All the news I wish to print

There are all kinds of stories out there. Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry. Some will make you shrug, some will make you scream. Read any daily paper or listen to any newscast and your emotions can go from happy to sad to disbelief to fear to incredulity to horror to anger in very short order.
As we go along, there will be stories, as Paul Harvey used to say, to "wash your ears out with." There will be others that will make you feel like you need to be deloused simply by virtue of have in heard or read them. Some posts will be religious, some secular and for some I expect will defy easy classification in either category. I hope you will join me in this journey and pleas feel free to comment along the way.
For my part I pledge not to remove any posts unless they are vulgar, libelous, threatening or otherwise in violation of the standards of civil discussion. I will not remove any post simply because I disagree with it but I will reserve the right to respond to any challenges that come my way.
God bless you and welome to my blog.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Homily at Mass and Rally for Life Jan 23, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

A response to a pro-choicer

I was reading an article on the National Catholic Reporter tonight-an activity not recommended for the faint of heart nor the weak of stomach-concerning a supposed disconnect between the bishops teachings on faith and morals and the the beliefs and practices of the faithful. It was the typical drivel we come to expect from progressive theologians, using statistics concerning disaffected and dissenting Catholics to de-legitimize the moral teaching authority of the Church. It always amazes me that for all their education, with all their degrees and the alphabet soup of letters after their names they cannot grasp the simple concept that good and evil are not determined by public opinion. When something is evil it will always be evil no matter how many try to ignore it and pretend that it is not.
As difficult as the article itself was to read without retching, the comments section was even worse. As always, whenever the subject of the moral teaching of the Church is challenged, someone trots out tired and insipid arguments in favor of abortion. Some posts on the subject were more long winded than others but they essentially tried to make the same point as the poster whose questions I responded to. I responded on but it is still awaiting review and approval, which I have my doubts it will receive, so I am posting the response below. I invite any comments you might have.

"What is worse, having an abortion, or what [I assume the poster meant 'watching' in the sense of causing] a child die of starvation?"
They are both intrinsic evils and both to be equally condemned.
"So many children are dying like this and the bishops are only worried about abortion?"
I would ask the same question if it had any basis in fact. Have you never heard of Catholic Charities, St Vincent dePaul, Little Sisters of the Poor, The Knights of Columbus or any of the dozens of Catholic organizations who work diligently every day of the year in many different areas to alleviate the suffering of the poor everywhere. Perhaps the perceived difference in emphasis is because in the war on poverty and the fight against hunger the Church and the governments of most civilized countries are on the same side. Genocide, when it occurs, receives near universal condemnation by the international community.
However, that other intrinsic evil, abortion, is promoted and often even financed by otherwise civilized governments. Millions of lives ended in the sterile confines of abortion mills have acquired a degree of acceptance because to those who have never seen the actual destruction that takes place. We have, on a global scale, become like those who lived in close proximity to extermination camps in World War II, the difference being we don't even have
to curl our noses at the acrid smoke arising from the crematoria while convincing ourselves that what our brains told us, what our nostrils interpreted for us just could not be true.
At the end of the war many of those villages were forced to walk through those camps, they were forced to recognize what they so long refused to admit, that what was happening there was happening to living breathing human beings. Sooner or later that realization will catch up to our society concerning this modern, antiseptic version of the Holocaust, where the screams are silent and the brutality, pain and devastation are well hidden but no less real. I just pray that we reach that epiphany before, like those self deluded villagers, that reality is forced upon us.

Father Richard Kunst: Fast before Communion is an important practice

There are some things I have been doing for so long and so automatically it never really occurs to me that others are not doing the same thing. Such is the case with the Communion fast. As a rule we do not eat breakfast until after Mass so the one hour doesn't really come into play. Apparently though it is an issue for some.

Although it may seem small, one of the most important things pastors do on a weekly basis is greet their parishioners before and after Mass.

