Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Clocks Aren't The Only Thing Cuckoo In Switzerland
You just can't make this stuff up

I wish this was just a parody and I made the whole thing up. Really I do.

Some of the article from Life Site News; (Emphasis and comments mine) Swiss Grant Rights to Animals, Consider Same for Plants - Liberalize Abortion Laws
By Michael Baggot

SWITZERLAND, April 28, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The nation that liberalized its abortion laws in 2002 is now giving unprecedented protection to animal and plant life.

In an effort to respect the needs of "social species," the Swiss parliament passed legislation last week that threatens its citizens with punishment for not providing various animals a fit environment in which they can interact and flourish.

Enjoying the most extensive protection under the new laws, dogs proved to be the Swiss parliament's best friend. Prospective dog owners will now be required to complete a course in canine treatment that will include both theoretical and practical elements. (Is this where I sign up for Scooping Up Dog Shit 101?)

Due to concern over recent studies suggesting the pain experienced by fish, anglers are now subjected to a preparatory course on humane fishing. (I guess dynamite and grenades are out of the question.)

The new laws will also dictate how farmers treat their livestock and even stipulates the proper treatment of rhinoceroses. (Welcome To Switzerland. Home to really cool Army knives, excellent chocolate, the stupidest parliament on the face of the earth, and the ever-so-elusive Alpine Rhinoceros.)

"The aim is not only to ensure treatment of animals appropriate to each species, but also to decrease the risk of attacks by dangerous dogs. Inappropriate treatment could lead to behavioural disorders," explained Hans Wyss, head of the Swiss Federal Veterinary Office. (That's the answer... legislate dogs into submission.)

In addition to tending to the animal kingdom, the Swiss government has also been busy wrestling with how best to treat the nation's plants.

The Swiss federal government's ethics committee on non-human biotechnology has been working to determine what kind of research respects "plant dignity" enough to be eligible for government funding. (So saith Swiss politicians as they signed the bill into law while seated behind oak desks.)

"Plant dignity" considerations stem from the 2004 Gene Technology Law's requirement to take "the dignity of creatures" into account during any research. (Plant... "dignity"? Does that mean some plants are gay?)

Researchers are eagerly awaiting clarity on the notion of "plant dignity", (Chaaaa....) which will decide whether or not they receive important funding to continue their work. (CHING!!! I smell government grant money!)

"At the moment not even authorities who decide on grants (TOLD YA!!) know what the 'dignity of plants' really means," committee member Markus Schefer said. (Probably because this entire subject is one of the stupidest f*****g things I've ever read.)

The committee has outlined guidelines to protect plant dignity, but the licitness of many particular practices is yet to be determined. (Translation: had more money thrown at it.)

Most committee members consider interference with a plant's reproductive functions undignified, making some plant geneticists concerned that the committee could greatly hinder traditionally accepted genetic engineering, such as commercial seedless fruits or the hybridization of roses. (And just who in the hell are these committee members to deem if any given plant's reproductive function is dignified or not? Whatever two consenting plants do in the privacy of their own hot house is their business. If two plants so desire to have a pistil duel, that's up to them. It's not like they can't reproduce or anything like that.... is it?)

The added protections afforded to plant and animal life stand in sharp contrast to the Swiss government's recent disregard for the life of the nation's unborn. In June 2002, the country decided to allow women to abort their children during the first trimester, provided a doctor determines that she is in an ambiguously defined "state of distress." (And in Switzerland, the phrase "Oh shit, I'm pregnant!" qualifies as "distress".)
In a related story, a certain Mr. Leo D. Lion was apprehended for first degree murder charges.

Mr. Lion has long been suspected to being the leader of a serial murder criminal enterprise known on the streets at the "Top 'O The Food Chain Gang".

In a statement issued by Lion's criminal defense attorney, Willie B. Aweasle, Lion stated "Son-of-a-bitch!! What's a guy gotta do to get a freakin' meal around here!?"

Tuesday, April 29, 2008












Marini and the Ghost of Bugnini Strike Again!
(My comments in "RED.")

Vatican official calls liturgical renewal 'irreversible path' By John Thavis Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) --
Liturgical renewal launched by the Second Vatican Council is an "irreversible path" (Too bad we can't start over!) and has not been affected by Pope Benedict XVI's concession on wider use of the Tridentine rite (wrong phrase, dip-shit!), a Vatican official said. "The pope's decision has so far not produced any change in the celebrative practice of our ecclesial communities. (Guess what, Marini? We are already starting to see changes in how the Mass of Paul VI is being celebrated, to include the altar arrangements, and "ad orientem" celebration.) His gesture was only one of service to unity," Archbishop Piero Marini, who arranged papal liturgies for more than 20 years, (Yes, and what a freakin' disaster those pagan rituals were!) said in an interview April 25 in the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano. "Therefore let's look ahead and let's continue with enthusiasm the path undertaken by the council," he said. (That would be the path of total destruction Marini?)

Late last year Archbishop Marini was named to head the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses. (I would have sent him to Somalia, or some other vacation spot.) The archbishop remains involved in international liturgical issues, and he said a revision of the committee's statutes is giving it wider authority over eucharistic congresses at the national and regional level, too. Asked if Pope Benedict's relaxation of restrictions on the use of the pre-Vatican II liturgy signaled a halt to the liturgical reform movement, Archbishop Marini said that was clearly not the pope's aim. The pope's decree "does not intend to introduce modifications on the current Roman Missal or express a negative judgment on the liturgical reform desired by the council," he said. (Too bad! The Holy Father should toss out the entire Ordinary form, and put together what the Fathers of the Council really meant. Now that would be a positive start.) He said the decree, which reached out to disaffected Catholics, should be seen as an effort to maintain unity in the church. (No, it was meant to show liberal bishops that the "Mass of all Time" was NEVER abrogated, you knucklehead!)

Archbishop Marini said his own experience in organizing papal liturgies in more than 100 countries has convinced him that the liturgical reform movement has brought overwhelmingly positive results. "Everywhere, the liturgy desired by the council was celebrated with lively participation and enthusiasm. Everyone understood the liturgy as proper to the local church and at the same time as an expression of the universal church," he said. (First off Einstein, the Ordinary form was NOT what the Council desired. Second, please show me ANY positve results of the Novus Ordo. Please, any? Any? Any?) Those liturgies also demonstrated that liturgical reform has solid theological foundations, he said. (Ah, allow me to say "Bullshit!") "Therefore this is an irreversible path," he said. Liturgical celebration cannot be separated from the life of the church, the archbishop said, and this means "the church of today, not the church of yesterday or of tomorrow." (I will happily take the "Church of yesterday.") At the same time, Archbishop Marini said celebrating the liturgy according to Vatican II is not an easy thing. It takes patience, perseverance and pastoral charity, he said. (Allow me to throw down the Bullshit Flag again. Even a monkey, or the liturgically retarded, could celebrate the Ordinary form!)

One particular issue that has emerged during papal trips, he said, is the fact that some Masses are now attended by hundreds of thousands of the faithful. (Yes, and they all look like giant Protestant "Praise & Worship" services.) That raises practical considerations like the number of concelebrants, the distribution of Communion and the level of personal participation, he said. Pope Benedict has already asked for reconsideration of the role of concelebrants, and Archbishop Marini said it makes sense to look at the question through a serious study and with eventual pastoral-liturgical guidelines. Archbishop Marini looked ahead to the 49th International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec June 15-22, and he praised the local planning for the event. In particular, he said, Quebec Cardinal Marc Ouellet deserves credit for the enthusiasm, competence and commitment he has brought to the congress. "I hope this congress will be a source of life and a sign of a renewed springtime in the church (Holy crap! He actually uses the "Springtime of the Church" BS. Should have known?) in Quebec, in Canada and in the whole world," the archbishop said.
Father Speekman Nails It, Yet Again
Thunder from Down Under

If you haven't yet, swing over to Fr. Speekman's Homilies From Australia. He honestly does write some of the funniest stuff in the Catholic Blogosphere. Here's his latest;

The Gospel of Nice...

