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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This Seems Like a Very Poor Idea

(From EWTN News)
29-April-2008 -- Catholic News Agency

Controversial Episcopal Bishop Scheduled for Catholic Book Trade Conference

St. Charles, IL, Apr 28, 2008 (CNA).- A group of Episcopals (sic) has invited controversial Episcopalian Bishop V. Gene Robinson to speak during a major Catholic trade show for booksellers. Though Robinson’s appearance is not directly sponsored by the trade show, he is listed in the show’s schedule of events.

Is the dearth of heretical New Age psychobabblers in the Holy Catholic Church so severe these days she must now borrow them from the Episcopalians?

(h/t the MCJ)

Monday, April 28, 2008

We Need to See More of This

Cardinal Egan lets Giuliani have it:
“The Catholic Church clearly teaches that abortion is a grave offense against the will of God. Throughout my years as Archbishop of New York, I have repeated this teaching in sermons, articles, addresses, and interviews without hesitation or compromise of any kind.Thus it was that I had an understanding with Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, when I became Archbishop of New York and he was serving as Mayor of New York that he was not to receive the Eucharist because of his well-known support of abortion.

I deeply regret that Mr. Giuliani received the Eucharist during the Papal visit here in New York, and I will be seeking a meeting with him to insist that he abide by our understanding.”

Your Bloviator has the crazy-ass notion if all politicians who have the temerity to call themselves Catholic but receive at Mass despite their loud support of the "right" to an abortion, faced the possibility of being publicly chewed out by their bishop, they might at least shut-up; which would go a long, long way toward the resolution of this issue.

(h/t Aufer a Nobis)

An Oversight?

One of the last bastions of orthodox Anglican worship in New York City (and increasingly, the whole country) is the venerable St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue, with its legendary boys choir and its no-nonsense Anglican worship, e.g. ad orientem and "Victorian" English--as the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church has called it--used in services. Evensong at St. Thomas is an especially moving experience and should not be missed by anyone visiting New York City.

Since St. Thomas' is one of the crown jewels of the Episcopal Church, it is striking how few mentions one finds of that organization or even the word "Episcopal" on St. Thomas' extensive website: your Bloviator could only find five, none of them prominent. Neither, unless overlooked, is there a single link to the Episcopal Church's website, or the Diocese of New York's. It is a indeed a puzzlement and one almost gets the impression it is intentional. Perhaps when St. Thomas' unveils its newly designed website (now in the works) we will get a better idea.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

It's Just a Little Bitty Sin

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, in a paean to Gaia on "Earth" Day, went biblical on us, or at least tried to make it look that way. In a news release she stated
The Bible tells us in the Old Testament, 'To minister to the needs of God's creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us.' On this Earth Day, and every day, let us pledge to our children, and our children's children, that they will have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and the opportunity to experience the wonders of nature.

Don't go running to your Bible to find that passage, it doesn't exist. To this newbie Catholic, freshly catechized, that should be obvious: the bit of bogus scripture Ms. Pelosi cites strays dangerously near the worshiping of the creation, not the Creator which, of course, is idolatry. Ms. Pelosi, a long time ago, was a Catholic and should (and probably does) know better yet she has trotted out this apocryphal silliness quite a number of times over the years.

To someone who also has no qualms whatever receiving at Communion, despite vigorously espousing a point of view contrary to Church teachings on the grave matter of abortion, it is an easy matter for Ms. Pelosi to not see any harm in a teensy-weensy matter like quoting scripture made from whole cloth.

(h/t the Instapundit.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Next They'll Outlaw Tritones

Americans are well-advised to keep a weather eye on Europe to learn of the latest do-gooder dictates concocted by Utopians over there, possibly foreshadowing those we might see on this side of the Atlantic in the future. The latest promulgation from Those Who Must Be Obeyed are noise limits in musicians' workplaces and the result is orchestras having to reprogram concerts and altering their repertoire because the noise police have determined some musical works are hazardous to their health. (That could mean curtains for the Bayreuth Festival, with its deadly combination of Wagner and the band situated in a pit underneath the stage in the Festspielhaus.)