Father Richard Kunst
That brief handshake and greeting is the only interaction we get with more than 90 percent of our congregation. As little of an interaction as it is, it makes it easier for us to minister to our people when they are in time of need. For me personally, it is challenging to minister to people whom I never see darken the door of the church. I don’t know them. I am a stranger to them.

I try to be at the door of the church not only after Mass but also before Mass begins, and I have to confess this can also be a source of frustration. The frustration is from seeing people come in who have clearly just finished their last bites of breakfast in the car on their way to Mass. It is not uncommon to see people come in with food in their hands. I have heard from brother priests of people in their choirs eating and drinking right up to the start of Mass.

Why is this an issue? Because Catholics are expected to keep a eucharistic fast for one hour prior to receiving Communion (not one hour before Mass). The exceptions are water and medicine. Those who are sick or caring for the sick are not bound by this discipline.

The exact origins of the eucharistic fast are unknown, and practice of it has not always been consistent, but we have evidence dating back to the fourth century. Both in 393 and 397 there were North African Councils stating that the Eucharist was to be consumed before any other food of the day. St. Augustine states basically the same thing, writing in one of his letters, “. . . for from that time [of the earliest church] it pleased the Holy Spirit to appoint, for the honor of such a great sacrament, that the body of the Lord should take the precedence of all other food entering the mouth of a Christian; and it is for this reason that the custom referred to is universally observed” (Ep 54.6).

In the 20th century, the eucharistic fast changed in stages. In 1905, Pope St. Pius X articulated the strict midnight fast from food and drink, including medicine and water. You can still hear “old-timers” talk about how they could not eat anything after midnight if they were going to Communion the next morning. It’s a good thing they didn’t have evening Masses back then!

Later that was judged to be an obstacle to encouraging more frequent reception of Communion, so in 1957, Pope Pius XII cut the fast time to three hours. In 1964, Pope Paul VI reduced the fast to one hour before receiving Communion, giving us our current church discipline. (Again, the sick and those caring for the sick are exempted.)

Why fast? Well for the answer continue reading here.

Priests for Life Announces Four-Pronged Attack on Abortion Industry in 2012 - Christian Newswire

Priests for Life Announces Four-Pronged Attack on Abortion Industry in 2012 - Christian Newswire:

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Teens reject 'safe sex' education - poll |

We can see a hopeful trend in some teens attitudes toward sex in this study. I don't think we are headed to a "Father Knows Best" world, which never really existed anyway. But it does indicate that maybe not all teens are the out of control, sex obsessed automatons who must be given contraceptives and access to abortion because they just can't control themselves, that the media and others would have us believe.

Sunday, 8 January, 2012 - 07:26
A nationwide poll of 600 young people aged 15-21 poll has found that they hold conservative values on sex issues - which are significantly similar to the views of parents.


When asked "Do you think sex education in schools should teach values, abstinence and consequences such as pregnancy, or just teach safe sex?" only 19% supported just the 'safe sex' message currently being taught in schools, with one in three (34%) wanting 'values, abstinence, and consequences such as pregnancy' taught instead, and a further 42% asking for a combination of both - especially amongst older teens. The support for just the 'safe sex' message dropped even lower for the older teens.

"This is a direct rebuke from young people to the 'use a condom' and 'everyone's doing it' messages being pushed by groups like Family Planning, AIDS Foundation and Rainbow Youth," says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

"Many parents were rightly horrified last year when details of what was being taught in schools under the guise of 'sex education' surfaced. Judging by the results of the current approach - which is a good place to start - sex education has been an utter failure. New Zealand has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the OECD, our STD rates are out of control and the number of teenage girls having abortions continues to rise."

"For those youth who are sexually active, they are not being told the truth. Groups like the Family Planning Association and the AIDS Foundation are perpetuating the myth that as long as you use a condom, you can pretty well do what you like in terms of promiscuity, experimentation, and fringe behaviours - with little or no information on the physical or emotional ramifications or prevention of disease."

