Papa-Lu: October 2005 Archives

Terror alert

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"Individuals concealing their identities through clever disguise, and under cover of night, may attempt to use the unspecified threat of 'tricks' to extort 'treats' from unsuspecting victims," Chertoff said. "Such scare tactics may have been tolerated in the past, but they will not be allowed to continue this Halloween."
Full story.

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Jesus Christ is Lord!

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Wednesday's general audience held by the pope was on Phillipians 2:6-11. The Zenit English translation is here.

No time to excerpt, gotta run to mass.

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Hi there!

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I haven't had time to sit down and type out a post for a while. I've been busy with one class that is moderately difficult and one that's easy but entails a TON of work. Add in CCD and, um, you know, being a husband and father with a full time job and there you go. I asked my boss if I could take a couple of hours per day to blog from work, but she didn't really go for that. Thanks a lot...

Anyway, for those of you interested, Mama-Lu is doing quite well. She did not get as sick with this baby as she got with Matthew. There was some sickness in the first trimester, but not nearly as bad and for not nearly as long. She's also doing quite well now, we conjecture that chasing a toddler around is good exercise.

Our due date is December 19th, which is seven weeks away. It looks we'll be having a late-Advent/early-Christmas baby. This also means that anybody who wants to see us for Christmas will have to come to us... WOO HAHAHAHA!

The boy is doing quite well (I added an actual pic over on the right sidebar, which I hope to be able to update regularly). People tend to ask, "What can he do?" As if we teach him tricks. Well, he "does" a lot, but most of it are things which i can't really explain.

The one thing I can explain which never fails to trip me out is that from about the 9 month period on he has loved dancing. And I mean dancing. Not rocking back and forth or stomping his feet; I mean baby-booty shaking, gettin' jiggy wit it DANCING. I don't think it's behavior we ever modeled for him, he's just got the music in him.

Also, when he gets hysterically happy, he likes to turn around in circles, often until he can't physically stand anymore. When he's this happy and there's music playing, watch out.

He's also quickly honing his tantrum-throwing skills. We can scarcely eat a meal without him pitching a fit, as his preferred meal-time seating arrangements - on Mama's lap or crawling around the table - are ones which we vehemently oppose.

Other than that he's growing, and playing and growing and playing. He learned how to make the smacking sound when he's giving a kiss, and he knows that when Mr. Roger's sings the ending song it's time to snap his fingers to show what a snappy new day he's going to make.

My next project is going to be scanning in our wedding pictures. Hopefully they'll scan well enough to put on Ophoto with our other pictures so those of you who attended or stood up can finally have pictures. :)

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Katrina integrates Pascagoula Catholic Schools

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If I recall correctly, the two Catholic schools mentioned here were the ones the U of I Newman students volunteered at for a few years in a row during spring break. Can anybody confirm or correct that?

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Wiegel in Newsweek on Benedict

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Here.

I didn't note the author right away and was surprised to see such a positive piece from Newsweek.

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Whoops

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Million dollar winning lottery ticket bought with stolen credit card.

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Magister on China

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Sandro magister has the scoop on Sino-Vatican relations.

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Thomas for like, Today

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Nick emailed a link to a somewhat gentler translation of the Summa.

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Dear Mama-Lu and Rosie

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Pregnancy does indeed make you stupid.

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1917 was a long time ago.

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88 years is of course a long time to go without a championship (I know this, my team is at 97 year and counting). Yet for some reason that length of time doesn't always sink in. So in case it hasn't quite hit you how long it had been since the White Sox last won the chamionship, think of it this way:

In 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution took place. The Soviet Empire rose and fell and then another 15 years passed in between Sox' championships.

Yikes.

And for the Cubs, it's been almost a decade longer...

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God in the Public Square?

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Some people don't even want Him in the private square.

Only among the incredibly cynical and/or small-minded would the following quote be controversial.

"You are not an accident. Your parents may not have planned you, but God did."