The noise restrictions are all of a piece with the nanny state: protecting us from ourselves while furthering the goal making making us all wards of the state. They took an almost comic turn recently when the European Union issued noise restrictions for bagpipers, notwithstanding the fact bagpipers, as they point out, play by themselves on most occasions (hardly surprising, that). Probably the most depressing aspect to the noise restrictions are the Europeans' responses to them. It is not as though those affected are not protesting the regulations, they are, but it is the manner of their protests: complaining about the inconvenience and difficulty of complying with them, not the (for now, still) much more American response, "Who the f*** do you think you are telling me my goddamn trombone is too loud?!" You have to wonder if Europe is doomed.

Your Bloviator is fully appreciative of Schopenhauer's observation a man's intelligence is inversely proportionate to his ability to withstand noise, and fully supports nuisance regulations directed at brain-dead thugs driving the city streets at 3 A.M. with Fitty or Nas blasting out the windows. But if a musician discovers his axe is damaging his hearing, is it not more reasonable for him to learn another instrument or change professions, rather than the government stepping in, yet again, and adding to the already countless reams of regulations governing our livelihoods?

Overheard on a Fine Spring Day in Madison Square Park

A Noo Yawk father asking his kid, via cell phone, a question fathers have been asking their kids these past forty years and have yet to receive a satisfactory answer:
"What I wanna know is this. When ya get outta college as a carpenter, which most people don't do, whaddya gonna do?"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Answered Questions

A number of people, no doubt sick to death of my endless carping and ranting (and perhaps feeling a smidgen of pity for me, as well) have recommended the book "Why Catholics Can't Sing: The Culture of Catholicism and the Triumph of Bad Taste," by Thomas Day, a Catholic organist. I bought it yesterday and am pleased to report not only is it a hoot, Day takes no prisoners, but it is informative as well, the writer knows of what he speaks.

One piece of advice from him I can can already heartily endorse: "Melt down the microphones or beat them into plowshares."

Monday, April 21, 2008

Inch by Inch, Row by Row: Gonna Make those Heresies Go

From Melancholicus at Infelix Ego comes this bit of good news.

Peruvian cardinal stops Communion in the hand

Lima, Apr. 17, 2008 ( - A Peruvian cardinal reports that he has banned the practice of receiving Communion in the hand.

Speaking to the Italian web site Petrus, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne of Lima, Peru, said that in order to guard against abuses, "the best way to administer Communion is on the tongue."

Cardinal Cipriani told Petrus that he took the step to halt Communion in the hand in order to promote greater reverence for the Eucharist. In some cases, he said, the practice had led to gross abuses. More generally he cited the "relaxed attitude of many priests" as a cause for the decline in reverence.

Well huzzah, huzzah and about time. Now that most of the mainline Protestant denominations Catholic liberals were emulating when they foisted their post-Vatican II innovations upon the Church are declining precipitously, we are at a time when Catholic traditionalists should, inch by inch, push back those innovations, since they have proved such manifest failures.The liberals will squawk, of course, but since they are mostly your Bloviator's age or even older, other than make a lot of noise they cannot do all that much, other than engage in bluster and passive resistance; they are increasingly outnumbered and, like those Protestant denominations, dying off.

The innovators got as far as they did via bullying and intimidation (a standard tactic of the boomer generation) but each time they are stood up to by the likes of Cardinal Cipriani and told, "we are not afraid," they will weaken and will eventually flee, as all bullies do; most likely into the embracing arms of the Episcopal Church.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Lend Me a Tenor

The music of today's Papal Mass here in NYC seemed to this observer to be superior to that of Thursday's in D.C. The use of How Lovely is Thou Dwelling Place from that Protestant Brahms' German Requiem at Communion was, well, lovely. So was Panis Angelicus, sung by tenor Marcello Giordani, on loan from the Metropolitan Opera (how handy to have it nearby); the Holy Father appeared to be quite moved by it.

It occurs to your Bloviator one giant and easy step the Church could take to improve her music would be to eliminate the soloist blasting along into a microphone during the hymns. The logic how this is supposed to encourage the faithful in the pews to sing escapes me and, I will speculate, may even discourage them. The Anglicans have no need for "hymn leaders" (or whatever they are called) and neither does the Holy Catholic Church.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Art for Art's Sake

The New York Sun reports one of the more bizarre stories to come out of Yale recently (if it is possible to use the comparative with "bizarre" in any story from Yale), that of co-ed Miss Aliza Shvart, who claims to have "repeatedly impregnated herself and induced abortions that she videotaped for use in a senior art project." Gratifyingly, in this cynical age, the story got wide press until a Yale administrator revealed it as hoax, claiming Ms. Shvart was engaged in "performance art;" that "[t]he entire project is an art piece, a creative fiction designed to draw attention to the ambiguity surrounding form and function of a woman’s body.” Ah, that's what it is, we were wondering. We can assume Ms. Shvart is also engaging in "transgressing boundaries"and other Po-Mo stuff, which imparts that certain je ne sais quoi found only in the most distinguished opera of performance art.