Jesus shared with his disciples,

"I am the Nice Shepherd.

I never say no to my sheep. They love me and I love them and I do anything they want. When the wolf comes I smile and say hello and welcome him into the flock because my flock is inclusive and welcoming.

Other shepherds are not nice. They are divisive and bullying. They have rules for the sheep. They do not accept the wolf and do not let the sheep play with him.

I am the Nice Shepherd. I lay down for my sheep. They love me lots and call me by my first name. We love ourselves and we form community. We do not like those other sheep who will not play with the wolf. We do not have them in our flock. We call them names and show them they are unwelcome because they are not welcoming like us."

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Decline And Fall Of The American Republic
THIS is what we've come to?

A year or so back, I posted a news story concerning how the US Army had just raised their age of enlistment to such a point, that the Army actually has GRANDPARENTS undergoing Boot Camp, or "basic" as the Army call it.

Now I've come across a news article stating how my beloved Corps is specifically targeting women to fill the ranks. And I don't believe The Corps is doing such out of any great spike in social consciousness or Political Correctness. Like I said, recruiters are just trying to fill the ranks.

First, grannies... now young women. And I don't want anyone to misunderstand me. I fully realize and accept the fact that there is a place for women in the Armed Forces. God bless 'em, every one. I'm just of the opinion that combat duty isn't one of them.

Call me old-fashioned, but strapping upwards of 100 pounds of gear to your body and and heading out on those particularly nasty 20+ mile speed marches isn't something that we need subject our women to. And do I really need to bring up kicking in doors and within a matter of mere seconds, killing all the bad guys on the other side of said door? And I'm not talking video game, sanitized killing. I'm talking another human being's blood, brains and intestines all over you killing.

There are some things that women simply aren't suppose to do. The military version of a knife fight in a phone booth is one of them.

And let's be honest, women in combat is just like a blanket amnesty for illegal aliens (or for that matter, heresy within the USCCB)... technically, it doesn't exist. But the reality is a far different matter.

Here's some of the article from the International Herald-Tribune.
U.S. Marine recruiters open a new front
By Douglas Quenqua Published: April 21, 2008

The U.S. Marines are looking for a few good women.

Actually, they'll take as many as they can get. Faced with the difficulty of recruiting during a long and unpopular war, the Marines have started marketing itself to women in a concerted way for the first time. It is running ads in magazines like Shape, Self and Fitness, which appeal mainly to female readers, as well as through more mainstream outlets like "American Idol," where the message is a unisex one of patriotism rather than macho swagger.
Here's a re-print of what I originally posted back in August of 2006.
The President won't come out and say it... so I will.

Young men of America - I'm speaking specifically to you, because you will be the ones who'll be the gunslingers. Your country needs you --- desperately.

Young men of America - Because of a lack of men joining, young LADIES now have to man the weapons on convoy duty (and other related operations) in Iraq and Afghanistan. Because of a lack of men joining, young LADIES are engaged in firefights. Because of a lack of men joining, young LADIES are being killed in combat. All because of a lack of men who are man enough to answer the call of duty.

Young men of America - One day when you are bouncing your grandchildren on your knee, they'll ask you what you did in the war that kept us free from terrorism. What answer will you give them? "I wanted to stay in school" --- "I had a career to worry about" --- "I was content to let your grandmother do my fighting for me" --- "I was a coward".

Young men of America... young CATHOLIC men of America - What kind of real Catholic man has a woman do his fighting for him?
And if I have to hear one more Obama-supporting college student whine about The War on Terrorism... I just may go into the kill mode.

I seriously doubt if any of these pukes will ever even entertain the notion of leaving their safe, warm, and ever so protected privileged lives, and actually stepping up and serving their country.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Well, Maybe He Won't Be Getting THAT MUCH Action
Marine banned from Prom

Here's the story from The Daily Herald;

21 too old for prom date, girl finds out

By Jack Komperda Daily Herald Staff


Jessica Pope has devoted the better part of this year to thinking about prom. The Glenbard East High School senior spent the past two months forgoing lunch so she could instead use that money for a dress. Weekends were spent babysitting to raise more cash.

Her boyfriend, a Marine stationed at Fort Lee, Va., received permission from his superiors to fly to Chicago for the weekend just for the dance. But the couple won't be attending tonight's event.

Officials at the Lombard school informed Pope, 18, that her 21-year-old boyfriend, Francisco Velasco, who grew up in Addison, is too old to attend the function. "The main reason is that 21 is a legal age for alcohol consumption and that's always a concern we have at proms," Glenbard East Principal Robert McBride said Friday.

Pope still can attend on her own, but she has decided to skip prom to spend time with her boyfriend. "I'm extremely, extremely, extremely upset," Pope said. "I've been looking forward to (prom) literally my whole life. I've been thinking about it all year … and planned everything out."

McBride conceded that Pope's permission form was less than clear about the age restrictions for student dates. Pope "received an older form that said no guest over the age of 21 could attend," McBride said.

"That left her with the impression that 21 is the maximum age," McBride said. "That was our mistake, giving her the outdated form." To help make up for the miscommunication, McBride said the school would refund Pope's two $75 tickets.

And according to Pope, school officials on Friday also promised to pay for her $125 prom dress. But the Glendale Heights teen will be on the hook for about $150 worth of expenses involved in the post-prom activities.

Joan Daniels, Pope's mother, said she was furious with the school district over the incident. "They didn't even bother to say 'I'm sorry,'" Daniels said. "The whole point of this prom was for my daughter and her boyfriend to attend together. "Now her memories will be ruined."
Never mind the fact that;

1. The school administators and chaperones are of legal age to consume alcohol. Are they banned from the Prom as well?

2. Does anyone really believe that they'll be serving booze? Common sense check: when I went to my Prom a million years ago, I managed to get booze... at the tender age of 17. I have a funny feeling that things haven't changes all that much. So this Marine being 21 is a moot point.

3. The young lady in question is 18. She's old enought to vote, buy a home, join the Armed Forces... but can't go to the Prom with her Marine boyfriend?

4. Concerning the School Board, is there a policy in place, or is this an arbitrary decision with ulterior motives? Oh, wait... they did notify that no one OVER the age of 21 could attend. This young Marine isn't over 21. But he's still been banned. Hmmm...

5. Her parents obviously don't have a problem with this. So why does the Principal?

I have a funny feeling this has a damn sight more to do with him being a member of the United States Marine Corps, than it does with him being 21.
This Dukakis On A Tank Moment Was Brought To You By...
Somebody, really, really stupid

Wow, Barack Hussein Obama is wearing a USMC shirt. Does that mean he thinks he's now qualified to be Commander in Chief?

I'll bet the son-of-a-bitch stole it from a wounded Marine at Bethesda Naval Hospital. But with any luck at all, the Obamanation just might think USMC really stands for the first organization he ever represented in court: The Union of Socialists and Marxists of Chicago.