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Congratufrickinlations

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To John Bambenek, my cousin Eric, Griz, Anne and to the rest of the southside.

By the way, let me also say that I think hiring Ozzie was their best move of the past 100 years. He puts Dusty to shame, and I'm not a Dusty-hater either.

And just because I'm a north side jerk like that, I leave you with this quote from an NPR commentary by another Cub fan.

We Cub fans do tend to think of the White Sox as sort of the basebal equivalent of NASCAR--an inexplicable blue collar phenomenon that will surely pass as soon as our education system improves.
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Happy Saint Crispin's Day!

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He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Now, soldiers, march away;
And how thou pleasest, God, dispose the day!

Oh, and in case you forgot, here is this blog's theme music again!

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Start making your Christmas list

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Here's the first item for it.

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Evangelizing the library

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I found an article on the Catholic Answers Website about requesting that your local library purchase good Catholic books. This strikes me as a wonderful idea, as the Champaign library has a rather anemic Catholic section. The last time I checked, there was exactly one book there that I thought would be worth checking out.

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Blessed Joseph Bilczewski, soon to be a saint

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Zenit continues its profiles of the blesseds to be canonized on Sunday.

Joseph Bilczewski, Tireless Archbishop of Leopoli

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Silent Devotee Before the Eucharist

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Speaking of Il Papa and the Eucharist, Sandro Magister's latest is on Pope Benedict XVI's first six months.

ROMA, October 20, 2005 – Benedict XVI’s first book as pope, which collects his speeches in Cologne and will soon be sold all over the world, bears an audacious title: “God’s Revolution.�”

But the real audacity is found where he writes that the big bang of the divine revolution – “the ultimate end of which is the transformation of the world�” – is in the fragile, white, consecrated host, the sacrament of the real presence of Jesus, who is God and man.

The image of Benedict XVI kneeling silently before the Eucharist has become the key image of this pontificate.

The whole piece is up to Magister's usual standards.

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Text here.

Last Sunday the Pope held a catechesis in St. Peter's square with First Communicants. Please go read it. It may be the sweetest thing you read all year. You may even learn something.

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De profundis, clamo ad te, Domine

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For some reason that line always is followed in my head by "I see dead people."

Anyway, here is the English translation of the Pope's General audience from yesterday, October 19, which was on Psalm 129 (130) or 130 (129), however you prefer.

Significant is the fact that what generates respect, an attitude of fear mixed with love, is not punishment but forgiveness. More than the anger of God, his generous and disarming magnanimity must arouse a holy fear in us. God, in fact, is not an inexorable sovereign who condemns the guilty, but a loving Father, whom we must love not out of fear of punishment, but because of his goodness ready to forgive.
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Website for Church social teachings

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Zenit points us to a website which is serving as a storehouse for the Church's social doctrine.

Cardinal Van Thuân International Observatory for the social Doctrine of the Church

This looks to be a very useful webpage.

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Soon to be saints

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Zenit profiles two of the five people who will be canonized on Sunday,

Alberto Hurtado, Servant of Chile's Poor

Felix of Nicosia, a Humble Capuchin Friar

I expect they'll have info on the other three over the next few days as well.

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New Jersey to store umbilical cord blood bank

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New Jersey plans to create a storage bank for umbilical cord blood to aid stem cell research, a program that state officials said will be the first of its kind in the nation.

Two nonprofit community blood banks will accept donations from healthy newborns made with parents' permission. Under the one-year pilot program, the blood will be used for treatment of illnesses, such as leukemia, or to conduct research.

An estimated $300,000 each will be given to the Elie Katz Umbilical Cord Blood Program at Community Blood Services in Paramus and the Coriell Institute for Medical Research in Camden, said Cynthia Kirchner, senior policy adviser to the state's public health commissioner.

Full story.

Just a reminder that their is ethical stem cell research taking place that desperately needs funding.

