Papa-Lu: December 2006 Archives

Happy Birthday Charlie Jo!

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oneyear.JPG

Has it only been one year?

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A Political Saviour is Born

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I'm blogging this for some family I mentioned it to over this weekend:

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Merry Christmas!

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I doubt I'll be blogging again 'til next week, so I want to wish all who stop by here a very blessed and joyous celebration of Christ's Nativity!

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So you want to try to understand present-day Russia?

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Well, just check out its airports.

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Pre-Christmas Audience

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One of this blog's beats used to be the weekly papal general audience. I've dropped that ball for a while now, but I have them all bookmarked and will be getting around to them soon, I hope. In the meantime, here is the general audience address Pope Benedict delivered this past Wednesday, in anticipation of Christ Mass.

Excerpt:

On Christmas Eve, we will place ourselves once again before the Crib to contemplate, astonished, the "Word made flesh." Sentiments of joy and gratitude, like in every year, are renewed in our hearts as we hear the melodies of Christmas carols, which sing of, in so many languages, the same, extraordinary miracle. The Creator of the universe, out of love, came to make his dwelling among men. In the Letter to the Philippians, St. Paul affirms that Christ, "though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men" (2:6). He appeared in human form, adds the Apostle, humbling himself. At holy Christmas we will relive the realization of this sublime mystery of grace and mercy.

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Pope Benedict XVI on the Family

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The Cardinal Van Thuan Observatory is a vital information center on the Church's social doctrine. Here they have compiled Pope every address Pope Benedict gave in 2006 on the family.

Bookmark. Enjoy.

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Christmas Message from My Bishop

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"Glory to God in the highest and PEACE to His people on earth!"

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

On every great feast day and on almost every Sunday of the year, the song of the Christmas angels echoes down the ages in the Church’s sacred liturgy. As we celebrate the almost incomprehensible mystery of the Incarnation of God, this greeting takes on special meaning.

"Peace" is the message of Jesus Christ -- from his Birth to His Resurrection. Yet, we know that the peace of Christ is not "given as the world gives peace." First and foremost, the peace of Christmas is a peace that comes from reconciliation. Today, the lost are invited home. The alienated are welcomed. And sinners are offered the grace of communion with the God who loves them beyond all telling.

This same grace that restores the longed-for union of God and mankind, also empowers each of us to live in harmony with our brothers and sisters. The Christ Child comes with peace for the whole world. While we know that war, violence and hatred are all too common in our world, our communities and even our families, Christmas peace is still possible -- one heart at a time.

As we celebrate this holy season, I pray that each of us may enjoy the warm community of family and friends -- glorifying God for the gift of His Son, the Prince of Peace.

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC

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Diego

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Witness my son's love/terror relationship with my brother's pugle, Diego. You can catch a glimpse of both mama and papa in the picture.

And here's another one that pretty much tells you all you need to know about Diego:

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History Comes Full Circle

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Unfortunately, that circle is a noose.

40 years ago, a bunch of French Marxists set out to "deconstruct" Western Culture. They planned to unseat the capitalist patriarchy and set up a Marxist Utopia.

Fortunately, they lost. Champions of freedom stampeded Marxism globally. Now, the only place you'll find post-modern theory is on the op-ed pages of major newspapers and university liberal arts departments.

Unfortunately, the Marxists happened to be right in that unbridled Capitalism was fundamentally unjust and would itself destroy society.

History, being the ironic S.O.B. that it is, Capitalists are accomplishing the consumerization of the world by co-opting post-modern theory not for Marxism, but for marketing.

Oh, and while we're at it, economists are scientizing hedonism. Their sort-of good intentions will lead mostly to large-scale suffering.

Just a little pre-Christmas doom and gloom for you.

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We Win!

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or "Gaming the system with Catholicism."

One of the great things about celebrating Christmas starting on Christmas Day instead of for the 2 months leading up to it is walking into Menards on the 19th and walking out with a six foot tree for three bucks.

Take that, Amy!

