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Wednesday, October 09, 2013

A Suggestion to His Eminence Cardinal Dolan that Will Not be Taken

Terence Cardinal Dolan, in his pastoral letter "Making All Things New," asks: "[H]ow can we strengthen our parish life, and help more Catholic people grow in their faith?" His Eminence's answer? By closing schools and churches, selling the buildings and using the proceeds to endow "new projects like the Sheen Center, the Gianna Center for Women’s Health, and FOCUS, a university apostolate." Oh yes, he'll also endow a fund for Catholic schools but doesn't tell us what percentage of the booty it will get. "We have too many parishes!" quoth the cardinal.

Not having much knowledge of the above-mentioned projects I cannot vouchsafe their efficacy but they appear to be worthy organizations (though I note the Sheen Center, which consists of "two state of the art theater spaces, four studios, and an art gallery" is located at 18 Bleecker Street in the heart of lower Manhattan, where his Eminence especially complains there are too many parishes. Maybe Catholics who don't go to mass down there will instead go to play and gallery openings at the Center). Still and all though, I wonder, rather than create a hit list of churches and schools to be liquidated, the cardinal might consider offering these expensive claims on the diocesan fisc that make him so unhappy to traditional religious orders (the only ones that seem to be enjoying solid growth these days), theirs for the taking if they'll only take them of his episcopal hands.

Here are two reasons the cardinal will not consider my excellent (if I say so myself) suggestion. One, he would be deprived the considerable funds obtained selling church properties and great fun showering new-found largess on pet "projects." Two, and much more unattractive I'm sure, the real possibility traditional religious taking over a dying church might do something way over the top like offer traditional liturgy (N.O. or even worse, T.L.M!), decent music and other such horrors that scare the bejesus out of the cardinal and with-it, up-to-date post-Conciliar fossils who run the archdiocese. "Sure," they'll say, "reactionaries (so what if they're young!) will flock to traditional Latin masses in Chinatown and the Lower East Side and church attendance will rise, but those people will go to mass anywhere, no matter how crappy it is; they seem to have the weird notion they have to. We don't have to do anything for them.

Now this is how to strengthen parish life.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

It's only "common sense."


Williams-Sonoma Pulls Pressure Cookers Off Shelves in Massachusetts

Following the Boston Marathon bombing last Monday in which pressure cookers were used for the explosion, the cookware giant has decided to temporarily stop selling the items in their Massachusetts stores.

Williams-Sonoma, the specialty retailer of home furnishings and gourmet cookware with over 250 stores in the United States, has pulled pressure cookers from their shelves following the Boston Marathon bombing.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Reforming the Reform: Why Correct Liturgy Should Come First

Never have I read a more cogent explanation (from Corpus Christi Watershed). The money quote (but read it all):

The lack of a spirit of reverent adoration at so many liturgies, together with the countless ways we have abandoned our holy tradition, is the root cause of why Catholics believe so little nowadays, have so little reverence for the Eucharist, and dissent so blithely from Church teaching, especially in matters of morality. Indeed, what we have done to our Church in the past five decades deserves to be punished with loss of faith, desecration, scandal, and moral confusion. The Lord will not be mocked: those who repudiate His gifts will be repudiated, until and unless they repent.
 A bishop might also be tempted to think: “Summorum Pontificum is a nice idea, in and of itself, and the enthusiasm among some young people for Latin, chant, and what have you is all fine and good, but we have to concentrate on the basics of faith and morals—we can’t waste precious time and energy promoting such exotic causes.” But this is exactly wrong. The liturgy is the tip of the spear. If you sharpen it, you succeed in your hunting. Once the right priorities are set in the sanctuary, the right priorities begin to be set elsewhere, too. First things first. The Church is mainly about the business of worshiping God and sanctifying souls, and this takes place above all in the sacred liturgy.
(Thanks to Augustine) 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Good question