We also learn from the Sun article Miss Shvart has an impressive portfolio; that she has several compositions under her belt including a work performed in lower Manhattan at Federal Hall, at a performance art event in 2006. Miss Shvart's opus consisted of her standing and reciting (we may assume in an elevated tone) the following. "We have this huge fucking institution telling us: ‘That’s what power looks like. That’s what empowerment looks like.’ It’s these patriarchal, heteronormative trappings of a voice, of a right to speak, but really I think we should think more about it." Yes we should, Miss Shvart, and we thank you for bringing it to our attention.

Of further interest is the Federal Hall event where Miss Shvart so generously shared her genius was sponsored by the Lower Manhattan Cultural (sic) Council, with the "generous support of the September 11 Fund." It is good to know the donations to that charity, founded to "meet the needs of affected victims, families and communities" resulting from that dreadful day, are being spent so wisely and efficaciously.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Having Yet Another Crack at It

Contemporary Catholic church music has been beaten to death on this site so I will avoid commentary about the music used in the Papal Mass celebrated yesterday in D.C., save to aver it could not possibly be any more abysmal than what we are in for Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

I am a newly-minted Catholic, however, so I will toss out a question to veterans who know more. Is there anyone out there (under sixty, anyway) who actually enthuses about modern Catholic church music? I don't mean those who might say, "I guess it's ok, it could be worse," but more like, "Wow, this is gorgeous; stunning, even! It truly makes me feel closer to God." In other words, are there people out there who will actually state the lite-contemporary music-product™ of Haugen & Co. is equal or superior to the antiphonal choral and brass compositions of Gabrieli or well-sung plainchant? If so I am willing to squint my ears and give this crap a second third or fourth chance. I'm not holding out hope, though.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Safety First

Click here to see a video produced by the Archdiocese of New York for the training of priests in the safe distribution of Holy Communion when the Pope celebrates mass at Yankee Stadium this Sunday. There will be a variety of distribution methods that are dependent on the locale: field level, upper deck and the bleachers.

There has been no comment, so far, from the Archdiocese on reports there will be a contingent of the Swiss Guard stationed among the faithful in the bleachers, a section of the stadium with a reputation for rowdy behavior.

(h/t Aufer a Nobis.)

Odds Bodkins!

It seems this humble blog was nominated and (even more astonishingly) received three whole votes, for the "Best New Catholic Blog" in the 2008 Catholic Blog Awards (scroll way, way down) . This is the first your Bloviator has heard of the awards, not to mention the nomination (otherwise the vote total would have been four). Warm thanks to the kind (if delusional) soul for the nomination and to those kind (if delusional) souls who voted for this blog.

Incidentally, the winner of the Best New Catholic Blog, with 56 votes received, was one this blog has linked to from its inception, the Creative Minority Report, which richly deserves it given that its proprietors, unlike this one, actually put time, care and attention into their efforts; it shows handsomely.

Why Do the Heathen Rage So Furiously Together?

One would think a nice little article by the food critic of the New York Times about celebrity New York chef Lidia Bastianich and the meal she's cooking up for His Holiness Benedict XVI, when he visits this city, would go down without too much controversy. Think again, you dolt, this is the New York Times! In the combox, a fellow suggests sweetly Ms. Bastianich, "put something in the Pope’s food that will make him into a reasonable human being, and change his position on birth control and all those other issues that make his church remain the enemy of humanity." Having broken the ice, plenty of other New Yorkers pile on, including the charmingly named "Willow," who writes thoughtfully, "the Catholic church and its popes have done more to create chaos in the world than any other institution, including over-population and mysogeny (sic). Who cares what he eats or who cooks it! Throw the bum out!"

In the spirit of Christian charity, the moderator of the comments has also allowed comments from readers in defense of His a food column. Still, it is astonishing, given the demographics of the New York Times readership; just how well-to-do they really are, the barely checked rage they nonetheless carry on their person. It is a indeed a puzzlement: over the past forty years the atheistic liberal-left has wrested control of the media, the entertainment industry and the education cartel. In fact, they've done so gosh-darned well for themselves one would think they might be able to muster up a just a little bit of graciousness on this happy occasion of the Pope's visit. Think again, you dolt, this is the New York Times!