I think this nice lady says it best. Know what? Smell like it to me, too.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Gospel According To Nancy
The Epistle to the Crazies

This just gets better and better all the time. The good folks over at California Catholic Daily said it best -- "She worries about human rights and climate change, but loses no sleep over abortion or human embryos used as spare parts".

Here's some of the article from The Catholic News Agency; (Emphasis mine)
Nancy Pelosi criticized for using false “environmentalist” Bible quotation

House Speaker Nancy PelosiWashington DC, Apr 24, 2008 / 10:17 pm (CNA).- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is facing criticism for repeatedly attributing an incorrect quotation to the Book of Isaiah that concerns ministering to creation, Cybercast News Service reports.

The speaker has used the quotation at least five times, often in reference to environmental concerns.

The falsely-attributed quotation most recently appeared in her April 22 Earth Day news release, in which Speaker Pelosi said, “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.”

Biblical scholars, however, are at a loss as to the source of Pelosi’s quotation.

"The quote does not exist in the Old Testament, neither in the New Testament," said Fr. Andreas Höck, a professor of Scripture who teaches in the Catholic Archdiocese of Denver's St. John Vianney Seminary.

"Even in pieces or bits, [it] cannot be found in the Old Testament," he said.

According to Cybercast News Service, Speaker Pelosi has used the quotation before.

In a December, 2005 message to the U.S. House of Representatives, Speaker Pelosi used the quotation after a reference to the prophet Isaiah. Her message read:

"Mr. Speaker, as we leave for this Christmas recess, let us say, 'God bless you' to the American people by voting against this Republican budget and statement of injustice and immorality, and let us not let the special interest goose get fat at the expense of America's children.

"The gentleman from Washington [state], Mr. McDermott, quoted the prophet Isaiah. And as the Bible teaches us, 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. Let us vote no on this budget as an act of worship and for America's children."

Eric Jenislawski, a theology professor at Christendom College in Virginia, said the Bible teaches in Genesis that man was placed on earth “to till it and keep it,” but also instructs mankind “to fill the earth and subdue it.”

“Responsible use of the Old Testament,” Jenislawski said, “cannot divorce the biblical notion of stewardship (that man is obligated to care for God's creation) from the equally important biblical view that the entire natural world was created for man, for him to subdue it and to reign over it.

"Environmentalists who make man subservient to the natural world actually invert the biblical view of man's relationship to the earth," he said.
You know, if the staffers at Pelosi's office wanted to get any given Biblical quote right, why didn't they just open their office copy of The Holy Bib... oh, wait... forget it. I think I just answered my own question.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Gee... YA THINK!!??
Bishop admits hiring a man under investigation of child pornography charges "wasn't a good hire."

I still think that Senior Drill Instructor Gunnery Sergeant Hartmann says it best.

Here's some of the article from The AP; (Empasis and comments mine) Yakima diocese employee faces child porn charges in Oregon
By SHANNON DININNY / Associated Press

The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Yakima said Tuesday he regrets hiring a retreat director known to be under investigation of child pornography charges in Oregon, saying it "wasn't a good hire." (I do believe the quote by the good Gunnery Sergeant still pertains.)

Juan Jose Gonzalez, 37, of Cowiche is being held on $80,000 bail at the Yakima County Jail on a fugitive warrant issued in Marion County, Ore. He faces four charges of encouraging child sex abuse, a felony, according to Yakima County Superior Court records. (Frater Urban Maria of The Millstone, your flight reservations to Washington State have been confirmed.)

Bishop Carlos Sevilla said he hired Gonzalez in 2003 to work part-time at the St. Peter Retreat Center in Cowiche because he viewed the incident as an "isolated episode," and because the job involved administrative work and teaching religious education to adults only, not children. Gonzalez was hired as full-time retreat director later that summer. (Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you... Zero Tolerance. *Cough, cough... bullshit, bullshit!!*)

The charges mark the latest challenge for a diocese that already has paid about $1.25 million to resolve sexual abuse claims involving seven priests. (But what's $1.25 million between friends?)

Robert Fontana of Voice of the Faithful, a support group for church-abuse victims and priests and church members seeking changes in the diocese, said the latest case fits a pattern of secrecy surrounding the Yakima diocese.

Fontana served as director of evangelization for the diocese from 1991-2005, before resigning over complaints that the bishop was mishandling abuse and child pornography cases. ([Sarcasm on] NOOOOOOO!!!!!!! [Sarcasm off])

"His behavior has been consistent with keeping secrets until he gets caught," Fontana said. "I love the church, I love this diocese, but what the bishop said has not been his pattern. His pattern is to keep it a secret." ([Sarcasm on] NOOOOOOO!!!!!!! [Sarcasm off]), Part II

According to a statement from the diocese, [Bishop] Sevilla did not inform the pastors in the Cowiche parish about the allegations against Gonzalez. Sevilla also did not notify the diocese Lay Advisory Board, charged with advising the bishop about matters pertaining to the sexual abuse of minors. (Lavender Mafia... WHAT Lavender Mafia!!??)
My painfully simple question... who made this guy a Bishop?
If The GOP Had Half A Brain...
But don't count on it

The RepubliCrat of the Year looks as if he's the GOP choice for Prez. Oh Well. One of the very few things that would make McCain palatable is his choice for Veep. Yeah, yeah, I know that the bottom of the ticket is essentially a beauty contest. The American version of Prince Harry... we all know that.

But if the Republicans had any sense at all, they's choose former Lt. Gov. of Maryland, Mike Steele. Besides being a solid pro-life Catholic, he's also got executive experience. And besides... think of all the liberal White Guilt he can tap into.

And here's my idea for a McCain/Steele bumper sticker:

McCain
Steele

Thursday, April 24, 2008

WNABWYHAPM* Part II
*Who Needs A Bishop When You Have A Protestant Ministerette?

I recently read an ad in the diocesan paper; NC Catholics, that I found rather... oh, shall we say, disconcerting. In fact, this is twice in less than a week that I've read official notifications from official Catholic entities within the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh, that have placed Protestant Ministerettes IN CHARGE of certain evolutions within this diocese.

Besides the gal who I've posted about a couple of days ago who will be taking charge of the Ministry of Imagination over at Immaculate Conception, Durham... oh, and she's the same broad who denies minor things like: Christ physically present in The Eucharist, most of the Sacraments, Papal Authority... you know, small things. We now are treated to this garbage;PATHS TO THE CENTER:
TIME, PRAYER AND LABYRINTH

April 22, 2008 (Tues.)
9:30 am-2 pm
Description: One of the hardest part of our busy lives is making room for the time and prayers that can be centering and nourishing. You are invited to make just this kind of time to engage in some of the spiritual practices loved by many. The core practice will be walking the beautiful Avila labyrinth in addition to learning a bit more about labyrinth history and purpose as well as engaging in preparatory prayers.

Presenter: Lori Pistor, is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church USA. She has served congregations in Durham and on the Outer Banks. Lori is a long time friend and fan of Avila. She has introduced many groups to the Center as well as often being spotted walking Avila’s paths and labyrinth.
Donation: $30
Should I even bother to bring up that all this labyrinth nonsense is, quite frankly, playing with fire. Many, if not most of you, already know this. But if you want to read up on this paganism, the good folks at FishEaters.com give a wonderful explanation of such.

But back to how is the honchoette for this little goat-rodeo. Is she the very same Lori Pistor of the Presbyterian Church, USA who is also a signator to a lil' abomination called The North Carolina Religious Coalition for Marriage Equality - Building a movement grounded in faith, love and respect for the full human rights of members of the LGBT community. Is she?