Read on:
Teens reject 'safe sex' education - poll |

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Friday, January 6, 2012

And now for some really important news...

...and no, this is not about the election. This is far more serious and certain to have a greater impact of people like myself. Are you ready? The Girl Scouts are introducing a new cookie. And just in case you are a hermit and do not know any the article includes a link to looking up a nearby seller. How cool is that?

othing warms my heart more than seeing that colorful Girl Scout cookie order form being passed around the office.

Last year I pounced on my co-worker who I suspected had a school-aged daughter just about the right age. Of course, I wanted to help make her a star in her troop, as well as get my hands on the cookies that only the Girl Scouts can do. I ordered three boxes of my favorite (yes, Thin Mints) with every intention of sharing them with my husband, only to eat every last one very quietly at my desk.

So I couldn't be more overjoyed to hear that the Girl Scouts are introducing Savannah Smiles, a lemon cookie, to mark its 100th anniversary. It's described as a dense, crunchy and shortbread-like cookie with a light lemon flavor with a sugar dusting.

Read more:

A Gift from Pope Benedict XVI « The Gospel in the Digital Age

Congratulations to Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan. You have probably seen the news reports but to read his own without the newsroom editing check out the link below.

A Gift from Pope Benedict XVI « The Gospel in the Digital Age

Thursday, January 5, 2012

This is a job for Super Bloomy!

It is likely that despite his ability to leap over term limit laws in a single bound, Mayor Bloomberg is not likely to be n office after the next election. Given his penchant for stamping out smoking wherever it exists I thought the challenge posed by by China's smokers would help kee his mind off not being the nann...I mean mayor of New York anymore.

Smoke Alert: Chinese Academy of Engineering Honors a Tobacco Researcher
By Hannah Beech | January 5, 2012 | 3
Sean Yong / Reuters

Last month, the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) promoted a scientist to its ranks after his fourth attempt to enter the hallowed body. Not big news, perhaps, except the researcher in question, Xie Jianping, 52, happens to work for the state-owned tobacco industry. Even in a country wreathed in cigarette smoke — last year’s nationwide ban on smoking in many public spaces is routinely ignored — the appointment has caused a small furor.

On Jan. 4, the Global Times, a feisty broadsheet, ran a story saying that the appointment of a man who is vice president of a local tobacco-research institute funded by the government monopoly China National Tobacco Corporation (CNTC) “is another example of how well connected and influential the government-owned cigarette industry is in China.” Xie’s research centers on adding traditional Chinese herbs to cigarettes to reduce tar content — even though numerous international studies have shown that low-tar cigarettes are plenty harmful. He serves as the chief editor of Tobacco Science & Technology and boasts 23 patents and four copyrights to his name, according to the website of the Zhengzhou Tobacco Research Institute, where he works.

Read more here.

War Games June Beetles Conscripted Into Cyborg Army

In George Orwell's "1984" the ultimate spy technology utilized by Big Brother to keep tabs on his own people was the nearly omnipresent two way viewscreen. Anywhere, anytime, anyplace, Big Brother could be watching. Modern military technology makes this type of spying seem almost quaint by comparison. The prospects for pivacy, should any government ever choose to unleash this technology on their own population in the insatiable government appetite for control, are very grim indeed.

Green June beetles beware: The draft never ended. You may be called upon to serve your country.

Military, commercial and academic defense research teams have been busy turning beetles and bees into cybugs, eeny-weeny cyborgs that will serve as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) -- tiny, living versions of drone aircraft.

From surveillance and explosives detection to search and rescue missions, micro UAVs could be useful for a range of defense and security applications. They would have proved handy last year for monitoring the flooding in Pakistan and Thailand, or for inspecting the ravaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after Japan’s earthquake -- disaster areas where a micro UAV could be deployed rather than risk human life.
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War Games: 'Cyborg Beetle Mini Drones'

June beetles conscripted into cyborg army

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Some scientists have created UAVs smaller than 6 inches -- but 6 inches is mini, not micro. Insects are micro.

