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Showing posts from January, 2013

Colorado Bishops To Review Catholic Hospital's Defense In Wrongful Death Suit | TPM LiveWire

THANK GOD! Again though you've got to wonder. Did no one in the months (years?) of preparation for the defense against this lawsuit tell the Bishops that this was going to be the strategy that was going to be deployed? If the hospital is a 'Catholic' institution in reality and not just in name, surely they were obliged to keep the local ordinary informed in such a case. If a Catholic institution cannot see the danger of arguing in court that a fetus is not a person, then the affected bishops have a major problem to solve. Those Colorado bishops are going to have to review the administration of the Catholic institutions under their authority. The current practice is CLEARLY deficient!! But thank God indeed that the Bishops are responding appropriately now that this issue has become public. Better late than never.  Colorado Bishops To Review Catholic Hospital's Defense In Wrongful Death Suit | TPM LiveWire

I'd Like to Visit Cardinal Mahony in Prison | Bad Catholic's Bingo Hall

A most interesting article. I appreciate it because it highlights an argument that I made in the earliest days of this blog: that it has been the actions (or inaction) by the Bishops who covered-up the malfeasance of predator priests which has done the greatest damage to the faith in the wake of the priest sexual abuse scandals. People understand that there are perverts in every field and profession. It's because of these predators that every kid today is 'street proofed' by parents and schools. It is a horror that they can be found among the priests of the Church - for we are called to be 'holy' individuals - but people understand that some wolves made their way into this clerical troop just as they have made their way into every other metier. HOWEVER... What cannot be understood is why the Bishops (who are to be chosen from among the 'best of the best' among the clergy) would fail to properly respond when predators are found among their priests. Th

Vatican Radio - Audience: Going against the grain like Abraham

  Speaking to a packed Paul VI hall, despitethe storm that swept Rome all morning, Pope Benedict said : “Faith makes us pilgrims on earth, inserted into the world and history, but on the way to the heavenly homeland. Believing in God makes us carries of values which often do not coincide with the prevailing fashion and opinion, it requires us to adopt criteria and a conduct which do not belong to the common way of thinking. The Christian should not be afraid to go "against the grain" to live his or her faith, resisting the temptation to "conform". In many societies God has become the "great absentee" and there are many and diverse idols now in His place, above all possession. And also the significant and positive progress in science and technology have produced in humans an illusion of omnipotence and self-sufficiency, and a growing self-centeredness, which has created many imbalances within relationships and social behaviours”.  Click on link below to

‘The God Delusion’

Rationalist, a friend and frequent participant in these threads sent along a link to a NYT op-ed column by noted and acclaimed scientist and writer Richard Dawkins summarizing his reasons behind the convictions that God does not exist. Since this blog is dedicated to engendering conversations about such issues, it seemed appropriate to post the link here. Click below to read Dawkin's piece. ‘The God Delusion’ - New York Times

On the Necessity of Theological Courage in the Public Square | First Things

On the subject of religious controversy, 2013 started off with a bang, not a whimper. Hobby Lobby, the craft chain owned by a Christian couple, chose to defy the odious HHS mandate pioneered by the administration of President Barack Obama. This edict seeks to bring religious groups to heel by requiring all employers to cover contraception and abortifacients in their health-care plans. For its defiance, Hobby Lobby faces atmospheric fines of $1.3 million dollars per day. What could motivate such response from this company, traditionally associated less with political battles than knick-knacks and sewing kits? David and Barbara Green, the owners of Hobby Lobby, remain committed to upholding their evangelical beliefs—including pro-life convictions—no matter the cost or threat inflicted upon them. This is a remarkable example, and a heroic one. The Greens are demonstrating the theological courage necessary to participate in a public square that continues to show increased h

Politicians, catfish, and 'post turtles'.

