Papa-Lu: May 2005 Archives

Powerful message from the Holy Father

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Here is Zenit's English translation of Pope Benedict's XVI's homily yesterday to close the Eucharistic Congress taking place in Italy. It's amazing, read it now.

My favorite part:

The Lord does not leave us alone on this journey. He is with us; what is more, he wishes to share our destiny by absorbing us. In the conversation that the Gospel just recounted, he says: "He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him" (John 6:56). How can we not rejoice over such a promise? However, we heard that, in the face of that first proclamation, instead of rejoicing, the people began to argue and protest: "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" (John 6:52).

To tell the truth, that attitude has been repeated many times in the course of history. It would seem that, deep down, people do not want to have God so close, so available, so present in their affairs. People want him to be great and, in a word, rather distant. Then they ask themselves questions to demonstrate that in fact such closeness is impossible.

However, the words Christ pronounced specifically in that circumstance retain all their graphic clarity: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you" (John 6:53). Facing the murmur of protest, Jesus could have backed down with tranquilizing words. "Friends, he could have said, don't worry! I spoke of flesh, but it is only a symbol. What I wish to say is only a profound communion of sentiments."

But Jesus did not take recourse to such sweeteners. He maintained his affirmation with firmness, even in face of the defection of his own apostles, and did not change at all the concrete character of his discourse: "Will you also go away?" (John 6:67), he asked. Thank God, Peter gave an answer that we also assume today with full awareness: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (John 6:68).

In the Eucharist, Christ is really present among us. His presence is not static. It is a dynamic presence, which makes us his, he assimilates us to himself. Augustine understood this very well. Coming from a Platonic formation, it was difficult for him to accept the "incarnate" dimension of Christianity. In particular, he reacted before the prospect of the "Eucharistic meal," which seemed to him unworthy of God. In ordinary meals man becomes stronger, as it is he who assimilates the food, making it an element of his own corporal reality. Only later did Augustine understand that in the Eucharist the exact opposite occurs: the center is Christ who attracts us to himself; he makes us come out of ourselves to make us one with him (cf. Confessions, VII, 10, 16). In this way, he introduces us into the community of brothers.
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Dead Canadian gets statue because he may have been gay.

Sorry, did I say "dead Canadian?" I meant to say "19th century Canadian magistrate whose greatest claim to fame is fleeing the country to avoid sexual assault charges."

In other news, the National Organization of Women is considering commemorating the pioneering work of Jack the Ripper.

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Babies are good!

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BRISBANE, May 30, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Australian researchers have corroborated research showing that women who have many babies develop significant protection against developing not only breast cancer, but also other cancers including colorectal, ovarian and uterine cancers later in life.

“The more children you have, the more protective it gets,” said medical statistician Steven Darlington, a member of a group at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) who conducted the research, according to a news.com.au report. “It seems that an increase in the hormones produced during pregnancy are protecting against cancer, but we're not quite sure exactly how or why that happens.”

After studying cancer rates and correlating that with the number of children borne in 1.2 million Swedish women, Darlington and colleagues found a significant correlation with number of children and cancer incidence, noting that multiple children was especially protective against colorectal cancer. Sweden’s birth and cancer registries are more detailed and comprehensive than Australia’s, he explained.

In addition, starting a family at a younger age conferred significant protection against breast cancer, as compared to women who began their families later in life. The findings were reported in the journal Twin Research and Human Genetics.
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Buyer Beware

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Serious violations against women and girls continued to be reported as a result of the enforcement of the family planning policy, including forced abortions and sterilizations. In July the authorities publicly reinforced a ban on the selective abortion of female foetuses in an attempt to reverse a growing gap in the boy-girl birth ratio.

Full document

Hat-Tip: Lifesite News

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JPtG's cause formally opened!

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Following the May 13th announcement that the Pope was expediting John Paul II's cause for sainthood, the Vatican formally announced the cause today with the releae of an official edict calling for testimony to his holiness and requesting any unpublished writings by John Paul that may exist.

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Alexis II: "We are open for dialogue..."

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MOSCOW, May 30 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Orthodox Church is open for dialogue with the Vatican, Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow and All Russia said on Monday. "We are open for dialogue, for overcoming difficulties which hamper our cooperation and for improving relations between the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches," Alexis II said.

We should start a dialogue, he added.

The patriarch expressed hope that "the new Pope will open dialogue with Orthodox Churches" as he had stated recently. "We hail such statements," Alexis II said.

"We should overcome difficulties hampering our dialogue and cooperation," he added.
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Feminine Genius is a newer blog I've been following, and is quite good. Here, contributor Genevieve Kineke shows how women are duped and taken advantage of by the cohabitation phenomenon.

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The Church in Action

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Forget a spine, this bishop has cojones

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Manila (Fides Service) - The kidnapping and release of sixteen bus passengers yesterday in Zamboanga Sur in Mindanao southern Philippines which caused great alarm among the local people was happily concluded without any dead or injured. The passengers, all women and children, were taken hostage by three armed men who boarded the bus. When the bus reached the town of Pagadian, men asked for a priest to come on board thinking perhaps that his presence would ‘guarantee’ their journey to Ipil. Instead of a priest the local Catholic Bishop Emmanuel Cabajar volunteered to join the bus hoping to obtain the release of the passengers.

A few hours later while the bus was still on the way to Ipil, the Bishop’s hopes came true: the kidnappers got off the bus and fled leaving the women and children and the bishop unharmed. According to the local police the kidnappers were common criminals rather than a gang of the communist or Muslim rebel groups which operate in Mindanao.
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Corpus Christi in the Year of the Eucharist

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Peoria Ordinations this Saturday!

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Tomorrow, Bishop Daniel Jenky CSC will ordain four men to the priesthood.

Here is a profile of the about-to-be-ordained from the Catholic Post,

Also, here is a piece on one of them from The Peoria Journal-Star. Deacon Dodd is a 60 year old widower and grandfather who is about to become a priest of the Roman Catholic Church. What a fascinating story and witness to the marvels of both the priestly and married vocations!

Of special interest is that two of the ordinandi are friends of mine from the U of I Newman Center.

Five years ago the three of us stood in a parking lot sharing a smoke (well, Tony and I were, I don't remember about Mike) in the parking lot of a small Church in Pesotum, IL where a retreat was taking palce. Tony and Mike were attending the retreat, while I had dropped by to "visit."

I had met Tony a few weeks earlier, and we had discovered that we were both considering the priesthood; I didn't really know Mike, but had been told by his cousin that he was thinking about the priesthood as well; and on this retreat, Tony had met Mike and had discussed the same subject. So there the three of us were, talking about the possibility of being in the seminary the next year. I remember so clearly: Tony took a drag off his cigarette, then extended his three fingers - thumb towards himself and first two fingers towards and Mike and I - and posed the question: "So, what do you think, three at the Mount next year?" referring to Mout St. Mary's seminary in Emmitsburg where Peoria sneds many of their seminarians.

Obviously, God had different plans for me, but it brings a smile to my face and warms my heart to know that they are now receiving their Orders, that as my Vocation to the married life was sacramentally sealed nearly two years ago, so now is their Vocation to the holy priesthood.

Congratulations to these men and thanks be to God for the gift of the priesthood!

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Peoria clergy assignments

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The Diocese of Peoria released the new clergy assignments for the coming year. The moves may be found here (.pdf file).

Of note for Champaign folk is that Monsignor Hallin will be in residence at the Newman rectory while moving from Holy Cross to pastor of St. Boniface in Seymour. Fr. Henderson is also leaving Holy Cross, he will be at St. Mark's in Peoria. Holy Cross's new pastor will be Fr. Steven Willard from St. Thomas in Philo, and they may also be getting an assistant from the about-to-be-newly ordinained. That would be neat if Fr. Co or Fr. Angarola were across the street from me...

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Pope Benedict XVI on the Corpus Christi procession.

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Archbishop Foley on Reese

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Archbishop Foley works in the Vatican as head of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. He delivered this address Wednesday to a group of American journalists. He started off with the following statement on the America flap:

Since I was informed before the publication of certain recent news that one of the communicators to share the podium today is Father Thomas Reese, let me first say that I had absolutely nothing to do with the current situation, that I found out about it in the newspapers, that I appreciate receiving America magazine each week, and that Father Reese is a fine gentleman and a fine priest who did excellent work during the recent events in Rome -- where we occasionally encountered one another, but that I generally find myself in agreement with a recent editorial in Our Sunday Visitor and with Russell Shaw's op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal that a priest-editor, who in some way is expected to represent the magisterium of the Church, cannot appear to give equal weight in a publication sponsored by a religious community to articles which present the teaching of the Church and articles which dissent from it.

In August 1968, the editor of The Catholic Standard and Times in Philadelphia was on vacation when "Humanae Vitae" was published -- and I found myself in charge. A number of Catholic publications ignored the fact that there was dissent from the encyclical; a greater number highlighted the dissent and put the encyclical in a subordinate position. I decided to use the encyclical as the lead story and to use the dissent as a separate story on an inside page with the jump of the encyclical story from page one -- and then I did an editorial in support of the encyclical.

I felt that the encyclical represented the official teaching of the Church, which had to be highlighted and with which I happened to agree then, as I do now, but that the dissent was a significant fact that could not and should not be ignored. I also thought that the official teaching of the Church should be supported editorially -- both through comment and through story placement. If I were still an editor, I think that would remain my publication philosophy today.
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Great stuff from Lifesite News today

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Supreme Knight Carl Anderson on abortion:

"For many years, our campaign for a Culture of Life focused on abortion, and for an obvious reason: it is the greatest killing of human life in human history," said the Supreme Knight. "But today, through advances in ultrasound technology, a bright window has been opened up in the womb - and we can clearly see the unborn child's face, his or her development and even his or her personality. We know now, that this child feels pain, feels emotion, reacts to music! And still, the law of both our countries insists on a fiction - that who we see clearly as a child is somehow not yet a human being."

Australian Idol funds and promotes pro-life crisis pregnancy center.

Perhaps my favorite: Abortion Pill Crackdown in Philippines Has Police Chasing Down U.N. - Supported NGOs.

Abortion groups, funded heavily through the United Nations population control body the UNFPA, unused as they are to their agenda being effectively opposed, have complained that they feel they are being persecuted. [Papa-Lu sez: BOOOOO-HOOO HOO HOOO BOOOOOO HOO HOO.] Carolina Ruiz-Austria, of the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN) said, "They were told that what they are doing is forbidden in Manila. It's unnerving." Such groups also complain that there is a growing opposition to their efforts in the Philippines and that the country is becoming more pro-life in public opinion.

Birth Control Pill May Permanently Reduce Sex Drive Study Finds.
Headlines like that would be funny if they weren't so sad. Gee, you think the daily artificial altering of your hormonal balance may have some long-term effects? I never would have thought.

Speaking of birth control: the Japanese are non-reproducing themselves into oblivion.

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Remember that claim a few months ago that there abortions have increased during the Bush presidency because of his wicked social policy?

False.

A more thorough study by the Guttmacher Institute (the scientific propaganda arm of Planned Parenthood) disproves this notion, showing that abortions have actually decreased. I'd say not to to reust it because of the source, but if Guttmacher wanted to make things up here, they'd say the opposite, so this is probably accurate.

This probably isn't completely accurate either, because many chemcical abortions are not counted, and those have increased tremendously due to increased ease in obtaining them, making accurate figures more difficult to come by.

There really isn't any good news to report here, but the earlier claim can be dismissed as the product of shoddy data analysis.

Hat-tip: Open Book.

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This report from the NCReporter and this commentary from Dom suggest that there is disagreement between the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Vatican Secretariat of State that is showing up in conflicting reports about the existence of an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse involving Legionaries of Christ founder Fr. Marcial Maciel. The recent statement that there is no process against Fr. Maciel came in the form of an unsigned fax bearing the seal of the Secretariat, which has no authority in the matter. The CDF, which is charged with handling these allegations, has made no statement, even to the Secretariat.

The worst tragedy is the existence of the allegations of course. I hope they are not true, but if they are, I pray for healing for the victims and for forgiveness and mercy for Fr. Maciel.

At the same time, it's unfortunate to have false messages coming from high-ranking offices on such a grave subject. At best, it's an incredibly irresponsible mistake, which opens the Church up to justifiable criticism and damages Her credibility. At worst, we have officials charged with important duties in spreading the protecting the faith engaged in disinformation. Nobody wins here.

This is a horrible time to have politics affecting the Church's handling of sexual misconduct. It is a reminder, however, that those charged with responsibility in the Church need our constant prayer.

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Bloggin' Bishies

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Zenit reports that a few Phillipine bishops have taken to blogging.

The blogs:

The Meaning by Bp. Jose R. Manguiran of the Diocese of Dipolog,
Viewpoints by Abp. Oscar V. Cruz of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, and
Tidbits by Bp. Leonardo Medroso of the Diocese of Borongan.

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Supreme Court to hear Parental Notification case

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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- This fall the Supreme Court will hear its first case about access to abortion in five years when it considers the constitutionality of a New Hampshire law requiring parental notification before minors can have abortions.

Please pray for the Court to make a good decision here. With the current composition of the Court, it would take a change of heart by at least one judge for a reversal.

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CT's Timothy George relates The Promise of Benedict XVI.

Their reasons:

  1. He takes truth seriously
  2. His theology is Bible-focused
  3. His message is Christocentric
  4. He is Augustinian in perspective
  5. He champions the culture of life
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International Retreat for Bishops and Priests

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ROME, MAY 25, 2005 (Zenit) - Cardinals, bishops and priests worldwide are invited to attend a retreat Sept. 25-Oct. 1 in Ars, France, to renew the grace of the priesthood.

The initiative is being organized in the village of St. John Vianney, patron of parish priests, by the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services, an institution headquartered in the Holy See.
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Yesterdays General Audience

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On Psalm 115(116).

A taste:

In the Hebrew original, Psalm 115(116) constitutes a single composition with the preceding Psalm 114(115). Both are a unitary thanksgiving addressed to the Lord who liberates from the nightmare of death.

In our text appears the memory of an anguished past: The Psalmist has held high the flame of faith, even when on his lips there was the bitterness of despair and unhappiness (see Psalm 115(116):10). All around him, in fact, an icy curtain of hatred and deceit was raised, because his fellowman showed himself to be false and unfaithful (see verse 11). Now, however, the prayer is transformed into gratitude because the Lord has raised his faithful one from the dark vortex of falsehood (see verse 12).

Therefore, the Psalmist prepares to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, in which the ritual cup will be drunk, the cup of the sacred libation, which is the sign of acknowledgment of the liberation (see verse 13). The liturgy, therefore, is the privileged place from which to raise grateful praise to the Savior God.

In fact, in addition to the sacrificial rite, explicit reference is also made to the assembly of "all the people," before whom the Psalmist pays his vow and witnesses his faith (see verse 14). It is in this circumstance that he renders public his thanksgiving, well aware that, even when death is imminent, the Lord bends over him with his love. God is not indifferent to his creature's drama, but breaks his chains (see verse 16).

Saved from death, the Psalmist feels himself "servant" of the Lord, "son of his handmaid" (ibid.), a beautiful Eastern expression to indicate the one who is born in the master's house. The Psalmist professes humbly and with joy his belonging to the house of God, to the family of creatures united to him in love and faithfulness.

Full translation from Zenit.

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Good ProLife news in Minnesota!

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Governor Pawlenty signs bill funding pro-life crisis pregnancy center.

The Positive Alternatives Act, which for the first time would give state funding to crisis pregnancy centers that oppose abortion, was signed into law today by Gov. Tim Pawlenty. The bill creates a $2.5 million fund that can be tapped by the network of more than 100 crisis pregnancy centers and maternity homes across the state that discourage women from having abortions. It was the top legislative priority of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL).

Full Story.

Added bonus: view the hypocrisy with which an abortion advocate calls this bill a "handout." Some people have no shame.

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Fun music quiz

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From Bill White. My results:

Your Taste in Music:

90's Alternative: Medium Influence
Adult Alternative: Low Influence
Alternative Rock: Low Influence
Ska: Low Influence

Just for fun, and to shock and horrify my readers, I retook the test, substituting my musical tastes as they were 8 years ago:

Your Taste in Music:

Gangsta Rap: Highest Influence
90's Alternative: High Influence
90's Hip Hop: High Influence
Hip Hop: Medium Influence
80's Alternative: Low Influence
80's R&B: Low Influence
90's Pop: Low Influence
90's R&B: Low Influence
90's Rock: Low Influence
Adult Alternative: Low Influence
Alternative Rock: Low Influence
Old School Hip Hop: Low Influence
R&B: Low Influence
Ska: Low Influence

Yikes! How far we've come...

I should add that I cannot take seriously issue with a survey that pretends to gauge influence of 90's hip-hop without including Snoop Dogg, Wu-Tang Clan or Tupac. Not that it matters, but if you care about accuracy...

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CNS' news briefs page for yesterday (4th item) includes the following:

Future of Catholic health care seen in long-term, not acute, care

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Retired Auxiliary Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan of Brooklyn said May 20 that the future of Catholic health care would likely be in delivering long-term care rather than acute care. Catholic hospitals do not have the resources to compete with the major research hospitals that patients tend to prefer when they develop acute illness, he said. He also said people with acute illness do not usually choose a hospital on the basis of its religious sponsorship. When Cardinal John J. O'Connor of New York developed cancer, he did not go to a Catholic hospital but to the prestigious Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Bishop Sullivan recalled. But he said people often do prefer an institution run by their own religious denomination for long-term care. Bishop Sullivan discussed the problems and possibilities of Catholic health care in an address to the Catholic Healthcare Administrative Personnel program, which was held in New York May 15-20 at St. John's University with joint sponsorship by St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers.

That's very interesting, and I sympathize with those who spurn Catholic hospitals. My mind goes to a Catholic hospital in Chicago where my grandmother received care towards the end of her life. The conditions where atrocious, and she was eventually transferred to Northwest Memorial in the burbs where she received much better care.

The Church may do well to reflect on specific areas of health care that She could focus on and within which She could do the best job of evangelizing.

For instance, the Church could concentrate on areas where modern secular medicinal practice has gone farthest off track, such as women's health and beginning-of- and end-of-life care, and leave transplants and splints to the for-profit institutions. Also, the Church could focus on low-cost clinics to help the poor have access to better basic care and stay healthier.

I don't mean to say that the Church should withdraw from the hospital system - on the contrary, no matter what one finds himself in the hospital for, being able to gaze upon a crucifix or pray with a chaplain can bring great comfort - rather, I'm just pointing out that a prayerful reflection on how the resources going into Catholic healthcare are being used could benefit the health and souls of many.

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Carl Olson on Relativism

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Get the goods on Relativism over at Ignatius Insight.

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After 70 year wait, faithful are Confirmed

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You think it's hard getting the Bishop to come to your parish?

BAKU, Azerbaijan, MAY 20, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Catholics of Azerbaijan received the sacrament of confirmation on Pentecost, a grace some of them had to wait seven decades for.

Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, the apostolic nuncio to Azerbaijan, visited the former Soviet Republic -- where Catholicism was swept away by Stalin's persecutions -- and found a group of elderly believers who had kept the faith alive for more than 70 years without the sacraments.

"It was an indescribable emotion," said the archbishop to the Italian newspaper Avvenire, "to see the elderly ladies, with the traditional veil on their heads and the elderly men full of wrinkles come forward and again pronounce their baptismal name -- Teresa, Anselm, Francis -- after decades of using other names of Azerbaijani roots, and then ask for confirmation."

Full story from Zenit.

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"Lashing out" with a "hard line"

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I know journalists have to make a buck, but this is ridiculous.

Headline:
"Cardinal takes hard line against Giuliani honor"

First paragraph:

Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore has lashed out at a Catholic college for honoring Rudy Giuliani, a major stand by a veteran church leader against Catholic politicians who advocate abortion rights and a possible sign of trouble for Giuliani's political future.

Actual text of the letter:

Dear Doctor Haddad,

It has just come to my attention that graduation day at Loyola College in Maryland will be held on Friday, May 20.

This letter is written in confirmation of an earlier exchange of correspondence in which you state the reasons for inviting former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to receive recognition at Loyola's graduation.

May I state that there will be no representative of the Archdiocese participating in any event honoring former Mayor Giuliani.

I am confident that, by now, you understand many of the consequences that spring from an invitation having been extended to former Mayor Giuliani to receive an honorary degree at Loyola.

May the Lord make of this event a teaching moment for many.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Cardinal William H. Keeler

Archbishop of Baltimore

Oh me oh my, what a vicious thrashing our dear Cardinal has delivered! I sure hope Dr. Haddad doesn't need therapy after this brutal assault!

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Pope may visit Canada

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QUEBEC -- Pope Benedict XVI will make a trip to Quebec City in 2008 "if God is willing," Marc Cardinal Ouellet said Thursday.

Although the papal visit is not confirmed, the pope would traditionally attend the major eucharistic congress being staged in Quebec City in June 2008.

"I invited Benedict XVI to Quebec during my stay in Rome and he said he will be there, if God is willing,'' Ouellet said Thursday.
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The Pope gets a mountain

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PopeMountain.jpg


An Italian mountain peak was renamed after the late Pope John Paul II on May 18 because it would have been the late pontiff's 85th birthday.

The 2400 metre-high peak is located in the Gran Sasso Mountain, the highest mountain in the Appennines, which John Paul had visited many times during his 26-year-papacy. It was previously known as "The Gendarme".

The pope, an avid mountaineer in his youth, reportedly told pilgrims in St. Peter's Square once that in the Bible, mountains "were considered a special place to meet God."

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Parents behaving very badly

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Girls rugby coach beaten unconscious by opposing coach and parents.

This is what we teach our children, and then we wonder...

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40 Christians arrested during Mass in Saudi Arabia

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This happened back in April, but I never heard of it until today, when I saw this Zenit story.

he Catholic Church and human rights groups are asking Pakistan's government to intervene on behalf of 40 Pakistani Christians, arrested by Saudi Arabia's religious police.

Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha of Lahore, called on the authorities to act "immediately" in order to get the release of those detained in Riyadh by the muttawa, reported AsiaNews.

"The government must treat this case without any religious discrimination and act on behalf of its citizens who are living abroad," said the archbishop.

The 40 Pakistani Christians were arrested April 23 as they celebrated Mass in a private residence in the city of Riyadh.

Policemen who raided the premises, where the Eucharist was being celebrated, found Christian books and audiovisual material.

In Saudi Arabia it is illegal to practice any religion other than Islam.

It is not yet clear what might happen to those arrested, as the Saudi authorities have not yet made any public comment about the incident.

Pakistani authorities have also been silent; there has been no word of condemnation for the action or any expression of solidarity towards the victims.
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Russian Archbishop meets with Pope

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Yesteray's General Audience

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Here is the English translation of the Holy Father's address at the general audience yesterday.

The Lord lowers himself with solicitude to our littleness and indigence which would impel us to withdraw in fear. He directs his loving gaze and efficacious commitment towards the least and miserable of the world: "The Lord raises the needy from the dust, lifts the poor from the ash heap" (7).

Thus God bends over the needy and the suffering to console them. And this expression finds its ultimate meaning, its greatest realism at the moment that God bends down to the point of becoming incarnate, to become like one of us, like one of the poor of the world. He confers the greatest honor on the poor, he "sits them with princes"; yes, "with the princes of the people" (8). To the lonely barren woman, humiliated by ancient society as if she were a dry and useless branch, God gives the honor and great joy of having several children (cf. 9). Therefore, the Psalmist praises a God who is very different from us in his greatness, but at the same time very close to his suffering creatures.
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BERLIN (AFP) - Germans have stopped having children -- and the number of couples opting for a childless life is rising every year to the consternation of politicians and employers in the eurozone's biggest economy.

Voila: the end result of separating sex from babies.

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Cheer up!

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You could live in Canada. Here's two reasons to be glad you don't

First:

VANCOUVER, May 18, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Despite its near universality following the 1960’s, there are, apparently, still those for whom the total sex-saturation of modern culture – including all its recently legalized perversions – is insufficient. Now LifeSiteNews.com adds British Columbia’s Sex Party to its bulging "Weird Canada" files. The Sex Party declares their goal as the development of "a sex-positive culture."

Full Story.

Apparently, it's some kind of joke party. I know, hilarious! Get it?! Teach our kids to screw away their souls before they're 17! Aaahahaha.

It might be a bit funnier if they're "joke" political agenda weren't pretty much the same as Planned Barenhood's.

The article has two great quotes from Canadian columnist David Warren:

On builidng a "sex-positive culture:
"Now there’s one for the department of redundancy department. Did I miss something? Haven’t we already got one of those?"

Another:
"Here’s a novel idea, why don’t we start a party for moral people and call it the 'Married-People-Making-Babies-to-Save-the-Canada-Pension Party?' Now that might be of some practical use."

Second:
Man convicted and fined $17,500 for being blunt.

SASKATOON, SK, May 18, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Saskatchewan man has been charged and ordered to pay $17,500 in damages to several homosexuals as a result of a flyer he distributed in Regina, containing warnings against the dangers of a homosexual lifestyle that a human rights tribunal ruled was “hate speech.”

Granted, I don't think the flier was destined to be particularly effective featuring warnings such as: "if we do not say no to the sodomite desire to socialize your children into accepting something that is clearly wrong." The fact remains that he is right, and abrasive though he may be, he is clearly being persecuted for speaking what he believes and what is clearly taught in Christian scriptures.

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Richard John Neuhaus on Reese

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Again, intellectual integrity requires honestly engaging opposing arguments. It does not require providing a platform for opposing arguments. I dare say that an editor working for Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, or the National Rifle Association who regularly turned a publication into a platform for those opposed to the mission of the organization would soon be looking for another job.

Full story.

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So much for our "Archconservative" Pope

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German Pope.jpg
Benedict XVI leads by example in introducing first liturgical reform.

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Pro-Life news

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Fair and balanced

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Having quoted the Reporter, I now turn to the Register.

I love this piece about how JPtG and B16 complement each other.

The images that we might remember of Benedict’s first days as pope are the photos of him walking through the streets of Rome. He was visiting his old apartment while an appreciative cluster of people looked on, but the pictures make you realize that you can’t remember ever seeing John Paul walk along the streets of Rome.

And yet when humble, gentle Benedict appeared on the balcony of St. Peter’s for the first time, young nuns in habits shrieked with glee. Young American seminarians pumped their arms in victory.

How is it possible that a reserved classical pianist who loves cats gets that kind of reception? How is it possible that young people in the 21st century were delirious with excitement to find out that the new Pope had taken the name of a fifth-century monk?

Pope John Paul II made it possible.

If he hadn’t rallied the crowds, set fires in their hearts and anchored them firmly to Peter, then Benedict would be facing a far more difficult task than he faces now.

But if the successes of John Paul’s pontificate made Benedict’s pontificate possible, it may also be the case that Pope Benedict made John Paul possible. John Paul’s pontificate may find its fulfillment and completion in Benedict.
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This week's "Word from Rome"

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Lots of good stuff on Levada, Reese, China and Vietnam, the Anglicans and more.

The part that caught my eye is way down towards the bottom. Allen talks about the beatifications tomorrow, which will not be presided over by the Pope.

Aside from the American connection with Cope, the beatifications have attracted attention for another reason: Pope Benedict XVI will not preside at the ceremony, and is not expected to be present. Instead, Portuguese Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, will lead the ceremony.

In so doing, the Vatican reverts to the tradition that the pope performs canonizations and other officials carry out beatifications, which had been the case until 1971, when Pope Paul VI elected to preside personally at the beatification of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Pope John Paul II, of course, personally presided over the beatifications of 1,338 beati, a record that's as close to unbeatable as such things come in papal annals.

Some have read this shift, not entirely unreasonably, as an indication that Pope Benedict XVI's papacy will be less personal, less theatrical, than that of his immediate predecessor. However that may be, the reasoning for the change is, in the first place, theological. Experts in the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and elsewhere have long been concerned that the distinction between beatification and canonization had become blurred, given that both have recently been treated as papal galas, with little ceremonial distinction.

When someone is beatified, the pope allows members of the person's religious order and Catholics in the place the person lived to celebrate the newly beatified person's feast day Mass and hold other public acts of veneration. Canonization, on the other hand, is an official papal declaration that the person -- now recognized as a saint -- is to be venerated throughout the Catholic church. A beatification does not involve the pope's infallibility, whereas a canonization does.

Probably many people who watched the massive beatification ceremony for Mother Teresa in Rome in October 2003, however, came away thinking that she was now officially a saint, and will be puzzled when another ceremony is eventually staged. It's that kind of confusion the Vatican wants to eliminate.

A senior Vatican official told NCR May 10 that in the future, it's likely that beatifications won't be held in Rome at all, but in the diocese where the cause originated, and will be led not by Vatican officials but by the local bishop. In that way, he said, the local character of a beatification will be more clearly visible.

I love this. The concept of "graduated solemnity" comes to mind, and it appears that this Pope's strong devotion to the liturgy reflects this concept particularly well.

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Pope to visit synagogue in Cologne

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Ottawa, May. 13 (CNA/CWNews.com) - Canadians turned out by the thousands to demand an end to abortion at the National March for Life yesterday and to voice their support for the creation of a culture of life.

Nearly 6,000 people gathered on Parliament Hill for the annual event, and at least half were under the age of 25. People traveled from Montreal and as far west as London, a seven-hour drive from Ottawa. It was the highest turnout in recent years. Last year, 3,500 people participated.
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Sweet

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This would be momentous, to say the least.

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Story from USCCB.

WASHINGTON (May 12, 2005)—Over $150 million has been given to Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ international relief agency, to address the tsunami crisis which struck Southeast Asia less than five months ago.

The donations are believed to mark the most money ever collected by the church in a single appeal.

The figures included donations directly from 168 of the nation’s 192 dioceses, eparchies, and territorial sees.
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Interesting twist to Canadian situation

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Canada's largest gay publisher supports Bishop Henry's right to speak. He's not at all friendly to Bishop Henry or the Church - his art (entitled "Let the Hate Flow" contains a call for mor "gay rage" - but he does make the point that some people are being "over-sensitive."

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A neat little sketch that gives about as much information as can be expected while still respecting the oath of secrecy.

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Mary: Mother of Refugees

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Statue of Our Lady of Bai Dau to tour Vietnamese communitites in US and Canada.

Through the remainder of 2005 and into 2006, the statue will make a pilgrimage throughout the United States and Canada. In communities that will host the statue, local Knights and Vietnamese Catholics will lead a Marian prayer service.

Our Lady of Bai Dau has special meaning to many Vietnamese Catholics. In the coastal city of Vung Tau, Vietnam, near Ho Chi Minh City, there is a shrine dedicated to her. The shrine features a 65-foot-tall statue of Mary holding aloft the infant Jesus, as if she is presenting him to the world.

After the fall of Saigon to the communists in 1975, as tens of thousands of Vietnamese fled their homeland by boat from Vung Tau, the statue of Our Lady of Bai Dau was the last image many of them had of their homeland. She is honored as the "mother of refugees."
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Juventutem, an international group of young Catholics devoted to the Latin Mass will attend World Youth Day, and their events will feature some prominent Church figures.

Juventutem will be joined by an all-star panel of cardinals, archbishops and bishops: Archbishop Georg Eder, Emeritus from Salzburg, Austria will celebrate a pontifical High Mass in the Abbey Ottobeuren for the opening of the Juventutem Bavarian retreat, on August 10th, 2005. Cardinal Francis George (Archbishop of Chicago; Vice-President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops) will address the Juventutem delegation in Cologne and will lead them in praying the rosary; Cardinal Francis Arinze (Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments) will address the Juventutem youth and will preside at vespers and benediction; Cardinal George Pell (Archbishop of Sydney, Australia) will also celebrate traditional vespers and benediction.

Jean-Pierre Ricard (Archbishop of Bordeaux; President of the French Episcopal Conference; member of the Pontifical Ecclesia Dei Commission), Raymond Burke (Archbishop of Saint-Louis, USA), Czeslaw Kozon (Bishop of Copenhagen, Denmark), and André-Mutien Léonard (Bishop of Namur, Belgium) will meet with the youth from Juventutem in Cologne; Archbishop Wolfgang Haas of Vaduz, Liechtenstein, will offer a pontifical High Mass in Bavaria for Juventutem; Bishop Fernando Rifan (Superior of the St John Mary Vianney Apostolic Administration) and Bishop George Alencherry (Thuckalay, India) will accompany Juventutem for the whole program, from August 10th-16th in Bavaria and August 17th-21st in Cologne.

Here is Juventutem's Website.

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today announced its 2005 recommendations to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on “countries of particular concern,” or CPCs. The 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) requires that the United States designate as CPCs those countries whose governments have engaged in or tolerated systematic and egregious violations of the universal right to freedom of religion or belief. The Commission’s recommendations for 2005 include, for the first time, Uzbekistan. In addition, the Commission reaffirmed its 2004 recommendations that the Secretary of State designate the following countries as CPCs: Burma, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), Eritrea, Iran, Pakistan, People’s Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam. India was removed from the Commission’s recommended list of CPC countries.

Full Story.

2005 annual report online here. WARNING: Large .pdf file.

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The Ethics and Public Policy Center last month sponsored a free showing of Witness to Hope (an excellent documentary based on George Wiegel's book).

"The documentary was preceded by remarks from Radek Sikorski and Michael Novak, both of the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Sikorski, a Polish political refugee in the 1980s, was later Poland's Deputy Minister of Defense (1992), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (1998-2001), and the secretary of foreign affairs of the Polish Solidarity Party (1999-2002)."

An audio file of those remarks can be found at the bottom of this page.

Also, next month the EPPC will host a conference on The Cube and the Cathedral, Gerge Wiegel's new book. Mr. Wiegel himself will be speaking at the event as will the WaPo's Anne Applebaum. If they have any audio or video from the event, I'll post it.

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More about Togolese elections

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Fides provides more information on the problems with the Togolese elections that led to unrest and also reports on Togolese "death squads" that are terrorizing the opposition.

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Over 12 million slave/forced laborers in Asia

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"More than 75% of Asian workers live and work under subhuman conditions."

Full story.

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Almost half the money available usually goes to dioceses in Africa where the Church is growing fast but where Catholics live in precarious situations because of poverty, war and natural disasters.

The other continent on which the mission Churches receive most assistance from the PMS is Asia, where in most countries Catholics are only a small minority and without general solidarity and support from Catholics in the rest of the world they would find great difficulty in carrying on the mission of evangelisation. Also in Asia following the tsunami disaster at the request of Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples the Society for the Propagation of the Faith sent an immediate emergency sum to the Papal Nunciatures in the affected countries to be distributed according to needs.

The local Churches in Oceania, a floating continent of thousands of islands, also rely heavily on PMS mission aid and a considerable sum was assigned for this purpose. The remaining monies were distributed for needs of the local Churches in mission territories in South America.

The money is assigned according to requests presented by the local Bishops. This year 30% of the money available will be distributed as regular ordinary subsidies to help Bishops in territories which depend on the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples run their dioceses and meet its needs; 13% will go to build or repair churches and chapels; 12% will go to support catechists; the rest will serve to meet requests from religious communities or other Catholic institutions which have requested funds for hospitals, schools, universities, social communications etc.

Full Story.

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The Good and Bad on Levada

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San Francisco takes a lengthy look at the new prefect of the CDF. Most of the criticism is about "rigidity," which is OK by me.

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The Pope's address to diplomats

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Yesterday the Pope received the ambassadors of countries of to the Holy See. Here is the English translation of his address.

Here's a chunk of it:

When meeting with you, how can we not evoke the long and fruitful ministry of dear Pope John Paul II! Tireless missionary of the Gospel in the numerous countries he visited, he also offered a unique service to the cause of the unity of the human family. He showed the way to God, inviting all men of good will to ceaselessly revive their conscience and build a society of justice, peace, solidarity, in mutual charity and forgiveness. Nor must we forget the innumerable meetings with heads of states, heads of government, and ambassadors, here, in the Vatican, in which he defended the cause of peace.

For my part, I come from a country in which peace and fraternity have a great place in the heart of its inhabitants, in particular, of those who, like me, knew war and the separation of brothers belonging to the same nation, because of devastating and inhuman ideologies that, cloaked in dreams and illusion, imposed on human beings the yoke of oppression. You will understand therefore that I am particularly sensitive to dialogue among all men, to overcome all forms of conflict and tension, and to make our world a world of peace and fraternity. Uniting efforts, all together, the Christian communities, leaders of nations, diplomats, and all men of good will, are called to realize a peaceful society to overcome the temptation of the clash between cultures, ethnic groups, and different worlds. To achieve this, every nation must draw from its spiritual and cultural heritage the best values of which it is bearer to go out, without fear, to meet the other, ready to share its spiritual and material riches for the good of all.

To continue in this direction, the Church does not cease to proclaim and defend fundamental human rights, unfortunately still violated in different parts of the world, and works so that the rights of every human person will be recognized to life, food, a roof, work, health care, protection of the family, the promotion of social development, and respect of the dignity of man and woman, created in the image of God. You may be sure that the Church will continue to offer her collaboration to safeguard the dignity of every man and to serve the common good, in the framework and with the means proper to her. She asks for no privileges for herself, but only the legitimate conditions of freedom and action to fulfill her mission. In the concert of nations, she always wishes to foster understanding and cooperation among peoples, based on an attitude of loyalty, discretion and cordiality.
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Possibly one million to attend World Youth Day

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The Archbishop of Cologne thinks that's a reasonable estimate, given most of the four million who flocked to Rome after JPtG's death were young people.

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It's Levada

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 13, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

- Archbishop William Joseph Levada of San Francisco, California, as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. For a biography of the prefect-elect click here.

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 13, 2005 (VIS) - Benedict XVI today announced the opening of the cause of beatification of John Paul II, waiving the normal waiting period of five years after the death of a Servant of God. The Pope made the announcement in the course of a meeting with the Roman clergy in the basilica of St. John Lateran.

The rescript - or document authorizing the act - is dated May 9, 2005 and is signed by Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins and Archbishop Edward Nowak, respectively prefect and secretary of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

This morning, after traveling by car to the Vicariate of Rome, the Pope, in a ceremony in the Hall of Conciliation, greeted the staff who work there and visited the pontifical apartments.

Benedict XVI then went to the basilica of St. John Lateran where he met the clergy of his diocese. After a brief greeting pronounced by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general for the diocese of Rome, the Pope delivered his address.
He said that "the extraordinary experience of faith that we experienced with the death of our much-loved Pope John Paul II, has shown us a Roman Church profoundly united, full of life and rich in enthusiasm; all this is the fruit of your prayers and your apostolate."

After underlining the need "to always go back to the roots of our priestly calling," in other words, "Jesus Christ, the Lord," Benedict XVI pointed out that as priests "we are charged not to say many words, but rather to echo and to be bearers of a single 'Word,' that is the Word of God, made flesh for our salvation. ... We have to be His true friends, to share His feelings, to want what He wants and not want what He does not want."

The Pope invited the priests to make their own these words of John Paul II: "Mass is, in an absolute way, the center of my life and of each of my days." Speaking of obedience to Christ, he recalled that this "takes concrete form in ecclesial obedience, which for a priest is, in everyday practice, above all obedience to his bishop."

Benedict XVI also recalled what he had said in his homily prior to the conclave, when he referred to "holy restlessness; a restlessness to bring everyone the gift of faith." After highlighting that Christ "calls us to be His witnesses," the Pope mentioned the necessity of "being with God," of seeking "intimate communion with Christ," in order "not to give in to fatigue, but to resist and, even more so, to grow as people and as priests."

"Time to be in the presence of God is a true pastoral priority," he continued, "in the final analysis, the most important priority. John Paul II demonstrated this to us in the most tangible and luminous of ways in all the circumstances of his life and his ministry."

The Holy Father affirmed that "our personal response to the call of sanctity is fundamental and decisive. This condition is essential, not only for our personal apostolate to be fruitful but also, and more broadly, for the Church's face to reflect the light of Christ."

"My ministry as bishop of Rome follows in the footsteps of my predecessors, in particular taking up the precious heritage left by John Paul II. Dear priests and deacons, let us walk together along this path with serenity and trust."

After his address, Benedict XVI listened attentively to questions and reflections presented by various priests and religious, and thanked them for the remarks. He then returned to the Vatican by car.

BXVI-VISIT LATERAN/BEATIFICATION JOHN PAUL/... VIS 050513 (610)

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"The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers"

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Beliefnet has a wonderful interview with a journalist who befriended Mr. Rogers and correspended with him regularly over 9 years. Seriously, you need to read this.

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This piece from www.chiesa about Pope Benedict XVI's defense of human life in his homily at St. John Lateran also contains a chapter from a book by Romano Guardini explaining why the unborn is a complete human being at the moment of conception. It was written almost 60 years ago, when Germany was first considering legalizing abortion.

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Fides news

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The previous six or seven posts were all based on reports from Fides News, which is a website run by the Congregation for the Propogation of the Faith. I recently started receiving their news updates, and it is heartening to see the good work being done by Catholics all over the world, which is why I chose to blog so many of their articles. The translations can be choppy, but I think not only is it good to know what the Church is dealing with all over the world, it's incredibly edifying to see the wonderful missionary work that the Church does.

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Pope's message to Sri Lankan bishops

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“In the faces of the bereaved and dispossessed, we cannot fail to recognise the suffering face of Christ, and indeed it is he whom we serve when we show our love and compassion to those in need”. The Pope mentioned the young victims in particular: “The Christian community has a particular obligation to care for those children who have lost their parents as a result of the natural disaster. To these most vulnerable members of society the Kingdom of heaven belongs yet so often they are simply forgotten or shamelessly exploited as soldiers, labourers, or innocent victims in the trafficking of human beings. No effort should be spared to urge civil authorities and the international community to fight these abuses and to offer young children the legal protection they justly deserve.”.

Full story.

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Complex "will include a home for street children, a home for unmarried mothers, a medical centre and a chapel."

More info.

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Conference on World Mission and Evangelism

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Peruvian Church takes on violence against children

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Some frightening figures:

Figures issued by the National Family Welfare Institute with regard to violence against children due to terrorism in recent years particularly in the regions and Ayacucho the Lower Forest are frightening: 1.200 children killed, 12.000 mutilated, 30.000 orphans and an undetermined number of children suffering from varying degrees of psychological trauma. What is more from 2002 to April 2005 16,882 children and adolescents were not only victims of social and political violence they were also maltreated regularly or sporadically in the family or by outsiders in the following age groups: 15.39% were children under 5; 33.85% between 6 and 11 years; 50.76% between 12 and 17 years (government sources -PNCVFS - www.mimdes.gob.pe/pncvfs).
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Meningitis in India

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Fears of an epidemic are rising. 15 are dead, many more have been hospitalized.

Closer to home, there's been at least one case on the U of I campus.

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Unrest in Congo

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Fides takes a look at what's happened in Congo in recent days and some of the background behind the unrest there.

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Caritas-Niger mobilizing

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A great look at just one of the Church's many charitable works.

Caritas-Niger aims to help over 10,000 victims of a severe drought by providing 580 tons of cereal, 75 tons of seed, 70 tons of forage for livestock and "an agricultural plan to restore lands affected by the drought."

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Why the U.N. is important

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Friday Fax: Columbian abortion activists sue government for abortion rights citing U.N. documents

The case was filed in Colombia's Constitutional Court by Monica Roa, a director of Women's Link Worldwide (WLW), a radical feminist organization that promotes the legalization of abortion around the world. WLW has also challenged the abortion laws of Spain, Poland, Australia, Thailand and South Africa. WLW is funded by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the European Commission, alongside private donors such as the Ford Foundation.

The link will not work until later today,

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Pope opens JPtG's Cause

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One for Rosie, Monika and Lizzy

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Or maybe it's for David, Kevin and Jeff... they might benefit more from the knowledge...

Mothers pregnant with boys may be less forgetful than those carrying girls, Canadian researchers said on Tuesday.

Yes, Rosie, pregnancy makes you stupid, but a boy makes you less stupid.

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So long Sosa

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Attitude aside, it was hard to see Sammy Sosa go this off-season. It was made especially harder when he was replaced by Jeromy Burnitz, a player I've never much cared for.

However, check out this year's stats.

Burnitz (32 games played): .295 AVE, 6 HR, 21 RBI, 19 R, 2 SB, .872 OPS
Sosa (27 games played): .269 AVE, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 11 R, 1 SB, .778 OPS

Additionally, Sammy just went on the DL with an abscess and foot infection.

Granted, Burnitz is no long-term solution (he's only a year younger than Sosa), but he's a much cheaper player and I think he will probably continue to put better up numbers than Sammy.

I have to reluctantly hand this one to Jim Hendry, though I do hope we upgrade soon.

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It was a security detail's nightmare, and with Benedict XVI's first days as pope spiced up with seemingly fearless forays into the public, it could be a recurring one.

Full Story.

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Asking the tough questions:

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Father Sibley takes advantage of Planned Parenthood's online OG-GYN to ask a couple of questions.

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The "D"is for Decalogue

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ADL lobbies against goverment display of the 10 COmmandments.

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SFgate.com on Abp. Levada to CDF speculation

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Here.

Quotes John-Peter Pham, who believes one reason Pope Benedict may have tagged Abp. Levada is his expertise on the Orthodox Churches.

Levada, who worked on the Vatican staff of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1976 to 1982, has an intimate understanding of the issues facing the U.S. church, having served as the Archbishop of Portland from 1986 to 1995, and since then as the Archbishop of San Francisco.

During his final year in Rome, Levada worked for the pope, known then as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the head of that key Vatican office, and has kept close ties to the German cardinal over the last two decades.

"If they want to address the ethical and moral issues in the church in Europe and North America, you have Ratzinger speaking to Europe and Levada to the United States," said Paul Murphy, a church scholar at the University of San Francisco.

Murphy, the director of the Joan and Ralph Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought, noted that Levada may serve a very liberal archdiocese, but he carries strong credentials as a doctrinal conservative.

"He won't necessarily please liberals in North America, but he is someone very familiar with the North American situation," Murphy said.

Levada's election would have a double impact on the Archdiocese of San Francisco, which covers San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties.

It would create an opening for the job of San Francisco Archbishop, giving the new pope a chance to put his mark on the Bay Area church.

But Former Vatican diplomat John-Peter Pham said Pope Benedict has more global reasons for considering Levada for the key Vatican post.

Pham said Benedict hopes to use his papacy to strengthen ties with the Eastern Orthodox churches, which split off from Rome centuries ago in a dispute over the power of the pope.

"Levada is the academic expert on that topic," said Pham, author of "Heirs of the Fisherman -- Behind the Scenes of Papal Death and Succession.''

"It would be a tribute to William Levada, theologian," Pham said.
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Info here.

Unfortunately, the story focusses on the study's finding that 88% of Catholic physicians would presribe birth control.

Ho-hum. Tell me something I didn't already know.

The real shocker is further down in the same piece.

Catholic physicians differed from their colleagues in their approval of human embryonic stem cell research. About 49% of all physicians surveyed expressed support for the research, but only 27% of Catholic doctors surveyed said they approved of the research, according to RNS/Observer. However, 79% of Catholic physicians and 83% of all physicians surveyed approved of research using stem cells obtained from placentas or umbilical cords, the survey showed.

That should be front page news. A majority of the physicians polled is against a controversial form of research. Are there going to be editorials accusing doctors of being "theocrats" and "pushing their fundamentalist religious views on society" and "denying potentially life saving treatment to millions of disabled?" No, instead the headline boils down to "Catholics sin."

The three main areas of concern:

  • Of course, the 88% of Catholic whysicians who support birth control,
  • the 27% of Catholic physicians who support ECR - not as bad as the 49% rate for the general physician population, but nevertheless scandalous, and
  • the 21% of Catholic physicians who do not support research using stem cells from placentas and umbilical cords.
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US Bishops push for immigration reform

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News here, here and here.

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A lively parish in a peculiar way

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An excerpt from this interview with Father José Antonio Fortea, priest and exorcist of the Diocese of Alcala de Henares in Madrid.

Q: Do the faithful of your parish know about exorcisms?

Father Fortea: It is one of my greatest joys. I think it is the only parish in the world in which very many of the faithful, from 18 to 70 years old, take part weekly in exorcisms. It is perhaps the only one in the world in which they are known both by the mayor and the police. If they hear shouting they don't come in because they know what is going on there.
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Words from Il Papa

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Yesterday's general audience on the canticle from the Book of Revelation (15:3-4):

According to our hymn, this divine intervention has a very specific purpose: to be a sign that invites all the peoples of the earth to conversion. Nations must learn to "read" in history a message of God. Humanity's history is not confused and without meaning, nor is it given over, without appeal, to the malfeasance of the arrogant and perverse. There is the possibility to recognize divine action hidden in it. In the pastoral constitution "Gaudium et Spes," Vatican Council II also invites the believer to scrutinize, in the light of the Gospel, the signs of the times to see in them the manifestation of the very action of God (cf. n. 4 and 11). This attitude of faith leads man to recognize the power of God operating in history, and thus to open himself to fear of the name of the Lord. In biblical language, in fact, this "fear" does not coincide with dread, but is the recognition of the mystery of the divine transcendence. Because of this, it is the basis of faith and is joined with love: "the Lord your God requires of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul" (cf. Deuteronomy 10:12).

Saturday's homily from St. John Lateran

Part One

Part Two

An excerpt:

This teaching authority frightens many men within and outside the Church. They wonder if it is not a threat to freedom of conscience, if it is not a presumption that is opposed to freedom of thought. It is not so. The power conferred by Christ on Peter and his Successors is, in an absolute sense, a mandate to serve. The teaching authority, in the Church, entails a commitment to service of the obedience of the faith. The Pope is not an absolute monarch, whose thought and will are law. On the contrary, the Pope's ministry is guarantee of obedience to Christ and his word. The Pope must not proclaim his own ideas, but bind himself constantly and bind the Church to obedience to the Word of God, in face of attempts to adapt and water down, in face, as well, of all opportunism.

Pope John Paul II did so, when, in face of all attempts, apparently benevolent, in face of erroneous interpretations of freedom, he emphasized in an unequivocal way the inviolability of the human being, the inviolability of human life from its conception until natural death. The freedom to kill is not true freedom, but a tyranny that reduces the human being to slavery. In his important decisions, the Pope is conscious of being linked to the great community of faith of all times, to binding interpretations developed through the Church's journey of pilgrimage. Thus, his power is not above all, but at the service of the Word of God, and on him weighs the responsibility to ensure that this Word continues to be present in its grandeur and resonating in its purity, so that it will not be shattered with the constant changes of fashion.

The chair is -- let us say it once again -- symbol of the teaching authority, which is an authority of obedience and service, so that the Word of God -- his truth! -- may shine among us, indicating the way to us. However, when speaking of the chair of the Bishop of Rome, how can one not recall the words that St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote to the Romans? Peter, coming from Antioch, his first see, went to Rome, his definitive see; a see that became definitive with the martyrdom that joined forever his succession with Rome as that "which presides in love," an extremely significant expression.

We do not know with certainty what Ignatius really wished to say when using these words. But for the early Church, the word love, "agape," made reference to the mystery of the Eucharist. In this mystery, the love of Christ is always made tangible among us. Here, he always gives himself again. Here, he always lets his heart be pierced again. Here, he keeps his promise, the promise according to which, from the Cross, he would attract all men to himself. In the Eucharist, we ourselves learn the love of Christ.

Thanks to this center and heart, thanks to the Eucharist, the saints have lived, bringing the love of God to the world in ever new forms and ways. Thanks to the Eucharist, the Church is always reborn. The Church is no more than that network -- the Eucharistic community! -- in which all of us, by receiving the same Lord, become only one body and embrace the whole world. To preside in doctrine and love, in the end, must be only one thing: all the doctrine of the Church, in the end, leads to love. And the Eucharist, as the present love of Jesus Christ, is the criterion of all doctrine. On love depend all the law and the prophets, says the Lord (Matthew 22:40). Love is the fulfillment of the law, wrote St. Paul to the Romans (13:10).

Dear Romans, now I am your bishop. Thank you for your generosity, thank you for your affection, thank you for your patience! As Catholics, in a certain sense, we are all Romans. With the words of Psalm 87, a hymn of praise to Zion, Mother of all peoples, Israel sang and the Church sings: "But of Zion it must be said: 'They all were born here.'" (Psalm 87:5). In the same way, we might also say: as Catholics, in a certain sense, we have all been born in Rome. So, I want to try to be, with all my heart, your bishop, the Bishop of Rome. And all of us want to try to be ever more Catholics, more brothers and sisters in the great family of God, that family in which there are no strangers.
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"Kingdom of Heaven" angle

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Dawn Eden has the goods on the writer of "Kingdom of Heaven."

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The Angry Twins have the answer.

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Support NOW, Keep women shackled

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Jeff Miller points us to this page of NOW Mother's Day gifts, including this ridiculous bracelet:

now-abortion-bracelet.jpg

Nobody over there caught the irony of putting a shackle on your wrist to support abortion?

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Nice Eucharistic reflection from Father Sibley.

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Money quote: " People have come to expect the priest to be a joke-telling entertainer, a nice guy who puts-on a lively mass filled with action and loud music. They expect the same thing from liturgy as they do from the Cineplex."

This is spot on. If you're looking for evidence, watch Sunday Mass for how many guys you see in Polo shirts and shorts with knee-high socks and sneakers, sitting with their arm on the back of the pews with their legs crossed, as if they were at a buddy's house watching golf on the widescreen.

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National Mission Congress in Guatemala

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Over 3000 attend. Three THOUSAND...

The article, from Fides:

Quetzaltenango (Fides Service) - The archdiocese of Los Altos Quetzaltenango-Totonicapán guided by its Bishop Víctor Hugo Martínez is hosting 6-8 May the 2nd National Mission Congress COMGUA 2 convoked by the Catholic Bishops of Guatemala. The Congress has brought together 3,000 participants: 539 children, 531 young people, 1336 adults, 312 priests and religious, all the Bishops of Guatemala and guests from other central American countries and 550 organisation volunteers. This 3rd major missionary event aims to continue to nourish the missionary spirit which was reinvigorated by the celebration of the 2nd American Mission Congress CAM 2. In fact following CAM 2 almost every diocese in Guatemala held its own Diocesan Mission Congress or at least Mission Days or Mission Feasts to keep the new mission spirit and commitment alive.
Aware of the crucial role of the parish from the growth of individual mission commitment COMGUA 2 chose the slogan “Making Our Parish Missionary”. Reflection and workshop discussion will focus on two themes: “How the present social-religious situation in Guatemala challenges Mission” illustrated by Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini Imeri of San Marcos diocese and “Making Our Parish Missionary” illustrated by guest speaker Bishop Francois Lapierre of Saint-Hyacinthe diocese in Canada. The COMGUA 2 logo which bears the Cross set between the signs of the Eucharist, Chalice and the Host, underlines the inseparable bond between the Eucharist and Mission as is stated by the words underneath the image: Eucharist , heart and soul of mission. The CAM 2 logo, inserted in the upper axis of the Cross recalls that COMGUA follows CAM 2 of which it is a fruit. Other elements referring to the parish and mission include an open book, the Word of God ,and a group of people holding hands, the Community.
Local families in Los Altos Quetzaltenango-Totonicapán have opened their homes to accommodate the Congress participants. The congress is being held at two sites, the CEFEMERC Fair and Market Centre in Quetzaltenango and the Mario Camposeco Sports Complex.

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Archbishop Vianney Fernando of Kandy, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka talks to Fides news service about a proposed anti-conversion bill.

A sample:

Why does Sri Lanka want to approve the anti-conversion Bill? What lies at the root of this decision?
Over the past thirty years a proliferation of fundamentalist Christian sects in Sri Lanka has irritated the Island’s Buddhist majority. The members of these sects are militant proselytisers who totally ignore the fact that they are in a multi-religious, multicultural, multi-linguistic context. It appears that to swell their numbers these people often resort to questionable methods. This situation has given rise to growing concern particularly among the Buddhist clerics and as a result, to counter Christian fundamentalism we have seen the growth of Buddhist fundamentalism. Now some Buddhist extremists accuse all Christians in general of proselytising and using unethical means to obtain forced conversions. And since last year to give support to legislation against unethical conversions, parliament has nine Buddhist monks as especially appointed members.

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Say What?

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From this poorly written and reasoned letter, emphasis added:

Despite being a liberal, even I know that our great Church is one composed of many races and creeds that have been taught to believe that we were created by God in God's image, equally.

Many creeds???

Maybe he means The Apostle's, the Nicaean Creed, the Athanasian...

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This is nice to see

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Diocese of Sioux Falls, SD gets Tridentine Mass.

Speaking of which, I found this useful Latin mass directory on the LatinMass.org Website. I think it may need some updating, because looking at their Illinois page, I think I see some outdated listings under the Peoria Diocese.

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Fire in Peoria Church

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12 year old altar server charged with arson.

I've never been to St. Martin's, but Mama-Lu says it's a an old, beautiful Church. Say a prayer for the parish, especially that they can get the funds necessary to restore it, and for the boy who set the fire, obviously he is a troubled youth.

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Steve Kellemeyer on TV

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U of I grad, Catholic writer, and blogger Steve Kellemeyer will be appearing on PAX TV on a program called "Breaking the Davinci Code." It'll be on at 8 PM central time. Here's more info.

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America question

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Without getting too much into the scrap about Fr. Reese and America magazine, I just want to ask one question to all of the mainstream journalists who covered this so far.

If the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is "conservative," and Fr. Reese and the America rag are "moderate," then what on earth wold you call "liberal" or "progressive?"

I'm not saying I agree with the labels that have been applied here, I'm just saying, relatively speaking, if bucking the teachings of the Church is some moderate middle ground, then what would be extreme? Jack Chick?

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Back in the day at L-P

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My Alma Mater ranks 31st among top high schools in the nation.

Let's hear it for Lincoln Park. Tray Ball reprazent! Gyeeah boy!

Notice also that 51% of students at LP qualified for subsidized lunches. That might tell you a bit about the environment in which I occasionally attended high school.

Another interesting fact: the rankings are based on number of Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) tests taken divided by graduating seniors. I think this is an interesting way to skew the test results. My high school class started out with about 750 students and lost about half of them on the way to graduation. Our index would be significantly lower if they somehow included the half of the class that dropped out. Of course, I have no idea how the other schools on the list fare with drop-outs, so maybe that would level out. Also, maybe things have changed in the 10 years (yikes, I have a reunion coming up!) since I left LP and they're retaining more students. However, if that were the case they'd need a whole new wing.

I also did not know that some high schools that don't have the International Baccalaureate program still offer the IB tests. So students take those things voluntarily??? Talk about masochism! Of course, with a six out of seven on the French IB I skipped over and got credit for five french classes and placed into Intermediate conversation my freshman year at U of I, so they certainly can be helpful.

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While I'm at it.

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Oh heck, here's another good sex article (the article is good, not- oh nevermind), this one from the Washington Times blasting Montgomery County, MD's new sex ed propaganda program:

The curriculum also takes upon itself the duty to expand the idea of what a family is. It credits same-sex households with being one of nine American family types -- who knew there were nine? To avoid censure, it distinguishes these from gay "marriage." Add to all this the worst elements of the old sex-ed curriculum. Prominent here is the instructional condom-fitting video, whose proponents still insist does not encourage sexual activity.
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Speaking of sex...

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Making sex safe — and boring from twincities.com is a nice look at the sex ed scene. The authors conclusion:

There are a hundred different arguments with the latest-breaking stats to match both for and against sex ed in school, but undergirding all the studies, curricula and rhetoric is another assumption that deserves closer scrutiny.

That is, parents can't do a proper job of teaching their children values, morals and what we used to call the birds 'n' the bees, and that government bureaucrats are the last word on human intimacy.

Our children should fire us for dereliction of duty.

Amen.

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Newsweek downplays college sex scene

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Not for kids.

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Whore College

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Sadly, this is not a joke

Whore College.

"My own personal experience has been negative and positive, as with any job," said Kymberly Cutter, 36, a mother of two from Tucson who returned to prostitution two years ago to boost her income and regards it as part of a journey in "personal self-discovery." Her children, ages 7 and 9, know what she does for a living, she said.

Her children know.

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Salt-stain Mary vandalized, restored

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Man arrested for defacing state property with shoe polish. Two car wash employees use degreaser to remove stains.

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Guys, this is not for you

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Especially if you're squeamish...

Episiotomies May Bring More Risks.

CHICAGO - For years, some doctors believed that an episiotomy, an incision to enlarge the vaginal opening during childbirth, would prevent spontaneous tearing that would be harder to repair. They also believed the procedure would help women avoid incontinence and improve their sex lives.

It turns out those beliefs were myths.

A new review of 26 research studies shows that episiotomies are linked with a higher risk of injury, more trouble healing and more pain.

Episiotomies also had no effect on incontinence, pelvic floor strength or sexual function. Women who had the procedure waited longer to resume sex after childbirth. And their first post-birth intercourse caused them more pain.
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Importation

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I brought over some of my favorite posts from my old blog. Anything in my archives before May 2004 is from the old blog. I figure someday they may realize that I've abandoned it and shut it down. I may bring some more posts over, especially those with links I want to hold onto. Peruse if you wish, comment if you'd like.

One gem I found that I'm grateful for is my virtual bartender post. I tried to recreate this recipe a couple of months ago but failed.

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WOO HOO!

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I am curently in a computer lab for my tax class, and up until three minutes ago, I was working on a lab that is a pain in the a** and which I have already started twice before. The first time, I forgot to save my work to a disk, and they wipe these computers clean every week. Last week, I was working and had to install updates (since they wipe these computers clean every week, we have to reinstall updates every time we use these computers). During the installation process, the computer went nutso on me and I lost all of the work I'd done. This was ten minutes before the lab closed. So here I am, giving it try number 3.

So why am I happy? Because my teacher just came in to notify me that I have a high enough grade in this class that not only can I skip the final test and take-home test, but I don't have to turn in the rest of this lab.

My semester is officially over!

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Another Techno-Bleg

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Anybody know if Dell Printers are any good?

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Anybody who has had their doubts about this man's shadiness should now be crystal clear on the subject.

Maybe he means to say that "locates a pitch in the wrong place" is like getting caught with your hand in the state's cookie jar.

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Random thought

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Is it yet time for there to be a "grammatical" standard governing hyperlinks.

For instance, in the post immediately below, I left the period inside the hyperlink when the whole sentence was linked, but outside when it was just the last word. This is generally the protocal to which I adhere: whole sentence or phrase, punctuation is hyperlinked; only part of a sentence or phrase, punctuation not hyperlinked.

Also, who would be in a position to create a standard?

Am I the only one who thinks about this stuff?

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POD alert

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Filibuster Politics

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Good analysis by verity at Southern Appeal on how the Democrats choose whom to filibuster.

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Lileks

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"Conviction is good if the last word in your credo is “but.” Otherwise you’re a fundamentalist."

Read the whole thing.

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"Kingdom" headache?

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Tired of all the Crusade talk surrounding the movie "Kingdom of Heaven?" Jeff Miller gives us an antidote in this piece from Crisis magazine, entitled "The Real History of the Crusades."

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Dawn Eden nails it again

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Boy, the Planned Parenthood folk must be sick of her.

Here, she takes down "The latest Web site from SIECUS, Planned Parenthood's partner in its efforts to attack abstinence-only programs in favor of abortion-positive, anti-heteronormative "comprehensive sexual education."

One example of a what Planned Parenthood calls a "scare tactic:"

“Illustrate how repeated sexual encounters make it difficult to begin and maintain lasting relationships because the ability to bond emotionally is destroyed.” Choosing the Best PATH (Teacher’s Guide, p. 6)

Dawn has lots more. If you care about how Planned Parenthood indoctrinates children, you should check Dawn out frequently.

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Handy Link

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Frank Rich's review of Brian C. Anderson's South Park Republicans is mostly a waste of space, but here's a passage I found particularly odious.

Just as Mr. Anderson's book reached stores in early April, Mr. Parker and Mr. Stone, true to their butt-out libertarianism, aimed their fire at self-righteous, big-government conservatives who have become every bit as high-handed and meddlesome as any Prius-pushing movie star. Such is this role reversal that the same TV show celebrated by Mr. Anderson and his cohort as the leading edge of a potential conservative victory in the culture wars now looks like a harbinger of an anti-conservative backlash instead.

True to condescending elitist form, Rich tries to sneak one past his readers, who he thinks won't be aware that South Park has always been irreverent towards everything. There's no "backlash" here.

To think that Trey Parker and Matt Stone are "our kind of guys" is folly; to consider South Park a conservative ally/weapon in the culture wars is self-delusion; to claim that the show upholds conservative priciples is to mock conservative principles (and I'd bet Parker and Stone would probably claim take offense, too); to justify watching and enjoying South Park on the basis that it is espouses conservative values is either an abandonment of any foothold in reality or an attempt to justify a dirty secret pleasure. If you like South Park, then just admit it's because it's funny.

The whole "South Park Conservatives" ruckus boils down to this: certain people who vote Republican like South Park because it mocks certain types of liberals (even though the show equally mocks certain types of conservatives). That doesn't make those people conservative, Anderson's book notwithstanding.

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Wednesday's General Audience

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At yesterday's general audience, the Pope discussed Psalm 120 (121):

As I already announced last Wednesday, I have decided to resume in the catecheses the commentary on the Psalms and canticles that are part of vespers, using the texts prepared by my predecessor John Paul II.

Psalm 120(121), on which we meditate today, is part of the collection of "songs of ascension," that is, of the pilgrimage toward the encounter with the Lord in the temple of Zion. It is a Psalm of trust because in it the Hebrew verb "shamar" -- to keep, to guard -- resounds six times. God, whose name is repeatedly invoked, emerges as the "keeper" always awake, careful and solicitous, the "sentinel" who watches over his people to protect them from every risk and danger.

The song opens with the gaze of the one praying directed on high, "toward the mountains," namely, toward the hills where Jerusalem rises: from on high comes help, because the Lord dwells on high in his holy temple (see verses 1-2). However, the "hills" can also refer to the places where idolatrous shrines rise, the so-called high places, frequently condemned in the Old Testament (see 1 Kings 3:2; 2 Kings 18:4). In this case there is a contrast: While the pilgrim journeys toward Zion, his eyes fall on the pagan temples, which constitute a great temptation for him. But his faith is firm and he has a certainty: "My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth" (Psalm 120[121]:2).

Read the rest from Zenit.

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Cardinal Rigali on the Holy Father

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From this Zenit interview:

The Holy Father has launched, once again, to all the Catholics of the world, to all the people of the Church, the challenge to be ourselves -- to listen to the Word of God and to be challenged by conversion and holiness of life. And at the same time he points out the Church must also be ever solicitous for the developments of peoples.

Jesus himself went around proclaiming the Kingdom but he also went around doing good -- this is the legacy that the Church has received. And just as John Paul II mentioned, the way of the Church is man, the human person is so important. …

Once again Benedict XVI has committed the Church to the development that will lead to the increased dignity of every man, woman and child. And so, we see from the very beginning of his pontificate … this commitment to the internal mission of the Church, to the external mission of the Church.

And the Church, in order to be herself, must be holy. She must be converted but she must also reach out to the world in the way the Second Vatican Council has directed us; reach out to the world to be of service to the human person and to be of service to human life and to human dignity.

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Abortion mill sued by Christendom student

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Baby Rowan

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"Although 'labor and delivery' is most difficult on the mother," she explained to WorldNetDaily, "it seemed to be the best choice for my son. And it would allow the opportunity for my son to be born whole, stillborn, and I could hold him and grieve him and have him cremated."

Maggie Gallagher's take:

You can hear in Angele's words all the instincts of motherhood at war with the culture of death, the social pressures that tell so many women abortion is their only real choice, the best, the responsible thing to do.

and:

If you want to see the face of abortion in America, look at Rowan. His photo is posted at the Web site of Liberty Counsel (Angele's lawyers) www.lc.org/images/aborted_rowan_full.jpg. His picture, while disturbing, is not particularly gruesome. It's just the peaceful face of a child our nation's Supreme Court says you have a right to kill.

Am I cynical for thinking the link on Maggie's piece on Yahoo is broken intentionally?

I have included the picture here. Click below to see it.

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St. Blogs in the News

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St.Blogs.org's very own Father Jeffrey Keyes is quoted in this piece from the Ft. Wayne News Sentinel.

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Cardinal George gets back to business

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Congratulations!

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Killing continues in Togo

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Fides reports:

“It is true there is no fighting on the streets but tension is still high and people are still frightened. The army continues to kill people known to oppose the regime” local sources in Togo told Fides. “yesterday in a town near the border with Benin 14 were killed” the sources said.

Elsewhere, Fides also reports that at least 14,000 Togolese have fled to Benin and Ghana.

Zenit also reports with some background information, and mentioning that the Togolese are grateful that the Holy Father drew international attention to the situation.

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Hitler's nurse tells of his last days

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"I don't want to take my secret with me into death."

Full Story.

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A reality show I could enjoy

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Five men, ranging from an atheist in the pornography trade to a former Protestant paramilitary, have found their lives unexpectedly transformed in the latest incarnation of reality television - the monastery.

Full story

More:

The three-part series called The Monastery shows the five abiding by the monastery rules, with a strict timetable of instruction, study, prayer, reflection and work duties. They are also shown holding intense and often painful sessions with their religious mentors, individual monks assigned to guide each of them on their spiritual journeys.

At the end of one of these sessions, Mr Burke, his voicing breaking with emotion, confessed his feelings in a video-diary entry. "I didn't want this to happen," he said.

"But something touched me, something spoke to me very deeply. It was a religious experience.

"When I woke up this morning, I didn't believe in this but, as I speak to you now, I do. Whatever it is, I believe in it."
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One for Chesterton fans

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Zenit interviews Father Ian Boyd, president of the G.K. Chesterton Institute for Faith and Culture.

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Interesting strategy

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According to Catholic News Agency, Planned Parenthood is launching a letter-to-the-editor campaign to try to persuade the Pope to "change his opinion on sexual morality."

Hasn't this been going on since April 19th? has anybody not seen a letter to the editor in the local paper crying about the Pope being too conservative about condoms/gays/women priests/married clergy?

The worst part? Your tax dollars make it possible for Planned Barrenhood to pay somebody to come up with ideas like this.

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A shepherd teaches

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Culture of Death Watch

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Judge Greer to receive award from local bar. Voting was "almost unanimous."

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The Holy Father's monthly prayer intentions

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From Vatican Information Services.

VATICAN CITY, MAY 2, 2005 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for the month of May is: "That those persecuted for the sake of faith and justice may experience the consolation and strength of the Holy Spirit".

His mission intention is: "That the Pontifical Missionary Works, proposed by the Holy Father and the bishops for the evangelization of all nations, may help the people of God to feel that they have a real part to play in the mission 'ad gentes'."

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Fides news reports on the situation in Togo which the Pope mentioned in his address yesterday.

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Criminal Masterminds

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METHUEN, Mass. - Four men who made news by claiming they dug up buried treasure worth as much as $125,000 from one of their yards are now accused of stealing the cache of old currency while doing a roofing job at someone's home.

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Soup for everybody

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Il Papa on music

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A very kind portrayal from the New York Times' Arts section

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Great Interview

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About this Archive

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

Papa-Lu: April 2005 is the previous archive.

Papa-Lu: June 2005 is the next archive.

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