And one you won't find the answer to in the New York Times, nor any other mainstream media (Elizabeth Scalia in First Things):
So, allow me to ask the impolitic question I have hinted at elsewhere: in choosing to look away, in choosing to under-report, in choosing to spin, minimize, excuse, and move-along when it comes to Kermit Gosnell—and to this whole subject of under-regulated abortion clinics, the debasement of women and the slaughter of living children—how are the press and those they protect by their silence any better than the Catholic bishops who, in decades past, looked away, under-reported, spun, minimized, excused, moved-along, and protected the repulsive predator-priests who have stolen innocence and roiled the community of faith?
Scalia writes further:
The press was quite right (and duty-bound) to report on the shameful failures of our bishops and the sins of our priests. They reported; they followed up. They dug through records. They sought out histories. They looked for more, because they understood that if filth existed in one diocese, it likely existed in others. They courageously did their jobs, unworried about fallout or repercussions; they were looking at a big issue, and were thus unintimidated by big names, and rightly unreserved in their outrage.
Here, I believe, Scalia missteps. The reason the media was "unworried about fallout or repercussions" from reporting on predator priests and the bishops' cover-ups has less to do with any courageousness on their part than confidence there would not be any fallout, of significance at least, from their reporting on it (which, however, in no way reduces the value of those reports). The sad truth is mainstream media fears far less the outrage of officialdom in the Catholic Church than same from the liberal-feminist cultural elite, who over the past decades have made it crystal clear that for them abortion is nothing less than a sacrament, that blaspheming or even questioning it to the slightest degree is subjecting yourself to considerable peril in the public square.

Empty reserved press seats at the Gosnell trial.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Going gentle into the good night

Benedict XVI is fading.

My decision to embrace Catholicism was based on many things and resulted after much discernment. Nevertheless, it was the election of Joseph Ratzinger to the papacy, and my subsequently learning of him and his writings, that provided me with that gentle but necessary final push toward Rome. Thanks be to God and his noble servant Benedict.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Now this is low

From Instapundit:

  • 8 April 2013, 11:54

Fluffed up ferrets sold as toy poodles

Scam /YouTube
Dog lovers paid out hundreds of pounds for fashionable 'toy poodles' - only to discover they were fluffed-up ferrets on steroids. 
One pensioner was duped into buying two of the "pedigree" pets from a market in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires. 
But when he took the animals to a vet for their vaccinations he was told he had bought two ferrets which are known in Argentine as 'Brazilian rats'.
It's not hard to guess the motive for this deplorable deceit.
Toy poodle puppies can cost as much as £700 while ferrets can be had for as little as £50.
Personally, I'd take a ferret anyday over toy poodle, which to my observation appear to be the pet accessory of choice among the chain-wearing set in Gotham's rougher neighborhoods.

You just can't make this stuff up

Now that we have a Jebbie pope, perhaps the extent of that formerly mighty order's sad decay into utter insanity will become better known.

Catholic University Bans Catholic Group over CatholicismPosted in Top Stories | 0 commentsCatholic University Bans Catholic Group over Catholicism
Apr 8, 2013By Todd Starnes
 Gonzaga University will not allow students to organize a Knights of Columbus chapter because the group only admits Catholics – a violation of the school’s non-discrimination policy.

Gonzaga, a Roman Catholic university in  Spokane, Wash., had concerns over a requirement that “all members of a student Knights of Columbus group must be Catholic.”
“These criteria are inconsistent with the policy and practice of student organization recognition at Gonzaga University, as well as the University’s commitment to non-discrimination based on certain characteristics, one of which is religion,” wrote Sue Weitz, the university’s vice president for student life – in a letter obtained by The Cardinal Newman Society.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Besides, it's only bad when priests do it

Yet another scandal of men shagging post-pubescent boys, this one involving the producers of the BBC's "Dr. Who" television show. The comments in the Daily Mail's account of it are mostly supportive of the perpetrators. This one will blow over soon, I suspect; the miscreants are neither Catholic priests nor conservatives so the story has no legs in today's media.

The estimable Walter Russell Meade at the American Interest does some plum crazy speculating what may be the real reason behind these seemingly never-ending scandals, positing ideas that no serious modern intellectual wound entertain for a fleeting minute.
The more we hear about what was going on in the era of sexual liberation, the more the Catholic scandals look like a symptom of the times rather than a special pathology of the Church. The BBC was apparently a hotbed of abuse for underage female and male fans, and revelations about abuse in schools, the Boy Scouts, Jewish organizations and other institutions in which adults regularly interact with youth keep coming to light.
It’s almost enough to make a person think that when a society casts sexual restraint and self control to the winds, the young and the weak become victims of a culture of exploitation and gratification. It’s almost enough to make someone wonder if unbridled and socially glorified libertinism rather than celibacy is the leading cause of the sexual exploitation of minors.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Why won't this man just go away?

Cardinal Mahony bravely mocks the previous pope, who no longer has power over him.