(An extra big h/t to Banished Child of Eve for the link and title.)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Galvanized Steele?

It is being noised about that former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland Michael Steele is on John McCain's short list for Vice President. He would be a fine choice. A black Catholic conservative, Steele would fill the nowadays-obligatory diversity requirements, and would add conservative heft to where McCain is lacking. What your Bloviator likes particularly about Steele is his Catholicism is genuine: he is vigorously pro-life and, according to U.S. News & World Report, "is a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Landover Hills, Md." [that he] regularly attends... with his wife, Andrea, and their sons, Michael and Drew."

The only cause for concern is whether or not Steele will be up for the campaign. There is no one the left holds in greater contempt than the black person who has ditched the liberal plantation; recall the vicious and underhanded treatment of Clarence Thomas during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings sixteen years ago (and who is still loathed by the left, far more than the other conservative justices). Know for sure the Democrats, with the presidency at stake (no matter who wins the nomination), will outdo themselves and turn their slime machines up to eleven.

Steele underwent an earlier trashing from the left in his unsuccessful senate campaign two years ago and handled it with aplomb; he may have what it takes. Let us hope so because if Michael Steele does become the Republican vice presidential candidate, the tactics the Democrats deploy against him will be the filthiest and most execrable in U.S. political history.

(h/t Creative Minority Report.)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stalking the Beast with a Squirrel Gun

Lest we forget, the barbarians also lay siege to the Holy Catholic Church in Europe, in this instance on their own turf, Austria. Savor, if you will, the hard-hitting response from Cardinal Schoenborn.

VIENNA (Reuters) - Vienna's Roman Catholic cardinal said on Wednesday that he regrets the exhibition of a homoerotic version of Christ's Last Supper in a museum linked to his diocese.

The controversial work was exhibited in Vienna's Cathedral Museum as part of a retrospective honoring Austria's renowned artist Alfred Hrdlicka, who recently turned 80.

Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, archbishop of Vienna, said he had backed the exhibition without knowing the detailed contents.

"I obviously would not have agreed to have blasphemous or pornographic works exhibited. I therefore explicitly regrets that a work of this kind was exhibited without my knowledge," the cardinal said in a statement.

Mercy! The Archbishop means business: he explicitly regrets the display of this blasphemous tripe, the paint-product of an aging and unrepentant Stalinist. But it gets better: here his Eminence moves in for the kill:

"In some of (the pictures) he oversteps the essential threshold of respect for the sacred," the cardinal said, adding that the museum does not identify with all of the works.

Herr Hrdlicka is surely reeling from that blow! Readers aghast at the harshness of Cardinal Schoeborn's response, however, will be relieved to know the good Archbishop also tempers justice with mercy: he had considered sending the museum staff a sharply-worded memo about the outrage but in the end decided against it, concerned the severity of such a measure might border on the unchristian.

(Thanks to William Tighe.)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

They'll Get an Understanding Alright

The kids will, that is. Those in charge will remain as clueless as ever (from Dutch News).

THE HAGUE, 09/04/08 - A primary school in Amsterdam wished to provide its pupils with an understanding for other cultures. But during a visit to a mosque, the children were told they were dogs.

With a view to developing understanding and respect for other cultures among children, primary school De Horizon regularly organises outings to various religious organisations. The chairman of the El Mouchidine mosque told the children from group 7 (aged 10) and their chaperons however that non-Muslims are dogs.


Angry parents had sent the letter on to De Telegraaf but were reportedly rapped on the knuckles by the school's management. "The school wishes to play this down. That is precisely the problem", as one mother commented.

(h/t Hot Air.)

Chairman of the Board

It's anyone's call who gets more laden with trinkets when visiting foreign lands, the President or the Pope. Be that as it may, when his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI visits New York City ten days from now, he will find himself the proud recipient of an item no other Pope has ever received, a Papal Skateboard. A skateboarding club that meets at St. Elizabeth's Church in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan (I have new-found respect for those scruffy-looking lads) and their priest adviser, Fr. Peter Pomposello (a superb young priest who will be a bishop some day, your Bloviator predicts) came up with the idea, proposed it to the Archdiocese of New York, which to its great credit endorsed it, and announced a contest for the skateboard's design (you can view all the entries here).

