Saturday, March 7, 2009

Rape is OK ? - Abortion is not !

A CATHOLIC archbishop has sparked controversy in Brazil by saying the mother of a nine-year-old girl who had an abortion on Wednesday following a rape is automatically excommunicated for allowing the procedure to go ahead.

Archbishop José Cardoso Sobrinho of Olinda and Recife also declared that according to canon law the doctor who performed the abortion is considered excommunicated, along with anyone else involved.

The child was raped by her stepfather, who has since admitted abusing her over the last three years. Abortion is generally illegal in Brazil but allowed in cases of rape or when the pregnancy endangers the mother’s life. Irish Times - March 7, 2009

Another Lunatic RC Bishop - Jose Sobrinho of Brazil - has ruled or has gleefully quoted RC boilerplate dogma that “Abortion is Wrong” and everyone directly connected with the abortion of a nine year old rape victim in Brazil is excommunicated.

Even the President of Brazil is embarrassed by this monumental lack of humanity displayed by this cookie cutter hack cleric.

RAPE IS NOT WRONG? Abortion is! Where is your humanity Jose? Next to your bottle of Jim Beam?

The good Archbishop excommunicates a mother of a nine year old rape victim who has the courage to go ahead with an abortion for her daughter.

The archbishop denies excommunicating anyone. Backtracking on quotes, “misquoted”, now that the shit has the fan globally and put this despicable act of RC hierarchy verbal uncaring humanity under a microscope. He is merely quoting RC boilerplate BS that automatically excommunicates the mother, the doctor performing the abortion and his medical staff.

The excommunication does not come down on the nine year old rape victim or the miserable Shit that raped her.

Brazil is a Catholic country where abortion is illegal except in extraordinary cases such as this.

No doubt the good archbishop sleeps well at night knowing he has perpetuated and protected the RC male molesters code of “ethics”.

Rape is not a sin? Abortion is.

This bishop as a person would seem to be a Dick who hates vaginas.

This is not Christ!

My prayers to the victims here and for the courage of a mother to protect her child even if it is after the fact.

It is a sad world where sadistic RC clergy run the world in some cultural backwater like Brazil.

Of course the Vatican rubberstamps have chimed in agreeing that this abortion was a breach of God’s law. Cardinal Re (photo above) is quoted to have said “that the twins had the right to live" and attacks on Brazil's Catholic Church were unfair. Twins in a nine year old womb and they want it to go to term????

Does God’s law always ignore the victims? One would have to search Deuteronomy to find a more despicable display of men hating women attitudes than Archbishop Sobrinho of Brazil and Cardinal Re backing him up 1000%.

Cardinal Re of the Vatican is another pot of puss to dissect. You may remember that Cardinal Re pulled a Pontius Pilate in which he “roared” when given the papers to sign and lift excommunication on the SSPX bishops including the Holocaust Denying “bishop” Richard Williamson. If he disagreed, why didn’t he act on his conscience - refuse to sign - or offer to resign.

Why can’t we get rid of Williamson - it all keeps coming back to Williamson - as least he is honest, though a putz, in his Jew Hating beliefs. He is dangerous too in that the other three bishops of SSPX did not publicly share his anti-Semitic views (notice I said “publicly share“).

Don’t bishops have hearts?

Jesus did!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Darfur - the dogs and demons of war

I see in the world press that the President of Sudan has been indicted for War Crimes in Darfur by the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands. This is a step in the right direction for the International Global approach to try and put a lid on and discourage future atrocities from happening in Sudan and elsewhere.

Bashir Defies Arrest Order on War Crime Charges

After months of deliberation, the judges charged Mr. Bashir with war crimes and crimes against humanity for playing an “essential role” in the murder, rape, torture, pillage and displacement of large numbers of civilians in Darfur. But the judges did not charge him with genocide, as the prosecutor had requested.

In issuing the order, the three judges put aside diplomatic requests for more time for peace talks and fears that the warrant would incite a violent backlash in Sudan, where 2.5 million Darfur residents have been chased from their homes and 300,000 have died in a conflict pitting non-Arab rebel groups against the Arab-dominated government and its allied militias.

Because of this international indictment, there are likely to be disruptions in humanitarian aid going into the war torn region as written in the following article, along with a synopsis of the political story behind this tragedy.

Graham: Arrest of Bashir Threatens Chaos in Sudan

“Mr. Bashir is rightly accused of great cruelty and destruction,” (Franklin) Graham writes. “But I have been able to deal with him.”

The op-ed was posted just one day before the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for President Bashir for the violence in Darfur. Bashir is charged with seven counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture, and rape, according to CNN.

Violence broke out in the western region of Darfur, Sudan five years ago when ethnically African Darfurians rebelled against the central Arab-dominated Khartoum government. The government, in turn, is accused of unleashing Arab nomads called janjaweed militias on Darfur civilians, resulting in more than 200,000 deaths and the displacement of 2.5 million civilians since 2003.

News of the arrest warrant for Bashir have been met with cheers from human rights groups that have long sought for greater international intervention regarding the Darfur genocide.

Save Darfur Coalition president Jerry Fowler commended the ICC for issuing the arrest warrant and called the act a “game changing moment.”

I, as a common man or global observer, do not completely know what to make of this "man's inhumanity to man" that is going on in place like Sudan. In a 10-15 second sound bite media world it is hard to get the planet’s attention about war, murder, rape, famine, overpopulation and the vestiges of the cold war in the ongoing and lively armament sales industry.

The UN ( United Nations ) is used at times to stand on a dividing line between “us and them” and to distribute basic food stuffs and aid to famine victims and war refugees. The UN can do little else unless empowered by many nations to do something more than just hand out packages after some tragedy has occured.

Under the land that is Africa there is no doubt a lot of minerals and natural resources. It is difficult at times to understand all the sides in a conflict that makes up what seems likes a civil war fighting for, in this case, limited surface resources such as water, food and grass for herding. How can so basic a human right as food and water trigger so many global conflicts and concerns? Where is there decent management and husbandry of the land?

The outside world picks a point of view that suits its own economic, political, ethnic or religious spin. Pick a side or POV. It is too complicated for a convenient ten second sound bite solution.

The people on the ground are suffering and we seem to be in the distance playing at some celestial focus, gazing out on the images of the idiot box in the living room, if we are interested at all - many are not interested sad to say.

I cannot see too clear a picture of this mess other than to agree that it is a tragic mess indeed. The conflicts being played out in Darfur so far from the central capital makes me want to make a few points which may or may not help you in forming an opinion in this human tragedy. It reminds me of the Nicaragua thing of a generation ago.

I never could figure out the linguistics (PC) of Nicaragua in the 1980’s in terms of who we (USA) were backing and who we were opposing. I still could not tell you who or what the Sandinistas or Contras were all about and that I used to watch the “Great Communicator” Ronald Reagan keeps pounding on these sound bites. This must make you think how dumb I must be.

Perhaps I knew that I had nothing to do with U.S. foreign policy in Nicaragua. It was already a crock and was decided or was a legacy going back to 1849 with shipping magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt trying to build a canal to go from the Caribbean to the Pacific ocean. If you are interesting in an offbeat movie on that historic situation, footnote, I recommend “Walker” 1987, Alex Cox Director…

"Walker", 1987, Alex Cox Director

…whereby an American mercenary walked into the civil war involving Vanderbilt, British and internal Nicaraguan interests and got himself “elected” President of the country and recognized by the U.S. government. The US foreign policy has been stuck there ever since.

So too in Sudan and Darfur, the story line must go back decades, generations and centuries and even before the European Colonial Powers started to draw lines on paper maps in London, Paris, Lisbon, and Berlin.

Part of the difficulty and reason for the present war in Iraq goes back to a fcuked up set of map lines dividing the middle east into British and French spheres of influence after the sleazy Treaty of Versailles and following the European World War One.

But Nicaragua and Iraq are not Darfur or the Sudan. I see it as a global formula or equation by which the standards set up by the major world religions - do not live up to these ideals in dealing with global situations wherever they occur. All politics are local, all beliefs are local and sad to say all mercy and justice must be local as well. Humanity is factored out in so many possible win-win global equations of the media, politics, economics etc. - or humanity is used all too often to frame a self interest agenda.

I cannot directly help cure the present Darfur genocide or whatever PC word your government or monied or cultural interests demands that you label it. It is a mess. I am a helpless bystander witness of the world stage and the world’s inability to get a little more human and economically efficient. The future of Africa and the planet may get better only if we start building a future from the zero of now.