Up to today, the best politician joke went like this: "What's the difference between (insert politician's name) and a catfish? One is a wide mouthed scum sucking bottom feeder... and the other is a politician. This one tops it:   While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old farmer, whose hand was caught in the squeeze gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Politicians and their role as our leaders. The old rancher said, "Well, you know, most Politicians are 'Post Turtles'.''   Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him, what a 'post turtle' was . The old rancher said, "When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle." The old rancher saw the puzzled look on the doctor's face so he continued to explain.  "You kn

Intellectual pitfalls - By Alice von Hildebrand

Genesis informs us that when God completed creation, He saw that “it was very good.” Surprisingly enough, these luminous words can easily be misread or misinterpreted.  God is  clearly telling us that every single being to which He has freely granted “to be” is not only benefiting from the nobility of existence, but moreover  that all these beings not only  “are” but moreover have qualities  and perfections which, according to a huge scale, reflect God’s infinite beauty. A star-studded key awakens in us a feeling of awe, but the most modest insect hidden in the grass, also speaks of God’s glory. There is no such a thing as “naked” being. Pure being is an abstraction.  Let me repeat: All existing beings have qualities and perfections the scale of which is immense – from the awesome greatness and beauty of a star-studded sky to the modest perfection of a gnat. All of them reflect the greatness and glory of God: “Heaven and earth are filled with His Glory.” Click on the link

Biblical Basics About Mother Mary – A Homily for the Second Sunday of the Year | Archdiocese of Washington

Here's an article by Msgr. Charles Pope that deals with what the bible teaches us about the Blessed Virgin. Given the previous post about Medjugorje (which hit a nerve with some readers if comments and emails are any indication), it seemed appropriate to post.  Mary is the mother of Christ and the mother of the Church. She is close to heart of all Catholics. Understanding her proper role in salvation can lead anyone closer to Jesus. Thankfully we possess the magisterial authority of the Church to help us understand it without slipping into inappropriate beliefs. Soon the Church will pronounce on Medjugorje and then (hopefully) the controversies surrounding this alleged apparition will be settled... one way or the other. Biblical Basics About Mother Mary – A Homily for the Second Sunday of the Year | Archdiocese of Washington

Sermon for the 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

I have often heard people wonder why God doesn't send us as many miracles nowadays as he used to, to show us his omnipotence. But he does.  We just don't pay attention. Every year the Church beatifies and canonizes new saints - and each one of those requires full-fledged miracles. Every year promising young men and women enter seminaries and consecrate their lives to God - isn't each one a miracle, a double miracle in this day and age? Wasn't Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta a miracle?  A humble, work-wearied nun from Albania becoming the most widely recognized woman on the planet? But I think the most obvious miracle of all, the most convincing and constant evidence of his omnipotence is Creation. The world of nature is familiar to us, but our technological advances have tended to dampen our wonder and awe at its beauty and magnificence in many. Pope John Paul II used to love referring to Creation as the first book of God's self-revelation.

Mars: Photos show massive, ancient river-like structure | News | National Post

A dried up Martian river bed? Apparently... yes! Mars: Photos show massive, ancient river-like structure | News | National Post

Pope finally launches crackdown on world's largest illicit Catholic shrine and suspends 'dubious' priest | Mail Online

Is this the beginning of the end for the cult of Medjugorje in Bosnia? Pope finally launches crackdown on world's largest illicit Catholic shrine and suspends 'dubious' priest | Mail Online

A commentary from Fr. Robert Barron on 'Les Misérables'

6 Reasons Why Men Can Speak on Abortion

I found this to be an interesting article. In practice, women are far more powerful than men, possessing the power to decide whether the life growing within her is a 'baby' to be cherished or a 'fetus' to be killed. Seemingly, a simple decision on her part determines whether or not that nascent human life is a person or an inconvenience.  This leads me to ask: Should any person have the power and authority to determine whether or not a human life simply by labeling it wanted or not? Somehow, this doesn't appear to be either logical, consistent, or just... at least when viewed either from the father or baby's perspective. What do you think? Can language and terminology be used to justify the termination of an innocent life? 6 Reasons Why Men Can Speak on Abortion

Let’s Talk About Just War | Public Discourse

... then again, we have the issue of killing in war. Here's an article that uses similar language games to those that govern the current abortion debate, except instead of talking about killing babies, language is used to sanitize 'war' as 'just'. Language is a powerful tool indeed!!  Let’s Talk About Just War | Public Discourse

Wait! Sin Has Consequences? - Indeed it does!! All sin is social no matter what many today believe.

The Catholic teaching on sin is very simple to understand. Essentially it goes like this: 1) Sin affects me. It coarsens me. Wounds me. It keeps me from loving as I ought to... as I want to. 2) I am a social being. No man is an island. Everything we do has an effect on those around us. 3) Therefore to the degree that it affects me, my sin necessarily affects other people. Now, multiply that effect for every person that sins and it becomes easy to see how violence and hatred spring into existence among people who claim to be oriented towards loving each other. But this is not entirely inevitable. Just as individual acts of sin pollute and contaminate individuals and cultures, so too can acts of grace and human kindness contribute towards the betterment of society as a whole. Put another way: just as we were capable to create the mess we are in, so too is it within our power to clean it up.  We just need to do it one grace-filled step at a time, taking care where we leave

NCRegister | Thou Shall Not Think

I was told, when I first arrived in Canada, that Canadians are not particularly decisive, that they would be reluctant to bet on which way the elevator was moving even if they had two choices. It is a country, so I was informed, of "the bland leading the bland." And no less than media guru Marshall McLuhan declared that "the Canadian beaver is an apt symbol of our dammed-up creativity." The recent row concerning whether or not Canadians should think about when life begins leads me to think that the biblical version of the aforementioned epigram is more pertinent: "the blind leading the blind." There is merit, apparently, in not being able to see, for what one might see could be fearful and troubling. Click on link below to read entire article: Read more: NCRegister | Thou Shall Not Think

Books to deepen your spiritual life

2013 is here – we are two weeks into January and already the good feelings from Christmas gatherings and the start of our New Year resolutions are wearing off. When you start to capitulate on your resolves here are a few excellent books to get you back on track: Click on link below to read rest of article.   Books

The 2012 nominees for the Darwin Award

Nominee No. 1: [San Jose Mercury  News]: An unidentified man, using a shotgun like  a club to break a former girl friend's windshield, accidentally shot himself  to death when the gun discharged, blowing a hole in his gut. Nominee No. 2: [Kalamazoo  Gazette]: James Burns, 34, (a mechanic) of Alamo,  MI, was killed in March as he was trying to repair what police describe as a  "farm-type truck." Burns got a friend to drive the truck on a highway while  Burns hung underneath so that he could ascertain the source of a troubling  noise. Burns' clothes caught on something, however, and the other man found  Burns "wrapped in the drive shaft." Nominee No. 3: [Hickory Daily  Record]: Ken Charles Barger, 47, accidentally shot  himself to death in December in Newton, NC. Awakening to the sound of a  ringing telephone beside his bed, he reached for the phone but grabbed instead  a Smith & Wesson 38 Special, which discharged when he drew it to his  ear. Nominee No

NHL and NHLPA reach deal on collective bargaining agreement

How appropriate that on the weekend Catholics celebrate the Feast of Epiphany, the NHL and their players finally saw the light and have come to an agreement to end the hockey lock-out. Of course the Toronto Maple Leafs fans are somewhat uneasy as this is the first time in many, many years where their team is playing in January, still holding on to a hope of making the play-offs!!!   NHL and NHLPA reach deal on collective bargaining agreement

Talk Like C.S. Lewis: Using plain talk to explain the faith. Something you'd think everyone would understand but believe me... some don't!

The advice C.S. Lewis offers on how to communicate the Gospel to the man on the street in light of the difficulties in communication is invaluable. Our modern age has more channels for communication than ever before, but that means the scope for misunderstanding and confusion increases also. Furthermore, given human nature, if a statement can be misunderstood in a negative way, you can bet someone somewhere will do so. It can be difficult to communicate even simple things with clarity, but to communicate the Catholic faith is a complex task — not only because of the vast nature of the faith, but also because of people’s assumptions about the world, religion and Catholicism. The difficulties and the complexities, however, only make it more necessary to tackle the job at hand. Our society needs effective evangelization now more than ever. Read more: NCRegister | Talk Like C.S. Lewis