Catholic commentary on culture, media, and politics.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I can't take it

Some irksome things of everyday life drive you mad, don't they? Call them pet peeves. Most are non-lethal and banal. But they force you to fight the urge to blurt out, "I can't take it."

I'll probably think of more, but, for now, I can't take:

* Long-winded, needlessly verbose phone message recordings. "You have reached (then it repeats the number you dialed). I'm sorry, but the person at that extension is unavailable." By now I'm close to yelping, "No kidding, genius!"

But it's just getting warmed up.

"If you'd like to leave a message, press one. To page this person, press two. Or just wait for the tone." So, hoping to provoke a swift return call, you opt for the page. It drones on, "You have entered (then they repeat your number -- all ten digits, thank you very little -- and by now you've lost the will to live). "If this is correct, press one." Blah blah blah. And then, they tack on a goofy option at the finish? "To end this call, please press pound, or simply hang up." So for jokes and fun, you press pound. "Good-bye," it says, all smarty pants.

Someone could become a zillionaire by figuring out how to create a snappy, 10-second version of this insufferable ritual.

* People in Southern California who insist on wearing shorts when the temperature drops below 40 F. I'm thinking they must either be tourists trying to get their money's worth, or just moved from Wisconsin and want to fit in.

* Bill O'Reilly's inscrutable use of the term "the deity" for God, and his infallible certainty as to what Jesus would do. Go here for my extended take on Mr. O'Reilly's bloviatory yet anorexic Catholicism.

* The phrase "it's all about..." As in, "Here at Bob's Wrench Emporium, we're all about service," or, "You know, Jennifer and Nick were all about honesty." When I hear it, I secretly wish the person saying it was beaten up as a child.

* The irritatingly cocksure Bryant Gumbel, who, faithful as Big Ben, ruins the end of every episode of HBOs Real Sports with his smarmy wrap-up comments.

* Drivers who've taken blood oaths never to use their right turn indicator.

* Twenty-minutes of super-loud movie trailers in mallplexes.

* Any more photos of -- let's be charitable -- the repellent Paris Hilton. I resent knowing that she has a dog and a line of zhi-zhi purses. I have that information in my head.

* Hollywood train-wreck marriages that steam forward to their inevitable dooms in super slo-mo. Start the list with: Tom and Katie; Julia and what's-his-name; David and Courtney; Harrison and Calista; Brad and Angelina. Why not arrange a conference call and spare everyone the wait by just breaking up on the same day? (Christina Aguilara's marriage to what's-his-name [no relation to Julia's husband] is an exception; it will last unto eternity.)

* The phrases:
1) "You go, girl" (Hey, spunky female, I publically encourage you in your outragous venture);
2) "Don't go there" (You are inappropriately verging on explicitating a topic that is inappropriately bawdy or embarrassing yet we both consider humorous);
3) "No worries" (I have experienced no significant burden by handing you the Sweet N' Sour sauce pouch you requested.")

All three went stale around 1997.

What can't you take?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

It's out, so to speak

I refer, of course, to the much-awaited Vatican Instruction on the issue of screening for homosexuality/SSA.

Back in 2002, a trio of psychiatrists and therapists, solid Catholics all, wrote an open letter to the US Bishops. It is sensitively written, imbued with a simultaneously gentle and authoritative tone, and is geared toward hope for forgiveness and healing, striking just the right balance of moral orthodoxy and pastoral realism.

The Vatican Instruction (see English translation below, with my profoundly valuable comments in italics) reads like a vibrant response to that letter. Kneejerk conservatives who favor blanket bans, and kneejerk liberals who think any form of discrimination is worse than unprovoked nuclear war, will not be happy with the Instruction. What it is, though, is Catholic.


“In continuity with the teaching of Vatican Council II and, in particular, with the Decree ‘Optatam Totius’ on priestly formation, the Congregation for Catholic Education has published various documents with the aim or promoting a suitable, integral formation of future priests, by offering guidelines and precise norms regarding its diverse aspects.

In the meantime, the 1990 Synod of Bishops also reflected on the formation of priests in the circumstances of the present day. … Following this Synod, John Paul II published the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation ‘Pastores Dabo Vobis’.” “The present Instruction does not intend to dwell on all questions in the area of affectivity and sexuality that require an attentive discernment during the entire period of formation. Rather, it contains norms concerning a specific question, made more urgent by the current situation, and that is: whether to admit to the seminary and to holy orders candidates who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies."

Notice the absence of the word "homosexual." This careful distinction between being and behavior -- between person and perversion -- is a hallmark of sound Catholic moral thinking. It presumes that there are persons who struggle with homosexuality/SSA, not merely "born that way" aggregations of gayness held together by a J. Crew wardrobe. Despite 30 years of pro-"gay" media propaganda, which has unfortunately affected the Church at many levels, there exists no scientific proof of genetic causation. A tendency is not necessarily a natural quality, but a proclivity, an affective habit.

Ah, the glory and majesty of drawing distinctions. Thank you, Holy See.