That's rich (in two senses) coming from someone who spent $250 million to build the ugliest church in Christendom.

Instead of sniping at Benedict XVI why isn't His Eminence giving copious and continual thanks to almighty God he isn't tweeting from a jail cell--and shutting the hell up the rest of the time? The man is a disgrace.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The smoke of Satan

Father Zuhlsdorf provides the definitive answer to those wondering how the black smoke at papal enclaves is produced.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Fun and Games

To while away the time while the papal conclave works on discerning whom God has chosen to be our next pope, you might want to play the swell new game over at the website called the Pope Name Predictor. If you guess right, you could win an iPad!

I chose Hadrian the Seventh. I don't think I'm going to win.

Friday, March 08, 2013

You reach a point where you have to put your foot down

Diane Feinstein, Democrat Senator from the State of California, points out an unintended consequence of the domestic use of military drones, one too gruesome to even contemplate and for which all decent souls in our nation will surely demand an immediate remedy.
Feinstein said that without regulation, it could be quite possible someday to see drones “hovering over the homes of Hollywood luminaries, violating [their] privacy [emphasis added]."She called it a “work in progress” and said that the Intelligence Committee is trying to draft legislation surrounding the weapon.
Oh, the horror.

H/t to Michael J. Russell, for this and the one below.

That about wraps it up for the Da Vinci Code

THE VATICAN first dipped its toes in the digital ocean when it joined Twitter and soon it will be taking the plunge by providing the content of its entire library online.
More than 40 million pages of Vatican records will be preserved in digital format, including 80,000 historic manuscripts and 8,900 rare "incunabula", early form books published prior to 1501.
Other documents that will be made available online include: The Sifra, a Hebrew manuscript written between the end of the 9th Century and the middle of the 10th, one of the oldest Hebrew codes in existence. Greek testimonies of the works of Homer, Sophocles, Plato and Hippocrates will also be digitised along with the famous incunabulum of Pius II's De Europa, printed by Albrecht Kunne in Memmingen in around 1491. The Vatican will also be digitising a document known as "The Code-B" which is one of the oldest existing manuscripts of the Greek Bible which is believed to have been written in the 4th Century.

Alas even silver bullets and stakes through heart never rid the world of conspiricists, but this part especially should make life a tad more diffy for them.

So it's understandable that this is kind of a big deal and a huge step forward for The Vatican.

Timothy Janz, scriptor gracius for The Vatican said in a documentary last year that people often incorrectly think the Vatican library is where secrets are stored.

"The point of the library was the exact opposite," he said. "It was to make information accessible."

On the other hand, having the entire Vatican archive at their disposal will simply provide conspiricists with more food for fervid thought. It also should make it easier to refute them, though.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My, they have some strange customs in India

From the Washington Post:

Can you guess the country where Adolf Hitler Marak is running for office (and has a shot)?

A woman registers to vote in Ribhai district of Meghalaya state. (EPA/STR)
A woman registers to vote in Ribhai district of Meghalaya state. (EPA/STR)
We won’t leave you in suspense: it’s India. More specifically, the northeastern province of Meghalaya.
Though naming your son Adolf Hitler might be considered a strident political gesture just about everywhere else, in Meghalaya it seems to be in line with regional custom. Meghalaya, which means “abode of clouds,” is famous for the practice of naming children after just about any familiar noun, from historical figures to everyday household objects. (Stigmas against Naziism and Adolf Hitler aren’t as strong in India as elsewhere, in part because the swastika is an ancient symbol there . . .
Some other names from Meghalya:

• Frankenstein Momin
• Field Marshal Mawphniang
• Wonderlyne Lapang
• Billykid Sangma
• Predecessor Rumnong
• Fairly Bert Kharrngi
• Anvil Lyngdoh
• Methodius Dkhar
• Process Sawkmie
• Bomber Singh Hyniewta
• Hopingstone Masharing
• Hilarious Dkhar and Hilarious Pohchen (no relation)
• Zenith Sangma
• Boston Marak
• Coming One Ymbon

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Of course there are idiots, and then there are the invincibly ignorant . . .

E.J. Dionne, for example, writing in the Washington Post. I guess he's off the hook.

E.J. Dionne Jr.
E.J. Dionne Jr.
Opinion Writer

The best choice for pope? A nun.

The Church and Idiots

Comes word from the New York Post of a Catholic woman whose appalling ignorance threatens the health of her community.

