While rehearsing for a new album (which will be coming out this summer) the Dominican Sisters hear that there is white smoke …
While rehearsing for a new album (which will be coming out this summer) the Dominican Sisters hear that there is white smoke …
This is a Eucharistic flash mob. I wonder what the response to this would be in one of our malls; or on the Mall in Washington DC, or any number of public places.
Here in Oklahoma, we have so few Catholics, it might just lead to confused stares and dome scratching from all the Southern Baptists.
Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has been excoriated this week in a way that makes no sense.
After all, she was a duly elected official who served her term in office in a way that received approval from a good number of the people she governed. Nothing in her governance that I know of lends itself to the unseemly, downright crude behavior that has followed her death.
I’ve been disturbed by the viciousness of the post-mortem attacks on Dame Thatcher myself. I saw a photo of one sign (which was held by a woman) proclaiming “Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead.” If anyone dared to use language that caricatured African Americans in this way when speaking of President Obama, they would be rightly criticized and shamed for it. However, as usual, when the object of this sort of thing is a woman, no one remarks on it.
Here is Jessica’s fine post in its entirely. Published with permission.
We live in a society in which men still dominate the political scene. Relax, this isn’t the prelude to a rant about how unfair that is – quite the opposite. Politics takes the sort of dedication which the gender which does obsession with stuff well has in spades. From my limited experience, men quite like power and they don’t, on the whole, regret (much) the loss of family time which it necessitates. Men seem happy to put the time and the effort in, so I see no reason why they shouldn’t reap the rewards.
When Mr Blair became Prime Minister he came to office with a lot of new female MPs, and we were told that a new era had opened. Well, nearly twenty years on, little has changed. Few of those women have got on in politics, and they have not inspired a new generation of women to try their hand. It does not seem how hard feminists try, women don’t want to play that game. Sure, you’ll get some women who want to do it, but the idea that most women want to do it seems, by the evidence, to be wrong.
Maybe that’s why there is an unpleasant tine of misogyny in some of the leftist criticisms of Mrs Thatcher. Would anyone be calling a dead Tony Blair a ‘warlock’, and what, pray, is the male equivalent of ‘the bitch’. It is hard not to see in some of this a sense by men (and some women) that there was something fundamentally wrong in Mrs T even being in power.
A difficult one for the Left of course. They are supposed to be in favour of equal opportunity and female empowerment – and there was Mrs Thatcher, who was very powerful and owed nothing to equal opps. She took on the men at their own game and she was better at it. That may lead a woman like Glenda Jackson (whose idea of empowerment was to run round in the nude in a Ken Russell film) to say she wasn’t her idea of what a woman should be, but that is more evidence, were any more needed, of the inability of leftist women to actually understand the majority of their own sex. Most of us don’t want to be men. We like men, we think they are wonderful, and we know that properly handled, they are God’s greatest gift. But there’s a whole art in that
Mrs Thatcher never pretended to be like men. She used her femininity as a powerful weapon. She knew that most men like a good-looking woman, and that being strong, efficient and capable are no bars to being attractive. By all accounts, she was perfectly capable of flirting with Mr Reagan, and even the socialist Mitterrand was struck by her combination of the mouth of Marilyn Monroe with the eyes of Caligula. She made her husband a cooked breakfast every morning, and she fussed over her staff like a mother hen.
The plain fact is that in our society there is no template for what being a woman in power is supposed to be like. No one makes anyone go into politics, and if you don’t want people to comment on your looks, don’t go into politics. If you do, don’t complain that you don’t get treated like a man – do what Mrs T did and take advantage of that.
Pro life bloggers and tweeters have raised public awareness of the trial of Dr Kermit Gosnell, the late-term abortionist who is on trial for murder. It appears that the media is beginning to respond to this pressure with increased coverage.
However, when I asked the question earlier this week, Public Catholic readers told me they had seen coverage back when Dr Gosnell was first arrested. I did some looking around and turned up this incredible video by Katie Couric.
I’ve spent years working to pass pro life legislation. Much of this legislation involved trying to get true informed consent, parental consent and sensible regulations of clinics. The so-called pro-choice movement has fought every single one of these bills. Each time, they claim that the bill will “drive women back to the back alleys.”
My question: How is the “back alley” any worse than Kermit Gosnell and his chamber of horrors? I knew women who had illegal abortions back before Roe. None of them went through anything as bad as what is described here.
I am not advocating for abortion, either legal or illegal. What I am saying is that the obsessive pro-abortion attitude of our society has led to the empowerment of monsters who prey on women and subject them to “medical” care that is actually worse than the situations they use to justify their position.
There are many reasons why the media has ignored this story. One of them has to be the fact that they have been complicit in creating this situation with their blind defense of abortion, all abortion, under any circumstances, for any reason. They claim that they are doing this for women, but Dr Kermit Gosnell’s chamber of horrors puts that claim in question.