Read more here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Liberation theology, not Calvinism, is behind Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto |

I remember seeing Apocalypto some time ago and I agree with the author here that Giles Frasier is completely off base and frankly I am not sure where these comparisons that imply antisemitism in the movie come from. Also Frasier's confusion of Gibson's conservative brand of Catholicism and Calvinism shows a fundamental misunderstanding the theology of each.

The one redeeming feature about the recent spate of Bank Holidays and the fact that it gets dark so early is that one can find time for the guilty pleasure of watching DVDs. Over New Year I hunkered down with Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, which I think is an absolutely brilliant film. Others disagree. One such is Dr Giles Fraser , who took the film to task in the Guardian for theological error and anti-Semitism, among other things. I strongly disagree with what Dr Fraser has to say about the film’s supposed anti-Semitism, and I think his reading of it as an allegory where the Mayan priests stand in for the Jews is simply wrong. I also strongly disagree with what he implies in the following:

"What’s more sinister is the connection Gibson is always forging between salvation and violence. The root cause is a theology associated particularly with Anselm and Calvin. Human beings are wicked and can only make it to heaven if they are punished for their sin, thus righting the scales of justice and wiping clean the slate. The problem is, human wickedness is so deep that the required punishment would be too much for us to bear. So Christ offers to take our place, accepting our punishment in the form of an excruciating crucifixion. It’s the story of salvation, as read by the religious right. All sin must be paid for with pain."

Read more here:Liberation theology, not Calvinism, is behind Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto |

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Washington governor to support gay marriage law: source -

According to a Reuters report yet another Catholic politician is supporting legislation that is anti family and in direct opposition to the teachings of her Church.

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Washington state Governor Chris Gregoire will announce her support on Wednesday for legislation that would legalize gay marriage in the state, a source who has been informed of her decision told Reuters on Tuesday.

The expected announcement will come just days before the Washington state legislature was scheduled to convene for its next session.

A group of Democratic legislators have said that during the session they will introduce a law to legalize gay marriage. Democrats hold majorities in both chambers of the Washington state legislature.

A spokesman for Gregoire, a Democrat who has long supported gay rights, declined to comment on the governor's plans.

Read more here: Washington governor to support gay marriage law: source -

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The Day Infant Jesus Received Exotic Visitors

The Day Infant Jesus Received Exotic Visitors

Pope's General Audience: May our lives be transformed by the gifts, joy, newness and light of Christ

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Warning Sounded Iran May Execute Condemned Christian Pastor in Secret

As Paul Harvey used to say, "It is not one world."

An Iranian pastor facing death a death sentence for refusing to renounce his Christian faith and embrace Islam is expected to spend another year in jail, awaiting an appeal on his death sentence, while government authorities try to force him to convert to Islam.

However, the delay could be a ruse and the Iranian government could kill him in secret, warns the founder of Present Truth Ministries, which was the first to report on Pastor Yosef Nadarkhani’s arrest in October 2009.

That’s the most recent development in Nadarkhani’s religious and political nightmare of more than two years, according to The Christian Post.

Read more on Warning Sounded Iran May Execute Condemned Christian Pastor in Secret
Important: Do You Support Pres. Obama's Re-Election? Vote Here Now!

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How Do You Know if Your Pro-Life Work is Stopping Abortion? |

If we are not careful, no matter what kind of ministry we are involved with, we can quickly become discouraged when we perceive little or no impact or progress in our work and the only results we see are not the ones we have in mind. This is as true in pro-life work as in any other.

“How do you know if you’re making a difference?” the man in the audience asked me during a question and answer session at a high school pro-life rally that I spoke at in 2011. This moment will forever be ingrained in my memory.

I was not so much surprised at his question,as we all consider it from time to time, no matter what our life’s work, as much as I was at his tone. The way that he posed his question made it sound as if he wondered the difference that someone like me, an abortion survivor, a pro-life speaker and advocate, can make in this world.