“According to the constant Tradition of the Church, only a baptized person of the male sex validly receives sacred ordination. By means of the Sacrament of Orders, … the priest, in fact, sacramentally represents Christ, the head, shepherd and spouse of the Church. Because of this configuration to Christ, the entire life of the sacred minister must be animated by the gift of his whole person to the Church and by an authentic pastoral charity. “The candidate to the ordained ministry, therefore, must reach affective maturity. Such maturity will allow him to relate correctly to both men and women, developing in him a true sense of spiritual fatherhood towards the Church community that will be entrusted to him.”

Here we see the vital connection between biological and spiritual fatherhood. So simple, so direct: Christ takes the Bridegroom role service to, and union with, His Bride, the Church; priests thus sacramentally take Christ's place, and therefore ought to reflect aspects of His fatherly, and brotherly presence, i.e., be an essentially masculine leader and minister. Men afflicted with same sex attraction, whether wanted or unwanted, are simply unable to adequately represent (render present) the masculine presence of Jesus Christ in that unique sacramental relationship. This is true in terms of the priest's relationship to Jesus but also applies to the priest's relationship to his congregation, the Bride of the One whom he is meant to image. (Does it not give you the willies to think of a priest struggling against homosexual "feelings" for Christ? It happens.)


“The Catechism of the Catholic Church distinguishes between homosexual acts and homosexual tendencies. Regarding acts, it teaches that Sacred Scripture presents them as grave sins. The Tradition has constantly considered them as intrinsically immoral and contrary to the natural law. Consequently, under no circumstances can they be approved. “Deep-seated homosexual tendencies, which are found in a number of men and women, are also objectively disordered and, for those same people, often constitute a trial. Such persons must be accepted with respect and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” “In the light of such teaching, this dicastery, in accord with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, believes it necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called ‘gay culture’.”

This is not a complaint, but an observation: The phrase "deep-seated" leaves room for plenty of wiggle room for gay-friendly rectors, bishops, and cardinals' spokesmen like Tod Tamberg of Los Angeles. There is no foolproof screening process, of course, but this Instruction at least makes the line in the sand considerably more prominent. Notice the emphasis on profound respect.

“One must in no way overlook the negative consequences that can derive from the ordination of persons with deep-seated homosexual tendencies. “Different, however, would be the case in which one were dealing with homosexual tendencies that were only the expression of a transitory problem - for example, that of an adolescence not yet superseded. Nevertheless, such tendencies must be clearly overcome at least three years before ordination to the diaconate.”

Again, the three-year guideline is as subject to flexibility, shall we say, as is the term "deep-seated" subject to deliberate ambiguity. Inexhaustible is the cunning and the ambitions of dissenters. But I think it's a solid nudge in the right direction, a fact to be verified by the reactions of those who bemoan its publication.


“The desire alone to become a priest is not sufficient, and there does not exist a right to receive sacred ordination.

Thank you.

It belongs to the Church - in her responsibility to define the necessary requirements for receiving the Sacraments instituted by Christ - to discern the suitability of him who desires to enter the seminary, to accompany him during his years of formation, and to call him to holy orders if he is judged to possess the necessary qualities. “The formation of the future priest must distinctly articulate, in an essentially complementary manner, the four dimensions of formation: human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral. In this context, it is necessary to highlight the particular importance of human formation, as the necessary foundation of all formation.” “Bearing in mind the opinion of those to whom he has entrusted the responsibility of formation, the bishop or major superior, before admitting the candidate to ordination, must arrive at a morally certain judgement on his qualities. In the case of a serious doubt in this regard, he must not admit him to ordination. “The discernment of a vocation and the maturity of the candidate is also a serious duty of the rector and of the other persons entrusted with the work of formation in the seminary. Before every ordination, the rector must express his own judgment on whether the qualities required by the Church are present in the candidate.” The spiritual director, though bound to secrecy, “represents the Church in the internal forum. In his discussions with the candidate, the spiritual director must especially point out the demands of the Church concerning priestly chastity and the affective maturity that is characteristic of the priest, as well as help him to discern whether he has the necessary qualities. The spiritual director has the obligation to evaluate all the qualities of the candidate’s personality and to make sure that he does not present disturbances of a sexual nature, which are incompatible with the priesthood. If a candidate practices homosexuality or presents deep-seated homosexual tendencies, his spiritual director, as well as his confessor, have the duty to dissuade him in conscience from proceeding towards ordination.

“It goes without saying that the candidate himself has the primary responsibility for his own formation. … It would be gravely dishonest for a candidate to hide his own homosexuality in order to proceed, despite everything, towards ordination. Such a deceitful attitude does not correspond to the spirit of truth, loyalty and openness that must characterize the personality of him who believes he is called to serve Christ and His Church in the ministerial priesthood.”

No wall-to-wall "ban" (an impossibility anyway), no skating away from difficult discernment questions and problems, and a focus on multi-dimensional screening considerations -- human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral.


