reported. The president said he looks forward to his meeting with Pope Benedict next week, especially to discuss immigration, climate change and the Middle East.
All important issues, to be sure, but not the issue.
President Obama said he views the Holy See in some ways like a government, with whom he will sometimes agree and sometimes disagree, but also as more than a government, because of the influential role played by the Church across America and throughout the world.
More than a government? Well, yes. Remember "My Kingdom is not of this world"?
Father Owen Kearns, editor in chief and publisher of The National Catholic Register, observed, “The most noteworthy thing during the meeting was his dispelling of what you might call the expectation of the worst regarding conscience clauses.”

Obama told those gathered that he had only reversed the Bush-administration’s conscience provisions because “it hadn't been properly reviewed” and there were questions about “how broad it might be and what its manifestations would be once implemented.”

Yet Obama assured people that “my underlying position has always been consistent, which is I'm a believer in conscience clauses.”

My not-so-underlying position is: I disapprove of abortion and killing of any type.

Father Kearns also commented on Obama’s treatment of the divide between conservative and liberal Catholics. “After the first question, from the National Catholic Reporter's Joe Feuerherd, the president jokingly asked, ‘Was there really [a controversy at Notre Dame]?’”

Yuk yuk.

Regarding the division of opinions within the Church, Obama said he believes that “the American bishops represent a cross section of opinion just like other groups do,” said the National Catholic Reporter.

Uh...Eminences and Excellencies? The above quote is your challenge. You're not "just like other groups." For the love of God, will you get your acts together?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Nun investigation

First of all, there's a difference–I think—between religious sisters and nuns. Anybody with more info, please chime in.

The Vatican is quietly conducting two sweeping investigations of American nuns, a development that has startled nuns who fear they are the targets of a doctrinal inquisition.
Good. And I'm not at all offended by the word "inquisition" and don't you folks be cowed by it either, please.
Nuns were the often-unsung workers who helped build the Roman Catholic Church in this country, planting schools and hospitals and keeping parishes humming. But for the last three decades, their numbers have been declining - to 60,000 today from 180,000 in 1965.
Not good. The declining numbers, I mean. The "unsung workers" label is a good thing. We're not supposed to look for kudos.

While some nuns say they are grateful that the Vatican is finally paying attention to their dwindling communities, many fear that the real motivation is to reel in American nuns who have reinterpreted their calling for the modern world.

First clause good. Second clause? Silly.

In the last four decades since the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, many American nuns stopped wearing their religious habits, left their convents to live independently, and went into new lines of work: academia and other professions, social and political advocacy, and grass-roots organizations that serve the poor or promote spirituality. A few nuns have also been active in organizations that advocate changes in the church like ordaining women.

Not. Good. At. All. We all know these "few" ladies.

Here's the whole article.