“I know that I’m making a difference every day. I can feel it in the depths of my soul. We may never know on this earth the difference that we make, but we have to have faith. From time to time, I’m given a glimpse at the difference I make.” The words that came out of my mouth in reply were heartfelt and true. And despite his tone, the one that made me think he was looking for more quantitative data than a qualitative response, he seemed appeased by my answer. But was I appeased? That was the real question…..

Read more here: How Do You Know if Your Pro-Life Work is Stopping Abortion? |

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Church's namesake Tekakwitha to be canonized for sainthood

This holy woman has always intrigued me. She maintained her faith in the most trying of difficulties while so many today simply discard it out of pique, willful ignorance or laziness. Her story now should recieve far greater attention and her life should serve as an inspiration to us all.

Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha — the namesake of three churches in the Pass — will become the first Native American Saint in 2012.

On Dec. 19, Pope Benedict XVI approved the miracle needed for the canonization ceremony. Before that happens, the Cardinals must support the pope’s decision in Rome.

Father Joseph Nguyen, pastor of the Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha churches in Banning, Beaumont and the Morongo reservation, said elevating Kateri Tekakwitha to sainthood would mean a lot to him and his parishioners.

“It’s a joyful occasion for us to celebrate and we would change the name from Blessed to Saint Kateri Tekakwitha,” said Nguyen.

Read on here: Record Gazette > Archives > News > Church's namesake Tekakwitha to be canonized for sainthood:

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Abortion Insanity | Catholic Lane

Studies sometimes seem designed to reach a predetermined conclusion The reality of this hit home in the exposure of some flawed environmental studies whis has caused a tremendous setback for the environmental movement. Here is another example.

"The 252 page systematic review “Induced Abortion and Mental Health” published in December 2011 by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges is easily dismantled by appealing to its fundamental premise. You don’t have to be a medical doctor to know that if you ask the wrong question, your entire premise is flawed and time spent answering flawed questions is time wasted. People either do that ignorantly or dishonestly. It’s a faulty question to ask whether or not a woman suffers mental anguish after she kills her own child. Of course she does, a woman with her sanity and dignity intact doesn’t do that in the first place, and women who abort need help, not excuses."

Read on here:

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The toll of “martyrs” in 2011 - Vatican Insider

The toll of “martyrs” in 2011 - Vatican Insider: "26 missionaries have been killed during the year. And they lose their lives especially in the world’s most Catholic region, South America

That of the missionaries killed during this year that draws to a close, is a geography of blood that goes from Colombia to the Philippines,  from Nigeria to India.  Like every year, it is traced by  the agency Fides, a unit of the Vatican Congregation of Propaganda Fide, which maintains the sad count of the priests, religious and lay killed, who were “exposed to persecution, and sometimes martyrdom for spreading the Gospel” - as pointed out by Benedict XVI last December 26th."

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Top 10 Reasons for Hope

This beats any of those David Letterman lists.

Top 10 under-covered Vatican stories (plus a bonus feature) | National Catholic Reporter

Top 10 under-covered Vatican stories (plus a bonus feature) | National Catholic Reporter: "By now, it's an "All Things Catholic" tradition to run down the top under-covered Vatican stories of the year. The idea is not to flag the year's most celebrated events or personalities, because plenty of other news agencies do that. Rather, I try to lift up storylines that otherwise flew below radar but that were actually fairly important.
If I were compiling a list of the biggest Vatican stories of the year, for instance, the beatification of Pope John Paul II on May 1 would probably be near the top. Yet it doesn't make the cut as an "under-covered" event, because it's hard to believe anybody who picked up a newspaper in May 2011, or who watched TV that day, could have missed it. Similarly, a document from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace on reform of the international economy, as well as the Vatican's diplomatic spat with Ireland, both were important stories, but they were hardly overlooked."

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Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary