2021 continues to March on.
This month I’m trying a new format but still trying to report the news and interesting stories of the week.
Their may be a time when you want to look back at the…
CB WIRE March 1 – March 7, 2021
FEAST DAYS ,HOLIDAYS AND THIS WEEK IN HISTORY
Monday March 1, 2021
Tuesday March 2, 2021
Wednesday March 3, 2021
Saint Katharine Drexel Feast Day
Thursday March 4, 2021
Saint Casimir Feast Day
1965- My Late Friend Pattie Goodale’s Birthday
Friday March 5, 2021
Saturday March 6, 2021
1836 – Texas Revolution: Battle of the Alamo:
After a thirteen-day siege by an army of 3,000 Mexican troops, the 187 Texas volunteers,
including frontiersman Davy Crockett and colonel Jim Bowie,
defending the Alamo are killed and the fort is captured.
Sunday March 7, 2021
1962-My Sister Patty’s Birthday
THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT
Bishop Barron’s Weekly Homily
NEWS HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
NEW VACCINE ETHICAL PROBLEMS
The New Orleans archdiocese is telling Catholics that they should seek ethical alternatives to Johnson & Johnson vaccine that has just been released.
“The Archdiocese of New Orleans, in light of guidance from the Vatican, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and The National Catholic Bioethics Center affirm that though there was some lab testing that utilized the abortion-derived cell line, the two vaccines currently available from Pfizer and Moderna do not rely on cell lines from abortions in the manufacturing process and therefore can be morally acceptable for Catholics as the connection to abortion is extremely remote.”
Although some Catholic scholars have said that Covid vaccines can be received ‘without fear of moral culpability’ for abortion. From a statement by several Catholic ethicists published March 5 it says…
“While there is a technical causal linkage between each of the current vaccines and prior abortions of human persons, we are all agreed, that connection does not mean that vaccine use contributes to the evil of abortion or shows disrespect for the remains of unborn human beings. Accordingly, Catholics, and indeed, all persons of good will who embrace a culture of life for the whole human family, born and unborn, can use these vaccines without fear of moral culpability. There appears to us to be no real distinction between the vaccines in terms of their connection to an abortion many decades ago, and thus the moral starting point is one of equivalence.”
Patheos Blogger Fr. Matthew P. Schneider LC has this to say…
When dealing with fetal cell lines, the evil of abortion is quite serious, but our reception of medicine (including vaccines) is quite remote. First, the abortion was not done for the purpose of getting fetal lines but abortions were chosen for other reasons and the scientists just took cells from abortions already happening. (These abortions were still gravely evil acts.) Second, the cells were modified and they are currently many generations removed from the cells taken from the aborted baby. Third, we are not using them ourselves like scientists are but using some products related to them.
You Can Use the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine in Some Cases (March 2, 2021) Through Catholic Lenses @ Patheos Catholic
COVID RELIEF BILL
Senate passes $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill, with no Republican support.
The far-reaching legislation includes $1,400 stimulus checks, $300-per-week jobless benefits through the summer, a child allowance of up to $3,600 for one year, $350 billion for state aid, $34 billion to expand Affordable Care Act subsidies and $14 billion for vaccine distribution.
But when it got to the House, some things changed. Such as this…
Like the House version, the Senate bill includes $1,400 stimulus checks to Americans but it lowered the income eligibility for taxpayers getting the payments.
Under the House bill, stimulus checks would phase out for individuals making between $75,000-$100,000 a year and couples making $150,000-$200,000. Under the Senate bill, the phase out stops at $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for couples.
Roughly 8 million fewer households will get a check under the Senate bill compared with what the House passed, according to an analysis from the Tax Policy Center.
“Despite the fact that we believe any weakening of the House provisions were bad policy and bad politics, the reality is that the final amendments were relatively minor concessions.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.- Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair
Q’ANON conspiracy theorists have turned on other members of their movement for aggressively pushing the theory that Donald Trump would be return in glory and be reinstated as president on March 4, after the their latest prediction failed to materialize in reality. (newsweek.com) While disgruntled Trump supporters are complaining about their dislike that he didn’t get four more years, other parts of the world face real political unrest.
