Friday, March 30, 2012

Marian Grace

Marian Grace is a great duo of musical performers.  Colleen Nixon, who is from my hometown of Tallahassee Fl, has an beautiful voice, and together Colleen and Jimmy Mitchell perform some amazing arrangements of traditional Catholic hymns. 
Check them out starting at 10:00 in this episode of Life on the Rock:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

First Two Days of Oral Arguments

The first two days of oral arguments before the Supreme Court over the individual health insurance mandate have concluded.  I defer to the excellent Donald R. McClarey for analysis:

Day One

Day Two

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Why Does Jimmy Carter Care About Female Ordination?

H/T: Donald McClarey
Catholic Culture reports that President Jimmy Carter argued with Pope John Paul II on a number of issues, among them the treatment of women:
The former president said that he complained to the Pontiff about the Church’s “perpetuation of the subservience of women” while Blessed John Paul II was visiting the US in 1978.
One can only assume that Carter was referring to the ban on women's ordination.  I generally don't care what Jimmy Carter has to say about anything, but I found this Baptist's protest over the treatment of women in the Catholic Church so bizarre as to be notable.  Carter is only one of many non-Catholics who criticize the Church for disallowing women's ordination, but I cannot imagine why.  Why should non-Catholics care about the internal affairs of the Catholic Church?

Non-Catholics condemning the Catholic Church for not ordaining women makes as little sense as Catholics condemning the Anglican church for making women priests.  Sure we might criticize the Church of England for abandoning its traditions, which originate in our own, but we don't care nearly as much about the existence of Anglican women priests as liberals care about the nonexistence of Catholic ones.  The Anglican's priesthood is not a real priesthood so their ordination of women is silly but it probably isn't evil.

Christians have even less reason to criticize most practices (not the theology) of other religions.  Until the 1970s the Mormon church banned blacks from the ministry, and though this was wrong I don't care too much because I'm not a Mormon.  Nor am I a Muslim, so it doesn't bother me that Islam requires women to cover their heads outside the home.  I object to the Islamic practice of killing homosexuals, but that's because such a practice is a wildly disproportionate use of violence against private vice.  Anyone who thinks that a woman has a basic human right to become a Catholic priest is clearly insane and ought to be institutionalized for his own good.  Come to think of it, the 1970s would have been a lot better if Jimmy Carter were occupying a straightjacket instead of the oval office.

Crisis Makes a Poor Recommendation

I love the Crisis web  magazine but I was somewhat disturbed by one of the articles in the "Recommended Links" section.  The article was posted on Lew Rockwell, a well known libertarian website and is titled Wacky is as Wacky Does.  The "wacky" people that the author Brian Wilson refers to are Ron Paul's opponents in the GOP primaries.  Wilson quotes Rich Galen commenting on Santorum's opposition to internet pornography:
I don't care if you like pornography. It's none of my business. The bigger issue for Santorum is he does care whether you watch it. The dichotomy in Santorum's position is that he wants to use the full might and reach of the Federal government to forbid the distribution of pornography… This from a candidate who has consistently argued for less Federal intervention in our lives.
The article goes on like this, disapprovingly quoting Gingrich and Romney on social issues including abortion.  Wilson defends Ron Paul from charges that he is "wacky" and then writes, 
Porn, gay marriage, birth control....yeah, yeah, yeah…No "Wacky" there, right? Just good, honest, intrusive, micro-managing "Big Government Nose In Your Business" interventionism, running your life and mine from those Constitutionally-unprincipled little GOP Dictator-Wanna-Be's and those oh-so balanced, reasonable, objective news-readers and pundits who love 'em.
This poorly written bit of web detritus would not be worthy of comment except that someone at Crisis linked to it.  Perhaps Crisis has a fifth columnist who loves Ron Paul so much that he is willing to tear down social conservatism if he thinks it will help the Congressman.  This is rather odd considering that Ron Paul is more socially conservative than people like Rich Galen or Brian Wilson.  Let's hope that this link remains a lone aberration in the archives of the faithful and entertaining Crisis Magazine.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lightsaber Instructions

Have you ever noticed what lousy fighters the Jedi are in Episode I?  You will now:

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Solemnity of St. Joseph

Happy belated St. Patrick's Day and happy punctual St. Joseph's Day!  At Mass today, Father said something very interesting.  He pointed out that St. Joseph never says anything in the Scriptures, he only acts, always doing the will of God and serving his family.

Joseph's pious masculinity serves as an example for all men, especially husbands and fathers.

St. Joseph pray for us! 

Mt 1:18-24

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.  Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit.  Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:  “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means “God is with us.”  When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Catholic Crocodile Goes to Cuba

The Metro reports,
Pope Benedict XVI has sent a special gift to the people of Cuba ahead of his papal visit – one of their missing crocodiles.

The animal-loving pontiff returned the 60cm (2ft) croc to its native country after it had been smuggled out by an Italian tourist.

The endangered creature was seized from the thief’s kitchen by wildlife experts, christened Benedictus and presented to the Catholic leader.

Vatican officials said the Pope was keen on the idea of sending it as a symbol of friendship prior to his three-day visit to the  island later this month.

Benedictus was given a send off at Rome Zoo where he was blessed by the Pope’s chief of staff Monsignor Giovanni Angelo Becciu.

He said the gesture was ‘highly significant’ – relations have not always been smooth  between the Vatican and the Communist  government led by former dictator Fidel  Castro’s brother Raul. 
The croc was only a few days old when it was hidden in a suitcase by a 64-year-old businessman and taken back to his home in Cremona.

In fact, he may be lucky it’s no longer in his kitchen. ‘It can grow to more than twice its current size and can be aggressive and quite dangerous,’ said a spokesman for Rome Zoo.
Monsignor Becciu says that sending the croc to Cuba was "highly significant" and he is right.  You know why?  Because there is now a deadly reptilian secret agent of Catholicism in the heart of Communist Cuba. If Benedict XVI doesn't convert the Castros, Benedictus can eat them.  

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Charismatics and the Priesthood of Believers

In my freshman year of high school I attended a Catholic school in which students attended Mass every Friday.  During the "Liturgy of the Announcements" (to borrow a phrase from LarryD) those who had birthdays during the week would go up in front of the altar and everyone in attendance would extend their right hands toward the birthday kids and recite a blessing led by the officiating priest.  I found this disturbing, and not just because it made us look like we were giving the Nazi salute.

The problem with the birthday blessing and other such congregational participation exercises is that they can cause confusion about the different roles of the priest and the laity.  However, the Charismatic Catholics who practice such things are not entirely wrong.  All Christians belong the priesthood of believers and God can and will bless others through us.  As one of my professors put it, the priesthood of believers is higher than the Levitical priesthood because we have the Sacraments.  The Levites tended to the tabernacle but we are tabernacles.  Through the priesthood of believers, God blesses people and even offers sanctifying grace through marriage and in extraordinary circumstances.  A layperson laying their hands on you and praying over you may seem weird or "Protestanty" but there is absolutely nothing wrong with it provided that it is done outside of Mass and does not cause confusion about the special status of ministerial priests.  We should defend the ministerial priesthood but we must be careful not to denigrate the priesthood of believers.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Not Much to Say

I am on spring break so I have mostly been sleeping the last few days.  In fact, I think I'll go take another nap.  Oh I suppose I should offer interesting information or say something insightful first.  Ok.  A cat is running for United States Senate.  That's all I got.  Good night.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Obama's Catholic Church

Donald R. McClarey at the American Catholic comments on Cardinal Dolan's latest statement about the HHS mandate.
The Cardinal believes that the White House is attempting to take advantage of a de facto schism in the Church in America and render the opposition of the Bishops harmless.  “Instead, they advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the “enlightened” voices of accommodation, such as the recent hardly-surprising but terribly unfortunate editorial in America.  The White House seems to think we bishops are hopelessly out of touch with our people, and with those whom the White House now has nominated as official Catholic teachers.”  Some of us have of course seen this coming for a very long time, symbolized by the Obama day of worship at Notre Dame’s commencement in 2009.  The Obama administration hopes to create their own de facto version of a “Patriotic Catholic Association” here in the US, completely subservient to the administration.
The "Patriotic Catholic Association" that McClarey refers to is the official state run Catholic church in China.  I imagine that the President envies the Chinese Communists.  They don't have to worry about troublesome priests.

St. Thomas à Becket pray for us!