Three finalists were chosen and now the Archdiocese is asking people to vote on the designs to help determine which will be embossed on the board presented to the Pope. Go here, choose the design you like and click on it to vote (your Bloviator's pick is shown above but don't let that influence you).

What's appealing about this project is the designs are all by kids so it would be a fine thing indeed if many votes were cast (you can also buy your own skateboard to benefit the Archdiocese's inner-city charities). I suspect the Holy Father will really get a kick out of this gift. Maybe he'll do a few ollies in St. Peter's Square: he can pick up some pointers from this guy.

(Thanks to Mark the Wannabee for the video link.)

On the Other Hand...

After looking at the nonsense in the video below, I think I might have been too hasty with earlier critical remarks about my local parish church. Not only is there no dancing around the Cranmer table, the altar is a proper one and even has a saint enshrined under it. Can't beat that!

We must strive to be grateful for the things we have. And don't have. Deo gratias.

(h/t Diogenes)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Media Bias? Naaaaaaahhh!

Grim news from the Associated Press:

An industry group said Tuesday that pending U.S. home sales fell in February to the lowest reading since the index began (emphasis added), signaling the housing market distress is not yet over.

The National Association of Realtors' seasonally adjusted index of pending sales for existing homes fell to 84.6 from January's upwardly revised reading of 86.2. The index stood at 107.6 in February 2007.


With house prices falling and credit continuing to tighten, many economists say the housing market is likely to worsen in the coming months, though some remain hopeful about a recovery in the second half of the year.

"The question was whether things were starting to stabilize," said Global Insight economist Patrick Newport. "Apparently they're not."

Wow, pretty scary, isn't it? You might think we're on the verge of a depression, if not already in one. This being an election year, we may assume the Democrats will make more than a little hay with the survey results. We may also assume the Democrats, like the AP, will leave off the fact the National Association of Realtors began taking this survey way, way, way back in 2001, which was "the first of four consecutive record years for existing-home sales."

Funny, is it not, the AP didn't see fit to mention that possibly significant fact in its an election year. It surely is mere co-incidence.

(h/t the Volokh Report.)


Here's news that will put a spring in your step: the New Kids on the Block are reuniting. They are shown here posing on the set of "The Sopranos," where in an upcoming episode they will play themselves performing in a New Jersey pizzeria.

Monday, April 07, 2008

You Are What You Eat

The Execution of Robespierre--from Wikipedia

The unfailingly astute Dr. Mabuse has posted a fine think piece about the lack of concern by the revolutionaries for the fate of the souls they are driving out of the Episcopal Church, with increasing zeal. She writes

There was a time when Anglicans really thought that being an Anglican was important. That the salvation of one's soul could depend on it, and making a wrong choice could have eternal consequences. Now, there's no sense that a person runs any risk at all by leaving the Anglican Church. There's no concern that the people being swept away by the new broom could wind up going to hell. Even to write out the phrase seems faintly ridiculous.

Hell, of course, being one of those quaint and reactionary notions espoused by the hated "orthodox," the ones now being shown the door.

What is happening today in the tragic and beleaguered Episcopal Church is another recurrence of a revolution devouring its own children. Once the Episcopal church dispatches the rest of the remaining faithful even faintly redolent of "orthodoxy," she will turn her attention to those whose fervor for the new religion is insufficient (or are bothersome in some other way) thus are "counter-revolutionary." The purges will continue upward (Beers will likely be the victim of the last putsch) until all power is consolidated in Ms. Schori or her usurper, creating ECUSA's very own Napoleon or Stalin. It will be a Pyrrhic victory, however, because unlike the aforementioned tyrants, there will not be much of a kingdom surviving for him or her to rule over.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

A Theological Question

I wonder if it lifts any years from purgatory when the wobbly contralto soloist, chirping into the heavily amplified microphone, manages to sing, with remarkable consistency, an eighth-tone flat. I wonder if more years are lifted when the organist's knowledge of harmony seems to end with tonic, dominant and sub-dominant, no matter what's found in the hymns through which he navigates so precariously; hymns which in themselves are quite possibly even more excruciating than the interpreters?

St. Cecelia pray for us and your Holy Church.

Update: Justyn Martyr writes:

Sounds like you checked out your local parish today.