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Praise for the Rabbi

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Back in August, I took issue with two columns from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. I think it only fair, then, that I point out one where I wholeheartedly agree with him.

Here are Rabbi Boteach's 5 reasons for marrying young. Somebody really ought to write a book on this subject.

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Smooth

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I'm a Lamborghini Murcielago!

You're not subtle, but you don't want to be. Fast, loud, and dramatic, you want people to notice you, and then get out of the way. In a world full of sheep, you're a raging bull.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

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Impromptu

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Many in Catholic Blogland (myself included) have noted that Pope Benedict loves to speak "off the cuff" either by departing from his prepared texts or (when he has the opportunity) by opening the floor up to questions. The quality of these impromptu remarks reveals a lot about not only the Holy Father's vast breadth and depth of knowledge, but also (especially in the Q and A sessions) his pastoral concern for those entrusted to him.

One such instance occurred this summer when Pope Benedict met with the priests of the diocese of Albano while vacationing nearby. He took questions from the priests, and the Vatican was kind enough to release the texts of his responses. Zenit has published these questions and answers on their website.

Question 1: On problems of priestly life
Question 2: On integrated pastoral care
Question 3: On the liturgy
Question 4: On the family
Question 5: On youth

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Noonan Looks at Obama...

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and shrugs her shoulders.

Meanwhile, Kevin Drum approvingly quotes some guy who pretends none of the criticism against Obama is substantive.

Quoth some guy:

Larry Kudlow, for example, criticized Obama for embracing Democratic Party policies, including support for raising the minimum wage and opposition to Social Security privatization and drilling in ANWR. Similarly, Fred Barnes went after Obama for holding traditionally liberal policy views. This is hardly fodder for a smear campaign.

How dare anybody attack the man hailed as the centrist, fresh face of the Democrat party simply because he's demonstrably stale and radically left? Drum et al can't have it both ways. Is he the centrist saviour sent to unite left and right or is he the San Francisco liberal from Hawaii via Indonesia and Harvard whose voting record hangs on the refrigerator doors of NARAL and the ACLU?

The point is not simply that Obama is a far-left liberal. The point is that policy-wise, Obama is indistinguishable from Ted Kennedy, yet he is hailed as a centrist simply because he stood on a national platform and said blue-staters "worship an Awesome God." The Obama as centrist "meme" (as the kids say) is being replicated to death and it is simply not true.

Back to some guy:

I’m sure GOP attack dogs will dig up plenty of dirt on Obama, and if they don’t, they’ll make stuff up. But in the meantime, we’re left with a progressive, church-going Democrat with big ears. C’mon, right-wing machine, what kind of smear-job is this?

Dear sir, the smear-job is nowhere close to even starting. I don't say that to defend slash and burn politics, but merely to point out the obvious. If there were a smear campaign were going on, "Tony Rezko" would be a household name.

The slime machine, however, has not kicked in. What is happening is that those of us who are not enchanted by Obama and his compelling story are taking an objective look at who Obama actually is and are uniformly unimpressed. I'll grant that the Kudlows and Barnes (and even the beloved Noonans) of the world aren't exactly objective, but you don't need to sling any mud to point out the large gap between who Obama is and who his cheerleaders want us to think that he is.

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Whoops!

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Firm contracted to build border fence busted for hiring illegal immigrants.

More proof that nobody actually responsible for border control takes it seriously.

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Intelligence

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Read and weep

Al Qaeda is what, I asked, Sunni or Shia?

“Al Qaeda, they have both,” [incoming House Intelligence Chair Sylvestre] Reyes said. “You’re talking about predominately?”

“Sure,” I said, not knowing what else to say.

“Predominantly — probably Shiite,” he ventured...

And Hezbollah? I asked him. What are they?

“Hezbollah. Uh, Hezbollah...”

He laughed again, shifting in his seat.

“Why do you ask me these questions at five o’clock? Can I answer in Spanish? Do you speak Spanish?”


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Nashville

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That's where I'll be for the next couple of days for a conference. I'm hopping on a plane in a couple of hours and will be back on Thursday. I don't know if I'll be blogging, so prepare yourselves to do without the daily updates to which you've grown accustomed.

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Troy!

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The outcome was never in doubt, but congratulations anyway to Troy Smith for winning the Heisman Trophy!

GO BUCKS!

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Hoops Watch

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Last week's Thursday night basketball went much better. Hey, no dry-heaving is a good start, but I felt noticeably more energetic from beginning to end. Woot! (as the kids say)

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Papa-Lu the Luddite

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Please forgive me a spat of technophobia as I note with fear, loathing and stomach-churning horror that Google, Intel, BP (?), Wal-Mart (!!!) and Pitney Bowes are all salivating at the opportunity to get in on the barely-nascent medical records market.

Yes, that's what we need, Google, archiver of all every search request you perform, getting their hands anywhere near medical data.

My heart... my heart....

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Culture Wars, Euro-style

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The Economist has analysis of recent "values" debates in various European countries. Missing from their analysis is any mention of Pope Benedict XVI and his ongoing efforts to restore Christian values to the center of Europe's identity.

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Humiliation

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is stepping on a basketball court for th first time in 5-6 years and discovering just how fat and slow you've become.

And so begins the Papa-Lu Get Into Decent Shape Challenge. There's no target amount of weight to lose and no physical goal to achieve other than keeping up with my boys at the park next summer.

Well, that and being able to play ball for more than, say, 20 minutes of full court play before dry heaving.

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Intra-Orthodox Issues

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In the context of an analysis of Pope Benedict's visit to Turkey, the Economist goes into some of the tensions the Patriarch of Constantinople deals with. I have to say, I haven't seen many of these issues covered prominently anywhere else (though I guess there's not a huge demand for coverage of Orthodox controversies).

On the face of things, the papal visit is a much-needed boost to the morale of the patriarch, whose local flock has shrunk to only a few thousand, thanks to a steady exodus of Istanbul Greeks that started after state-sponsored pogroms in the 1950s. But extravagant gestures of fraternity between pope and patriarch still upset several other parties. The first of these are Turkish nationalists, inside and outside the state, who are always suspicious that the Orthodox prelate may compromise Turkish sovereignty by trying to establish a “Vatican state” on the soil of their republic. Also watching warily are devout Orthodox Christians around the world, who stand ready to denounce the patriarch if he appears to backslide on any doctrinal points.

Perhaps the wariest observers are the Russian authorities, both lay and clerical. As the pope has quickly found, his declared wish for rapprochement with Orthodox Christians has opened up an old fault-line in the Orthodox world between the Russians, who see themselves as top Orthodox dogs by virtue of numbers and geopolitical power, and the Istanbul patriarchate, which enjoys an historic “primacy of honour” among Orthodox sees.

In September, when senior bishops of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox world held their first formal encounter for many years, the Catholics were embarrassed to find themselves witnessing a big Greco-Russian squabble, laced with intricate arguments over the meaning of decisions taken 1,500 years ago. In a world where politics and religion inexorably overlap, such matters affect diplomacy too.

Take the thorny issue over whether the Istanbul bishop may style himself “ecumenical” or universal patriarch. The Turkish state says no: his followers, including an influential lobby of Greek-Americans, say yes. A fresh spat broke out only this week when the Turkish authorities declared that the patriarchate's security badges for the papal visit were invalid because they employed the E-word. Officials in Ankara admit that they are under pressure from Russia on this issue of Christian nomenclature. The message from Moscow is that Turkey's present policy suits them just fine. Pity the pope as he tiptoes around this many-cornered fight.

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Does W Read Noonan?

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Contrarian Toddlers

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Jenny,

Read and commiserate.

Love,

Yer Hubby

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The Liturgical Riot Act

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Father Z has an interesting take on yesterday''s homily by Bartholomew I blogged below.

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December Prayer Intentions

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Here are the Holy Fathers Prayer Intentions for December

General prayer intention: That Christ, meek and humble of heart, may inspire those responsible for nations to use power wisely and responsibly.