Before abortion was legalized, proponents promised us a world where crime rates, drug addiction, child abuse would all drop due to the fact that every child would be “wanted.”
They also promised us a world where women no longer would endanger their lives because of dehumanizing back-alley abortions.
The message of Dr Gosnell’s unreported trial is, wrong again.
I think there are many reasons why the pro choice media has tried so hard to ignore this story. I would guess that chief among them is the reality they won’t admit: Kermit Gosnell is the monster they helped build.
Elizabeth Scalia aka The Anchoress has done a fantastic job writing about the media blackout on the Kermit Gosnell trial. The only reason the media is beginning to take note of this horror is because of the work she and others like her have done.
Her recent column at First Things is no exception.
Here is an excerpt:
Patheos’ own Mollie Hemingway participated in this Fox News discussion of the media blackout on the trial of abortionist Dr Kermit Gosnell.
The bottom line: The media has not reported on this sensational trial because they didn’t want to. Why do you think they don’t want to report this story?
I don’t usually write about internal Church government. The reasons are simple: I don’t know anything about it, and I don’t really care.
I am a pew-sitting Catholic who mostly takes from the Church rather than gives to it. I take the graces of the sacraments, the support and advice of very good pastors, and teachings which form a moral spine for my life.
All these squabbles about the Vatican Bank and the boys in the Vatican running amok don’t affect my mostly-taking relationship with the Church. However, I’ve been around government of another sort (and I think governments all have some of the same challenges) to have a silent opinion about what has happened inside the Vatican to fuel the situation that led to the recent problems.
I won’t say more than that because, as I said in paragraph one, I don’t know.
However, if what I think is true, then Pope Francis is doing exactly what needs to be done to set things right. Deacon Greg, as always, has the story. What it boils down to is that the Holy Father is getting ready to clean the Vatican house. He has appointed a new committee to help him run things. Only one current Vatican official is on it.
That doesn’t mean that everyone he’s giving the old heave-ho was a bad actor. But it certainly is the only real way to clear out the entrenched and what appears to be, ingrown, situation that created the previous bad acting.
I would guess that the change will be welcomed by some of the people who end up leaving. After all, the Pope isn’t killing them. He’s giving them new and different jobs. That will probably blow a fresh new breeze through their lives as well as the corridors of the Vatican.
Pope Francis is bringing in people from all over the world to run things in Vatican City. This, in my opinion, is a reflection of what the Church is. The Roman Catholic Church is not so much Roman as it Catholic. By that I mean that it is universal. It speaks every language and has every color, inclination and face that humankind presents.
It is, like Jesus Himself, incarnated human in order to speak for all humanity. Church governance needs to reflect that fact. The ingrown situation in the Vatican up to now is a relic of earlier centuries when transportation and communication with the various limbs of the Church could take months, or in some cases, even years. It was the functional solution for Church administration in those times.
Pope Francis is moving the Church forward without changing it one whit. It is and will always be the same Bride of Christ that it has always been. It’s just that this bride wears the face of all humankind.
From The Deacon’s Bench:
Pope Francis marked his first month as pope on Saturday by naming nine high-ranking prelates from around the globe to a permanent advisory group to help him run the Catholic Church and study a reform of the Vatican bureaucracy — a bombshell announcement that indicates he intends a major shift in how the papacy should function.
The panel includes only one current Vatican official; the rest are cardinals and a monsignor from Europe, Africa, North and South America, Asia and Australia — a clear indication that Francis wants to reflect the universal nature of the church in its governance and core decision-making, particularly given the church is growing and counts most of the world’s Catholics in the southern hemisphere.
In the run-up to the conclave that elected Francis pope one month ago, a reform of the Vatican bureaucracy was a constant drumbeat, as were calls to make the Vatican itself more responsive to the needs of bishops around the world. Including representatives from each continent in a permanent advisory panel to the pope would seem to go a long way toward answering those calls… (Read the rest here.)
Patheos will be transferring Public Catholic to a new system this weekend. I think that old comments will go away for a few days and then come back. There may be general wonkiness with current comments.
If all goes as planned, this will be temporary and no comments will be lost permanently.
Bear with me as we go through this funkiness. Let me know how it looks from your end. I’ll report anything really oddball to the IT whiz kids so they can get it fixed for us.
Today’s quick picks feature two instances of attacks on Christians freedom of conscience and religious freedom in the United States. Each of these is direct government discrimination against a Christian’s right to practice their faith unmolested. The statutory authority for these attacks on individual liberty is so-called anti-discrimination laws that have been passed in the past few years.
It would seem that, rather than ending discrimination, these laws are empowering it. I am beginning to look on at least some of these laws and the way they are being used as Jim Crow laws for Christians.