What was the line the Justice of the Peace gave to an eloping Eddie Bracken in "Miracle at Morgan's Creek": "Don't be nervous -- getting married is the easiest thing in the world. The hard part comes later."

Conversion is much the same -- hang in there.

Actually, JM, I've attended mass there several times, it's just I'm appalled every time I do. Thanks for the encouraging words and allow me to allay your concern: I love Holy Mother Church with all my heart. I know first hand of what glories she is capable and irrespective of that, no matter how dreadful the liturgy, the Real Presence isn't altered in the slightest.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Adding Value

There is no more enthusiastic proponent of free markets than your Bloviator. When Mr. and Mrs. Clinton, after much stalling, at last released their tax returns for the eight years following Mr. Clinton's presidency (we'll assume it's mere co-incidence they released this much sought-after information Friday afternoon at 4 P.M.), it didn't perturb your Bloviator unduly the returns revealed the two of them raked in $109 million. In a capitalist state, the value of goods and services is determined by the marketplace and if the market determines the goods and services offered by the Clintons are worth, on average, $15.5 million a year, this blogger will not quibble.

On the other hand, it is difficult to resist wondering just what tempting goods and services the Clintons offer that command such impressive fees? Has the market really placed a value of $10 million on Hillary's scintillating books? Likewise, are Bill's books truly worth $30 million? Is there really $52 million of value in Bill's speeches to trade groups and charities? Or could it be there are unstated goods and services the Clintons are offering in addition to those they publicly proffer and on which a far greater value can be placed?

Friday, April 04, 2008

Absolut B.S.

Above is an ad for Absolut Vodka presently appearing in Mexico and apparently targeted to the left-wing/nationalist demographic; at least that segment of it with muchos pesos, the largest part of it, no doubt.

Your Bloviator cannot tell the difference between highbrow vodkas like Absolut and the cheap stuff in plastic bottles named "Old Bolshevik" or some such, so when liquoring up goes for the latter. Should any of you readers have better taste than that in vodka, you are invited to consider, when in the liquor store or the bar, whether or not you want your hard-earned bucks subsidizing gratuitous anti-American slams like this; so common both here and abroad (alas, for good cause) in ads aimed at the upscale market.

(h/t Brain Terminal)

Update: They've yanked it, as it were. Thanks to Daniel Muller for the tip.

Some Good News, at Last, for the Episcopalians...

They've certainly been thirsting for it.

Historic Ruling Halts Episcopal Attempt to Seize Control of Church Property

Virginia Anglican Churches Prevail in Court

FAIRFAX, Va. – The 11 churches sued by The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia responded to today’s Fairfax County Circuit Court ruling that the Virginia Division Statute (Virginia Code § 57-9) applies to support their efforts to keep their property. The 11 churches named in the lawsuit are members of the Anglican District of Virginia.

“We are pleased with this initial victory today..."

I'll bet you are. This will most certainly be appealed but winning the trial assures the best odds going all the way. Godspeed.

(h/t Babyblue)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Saving Souls and The Economy of Willy Sutton

(FBI Photo)

The following is quoted from an advertisement in the print edition of the April issue of Episcopal Life, the "independently edited, officially sponsored monthly newspaper of the Episcopal Church..."

The Anglican Use Society in America in communion with the Holy See of Rome offers to Clergy, Religious and Laity of the Anglican Tradition [offers] an information booklet explaining THE PASTORAL PROVISION, the canonical instrument that has made possible their reconciliation with the Holy See as units of common identity which preserve their Anglican heritage of liturgy, hymnody and spirituality.

Anglican Use, for those unfamiliar with it, quoting from the brief but on-the-mark Wikipedia account, refers "to former Anglican congregations who have joined the Roman Catholic Church while maintaining some of the features of Anglicanism" and "to the particular form of worship used by those churches, which can be found in the Book of Divine Worship;" derived from the surprisingly little tweaked (in order to conform with Catholic teachings) Book of Common Prayer (albeit, regrettably, "Rite I" from the grossly deficient 1979 Prayer Book).

As you might imagine, the Anglican Use Society ad appearing in the house organ of the Episcopal Church is causing some bemusement. Chris Johnson (a tip o' the biretta to him for this item) in his Midwest Conservative Journal writes: "In other words, an official publication of the Episcopal Church includes an advertisement from an official Roman Catholic organization that invites Episcopal congregations to leave the Episcopal Church and become Roman Catholic." Puzzling indeed and I can only hazard a guess that someone at Episcopal Life was asleep at the wheel (or perhaps all those lawsuits are straining the portfolio more than the Episcopal Church is letting on).

