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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

We No Like Squaw Yellow-Hair!

Via Instapundit we learn that Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democratic Party's savior of the late Ted Kennedy's Senate seat from the heretical Republican usurper Scott Warren, will be giving a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention next month in North Carolina. Ms. Warren was considered a star candidate and shoo-in by the Dems until word got out she falsely claimed, for the sake of affirmative action expediency, to be 1/32 Cherokee. Her campaign took a real hit as she and her claque frantically and clumsily attempted to explain away, entirely unsuccessfully, this opportunistic stunt.

The controversy has at last died down some. Wouldn't it be droll, then, if at the Democratic convention intrepid souls managed to sneak their way into the hall just before Squaw Warren's speech and once inside, don war paint and stereotypical "Injun" duds in tackiest 1950s Hollywood B-movie western manner and run about whooping and hollering unkind words "Indian style" until ejected or arrested or both? It could prove to be the highlight of an otherwise paralyzingly dull convention and would revive the issue enough to keep it fresh though Election Day (please note your Bloviator does not advocate this or any other possibly unlawful behavior--that would violate Church teaching! He merely entertains the possibility of the event).

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Diary of a Papist Convert: Forgive Me All My Sins. Again. And Again. And Again. And...

Recently a friend told me of a conversation he had with a priest friend of his. Concerning confession, my friend asked the priest how he managed hearing the litanies of transgressions from all those people over all those years without becoming jaded or worse. The priest replied that he actually rather enjoyed it but that two things struck him: one, how so many people confess to the same sins over and over again; and two, how deeply unhappy most people are.

I can't think of a better testament to our fallen nature. Still, what strikes me, a convert, about confession is how restoring it is to the soul and making us, at the least, less unhappy. Kneeling and reciting sotto voce one's sins (yes, it's usually the same ones over and over again for me, too), getting them off my shoulders and onto the Lord's, serves to rasa the tabula, as it were, rather like a spiritual rebooting. It clears the detritus out of the system.

My preferred place of penance is the Confession Mill (as I like to call it) run by the good friars at the Church and Friary of St. Francis of Assisi on West 31st Street in Manhattan. Nearly all the day long on any weekday one can duck into the basement, pop into one of the comfortable little rooms there, confess, be absolved and on your way in a matter of minutes. It's a popular spot so the friars, mindful of long lines, move things along smartly.

I confess (if you will) one of sticking points for me deciding whether or not to swim the Tiber was this business of confession. While I had been told and had read it was not a painful procedure, deep down in me was the fear I was an entirely differently case and when spilling the beans would be hear a great roar from the priest: "You did WHAT??????? Out, you damned and filthy sinner!!! Never darken my doorway again!!!"

To my great relief that was not the way it turned out.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's Only a Matter of Time

From your Bloviator's home town comes word that a priest there, Fr. Michael Moynihan, will soon be a guest of the taxpayers for embezzling funds from his parish, using the money to live the life of Riley along with"roommate."

I suppose we ought be glad no adolescent boys were involved in this particular case of priestly malfeasance, just another man. Less gladdening is the mere four months Fr. Moynihan will spend in the pokey despite his filching $400,000 grand from his parishioners, forging signatures and repeatedly lying to investigators when caught. More disheartening, however, is that for which there is no legal penalty: Moynihan's bringing yet even more scandal upon a scandal-weary Church.

What seems unfathomable is how this priest, along with all the other renegade priests we've heard about over the years, could, despite their vows, engage in such heinous behavior while at the same time administer the sacraments. How do they sleep at night? The bright side is most of those busted these days are getting on in years, post-Vatican II reformer types nearing or in retirement. It brings to mind the Holy Father's insistence that good liturgy is a bulwark against scandal; that priests who observe the rubrics to the letter, eschewing the nonsense we see in so many Catholic churches, seem less likely to get themselves into personal trouble.

I offer a pleasant irony: in my Episcopalian days, when visiting a strange church, I could, by noting the age of the priest, fairly accurately predict how the service would celebrated. If he were old, there would be no nonsense. If he were young, God help us. In the Holy Catholic Church it's quite the opposite.  That bodes well for the future and is worth keeping in mind next time you're forced to endure liturgical dancing, horrible music or endless extemporizing from a blathering old fool in the pulpit. The actuarial tables are on our side.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Let's Resume with an Easy Question

Hello, I'm back. Let's hope for good this time or at least for an extended stretch. So to ease back into blogging without overly stressing the grey matter, I shall initially eschew the usual thumb-sucking M.U.T.* piece in favor of a simple query: in all of moviedom is there a funnier scene than that in The Lady Eve (which I watched for the first time a couple of nights ago) where burly, 300-pound, gravelly-voiced contrabasso Eugene Palette whistles and sings "Landlord Fill the Flowing Bowl?" No, I didn't think so: maybe its equal, perhaps, but none funnier.