What I would suggest in the decades to come to prevent these Keystone Cops, puppet regime forms of government in the Raped Lady = Africa, is to let big one-city countries sprawl and rule and corrupt themselves. Let a more aggressive United Nations or Capitalist Interested Corporation administer all the small towns and villages that do not get aid from any central regime in times of drought and famine.

That investment through capitalist interests in that continent could distribute wealth and profits from exploitation of natural resources and minerals. That roads, clean water and education be given global priority for a couple of decades. Then step back and decide where political and economic lines can or should be redrawn in the capitals of real world power, corporations, and local centers of common human interest.

The feudal way that Africa is still administrating itself is indirectly a threat to future world peace.

Let us start to set long term common goals in the vast regions of the continent of Africa. The age of two bit dictators and two bit capitalism is over I hope. Yeah right.

I can do little more than pray for the victims of war, make a check out to a reputable charity, and write my congressman.

God have mercy on us and God be with us all!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Oodgeroo St. Mary's Treaty Brisbane


There are circles that radiate out from Father Kennedy’s modern approach to Catholic liturgy and Social Awareness. St. Mary’s Parish in South Brisbane appears to be an affluent parish. It’s members are no doubt educated, socially aware and well healed.

A local Aboriginal Group has stepped in and accused Archbishop John Bathersby of racial discrimination regarding an announced mediation between the Archdiocese, St. Mary’s and Father Kennedy. That the judge/arbitrator hand picked by the Archbishop is known and has been accused of bias against Aboriginal Rights in the past.

The Archbishop would appear to already have stacked the deck against the good flow of positive energy at St. Mary’s on the way to turning it into a deserted, hack run, shambles ready made for a quick sale on the real estate market.

Brisbane Catholic Archbishop accused of racial discrimination

The St. Mary’s Treaty was signed during a well-attended mass with the congregation of St. Mary’s and members of the local Aboriginal community witnessing it. The treaty was celebrated in coroborree in accordance with Aboriginal customary law and written on paper in accordance with non-Aboriginal law. It is real.”

“The Archbishop has appointed Ian Callinan to mediate between himself and St. Mary’s. When Ian Callinan was a high court judge he had to be forced off the Hindmarsh Island case because of his bias against Aboriginal claims of rights and interests. The Archbishop’s choice of mediator is an example of the contempt of Aboriginal law, culture and rights that he appears to hold. His blanket refusal to discuss the treaty is another.”

“The Oodgeroo Treaty Circles are asking the Archbishop and the Brisbane Archdiocese to confirm and support the St. Mary’s treaty which involves innovative Aboriginal welfare and social justice programs such as dry camps, a cultural heritage education program and the facilitation of Aboriginal men’s, women’s and elders business. The treaty process provides non-Aboriginal Australians a direct relationship with Aboriginal culture and programs. This path of healing is being obstructed by the Archbishop’s refusal to even acknowledge Aboriginal rights and interests, let alone work pro-actively with them.”

I do no know if this is a nuisance lawsuit to give some weight and or support to Father’s Kennedy and his wanting to possibly retire and leave his life’s work in good hands and not to some clerical hack - not wanting to hand it all over into the uncaring hands of someone who will destroy the work of so many good, faithful and enthusiastic people's work through the years.

The lawsuit is a way of expressing great thoughts, solidarity and continued awareness regarding a racial tension and situation that appears to still exist in the front lines of society in Australia. It is situation that St. Mary’s in its own limited way has tried to address.

Apparently Father Kennedy had entered into some sort of treaty with the Aboriginal group that his parish also serves.

Father Kennedy is no Saint Oscar Romero but without trying to totally diss the Archbishop of Brisbane, I can see where he let this thing go on too long and he can’t find a suitable replacement for Father Kennedy and his progressive RC congregation. You just don’t get it! Do you John?

Or has it always been planned this way. In the bowels of the Vatican, Progressive Churches like Saint Mary's in South Brisbane and like Vatican II itself, they were always planned to be temporary successes and long term failures?

I do not see the parish or the priest or the Aborigines in any win-win with the RC hierarchy in Rome pushing hard for a quick and immediate end to thoughts and radical Christian ideas from people with serious hearts and serious faith.

I may or may not have understood or properly or fairly presented this to you if you are reading this. I am an outsider. I think the basic plot is universal.

Good luck you to all down under. My prayers are with you all.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Father Peter Kennedy - Heretic or Saint?

There seems to be some sort of rowl in Brisbane whereby a popular priest Father Peter Kennedy has taken the good news of Vatican II and created a dynamic, charismatic RC church full of living, breathing Catholics full again of blood and spirit.

Kennedy was removed by the Archbishop on complaints of letters sent to the Vatican complaining that a statue of Buddha was seen on the St Mary parish church grounds in Brisbane.

Buddhism is not incompatible with Jesus and his common man’s message. Buddha in most sects is just an enabler to the awakening of the spirit within which is not necessarily synonymous with soul.

Apparently the Parish church which can get over a thousand people in attendance at mass is deemed a great threat to the Church Hierarchy. Cynical me bets that they want to sell the valuable land beneath St Mary’s and or get rid of Vatican II loving priests and Laity.

Enthusiasm is a dangerous thing. I cannot get an accurate picture to see if Father Kennedy is a con artist of sorts, or worse a Protestant lover, who takes poetic license during the Mass to express the Trinity as Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer instead of Father, Son, Holy Ghost.

This all started a couple weeks ago and I do not see much more news on the matter from down under.

There seems a news blackout has occurred, but it is Australia, with little news about this standoff between the people of St. Mary’s and the cookie cutter hierarchy wanting to stamp this sort of thing out and probably with a tridentine Latin mass.

Why doesn’t the Vatican do like the Church of England or some Lutheran sects and have a high Latin church with rituals and a low church full of Gospel, prayer and spirit.

Stop gleefully sending people out the door to other sects, different religions or no religion at all!!!

Vatican to excommunicate South Brisbane priest Father Peter Kennedy

The death knell was sounded for Father Kennedy in August, when Archbishop Bathersby warned St Mary's to toe the Vatican line or close. He told Father Kennedy, who has presided for 28 years over the 800-member church community, that St Mary's was operating outside practices and policies of the Catholic Church.

He cited a number of issues including allegedly unorthodox Masses being practiced and the hierarchical authority of the church not being respected.

The Archbishop's intervention was sparked by complaints to the Vatican by a parishioner who, among other issues, complained about a Buddhist statue in the church.

In a letter in November responding to Archbishop Bathersby's charges, Father Kennedy and members of the congregation denied they were out-of-step with the Church and Rome.

After a further letter from the Archbishop to the priest in December, the St Mary's community has been awaiting the primate's final decision.

This week the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, gave his tacit blessing for the possible excommunication of Father Kennedy.

The Vatican is a place for some. For others Vatican II is spirit, the Spirit, and ideal of Christ’s message lifting itself out of a feudalism mindset.

Monday, March 2, 2009

We have to touch people

There is an article on BBC about how the Vatican is not doing well with PR (Public Relations) especially in recent news items of Holocaust Denying and Queer Hating bishops. The failed or criticized public exposure of these two clerics is in a way not blamed on the false nature of their souls. Blame is going to the Vatican PR Department for the improper way that rotten meat was presented to the public as freshly made tofu. No sale.

Living in isolation and out of touch to the population in general is what afflicts all clerics everywhere of every faith. God and theory of God are one thing. People and all forms of the human condition must balance out that equation in a very large part.

Vatican failing publicity tests

The public forum, the secular forum, knows what passes for decency and these papal touched clowns did not meet the test.

I think there are gaps caused by Vatican II. That many (really the few after Vat II) who got into the priesthood as a meal ticket profession, life time employment and all that, had no particular like or dislike of the attempted reforms of Vatican II. They brought their local prejudices with them as baggage. It would seem these days that there is not a whole lot of good or even mediocre priests in the ranks to be elevated to church office. PR cannot cover up lack of quality available.

That said. I fear that what passes for church bureaucracy is in some sort of survival bunker mindset and that the RC and the Christian church as well is not greatly equipped to deal with the modern world and all its secular complexities.

I was dismayed recently when my wife reiterated the centuries old RC boilerplate mantra blaming the Jews alone for the death of Jesus and this while the whole world wants in a symbolic way to make Richard Williamson a scapegoat for its own real or closeted anti-Semitism.

Williamson is in a way symbolic of what caused the Holocaust - “arrogance, dogma and ignorance”.

I begin to quote above the Polish-Jewish-British mathematician Jacob Bronowski from his television series “The Ascent of Man” from 1973.