Vaccine-deny ma sues city 
  • Last Updated: 2:52 AM, February 15, 2013
  • Posted: 1:31 AM, February 15, 2013 
A devout Catholic mom on Staten Island is suing the city, saying her daughter was improperly barred from attending class when school officials wouldn't recognize her religious exemption from receiving medical vaccinations. 
In her federal civil-rights suit, filed in Brooklyn, Dina Check, of West Brighton, accuses the city Education Department of prohibiting her 5-year-old from attending PS 35 on Tuesday — even though she filed paperwork for an exemption stating her family’s belief that forced immunization violates important tenets of their faith. 
“To inject invasive and unnatural substances into this divine creation is showing a lack of faith in God and His way,” Check says in the lawsuit.
Assuming the Post's description of this woman as "devout" is accurate (my impression is the media describe anyone, from those who think they might have been baptized on up to the Pope, as "devout.") you have to ask (apart from asking who the hell catechized the dame--"religious exemption from receiving medical vaccinations." Huh?) why doesn't the Church step in here? Seems to me a few pithy words from the woman's priest, or bishop if she's particularly stubborn, would resolve this matter without having to resort to the courts.

One of the great glories of the Holy Catholic Church, one which I did not truly discern until my conversion, is she is truly indeed the universal Church, preparing for heaven all walks of mankind, from staggering geniuses to blithering  idiots; we are all created in the image of God, who wants us to live happily with him forever. When we stray from the narrow path a gentle nudge, or a sharp jab if necessary, from Holy Church steers us back onto it. In what form that nudge or jab takes depends on the strayer. Rhodes Scholars may require different manner of persuasion from those with lesser faculties; the Church adapts to the circumstance and situation.

My great-great uncle Robert, a protestant Ulsterman who emigrated to the United States, counted among his friends when living in Ireland the pastor of a nearby Catholic church. One day Uncle Robert asked his priest friend if he would have a word with a parishioner of his, a servant girl, rather simple, whom Uncle Robert had hired recently. The girl had turned out to be be insolent and lazy. Uncle Robert, not wanting to have to dismiss her, hoped a few words from the priest would set her right. The priest said he would talk to her.

A few days later Uncle Robert ran into his priest friend and reported the happy news of the servant girl's remarkable improvement; she was now respectful and hard working. He asked the priest what he had told the girl. He replied: "I told her if she didn't behave I would change her into a rabbit!" I think that approach, used by clergy on the woman referred to above, would work wonders.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

What a beautiful gift to humanity!

Piers Morgan and Anderson Cooper: put out to pasture at last.

Guide Raises $1M In Seed Funding To Replace TV News With Feeds And Virtual Anchors


posted 2 hours ago
Miami-based startup Guide today announced its seed funding round of $1 million, from investors 

Friday, February 01, 2013

Wonder of wonders, a bishop acting like a bishop

This is how the Church should have dealt with this scandal from the beginning (from Catholic Culture):
Archbishop Gomez relieves Cardinal Mahony of duties; Bishop Curry steps down 
Immediately complying with a judge’s order, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has released the personnel files of 87 clergy accused of sexual abuse and has posted the files online.
 Archbishop José Gomez, who has led the archdiocese since 2011, announced that he has relieved his predecessor, Cardinal Roger Mahony, of all administrative and public duties, and that Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry, at one time Cardinal Mahony’s vicar for clergy, has resigned from his duties as a regional auxiliary bishop. 
“I find these files to be brutal and painful reading,” Archbishop Gomez said in a statement. “The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children. The priests involved had the duty to be their spiritual fathers and they failed.”
 “We need to acknowledge that terrible failure today,” Archbishop Gomez continued. “We need to pray for everyone who has ever been hurt by members of the Church. And we need to continue to support the long and painful process of healing their wounds and restoring the trust that was broken.” 
Archbishop Gomez added:
My predecessor, retired Cardinal Roger Mahony, has expressed his sorrow for his failure to fully protect young people entrusted to his care. Effective immediately, I have informed Cardinal Mahony that he will no longer have any administrative or public duties. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry has also publicly apologized for his decisions while serving as Vicar for Clergy. I have accepted his request to be relieved of his responsibility as the Regional Bishop of Santa Barbara.

For decades bishops would deal with priests with proclivities for adolescent boys by transferring them to unsuspecting parishes (where their predations would quickly resume) and carry on as usual--often deplorably. This abrogation of their responsibilities has nearly destroyed the Catholic Church in the United States (for an excellent account how, read this) yet for the most part the bishops, even as wayward priests were finally jailed, got off scot-free. If the Church is to recover they too must be held accountable. Good for Archbishop Gomez.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Tabula Rasa?