Myanmar sees the deadliest day in their political situation as 38 protesters are killed – BBC News’
Sad news of bloody clashes and loss of life reach us from Myanmar. I appeal to the authorities involved that dialogue may prevail over repression, and ask the international community to ensure that the aspirations of the people of Myanmar are not stifled.Pope Francis@Pontifex
GOOD NEWS OF A BAD SITUATION
Hundreds of Nigerian girls abducted last week from a boarding school in the country’s northwest have been released, a state governor said Tuesday, as the West African nation faces a spate of school kidnappings.
The girls, ages 10 and up, dressed in light blue hijabs and barefoot, packed into Zamfara state’s Government House conference room. They appeared calm, chatting to one another as they sat in long rows while journalists photographed them. They will receive a medical checkup before being returned to their parents.
Problems With Children’s Toys and Books
Mr. Potato Head now represents a long ago past that doesn’t jive with the current evolved culture so Hasbro is now going to sell gender-neutral Potato Head families.
“Culture has evolved. Kids want to be able to represent their own experiences. The way the brand currently exists—with the ‘Mr.’ and ‘Mrs.’—is limiting when it comes to both gender identity and family structure. The sweet spot for the toy is two to three years old. Kids like dressing up the toy, then playing out scenarios from their life. This often takes the form of creating little potato families, because they’re learning what it means to be in a family.”
-Kimberly Boyd, senior vice president and general manager at Hasbro
People are complaining about Mr. Potato Head being changed to the gender-neutral ‘Potato Head.’
I, for one, am more offended that potatoes are being appropriated into human culture.-René Albert
While Mr. Potato is being stipped of his sexuality, Dr. Seuss is being stripped from some of his books being in pubic circulation.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises will cease publishing six of the author’s books — including And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street and If I Ran the Zoo — saying they “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.” The books have been criticized for how they depict Asian and Black people.
The decision to stop publishing and licensing the books follows a review by a panel of educators and other experts, according to Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the company that controls the author’s books and characters. The other four titles that will be permanently shelved are McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer.
What’s the big deal anyway?
It’s worth noting, too, that Theodore Geisel was, relatively speaking, a progressive and an opponent of Nazi antisemitism, America-Firstism, and fascism (as well as Communism), and that he opposed racism in principle while in practice embracing and perpetuating it. Like many people today, he recognized racism as a bad thing but didn’t understand the extent to which his work and his worldview were shaped by racism.
Geisel apparently made progress in this area over his life, and I’m sure that at his best he was or would have been grieved at how people were hurt by his work. Still, the work is what it is.-Deacon Steven D. Greydanus
INTERESTING STORIES OF THE WEEK
Little Foot is unique among ancient skeletons and has been guarded very well from attacks of carelessness and thievery from rouge paleontologists. Little Foot has no other competitors in fossil comparisons. She or He is alone in the fact that no other study on ancient humans has been attempted with this much detail. Dr Amélie Beaudet from Cambridge University has this to say about the imprint of the brain on the inside Little Foot’s skull where Beaudet team has identified the traces of blood vessels in the inner skull that are similar to ones found in modern humans. which that will help reveal the early development of human intelligence.
“The main hypothesis is that in modern humans, these vessels are involved in thermoregulation – preventing our brain from becoming too hot. With Little Foot, the brain was the same size as a chimpanzee’s. It was only later in evolution that the brain grew dramatically. But at some point, something had to change in the vascular system, too. So the fact that we can see these vessels in Little Foot is quite promising.”
While this ancient human is helping us learn about our ancestors, these centuries old unopened letters that are fragile and could fall apart when opened will help us learn about people who lived not too long ago. Because of Letter Locking reading unopened mail has provided a challenge. But researchers have tried with a letter found in a 17th century postmaster’s trunk from The Hague in the Netherlands that contained 577 unopened letter packets.
An unopened letter that was mailed back in 1697 but never delivered has been read by researchers who have developed a way to virtually “unfold” sealed letter packets without having to actually break the seal.
The new technique, described in the journal Nature Communications, should allow historians to learn more about “letterlocking,” the practice of using elaborate slits, folds, creases and tucks to turn a flat sheet of paper with a written message into a tamper-resistant package.
Such security measures were an everyday part of life for centuries. “The envelope as we know it, the gummed envelope, wasn’t invented until the 1830s,” says Jana Dambrogio, a conservator with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries in Cambridge, Mass. “And so before then, everyone letterlocked.”