“This Congregation reaffirms the need for bishops, major superiors, and all relevant authorities to carry out an attentive discernment concerning the suitability of candidates for holy orders, from the time of admission to the seminary until ordination. This discernment must be done in light of a conception of the ministerial priesthood that is in accordance with the teaching of the Church. “Let bishops, episcopal conferences and major superiors look to see that the constant norms of this Instruction be faithfully observed for the good of the candidates themselves, and to guarantee that the Church always has suitable priests who are true shepherds according to the heart of Christ."

It is written. Let it be done.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Repeat after me...

For the luvva Gawd, if it's a fur or a spruce tree and it has lights and tinsel on it in December, it's a freakin' Christmas tree, m'kay?

For the same reason a menorah isn't a candle-stick thingie. And both belong front and center in the public square. Preferably adorned with lights.

I know I'll be blogging more on this, but in the meantime, enjoy Rabbi Daniel Lapin's explanation as to why "Merry Christmas" is the best possible greeting to use when acknowledging the birth of What's His Name of Bethlehem. (What I wouldn't give to see Rabbi Lapin enlighten some Macy's manager on why the generic "holiday greetings/season's greetings/happy wintertime holiday" crapola doesn't cut it.)

Happy Hanukah, Rabbi Lapin! Baruch atah Adonai, Elohaynu, melech ha-olam, she-asah neeseem la-avotaynu ba-yameem ha-heim ba-z'man ha-zeh. (Blessed are you, Lord our God, king of the universe, who performed miracles for our ancestors in those days at this time.)

Canada one-ups gay marriage: parody now allowed to marry reality

Lucky for me, Canada is never a cause for embarrassment. Ever.

This gem hits all the usual notes in one handy news story: the anti-military sentimentality, the Bush hatred, the smug quote from Prime Minister Paul Martin.

And, oh, yeah, the standing O following the speech by the 60s political has-been in which he, um, talks seriously of diplomacy with space aliens.

Hat tip to my friend Mark Embrey.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Memed with no prior warning!

I was reading personal email when I should have been working, when Barbara Nicolosi at Church of the Masses memed me upside the head. It's a funny "I Confess" rant.

And, as Barbara's hylemorphic male equivalent, I am impelled to offer my own list:

I confess to sinfully enjoying the bitter over-reactions of RadTrads (radical Traditionalist Catholics).

I confess to hating John Michael Talbot. (Can we hear more than two chord progressions in 30 years, John Mike? And aren't you a married guy and not a monk?)

I confess to never reading a line of Dostoevsky apart from what's quoted elsewhere.

I confess intense apathy toward pro basketball, especially the Lakers.

I confess to being on the verge of being clinically diagnosed with ADHD, formerly known as Adult ADD).

I confess to wondering why it is that Jews exert such a massive cultural and political influence outlandlishly beyond their proportionate numbers.

I confess to believing that someone will misconstrue the last one as anti-Semitism.

I confess that my first attempt at performing magic publically, at age 14, resulted in every trick failing due to lack of practice and sheer nerves.

I confess to winning $137,000 on Fox's short-lived It's Your Chance of a Lifetime, and then losing 80% of it in bad stock choices.

I confess to wondering if I could still be hired as a stuntman.

Finally...I confess to covertly gnashing my clean Canadian teeth over Barbara's apparent vow to keep me off her blog roll.

And I hereby meme Dom Bettinelli and Kathy Shaidle.

LA Times rethinks role as Mahoney mascot

Someone at the The Los Angeles Times must have taken a hard look at the numbers -- those pesky non-lying entities-- and decided to stop a coddling Cardinal Mahoney's regime.

The apparent loss of The Times as a reliable Mahoney enabler is a major plot twist in this saga. The Cardinal's teflon coating is starting to look like cheap plywood. Maybe one day it'll be exposed as nerf.

Imagine a third of seminary graduates (in two different years) -- 10% overall since 1950 -- being accused of molestation. I'm sure there are better words for it, but breathtaking is a start. St. John's Seminary has cranked out perverts like a full-tilt sausage factory.

I want a new archbishop for Christmas. ("Dear Santa: I know you've heard of Bishop Tom Olmsted....)

Chirac to rioters: We know it's our fault, but try to be nice

Appearing absurdly late on TV in a bid to mollify the violent Muslim goons disaffected immigrant youths, French prez Jacques Chirac is now a leading contender for the Still Doesn't Get It prize.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Lucky Blessed Brother Andre is in heaven

I hate the thought of him turning in his grave for eternity.

The Holy Cross Fathers who run the very beautiful Oratory of St. Joseph in Montreal showed all the backbone of yesterday's spaghetti by their last-minute ditching of the Canadian National Pro-Life Conference.

Shameful. And a dim echo of "no room at the Inn."

The Montreal police force, not known for hiring wimps, say they could have easily handled any security issues during the event. whom (and why) did these Holy Cross priests cave, exactly?

Makes you wonder if the National Gay and Lesbian Catholic Coalition would get the same barge-pole treatment.

Thankfully, leave it to our separated evangelical brethren to save the day.

If you build it, they won't come

Ah si, mis gentes, a US-Mexico border fence, an idea whose time has come long ago. Notice the media spin of this piece.

The comparison to the Berlin Wall is almost funny. It's also slagged as "radical." Since when is a radically liberal idea referred to pejoritavely? Radical is a good or bad adjective depending on which reporter/editor is covering the news, and on the issue at hand.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

When bloggers get small

I'm not sure whether to chuckle or laugh. But I've been ditched. Discarded. Dropped from a blog roll. And so soon in my blogging career.

It seems A. Carlton Sallet at Upper Canada Catholic has deemed me too, er, something, or insufficiently, uh...something to merit a continued presence on his roll.

He writes: Lots of bloggers like to fit themselves into neat little compartments where they can be easily labelled and understood. I can't stand them. And you won't find them (I hope) on my Blogroll!

Oh, dear.

His last swipe: So go ahead: be pro-life and take a run a LifeSite if you have to, or [taking aim at your humble scribe] be a conservative Catholic and oppose a class-action putsch against homosexual clergy.

Inscrutability redux. According to Merriam-Webster, putsch is a German noun that means "a secretly plotted and suddenly executed attempt to overthrow a government." I have read and reread his sentence, trying to force it to make sense. To no avail. (Do I support screening for predominantly gay seminarians in light of, inter alia, the fact that 81% of Scandal victims were teen boys, yes. But "oppose a class-action putsch against homosexual clergy"? Huh? Maybe he meant supported such a purported putsch. I'll never know. But this sample of murky thinking underscores why some of Mr. Sallet's respondents might've become frustrated.

I think my light-hearted suggestion that he be nicknamed Skirt (an homage to his skill at skirting questions, and ignoring contrary evidence) may have something to do with my getting the axe.

I also think it's awfully prissy to grab your toys and run when you run into repeated opposition to a pet advocacy; in this case, gay priests. How small for a professed fan of brass ba**s.

Gay-baiting was a definite trend, as a review of my blog shows: Whenever I posted on something that Carlton feels contradicted the Catechism's injunction against "unjust discrimination" of homosexuals he'd weigh in with objections -- with repeated assurances that he's heterosexual. Out of mercy to my readers, I'll not rehash it. But to crow, "Gay Priests to be Allowed - Time to Toe the Line" -- based on a CBC report (m'hm, that CBC) -- of an unreleased Vatican document?

That's called jumping the shark out into the parking lot.

As I've said a dozen different ways, no blogger has bothered to define "gay" and few admit that the phenomenon is a subtle, complex on that exists along a continuum of severity. I'm as opposed to a blanket "ban" with no qualification or equity as I am of Carlton's wide open-door (closet?) policy. The leaked excerpts appearing last week in Il Giornale, if accurate, sound about right. And far from the rainbow-friendly spin provided by Carlton's trusted Canadian news source.

I'm still keeping Upper Canada Catholic in the Seize the Dei roll. I figure my three regular readers may still -- occasionally coarse innuendos notwithstanding -- find something of interest there.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Separated at birth?

Does the ever-expanding girth of this ex-Clintonista now expose a clue to a fraternal consanguine relation to this recovering Clintonista?

Osama less dangerous than Dubya?

Hell, yeah, according to 38% of Canadians recently polled.

The collective Canadian IQ now hovers near a shoe size. Genuis IQ rises to room tempurature levels.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Muslim paradise option B

What if Allah has a warped sense of humor, and female homicide bombers instead get 70 clones of this man? It would be fitting in some way. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend."

Mrs. Martyr's fate?

We know the Qu'ran promises that male terrorists will get 70 houris (virgins) in paradise upon blowing themselves up for Allah.

I'm just asking: Now that Muslim woman are getting into the suicide-homicide game, what do they get in paradise? Seventy clones of this man, perhaps?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Valiant French response miraculously quells violence.

PARIS -- From all across Europe and North Africa today, telegrams of admiration and praise poured into the French capital in acknowledgement of what leaders of nations are calling a miracle: the sudden calming effect that French sit-in demonstrators had on the riots and violence by disaffected immigrant youths, which have rocked scores of Parisian suburbs over the last two weeks.

"The sight of that group of brave patriots sitting there in open defiance of what we were doing," said disaffected immigrant youth Sajeev al Aqbar ibn Muhammad, "impelled us to cease our rageful activites."

Within minutes of witnessing the sitting protesters, hundreds of disaffected immigrant youths began dousing car fires started only moments before, dropping their brickbats, embracing policemen, and publically renouncing violence as a way of effecting social change.

"What got me right here," added disaffected immigrant youth Ibrahim al Siddiqui, gesturing to his robed chest, "was when they started swaying to John Lennon's Imagine."

"If we can mobilize a few dozen more sit-in style demonstrations in the Sunni Triangle, Amman, Damascus and Tehran," said organizer Jean-Luc de la Paix, "we feel the Middle East will give peace a chance."

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Gay Gene found -- and it talks!

So, we learn that Episcopal Bishop (sic) Gene Robinson is pleased with the election of Pope Ratzinger (sic).

"Pope Ratzinger may be the best thing that ever happened to the Episcopal Church."