However that ad got into Episcopal Life, congratulations are in order to those smart people at the Anglican Use Society for having the smarts (as well the audacity) to place it. Somebody there is surely familiar with the celebrated bank robber of years past, Willy Sutton, who when asked why he robbed banks is supposed to have replied, with exquisite precision, "because that's where the money is."

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Better Dead than Bled

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reports on a Pizza Hut employee in Des Moines who, upon having a gun held to his head after making a delivery, pulled out his own gun (for which he had a permit) and fired three times, wounding the perpetrator who was later captured by police. For this display of valor, Pizza Hut saw fit to remove the poor fellow from his situation despite his having been with the company ten years. Understandably, this has incurred the wrath of Morrissey and many others who feel it is hardly fair. Pizza Hut's case was not helped by one of its corporate shills who defended the firing, stating company rules prohibited the carrying of guns “because we believe that that is the safest for everybody.”

That is not the reason, of course, it is just party-line parroting of the anti-gun activists. Pizza Hut is a division of deplorably named Yum! Brands, Inc. whose management, like that of all publicly traded companies, must act in the best interests of its shareholders. One effective means accomplishing that is avoiding needless lawsuits. Allowing staffers to pack heat, even while making deliveries to dirt-bags in dirt-bag neighborhoods, is a surefire way exposing the company to lawsuits from survivors of those shot dead by employees defending themselves during a stickup ("He was a good kid, just beginning to turn his life around--somebody's gotta pay!, " those grieving survivors, their lawyers standing next to them, will angrily sob to the TV reporters).

Given the litigious climate in this country, credulous juries and the unchecked propensities of shameless, ambulance-chasing tort lawyers to play the legal lottery, it is probably in a company's best interests to risk the tragedy of the occasional murdered employee than to open itself up to ruinous lawsuits from those, or their heirs and assigns, who murder them.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A Liar with Class

Christopher Hitchens, as usual, takes no prisoners assessing the seemingly endless gush of lies spewing from the mouth of Hillary Clinton, the latest being her thrilling account of ducking sniper fire in Tuzla. He makes the reasonable estimation she has, to use his own lilting prose, "rivaled, if not indeed surpassed, the disbarred and perjured hack who is her husband and tutor." No argument there.

It made me nostalgic hearing Hillary announce she had "misspoken" about Tuzla. I haven't heard that word since the late Ron Ziegler, press secretary to President Nixon, coined it to explain away a blatant lie his boss had been caught in. Ziegler was also the author of, "This is the operative statement. The others are inoperative" and (my favorite), "The president is aware of what is going on. That is not to say that there is anything going on."

Poor Ziegler, an otherwise decent and honorable man, had a thankless job and was only doing his best to bale out the sinking S.S. Nixon. He was subjected to far more vicious treatment from the press than Hillary has ever had to face yet he took it all in stride. Even his fiercest adversaries (Dan Rather, even) conceded he had class; I doubt Hillary's fiercest and most ardent champions could muster up the nerve to say that of her.

No Joking Around

Thanks to William Tighe, who wonders if the following is an April Fool's Joke.

01 April 2008, 16:19
The Anglican Church to face a new clerical reform

London, April 1, Interfax – Certain Anglican Commonwealth churches will simplify rules of ordaining clerics next year.

“Realities of today’s life require revision of certain canons and rules. We have agreed to women clergy and ordination of open gays, but we shouldn’t stop on the achieved,” the Rev Anthony Priddis, the Bishop of Hereford said in his interview to the Monday Telegraph.

Three years ago he gained popularity for supporting a woman-priest who had changed sex.

According to Priddis, next year not only Christians would be able to become Anglican priests.

“When you a person is hired, especially to a British state religious organization he shouldn’t be discriminated for his confession. The Anglican Church should give an example of fighting against xenophobia in our multicultural tolerant society and give equal opportunities to all people no matter if they believe in God, gods or any other power,” the bishop stressed.

Priddis has not excluded the possibility of future ordaining atheists in the Anglican Church, the weekly reports.

It certainly has the appearance of an April Fool's joke but it is difficult to tell for sure. These days (as Christopher Johnson will surely attest) everyday is April Fool's Day in the Anglican Church.