The unopened 1697 letter from the postmaster’s trunk has an especially lovely folding pattern, says Dambrogio, even though the letter’s contents make it clear that it’s just an ordinary bit of family business, with one cousin writing to another to request a copy of an official death certificate for one of their relatives.
POPE FRANCIS’S WORDS OF THE WEEK
“The thought of being abandoned by God is an experience of faith which many saints have experienced, along with many people today who feel abandoned by God, but do not lose faith. They take care to watch over the gift: ‘Right now I feel nothing, but I guard the gift of faith. The Christian who has never gone through these states of mind lacks something, because it means that they have settled for less. Crises of faith are not failures against faith. On the contrary, they reveal the need and desire to enter more fully into the depths of the mystery of God. A faith without these trials leads me to doubt that it is true faith.”
Pope Francis’ scheduled Apostolic Journey to Iraq from March 5 – 8
Pope Francis on Saturday made a landmark visit to the home of Iraq’s top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See press office, said March 6 that the two men spoke for almost an hour during a private meeting at al-Sistani’s residence in Najaf, central Iraq.
“During the courtesy visit, which lasted about 45 minutes, the Holy Father stressed the importance of cooperation and friendship between religious communities for contributing — through the cultivation of mutual respect and dialogue — to the good of Iraq, the region and the entire human family,” Bruni said.Pope Francis in Iraq
A plenary indulgence can be obtained during Holy Week for oneself or for a deceased person if one of the following works established by the Church is performed.
2. If you adore the solemnly reserved Blessed Sacrament for a half hour.
1. If you venerate the Cross in the solemn celebration of the Lord’s Passion.
2. If you piously participate in the Stations of the Cross
1. If two or more people pray the Holy Rosary.
2. If you attend the celebration of the Easter Vigil at night and renew your baptismal promises, which is part of the liturgy of that Mass.
PRESIDENT BIDEN’S WORDS OF THE WEEK
Biden mentions Our Lady of Guadalupe and shows rosary beads, in meeting with Mexican president.
“During my visits, I got to know Mexico a little bit and its people, and paid my respects to the Virgin of Guadalupe. As a matter of fact, I still have my rosary beads that my son was wearing when he passed.”
BLOG POSTS OF THE WEEK
Last night, I complained (on social media; where else?) about how we published a fantastic, moving, uplifting story about an incredible saint — St. Marianne Cope — who took the awful lives of lepers and turned them into something full of beauty and wonder, but that it only had 27 shares.
Meanwhile, my snarky post about Cardinal Wuerl getting millions of dollars in retirement hit 500 shares right out of the gate.
Now, my complaining seemed to have done some good for once. The St. Marianne Cope piece now has over 220 shares and counting, whereas the Wuerl piece is stuck right where it was.
But it had me up last night thinking about all of this stuff. About the fact that since I started trying to do a lot more St. Marianne Cope-type pieces and fewer Wuerl-type pieces, traffic on this website has dropped faster than Gavin Newsome’s approval rating. Whereas in 2018, at the height of all the Vigano revelations, we were getting somewhere between 25-30K pageviews a day, lately, we’re at fewer than 10K. In fact, we haven’t broken the 10K barrier in the past 30 days. Not even once. There could be several reasons for this, but traffic metrics over time tend to be a semi-reliable indicator about whether the content you’re producing is what your audience wants to consume.
In theory, we want to know about the good stuff. The stuff that’s positive and motivating and helps us to live better, more virtuous lives. The stuff that helps us to be inspired to make changes in the right direction.
But the minute someone drops a nasty, negative, outrageous story in front of us, we swarm like flies.
Steve Skojec, Negativity is a Drug, And We’re Hooked (March 5, 2021) OnePeterFive
The monuments and memorials of the neighbors of Israel are chockablock with the glorification of the king and the nation. Egyptian monuments are gigantic and deify the king. They trumpet, “I AM OZYMANDIAS, KING OF KINGS! LOOK ON MY WORKS, YE MIGHTY, AND DESPAIR!” Assyrian literature and art, such as it is, is a catalog of the great victories of the Assyrians: one gigantic brag. Israelite literature stands alone as a gigantic confessional of the sins of the nation, carefully preserved instead of buried under a torrent of state-sponsored Happy Talk. The chronicles of the Davidic dynasty, while certainly praising Davidic kings, are also ruthlessly unsparing of them. There is nothing like the Old Testament in antiquity, just as there is nothing quite like the gospels which look to it for inspiration (literally). What sticks out about the gospels is their frank and open confession of the massive sins and failures of the apostles, down to the careful mention in all four of them of the cowardly betrayal and denial of Jesus by Peter and the rest in the hour of Jesus’ greatest need. There are no feet of clay left to expose in a figure like Peter. He’s already told us what a loser he is.
Mark Shea, The Provincial Postmodern (March 5, 2021) Stumbling Towards Heaven
PODCASTS OF THE WEEK
The amount and variety of podcasts available today is staggering. It’s the perfect outlet for the plebeian creator, because it can be easily and cheaply produced with simply the human voice and doesn’t require visuals or, more importantly, the visual attention of its users — ideal for multitasking and background imbibing. Unlike live radio, you can listen when it’s convenient for you, pausing and rewinding at will. Today, you can find a niche podcast for just about any arcane interest on earth and sign up for automatic downloads of each show as it is released.
I did an informal poll on “Catholic Twitter” — around 1,000 responses from my 38,000 followers and their followers — as to their favorite podcasts. Below is a carefully curated list for your listening pleasure.
Your guide to Catholic podcasts, Sister Helena Raphael Burns (September 18, 2020) Our Sunday Visitor
NEW BOOKS OF THE WEEK
Mr. Humble and Dr. Butcher: A Monkey’s Head, the Pope’s Neuroscientist, and the Quest to Transplant the Soul Hardcover (March 2, 2021)
by Brandy Schillace
The mesmerizing biography of a brilliant and eccentric surgeon and his quest to transplant the human soul.
The Best of R. A. Lafferty (2021) by
The Best of R. A. Lafferty presents 22 of this Catholic author’s best flights of offbeat imagination, ranging from classics like “Nine Hundred Grandmothers” and “The Primary Education of the Cameroi” to his Hugo Award-winning “Eurema’s Dam.”
And at long last…the BEST OF WINTER issue has been launched at F&F!
Includes one of my stories about St. Nick
New Music of the Week
YOUTUBE VIDS OF THE WEEK
This Week on Jimmy Akin’s Mysterious World
MYS144: In Part 1, Jimmy Akin and Dom Bettinelli discussed the explosive claims by Paul Bennewitz in the 1980s about UFOs in New Mexico. Now, they continue with how the Air Force was involved, what has happened in the intervening years, and the terrible price Paul paid.
New Movies of the Week
Monday March 1, 2021
Debris: Season 1 (2021) 10 p.m., NBC
Tuesday March 2,2021
The Flash: Season 7 (2021) 8 p.m., The CW
Released Mar 3, 2021
Moxie Netflix Originals
Coming Out Mar 4, 2021
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run PremiumVOD
Coming Out Mar 5, 2021
Raya and the Last Dragon Disney +
Coming 2 America Amazon Studios
Boss Level Hulu
WARNING: Some Language in the review.
A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences— the nationwide body that votes for the Academy Awards— recently declined to watch a film that critiques abortion regulations, drawing public ire from a pro-choice filmmaker who created it. The film in question is director Eliza Hittman’s “Never Rarely Sometimes Always,” which follows a 17-year-old girl as she travels from Pennsylvania to New York to obtain an abortion.
The Oscar voter who doesn’t want to watch it is filmmaker Kieth Merrill.
“Her film is an expression of who she is. My absence of interest in watching her film is an expression of who I am.“We are equally valid in our choices, what we do, and how we choose to live our lives.”
He noted that with over 360 films in contention for best picture in 2021, Academy voters have to be discerning about what they choose to watch, lest it consume all their time.
Deaths of the Week
Marie Tippit (1928 2021) 92, Widow of Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit who was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald dies.
Stephen Fagin, curator of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, which tells the story of Kennedy’s assassination in downtown Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, said Tippit was “one of our last direct links to the personal pain and tragedy of the assassination.”
“She was this quiet reminder that the assassination, the pain of that memory, can still be felt right up to the present day,” Fagin said.