Mission intention: That in every part of the world missionaries may live out their vocation with joy and enthusiasm, faithfully following in Christ's footsteps.

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The Pope in Turkey

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The next few posts will be the texts of some of the various addresses by Pope Benedict XVI as well as Patriarch Bartholomew I during the pope's visit to Turkey.

In addition here is a link of some pictures from the celebration of the ancient Orthodox liturgy for the feast of St. Andrew early yesterday.

All this and lots more from the website of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and from Zenit news service

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Papal Homily at Marian House in Ephesus

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Link

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In this Eucharistic celebration we praise the Lord for Mary's divine motherhood, a mystery solemnly confessed and proclaimed in Ephesus at the Ecumenical Council of 431. To this place, so dear to the Christian community, my venerable predecessors the Servants of God Paul VI and John Paul II came as pilgrims; the latter visited this Shrine on 30 November 1979, just over a year after the beginning of his Pontificate. Another of my Predecessors was in this country not as Pope, but as the Papal Representative, from January 1935 to December 1944, Blessed John XXIII, Angelo Roncalli, whose memory still enkindles great devotion and affection. He very much esteemed and admired the Turkish people. Here I would like to quote an entry in his Journal of a Soul: "I love the Turks; I appreciate the natural qualities of these people who have their own place reserved in the march of civilization" (pp. 233-4). He also left to the Church and the world the legacy of his Christian optimism, rooted in deep faith and constant union with God. In that same spirit, I turn to this nation and, in a special way, to the "little flock" of Christ living in its midst, in order to offer a word of encouragement and to manifest the affection of the whole Church. With great love I greet all of you here present, the faithful of Izmir, Mersin, Iskenderun and Antakia, and others from different parts of the world, as well as those who could not take part in this celebration but are spiritually united with us. I greet in particular Archbishop Ruggero Franceschini of Izmir, Archbishop Giuseppe Bernardini, Archbishop emeritus of Izmir, Bishop Luigi Padovese, the priests and the religious. Thank you for your presence, your witness and your service to the Church in this blessed land where, at its very beginnings, the Christian community experienced great growth, a fact reflected in the numerous pilgrimages made to Turkey to this day.

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Link

This Divine Liturgy celebrated on the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Patron Saint of the Church of Constantinople, brings us back to the early Church, to the age of the Apostles. The Gospels of Mark and Matthew relate how Jesus called the two brothers, Simon, whom Jesus calls Cephas or Peter, and Andrew: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Mt 4:19, Mk 1:17). The Fourth Gospel also presents Andrew as the first to be called, “ho protoklitos”, as he is known in the Byzantine tradition. It is Andrew who then brings his brother Simon to Jesus (cf. Jn 1:40f.).

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Link

With the grace of God, Your Holiness, we have been blessed to enter the joy of the Kingdom, to "see the true light and receive the heavenly Spirit." Every celebration of the Divine Liturgy is a powerful and inspiring con-celebration of heaven and of history. Every Divine Liturgy is both an anamnesis of the past and an anticipation of the Kingdom. We are convinced that during this Divine Liturgy, we have once again been transferred spiritually in three directions: toward the kingdom of heaven where the angels celebrate; toward the celebration of the liturgy through the centuries; and toward the heavenly kingdom to come.

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Link

“This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!”

(Ps 117:24)

This fraternal encounter which brings us together, Pope Benedict XVI of Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, is God’s work, and in a certain sense his gift. We give thanks to the Author of all that is good, who allows us once again, in prayer and in dialogue, to express the joy we feel as brothers and to renew our commitment to move towards full communion. This commitment comes from the Lord’s will and from our responsibility as Pastors in the Church of Christ. May our meeting be a sign and an encouragement to us to share the same sentiments and the same attitudes of fraternity, cooperation and communion in charity and truth. The Holy Spirit will help us to prepare the great day of the re-establishment of full unity, whenever and however God wills it. Then we shall truly be able to rejoice and be glad.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Papa-Lu in December 2006.

Papa-Lu: November 2006 is the previous archive.

Papa-Lu: January 2007 is the next archive.

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