Could she be the very same Lori Pistor who was pastor at The Pilgrim United Church of Christ, Durham, NC, who officially sanctioned a Sodomite Support Group for active and open homosexuals? Or as they put it:A few months ago, a group of Pilgrims who self-identify as gay or lesbian began meeting to share food, fellowship and fun. Our dinners have been so successful that we’ve decided to make our group more official.The Open and Affirming Fellowship meets monthly, usually for potluck in one of our homes.We discuss what’s going on in our lives, at Pilgrim, and in the wider world. Our get togethers are a great way to support each other and strengthen Pilgrim’s wonderful open and affirming atmosphere.All Pilgrims are welcome. Contact Susan McNair at 602-2437 if you’d like more information.I do realize that the bishop can't be everywhere and know everything that's going on... but these two ads/announcements, have far been hidden away from view. On the contrary, they're pretty much in your face. Is this REALLY the direction the bishop wants this diocese to be going? I'm starting to get that sinking feeling that Ecumenism trumps both the Sin of Sodom and pagan originated practices.

But if certain "Catholics" in this diocese are REALLY all that wound up and all atwitter over heresy, paganism and homosexuality, I'll save you the thirty Samolians that The Avila Center wants to charge you, and I'll take care of everything for half the price!

For $15, I'll send you selected writings from Martin Luther, literature from the Wiccans, and I'll totally screw you outta your money! It's a win-win situation!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

HEY YOU!! WHAT'S YOUR NAME!!??
Not to be confused with "Who's Your Daddy?"

WARNING!! Harsh langua... oh hell, you know the rest

It's come to my attention that there just might be a new Traditional Order in the works. A lil' something called The Priestly Fraternity of the Men of the Blood, or in Latin: Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Viri Sanguinis. And, of course, the name for the good Sisters who're members of this Order will be members of Famulorumque Sanguinis - The Handmaidens of the Blood .

And for the vast majority of the Bloglodytes reading this, we can saddle up with The Lay Society of the Blood, or more correctly: Societas Laici Sanguinis.

Now from what I understand, this is envisioned to be one kick ass of an Order. Sword in one hand, crucifix in the other... Warrior Monk kinda stuff. All that jazz.

And to give a better illustration of how kick ass and take no shit from anyone this Order is, here's the rules for one's Religious name.

The first name must be of either a Biblical bad ass, or a figure from Church history who's been known to open the occasional can of whoop ass. The second name must be "Maria" for men, "Mary" for women. The last part must be a descriptive of any of the Sufferings of Christ, or something either from the history of The Church or a Biblical physically unpleasant occurrence. I'll use myself as an example.

I've chosen for my name (if I ever become a Third Order member) the following: Frater Urban Maria of The Millstone.

With that said, what's your name? Feel free to let the world know via The Lair's ComBox. Remember, "Brother" is Frater, and "Sister" is Soror.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Know That George Steinbrenner Has More Money Than God...
But this is ridiculous
Helmet tip to Mr and Mrs NYPD


Yankees Acquire Ex-Cardinal



Monday, April 21, 2008

Who Needs A Bishop When You Have A Protestant Ministerette?
The diocesan version of "screw you, Pope Benedict"?
Helmet tip to The Unseen Parishioner

I've posted about Immaculate Conception parish in Durham, NC before. You remember, don't you? That "faith community" that recently had their pagan-inspired "Ecological Stations of the Cross" this past Lent, complete with prayers to Mother Earth?

Well, it looks as if the good Fathers at Immaculate Conception want to "imagine" where their parish will be in the next 1-3 years. So what do these dreamers do to make their imagination a reality? Simple... hire a Protestant ministerette to show you how a parish is SUPPOSE to be run! Just check out their bulletin, or you can read it right here; (Comments mine)
Over the past few months, our staff has begun a process (It's always about a "process" never about reaching an actual goal) of imagining our future. (Has anyone considered asking the bishop in which direction he would like to see this "Parish" go? Maybe they should start by "imagining" that next year there will be no further abominable versions of the Stations of the Cross.) This process began with a question: "What do you see as the questions that face our parish over the next 1-3 years?" (Here's a question for you: Do we believe in Jesus?) As we have reflected on these questions, which touch on all aspects of our parish, we have decided that we need some help from the outside (Oh - you need "help," alright) to help us think through the issues that we face. (e.g., How much longer should we keep up the pretense of being in union with the Roman Pontiff and the Bishop of Raleigh? Should we come clean and openly declare our already years old de facto schism with the Church? Naaaaaah......that would require integrity.)

We have entered into an agreement with a facilitator from Nashville TN (i.e., yet one more lay person has been put on the Parish dole) who will be working with us over the next several months. Her name is Kim Maphis Early, and she is an ordained Presbyterian minister with extensive background in working with church groups. (FYI- She was our second choice as our first choice, Joyce Myers, was a little outside our budget) She attended two masses here last Sunday (Anyone wanna lay money on whether or not she was allowed to receive "communion"?) and met with our staff on Monday. (I'm "imagining" Nurse Ratchet here) She will be back in May (CHA) and again in June (CHING) and she will be with us for several meetings in the fall as well (This is Durham, after all - where $$$ grows on trees.) In our May meeting, we will be discussing a book which we will all read called "Difficult Conversations." (Here's another book someone may want to recommend: The Catechism of the Catholic Church - unless conversing about that is too difficult. In that case, one may "imagine" the Baltimore Catechism to be more helpful.)

As we go through this process, there will be days in which our staff will be off-site for a one-day or a two-day retreat. (at which we will spend copious amounts of parish money on food, drink, and endless opportunities/settings in which to make ourselves feel better....about ourselves - but don't worry - this is really to benefit the whole parish - no, really!) We will let you know ahead of time what these dates are. (So, don't EVEN think of receiving a human voice - not to mention actual attention if you attempt to call the parish office) We see this process as the highest priority for us during this time, and we ask you to pray for us as we go through it. (Maybe we should pray, instead, that the true, Catholic Faith return to a Parish so long deprived of it) Kim, in her proposal, sees her work with us taking shape (i.e., she has no idea what she'll do) over a series of several meetings (chaaaaAA....) over several months (CHIIIING!!!!!) and ending with a plan to involve the people of the parish in a process of imagining IC's future. This, for us, is the Church as we imagine it to be. (Riiiiing! It's 3 a.m. and the Clue-Phone is ringing at the rectory of Immaculate Conception. It's Robert Browne on the other end to inform you that he already founded [i.e.,"imagined"] the Congregationalist Church in 1580.)

Please let us know if you have any questions about this process. (Ok - here goes: How long shall sinners, O Lord: how long shall sinners glory? Ps. 93:3) Kim left us with a prayer by the Jesuit priest/anthropologist (Who knew priests were now hyphenated - or forward slashed as the case may be? I wonder if in addition to priest-psychologists, priest/anthropologists, and priest/dancers, there are any priest/ass-kickers around the bishop could send to visit IC in Durham?) Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (never mind the fact that he was silenced by the Church in 1926) and the last lines of the prayer are: "Give our Lord the benefit of believing that His hand is leading you, and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete." (disclaimer: Belief in our Lord is, of course, optional. Also, let the reader understand that use of male pronouns was ONLY for the sake of quoting Teilhard de Chardin - a priest/rogue terribly helplessly victimized by a cruel, unjust, and patriarchal society.)
Fr. Steve (Peppermint) Patti, O.F.M.
Never mind the slight discrepancy that this broad denies The Real Presence, papal authority and supremacy, most of The Sacraments, etc. Nahhh... none of that's REALLY all that important, is it?