I do not know how others, outside of Judaism, view the Holocaust but I think that somehow we should all try to look at and feel something about it as part of our being human.

Below is a scene that has been imprinted on my brain since I first saw it thirty five years ago, of Bronowski demonstrating in a moving way how “We have to touch people”. Touching people may prevent other holocausts.

To Richard Williamson, and the other unripe crop of RC clerics on stage, who do not willingly recognize your own ignorance of the true scope and size of the Holocaust, I implore you and quoting Bronowski quoting Oliver Cromwell “I beseech you in the bowels of Christ think it possible you may be mistaken“.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Did you get the message yet Bishop Dick?

Did you get the message yet Bishop Dick?

Holocaust denier apology is first step, bishop says

Asked why the SSPX did not exclude Williamson, Fellay said:

"If he denies the Holocaust again, that will happen. It is probably better if he stays quiet and stays in a corner somewhere." He added it was, in his view, unlikely that the Vatican would excommunicate Williamson again.

(in any case) - Just shut up Dick and let the other ambitious guys in SSPX get on with their agendas and success and in sinc with Papa Joe and his agenda and success.

All is good. Retire and expire!

In any case dear dinosaur Rest in Peace!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Free Tibet!

My photo is a bit outdated but its sentiment stands this year as last.

March 10 is the fiftieth anniversary of a failed uprising against the Chinese who annexed Tibet. The Dalai Lama and some of his followers have been homeless since.

Tibet is part of a world not greatly populated but no doubt endowed with many natural resources which is why China stole it in the first place.

China’s anti-religion, anti-God, anti-anything-not-Chinese, anti-tolerance communist regime is at its most brutal and at its most honest when not shielded by the world press from its tyranny especially when it comes to TIBET.

This recent self immolation of a Tibetan Buddhist monk is perhaps the start of troubles in the region.

Tibetan monk 'shot' while on fire

The monk, named Tapey, is said to have shouted slogans and waved a Tibetan flag, then doused himself with petrol and set himself alight.

Campaign groups said witnesses then saw Chinese police shoot the man.

The monk collapsed and was taken away by the police.

China's official Xinhua news agency confirmed a man had set himself on fire, saying he was taken to a hospital and treated for burns injuries. It made no mention of any gunshot wounds.

The protest began after more than 1,000 Tibetan Buddhist monks gathered at a temple in the town to celebrate the third day of the Tibetan new year.

It reminds me of what brought down the Diem Regime in Vietnam before JFK’s assassination and the US being dragged into a no-win possible war/police-action. It was the lowly Buddhists setting themselves on fire that brought world attention to a corrupt regime just before a coup.

Killing one's self as protest is kinda out my league of understanding especially when Buddhism would seem to address more passive, gentle ways as part of its belief system. But as we have seen in recent years, the extreme ends of any religion are not pleasant or palletable.

In any case, religious intolerance and suppression are the hallmark of this Chinese regime.

Buddhism is something that is different from country to country throughout Asia over and above its basic tenets. I do not know if the Buddhists in the Tibet area will rise up in mass and be slaughtered like in Burma in 2007 against that junta police state and puppet regime of China.

China with all its glitzy consumerism and capitalism on its east coast, it is still Mao and Joe Stalin in its interior.

Another silent tentacle of China reaches into the disputed region of Kashimer with China being one of the players in disputed territory with Pakistan and India and on the Tibet border.


No doubt while America slept or hung out as potatoes on a couch during the recent prosperity paid for by credit, China has moved in everywhere it chooses to go.

While I do not know where all this ends, I would approach the Tibetan Buddhists under the Dali Lama in a respect for foreign culture mode. I would if I were China grant several hundred square miles around the ancient Tibetan capital of Lhasa and give it self autonomy not unlike the Vatican. It is unlikely that China will ever give up the rich prize of Tibet as a whole.

Tolerance and good sense and respect might go a lot further than guns and armies.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Wandering Jew - NO - The Wandering Catholic!

Suddenly, Bishop Richard Williamson's apology to who(m)ever is not good enough?

I think that he has done a great deal considering his limited - very limited historic matrix - half or three quarters of an apology is better than none.

Perhaps the front line hierarchy in the Armani clad red silk Cardinal and white Papal robes might consider opening their own personal hearts in a similar manner to the Jews and the Shoah as they suddenly are asking an aged catholic dinosaur to do!

Vatican rejects Holocaust-denying bishop's apology

Like for the survivors of the Shoah and Nazi Holocaust, the everyday grind of life goes on.

So too in the Catholic sect of Christianity, life goes on and here are some narrower or is it futuristic views of that vision?

Some collateral follow-up on I hope a lighter side to show all sorts of sides to a church in a constant state of flux, looking for a stable mission and or mission statement after Vatican II.

Rather than be considered as a person doing a witch hunt on Richard Williamson and his anit-Semitic views, he is a gift that keeps giving to me in terms of the tangents and the bits and pieces of the so-called Traditionalist movement in the RC church that I find in further research on the Internet.

I call it Medieval Revivalism as opposed to Traditionalist and or anti-Modernist, like Pius X, who was not saying anything correct in using the word Modern, pro-or-con, in their temporary selfish me comfort philosophy.

Apparently there are all sorts of break away groups in and out of papal favor and or approval - in and out of “union with Rome”.

An interesting article about two brothers who studied under Richard Williamson who in their youth got a full dose of vitriol against Jews and Women when they studied in a SSPX seminary.

Bishop's vexing beliefs have deep roots

Oppenheimer, the seminarian with the Jewish sounding name who was belittled by crazy Dick Williamson in the seminary appears briefly in one of these videos showing his small sect doing the Latin Mass thing. The Canons Regular of the New Jerusalem was founded none other than by Archbishop Raymond Burke, the next pope, the future “Pius XIII“ (?), now head of the Vatican Supreme Court.

In retrospect, the French video shows in an odd way how the exact rubrics of a Council of Trent (anti-Protestant) Tridentine (not a chewing gum) Latin Mass.

In a way, nostalgia for the Latin Mass fits into the original Modernist critique of devotional reflection as something close to conveniently looking into a mirror or a well, seeing ourselves and calling it God and or Jesus. (a Gnostic view?)

In a way, nostalgia for the Latin Mass is nothing more than liking your grandmom’s fudge brownies better than your mum’s. The physical requirements for a Latin mass are more like staged Opera different than the performance of rap music and or fast food at Mickey D’s as many have called the new mass etc.

All in all, with so many wanting its own particular approach to the divine in all these spoiled RC splinter groups merely confirms my belief in the ultimate success of the Protestant Reformation was in the desire for all to reach God in an easier fashion than previously allowed under the monolith of the medieval church.

To each, his own. God save our constitutionally guaranteed “religious liberty” in the USA.

God Bless us all - each and every one!

Witchcraft & Buggery @ Yale & Vatican ?

There is a lawsuit put out from the descendants of the Native American Warrior Geronimo regarding his bones on display in some frat house at Yale. If you saw the movie “The Good Shepard” you would have seen an initiation scene whereby a future head of the CIA was pissing over the balcony onto the pledges below. This particular frat house drinking club is famous for having had so many presidents, supreme court judges, senators, and captains of industry as lifetime members.

Geronimo’s Heirs Sue Secret Yale Society Over His Skull

Getting back to Geronimo and desecration of his grave in Oklahoma by the U.S.Army and his remains getting dumped in a basement at Yale - is it an Urban Legend?

The late Tony Hillerman, in his books set in and around the Navaho Reservation in Arizona, wrote about one of his books called “Talking God” in which he stated that "I wanted Americans to stop thinking of Navajos as primitive persons, to understand that they are sophisticated and complicated."

Of course Geronimo was Apache but the same standards I think apply when in that novel in the author's words “The first chapter was no problem at all. I have an urban wannabe Navaho send a Smithsonian official a box of her ancestor’s bones, dug up from an ancient Episcopal graveyard, for her to display with bones of his ancestors.”

Respect for other cultures, other religions begins with your own. All beliefs are local.

Perhaps the present curse on the U.S. economy is the result of a frat house prank at Yale a hundred years ago - that is if you are superstitious or prone to urban legends.

I hope Yale finally does do some overdue spring cleaning and officially or unofficially returns the bones of Geronimo to a treasured sacred and blessed Apache resting site.

This whole incident reminds me of a short visit I had to a hospital in NYC that had been founded by the legendary Saint Mother Cabrini. She and her order had founded dozens of schools, orphanages and hospitals to help the needs of immigrants around the turn of the last century. Unfortunately, that hospital is now out of business.

I wanted to visit Mother Cabrini’s shrine in Manhattan out of curiosity and respect for such a powerful Christian personality who had stood in our midst so close to us in time. I did some research and then I discovered that her body in a glass case is not a whole body. Apparently they removed her skull to the Vatican. Why? I don’t have a clue. It is one thing to chop some saint’s finger bone into 10,000 pieces of dust and display them as relics for adoration and or respect. But a whole skull? It conjures up the worst in my seeing or envisioning evil uses for the bones of a true saint.

This drinking out of Geronimo’s skull at beer bashes and God knows what they need Mother Cabrini’s skull for - it is all Medieval - and for lack of perhaps better words, stinks and or smells of witchcraft and buggery!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

No rest for the weary. My fishing trip got cancelled.

I ran into this inspriational piece - Desiderata (Latin -"for things desired")- in the late sixites. Somebody had hijacked it and was selling it in cards shops. It was on parchment paper and the author was listed as Anonymous with some nonsense about it being written in 1692.

The Author was Max Ehrmann and not Anonymous.

I looked up the one word I did not totally understand - "aridity" = "the quality of yielding nothing of value" from the Free Online Dictionary.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Gone Fishing

I am taking a break from this blog. Lent is as good a time as any to do that. Here are some past would be homilies and or inspirational writings related to this Christian season. They are based on a one year lectionary series. Perhaps I’ll will get to do First Sunday and Sixth Sunday in Lent next year - God willing.

Matt 15:21-28, Second Sunday in Lent

Luke 11:14-28, Third Sunday in Lent

John 6:1-15, Fourth Sunday in Lent

John 8:42-59, Fifth Sunday in Lent

Mark 16:1-8, Christ's Resurrection

God bless!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Secular Hymns for a Secular World

The basis for this is something light and secular.

I remember in the late sixties us young types wanted some modern music in the new English Mass. Something from the Beatles or “Bridge over Troubled Waters” by Simon and Garfunkel seemed an appropriate request to the masters of the stone house.

We were told that expression of the profane did not match the requirements of things appropriate to sing in a church. The music must be sacred and approved by the Vatican bureaucracy. So no real music got played in my high school chapel.

In a way that was good, why pretend. Lifting up the spirit of people with secular music sounded too much like the feared Protestantism still lurking about and in spite of pronouncements of Ecumenical boiler plate PR coming out of Vat II.

Going along with the idea of secular music, I ran into “You’ll never walk alone” sung at a public high school graduation I went to. No mention of God in the song from a Broadway musical but with a inspirational and or spiritual overtone. Quite legal under the First Amendment in a secular public school assembly.

Pushing along on this secular theme and secular songs, so why not label them “Secular Hymns”? It is a secular world and if you read a secular bible by Thomas Jefferson about the life of Jesus why not have some secular hymns to balance out the program.

Another of these no God mentioned songs is “You Raise me Up” listed below with lyrics and video.

In a rather unusual way of looking at the secular approach, you in a way go back to where the mention of “God” was too sacred a thing to utter. Perhaps in our secular world, the name and or word “God” is worn out in connotation and or common meaning.

Maybe by not mentioning God in songs or “Hymns” maybe we might come closer to the divine in inspirational type thought and music.

“You’ll Never Walk Alone”

When you walk through a storm hold your head up high,
And don't be afraid of the dark.
At the end of a storm is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind,
Walk on through the rain,
Tho' your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart,
And you'll never walk alone,
You'll never walk alone!

(Music, Words) Rodgers and Hammerstein

"You Raise Me Up"

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be.

There is no life - no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be.

(Words, Music) Brendan Graham, Rolf Lovland.

The Secular Bible ? by Thomas Jefferson

To change the subject matter back to more appropriate light and or secular matters.

I ran into a reference somewhere about this book some months ago. It is the so called Jefferson Bible or The Life and Morals of Jesus. It is conveniently on an Internet site without having to buy a dusty old copy of it.

Apparently Jefferson in his old age did a literal cut and paste with several copies of the New Testament, four gospels, and painted a line by line narrative of Jesus as a moral teacher. Good narrative flow of the story of Jesus but with no miracles, no resurrection etc.

The Jefferson Bible

Letter To Dr. Benjamin Rush.
Washington, April 21, 1803.

In some of the delightful conversations with you in the evenings of 1798-99, and which served as an anodyne to the afflictions of the crisis through which our country was then laboring, the Christian religion was sometimes our topic; and I then promised you that one day or other I would give you my views of it. They are the result of a life of inquiry and reflection, and very different from that anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed, but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others, ascribing to himself every human excellence, and believing he never claimed any other. At the short interval since these conversations, when I could justifiably abstract my mind from public affairs, the subject has been under my contemplation. But the more I considered it, the more it expanded beyond the measure of either my time or information. In the moment of my late departure from Monticello, I received from Dr. Priestley his little treatise of "Socrates and Jesus Compared." This being a section of the general view I had taken of the field, it became a subject of reflection while on the road and unoccupied otherwise. The result was, to arrange in my mind a syllabus or outline of such an estimate of the comparative merits of Christianity as I wished to see executed by someone of more leisure and information for the task than myself. This I now send you as the only discharge of my promise I can probably ever execute. And in confiding it to you, I know it will not be exposed to the malignant perversions of those who make every word from me a text for new misrepresentations and calumnies. I am moreover averse to the communication of my religious tenets to the public, because it would countenance the presumption of those who have endeavored to draw them before that tribunal, and to seduce public opinion to erect itself into that inquisition over the rights of conscience which the laws have so justly proscribed. It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others; or their case may, by change of circumstances, become his own. It behooves him, too, in his own case, to give no example of concession, betraying the common right of independent opinion, by answering questions of faith which the laws have left between God and himself. Accept my affectionate salutations.

Th: Jefferson

This was a project that Jefferson had suggested to some of the great minds of his day but to which nobody else bothered to follow through on. In his old age, it was one of those things left on the "to do" list. I guess he needed a mental exercise to keep dementia away.

I have only read parts of it but pass it along to anyone interested who never heard of it or is curious about an abridged NT version as seen through the eyes and or imaginative brain workings of one of the founding fathers.

Monday, February 23, 2009

New Mick RC Archbishop in NYC - Tim Dolan

1,000 -

999 -

998 -

I am counting backwards. Not holding my breath.

997 -

996 -

995 -

Archbishop Timothy Dolan is being named as a replacement for the finally retiring Edward Cardinal Egan in the big apple.

994 -

993 -

992 -

It will perhaps be a breath of fresh air. Perhaps the paint on the walls of the Cathedral rectory has finally dried after nine long years and just as the good Cardinal Egan receives a well deserved retirement.

991 -

990 -

989 -

A young fellow I once worked with was a musician on the side. I guess he once got invited to an RC marriage ceremony as part of his gig. He made the remark that he would rather watch paint dry on a wall than ever go to one of those again. Perhaps not a nice comment. But definitely an honest one.

988 -

987 -

986 -

Egan's entrance to New York had to do with his recruiting middle aged men to the priesthood to replenish a diminishing supply. Of course with organizations like SSPX with about 350 priests in the world, it is easy to recruit third world priests to take a high paying US salary of a few hundred a week in a US parish and send the money back home to their starving relatives. (The issue of celibacy gets buried deeper and deeper within a spider's web of PR, BS, piss and corruption.)

985 -

984 -


I did not like how Egan seemed to be walking down the central aisle of St Patrick's to claim his red prince's hat even before O'Connor's body got pushed out the door.

O'Connor was stiff as a board but he had a certain common touch. I almost tripped over him once as I existed a bus on Madison Avenue. I did not recognize him at first in his cassock and brown leather fedora. He seemed to be alone. No bodyguards. Egan on the other hand had an air about him that you would need an appointment to just look at his magnificence.

I am perhaps not being fair with the new guy. Have seen too, too much wet paint on the RC walls since Vatican II that still is not dry.

982 -

983 -

984 -

No doubt Archbishop Dolan will get his red hat and be promoted to Cardinal of what John Paul II called the "archdiocese of the world's capital". Lately with the financial meltdown, NYC is more like a collapsed tower of Babel than anything else.

983 -

982 -

981 -

There are many articles in the papers today about this new appointment. I will not list them. I think I am not the one to give a balanced assessment of a man I never heard of 24 hours ago. The best overall report is the NYT's one - boilerplate - obituary in the drawer quality - ready to pull and print at a moment's notice.

980 -

979 -

978 -

For some reason only Micks get to be the chief honcho in St. Pat's. I read that Dolan speaks Espanol. Good.

Other than that his predecessor in the post of archbishop of Milwaukee got caught doing something nasty that cost some sort of $450,000 settlement with the person who got the nasty done to them. But that has nothing to do with Tim. He raises a lot of money. That seems to be his number one ace in the hole that got him the job. That and downsizing everything in sight in the Milwaukee Archdiocese to settle lawsuits.

977 -

976 -

975 -

Counting backward. I have to wonder what is wrong with Timothy Dolan? Benedict XVI, an aged politician and bureaucrat seems in a hurry, a mortal hurry to pack the court like FDR or I should say the Church Hierarchy with as many weird choices for bishops as anybody desperately out of luck in Vegas - for his vision of a Medieval Revivalist RC church.




Who knows? Maybe the Vatican might let a sane one slip through the cracks once and a while. Stranger things could happen. Miracles?

Welcome to NYC Father Tim, the media capital of the planet. There are no secrets here.

971 -

972 -


Friday, February 20, 2009

Mark of Cain - R. Williamson SSPX

Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of Saint Pius X is being kicked out of Argentina. Williamson with his Mark of Cain** on his forehead lied on his paperwork with his visa as to what his real role was in staying in Argentina etc. The very powerful and influential Jewish community in Argentina no doubt had some input and influence in the deportation of an undesirable alien from that country.
Argentina expels Catholic bishop who questions Holocaust

The way the financial crooks are coming out of the woodwork these days, one has to wonder if SSPX, based in Switzerland, seems more and more like some sort of money-laundering operation than an enterprise of God. Who has bankrolled them all these decades? I doubt Bishop Williamson soils his dainty hands with the everyday money operations of the business. He is perhaps just window dressing in case the casual street viewer wants to question the whole real back office operation of SSPX.

It is going to take Bishop Williamson many more weeks, months or years until he reconsiders his opinion on the Nazi Holocaust. (How long does it take to move a dozen Intaglio Presses in the back boiler room boys?)

I have recently read the good bishop’s review of the movie “Doubt” from his personal blog- Dinoscopus.
Church Godless

"Thus while the merely human drama is between two people, the real drama for Catholics with eyes to see is a whole Church collapsing for lack of God. Mother clings humanly to a decent discipline, but nothing in Merlyn Streep’s performance suggests that it is anchored in God. Still less anchored in God is the priest floating human love on doubt. The Church of 1964, as here portrayed to the life, was doomed."

In the way of pissing me off, this 15 minute of fame anti-christ like persona of bishop Richard Williamson has given a review of the Movie “Doubt” with Meryl Streep and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Not only that, the fcuk did a spoiler review and gave away the ending before I got a chance to see the freakin movie!

Never the less, let my humble self do a review of the review. His review reveals so much about his reptilian Medieval Revivalist Church thinking. Somehow Meryl Streep is the good obedient female victim of the church. He can’t even mention Hoffman’s name in the review. What a pig? No doubt the names of priests accused of child molestation over the years in all church organizations become nameless and best not to remember names or even numbers in tragedies progressed by the Church.

The Holocaust was numbers and tragedy but that is something else.

Anyway, if the priest in Doubt gets promoted to a rich parish in 1964, he probably was innocent of being a pervert. Nancy Pelosi rich parishes keep heterosexual priests with mistresses on the side. If the priest merely got transferred to some new parish forming in the burbs in 1964, there is a good chance he is guilty of child abuse.

I have done some research on the subject in my native Philadelphia and the court records at least seem to indicate that the bad priests got farmed out to young suburban parishes before they got farmed out to Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. In any case, the bishop doing the assignments in those days of glory, of God, that Bishop Williamson calls 1964, no doubt they the bishops did not remember names on transfer forms.

Names are a funny things. Names on transfer forms, names on evacuation orders, names on work camp rosters, names on gas chamber terminations - names, numbers they are all conveniently forgotten by some especially the types in charge who prefer not to remember nasty things from the past.

No mystery. No beauty. Just the coldness of space dust in your pompous bloodless, soulless life in the Medievalist Revival Church post as bishop of whatever land.

This poor sad man does not see God in 1964 or after Vatican II. A high school religion teacher, a priest, of mine had great hope in Vatican II. That teacher told us, taught us, that where there is life, there is God.

Up until the very last breathes of political prisoners, victims and Jews, millions of them - God existed in them before they died so tragically and after too.

**( Mark of Cain - “am I my brother’s keeper?” )

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pieces of Dreams - Revisited

There is this movie Pieces of Dreams 1970 with Robert Forster. He plays a young priest who falls in love with Lauren Hutton. The movie is based on the book “The Wine and the Music” by William E Barrett who also wrote “Lilies of the Field” and the “Left Hand of God”.

The title of the movie shares the title of a Michel Legrand song “Pieces of Dreams” sung at the end of the film by the legendary Miss Peggy Lee. I never could find this song listed on any of Peggy’s records. It was I believe the best sung version ever of what is now considered a Michel Legrand classic. The next best singer on the planet for this song is Shirley Bassey.

Anyway, it was a small budget production and it did not have a lot of Hollywood polish. A lot of shots on location in New Mexico gave it a feeling which was not the standard Hollywood product in 1970. It is a good average watchable flick which I guess in today's terms you could say has what is called an independent production feeling to it in terms of originality and quality.

Forgive my Critique. These days everybody is a pundit or a critic. Perhaps it a substitute for a two way conversation on the Internet. I believe it did not have a large budget because in those days Hollywood never spent a lot on so called controversial films which in 1970 this film might have been categorized. Hollywood in its prime never made controversial movies though it did touch upon controversial subjects like Anti-Semitism as in Gentleman’s Agreement with Gregory Peck in 1947.

Hollywood made these much older limited audience appeal movies in black and white instead of color not expecting much of a return on investment.

There is a lot of soul searching in “Pieces of Dreams” by the main character Father Gergory Lind about what he wants, to be a servant of God or get laid etc.

In the framework of the time, Father Gregory Lind did not have many options. Many European priests would have just had Lauren Hutton on the side as a mistress and continued to give outward lip service to God and the Church.

This film touches in me some of the raw nerves that Vatican II left behind by ripping the scab off the Medieval Catholic church and shoving the wound briefly, very briefly, into the cleansing light of day.

There is a scene whereby Gregory visits his local bishop to be allowed to be released from his vows. The Bishop played beautifully by the veteran actor Will Geer appeals to Father Gregory Lind and says something, things like celibacy would change in time. I think back to that scene probably filmed forty years ago and the Vatican has still not delivered on changes that the laity would feel comfortable with like married priests.

The reason I remember these lines is because in the raw period after Vatican II when priests and nuns jumped ship in droves and the laity were still a little shell shocked, most of us accepted the concept that change in the Church was a good thing.

There was an unstated and undelivered promise about the celibacy thing to the laity back then - first the English Mass, then we will talk about other subjects. Back then nobody even thought of women as priests. Add that to a lot of items the laity thought were coming down the pike for putting up with John XXIII's opening up the windows and throwing the filled to the brim chamber pots of the Pius X Medievalists out the window. To this day the emergency group therapy sessions in the Vatican are about - No there were no babies thrown out - only chamber pots during Vatiican II.

Well anyway, the quid pro quo of the laity putting up with change and looking for a brighter church never happened. They are selling churches out from under the feet of the people of God these days.

I think that the lines of the lyrics of the song Pieces of Dreams best fit the conundrum of a church in search of a mission or a soul since Vatican II.

Little boy lost
In search of little boy found
You go a wondering,
stumbling, tumbling
'Round... 'round...
When will you find
What's on the tip of your mind
Why are you blind
To all you ever would
Never would
Really are
Nearly are
Little boy false
In search of little boy true
Will you be ever done
Always unraveling
You ... you
Running away
Could lead you farther astray
And as for fishing in streams
For pieces of dreams
Those pieces will never fit
What is the sense of it
Little boy blue
Don't let your
little sheep roam
It's time come blow your horn
Meet the morn
Look and see
Can you be
Far from home?

P.S. Lauren Hutton was hot back then. She still is!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Nancy Pelosi in Rome - WTF!

I see that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is going into the den of the great white father for a visit. A lot of the great women haters of history club in the RC church would like to tie her to a stack and kill her because she serves her flaming liberal constituency in order to serve in the U.S. Congress. In reality if she pushed the boiler plate propaganda of the male only RC hierarchy she would be not be electable. You can’t have it both ways boys! You win or you lose in American politics.

No doubt she got a mild lecture from his holiness about the contradiction of her being a good Catholic and in advocating free choice for the people in her bailiwick.

Some want pope to scold pro-choice Pelosi

There were some rumblings in the media in September about bringing the hammer down on VP candidate Joe Biden, a practicing Roman Catholic, but not a lobotomized card carrying Catholic anti-abortion rhetorical zombie. I envisioned his being dissed by a card carrying hypocrite from the Republican Party in his full nine yards of red silk slamming Biden in an attempt to destroy Obama.

I was envisioning the same stab in the back that Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry got from unsolicited Archbishop Raymond Burke who wanders eternally around the RC hierarchical map with no Cardinal wanting him planted in their back yard. Then in 2004, Archbishop Burke took it upon himself among all the Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops in the United States to say that if Senator John Kerry were to go to mass in his religious bailiwick of the Saint Louis Missouri Archdiocese, that John Kerry, a proven Vietnam War hero would be denied communion because of his pro-abortion stance. No doubt Ray got great applause in his secret chapter of the “he-man women haters club” for his saying, asserting the boiler plate anti-abortion spiel.

This past year, Archbishop Burke got promoted to Rome before he got a chance to screw Joe Biden the same way he screwed John Kerry on the Abortion code word issue thing. Four more years of RC approval of the Republicans in American power would surely have destroyed the planet and or caused its suicide.

I have to wander sometimes that if the about 17-20% of the American birth rate that does not happen because of Abortion, what is the Roman Catholic’s Hierarchy’s real opinion or where is the GOP’s checkbook for women who do bring unwanted children into the world. I see that a woman, who loves children in California, brought eight children into the world recently and is in hiding because she believes in life and many in the public are making death threats against her.

There is no balanced or hopeful middle ground in this inane abortion conundrum. Pot bellied religious bureaucrats, who have no known children, fiddle with political code word issues not unlike Nero while the world burns with real life decisions about life, money, comfort, love and respect for the theory of life. Churches close. Schools close. Hospitals close. It is definitely a wide stance issue.

Soon to be Cardinal and I predict next pope Raymond Burke continues to assert RC boiler plate PR releases.

Archbishop Burke says bishops' document helped Obama campaign

In an exclusive interview with LifeSite News, Archbishop Raymond Burke has charged that the US bishops' document on voting responsibilities, Faithful Citizenship, contributed to the electoral victory of Barack Obama in last year's presidential contest. Archbishop Burke-- who was Archbishop of St. Louis before he was called to Rome to head the Church's top canonical court-- said that the bishops' statement "led to confusion" by suggesting that Catholic voters might, in some circumstances, be justified in voting for a pro-abortion candidate. Those circumstances did not apply, the American prelate said, and mentioning them only clouded a straightforward moral issue. Archbishop Burke argues that the lack of clear moral guidance from the hierarchy was a contributing factor in Obama's victory, because many Catholic voters supported the Democratic candidate.

Perhaps there is hope in that some of the sane hierarchy in the RC church that do not want the right wing “Burkies” showing up without an offical invitation in their designated religious bailiwicks.

UK Cardinal says Burke can’t say Latin Mass at Westminster Cathedral

According to London’s Daily Telegraph, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has told a Catholic organization to rescind its invitation to former St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke to celebrate the traditional Latin Mass at London’s Westminster Cathedral in June.
On his Holy Smoke blog, the Telegraph’s Damian Thompson says the Latin Mass Society had invited Burke - now the head of the Vatican’s supreme court - to be the main celebrant at its annual Latin Mass at the famous cathedral. Canon law says only the bishop of a diocese - in this case Murphy-O’Connor - can invite another bishop to celebrate Mass at a church in his diocese.

And so it goes. Life and the rotation of the planet.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

SSPX - More Catholic than the Pope

Bishop sees problems in restoring ties to Vatican

Monsignor Bernard Fellay, one of four traditionalist Roman Catholic bishops rehabilitated by Pope Benedict XVI, says he expects it will difficult to set aside differences over doctrinal issues.

Fellay — who heads the Swiss-based Society of Pius X, which the pope is trying to bring back into the Vatican's fold — said in an interview published Monday that he already has indicated his willingness to enter into talks in a "positive spirit."…

Fellay said it would be difficult to reach doctrinal consensus with the pope.

"Certainly one has the impression that he is near us on the question of the liturgy," he said. "On the other hand, he is deeply attached to the new things of Vatican II."

Fellay said there was too much ambiguity in the conclusions of the groundbreaking, 1962-65 ecumenical council.

The media gives away free space for PR handouts from obscure Christian cults. In this case because Bishop Williamson of SSPX became controversial, and who has been pushed aside within SSPX as a result of his unrealistic views of the Nazi Holocaust. Williamson’s views have elevated the opinions of his peers in SSPX like Monsignor Fellay. That is the way things work these days in the media.

So why is a tiny schismatic cult trying so desperately to get back on the main track of RCism? It is cold out there in schismatic land. Not everyone wants to practice life in the dead Latin language liturgy which a monarch/general/dictator Charlemagne imposed twelve hundred years ago. God, these cultists are so entrenched and comfortable in the middle ages. The thought of electric lights and flush toilets in a house must make these anti-modernists “Traditionalists” pee their cassocks on a regular basis. Where is Jesus in their equation of reality?

Perhaps Benedict XVI is in a rush to heal a schism in his short term as pope and is willing to do anything, to overlook anything to appear to do something in his authoritarian role.

So too in minute gestures of respect to this most peripheral minor dust spec of the Christian faith in a posse/gang like SSPX who are still living in a time warp and think that there still is a viable RC church out there to negotiate with. The RC is only a shell of its former self no thanks to the Lefebvre gang among others.

Monsignor Fellay first followed a lunatic that did not follow church teachings. Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the schismatic founder of the Society of Saint Pius X was still denouncing the French Revolution of 1789 as some kind of conspiracy of Free Masonry and free thinkers when Vatican II started. Archbishop Marcel would only have been comfortable in his own skin if he had been an absolute bishop under an absolute monarch. Unfortunately the twentieth century and or Disney land Paris could not provide him with the kicks he sought in life.

This whole SSPX society worships a pope who hated anything modern. These anti-modern priests appear to like running water and anti-biotics and are trying to be more Catholic than the Pope as the old expression goes. What part of the modern age turns you off boys?

Pope Pius X was a Marian Pope, whose encyclical Ad Diem Illum expresses his desire through Mary to renew all things in Christ, which he had defined as his motto in his first encyclical. Wikipedia

In other words, Jesus needs a Mary brand bacon wrapping before it (He) can be consumed by the public. In other words, more of the same old clouded Medieval way to avoid realistic dialogue with Luther and the other reformers. Christ must be approached only through the saints and through the authority of a military tiered authoritarian church.

Vatican I, Pius X, Vatican II - it is long uphill battle to get the RC church to recognize and feel comfortable with the modern age or at least the modern age as ushered in by Martin Luther and others since 1517 A.D..

As we go forward into the 21st Century as Christians and must establish dialogue with Islam and Atheism, it is the Protestant Christ that is very nearly human and divine that can be presented to the world as a means of expressing divine communication and in an ongoing communion with the brotherhood and sisterhood of the human race across the planet.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

For Sale - RC Cemeteries - Cheap ?

I received an article sent to me about how archeologists were searching for “mass graves containing hundreds of unbaptized babies and infants buried by the Catholic Church” in Belfast, Ireland. The person who had sent me the article was curious about the many and perhaps bizarre rules of the operating Catholic Church in the past.

Archeologists search for unbaptized babies' grave

The article made it sound like some Catholic families wanted closure as to infants who got dumped outside the gates of the catholic cemetery in unconsecrated ground. Considering the state of decay and the time frame being decades, it is unlikely that any identifiable remains will be uncovered. The real concern I think was that the Catholic cemetery in Belfast wanted some property lines redrawn regarding national conservancy land nearby.

Cemeteries are the only thing left that the RC church has not sold in a big way in their fire sale of schools, churches, hospitals. Their going out of business sale, hiding assets, give a few coins to the Altar Boy Fund is the preoccupation of an aged and literally dying hierarchy. Pass the oxygen mask boys!

This, before the façade of the dead RC church comes crashing down. Nobody, including the paid for media, will be able to mask the presence of and or stench of the big RC corpse rotting away in front of them. My real concern and I do not have prophetic vision is that "What will happen to Christianity?" with the RC church as a permanent side show going out of business permanently?

What does Christianity look like in fifty years with the seeming rise of Islam and the seeming death of the RC church right before our present eyes. What is left of the RC faith? Does it merely look and act like Wall Street after all the assets of the faithful have been completely plundered. These assets are gone.

These now depleted cash assets and more importantly the human faithful assets, are not being taught in Catholc Educaton that used to be taught from kindergarten to University, who used to pray in great beautiful churches and who were once healed in many many Catholic hospitals.

Of course this cemetery story is in Europe. I doubt any American RC cemeteries are likely to be sold for condo foundations but one never knows, does one? This Belfast cemetery story is perhaps a probe or pilot project for the hierarchy to learn more about cemetery property laws in various countries.

Far fetched? Crazy? Kelo vs. City of New London 2005, Supreme Court precedent, that states that private development that creates jobs, taxes and turns around urban decay can be mandated through eminent domain sanctioned by located authorities.

I think the American landscape is ripe in these tragic economic times and with trillions of taxpayers' money more than ready willing and able to replant grandmom and granddad not just in RC cemeteries but secular ones as well in prime downtown real estate locations clogged with those old time cemetery things.

The times they are a changing. Just what American cities need, a new taxpayer financed Football or Baseball Stadium to replace the obsolete ten year old one down the road - and built where some family members had recently been pushing up daisies.

Putting this secular grubby business aside and my cynical spin on things, let us look at the concept of baptism as an entrance requirement to the after life.

Infants in the past who did not make it to a physical baptism missed the boat. Tough luck etc. They could not go to heaven and they could not go to Purgatory or Hell either. Hell and Purgatory were special places that a sinner doing bad things got to go to in the after life. Heaven was for the goody goodies, the ones with a trillion bought and or earned indulgences and or good works and of course having been baptized.

These infants mentioned above could not be buried in the family plot in the consecrated ground of the RC cemetery. Where did their souls go after dying? Let’s invent a mythical place called Limbo to put the kiddies. Anyway, Limbo got decommissioned back around two years ago. Why. I don’t know why. Were they still refusing burial to unbaptized infants? I don’t think so. As far as I know non-catholics can be buried with their spouses and children in Catholic cemeteries these days in the USA.

And where do these unwanted children from the past go if they have been suddenly evicted from the Limbo property? Apparently, theologians say that infants, innocent and unbaptized just get automatically drawn into the Beatific circle of God and his plan for salvation for humankind. This is I think a free “get out of Limbo” card just like the free “get out of hell” card passed out after Vatican II regarding the relaxing of the No Meat on Friday rule.

But don’t hold your breath, Limbo may come back like No Meat on Friday or some other peculiar medieval or superstitious beliefs or rituals like indulgences. With the present regime in Rome and administrating to a very, very, very small practicing flock in Rome, anything is possible considering the fact that the media treats the Bishop of Rome like a rock star. An easy media sound bite – bling!

It is too bad that when the present aged monarch slips and slides over things like anti-Semitism, he seems rather unfocused. Perhaps he is more comfortable counting gelt than souls. That, and figuring out a way to get a bigger cut of all the RC cemetery property on the planet. Somebody has to support RC church institutions, the few that are still left unsold and standing.

P.S. read the fine print on your RC cemetery plot contracts just to be on the safe side of heaven. Don’t be disappointed at the last possible moment.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Luke 18:31-43 - Quinquagesima (Feb. 22, 2009)

Do you know yourself? Simple question, isn't it? When you leave here today will you know who you are and in terms of your relation to friends, family, the community?

So much of Jesus' ministry in those ancient times was in trying to make people see things differently. A business psychologist in college once stated the definition of what it takes to be great to us, his students.

He stated that a great person makes the whole world turn around and look at the world differently. Great men and or great women move the world. They change the world. My teacher cited the examples of Einstein, Gandhi, Darwin, Buddha and of course Jesus to name a few.

It is a crowded field for great people. The world is changed not every decade these days but every day. I detest the term 24/7 because it connotes business every hour of the day, seven days a week. When do we rest from the labors of our life? Even God rested on the seventh day.

Indeed, the secular nature of our culture pushes out, eradicates or even discounts the value of things that some of us can remember. Half a century ago, there was little or no business done on a Sunday. Sunday was for family and a rest from the everyday workaday world and a day for church. God is not that important anymore to the secular world. God and or Jesus have to be in the secular rat race of life everyday to get any recognition or respect. It is a sad commentary on our times.

I look back at the past and am not all that nostalgic for it. Rather, I am looking down the road to better days ahead. What we here today are doing is recognizing the greatness of God and his Son and his mission to earth. How great thou art. How great thou art indeed.

In the opening reading from Samuel, it would appear that God was not happy with King Saul and he is telling Samuel to go to Bethlehem and seek out a son of Jesse. Samuel is to anoint this son of Jesse with oil. God is looking for a new ruler of his chosen people. And going back to my opening question - do you know yourself? - I think that perhaps God saw beyond Saul's great abilities to be a king and warrior. Perhaps he saw into the heart of the man and knew that Saul was not fit for the job or was losing his grip.

Time for change is coming down the road. Why not let a few people starting with the prophet Samuel know that change was coming in the form of King David. King David would one day lay the foundation stones of the first temple not by building the temple itself but by choosing Jerusalem as a permanent Jewish city and a permanent home for the wandering Ark of the Covenant. His son Solomon built the temple. David picked its location.

Jesus, perhaps in his temporary role as prophet, is standing there in front of his apostles and telling them what is about to happen to him. He is to be taken by gentiles, mocked and killed. And in three days he will rise. Their eyes glaze over. They do not see what he sees. No doubt Jesus might have been thinking this about his Apostles - Do you know yourself? Do you know who you are? Do you really know who I am?

Communication then was as difficult as it can be today. There is the theme of the great man to make others see the world differently. Besides predicting the future, Jesus is trying to make people to stop looking at outward appearances. He is in so many ways trying to appeal to people to look inside to what their hearts tell them. He is in so many ways trying to tell people to change religious beliefs from rules and outward appearances and obsolete rituals.

Saint Paul in first Corinthians thirteen is evaluating perhaps his own person and the human condition as well. It is difficult to turn around and to see ourselves differently. But in Jesus, in his teachings, in his grace from on high, we can change our lives in so many ways. Go thy way and sin no more. Recognize our faults, our sins, ask forgiveness, receive forgiveness. Change the way the world sees us. Move the world! Be a great new person.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels - and have not love, I am nothing.

Jesus is traveling and there are the crowds following him. The quiet of the country side is disturbed. Crowds, noise, talking, shouting. The circus has come to town? No. Just Jesus. Just Jesus?! More like the most truly greatest show on earth that has ever been or ever will be this side of eternity.

A blind man hears the hubbub and asks who is in town? To which they reply Jesus of Nazareth. The man is excited. Jesus' reputation has preceded him. Like Samuel looking to anoint a new up and coming king, most of the prophets of the old testament talk in some futuristic way of this man and his mission, of this special anointed by God man, of this Jesus.

The blind man is shouting. He wants attention. He wants something from Jesus. The blind man who cannot see shouts and anoints Jesus with a proper title - "Jesus, Son of David". Finally the blind man gets the direct attention of Jesus. And Jesus says something remarkable as far as I am concerned. He asks the blind man what he wants from Jesus.

"What do you want me to do for you?"

It should be obvious. The blind man wants to see. Right? Or does he? Do you know yourself? Does the blind man know himself? Jesus does not assume that the blind man wants to see. So he asks. The blind man might want forgiveness for some wretched sins from his past. He might have wanted something for his child or grandchild.

Jesus looks the blind man in the eyes and asks. What do you want me to do for you? The blind man asks to be able to see. Jesus restores his sight with the words "You are healed because you believed".

Do you know yourself? Do others know you? What do they see? What do you feel? What is inside of you? What do you want from Jesus? These are fair questions. Only you have the answers. Faith can cure you. Restore you. Change the way you look and see the world.

From Jesus today I want the whole world to turn around and look first at themselves and to see themselves inside and out in a different manner. I want you to be great people. I want you as Christians to change the world. That is what Jesus wants from each and every one of us. Not too much to ask. Is it?

How great thou art! How great thou art!

For more homilies:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Benedict's March Back to Medievalism ?

I ran into two articles on the web yesterday that in some ways disturb my faith in the R.C. Church's ability to deal with reality and what appears to me to be fissures in the dam of fatih with what appears to be an about face on the 20th century and its seemingly march back to Medievalism. Just when you thought that the R.C. was going to be user friendly, it invents or is it reinvents some weird sized batteries to use on their brand names and products.

I suppose my title for this had to do with Nicholas Blincoe's article in the Guardian UK.

Don't get medieval on me, Holy Father

"Pope Benedict's decision to reach out to the ultra-conservative Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has caused consternation in Israel, where They are asking why the Pope would want to rehabilitate a cult of Holocaust revisionists. The controversy will almost certainly set back the chances any deal on the status of Catholicism within Israel – a deal affecting the lives of tens of thousands of Palestinian Catholics and a vast property portfolio in Israel and occupied Palestine.

This scandal affects me intimately. I have a home in Bethlehem, where my Palestinian Catholic wife is the Director of the save the city campaign, Open Bethlehem. Ten years ago, the Israelis razed one of Bethlehem's two forests to build the settlement of Har Homa. The last remaining forest is the property of the church. As the Israelis build an eighteen foot concrete wall around its circumference, our nature treks and family picnics have become a memory. So it is understandable if I am more concerned with the workings of the Pope's mind than most Anglicans. But I also lean towards the pro-Catholic wing of my church. I want to see the church reunited. The question is, what kind of church? The Pope's decision to reach out to SSPX is part of a wider reform programme. So what kind of a church do the Benedictine reforms envisage?"

A whole set of diplomatic soldiers have dominoed into the ground because of the recent Bishop Williamson scandal. Mr Blincoe is of course hoping for some political and religious relief for Catholics under Israeli occupation. And I, being green, was offended by the treating of forests in Isreal like Arabs. (sarcasm)

The thing that really put a bug up my butt was the NYT times article below about the resurrection of Indulgences for fun and profit in the R.C. Church. Of course I am all for the Latin Mass on a small scale as nostalgia for the old farts. Now I would imagine the indulgnce thing is on a small scale for the older Catholics as well.

For Catholics, a Door to Absolution Is Reopened

"In recent months, dioceses around the world have been offering Catholics a spiritual benefit that fell out of favor decades ago — the indulgence, a sort of amnesty from punishment in the afterlife — and reminding them of the church’s clout in mitigating the wages of sin.

The fact that many Catholics under 50 have never sought one, and never heard of indulgences except in high school European history (Martin Luther denounced the selling of them in 1517 while igniting the Protestant Reformation), simply makes their reintroduction more urgent among church leaders bent on restoring fading traditions of penance in what they see as a self-satisfied world.

Why are we bringing it back?” asked Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of Brooklyn, who has embraced the move. “Because there is sin in the world.” "

If you have to go to confession to qualify for an indulgence, what was confession good for? Let us not get back into the semantics that caused centuries of bloodshed after the start of the Reformation. (But) How many times does Jesus have to die to save you etc??? How many indulgenges does it take to get into that heaven thingy?

Indulgences and other Relevant Fees

"I also remember being told by the nuns that civil marriage doesn’t count in the eyes of the Church. The eyes of God is always another matter.

Fast forward two or three decades. I want to get married. I don’t have any religious affiliation. We both were raised in the R.C. church and we want to do the R.C. marriage thing. It seemed like the right thing to do.

Bad idea. People with limited options only have limited prospects.

Then you go to the local rectory and the local priest, well passed retirement age, gives us the long spiel about how my wife’s previous civil marriage and civil divorce were not recognized by the church. Okay.

Next. The clerics in the Vatican have to examine your request to be readmitted into holy mother church. Time, paperwork, research, official approval. Bottom line - six months minimum to wait and a $2,500 donation to the church. Clerks have to eat too. Excuse me. Could you repeat that?"

The thing that keeps me Lutheran Catholic are these little odd touches like the resurrecting of Indulgences.

What next Joe? Let's resurrect the boogie man saints, you know the ones decommissioned and discarded after that nasty Vatican council thingy. Among those saints decommissioned were a whole bunch of saints supposedly sent to their eternal reward for being dissed or done in by Jews. There is a back door to anti-Semitism and I believe that Bishop Williamson is emblematic of that.

What next? Burning heretics at the stake your holiness? Rhetorical perhaps but this fool wants to know.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Luke 8:4-15, Sexigesima (Feb.15, 2009)

There is a lot of energy and motion mentioned in the opening reading of Isaiah 55:12

"So you will go out with joy and be led out in peace.
The mountains and hills will burst into song before you,
And all the trees in the fields will clap their hands." NCV

All this energy and after the preceding verse:

"The same thing is true of the words I speak.
They will not return to me empty.
They will make the things that I want to happen,
and they succeed in doing what I send them out to do." NCV

Lots of energy. Lots of joy. There is lots of expectation from God, the author of the universe. There is lots of expectation for God for the words that his Son Jesus is to deliver to the crowds in his preaching.

In Psalm 84 lines like "My whole being wants to be with the living God", "...Happy are those whose strength comes from you...", "...and everyone meets with God in Jerusalem,,,", - these lines reflect more energy, more joy, and more expectation. You want to see and touch God in his Temple as it stood in Jesus' time. We all want to see and meet God and Jesus at the end of our days. By why wait? Stand up. Sing. Shout praise. Stir the heart to joy. Stir the mind to song. Be a part of the oneness of God and his creation.

We are stirred. In Hebrews 4:13 "God's word is alive and working and is sharper than a double edged sword..."

Think about it. God's word is alive and it has been since the beginning of time - before the beginning of time - "in the beginning there was the word. The word was with God, and the word was God." And his word and his world will have no end. We as Christians will have no end. That is the promise and the expectation.


Then there in Luke 8 starting with verse four Jesus starts to tell his parable of a farmer planting seeds. These are ancient times and there are no machines to help you plant seeds. You throw them every which way. In a way it is a gamble. You have expectations of a bumper crop to feed your family and excess bounty to sell in town. There are infinite possibilities as to what can happen when we sow the seeds of a crop full of this human expectation.

Life is what it is. A certain portion of seeds fall on the road and are lost under foot. A certain portion is consumed by birds. Still others fall on rock, start to grow but die for lack of ground water. Others fall among weeds and cannot compete for the first place prize of survival.

And many more of the seeds fall on good ground. The temperature, ground and moisture conditions promise the expectation to produce a good, large, sturdy harvest of grain. Everyone will eat in the coming year.

Think about it though. Everyday that farmer must be worrying if the good conditions will continue. Will rain come? Just enough -not too much. Will the temperature stay balanced - not too hot - not too cold - and so on and so forth? The harvest is ready. The crops are cut and stored. Many worries disappear as the bounty of God's earth brings forth the continuation of the human family.

We have heard this parable before. Here in this particular Gospel, Jesus adds some commentary and tells everyone what the parable means. Maybe he had been preaching to too many farmers or day laborers who were tired at the end of a long hard back breaking day. Rather than tax their mental processes, he helps the parable along.

In fact here in the Gospel of Luke I hear the echo of some other Gospel, not an official gospel, one of those piles of parchment that were found in the middle of the last century in Egypt. These documents, though much later in date than the four Gospels, have many lines and references that a seasoned reader of the Good News might recognize. What I hear in Luke is Jesus telling everyone to listen. He wants them to hear. Any of you listening, you better have two good ears, and learn.

The simple story of seeds and the expectation of good crops illustrate how many of us have promise, great expectations in life and in the salvation of our souls.

Everybody here. Any of you listening? You better have two good ears. Hear me.

Oh how Jesus must have been sad on the days he preached to a bunch of tired and or slow brick walls also known as farmers, country dwellers, itinerates, travelers. How he must have wondered how his expectations to save the world would fall on deaf ears and the blind among the people who with a little common sense or an elevated sense of humanity would, if they could, stand on the mountaintop so to speak and see the promised land of humankinds' salvation.

The crowd can take his, Jesus' word away with them from that meeting that day. They can embrace the word at first and then let it fall away. They can forget it. They can give lip service to it. They can let their worries about crops and other human matters cloud out the message and the word of God along their road of life. And there are those who "like the seed that falls on good ground ...hear God's teaching with good, honest hearts and obey it and patiently produce good fruit."

Let those of you with two good ears - listen - understand - learn.

All this - this structure - many structures - many churches - cathedrals - many Christian communities all have sprouted out of seeds that have fallen on good ground. Our hope, our faith, our expectations have carried the seed along, found a good home for it, nurtured it and in good time we have seen the good fruit of our labors here as we expect to see the fruits of a life lived in Christian faith and harmony be carried over into the next world.

It is a good crop. It is a bumper crop. It all depends on each and every one of us.

That, and with God's blessings, the people of God endure in this life and the next.