A third case of discrimination against Christians under the name of “tolerance” comes from Denmark. In this instance, a new law will force Christian churches to perform gay marriages.
The other three quick picks are samples of the violence that Christians face in much of the world. They range from mob violence in Egypt and Syria to government beating, torture and murder in Vietnam.
According to a story by Morning Star News, police beat Vam Ngaij Vaj around his neck and shoulders and probably electrically shocked him, resulting in his death on March 17. That’s according to a church leader who spoke with those who viewed the battered corpse.
“They think he could have been electrocuted as well as beaten,” said a Hmong Christian leader in Vietnam.
Morning Star News said Vaj, of Cu Jut District, Dak Nong Province in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, and his wife were clearing brush from their field in nearby Dak Ha Commune of Dak Glong District when they were arrested for “illegally destroying the forest” on March 16. (Read more here.)
ICC Note: Some 300,000 Christians are living as refugees after escaping war and persecution in Syria, Asia News reports. While people from every political, ethnic, and religious background are suffering in Syria’s civil war, Christians have found themselves in a very unique and frightening situation, having widely chosen not to take up arms or to openly support either the rebels or the regime. While many Christians have publicly denounced the brutality of President Assad and by no means support the regime, most Christians see little hope in an alternative government which, they fear, will be led by Islamists who will hinder or outright abolish the religious freedoms long experienced by Christian in Syria.
4/4/2013 Syria (AsiaNews) – More than 300,000 Christians have fled their villages and towns to escape the war, but also UN refugee camps, said Issam Bishara, regional director of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) in Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Iraq. (Read more here.)
OLYMPIA, WA, April 10, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Christian florist in Washington state could be slapped with hefty fines because she refused to provide a floral arrangement for a gay “wedding.”
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed charges today in Benton County Superior Court.
On March 1 Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts in Richland, refused to sell flowers to Robert Ingersoll for his “marriage” to Curt Freed.
“He said he decided to get married, and before he got through I grabbed his hand and said, ‘I am sorry. I can’t do your wedding because of my relationship with Jesus Christ,’” Stutzman said. She said it was the only wedding she had declined in 37 years.
But Ferguson said that stance violates the law.
“Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against customers on the basis of sexual orientation,” Ferguson said. “If a business provides a product or service to opposite-sex couples for their weddings, then it must provide same-sex couples the same product or service.”
The state of Washington is seeking $2,000 in fines for every reported violation, as well as a permanent injunction requiring the shop to violate its conscience or stop selling flowers for wedding ceremonies.
Some of her neighbors in this very liberal state agree she should be compelled to sell flowers regardless of her religion.
One resident told KEPR-TV, “She doesn’t have the right to say no.”
The station reported Stutzman has received death threats after her simple testimony of faith went viral. (Read more here.)
According to the court’s verdict, the trouble began for Elane Photography when the company was contacted by lesbian Vanessa Willock asking if they could photograph a “commitment ceremony” for Willock and her “partner.” The company, owned by Christian couple Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin, responded stating that they only shoot traditional weddings, and do not do “same-sex weddings,” but thanked Willock for her interest.
The following day, Willock’s anonymous “partner” sent an email to Elane Photography stating that she was going to “marry,” without stating that the “marriage” would be between herself and a woman. She asked if the company could travel to the location of the event, and was told that it could.
The two emails would be used as proof that the Huguenins were discriminating against Willock in her suit against the company, and resulted in a judgment of $6,637.94 against the defendant.
Although the government of New Mexico does not recognize same-sex “marriage,” civil unions, or domestic partnerships for homosexuals, the court ruled that Elane Photography had engaged in illegal discrimination based on sexual preference under the New Mexico Human Rights Act (NMHRA).
The Alliance Defense Fund, which was representing the couple, has decided to appeal the case to a higher court.
“Americans in the marketplace should not be subjected to legal attacks for simply abiding by their beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jordan Lorence. “Should the government force a videographer who is an animal rights activist to create a video promoting hunting and taxidermy?
“Of course not, and neither should the government force this photographer to promote a message that violates her conscience. Because the U.S. Constitution prohibits the state from forcing unwilling artists to promote a message they disagree with, we will certainly appeal this decision to the New Mexico Supreme Court.” (Read the rest here.)
CAIRO (AP) — The leader of Egypt‘s Coptic Orthodox Church on Tuesday blasted the country’s Islamist president over his handling of the recent deadly sectarian violence, including an attack on the main cathedral in Cairo.
The remarks by Pope Tawadros II underscore rising Muslim-Christian tensions in Egypt. They were Tawadros’ first direct criticism of President Mohammed Morsi since he was enthroned in November as the spiritual leader of Egypt’s Orthodox Christians. They are also likely to fuel the political turmoil roiling the country for the two years since the ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Tawadros said Morsi had promised him in a telephone conversation to do everything to protect the Coptic cathedral, “but in reality he did not.”
Asked to explain Morsi’s attitude, Tawadros, who spoke in a telephone interview to a political talk show aired on the private ONTV network, said it “comes under the category of negligence and poor assessment of events.”
On Sunday, an angry mob of Muslims threw firebombs and rocks at the Coptic cathedral in Cairo, leaving two people dead.
The attack followed a funeral service for four Christians killed in sectarian clashes in a town north of Cairo early the day before. (Read more here.)
The country’s parliament voted through the new law on same-sex marriage by a large majority, making it mandatory for all churches to conduct gay marriages.
Denmark’s church minister, Manu Sareen, called the vote “historic”.
“I think it’s very important to give all members of the church the possibility to get married. Today, it’s only heterosexual couples.”
Under the law, individual priests can refuse to carry out the ceremony, but the local bishop must arrange a replacement for their church. (Read more here.)
Pope Francis gave a homily at morning mass a few days ago that hits this lady right between the eyes.
It was about one of my favorite hobbies: Complaining.
My husband and I sometimes joke about a former member of the Oklahoma House that we both know. If you gave this guy a check for a million dollars all he would do is gripe about the taxes. One of my husband’s jokes is that you can walk outside with this guy and remark that it’s a beautiful day and he would reply, “Yeah, but that makes for darn dark nights.”
I’m not in this man’s league when it comes to complaining and looking on the dark side, but I do have more than a small dose of the same disease. It can seem that focusing on the bad that might happen is a way to ward off disappointment when it really does happen. But in truth, all it does is ruin the good times you’re having now. If something bad happens, worrying about it ahead of time won’t make it hurt one bit less.
As for complaining, you can beat people down with too many complaints. You can blight their happiness and take away their joy. Constant complaining dampens initiative and makes people feel helpless when they’re not. You can push them down to their emotional knees and them hold them there with your carping and complaining and hand-wringing and whining.
I once knew a woman who was never able to just say “Thank you.” If her husband worked all day painting the house for her, when he was finished she would look at it and say, “We really need to re-seed the lawn” She didn’t mean to be a Debbie downer. In fact, I don’t think she knew what she was doing. It was habitual; something she probably learned as a child. But how sad for her that she wasted so many good moments by focusing on the negative, and how destructive to her relationships that she complained when she should have been complimenting.
This is where Pope Francis’ homily comes in. He preached on the Gospel story from St Luke about the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. These men were bereft and broken-hearted because of Jesus’ death on the cross. I have not been able to find the full homily on the Vatican web site. But here are a few quotes that resonated with me:
“And they stewed, so to speak, their lives in the juice of their complaints and kept going on and on and on with the complaining,” the pope said. “I think that many times when difficult things happen, including when we are visited by the cross, we run the risk of closing ourselves off in complaints.”
When all people can think of is how wrong things are going, Pope Francis said, the Lord is close, “but we don’t recognize him. He walks with us, but we don’t recognize him.”
Like the disciples joined by the risen Lord on the road to Emmaus, people can hear beautiful things, but deep down, they continue to be afraid, the pope said.
“Complaining seems safer. It’s something certain. This is my truth: failure,” he said.
But the Gospel story shows how very patient Jesus is with the disciples, first listening to them and then explaining things step by step, until they see him.
“Jesus does this with us, too,” the pope said. “Even in the darkest moments, he is always with us, walking with us.”
Complaining and griping — about others and about things in one’s own life — is harmful “because it dashes hope. Don’t get into this game of a life of complaints,” he said.
“Do not get into this game of a life of complaints.”
I need to print that out and put it on my bathroom mirror. The Holy Father is exactly right when he says that “when we are visited by the cross, we run the risk of closing ourselves off in complaints.” At least, he certainly is about me. My most public cross has been the many attacks I’ve endured for being a pro life Catholic Democratic elected official.
When I speak of deliberate slander and character assassination for gain, I am describing what was done to me.
instead of remembering that Jesus told us to “rejoice and be glad when men say all manner of evil against you falsely on my account,” I complained and whined and focused on my hurt and anger. “Great is your reward in heaven,” Jesus told us, but I concentrated on how much it hurt me at the time.
Pope Francis’ words cut right across my own behavior like a giant x mark. God gave me the opportunity to suffer just a little bit for Jesus, and for the babies. It was never a punishment. It was always a gift. I saw that some of the time. But far too often, I looked right past the honor of taking a hit for Jesus to my own anguish about how much it hurt.
Part of stepping out in faith means laying aside our complaints about the way the world reacts to us when we do it. In truth, when they attack us and revile us for standing for Jesus, they are handing us the Kingdom of Heaven.
If we can just remember that, we’ll realize that there is nothing for us to complain about.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Jesus Christ