We shall see. In any event, Happy New Year 2013! Your Bloviator can't think of a better way to usher in the year than with this precious item from the Daily Mail, which beatifully encapsulates the social mores of this brave new world (that has such people in it). Such a marvellous assemblage of the socialogical artifacts of our times!

Craigslist sperm donor forced to pay child support to lesbian couple - despite giving up parental rights to the baby BEFORE she was born
  • Angela Bauer, 40, and partner Jennifer Schreiner, 34, placed ad in 2009
  • Donor William Marotta relinquished financial responsibility for child
  • Kansas state ordered Mr Marotta to pay after lesbian couple applied
    for welfare
Battle: Angela Bauer and former partner Jennifer Schreiner (right) are supporting their sperm donor William Marotta in his fight against paying child support for their daughter
The formerly happy couple (what is it about those hairdos?)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Killer Whale

One possible explanation for the surprisingly dismal turnout of Republicans this past election,which cost Mitt Romney the presidency, was the mind-numbingly stupid decision of the Romney organization to entrust its get-out-the-vote efforts on Election Day to an untested and unworkable high-tech software program called Orca (via Breibart):

Project Orca was supposed to enable poll watchers to record voter names on their smartphones, by listening for names as voters checked in. This would give the campaign real-time turnout data, so they could redirect GOTV resources throughout the day where it was most needed. They recruited 37,000 swing state volunteers for this. 

 It didn't work.

I worked on the Colorado team, and we were called by hundreds (or more) volunteers who couldn't use the app or the backup phone system. The usernames and passwords were wrong, but the reset password tool didn't work, and we couldn't change phone PINs. We were told the problems were limited and asked to project confidence, have people use pencil and paper, and try to submit again later. 

 And chaos ensued.

By 2PM, I had completely given up. I finally got ahold of someone at around 1PM and I never heard back. From what I understand, the entire system crashed at around 4PM. I'm not sure if that's true, but it wouldn't surprise me. I decided to wait for my wife to get home from work to vote, which meant going very late (around 6:15PM). Here's the kicker, I never got a call to go out and vote. So, who the hell knows if that end of it was working either. And so went the election: In fact, Orca diverted scarce resources that would have been better used physically moving voters to polling places. By a rough calculation, Romney lost the election by falling 500,000 to 700,000 votes short in key swing states. If each of the 37,000 volunteers that had been devoted to Orca had instead brought 20 voters to the polls in those states over the course of the day, Romney would have won the election. 

 All of which should serve as caution to never, ever, ever let naive, if well-meaning, geeks persuade you the high-tech solution is always best. Even the Obama campaign, to its credit and despite its crowing about their technical savvy, relied on good old-fashioned feet-on-the-ground for its voter turnout efforts; and as anyone who works in show-biz will tell you, the tech-rehearsal is as vital as the cast rehearsal.

The Republicans will have four years to mull over this fiasco.

Before the election, there was much fear-mongering on the Democratic side about the Republicans’ supposed plans to suppress turnout among Obama voters. After the election, GOP strategist Karl Rove accused the Obama campaign of “suppressing the vote” by running a negative campaign against Romney that kept voters at home.
The truth is much worse. There was, in fact, massive suppression of the Republican vote--by the Romney campaign, through the diversion of nearly 40,000 volunteers to a failing computer program. 
There was no Plan B; there was only confusion, and silence.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Class with a Capital K

Joe Biden rarely disappoints (from the MailOnline).
'Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?' Biden's bizarre question to father of Navy SEAL who died in Benghazi attack
The father of one of the Navy SEALs who was killed in the Libya consulate attack has criticised the White House reaction to his son's death - especially a bizarre and obscene comment Joe Biden made to him.Charles Woods, father of Tyrone Woods, said he thought Barack Obama had 'no remorse' over the attack and felt Hillary Clinton was 'not telling the truth'.And he revealed that at the ceremony for the return of Tyrone's body, the Vice President approached his family and asked, 'Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?'Mr Woods added that the President seemed cold and distant at the time, saying: 'Shaking hands with him, quite frankly, was like shaking hands with a dead fish.' 
Is there anyone in the Obama Administration who possess what might pass for compassion and decency?

(Hat tip to Justin Martyr)