That's funny, because Catholics will welcome converts to the Church thanks to the blatherous bloviations of the Most High Reverend of the Church of Gene, as well.

Fair trade. Gimme a disenfranchised traditional Anglican over a disenfranchised liberal Catholic any day.

China doing what it does best

Imagine the nerve of people communicating thoughts and ideas to other people!

Maybe sooner than later, China will go the way of the Soviet Union, the dodo bird, the beta video, and the 8-track.

Ake Green for president

Anything goes in Sweden...

...except for the virulent heresy of criticizing the dogma of the Immaculate Homosexual.

That, The Committee will not abide. Pastor Ake Green and his brave supporters need our prayers.

Coming soon to a Canadian court. You watch.

Dying while waiting for a new liver

An unpleasant way to go.

It's subtle, but my adopted home state of California is becoming more and more like my homeland of Canada.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Dog born green

I was sure it was an Irish Setter. Oh well.

Sign of the end times?

"Ohh, Tidings of comfort -- and coy"

The unredoubtable Clayton Emmer over at Weight of Glory has a clever "subtext" analysis of a recent article in The Tidings. Most of you don't know that The Tidings is the weekly rag put out by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, aka the chief vehicle of puff-pieces by or about Roger Cardinal Mahoney, who, at press time, is still the cardinal archbishop of LA.

But Clayton's funny commentary nails exactly how I feel whenever I bother to read too much loopy leftist propaganda: so earnest; so spirit-of-Vatican IIish; so vapid; so lost.

Michael Jackson: son of a victicrat

Michael Jackson won't live in the US again.

Or so says his father -- the same Jackson Sr. who was credibly accused of repeatedly beating his famous son with a belt -- who also says he wouldn't blame him for not coming back because "they didn't treat him right" when he was at Neverland.

Let's see here: Michael Jackson's long-standing penchant for young boys, his pornography collection of obese women and "barely legal teens," and his apparent generosity in giving liquor to minors, ended in....acquittal!

Not to mention that his legion of Kool-Aid drinker fans tearfully shouted his innocence every day. Not to mention hes been warmly invited to sing on a Hurricane Katrina relief single along with indicted child rapist (21 counts) and self-videographer R. Kelly, and fellow porn entrepreneur/rapper Snopp Dogg.

May God bless and keep Michael Jackson, far from us.

Mary Mapes: why journalists need to pass Logic 101

You remember Mary Mapes, the disgraced CBS news producer and unwitting overseer of Dan Rather's downfall. And remember the National Guard documents (re: President Bush) that were exposed as fakes by gimlet-eyed bloggers?

She still stands by 'em.

Talk about confusion over where the onus lies.

I imagine her uncovering actual letters penned by Santa Claus, which are later found to be, uh, fraudulent, and then claiming, "I did not commit bad journalism. No one has disproved those letters!"

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Lesbians dominate women's sports?

Naw, do ya think?

Come to think of it, he did wear a yarlmulke

Was John Paul the Great Jewish?

If so, it would explain a lot.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The welfare state in educational garb

So Chicago is opening a high school for black males.

Said Tim King, the founder of Urban Prep: "Clearly there is a high need for figuring out how to serve these kids academically."

Right. Just figure out how to serve 'em better (it's all schools's fault, dontcha know) and Urban Prep'll churn out Einsteins.

Here we are, a generation after Martin Luther King, Jr's murder, and we still have no permanent allergy to segregation. Rosa Parks, who deserves eternal rest, is now forced to spin in her grave.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Admit it. The devil is smart.

Now, school children on buses, grandparents on the subway, and everyone in between will be forced to witness porn being watching by iPod users.

If only God's people were as creative and savvy in promoting human values in the public square.


If only! I'm not a doctor but some in the GOP are showing serious signs of an outbreak of backbone and common sense.

Milk spurtingly funny!

A hat tip to Dom Bettinelli tinged with a mixture of bitterness (for beating me to it) and gratefulness (for finding it). I had seen it in print what seems like ages ago, from E. Michael Jones' Fidelity magazine. It's stinkin' hilarious, and still oh-so-relevant. I am shamefully lifting it for my loyal Seize the Dei readers...all three of ya!

Published in “Fidelity”, September 1987, pp. 23-25.

Brother seminarians! Are you troubled by the non‑judgmental expectations of the seminary? Are you confused by their concerns? Fear not. Before your eyes you have the key to ordination in this person’s seminary. Add these terms to your theological lexicon and believe me, you could well be ordained one or two years early!

PASTORAL: Effeminate; an attribute lacking in a man who demonstrates overt masculine attributes of clarity, decisiveness, and orthodoxy: G.K. Chesterton was not pastoral.
RIGID: Your view is not my view; normally, the rigid person has a simplistic view of Catholic doctrine (see SIMPLISTIC); for example, a rigid person holds that the ordination of women is not possible; a flexible person holds that to fail to ordain women is an example of sexism. Evelyn Waugh was rigid: “It is better to be narrow‑minded than to have no mind, to hold limited and rigid principles than to have none at all. That is the danger which faces so many people today ‚ to have no considered opinions on any subject, to put up with what is wasteful and harmful with the excuse that there ‘is good in everything’ ‚ which in most cases means an inability to distinguish between good and bad.”
VISION: The quality of agreeing with me.
JUDGMENTAL: A person who judges the sin but not the sinner. A non‑judgmental person utters not a word on the morality of the usual sexual sins, but tries to determine “where a person’s at” so that the person’s motives can be judged accordingly; a non‑judgmental person judges the sinner but not the sin.
SIMPLISTIC: Having to do with common sense.
CATHOLIC FUNDAMENTALIST: A simplistic person who tries to live the Faith in a docile and pious way; also a Catholic who frequently prays the Rosary.
FLEXIBLE: You agree with me; a flexible person is open and dialogues on any issue, smiles knowingly and does precisely what he started out to do.
CHALLENGE: To recognize that my views are better than your views.
GROWTH: For you to assimilate my way of thinking into your life.
ENABLE: An essential attribute of a priest whereby he is able to convince others to do things his way without parishioners catching on to the deception.
NETWORKING: Allowing nuns to run parishes.
I HEAR YOU: A clever way of telling you that I don†t agree with you but I don†t want to sound dogmatic, rigid or inflexible.
WE HAVE NO RIGHT ANSWERS/WE DON'T HAVE MANY ANSWERS: Except this one (cf. Archbishop Rembert Weakland on homosexuality: “...I would like to state that I do not have all the answers on this highly complex issue...” (The Catholic Herald, July19, 1980.)
YOU’RE NOT LISTENING: The way a flexible, non‑judgmental person expresses disappointment that a rigid, dogmatic person doesn’t agree with him; example: the Pope is “not listening” to the American Church.
OPEN AND HONEST: Telling religious superiors what they want to hear.
WOUNDED HEALER: The term used to convince a person who doesn’t “feel good about himself” to feel good about himself without Confession.
WHERE YOU’RE AT: Your psychological condition when you’re in the state of mortal sin calling for acceptance and a non‑judgmental attitude.
WHERE ARE THOSE TEARS COMING FROM?: The standard question to ask troubled or sick persons when you have nothing else to fill up the unnerving silence.
COMPLEX TECHNOLOGICAL WORLD: The reason for resisting one’s conscience when opposing the teaching of the Catholic Church; also, the standard response a flexible person uses when a rigid person seems to be winning an argument.
VALUING YOUR SEXUALITY: Obsession with the usual adolescent preoccupations.
WE ARE ALL SEXUAL BEINGS: The reason to overlook sexual misbehavior in seminaries. CELIBACY: Refraining from heterosexual genital activity.
PROCESS: The spontaneous movement in the dialogue of group therapy sessions never to be disrupted by thinking.
FEELING: The highest faculty of the human person left fully untouched by original sin. ORIGINAL SIN: See SEXISM.
LOVE: A nice feeling.
THINKING: The most dangerous activity in a seminary; cause for psychological counseling; those who think “disrupt the process”; see PROCESS.
TOUCH, MINISTRY OF: Physical contact to demonstrate that one has the capacity of intimacy; does not necessarily involve an exchange of bodily fluids.
IN TOUCH WITH FEELINGS: Using the intellect to explicitly identify what one is feeling so that speech patterns can be altered to communicate one’s sensitivity and compassion; not to be confused with “intellectualizing your feelings”.
COMPASSION: The warm feeling one has for oneself at any given time; one who has compassion needs to tell others he/she has compassion, otherwise compassion isn’t present; see also IN TOUCH WITH FEELINGS.
COMPASSION BURNOUT: The loss of the warm feeling one has for oneself when charitable works become wearisome or otherwise costly.
SENSITIVITY: The ability to identify and agree with the conventional wisdom of left‑wing political issues such as feminism, gay rights, dissent,etc. Tim Unsworth of the National Catholic Reporter describes a sensitive priest: “But Vince Connery also cries a lot. He cries openly and unashamedly in private conversation and in public. He doesn’t cover his face or hide it in the crook of his elbow. He simply stands there and cries, letting the tears flow and the voice break; and if someone reaches out even slightly, Connery will share an embrace while he cries some more. It soon becomes clear that this is an emotionally healthy priest in an emotionally unhealthy church” (NCR April, 1987).
TOTAL COMMITMENT: The intensity of involvement in charitable works until one finds that one “doesn’t feel good” about oneself; total commitments usually last six months to a year.
LEGALISM: Accepting at face value and obediently implementing what a document, law, or guideline reads.
OBEDIENCE: A word which doesn’t exist.
RULES: A word that once was operative but was done away with by the Second Vatican Council.
EXPECTATIONS: Flexible guidelines which change as frequently as the feelings of the Rector; not to be confused with RULES or LEGALISM.
REPRESSED ANGER: If detected, a cause for dismissal from the seminary; probable cause of both world wars, the Holocaust, and the election of Ronald Reagan [and George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush]; a technique absolutely essential for an orthodox seminarian to get ordained.
FORMATION: Kindergarten.
AFFIRMATION: The flattery due to someone who is in a position of authority.
AUTHORITY: Cannot exist or be invoked unless vested in a sensitive, flexible, non‑judgmental and compassionate person (see SENSITIVE, FLEXIBLE, and JUDGMENTAL).
SEXISM: The sin associated with being male.
MALE DOMINATION: The irritating interest men have in sports, cigars, and male‑bondingƒespecially in the hierarchy of the Church; the only mortal personal sin.
FEMININITY: A word created by a sexist, male‑dominated society to subjugate women in the maternal role; the presence of femininity in women religious is a cause to recommend psychological counseling.
GETTING IN TOUCH WITH ONE’S FEMININE SIDE: An essential requirement for ordination to the priesthood.
NEGATIVE: The bad attitude having to do with the recognition of personal sin; also, any disposition which is not happy with the policies and views of sensitive, flexible and non-judgmental people.
CHANGE: Mandated by the Second Vatican Council; must be open to all change unless instituted recently; see WE HAVE NO RIGHT ANSWERS.
CONCERN: The response that a sensitive, flexible, non-judgmental and compassionate people in authority have when someone doesn't agree with them.
HUMANKIND: The human race free of sexism (see SEXISM).
PARENTING: The activity of humankind in begetting children (see HUMANKIND).
SPIRIT OF VATICAN II: Church activities and programs which have absolutely no relationship to the letter of the documents of Vatican II.
ONGOING: The period of time between the Second Vatican Council and the implementation of the Spirit of Vatican II (see SPIRIT OF VATICAN II).
RELEVANT: Anything to do with dissent from Church teaching.
PAIN: The focus of Church dissent; felt by the editors of the National Catholic Reporter and inflicted by the editors of The Wanderer.
REDEFINING THE CHURCH: Defining the Church according to the Spirit of Vatican II (see SPIRIT OF VATICAN II).
LIBERATION: The replacement of existing structures of constraint with new and improved structures of constraint.
CONSCIENCE: The final arbiter of the correctness of one†s action always to be guided by the latest in Church dissent.
PRE‑VATICAN II: A person who accepts at face value the teaching of the Church and who reads the documents of the Second Vatican Council without reference to a commentary.
MACROCHURCH: The male-dominated, sexist, oppressive, authoritarian hierarchical Church.
MICROCHURCH: The pastoral, flexible, open and honest, compassionate, open-to-change, local Christian community.
COLLEGIALITY: The doctrine defined by the Spirit of Vatican II stating that bishops have exactly the same authority as the Bishop of Rome.
BISHOP OF ROME: The local ordinary of an obscure diocese in Italy.
RADICALLY CONSERVATIVE: Reason to ignore the current discipline of the Church.
THE FUTURE: The last and enduring hope of Church dissenters.
WE CAN’T GO BACK: An absolutely efficacious and disarming argument.
HUMANAE VITAE: The biggest mistake the Church has made since the Council of Trent.
COUNCIL OF TRENT: A convenient summary of medieval myths and superstitions. ECUMENISM: The process of transforming the liturgical rites of the mainline Christian denominations into a single rite of coffee, donuts and dialogue.
TRADITION: A practice established before the Middle Ages or after the Second Vatican Council.
THE LAITY: The future of the Church; cannot be ignored unless associated with ultra-conservative groups.
ULTRA‑CONSERVATIVE: Anyone who disagrees with the National Catholic Reporter.
TRADITIONAL NUN: Irrelevant; an embarrassment to women religious.
WOMEN RELIGIOUS: Feminist nun; an oxymoron.
SOCIAL JUSTICE: The realignment of social structures according to the platform of the Democratic Party.
PROGRESSIVE: Pouring the wine of old heresies into new wineskins.
CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING: The method of argumentation used by radical feminists moving adult males to action: “Better to live in a corner of the house‑top than have a nagging wife and a brawling household” (Prov.21:9).
EXPERIENCE: The only valid way to substantiate one’s opinions and beliefs; there’s no such thing as a"bad experience”.
SPEAK OUT: The activity springing from the virtue of Social Justice whereby sensitive and compassionate persons, with great emotion, promote the platform of the Democratic Party.
SHRILL: The nasty habit rigid and judgmental people have when they dare to disagree with the demands of Social Justice (see SOCIAL JUSTICE).
MINISTRY: All human activity.
COMFORT, COMFORTABLE: The final cause and proper object of ministry.
PLURALISM: The acceptance of all points of view except those with a point of view which doesn't accept all points of view.
CLERICALISM: The attitude of priests who knowingly and willingly practice the sacramental aspects of the priesthood with diligence, reverence and joy.
HOMOPHOBIC: The psychological condition of those who witness and report acts of homosexuality to seminary authorities.
GAY: Deeply sensitive person who naturally possesses the skills for effective pastoral ministry; oppressed minority; in no way connected with pederasty: cf. Fr. James L. Arimond: “Don’t confuse homosexual orientation with other sexual minorities: transexual; pederasty; bafoonery; etc.” from an Archdiocese of Milwaukee workshop in Gay Ministry.
SEXUAL PREFERENCE: Feeling good about some or all objects of desire whether animal, vegetable or mineral.
MISSION STATEMENT: A written objective or goal of a pastoral program upon which the success of the Gospel of Jesus Christ depends.
INTERFACE: A term, borrowed from computer technology, where sensitive and compassionate people dialogue among themselves; similar to the dialogue that the farmers and pigs engaged in in George Orwell's Animal Farm.
ORDINATION: An archaic celebration in the Church still useful to mark the beginning of full-time ministry.
SEMINARY: School where men and women are prepared for full-time ministry.
OUTREACH: Any program for whatever reasons; also known as reach out; usually involves fundraising.
VOCATIONS CRISIS: Refers to the Church†s failure to relax the rules on celibacy and failure to ordain women.
SHARE: The practice of discussing the deepest intimacies of one†s life in front of complete strangers.
WORKSHOP: A church-sponsored meeting to ensure that the issues of optional celibacy, women's ordination, the Sandinistas and leisure suits are still being addressed. SELF‑ACTUALIZATION: Salvation; no longer a mortal sin.
DIALOGUE: The deft use of banal clichés in conversation.
PROPHETIC/PROPHET: One who has the courage to speak out on one's behalf; e.g., Charlie Curran.
CURRAN, CHARLIE: Twentieth century saint; went into debt defending his faith. EMPOWER: To encourage others to think for themselves; cf., Evelyn Waugh: “Every effort was made to encourage the children at the public schools to think for themselves. When they should have been whipped and taught Greek paradigms, they were set arguing about birth control and nationalization. Their crude little opinions were treated with respect. Preachers in the school chapel week after week entrusted the future to their hands. It is hardly surprising that they were Bolshevik at 18 and bored at 20.”
POWERFUL: A spontaneous exclamation from hearing one's own views restated in a more banal fashion.
LITURGISTS: “A society of men among us, bred from their youth in the art of proving by words multiplied for the purpose, that white is black, and black is white, according as they are paid” (Swift, Gulliver's Travels).
EASTER DUTY: Annual sacrilege.
PSYCHOLOGIST: Infallible teaching authority in the Church.
OFFICIAL CHURCH TEACHING: “I don't expect it to change anybody's mind one way or another. Catholics today have learned what it means to be selectively obedient to the Church†s teaching” (Father Richard McBrien, Washington Post, December16,1981).
CHASTITY: Safe sex.
SAFE SEX: Taking appropriate precautions during high risk sexual activity; not to be confused with responsible love.
RESPONSIBLE LOVE: Sexual relations only within marriage with a spouse; an ideal impossible to sustain in a complex technological world.
HIGH RISK SEXUAL ACTIVITY: Sodomy; the term neo‑Victorian Catholics use when referring to the kinds of sexual activity St. Paul warned against.
CLOWN MASS: Liturgical innovation comparable to the innovation of Gregorian chant; relevant: “A clown liturgy may sound sacrilegious but those who attended a special Mass at St. Agnes Church described it as moving, uplifting, spirited and colorful” (Catholic Herald, Milwaukee, February 16, 1984).
LITURGICAL DANCE: Liturgical innovation comparable to the innovation of Gregorian chant: “Today's procession into the altar by the priest and some members of the laity was a dance in the early church” (Sister Barbara Link); relevant: “To me, my body is my instrument; it's my way of expressing myself, she said, gesturing frequently with hand to convey her thoughts. "I feel free when I dance; it's a natural expression.” (Sister Barbara Link, quoted in the Milwaukee Sentinel, August 3, 1985).