Does anyone think this is really the direction that Bishop Burbidge wants his priests to go? Oh, you silly Caveman... why in the world would you expect diocesan priests to look to their bishop for HIS vision for HIS parishes? Personally, I look upon this a none too subtle "screw you, Bishop Burbidge".

Hey, why look to the tower for guidance when you can pay untold amounts of money hiring someone to lead you to a future like this:

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall. Who're The Snarkies Ones Of All?
The Cavemen, that's who

Well, The Cavemen just won "Snarkiest Catholic Blog" honors over at The Crescat's blog. Woo-Hoo!!

When I was first informed that we won in this particular category, I was dumbfounded. I didn't know what to say! When it finally did sink in, my initial thought was... well, I think that Senior Drill Instructor Gunnery Sergeant Hartmann says it best...
Absolutely Zero Thought Was Put Into What They Did
...and there sat poor Pope Benedict with that pained look on his face
Idea inspired (stolen) from VME

Did anyone happen to catch that pathetic excuse for a sung Litany of The Saints when The Holy Father visited St. Joseph's seminary in New York? You know... when that over-the-top drama queen warbled her way through that John Becker-inspired travesty.

Was I the only one who noticed that when each Person of The Blessed Trinity was invoked, they sang as the response "pray for us"?

Since when does God Almighty "pray for us"? As we all know, the correct response should have either been "have mercy on us" or "graciously hear us"... or something, ANYTHING along those lines. But never, ever, EVER do we ask God to "pray for us". Ummm... God doesn't pray to Himself.

Good Lord, did anyone even bother to put a moments thought into this before they decided to play grown-up with the Litany of The Saints? Sheesh... and this place is a seminary!!?? No wonder we have so many priests that don't even know the basics of The Faith.

And speaking of Becker-inspired sung litanies that sound more like TV jingles (and those of you who've ever heard his childish sing-alongs know exactly what I'm talking about), allow me to add a a few more; go ahead -- sing with me!

The Litany Of Aints
Desi and Lucy... Pray for us
Joanie and Chachi... Pray for us
Pebbles and Bam-Bam... Pray for us
Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock... Pray for us
Cousin Itt and Uncle Fester... Pray for us
Bo, Luke and Daisy Duke... Pray for is
Mickey and Minnie... Pray for us
Wally and The Beaver... Pray for us
Do You Think This Is What Obama Meant By "Bitter People Clinging To Religion"?
Do they look bitter to you?

But after seeing some of the religious figures that Obama holds in such high esteem, it's easy to see why he equates religion with being bitter.





Saturday, April 19, 2008

American Slavery For The 21st Century
And the religious and secular leaders who advocate it

Who said slavery ended at the close of The War Between The States? I've got a news flash... slavery is alive and well and consistently being revived... hell, nurtured... in both the halls of Congress and those of your diocesan chanceries.

But before I get to the main course, allow me to set the table -- I've pointed out many a time on this blog that not only the secular immigration laws of the United States consider illegal immigration a crime, so does the official teaching of the Catholic Church. Specifically, #2241 of the Catechism states; Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants' duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.And lets not forget that there is a little known Catholic teaching centered around the "Four Sins Crying to Heaven for Vengeance".

One of these, is defrauding a laborer of his just wages (Deut 24:14-15; Jas 5:4). Do I really need to tell any of you the horror stories of the hard working American citizens who have gone out of business because of cheap, illegal labor? Guys who use to make a decent living in the various construction trades, who now are working for $7.50 an hour, upwards of 60-80 hours a week just so their kids can eat... just so they don't lose their homes. I don't see a lot of bishops weeping alligator tears for these folks and their kids.

That brings me to the meat and potatoes of this post -- the illegal aliens themselves. The vast majority of them are working for peanuts. Those Economic Benedict Arnolds that illegally hire them fully understand that, and want it that way.

I know for a fact, right here in my little corner of North Carolina (Land of a half million illegals, AKA: Mexico's Newest Colony), there is a certain posh, upscale "luxury condo" complex that was recently completed. At almost a half million clams per condo. I also know for a fact that the majority of the work was done - not with licensed, credentialed, qualified, law abiding, tax paying American construction workers - but with illegals who were paid a fraction of what the American workers would have been paid. Sheesh, why do you think nine Guatemalans live in 2-bedroom apartments?

Isn't that essentially economic slavery that these folks are living under? Of course it is.

Now here's the $64,000 Question: why are our bishops condoning and perpetuating this form of modern day slavery? If these Holier Than Thouists really want to make a difference in the lives of the Mexican, Honduran, Guatemalan, El Salvadorian, et al., campesinos that are streaming into the US, then they should speak-out and do something against the corrupt governments in Central America who shit all over their own people.

Oh... and possibly even shell out whatever money is left from the zillion dollar payouts to the victims of the homo-rapists that they protected. You know, possibly set up some job training centers south of the border. What a novel idea.

Nah, that would make too much sense. And after all, it's easier to blame America for everything.
Coming The Summer Of 2008
To a theater near you
Helmet tip by my goombaette, Alli over at Holy Cookie
(NOTE: This will only make sense of you've seen the Die Hard movies)

Die Hard With A Vestment!

The biggest, baddest bridge-builder this side of the Bavarian Alps is mad... and he ain't gonna take it any more. A lifetime to confess... a moment to die!

Follow the mad, crazy series of twists and turns as a renegade Defender of The Faith fresh off the mean streets of Rome, as he turns Canon Law into Cannon Law! Watch as The Pontificus Maximus become the Pontificus BLASTimus as he does Holy Battle against the forces of evil within and without The Holy Catholic Church!!

Enjoy the sneak peak with the leaked photos!!
_________________________________

We all know that smallest misunderstanding can lead to... well, you know what.


___________________________________

Time for grim, heroic determination. Time for a Pabst-Blast!


___________________________________

A moment of comic relief before the assault on the Evil Fortress.




__________________________________

And the famous catch-line used right before lotsa bad guys get greased.

Friday, April 18, 2008

...Followed Up With A Rather Large "SCREW YOU, POPE BENEDICT!!"
But in all honesty, isn't this exactly what we expected?

Only the most naive among us didn't know this was going to happen, including Archbishop Donald "Look The Other Way" Weurl. Well, the gauntlet has been thrown down, up close and personal. Christ Himself has been used and abused publicly by Pelosi, Kerry, et al.

It was ever so predictable that the gutless Archbishop of DC would put that stupid Stepford Priest smile on his face and do absolutely nothing. Now the big question is... what will The Holy Father's response be to this outright and blatant challenge to his authority and disrespect to The Eucharist?

Here's some of the article from Muckety.News.com (Emphasis mine) Abortion-rights supporters Kerry, Pelosi take communion at papal Mass
They described it an act of faith, rather than of defiance.

Several Catholic lawmakers who support abortion rights, including Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi received communion today at the Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI, in apparent disregard for the pope’s views on the issue.

Four years ago, when questions arose over whether then-presidential candidate Kerry should receive the sacrament, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote that it could be withheld in certain circumstances, such as “obstinate persistence in manifest grave sin.” One example of such sin, he said, “was consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws.”

Ratzinger’s letter did not mention Kerry by name, and in any case, he recommended a pastoral, rather than prosecutorial approach — talking to the individual before turning them away from the Communion rail.

But the pope’s visit has already reignited the issue at a time when Democrats are attempting to woo moderate Catholics. A staunch anti-abortion group, American Life League, took out full-page ads this week in the Washington Times and Politico, calling on the pontiff to protect the church from “the bloodstained hands” of Catholic politicians who support abortion rights - complete with photos of 20 lawmakers.