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Bishop Vasa's stand against PGC

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In case you haven't seen it yet, here is Bishop Robert Vasa's article in which he explaines why he will not be allowing the Protecting God's Children program in his diocese anytime soon. The relevant section is the last five paragraphs, emphasis added.

The next topic is one that I bring up only with great reluctance for I do not want to give any appearance whatsoever of being soft on my desire to assure the complete safety and protection of children. The Charter for the Protection of Children has been interpreted to include mandatory “safe-environment training�” for all children of or connected with the Church. In the diocese, we have indicated that such training must be made available to all children under our supervision in our Catholic schools but have not taken on the nearly impossible task of assuming responsibility for every child in the diocese.

As a result of this discrepancy between a new interpretation of the charter and our diocesan policy, the annual charter audit will undoubtedly find the Diocese of Baker, and me as bishop, “Not in Compliance�” and will issue a “Required Action,�” which I am prepared, at this point, to ignore. I say this not because I resist efforts to protect children, but rather precisely the opposite. There are a series of questions that I believe need to be answered before I could mandate such a diocesan-wide program of “safe-environment training.�”

A few such questions follow: Are such programs effective? Do such programs impose an unduly burdensome responsibility on very young children to protect themselves rather than insisting that parents take such training and take on the primary responsibility for protecting their children? Where do these programs come from? Is it true that Planned Parenthood has a hand or at least huge influence on many of them? Is it true that other groups, actively promoting early sexual activity for children, promote these programs in association with their own perverse agendas? Do such programs involve, even tangentially, the sexualization of children, which is precisely a part of the societal evil we are striving to combat? Does such a program invade the Church-guaranteed-right of parents over the education of their children in sexual matters? Do I have the right to mandate such programs and demand that parents sign a document proving that they choose to exercise their right not to have their child involved? Do such programs introduce children to sex-related issues at age-inappropriate times? Would such programs generate a fruitful spiritual harvest? Would unsatisfactory answers to any of the questions above give sufficient reason to resist such programs?

There are many concerned parents who have indicated to me that the answers to all of these questions are unsatisfactory. If this is true, do these multiple problematic answers provide sufficient reason to resist the charter interpretation? At very least, even the possible unsatisfactory answers to any of the questions above leaves me unwilling and possibly even unable to expose the children of the diocese to harm under the guise of trying to protect them from harm. I pray that, in this, I am neither wrong-headed nor wrong.

For holding to this conviction I and the diocese may be declared negligent, weighed and found wanting.

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Egocasting

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Godspy has an excerpt of an article by and an interview with Christine Rosen of The New Atlantis and The Ethics and Public Policy Center.

The article - titled "The Age of Egocasting" - contemplates the effect that personalized entertainment technology like iPods and TiVos have and will continue to have on culture and society.

Here is an excerpt of the excerpt, but the whole, er, excerpt, is worth a read.

The creation and near-universal adoption of the remote control arguably marks the beginning of the era of the personalization of technology. The remote control shifted power to the individual, and the technologies that have embraced this principle in its wake—the Walkman, the Video Cassette Recorder, Digital Video Recorders such as TiVo, and portable music devices like the iPod—have created a world where the individual's control over the content, style, and timing of what he consumes is nearly absolute.

Retailers and purveyors of entertainment increasingly know our buying history and the vagaries of our unique tastes. As consumers, we expect our television, our music, our movies, and our books "on demand." We have created and embraced technologies that enable us to make a fetish of our preferences.

The long-term effect of this thoroughly individualized, highly technologized culture on literacy, engaged political debate, the appreciation of art, thoughtful criticism, and taste-formation is difficult to discern. But it is worth exploring how the most powerful of these technologies have already succeeded in changing our habits and our pursuits. By giving us the illusion of perfect control, these technologies risk making us incapable of ever being surprised. They encourage not the cultivation of taste, but the numbing repetition of fetish. And they contribute to what might be called "egocasting," the thoroughly personalized and extremely narrow pursuit of one's personal taste. In thrall to our own little technologically constructed worlds, we are, ironically, finding it increasingly difficult to appreciate genuine individuality.

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Miracle attributed to Cardinal Newman

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The BBC news is reporting that a deacon from Boston is attributing the healing of his spinal problems to the intercession of Cardinal Newman. The claim is being investigated.

A priest I know tells the story of a discussion he had about Cardinal Newman's cause with an Italian involved with the process. The priest asked this other fellow (I don't remember if it was a priest or bishop or what) what was holding up the cause, and the answer was that there weres no miracles to support it. So the priest asked, "What about all the miracles of faith?" referring to all of the people who attribute their conversion to Cardinal Newman. The Italians reply: "Bah! Conversions happen all the time! That's no big deal. But re-growing and amputated arm - now that's a miracle!"

I suspect Ms. Lewis will be happy to hear the news.

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Why I love NPR

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Marquardt Interview

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I may have missed her on the Today Show, but Elizabeth Marquardt gave a great radio interview about her book, Between Two Worlds, earlier this week to a Seattle radio station, and the audio can be found here.

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Theme Music

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The official theme song of this blog can be found here.

Hat-tip to Southern Appeal.

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A 13 year old on divorce

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Sara Butler Nardo of Family Scholars recently blogged an advice columnist's excellent response to a woman thinking about leaving her husband. Now, the same columnist has published a letter from a 13 year old girl whose parents are going through a divorce. It's a very sad but very important perspective.

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Maggie Gallagher joins Conspiracy

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Maggie Gallagher is guest-blogging the case against gay marriage over at The Volokh Conspiracy. If you check it out, do yourself a favor and skip the utterly unenlightening comments.

UPDATE: Here is a link to just Maggie's posts so you don't have to scroll through all the entries by the dozen or so other bloggers a TVC.

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Bummer of a birthmark, Geoffrey!

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Looking at this picture of a rare white giraffe recently found in Tanzania, I am reminded of this Far Side comic.

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Chianti, Sangiovese, etc.

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If this doesn't make you thirsty, I give up.

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Recipe for Depression

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Listen to a "bioethics" debate where the morality of genetic engineering is not questioned until 30 minutes into a 35 minute segment.

This reminds me of a story about two priests I know who went to a "bioethics" lecture. The speaker went on and on about how great genetic engineering would be; "Who wouldn't want a 'designer baby?" she asked the audience.

Well, priest #1 (who for anonymity's sake I will call Father Angel Force) half-spoke/half-shouted out loud to his priest-friend seated three seats away, "Why doesn't anybody want to just do it anymore? I'd think that would be fun!"

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Poor Ramesh

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Here he is in the New York Times on Miers.

His writings, though always spot-on, often seem to be tinged with a bit of sadness - perhaps the melancholy of being the smartest, most intellectually honest man in a field of dim-witted fiends.

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Ressourcement Baby Steps

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Justin Nickelsen at Ressoucement has a list of books to delve into if you're interested in this theological movement.

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Somebody please make it

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stop.

Even Ryno is selling out. "If you root for them, next year they'll root for you." Give me a break.

Go Astros.

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Ladies: For your fertility-awareness needs

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peeonastick.com

via Alicia.

I can't speak of the merits of the site, but gotta love that name...

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Weekly dose of Steyn

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From this week's UK Telegraph piece.

Well, I thought, say what you like about the UN, but any organisation that wants to bomb the Smurfs can't be all bad. Instead of those wimps at Dudley council banning Piglet like a bunch of nancy boys, why couldn't they make some blockbuster video nuking the Hundred-Acre Wood and leaving Pooh to die in a radioactive Heffalump pit?
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For all you thomists

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I'm not one. Nothing against him, I recognize the importance of his work, and I certainly appreciate his sanctity. Just not my cup o' tea, as the kids say.

Many of you are, however, and here is a link for you.

Welcome to Thomistica.NET, a website devoted to the academic study of St. Thomas Aquinas (a.d. 1225-1274), the medieval Italian, Dominican saint. This site is designed to provide ready access to up-to-date information about resources for scholars of Aquinas, via a constantly-updated news page, which in turn is the source for an RSS newsfeed. In addition, about once every quarter, the site will also sport a downloadable newsletter detailing research ideas, suggestions, and other items of note. The site is owned and operated by Mark Johnson, of the Department of Theology at Marquette University (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA).
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New look:

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Good? Bad?

I realize I still need to fix the archives and comments, what do you think about the main page?

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More on AAP and SIDS

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Thanks to Brandon for leaving a link in my comment boxes to a press relesase from La Leche League about the new AAP SIDS recommendations.

Here's the link.

Schaumburg, IL (October 2005) La Leche League International (LLLI) is concerned about the October 10, 2005 policy statement on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Task Force on SIDS. The recommendations about pacifiers and cosleeping in the statement reflect a lack of basic understanding about breastfeeding management.

Pacifiers, which are recommended in this policy statement, are artificial substitutes for what the breast does naturally. Breastfed babies often nurse to sleep for naps and bedtime. The recommended pacifier usage could cause a reduction in milk supply due to reduced stimulation of the breasts and may affect breastfeeding duration.

LLLI recognizes that safe cosleeping facilitates breastfeeding. One important way cosleeping can help a mother’s milk supply is by encouraging regular and frequent feeding. Well-known research on safe cosleeping practices by Dr. James McKenna, Director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame was disregarded by the task force.

Also, the obvious omission of input by the AAP’s Section on Breastfeeding may account for the fact that breastfeeding management issues were not taken into consideration. Dr. Nancy Wight, President of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, comments that this statement “represents a truly astounding triumph of ethnocentric assumptions over common sense and medical research.�” Dr. Wight also states, “There are many physician members of the AAP who do not agree with these recommendations.�”

Although the authors do state that breastfeeding is beneficial and should be promoted, their recommendations about pacifier use and cosleeping could have a negative impact on a mother’s efforts to breastfeed. The statement causes confusion for parents and falls seriously short of being a useful and comprehensive policy.

LLLI, a non-profit organization that helps mothers learn about breastfeeding, has an international Professional Advisory Board. The LLLI Center for Breastfeeding Information is one of the world’s largest libraries of information on breastfeeding, human lactation, and related topics. Monthly meetings are offered to pregnant women and nursing mothers and babies to learn about breastfeeding management. To find local groups call 800 LA LECHE or visit www.lalecheleague.org

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General Audience of October 12, 2005

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The canticle we just heard and enjoyed as a prayer is one of the most beautiful and moving of the "songs of ascent." It is Psalm 121(122), a lively and participatory celebration in Jerusalem, the Holy City toward which the pilgrims ascend.

In fact, immediately in the opening, two moments come together lived by the faithful one: that of the day in which he accepted the invitation to "go to the house of the Lord" (verse 1), and that of the joyful arrival at the "gates" of Jerusalem (see verse 2); now his feet finally tread on that holy and beloved land. Precisely then, lips part to intone a festive song in honor of Zion, understood in its profound spiritual meaning.

Read the rest.

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What would Monsignor O'Flaherty Do?

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Semi-official journal of the Vatican Secreariat: professional boxing immoral.

Apart from what the journal called boxing’s violent nature, Civilta Cattolica condemned it because of the way it is run and promoted. "In reality, professional boxing is manipulated by powerful economic groups, which are often ruthless and cruel, and for whom the boxer is not a man but only a machine to make money," the journal said.

Um, that's all of pro sports and most of the business world...

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Tinkering

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I'm currently working on the template. Please excuse any ugliness you may see.

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"She's having a fetus!"

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You think the USCCB is out of control?

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The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has announced that it has directed every Filipino bishop to create their own blog to expand their reach to the faithful.
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How therapeutic

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The Onion: "Hatred Of Marriage Counselor Brings Couple Together"

Area couple Tom and Becky Witthauser credited the successful resolution of their ongoing marital conflicts to their mutual hatred of their marriage counselor Monday, describing him as the "jag-off whose prissy, ineffectual demeanor brought us closer than we've been in years."

[...]

"We spent hours walking beside the lake, or drinking wine and listening to music, holding hands, and complaining about the way Dr. Roger's mouth hangs open, or how he taps his knees every time he gets up out of his chair," Becky said, adding that the mutual sentiments helped the couple realize how much they still enjoyed each other's company and how indispensable they were to each other.

Hat-tip: Family Scholars

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Today

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Elizabeth Marquardt was scheduled to be on the Today show discussing her new book, Between Two Worlds between 7 and 8 today. I woke up at 7:30, and turned it on hoping to catch her. Instead I was treated to 15 minutes of a Los Angeles priest abuse piece that featured Bill Donohue of the Catholic League literally screaming about the GOOD PRIESTS WHOSE NAMES ARE BEING DRAGGED THROUGH THE MUD and how we need TO GET THE HOMOSEXUALS OUT OF THERE!

I used to think he was a good man who just got occasionally carried away. Now I just think he's kind of crazy. And good people give this guy lots of money to do this.

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My heart must be hard

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Our felonious ex-governor's felonious ex-crony weeps for his felonious fiancee. Empathy eludes me.

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Byzantine liturgy in Peoria last Sunday.

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Oh to have been able to attend! The Peoria Journal Star has a write-up.

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American Academy of Pediatrics picks a fight

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They issued new guidelines for avoiding SIDS that recommends parents not share their bed with infants to decrease the risk for SIDS.

Report from NPR.

I'm sorry, but this stinks. Discouraging a practice widely understood to be good for the child on the basis of vague suggestions that it may increase the risk of SIDS is silly. This from the same people who have had parents flipping over their infants like pancakes from year to year as the "evidence" that certain sleeping positions cause SIDS changes.

Rob at Mirror of Justice has more:

...I guess my subsidiarity-driven skepticism is twofold. First, even though the AAP policy does not amount to legal coercion, the group's stature and the bright-line confidence with which they paint the issue as a non-negotiable element of baby safety may effectively negate the decision-making authority of many parents. Second, while 2000 SIDS deaths a year are a tragedy, I'm not sure the possibility of harm warrants the absolute condemnation of co-sleeping and nursing at bedtime, both of which function as fundamental building blocks of many parent-child relationships. That said, would my opinion change if 10,000 babies died each year from SIDS and the deaths were directly linked to co-sleeping? 50,000 deaths? At what point does the harm warrant AAP's condemnation? At what point would it warrant state intervention?

I don't have easy answers to these questions, but I do know that when groups like AAP pronounce a one-size-fits-all approach to intimate family practices, it's not just a matter of public health; it's also a question of subsidiarity.

Bravo!

UPDATE: JimmyAkin.org has a post about this and some good comments:

1:

Anonymous because I AM a member of the dreaded AAP. (But rest assured, I also am a parent of massive amounts of children and therefore have developed some common sense.)

There was a dramatic decrease in deaths from SIDS when sleeping on backs was recommended. First in Europe (where patients may be more compliant) then in America when the word got out. I do think the no co-bedding recommendation is based on much weaker evidence. The co bedding deaths did have a number who were suffocated by a very asleep parent. Sometimes that parent may be presumed to have been drunk or on drugs. Please do your own careful study before deciding to follow/ignore the recomendations.

The AAP is not perfect (duh). Their policy statements are made by committees. I do not see an evil conspiracy behind this policy. Of course they are sometimes wrong and often misled by many of the same cultural ideas that mislead many Americans.

2:

Since we don't actually know what causes SIDS, is it safe to say that the causal link (as opposed to a statistical correlation) between bed-sleeping and SIDS is unknown? So in effect, what the AAP is recommending is "don't do X, because in our sample more children whose parents did X died from SIDS than children whose parents did not do X"?

That would be a lot different from saying, "don't do X because it CAUSES SIDS." It basically means that we have to trust that the AAP knows exactly what it's doing in terms of what factors it should be controlling for in its study, and what factors it should even be considering in the first place. In a social atmosphere where the incentives are not generally lined up to maximize the well-being of children, this seems to me to significantly decrease the authoritativeness of such a study.

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Quotable Steyn

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From his latest in the UK Telegraph.

If Britain is under threat from anybody's "Manichean convictions", it's surely not evangelical Christians'. To recap from seven days ago: last year I made a joke about banning Porky Pig on the grounds that a porcine cartoon was grossly insensitive toward Muslims, only to discover the other week that Dudley council has banned Piglet as part of its pre-Ramadan crackdown on cultural insensitivity.

So last Tuesday, in the course of a column about Piglet, I made a joke that British Muslims ought to complain about having to put up with a grossly offensive head of state who is an uncovered woman. And lo and behold, in that very morning's Daily Telegraph, I find an item that the English flag - the cross of St George - has been banned from prisons because it might be "misinterpreted" as a racist symbol.

So, for the moment, I'm holding off on any gags about the first imam to be made Archbishop of Canterbury or the Queen demonstrating her commitment to multiculturalism by becoming the fourth wife of a Saudi prince. Official Britain seems to have lost all sense of proportion and one doesn't want to give them any more ideas.

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Two good documents from Zenit

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Comments not to be missed

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Brandon left an excellent comment in the Labor Day post I had up a few weeks back, but he put it up after the post fell off the main page, and I want to make sure anybody who read that discussion catches it.

...we were looking through the late Dr. Ratner's old files in the Steubenville library this summer and Katie came across an article that basically said that excluding dads from the delivery room was equivalent in some base psychology to their wifes having an affair, since childbirth is the end result of sex. (Obviously not always, but you can't have childbirth without sex, and before the separation of conception and sex that was brought on by artificial contraception, the ontological reality was better represented by reality). So that would back you up 100% with the intimacy concept. Sex begins the process, childbirth is the next step in the process, and childrearing is the conclusion of the process. Strangely enough, two parents are better than one in all three of these, although society has marginalised the father's role in each of them one by one.

Also, Alicia answered my question from this post about how tastes can pass through to a child in the womb:

The flavor molecules (esters and so on) are small enough to pass into the blood stream, cross the placenta, and be incorporated into the amniotic fluid. Ditto the milk. I am not talking about sweet/salty/bitter etc, but more about the aromatic molecules like the ones that makes garlic garlicky, etc.

I love comments... (hint, hint).

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Whoa! That's subversive!

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Critics, though, said sponsoring a contest around a book as overtly Christian as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was over the line.

"This whole contest is just totally inappropriate because of the themes of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," said Barry Lynn, director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. "It is simply a retelling of the story of Christ."

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One for my family.... sort of...

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The bishop of Ponce, Puerto Rico - hometown of my mother and her 13 siblings.

H.E. Most. Rev. Félix LAZARO MARTINEZ, Sch.P., Bishop of Ponce (PORTO RICO)

Number 74 of the Instrumentum laboris urges the importance of a catechesis that clarifies the bond between the Eucharist and the construction of a just society.

This same number 74 expresses, "The Church has great hope in her young people who are increasingly being drawn to the Eucharist".

My intervention is in the sense that:

1. The importance that the youth have and of what is hoped of them should be emphasized more with a specific calling and a direct invitation to them to participate "in" and live "from"
the Eucharist.

I asked a young person what message he wanted me to transmit at the Synod on behalf of the youth, and the reply was: "to listen to us".

In front of the reality that young people live today, particularly in developed countries, it's becoming necessary and urgent to offer, present, and celebrate the Eucharist with them, in a way that, in the words of John Paul II, they feel “the Eucharist as the vital centre, around which young people gather to nourish their faith and enthusiasm".

2. The Catechism needs to de deepened in more [sic]. Today we hear about the loss of the sense of sin.

Many Catholics are very far away from being able to render or give account for their own faith, such as St. Peter proposes in his first letter: “and always have your answer ready for people who ask you the reason for the hope that you have".

On the other hand, it is not possible to love that which is not known. And not having the knowledge of the Church, the Eucharist, or of Christian faith, it is difficult to be able to love the Church, the Eucharist and that same Christian faith.

Catechesis is what is required. It seems to me that we suffer from lack of catechesis. I have the impression that no solid and deep catechesis is in progress. Our people are grateful and hungry for catechesis, that the truths of faith be explained to them.

The absence of catechesis and religious formation can perhaps also explain the facility with and reason for which some of our faithful go to other denominations and religious sects, drawn by the fireworks that a pseudo-religious science offers them, because they were not illuminated in time with the light of the Gospel through an adequate and good catechesis.

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In utero

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Zenit has a very interesting interview with an Italian neonatologist, on the sensory perceptions of children in the womb.

Nuggets:

Toward the 25th week of gestation, the fetus has developed hearing. Within the uterus the mother's voice comes with much greater intensity than another's voice -- or the father's! -- and the fetus gets used to this voice, so much so that several experiments have shown us that the newborn is able to distinguish the mother's voice from that of a strange voice, just as it is able to distinguish the mother's scents.

This will serve to recognize the maternal milk, which has a taste and smell similar to the amniotic fluid which for nine months has soaked its tongue and lips....

Research was published in Pediatrics in 2001 which showed that at the moment of weaning the child prefers tastes that it perceived in the uterus in a certain period, although these tastes were not given to it during lactation. Therefore the fetus has memory.

Can anybody out there explain how a child would perceive the taste of something that comes to him through the umbilical cord? This sounds very interesting, and I can certainly believe that a child can recall those tastes and scents, but how do these tastes go from food that a mother has eaten through the digestive process and down the umbilical cord?

Anyway, more from the interview:

The fetus has a world of sensations, but also of actions. The fetus responds in its own way to external stimuli. It is frightened if it hears noise; it responds to patting.

But it exercises itself for life in the open air: It does breathing exercises constantly, even when immersed in the amniotic fluid, and attempts have been registered to emit sounds visualizing the vocal cords.

It has hiccups and makes faces as though smiling or crying. Its movements respond to phases of calm or movement of the mother, and also of the amount of sugar the mother eats...

[T]he fetus is already a new member of the family and company for the mother even before being born.

Thanks to Brandon for the link.

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General Audience October 10, 2005

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From all the community gathered in the temple rises a blessing in unison to God Creator of the universe and Savior of his people, expressed in the diversity of voices and humility of faith.

The liturgy is the privileged place to listen to the divine Word, which renders present the Lord's salvific acts, but it is also the circle in which the communitarian prayer rises which celebrates divine love. God and man meet in a saving embrace, which finds its fulfillment precisely in the liturgical celebration.

Full text

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Papal Perks

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I'm back!

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One $10 GE keyboard from Target later, and I'm back in business! It works great, but geez... clickety clack, clickety clack... I need a muffler.

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Steyn on Bush

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"It's a remarkable achievement to get damned day in and day out as the new Hitler when 90 percent of the time you're Tony Blair with a ranch."

The brightest gem from this mostly "eh" piece.

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Light blogging

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Due to a busted keyboard at home. Yes, another busted keyboard. *Sigh*

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October prayer intentions

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Here are Pope benedict XVI's prayer intentions for the month of October:

General prayer intention:

That Christians may not be discouraged by the attacks of secularized society, but with complete trust, may bear witness to their faith and hope.

Missionary prayer intention:

That the faithful may join to their fundamental duty of prayer the support also of economic contributions to the missionary works.

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This is refreshing

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A UN official has stated for the record that the term "reproductive health" in UN parlance does not refer to abortion.

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Pages

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About this Archive

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

Papa-Lu: September 2005 is the previous archive.

Papa-Lu: November 2005 is the next archive.

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