Papa-Lu: March 2005 Archives

Pope receives anointing

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Source.

This doesn't mean he's necessarily dieing, but it's nto a good sugn. Please continue to hold the Pope n your prayers.

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Terri Schiavo has passed

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terri2.jpg
Theresa Marie Schiavo
1963 - 2005

May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace.

We pray for comfort for her family.

We still pray for forgiveness and for conversion of hearts of those who perpetrated her death.

How great the temptation will be to simply move on after we mourn Please do not forget the evil wrought here.

Story.

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Pope's Assassination planned by KGB?

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I'm not sure the reliability of the source, but the Hindustan Times is reporting that evidence has been found linking the KGB to the 1981 attempt to murder Pope John Paul II, quoting an Italian newspaper.

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Evangeli-blogs

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Occasionally I read some of the blogs on the pro-life blogroll on my side bar. Some of them are very insightful and I've made them regular stops. But yesterday I came across two guys arguing in comment boxes over whether we should be fighting to save Terri because she's not saved, which must obviously be the case since she still believes in her parents' false Catholic doctrines. I've also seen attempts at serious discussions on the subject of whether the Pope is the Anti-Christ. I know these guys are our allies in certain areas, but be warned: some of the material on those blogs is directly opposed to the Catholic faith.

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...from our neghbors to the north.

Bishop attacked for writing a letter, from LifeSite News.

Bishop Frederick Henry wrote a letter to the Catholics in his Diocese in January, 2005 outlining the opposition of the Catholic Church to same-sex marriages (see coverage http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/jan/050113.html ). Bishop Henry called on Catholics to talk to their political representatives and express their opposition to legislation to change the definition of marriage to allow persons of same-sex to marry. A Complaint filed with the Alberta Human Rights Commission alleges that Bishop Henry's letter discriminates against homosexuals.

Yeah, yeah, I know, it's Canada. But still, you think there aren't thought police wannabes here among us who aren't licking their chops?

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One more chance

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Appeals court agrees to consider Schindlers' motion.

It's not much, but it's a chance. Hope and pray.

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Return on investment

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SLIDELL, La. - A reliable family car suddenly developed a tendency to decelerate, leading to the discovery that it had been driven for years with $40,000 worth of cocaine stashed in the gas tank.
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I'm so jealous

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Would that the governor and senators of my state were to go toe to toe accusing each other of liking Hillary Clinton.

My hat goes off to the people of the great state of Texas.

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Breeding Aussies!

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SYDNEY, (AFP) - Australia has recorded its highest annual birth rate in nine years, with indications that couples are encouraged by low unemployment and economic stability to have babies, official figures showed.
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Demotivation

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Suddenly, I'm much less interested in someday making my own booze.

Twenty five people died and six lost their eyesight after drinking home-brewed liquor in Uttar Pradesh in the past three days, a senior police officer said on Wednesday.

Of course, if someday I do give it a try, I will try to avoid "methyl alcohol and tannery waste." Ouch.

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Take me Seriously!

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Pope being fed through tube

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VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - In the latest dramatic twist in Pope John Paul's health, the Vatican said Wednesday doctors were feeding the ailing Pontiff through a nasal tube to boost his strength and help his recovery from throat surgery.

Full story.

The Pope and Terri both need our prayers.

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Hitchens on Schiavo

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Hitchens spills his vitriol all over the Schiavo case, unfortunately allowing his hatred for everything some Christian somewhere thinks is good (a hatred that somehow doesn't extend to war) to lead him away from any of the actual issues in the case.

His piece is more hate-mail against Christians who want Terri to have a chance to live than analysis of facts or serious argumentation about the legal issues. Of course, he takes a very convenient position to start with: Terri is already dead. This permits him to dismiss all talk of rehabilitation and adultery or extraordinary means of care and boil everything down to "Jesusland v. Terri."

Hitchens can be a very entertaining and insightful writer; his work on Kissinger was one of my favorite reads all last year, both for his sharp style and willingness to call evil what it is. Here, however, we have another example of his misplaced outrage and utter insanity when it comes to certain moral and religious issues. It makes the good stuff hard to enjoy.

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Red Reality Cinema

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Bridget Johnson considers what an accurate movie about 20th and 21st century Communism would look like.

How about a film on the Soviet Union, beginning with Lenin and the 1917 revolution, droning on to Stalin's purges with hundreds of thousands executed by firing squad, and millions forced from their homes or carted off to labor camps? We'd see Soviet bloc countries strangled under communist rule, Berlin divided with concrete and snipers, Nicolae Ceausescu destroying historic Bucharest. We'd see Soviet terror exported with the scorched-earth policy in Afghanistan.

Red China would make a stellar film that lacks a happy ending--for now. Viewers would see Mao Tse-tung turn the colorful Chinese culture into a gray, bleak "worker's paradise" steeped in hunger and executions. We'd see the Great Leap Forward to devastating famine, murder and destruction in Tibet, women forced to abort their children, and the blood of student demonstrators spilled on Tiananmen Square. Complete the Asian film series with the "re-education" by terror in North Vietnam, the Maoist insurgency in Nepal that has killed thousands, and the hellish nightmare that is North Korea.

Some brilliant young director would have to tackle Africa's woes under communism, such as the starvation in Ethiopia under Mengistu Haile Mariam. And we can't forget the Latin American films, highlighting Peru's Maoist Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) terrorists. And, of course, add a stark motion picture on the fall of Cuba--to be directed by anyone but Oliver Stone--that, though bloody and tragic, can end on a slightly lighter note (and an ovation) with Fidel Castro's fall down the stairs last October.

It's good for a few chukles if you have the time to check it out.

Since "The Motorcycle Diaries" got an "R" rating for language, many teens missed out on the rosy, heroic portrayal of young Che saving a leper colony. But don't expect the MPAA judgment to get lighter for any of these proposed movies about the real toll of communism. The death count will surpass that of all "Rambo" flicks--nearly 100 million dead through the 20th century. Yes, it would stretch the boundaries of Hollywood's tidy "R" rating. But being impaled by a Bolshevik isn't pretty.
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More on the St. Peter's jumper

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That guy on the cupola of St. Peter's was dragged off by firefighters after he threatened to jump. He claimed he had a letter from the Pope. One Italian newspaper identified the man as a guy who'd killed his town's mayor in 1984, which leads to the question: why on earth isn't he locked uip somewhere?

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Christendom creates mini-Christendom

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Here's a neat little article from the Richmond Times-Dispatch about the growing Catholic community around Christendom College.

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Bill Donohue

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I know he does good work, but sometimes, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League seems like he's lost his mind.

His reaction to Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie dressing up as a nun and the Pope, respectively, for a costume party:

"I suggest that next time, Madonna dress up in something more suited to her, such as from the Wiccan religion. And the Catholic League would donate a broom to her husband — with instructions on what to do with it."

Come on man, it's a frickin' costume party.

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Mane nobiscum, Domine!

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Happy Easter!

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We're just back from the Easter Vigil. Amazing as always. I've been a full-fledged member of the Church for 7 years now. Praise God!

Have a splendid Easter Sunday, everybody!

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In the middle of the Triduum

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Liturgically, Our Lord is in the tomb, yet we know that tomorrow He will rise again. I think this is the most difficult time of year to pray with the Church. In a few short hours, we will be off to the Easter Vigil, and then the celebration of the resurrection begins. Yet how do we go about preparing for this celebration while still keeping in our minds and prayers the fact that Christ died just yesterday?

One way is to keep the Good Friday fast on Saturday. This is something I try to do, even though it's not always easy. The Easter preparations so quickly get in the way. I just came back from buying libations for tomorrow, and there is just no way to avoid the excitement of knowing that the vigil is so close at hand.

So, how do we pray on Holy Saturday? Well, I guess it's best to look at what actually happened between Good Friday and Easter - Jesus "descended into the dead." So perhaps it would be a good idea to unite ourselves in prayer with the Church Suffering, who do not yet enjoy the beatific vision.

What about Mary? How did she pray on Holy Saturday. Only hours before, she had held the dead body of the God-man before He was laid in the tomb. Despite her great faith, she undoubtedly shed real, true tears. Yet she knew Christ was not to be conquered. She more than any of the disciples kept in her heart Christ's words that He would rise on the third day. There is sorrow yes, but also great hope.

Then I suppose it's not all that bad to have that excited feeling I just can't get rid of. Through faith, we know the fact of the resurrection, and to pretend otherwise would be to bear a false witness to the tremendous hope that is within us.

Christ makes all things new, so let us remember that though He is in the tomb (a sorrowful fact, no matter how you look at it), He is saving, conquering, forgiving the whole time He is there.

Perhaps that'show we should pray: for God to lead us to salvation, to conquer sin in us, and to forgive us and help us to forgive, so we may fully enjoy and participate in the central celebration of the mysteries of our faith.

God Bless you all, and have a wonderful Easter!

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3 Big 10 Teams in the Elite Eight!

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Sorry David and Rosie...

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Jumper at St. Peter's

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Can Catholic Schools Survive?

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MSNBC story.

The challenge facing Catholic elementary schools can be reduced to one stunning fact: There are more nuns over 90 years old than under 50 years old.

Hat-tip: Southern Appeal.

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Italy to name mountain after Pope

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Story

Hat-tip: Annunciations

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Nader defends Schiavo

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I wouldn't have expected it, but here it is.

Hat-tip: The Anchoress

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New iconographic method?

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Here come the converts!

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Opus Dei gets good press!

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I think I'm going to have a stroke. MSNBC of all news orgs interviews John Allen (author of a forthcoming book on OD) about Opus Dei. You read the whole article and keep waiting for the criticism, but it never comes. Amazing.

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Fast for Terri

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I understand it's a little late in the day, but better late...

Please consider, on this day of universal fasting in the Church, fasting for and in solidarity with Terri Schiavo. Her family is out of legal options, they are left to watch her die if nobody intervenes. They need a miracle, or a heroic action by somebody with the power to save Terri.

I propose that we Catholics consider allowing the Eucharist to be the only sustenance to enter our mouths today, and we can pray that through the power of the Eucharist, somebody's heart may be moved, or some miracle of grace can occur to prevent Terri from dying.

I have faith - and we all must - that God can save Terri Schiavo, and prayer and fasting are the means to bring this about. But even if nothing happens, and she perishes, our fasting can still be a silent witness at the foot of her cross.

If you've already consumed something, you can still participate in some way, I leave that to you how.

On this, the 10th anniversary of Evangelium Vitae, let us join ourselves with Terri and other victims of the Culture of Death.

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Way of the Cross from the Vatican

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Here is a translation from Zenit of the Stations of the Cross meditation that Cardinal Ratzinger wrote for Rome's Good Friday commemorations.

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Teen aborted, mother arrested

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LifeSite News is reporting about a mother in Southern Illinois who was arrested while her daughter was having an abortion performed. The mother had given strict instruction that the daughter was not to be taken from school by anyone but her parents, but school administrators allowed the child to leave with the parents of the aborted baby's father. The mother was later arrested after she refused to leave the abortion mill, where she was denied access to her daughter.

Sources:

World Net Daily story.
Original story from the Illinois Leader.

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Millstone alert

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Jesuit: Let her die.

Some brown nuggets:

[On the Pope's assertion that food and water are not extraordinary means of sustaining life:]
What you’re quoting is a statement that was issued by the pope at a meeting of [an] international association of doctors last year in Rome. This was really a meeting of very right-to-life-oriented physicians. It was an occasion speech. The pope meets 150 groups a week—a group comes in and the pope gives a speech. If the pope tells the Italian Bicycle Riders Association that bicycle riding is the greatest sport that we have, that doesn’t mean that’s the church’s teaching, that the skiers and tennis players and golfers are out. It wasn’t a doctrinal speech.

On recent comments by Monsignor Sgreccia:
The people in the Vatican are the same as the people in the United States: they run the gamut. He represents the radical right-to-life segment of thinking. But he’s not the only voice in the Catholic Church. He undoubtedly wrote that speech the pope gave. And now he says, “See? The pope said it!”
and
...this is not a fight about a feeding tube in a woman in Florida. This is a fight about the political power of the Christian right. The argument from Bishop Sgreccia is like saying, “Tom Delay just said, ‘In America we never stop feeding tubes'.” That doesn’t make it true.

On political efforts to save Terri:
The Republican riposte to this is astonishing: interest in states’ rights disappearing, interest in privacy of the individual to be free of government intrusion disappearing. If we implemented the policy articulated by the Congress and the president, we’d have everyone going forever!

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Cardinal Re stood in for the Holy Father at the Chrism Mass in Rome. Cardinal Trujillo will stand in for the Mass of the Lord's Supper. Full story.

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Priest Finds Baby Partially Buried Outside N.J. Church

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Hudson County authorities said a newborn girl was found partially buried outside a church in Kearny.

A priest planting flowers made the discovery outside Saint Cecelia's Roman Catholic Church on Tuesday.

Terrible.

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Missionaries of the Gospel of Life

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Fr. Frank Pavone announced Tuesday the founding of a pro-life community of priests.

March 23, 2005, Amarillo, Texas. Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, officially announced today that he is founding a pro-life community dedicated to the formation and training of priests, deacons, brothers and seminarians who will devote themselves fully to the proclamation of the Gospel of Life. This initiative will be based in the diocese of Amarillo, Texas, under the authority and stewardship of Bishop John W. Yanta.

"It has been a dream of mine for over a decade to form a community that can accept seminarians who want to devote their entire ministry to the defense of the unborn," said Fr. Pavone. "While there are religious communities that give special emphasis to the right to life, the Church has no ‘institutional’ society of men whose exclusive focus is to protect innocent human life from the tragedy of abortion and euthanasia. It is time for such a community. I am grateful to Bishop Yanta for allowing me the opportunity to make this dream a reality."

See also this summary page describing the society's background and its charism.

Should the establishment of such a community be in accord with the will of the Church, its mission would be threefold:

1. To bear public witness, in every sector of society, to the sanctity of each human life, and to defend human life against the onslaught of abortion, euthanasia, and genetic manipulation.

2. To minister to the entire pro-life movement by offering spiritual support, guidance, solid teaching and direction.

3. To provide ongoing education and motivation for the clergy, helping them to network with each other and equipping them with the very best resources to preach, teach, counsel, and organize their people for pro-life activities.

These goals would be accomplished by traveling into local communities and parishes, and by doing extensive media work.

We have accomplished a great deal in all these areas just with four full-time priests on the Priests for Life staff. Imagine what could happen with forty or four-hundred!

Father Pavone also envisions a lay branch to give informational and spiritual support for all the many pro-life workers in the trenches.

What a great gift to the Church and to the world!

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Schiavo Update

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Terri's parents lost an appeal to a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. They are working on an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Bob Schindler, Terri's Father, reports that she is becoming "increasingly lethargic."

Also, here's more from Terris' former nurse whose interview I blogged a couple of days ago. She claims that Michael injected her with insulin and gives more specifics on Terri's capabilities.

Townhall.com has links to several news reports and editorials about the situation.

There is also excellent blogging being done at Musing

For updates throughout the day, please check out Pro-Life Blogs and Blogs for Terri.


Also, check out this piece by St. Blog's own Father Rob Johanssen from National Review Online. It is a must- read for anybody who may still be wondering why this is such a big deal. A particularly important (and lengthy) excerpt:

Dr. Cranford was the principal medical witness brought in by Schiavo and Felos to support their position that Terri was PVS. Judge Greer was obviously impressed by Cranford’s résumé: Cranford travels throughout the country testifying in cases involving PVS and brain impairment. He is widely recognized by courts as an expert in these issues, and in some circles is considered “the” expert on PVS. His clinical judgment has carried the day in many cases, so it is relevant to examine the manner in which he arrived at his judgment in Terri’s case. But before that, one needs to know a little about Cranford’s background and perspective: Dr. Ronald Cranford is one of the most outspoken advocates of the “right to die” movement and of physician-assisted suicide in the U.S. today.

In published articles, including a 1997 op-ed in the Minneapolis–St. Paul Star Tribune, he has advocated the starvation of Alzheimer’s patients. He has described PVS patients as indistinguishable from other forms of animal life. He has said that PVS patients and others with brain impairment lack personhood and should have no constitutional rights. Perusing the case literature and articles surrounding the “right to die” and PVS, one will see Dr. Cranford’s name surface again and again. In almost every case, he is the one claiming PVS, and advocating the cessation of nutrition and hydration.

In the cases of Paul Brophy, Nancy Jobes, Nancy Cruzan, and Christine Busalucci, Cranford was the doctor behind the efforts to end their lives. Each of these people was brain-damaged but not dying; nonetheless, he advocated death for all, by dehydration and starvation. Nancy Cruzan did not even require a feeding tube: She could be spoon-fed. But Cranford advocated denying even that, saying that even spoon-feeding constituted “medical treatment” that could be licitly withdrawn.

In cases where other doctors don’t see it, Dr. Cranford seems to have a knack for finding PVS. Cranford also diagnosed Robert Wendland as PVS. He did so in spite of the fact that Wendland could pick up specifically colored pegs or blocks and hand them to a therapy assistant on request. He did so in spite of the fact that Wendland could operate and maneuver an ordinary wheelchair with his left hand and foot, and an electric wheelchair with a joystick, of the kind that many disabled persons (most famously Dr. Stephen Hawking) use. Dr. Cranford dismissed these abilities as meaningless. Fortunately for Wendland, the California supreme court was not persuaded by Cranford’s assessment.

Expert witnesses in court are supposed to be unbiased: disinterested in the outcome of the case. Part of the procedure in qualifying expert witnesses is establishing that they are objective and unbiased. But given Dr. Cranford’s history of advocacy in the “right to die” and euthanasia movements, and given his track record of almost always coming down on the side of PVS and removal of nutrition and hydration, one might question his objectivity. Indeed, the Schindlers’ attorneys attempted to do so in the 2002 evidentiary hearing at which Cranford testified, but went unheard. Organizations such as the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide submitted amicus curiae (friend of the court) briefs in the appellate proceedings in Terri’s case, demonstrating Cranford’s bias in detail. But these arguments also seemed to fall on deaf ears.
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Group makes mockery of Bishop's authority...

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...then complains about priest shortage.

Boston Church Groups Summon Married Priests for Easter Mass

Yes, let's publicly ridicule the Church, Her teachings, and Her discipline at every possible opportunity, never ceasing to portray her as a decaying vessel of patriarchal croneyism that refuses to "get with the times" (these sorrowful times, at that). Yes, that's right, we'll seek to destroy her credibility and mock her relevance, and then let's scratch our heads and complain when young men aren't flocking to lay down their lives in sacrifice to serve us.

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Pope's condition may be worsening

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UPDATE: The AP is reporting that the Pope is not doing well on his current medication but quotes the head of the Pope's medical team as denying reports that the Pope took any violent turn for the worst. Whatever the case, please pray for the Pope!

According to reports here, here and here, the Pope's condition is either not not improving as well as hoped or is worsening.

The first article states that an Italian newspaper quoted the Pope's personal secretary as telling another priest to "Pray for the Pope, because he’s getting worse."

Whatever the case, we know the Holy Father needs our prayers.

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Judge Dithers while Terri Starves

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"I will not tell you when, how or how long it will take,'' Whittemore said.

Elsewhere, Wesley Smith has a great, common sense proposal:

I have been watching the TV interview programs on Schiavo and note that there is a conflict among the medical experts as to whether Terri can be improved with therapy. Some say yes. Others say no. But this doesn't have to be a case of doctor said/doctor said. There is a simple way to find out for sure: Allow Terri to have one year worth of intensive rehabilitation by a team of the parents' choice. After the year, we can see where she is. That would settle that issue.

He notes, of course, that even an inability to be rehabilitated would not justify starving her.

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Product plug

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I recently started using Bloglines to syndicate weblogs and news, and so far I am extremely happy with it. All you do is plug in the url of the website you want to syndicate and it'll find any feeds associated with that site. It uses a two-frame format, and on the left I can keep all the sites I read grouped by category with the number of new articles/entries listed next to it. Then, I can expand each category to see if an indivisual site has new material.

If you're looking for a newsreader, do check it out. It's fast and easy.

(No, this is not a paid advertisement). :)

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Worst headline ever:

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Study: Abstinence May Lead to Risky Behavior

Since I've first read the article, they've changed the article title to "Abstinence Pledgers May Risk STDs," which makes a little more sense.

You know, I'm am all in favor of kids receiving abstinence education, but I am very skeptical of how effective it can be when every other stimulus the child receives tell's him how great casual sex is. Most kids get their sex education outside of the classroom, and what they learn in school comes off as incredibly lame, no matter what is taught or how it's presented.

If parents are not with their kids after school, if they are letting them watch whatever they want on TV, listen to whatever they want on the radio, and view whatever they want on the Internet, if they let them hang out with the wrong kids in unsupervised situations, and if they are not teaching their children about the inestimable value of their bodies or how to use them to glorify God, then an "abstinence program" at school is going to be of practically no use, unless it manages to somehow scare some good sense into them.

If you are letting your children be raised within or by pop culture you are setting them up for a lifetime of big problems.

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Understandable but wrong.

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SAN DIEGO - San Diego's Roman Catholic bishop has denied funeral rites to a man who owned a bar and a dance club popular with gays, citing a clash with the church's moral teachings.

The outrage over this situation in San Diego is completely understandable, but the bishop is well within his rights and duties here.

To an outsider, and probably to a great many insiders, this is an incredible hypocrisy. The same Catholic Church with priests all over the country and the world being accused and convicted of child molestation, with most of the victims being boys, is telling a gay man's family that his funeral cannot be held in a Catholic Church. If you have no understanding of the difference between comitting individual sexual sins (even hundreds of sins as is very sadly often the case) and publicly flouting the definitive teachings of the Church, it can only look like hypocrisy.

The reason this is a such a shock and the reason why there's so much outrage over this is that until very recently, the idea of bishops confronting Catholics over their publicly expressed opinions and manifest actions was nearly unheard of. Fortunately, we're seeing a little more of it now, but society is still not used to the Church - well - practicing what She preaches.

The more bishops confront¹ Catholics who publicly deny and undermind the Church's teachings, the less controversy there will be when a bishop has to enforce the Church's penalties for these behaviors.

¹: By "confront," I do not mean that I think bishops should be issuing press releases naming "bad Catholics." I am, however, very much in favor of priests and bishops individually instructing Catholics on the ramifications of continuing to defy Church teaching in a public manner.

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House to issue subpoenas to keep Terry Schiavo alive

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Working against the clock, House lawmakers tried to prevent doctors in Florida from removing the feeding tube Friday from a severely brain-damaged woman.

In a two-pronged approach, a House committee was issuing congressional subpoenas ordering the doctors to halt, while an attorney for the parents of the woman, Terri Schiavo, said he would ask a federal judge in Tampa to block the removal and review the actions of state courts.
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Roe V. Wade Reality Checks

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The US Conference of Catholic Bishops' Pro-life committee has launched a campaign to increase awarenes of the realities of Roe v. Wade and our nation's abortion laws.

The campaign is called "The Second Look Project", and one of the information tools they use are postcards called "Reality Checks." The fist is available online here (pdf file). It debunks the myth that Roe v. Wade only permitted abortions in the first trimester.

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Archbishop Chaput on "Emergency Contraception"

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Last week, The Denver Post published an excellent guest commentary from Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput concerning a Colorado state bill that would require hospitals to provide emergency contraception to victims of sexual assault.

One thing he mentions which I didn't know is that the Church approves of methods that prevent ovulation following a sexual assault. It makes perfect sense, I just never thought about it. He also makes the point that a emergency contraception in the form of "the morning after pill" could have the doubly sad effect of terminating a desired pregnancy instead of one brought about by the sexual assault.

It is a powerfully and truthfully argued piece. Check it out if you have the time.

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The Jordan: "little more than a drainage ditch."

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A very sad story from the Guardian on the state of the Jordan River.

Once it was the mighty Jordan river, a crossroads of civilisations and continents, and a favourite of pilgrims seeking baptism in its waters. Now just about the only thing that flows for large parts of the year, keeping the river alive, is sewage.

Decades of competition for water have turned the lower Jordan river, running between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, into little more than a drainage ditch.

Dams and pumping stations have diverted almost 90% of the river's water to leave parts of the surrounding valley and the Dead Sea on the brink of ecological disaster.
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Madison Cathedral destroyed by fire

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Firefighters risk their lives to save the Eucharist.

How sad. I was there almost exactly a year ago for Mass a few times.

Do note this, though:

Morlino said he will not tire of telling the story as he travels the country about how Madison firefighters went into an unstable and burned-out St. Raphael to rescue the Blessed Sacrament, or the wafers consecrated as the body of Christ.

"They went in there and had to cut their way through, and brought it out with great reverence," he said.

That's incredible.

Hat-tip: Revolution of Love

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Terri Schiavo Update

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If nothing is done, starvation can begin tomorrow.

Bothe the Florida and US Legislatures were busy today crafting laws to help Terri. Wittenberg Gate has a good roundup of the day's activity.

Also, here is some useful information I came across yesterday: an interview with one of Terri's former nurses.

Please pray that something is done to prevent this atrocity.

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Is there moron-blocking software?

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I'm using a lab computer at my college to type these posts. When I click on some links, I get a pop-up screen telling me a pop-up has been blocked.

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Spring training *sigh*

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I'm mildly excited about the Cubs' lineup. I like many of the moves they made, but frankly I've never been a very big Jeromy Burnitz fan, so even if he does great this year, I don't think I can get too excited about right field.

Now comes this. What on earth is the deal with the Cubs' medical staff? How can they let the team's two most valuable assets (sorry, Nomar) both trash ther arms. I know Dusty has a zeal for letting guys go longer than they ought, and I don't want to excuse him from justfiable criticism, but shouldn't the trainers and team physicians be examining these guys regularly and spotting these things? Yeesh.

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Please pray

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A friend was taken to the hospital yesterday morning with heart problems. Please say a prayer for her and her family.

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Now being helped along by Scripps Howard.

From Wesley Smith via The Brothers Judd via Open Book.

Wesley Smith (did you know he had a blog?) links to two articles (1, 2,) by Mike Fumento exposing the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund's (JDRF) disregard for the promising research of a scientist who has actually cured Type 1 in favor of throwing money at embryonic stem cell research, which is immoral and won't produce anything helpful for at least a decade.

Meanwhile, as I've written previously, Harvard researcher Dr. Denise Faustman was the first to cure diabetes in mice and now seeks funds for a clinical trial to replicate her fantastic results in humans. Thrice she has applied to JDRF; thrice they have rejected her. Never mind her impeccable credentials and that she even reviewed grants for JDRF.

Her transgression seems to be that her treatment involves restoring dead insulin-producing cells in the pancreas with ASCs already present in the body. Despite what the JDRF would have you think there have already been tremendous breakthroughs in ASC therapy, with over 80 treatments and almost 300 human clinical trials underway – versus zero treatments or trials for ESCs. Still, nothing would belie the false claims of ESC lobbyists more than curing diabetes with ASCs.

Of course there may be other reasons for rejecting Faustman, but JDRF won't say what they are. They refused to let me interview them, specifically citing my prior writings favorable to ASC research. Curious, that.

Former top Time Warner executive J. Richard Munro once chaired the JDRF board but is now bitter towards the group and sits on the board of Raff's organization instead. "I'm a huge fan of Denise [Faustman] and simply cannot understand why JDRF won't fund her," he told me. "For 25 years my two sons have been diabetic and it's maddening that nothing has changed."

Nor will it, if we count on the "so close" JDRF.

It's hard to come to any other conclusion than JDRF is more interested in lobbying for embryonic stem cell research than in curing diabetes.

By thew way, Scripps Howard, who syndicates Fumento, ran the first article but not the second, calling it a "diatribe." Hardly: Fumento writes as reasonably as one can. It's too bad they want to aid and abet JDRF in ignoring the only research that has produced any results.

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Passion Conversion

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Actor who played Barabbas in The Passion of the Christ converted to Christ while filming.

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Funny meeting you here

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In the past two days I've had comments from Rob, "poleguy" and the other Chris L. I had no idea any of them ever dropped by here.

Soooo.... if you're somebody I know who visits here and doesn't comment, could you please let me know on this post? You don't have to give your full name or anything like that if you don't want, I'll probably know who you are. If you have a blog, let me know, too! Also if you want you can email me at odragul at juno dot com. I'd just like to know who reads this.

And please feel free to comment on anything you see here. Bloggers like comments (even disagreeable ones), they keep us going.

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Ecclesial Intrigue

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A jealous priest spied on the Pope while he was a bishop in Poland.

An adviser to Cracow's top church officials, Kulczycki was incensed that the younger Wojtyla was elevated to the rank of bishop and then archbishop while he was passed over. His reports denounced Wojtyla as a lightweight and dismissed his growing popularity.

Eventually, the secret police caught on that their informer's envy of Wojtyla was skewing his judgment. But his reports on Wojtyla's meetings with Cracow intellectuals and activists jeopardized many of the people who developed close ties to the future pope.

Linka from Diary of a Suburban Priest.

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10 Things about me

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I've seen this over at Eve's, Zorak's, Ob House, smockmamma's and The Curt Jester, among others. Here are ten things I've done that you probably (in most cases definitely and in some cases hopefully) haven't:

  1. Was made fun of during the homily for two straight years when the Gospel was Zaccheus climbing the tree to catch a look at Jesus,
  2. Ran across the street wearing a cassock and surplice during the "Our Father" of a mass to retrieve the Blessed Sacrament from the rectory and bring it (Him) back to the chapel (walking slowly and reverently of course) while Father kept the whole congregation waiting for me to return. All so the large host used in the monstrance in the rectory chapel could be replaced; why this couldn't wait one more day I have no idea,
  3. Made (as in manufactured) Grey Poupon and Miracle Whip,
  4. Was pick-pocketed (in Rome for World Youth Day 2000) by a gypsy girl only to have the stolen goods (my WYD prayer book) angrily thrown back at me,
  5. While visiting seminaries over spring break, I arranged for a friend to ditch his date to a formal dance and go to a Christian punk concert, thereby freeing her up to go with me. 17 months later I married her.
    UPDATE: While replying to Rosie's comments here, I remembered another fact about this situation that makes it unique: the first part of the date was the wedding of our exes.
  6. Served as a groomsman three times in two months and twice in five days,
  7. Lectored (in English) at a special Mass put together for Lech Walesa when he visited the U of I,
  8. Could read when I was 3 (there's a home video out there that proves it); knew my multiplication tables when I was 4; took college-level Trigonometry in 8th grade; and then:
  9. Failed art my freshman year and had to go to summer school
  10. Was momentarily ranked number one in Time Magazine's online Man of the Century poll (thanks to a certain friend and blogger).

Some of these are kind of lame, but that's because I left some juicy ones out to keep this family friendly. I'll leave it up to your imagination.

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Familiar face

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Those of you from the U of I might recognize the face in the top row, third from the right in this picture of the institution of seminarians from the North American College in Rome as Lectors.

institution_147.jpg

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To hell with Godwin's law

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A movie about a pretty young woman who becomes permanently disabled and begs her male caretaker to pull her plug opens to rave reviews and becomes a box office smash.

No this isn't "Million Dollar Baby" in America, 2005; it's a Nazi propaganda film from Germany, 1939.

My how far we've come!

Hat-tip: Population Research Institute

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Another note on Mass yesterday A.M.

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After Mass I'm kneeling there praying, and all of a sudden the rosary starts. I use the phrase "all of a sudden" because it literally startled me. I looked up and there was a crowd of old men and women hunched over with their fingers flying over their beads. Never before have I heard the rosary prayed that fast. It was like playing a 33 at 78 (does that reference date me?). I don't think I've ever heard the Creed prayed in under 15 seconds before.

Putting all kidding aside, it's easy to look at them and think how cute the little old folk are, with their sweet little devotion. You know by the way they congregated and definitely by the speed that they do this every day. And yes it is cute, and yes their devotion is sweet, but in reality those little gray hairs are a combat unit, and every morning they show up faithfully in service to the entire Church and in union with combat units in parishes all over the world. They are part of an army of old men and women in parishes all over the world who get up every morning and sustain the Church with their 80 mph rosaries. We owe them all a debt of gratitude.

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Sanctuary Envy

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Somewhere in Dale Price's comment boxes I found this link to a quite amazing Greek Orthodox Church in Los Angeles. Click through the whole photo tour to really be blown away.

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Mt. Doom in my mouth

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I rolled out of Mass and walked over to the Church across the street for morning Mass. On the way there, I thought it would be nice if I could do something about my morning dragon breath. Anybody have any thoughts (preferably those of the Church, although personal opinions are certainly welcome) about having a mint before Mass, which would technically break the Eucharistic fast, but which would also enable me not to receive Jesus into a tar pit?

Can I have a mint? Should I suck on it and then spit it out? Should I invest in some Binaca instead? Should I just suck it up and get up 5 minutes earlier and brush? These are the hard questions, people!

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Renewed Techno-blegs

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I haven't got much response to these: anybody out there know where I can get some help??
--
Also, I just bought a Dell handheld. It runs Microsoft's mobile operating system. Does anybody know where I could find a browser and email system that aren't Explorer and Outlook for it? I looked at the Mozilla webpage and couldn't find anything. Am I missing something?

Finally, I'd like to start using a news aggregator that I can sync with my handheld so that either a) I can sync the information straight from the aggregator on my PC to my handheld, or b) I'll get my subscriptions emailed to me so I can then sync it with my handheld. I searched a bit for what I wanted, but I found a bajillion options, and I don't which are the real deal.

I don't want much... I just want it all.

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Must-read interview

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Zenit interviews Mary Eberstadt - author of Home Alone America: The Hidden Toll of Day Care, Behavioral Drugs, and Other Parent Substitutes."

A sample:

That's the ultimate message that I hope parents and others take away from my book. Mothers and fathers don't have to be perfect -- fortunately for the fallen mortals among us.

The mere presence of their parents matters more to children than many people in our feminist-influenced world seem to realize -- again, not only to their long-term success in life, but to their immediate happiness and security in the here and now.

We who are privileged to be stewards of children and teen-agers, matter more than we think and are loved and needed more than current secular orthodoxy understands. It's time to give the power of that love and need more intellectual and social recognition.

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Pope update

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Fatima next Gibson project?

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Fittingly, just ten days after the death of Sr Lucia dos Santos, the last survivor to witness the appearances of the Virgin Mary at the Portuguese town of Fatima in 1917, Mel Gibson has bought the rights to the book ‘Stealing from Angels’.

Full story.

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Kudos for Kansas AG Kline

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You may have already heard that Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline is attempting to acquire the records of nearly 90 abortions that were performed in order to investigate violations of state laws against statutory rape and late-term abortions.

Although I don't agree with them, I understand the patient privacy concerns of the clinics in question (insofar as those concerns are really about protecting patient privacy and not covering their rears).

Well, I would understand their concerns, except tfor the fact that they have no qualms about violating patient privacy to hit them up for donations.

Under a section entitled, "Permissible Uses and Disclosures Without Your Written Authorization," the web site tells women who obtain abortions that they may be contacted with fundraising requests from Tiller's ProKanDo PAC or requests to financially support his abortion business.

"In connection with any fundraising, we may disclose to out (sic) fundraising staff demographic information about you (e.g., your name, address and phone number) and dates of health care that we provided you," the Tiller web site says.

Patients not wanting their personal information or abortion medical file data to be given to fundraisers must contact Tiller's office and opt out.

They hide information from authorities who want to prosecute child molesters, but give it to lobbyists who will hit you up for cash to make sure their business remains as unregulated as possible.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Papa-Lu in March 2005.

Papa-Lu: February 2005 is the previous archive.

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