American Life League President Judie Brown said the ad’s objective was to prevent politicians from trying to “exploit” the pope’s visit. “There’s no other word for it than defiance of church law,” she said. Brown’s organization asked Catholics attending the Mass to report back if they saw any abortion-rights supporters receiving Communion.

Both Kerry and Pelosi expressed admiration for the pope in statements this week, attempting to steer clear of the abortion debate.

“In a nation and a world facing such extraordinary and daunting challenges, the pope’s visit promises hope, inspiration and great wisdom,” Kerry said.

Yesterday, when Pelosi greeted the Pope at the White House, she bent to kiss his ring. “In these challenging times, there are many opportunities for the world community to work for justice and come together on issues such as human rights and climate change,” she said in a statement.

The Vatican had invited all Catholic lawmakers to the Mass at Washington’s Nationals Park, and many went to the service, although their offices deflected questions. Rep. Jose Serrano was one of the few to confirm he had received communion.

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops, told Politico that the church had no plans to police communion.

“You presume that everyone there knows the rules of the church and follows them,” she said. “No one is policing that. People go to church and people go to Communion if they feel in their heart they are prepared to receive Communion.”

Pelosi had been among 48 Catholic lawmakers — some in favor and some opposed to abortion rights — who signed a letter in 2004 complaining about statements by “some members of the Catholic hierarchy” that focused on the issue of abortion to the exclusion of others.

If Catholic legislators are scorned and held out for ridicule by Church leaders on the basis of a single issue, the Church will lose strong advocates on a wide range of issues that relate to the core of important Catholic social teaching,” they wrote. “Moreover, criticism of us on a matter that is essentially one of personal morality will deter other Catholics from entering politics, and in the long run the Church will suffer.”
I'm surprised they didn't give him the finger as they walked away from the Communion line. But in their own little way... they did.
Leave It To The USCCB To Defend The Tower Of Babel
What!? No mention of the Tierra Del Fuegan Turd goddess?

Here's the best foot forward by the Ministry of Propeganda... oops... I mean the news bureau of the USCCB;

D.C. papal Mass a multicultural mix of ancient and modern

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The liturgical celebration of Pope Benedict XVI's April 17 Mass in Nationals Park reflected the diversity of Catholic heritages and sensibilities reflected in the Archdiocese of Washington, where the Mass was held.

It acknowledged both the roots of tradition and the branches that have sprouted from those roots.

The prayer of the faithful was recited in six languages -- English, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog and Igbo. The sung response to the intentions incorporated three languages: English, Latin and Spanish.

The first reading -- the account of how the apostles started speaking in tongues unknown to them at the first Pentecost -- was proclaimed in Spanish.

Music composed in the 40 years since the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council was included, as were ancient Latin texts set to chant -- and a Latin-language Gloria written in the past decade.

But not every song considered traditional was sung in Latin. The opening song for a 90-minute prelude before the 10 a.m. start of the Mass -- which featured 1,300 clergy processing to their seats in deep left field and right field at Nationals Park -- was "Plenty Good Room," a traditional spiritual.

The prelude time also included "Halle, Hallelujah," a traditional Caribbean song, and "Let'Isikia," a traditional Zulu and South African melody.

The music of Leon Roberts, a long-respected African-American Catholic composer, was represented by "I Call Upon You, God" during the prelude and a Greek-language "Kyrie."

The late Alexander Peloquin, a Rhode Island composer and choral conductor who embraced the concept of music in the vernacular, had his powerful setting of Psalm 104, "Lord Send Out Your Spirit," used for the responsorial psalm. A pre-Mass song based on the same psalm had verses in Latin, Pilipino and English, then Vietnamese and English, followed by a verse in Spanish.

Hymn tunes dating back centuries were used as the basis for "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name," "O Holy Spirit, By Whose Breath" and "Lord, You Give the Great Commandment."

Marty Haugen, whose compositions are now part and parcel of virtually every Catholic hymnal, had three acclamations from his widely popular "Mass of Creation" used during the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

His setting for the Great Amen was followed by the chant version of the English-language Our Father long used in American parishes.

A generous sampling of songs in Spanish, including one set to a meringue beat, was incorporated into the Mass, and even one song in French was used before the liturgy.
I do believe that the, great Anna Haycraft said it best; "It is as though one's revered, dignified and darling old mother had slapped on a mini-skirt and fishnet tights and started ogling strangers. A kind of menopausal madness, a sudden yearning to be attractive to all. It is tragic and hilarious and awfully embarrassing. And of course, those who knew her before feel a great sense of betrayal and can't bring themselves to go and see her any more."

"But look what he did for the ecumenical movement," his friends cry. "And look what he did to the Church," we respond....Ecumenism seems to mean taking something pure and strong, mixing it up with something weak and polluted, slashing it about, watching the churches empty and then congratulating yourself on your progress.
In other words... (in Cavemanese) no matter how hard you try to shine it up, a diamond in a goat's ass is still just a diamond in a goat's ass.
But I Thought Kneeling Was A Mortal Sin!!??
Only in Orange County, California

Helmet Tip to Charlie C, the Prayin' Machine

Here is one of the passages from Thomas E. Woods' book, Sacred Then And Sacred Now, The Return of the Old Latin Mass, Roman Catholic Books, 2008.

"A sure sign of decacralization, and the replacement of the sacrd by a more familiar, man-centered ethos, is the reduction or even elimination of kneeling in liturgical settings. Ratzinger was a consistent opponent of the fanaticism against kneeling, and in his book The Spirit of the Liturgy recalled a revealing story from the sayings of the Desert Fathers. When God once compelled the devil to show himself to Abba Apollo, what was most striking about his hideous and emaciated frame was that he had no knees.
"The inability to kneel," Ratzinger wrote, "is seen as the very essence of the diabolical."
(Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy, trans. John Saward, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2000, p.193)

And while the Am-Church honchoes contunually scream and pout for "greater lay participation via standing during the Consecration..., we have this tid-bit of sanity from south of the order;
Peruvian cardinal stops Communion in the hand

Lima, Apr. 17, 2008 (
CWNews.com) - 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.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Does This Make Me A Racist...
Or just half a racist?

Helmet tip to Kit Brookside, Esq.



Will They Ever Understand The Vocations Crisis?

With the arrival of the Holy Father on American shores, you all knew that these types of articles would make their way into the main-stream press. This one is from the NY Times. Now to be fair, the NY Times absolutely hates Christianity, and most certainly hates Catholicism. That is as true as the sun rising in the east every day. But it didn’t used to be that way. In 1943, the NY Times praised Pope Pius XII as the ONLY European leader to raise the alarm regarding the plight of Europe’s Jews, calling him “a voice crying in the wilderness.” Boy, have times changed!

I send this article out to many good friends, in order to once again highlight the continuing puzzlement of the higher-ups, who simply “don’t get it.” As I like to say, “Even a blind man can see the reasons why vocations are down the tubes!”

Let’s review: The hundreds of vocations that the Archdiocese of New York used to enjoy took place during a time when the Mass was celebrated in that awful language that no one could understand. Dare I say its name? Yes folks. It was in…..Latin. And the priest had the audacity to “turn his back” to the people. The altar was……hold on, this may be too much to bare….it was against the wall, and the tabernacle was actually…cover your eyes….actually on the altar. Now added to these outrages, only men could serve in the sanctuary, and only altar BOYS were allowed. Everyone had to receive at the….here we go….at the altar rail, on their knees, and on the tongue, given by the priest. Horrible!!!

Priests actually had the audacity to wear colorful hand embroidered chasubles, and some useless things called birettas, cassocks and maniples. Can you imagine that? Not one piece of beautiful, earth friendly polyester to be seen.

Priests gave something called a “sermon” where they actually taught the truths of the Faith, and had the very bad habit of discussing things like morals, sin and Hell. (I get the chills just thinking about such awful days as those!). What were they thinking? No talk of love, the Super Bowl, the latest cable show?

The Lord’s Prayer, during this terrible time in the Church, was actually said by the priest as the people kneeled (except if one were at something called a “High Mass”). Can you imagine? No hand holding allowed, and absolutely no kiss, handshake, or high-five of Peace. Unbelievable!!

Lastly, can you believe that only the organ was used (no guitars??), and a separate choir (kept out of sight in the choir loft) sang hymns in that old, dead language…Latin? No “On Eagle’s Wings???”

Women Religious wore full habits, instead of the “liberating” polyester pant suits of today. And children were actually forced to use the “Baltimore Catechism” with which they had to memorize the truths of the Faith. That is almost akin to child abuse!! Thank goodness we don’t live in such times when the Church was acting “Triumphant,” where she taught that she was the One, True Faith, that she alone was the means of salvation.

But here’s the strange part: In 1965, the year the Second Vatican Council ended, and all of the above still held sway, we had approximately 48,000 men in American seminaries. How can we now have less then 5,000 men in our seminaries, since we have changed every possible thing in the Mass, the way of teaching the Faith, and with all that wonderful “help from the laity?” Why aren’t the seminaries full? Why is the Archdiocese of New York, Los Angeles, Tucson, et al, struggling to attract men?

We do have a very real and massive problem. As one very old priest told me several months ago, “Maybe the Holy Spirit wants to decrease the number of priests in order to allow the growth of the laity?” My response was “WHAT?” Dear God, Almighty! That, ladies and gentlemen, is certifiably nuts!!! Let’s do some basic math: No priest equals no Eucharist. No Eucharist equals no Mass. No Mass…well, you do the math.

I will leave you with this thought: As almost all dioceses around the world struggle to attract men to the priesthood (that is, those that haven’t closed their doors), the newer orders of priests who ONLY celebrate the old Mass, the old ways, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest (ICKSP), Clear Creek Monastery, and numerous others, are OVERFLOWING with vocations of young men on fire for Holy Mother Church. None of these orders of traditional priests have a vocations crisis! In fact, most simply do not have enough bed space for all the applicants.

Now I ask all of you. Why is that? Something to contemplate the next time you are asked to “pray for vocations.”

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The New York Times

April 15, 2008
Facing Decline, an Effort to Market the Priesthood
By DAVID GONZALEZ

The banners hanging in the main corridor (that's their first problem!) of St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers declare, “Through Faith We Grow.” The class portraits that line that very same corridor tell the opposite tale. Half a century after the halcyon days when several hundred men at a time studied to be ordained as priests for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, only 22 are enrolled.

Even more alarming to Catholics, although six men expect to be ordained in May, none are entering the first-year theology program. While seminary officials attribute the sudden drop to extra preparatory course requirements that went into effect this year, it is nonetheless a jarring development.

“You do what you can, as well as you can, for as long as you can, and hope it works,” said Bishop Gerald Walsh, the seminary’s rector. “I’d be optimistic if we had enough clergy present for young people and willing to talk to them.”

He will have enough — and then some — on Saturday, when Pope Benedict XVI visits the seminary for a prayer service and youth rally. The pope’s mere presence will be a jolt of encouragement to the seminarians. It will also offer them and other priests and nuns the chance to mingle with 20,000 young people and plant a seed for vocations.

There will be flashy videos, with quick cuts, stirring sound tracks and fearless priests on New York streets. Goody bags will include glossy post cards of the pontiff emblazoned with the word “Willkommen!” — and the Web address nypriest.com, the seminary’s recruiting site. In coming weeks, the archdiocese will send its schools posters that announce, “The World Needs Heroes,” including one of black-suited priests crossing an intersection — looking like “Going My Way” meets “Reservoir Dogs.”

Officials of the archdiocese do not apologize for embracing Madison Avenue marketing to counter a sharp decline in vocations.

An increasingly secular and materialistic culture, reluctance among the young to accept lifelong celibacy, and anger over the church’s handling of sexual abuse scandals have all contributed to the precipitous drop, the officials say.

Vocational directors recognize that the public’s confidence has been shaken by the scandals. They have chosen, however, to focus their marketing campaign on an upbeat message.
The Rev. Luke Sweeney, director of vocations for the archdiocese — which covers the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island and seven counties west and north of the city — says the church must make its case if it hopes to reinvigorate a priesthood that is increasingly elderly. “How do we get the ‘cool’ factor back into the priesthood?” Father Sweeney said. “If we don’t sell the priesthood, we can’t legitimately ask a young man to consider the priesthood as a vocation.”

What the seminary lacks in numbers, it may make up for in intensity and eagerness. The seminarians speak of finding a joy and purpose that eluded them in secular careers.
“We live in a very confusing world, a world where there is a lot of evil in it, and good men need to step forward,” said Brian Graebe, a former high school teacher who is finishing his first year. “You can stick your head in the sand, or you can do something to change it. What more heroic life is there than to touch these eternal mysteries?”

St. Joseph’s Seminary — informally known as Dunwoodie, after its neighborhood — is hardly alone in its diminished fortunes. Nationally, the enrollment of seminarians in four-year theology programs has been flat for the last decade, currently numbering 3,286, said Sister Katarina Schuth, a professor at St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, part of the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. More than a quarter of those seminarians, she said, were foreign born.
“It’s a tough time for the church,” Sister Schuth said. “Dunwoodie has lost proportionately more than most. It really is a puzzle, given the huge population of New York and the boroughs.”
When St. Joseph’s opened in the late 1800s, its stone castle, topped by a gleaming cupola and perched majestically atop a hill, was described by Bishop Bernard McQuaid of Rochester as “the grandest seminary building in Christendom.” It was also, according to the Rev. Thomas J. Shelley, a Fordham University professor, one of the most progressive seminaries of its age, with an intellectual tradition to rival the best Catholic universities, until a Vatican crackdown on modernist thought a century ago led to a more orthodox approach.

Still, priests who were seminarians during the 1940s and ’50s recall a tranquil place whose daily rhythms were marked by the clanging of the bell for classes, meals and Mass. Many came from immigrant, working-class homes where the religious life was seen as a step up.

The Rev. Gerard J. DiSenso, who grew up poor in the Bronx, said the first time he had a room all to himself was when he entered the seminary in 1947.

That he was surrounded daily by more than 200 seminarians was encouraging and humbling.
“You sensed that you were not absolutely needed,” said Father DiSenso, who is now retired. “There were enough candidates that the seminary could afford to discharge people.”
He still goes to the seminary weekly to use its library, though he has little contact with the few men who are now there. “It’s like a shell of itself,” he lamented. “It’s completely different.”
Yet some changes have been for the better, he and other priests of his generation say. Unlike past years, when seminarians hardly left the grounds, today’s students come and go. They are assigned to work in parishes each summer to learn the demands they will encounter upon ordination.

And while enrollment is down, it better reflects the city’s changing demographics, in that there are more Hispanic candidates, both at the seminary and in a program aimed at cultivating high school students for the priesthood. In addition to the 22 seminarians to be ordained for the archdiocese, 14 candidates were sent to Dunwoodie by religious orders.