BBC can't bring themselves to say the M word

Paris is burning. And the cause is immigrants.

You know, just generic "individuals," "insurgents," perhaps "freedom fighters." Maybe Presbyterian immigrants, or Jehovah's Witnesses, or FourSquare Gospelers, or Zoroastrians. Or some other religion of peace.

Thanks, BBC, for accuracy in reporting. And thanks for your love child, the CBC.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Canon law, too, is an ass

Let me see if I have this straight: Canon law allows the Bishop of Sacramento to remove a Catholic teacher for being an abortion clinic escort, but his hands are suddenly tied when the school principal expels the young student who blew the whistle on the teacher?

Doesn't arbitrarily expelling a schoolgirl for the crime of orthodoxy fall under "faith and morals"?

Don't get me wrong. I admire Bishop Weigand. It's the hand-tying canons that I find inscrutable.

How pro-life is Samuel Alito?

A bit o' the shine is already fading from the armor of Supreme Court nominee Sam Alito. His four big abortion rulings make one wonder what the liberal Democrats are table-thumping about. Most disturbing to pro-lifers is this one:

• A 2000 challenge to New Jersey's ban on so-called partial-birth abortions. Alito struck down the law based on a recent Supreme Court decision.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Anglican priestess steps in it.

A Christmas stamp with a Christian theme is a nice idea, but despite the apologia from the female priest who designed the stamp, seventeenth century art was not immune to kitch.

Making all the characters in the nativity scene into Hindus -- especially in a religiously illiterate culture -- obscures more than it illuminates.