The biggest change, however, is in the age and backgrounds of seminarians. Decades ago, young men entered the seminary in their teens. Today, many have college degrees and have worked in business, science or even the military — experiences that can give them an added measure of empathy for their congregants.

“They have more experience in the world, more than we had,” Bishop Walsh, the rector, said. “They’re probably a little more secure in their choice.” Among the current seminarians are former teachers, engineers, executives and even a funeral director.

At 39, Ronald Perez is the oldest candidate for ordination next month. A former paralegal at a Midtown law firm, he moved to New York from Los Angeles 10 years ago to change his life. By the time he decided to become a priest, he had worked at a failed manufacturing company and a dot-com that missed the boom.

His decision to become a priest was gradual, he said, coming after years of involvement in activities at his home parish, St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He credited the talks he had with visiting seminarians for nudging him closer to the religious life. Like many other contemporary candidates for the seminary, he started studying philosophy with other prospective priests.
“The door was open, so if it was for you, go on, but if not, leave, no questions asked,” he said. “That first year was crucial. It gave me a chance to look back at my life and the world around me. Nothing I could have done as an engineer or a paralegal would give me contentment and happiness. Something was missing. I realized what it was: becoming a priest.”

The other great shift in recent decades has been a growing conservatism among seminarians, marked by an emphasis on ritual and on being set apart from the laity. In interviews, some older priests said their ministry was rooted in a deep understanding of the social and material needs of their congregants. Younger priests and seminarians emphasized the sacramental aspects of their vocation.

“Something that attracted me was the priest’s proximity to Christ at the Mass,” said Steven Markantonis, a second-year student. “He is using the same words Jesus used 2,000 years ago, when the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ.”

He said that after ordination, he expected to be “nothing more” than a parish priest tending to his congregation’s spiritual life.

“Regarding their social needs, it is a fine line,” he said. “You have to know where your job ends and another person’s job begins.”

Dean R. Hoge, a sociologist at Catholic University who has studied recently ordained priests, said there were indications that they were less collaborative with the laity. “They are more concerned about their status of being set apart,” Dr. Hoge said. “The younger ones are more concerned about moral teaching. The old guys hate to even talk about that.”

He cautioned that the American laity, now the most educated in history, want to have a bigger say in parish decisions.

Bishop Walsh, who once served as a pastor in Washington Heights, home to many struggling immigrants, said the church had to be understanding of its members and their burdens.
“Many people in the parishes I was in had jobs on Sunday that they had to do to put food on the table,” he said. “That is a religious value, too, raising a family. We can’t say, if you do not go to church 52 Sundays a year, you are failing as a Catholic.”

His seminarians, he said, should be gentle to the people in the pews. “People will never forget the priest who is nasty to them,” he said. “They could care less about who knows theology.”
However conservative the younger generation of clergy may be, Bishop Walsh said, it is increasingly committed to working with young people. For winning new recruits to the priesthood, no brochure or video can compete with the friendship and example of a parish priest.
Anthony Mizzi-Gili Jr. still remembers the priests of his childhood, men who graduated from Dunwoodie and earned his trust and admiration. After years of indecision, he ultimately followed in their footsteps and is now a third-year seminarian.

During midday Mass last week, he played the organ with gusto, as the chapel reverberated with “Sing With All the Saints in Glory.”

Afterward, he took lunch in the refectory, which was built to hold hundreds but now could fit the entire student body at a few tables. Mr. Mizzi-Gili looked around but refused to sound discouraged. “It shows vocations are still there,” he said. “Regardless of the numbers, we’re still there.”
Proof Positive That It Just Isn't Americans Who're Weird
Or have weird things happen to them...

A snippet from The Brisbane Courier-Mail (Australia);
Ex-wife slams incest couple
A father and daughter who have a baby girl together, had another child who died a few days after birth from a congenital heart disease, court documents show. John Earnest Deaves and his daughter Jennifer Anne Deaves are at the centre of an incest scandal in South Australia over their seven-year relationship.

Their physical relationship developed later that year and both ended their marriages and began living together. Today, the pair said they did not view each other as father and daughter.

You know, saying "there's something very disturbing happening Down Under" now could have more than one meaning.
Next up, some of the article from Agence France-Presse (France);
Sexy paper lingerie a hit for Malaysia's Chinese dead
KUALA LUMPUR -- Sexy lingerie sets have reportedly become a hit among Malaysia's ethnic Chinese, who buy them to offer to their dead relatives on the Qingming Festival this Friday.

To mark the day, Chinese traditionally tend the graves of their departed loved ones and often burn paper money, model houses, cars, mobile phones and other goods as offerings to honor them and keep them comfortable in the afterlife.

But paper lingerie has become an increasingly popular offering for dead female relatives, Tan Lay Nah, owner of a paper model shop in the northern island state of Penang, told the Star daily.

Nothing says "ooh baby!" like the dead all gussied up in paper lingerie.
And another disturbing story from Ananova News (UK);
Toilet Break
A tourist had a lucky escape in Austria when a 47-stone boulder landed on a toilet seconds after he finished using it.

Austrian holidaymaker Josef Heller, 47, said: "I had just washed my hands - and as I walked out the door there was an explosion behind me and the whole house shook.

"When I looked back I realised a massive boulder had landed on the toilet - smashing it to bits. There was water and debris everywhere."

Not to mention the second (and rather large and unexpected) bowel movement in as many minutes. Remember... first you say it, then you do it. Especially when a boulder come crashing down on you.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I Like My Religion Like My Coffee...
Cold and bitter - Barack H. Obama

An extra large helmet tip to The Egyptian

They're Mad, I'm Glad
"There will be much holding of breath and stomping of feet"

This makes me ever so happy! From Spero News; Catholic dissidents are unhappy campers
Groups of dissenting Catholics, including Voice of the Faithful and Catholics for a Free Choice, join the Westboro Baptist Church and American Atheists in protest of the pope's visit.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008 By William Donohue

Here is how Catholic dissidents are responding to the pope’s visit:

· The National Coalition of American Nuns, a pro-abortion group, says the pope is not welcome.

· The Women’s Ordination Conference played a game of make-believe by having women dress up like priests to say Mass.

· Dignity, a group which once appointed gay rapist Paul Shanley its chaplain, is staging a protest of the pope’s visit.

· New Ways Ministry, a pro-sodomy group, held a press conference on gay sex that no one attended.

· Catholics for a Free Choice, an anti-Catholic front group, is hawking condoms and wants no one to leave home without one.

· SNAP, a gang of professional victims greased by lawyers who have exploited the church, wants the U.N. to investigate the Vatican.

· Voice of the Faithful, which is on the verge of bankruptcy, is lecturing the pope about Church finances.

· Rainbow Sash, a gay happy group, says it will throw ashes at the pope instead of confetti.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue responded as follows:

“These groups are dying out fast. Staffed by senior citizens who are angry that the Church didn’t turn left, they have almost no members under the age of 90 (okay, maybe 85).

“They will be joined by the American Atheists and the Westboro Baptist Church: the former is protesting what it calls the ‘Vatican/Ratzinger agenda’ (sounds great to me) and the latter is protesting what it calls the ‘Great Whore’ (wasn’t that in the news recently?).

“There was a time when such groups were taken seriously. But that time has long past. Instead, most Catholics will agree with our op-ed page tribute to the pope in today’s New York Times, and not with these unhappy campers. Indeed, they’ll likely be so gay as to break out the confetti.”