3

Outsourcing Maternity

If you thought the modern world couldn’t get any more messed-up in its understanding of reproduction and the family, you need turn no further than the WSJ weekend section, and a feature article on people hiring surrogate mothers from India to bring their children to term.

According to Hrishikesh Pai, a Mumbai-based in-vitro fertilization specialist and vice-president of the Indian Society for Assisted Reproduction, India now has about 350 facilities that offer surrogacy as a part of a broader array of infertility-treatment services, triple the number in 2005. Last year, Dr. Pai says, about 1,000 pregnancy attempts using surrogates were made at these clinics. This year, he estimates the figure will jump to 1,500, with about a third of those made on behalf of parents from outside India who hired surrogates.

Rudy Rupak, president of PlanetHospital, a California-based medical-tourism company, says that in the first eight months of this year he sent 600 couples or single parents overseas for surrogacy, nearly three times the number in 2008 and up from just 33 in 2007. All of the clients this year went to India except seven who chose Panama. Most were from the U.S.; the rest came from Europe, the Middle East and Asia, mostly Japan, Vietnam, Singapore and Taiwan.

Mr. Rupak says that because of growing demand from his clients for eggs from Caucasian women, he’s started to fly donors to India from the former Soviet republic of Georgia, where he has connections with clinics. The first woman arrived last month. A PlanetHospital package that includes an Indian egg donor costs $32,500, excluding transportation and hotel expenses for the intended parent or parents to travel to India. A package with eggs from a Georgian donor costs an extra $5,000.

For the Indian surrogates themselves, it’s an experience often fraught with emotional conflict. In most cases, the egg comes either from the woman who wants to become a mother but can’t carry a child, or from an egg donor. The egg is then fertilized with sperm from the intended father, or a sperm donor, and implanted in the womb of a surrogate who bears the child. Sometimes, no money changes hands, particularly when a friend or relative acts as the surrogate. Alternatively, it’s a commercial transaction, which is almost always the case in India for would-be parents from overseas.

Still, it’s a way to raise money in sometimes desperate circumstances. Take Sudha, a 25-year-old mother of two who now works as a maid in Chennai earning $20 a month. She owes moneylenders about $2,700, borrowed to pay bribes to secure a government job as a streetsweeper, which never materialized. A neighbor told her she could earn about $2,000 at a local clinic by bearing a child for an infertile couple. She gave birth in July 2008 — and is haunted by the memory. “Whenever I have free time and I lie down, I think about the child. I pray that the child is safe and happy and is taken care of well.”
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40

Columbus, Catholicism and Courage


“This, indeed, is probably one of the Enemy’s motives for creating a dangerous world—a world in which moral issues really come to the point. He sees as well as you do that courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty, or mercy, which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful till it became risky. “

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

This is one of those years in which the government decreed Columbus Day, the second Monday in October, actually falls on October 12, the date, under the Julian calendar, when Columbus discovered the New World.  Columbus Day is observed also in Spain as Dia de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional and as the charmingly unpc Dia de la Raza in most Latin American nations. 

 In this country Columbus Day used to be an uncomplicated celebration, especially for Italian Americans.  Now it has become controversial with Columbus blamed in some quarters for genocide against Indians and being the founder of the American slave trade.  As Dinesh D’Souza pointed out in this article in 1995 in First Thingsthe condemnation of Columbus today tells us far more about current political battles than it does about the historical record of Columbus.  From a modern standpoint there is indeed much to criticize Columbus for since, in most ways, he was a typical man of his time, as we are, in most ways, typical children of ours.  Among other views inimical to our time,  he saw nothing wrong about establishing colonies and bringing native peoples under the rule of European powers.  He had little respect for the religions of native people and wanted them to be Catholic, as, indeed, he wanted all the world to be Catholic.  (I see nothing wrong in this myself, but rest assured most of our contemporaries in this country would.)

Prior to ascending the pulpit to launch a jeremiad against someone of a prior time however, it might be useful to consider the criticisms that Columbus might have of our time.  The embrace of nihilistic atheism by so many in the West in our time would have appalled him. The easy availability of the most degrading types of pornography would have sickened him.  Our weapons of mass destruction he would have seen as a sign of the reign of the Anti-Christ.  Ecumenicalism he would have viewed as a turning away from the True Faith.  The celebration of abortion as a right would have seemed to him as the ultimate covenant with death.  The Sixties of the last century popularized the term generation gap, describing the difficulty that parents and their teenage offspring had in understanding each other.  Between our time and that of Columbus there is a generations’ chasm and the use of Columbus as a whipping boy in current political disputes only increases our problem of understanding him and his time. Continue Reading

3

Saturday Night Live on Nobel Peace Prize Award

Fairly gentle satire of the Nobel Peace Prize award to President Obama, although they do get to the only reason for the award:  Obama is not George Bush.   With the satire of a done-nothing presidency last week, Saturday Night Live is helping to inaugurate a new phase in the Obama saga, one in which he can no longer assume that comics will treat him as off-limits simply because of their usually leftist political sympathies.

7

Hollywood Comedienne Attacks Papa Bene

Comedienne Sarah Silverman is known for her profane and vulgar humor in the Hollywood scene.  Miss Silverman, in an attempt at satire, presents a sketch on the HBO program “Real Time with Bill Maher” on  how to solve world hunger.  On the surface the sketch she offers is almost harmless, but her degrading attack on our Pope is insulting to him and all Catholics.

Sarah Silverman attacks Pope Benedict XVI

Here is a partial transcript:

Think about it, we need a hero, and who is more primed to be our hero than the Pope? He’s literally a caped crusader. What is the Vatican worth, like 500 billion dollars? This is great, sell the Vatican, take a big chunk of that money, build a gorgeous condominium for you and all your friends to live in, all the amenities, swimming pool, tennis court, waterslide, and with the money left over, feed the whole (expletive removed) world.

You preach to live humbly, and I totally agree. So, now maybe it’s time for you to move out of your house that is a city.

On an ego level alone, you will be the biggest hero in the history of ever. And by the way, any involvement in the Holocaust, bygones.(sic) […]

Why bother with something like this?

We need to be aware that we are in this world, not of it.  We need to be a witness to Christ for others.  Sometimes in our endeavors to evangelize the world we can get caught up in all its trappings and are more vulnerable to fall into sin.  One can laugh at oneself without being mean-spirited or degrading.

Miss Silverman may be funny to her fans, friends, and colleagues, but that doesn’t mean she is right or that her attempt at humor on our pope is ok.  Yes we can laugh at ourselves and even our beautiful German shepherd, but there are limits and Miss Silverman has more than exceeded these limits.

So the next time you laugh at what you think may be an inconspicuous jab at our Catholic faith, remember, does it denigrate the person it is aimed at in a mean-spirited manner?  Does it cheapen your faith in mockery?  Especially if profane language is used, it’s a good indication that the person delivering it is doing it out of hate and spite.

I will not post the video because of the vulgarity she exhibits which is her modus operandi, but you can view at your own discretion on NewsBusters here.

6

They Like The Look of This Fellow

Though I’d disagree with his conclusion that this is in any way “a bold step” (it strikes me rather as a silly but rather conformist step, if you think about the sort of circles the Nobel committee moves in) I think this BBC commentator gets things pretty much right in saying “Obama gets reward for world view“:

In awarding President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian committee is honouring his intentions more than his achievements.

After all he has been in office only just over eight months and he will presumably hope to serve eight years, so it is very early in his term to get this award.

The committee does not make any secret of its approach. It states that he is being given the prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples.”

This is of course an implied criticism of former US president George W Bush and the neo-conservatives, who were often accused of trying to change the world in their image.

It’s tempting, of course, to point out that Obama doesn’t deserve the award because he hasn’t achieved anything, and plenty of people are asking, “For what?” But really, I think it’s questionable that even the Nobel committee thinks President Obama has achieved much of anything yet. Rather, he’s the sort of person they like to see as president of the United States, and so (even though he’d only been in office for ten days as of the nomination deadline this year) he was nominated and selected in order to express approval for the simple fact that someone with his worldview is now president of the US.

Now, if Obama were to be deeply classy, he’d decline the prize saying that he doesn’t want to be awarded a prize when he doesn’t believe that he’s yet achieved what he should in the world and that there were much more deserving nominees. He would then get the recognition of being selected, but the even greater recognition for being realistic about where he currently is in his presidency. I’m not holding my breath, but if he does I’ll be impressed.

43

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Obama hearts PeaceJoining such “luminaries” who have won the prize over the last decade as Al Gore, Jimmy Carter and Kofi Annan, President Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize.  Doubtless the first question that will pop into the minds of most Americans on hearing this is “For what?”  Well here is the statement of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee: Continue Reading

3

Our Disappearing Heroes

HMNZS Achilles

A special guest post for American Catholic by commenter Don the Kiwi.

Last week I attended the funeral of my wife’s uncle, James William Foy. Jim was born on 21st. January 1926, and died on the 24th, September 2009, aged 83.   Jim died of bowel cancer, which was diagnosed too late for it to be operable, several months previously.  Though he was raised  Catholic, like some of his generation his war experiences tended to dilute the importance of our Faith to him, and though he had a crucifix, and pictures of the Sacred Heart  and of Our Lady in his home, he hadn’t practised his faith for many years.

The funeral service was conducted at the Matamata funeral director’s ‘chapel.’ It was a very secular affair, and the only part remotely religious was the recitation of The Lord’s Prayer toward the end of the service. Jim had joined the RNZ Navy as soon as he left school, and after his training, was posted to HMNZS Achilles (a light cruiser, of the 1939  Battle of the River Plate fame) in 1944. Part way through the service, which was attended by a number of aged war veterans – friends of his from the local RSA (Returned Services Assn.) – an old shipmate of Jim’s named James Craig, rose and walked to the rostrum. These are his words, as best as I can recall them. Continue Reading

12

Thanks to the Young, the Tide is Still Turning Toward Catholicism

All too often I hear the familiar refrain; “how can the tide be turning if the world seems to be increasingly at odds with the Church?”  The skeptics of my book, The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism refer to many newsworthy stories in their query of my thesis. They point to elected officials and government czars seemingly supportive of ideas that not only challenge the core of Catholic beliefs, but conventional societal beliefs about the family as well. The skeptics of my thesis point to the latest Hollywood Cause Célèbre which involves rallying around a man (famed Film Director Roman Polanski) who has admitted to raping a child of 13 when he was 45 years old. They also point to the outright mockery of the Catholic Church at the hands of the entertainment industry by those who believe the tide is turning in their direction. In addition, the skeptics of my thesis also point to stories that barely get any media attention such as an abortion clinic who prominently displayed a crucifix in their window with Jesus replaced on the cross by a chicken. Another sign in the window of the same abortion clinic read “no job too big or too small.” How could the tide be turning if this is what we see and don’t see on television news, the morning paper or on the internet they asked? Thankfully, there are many reasons that tide is turning, and we need to look no further than the young to understand why.

Keep in mind that while the tide is turning for the Church, it is turning in the wrong direction for for the world. The Church is the only one who can save the world and it is something which has already been done many times in history, which is why the enemies of the Church are so upset. If the enemies of religion would be as kind to us as they are toward the liberal mainline Protestant churches, one would have cause to be worried. However unlike the mainline Protestant churches, the Catholic Church’s numbers are not in a free fall and vocation numbers are on the increase.

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4

Obama and Conscience

Obama Conscience Clause

A great post here by Ed Morrissey of Hot Air, demonstrating how any statements made by Obama as to respecting conscience clauses allowing institutions and individuals to opt out of involvement in abortion and contraception are simply rubbish.  He cites the Becket Fund’s  recent press release here regarding the Belmont Abbey College case where the college is being sued by eight employees before the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): Continue Reading

12

Ardi: Looking at the Latest Missing Link

Virtually everyone with any access to news last week probably heard about Ardi, a 4.4 million year old skeleton of a human ancestor found in Ethiopia. However, given the tendency of the mainstream media to cover every ancient primate discovery as “Scientists discover ‘missing link’ which ‘changes everything'” those who don’t track these things can easily become confused, or even rather suspicious of the whole thing.
So, what is Ardi, and why is this discovery a big deal?

Ardi is a 45% complete skeleton of a female individual from the hominin species Ardipithecus ramidus. This is not a new species: we’ve known about Ardipithecus ramidus since a small number of bones from a member of the species was found in 1992 and formally described and named in 1994. Living about 4.4 million years ago, Ardipithecus ramidus is also not the oldest human ancestor known or a common ancestor between humans and our apparent closest genetic living relatives, the chimps. However, the excitement about Ardi (found along with less complete remains of a number of other Ardipithecus ramidus individuals and also fossil evidence about the plants and animals present in their environment) is not just hype. It is a very important find. Here’s why:

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Congress Needs A Good Pronking

From the only reliable news source on the net, the Onion.  The Urban Dictionary here has a list of the various meanings attributed to the term pronk by Congressman Cummings.  Other definitions of the term are here, here, and here.  To all of this pronk nonsense, I can only quote Abraham Lincoln:   “You can pronk all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot pronk all the people all the time.”

9

Catholicism Flourishes in Kerala

Luca Fiore of Oasis magazine wrote an article on the Christians in Kerala titled, The Amazing Secrets of Kerala.  I will briefly summarize this article presented by the eloquent Sandro Magister of Chiesa.

Legend has it that Saint Thomas the Apostle arrived and preached in Mylapore, India, not far from Madras, where he suffered martyrdom and where his tomb is kept today.  Prior to his martyrdom Saint Thomas arrived in Kerala at about A.D. 52.  The Christians in south west India called Thomas Christians due to the missionary efforts of Saint Thomas.

St. Thomas the Apostles Tomb Chennai Madras

The Christians in Kerala are of the Syro-Malabar Rite within Catholicism and they constitute up to 20% of the population, where in the rest of India Christians are just a bit over 2%.  Kerala is a pluralistic society where the majority of residents are Hindu, Muslims make up 25%, and Christians 20%.  All the faiths live in peaceful harmony which is unlike some parts of India.

The state of Kerala is somewhat of an anomaly in India.  With relative peace among the different faiths, Kerala also has the highest literacy rates in the country, over 90% compared to roughly 65% to the rest of India.  Another exception is that Kerala is also the only government with Marxists in control.  This coming from a state where the majority of the schools, from elementary to university levels, are predominantly Christian.

Conversions are not common, but when they occur, there is normally no violent reaction whether they convert to Christianity from Hinduism or Islam, though Pentecostals are the most militant and cause the most disturbance among the residents of all faiths.  There are many reasons for conversion to Christianity, some convert because of the communal aspects of worship which is lacking in some Hindu strains.  Other convert due to the love the converts witness that is carried out among Christians.  But there is no definitive evidence of the major reasons behind conversions.

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11

Lepanto

ourladyoflepanto

     White founts falling in the Courts of the sun,
     And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run;
     There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
     It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard;
     It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips;
     For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
     They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
     They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,
     And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
     And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross.
     The cold queen of England is looking in the glass;
     The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass;
     From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun,
     And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun. Continue Reading

24

Football Player Flagged For His Faith After Touchdown Celebration

Most football fans can relate to scoring a touchdown.  Especially when seeing your favorite team or player score one youChris Johnson flagged for praying or celebrating too much jump up and give high-fives, chest bumps, or take shots of your favorite spirits.

Well in the NFL, or what is sometimes called the “No Fun League”, this past Sunday Chris Johnson of the Oakland Raiders went to his knees and claimed he was giving thanks to God after intercepting a pass for a touchdown.  He was immediately flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for excessive celebration.  Chris Johnson claims it was because he made a religious display while celebrating the touchdown.

I’m of a different mind when it comes to celebrating touchdowns.  The town I grew up in playing football as well as how I practice my faith I generally frown upon celebrating in the end zone.  The way I look at it is that it’s your job to score points.  I don’t chest bump my colleague each time I turn on my computer at work?!  I don’t high-five the secretary for each message she hands over to me?!

It’s your j-o-b to intercept footballs and run them back for touchdowns.

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5

American Catholic: One Year Retrospective

As Donald noted yesterday, it’s been a year since we started here at The American Catholic. I know we’ve all been pleased both at the quality of the writing from the team as a whole, and also from the interest from our readers.

Looking back over the last year, we put together a list of some of the our favorite posts.

A Can of Worms: In Praise of the Latin Mass Joe Hargrave

Apologia Pro Libertarianism Sua Blackadder

Are Pro-Lifers Stuck with the Republican Party? John Henry

Becoming A Father, A Polical Manifesto Tim Shipe

Catholic Chaplains Series Donald McClarey

Catholic Teachings on Economic Life Eric Brown

Catholics Teaching, Homosexuality and American Life Eric Brown

Cocaine, Cardinal Ocampo, and the Drug Wars Tito Edwards

Delayed Adulthood, Preliminary Thoughts Joe Hargrave

Don’t Adulterate the Adultery Ryan Harkins

Fides Quaerens Intellectum Eric Brown

Generations & American Catholicism John Henry

Moral Simpletons Joe Hargrave

Nationalism and the Problems of the Middle East DarwinCatholic

Partisanship and Empty Rhetoric Ryan Harkins

Pro-Life Movement: Democrats Need Not Apply Tim Shipe

Redistribution of Wealth: A Catholic Perspective Joe Hargrave

Send Me Your Poor DarwinCatholic

Should Catholics Own Guns? Ryan Harkins

Socialism, Catholicism and the Common Good John Henry

Staying Rooted in Parish Life DarwinCatholic

The Old School Date Tim Shipe

The Poor You Will Always Have With You Ryan Harkins

The Vatican’s Rifles DarwinCatholic

Uncomfortable Thoughts on the Declaration Blackadder

Were the Apostles Socialists? Blackadder

Women Priests in the Catholic Church Eric Brown

1

The Obama Administration and Freedom of Speech

George Washington-Freedom of Speech

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The Founding Fathers left no doubt which freedoms they held most important.  They inserted them into the First Amendment to the Constitution.  Freedom of speech and of the press come right after freedom of religion.  These freedoms, and all the others set forth in the Constitution, are the birthright of all Americans and a precious example to the rest of the world.  That is why I am bemused by the manner in which the Obama administration appears to be indifferent to attempts to undermine freedom of speech and of the press at the UN.

Hattip to Instapundit.  In an article here at the The Weekly Standard, Anne Bayefsky, writes about the Obama administration signing on to a freedom of expression resolution.

“The new resolution, championed by the Obama administration, has a number of disturbing elements. It emphasizes that “the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities . . .” which include taking action against anything meeting the description of “negative racial and religious stereotyping.” It also purports to “recognize . . . the moral and social responsibilities of the media” and supports “the media’s elaboration of voluntary codes of professional ethical conduct” in relation to “combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”

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Outrageously Anti-Abortion

Sometimes it’s all in the phrasing. The other day I read a mention of the annual Red Mass celebrated in Washington DC which quoted Justice Ginsburg’s explanation of why she no longer attends (though Justice Breyer, also Jewish, attends). The quote in full:

“Before every session, there’s a Red Mass,” Ginsburg said. “And the justices get invitations from the cardinal to attend that. And a good number of the justices show up every year. I went one year, and I will never go again, because this sermon was outrageously anti-abortion.”

Outrageously anti-abortion. Well.

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9

One Year Already?

Happy Birthday American Catholic

I find it hard to believe, but The American Catholic is celebrating its one year birthday today.  I’ve enjoyed writing for the blog over the past year immensely, and I hope our readers and commenters have also had some fun.  Contributors  will be linking to some of their favorite posts.  Here are two of mine:

1.  report-to-the-emperor-first-draft-I posted this on Good Friday and I think I will make this a blog tradition of doing so each year.

2.  triumph-of-the-king-This I posted on Palm Sunday.

My friend and colleague Christopher Blosser is having some computer trouble.  Two of his posts that I greatly admire are:

1.  mitsuo-fuchida-from-pearl-harbor-to-calvary.

2.  catholic-campaign-for-human-development-tainted-by-acorn-or-still-rotten-itself.

In regard to Chris this list would be quite lengthy if I included all the posts he has written which I wish I had written!  Writer envy, it is a terrible thing!

I am sure the next year will be as crowded with events as the last one was.  The American Catholic will be here to comment on the passing scene,  as Americans and Catholics, with, I trust, a leavening of humor and at least a dash of common sense.

2

President Log

Obama Clueless

“THE FROGS WHO WISHED FOR A KING

The Frogs were tired of governing themselves. They had so much freedom that it had spoiled them, and they did nothing but sit around croaking in a bored manner and wishing for a government that could entertain them with the pomp and display of royalty, and rule them in a way to make them know they were being ruled. No milk and water government for them, they declared. So they sent a petition to Jupiter asking for a king.

Jupiter saw what simple and foolish creatures they were, but to keep them quiet and make them think they had a king he threw down a huge log, which fell into the water with a great splash. The Frogs hid themselves among the reeds and grasses, thinking the new king to be some fearful giant. But they soon discovered how tame and peaceable King Log was. In a short time the younger Frogs were using him for a diving platform, while the older Frogs made him a meeting place, where they complained loudly to Jupiter about the government.

To teach the Frogs a lesson the ruler of the gods now sent a Crane to be king of Frogland. The Crane proved to be a very different sort of king from old King Log. He gobbled up the poor Frogs right and left and they soon saw what fools they had been. In mournful croaks they begged Jupiter to take away the cruel tyrant before they should all be destroyed.

“How now!” cried Jupiter “Are you not yet content? You have what you asked for and so you have only yourselves to blame for your misfortunes.””

Like most conservatives, after last year’s election I thought that Obama would prove a President Crane as far as conservatives were concerned.  With large Democrat majorities in the House and Senate I assumed that Obama would implement changes in this country to send it on a left-ward trajectory.  Instead, other than passing the Bankrupt the Nation Act of 2009, sometimes erroneously called the Stimulus bill, Obama has accomplished virtually nothing, a fact which even Saturday Night Live is now mocking. This is astonishing considering the size of his victory last year and the strength of his party in Congress.  Or is it?  I believe there were clear clues from the background of Obama that this might occur.

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23

Medjugorje, Exploring the Origins

The alleged Marian apparitions at Medjugorje have had a sordid history.  Much of it to some extent successfully Tomislav Vlasix Marian Hoax Medjugorjeglossed over or reinterpreted by the Franciscans that run the parish at Medjugorje.  A document was put out by Bishop Ratko Peric, the ordinary of the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno that encompasses Medjugorje, which was translated by Richard Chonak of the Catholic Light blog, that put to record of what actually occurred in Medjugorje and how the alleged apparitions were fabricated and manipulated by dissident priests such as Tomislav Vlasic and Slavko Barbaric.

I want to briefly summarize some highlights from this translated document first, which then be followed by the translated document in full.

Highlights:

1. Tomislav Vlasic, in collusion with his superior, undermined the authority of the bishop by relocating himself to Medjugorje without asking permission.  They waited an entire year to do so.

2. Tomislav Vlasic and Slavko Barbaric, the spiritual directors of the alleged seers, did not allow the seers to report any alleged messages from the Madonna without coming to them first so they can have their stories straight.

3. A grave theological error that the alleged apparition stated that all people in Heaven have their souls and their bodies with them.  I guess Tomislav Vlasic never studied the Nicene Creed.

4. Tomislav Vlasic claimed to have visited the Pope (John Paul II) when he never did.

5. The Madonna wanted Slavko Barbaric to replace Tomislav Vlasic as the spiritual director so he could document the entire episode of the visions.  Slavko Barbaric passed away in AD 2000, and the alleged apparitions continue to this day… without Slavko Barbaric.  Another “vision” that never came true.

There are many more, but I just highlighted the big ones that I thought were prescient.  The following is the completed translation of Bishop Ratko Peric’s documentation of the many errors of the apparitions in Medjugorje:

Vlasic’s involvement in the “Medjugorje phenomenon”

Just as last year, when the Holy See sanctioned the Rev. Vlasic with interdict, warning him of more severe penalties if he would not obey, once again numerous comments have appeared in the mass media to proclaim the non-connection between the “Medjugorje phenomenon” and the “Vlasic case”. If in both the letter and in reference to the two more serious penalties there is an explicit reminder of the “Medjugorje phenomenon”,[1] in which Tomislav Vlasic in involved, why is there never any connection between the one and the other? We would like to recall just that undeniable connection, from the beginning.

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5

Queen Elizabeth II Appalled At Church Of England

Queen Elizabeth unhappy

Richard Eden of the Daily Telegraph has reported that Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom, who is also the head of the Church of England, is “appalled” at what has happened to the Anglican Communion.

The usually well-informed newspaper adds that the Queen, who is the Supreme Governor of the C(hurch) of E(ngland), is “also said to have an affinity with the Holy Father, who is of her generation”.

Quite good stuff to hear of the affinity that Queen Elizabeth has for Papa Bene.

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1

Reunion Not Imminent Between Catholic and Orthodox Churches

Catholic Orthodox

Metropolitan John Zizioulas of Pergamon, a major proponent of union between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, has addressed the virulent opposition among the Metropolitans of Greece by stating that reunion is not imminent.

It is being propagated very falsely and conspiringly that the signing of the union of the Churches is imminent! A professor emeritus of Theology, who is well known for his ill-will towards my person, had visited a Hierarch of the Church of Greece and had told him that he knew with certainty (!) that the union had already been signed (in Ravenna!) and that the relative announcement was a matter of time!!! Clergy and laity have approached me and asked me if it is true that the union is to be signed in Cyprus, in October! Obviously, a feeling of unrest is being attempted among the people of God through this behaviour, with unpredictable consequences for the unity of the Church. However, those who are disseminating these things are fully aware (as long as they have not been blinded by empathy, fanaticism or a mania for self-projection), firstly, that the ongoing theological Dialogue has yet to span an extremely long course, because the theological differences that have accumulated during the one thousand years of division are many; and secondly, that the Committee for the Dialogue is entirely unqualified for the “signing” of a union, given that this right belongs to the Synods of the Churches. Therefore, why all the misinformation? Can’t the disseminators of these false “updates” think of what the consequences will be for the unity of the Church? [He who agitates (God’s people) shall bear the blame, whoever he may be — Galatians 5:10]

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The Red Mass and Cardinal DiNardos Pro-Life Homily

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, the Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, was the chief celebrant at the annual Red Mass Cardinal DiNardo Sotomayoryesterday at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle.

The Red Mass is celebrated annually at the Washington, D.C. Cathedral and hosted by the John Carroll Society, a group of Washington area legal professionals.  The Mass is normally for for judges, attorneys, law school professors, students, and government officials.  The Mass requests guidance from the Holy Ghost for all who seek justice, and offers the opportunity to reflect on what Catholics believe is the God-given power and responsibility of all in the legal profession.

The Red Mass is so-called from the red vestments traditionally worn in symbolism of the tongues of fire that descended on the Apostles.  The most significant difference between the Red Mass and a traditional Mass is that the focuses of prayer and blessings concentrate on the leadership roles of those present.  Guidance from the Holy Ghost is asked to be bestowed on the congregants. Other blessings that are commonly requested to prevail in the minds, offices, and court rooms are Divine strength, wisdom, truth, and justice.

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Saint Genesius and the Emperor

Saint Genesius

The Emperor was widely regarded as the savior of Rome.  The son of slaves he had fought his way to power against the enemies of Rome.  After a half century of chaos he brought order and unity to Rome, crushing pretenders to the imperial purple and restoring the borders of the Empire against the barbarian tribes.  Under his tetrarchy system Rome would be ruled by two Emperors and two Caesars who would eventually succeed the Emperors.  Peace now reigned in the Empire after decades of strife.  Small wonder that Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus, better known to history as Diocletian, was hailed as a second Romulus, a second founder of Rome.  Continue Reading

20

Ahmadinejad Had a Jewish Past

The disputed president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, apparently converted to Islam at the age of four (4) from Judaism along with his parents.

No joke, the man wanting to “wipe Israel off the map” was born Jewish.

Earlier this morning the Daily Telegraph of London reported,

A photograph of the Iranian president holding up his identity card during elections in March 2008 clearly Ahmadenijad is Jewishshows his family has Jewish roots.

A close-up of the document reveals he was previously known as Sabourjian – a Jewish name meaning cloth weaver.

“By making anti-Israeli statements he is trying to shed any suspicions about his Jewish connections. He feels vulnerable in a radical Shia society.”

A London-based expert [Ali Nourizadeh] on Iranian Jewry said that “jian” ending to the name specifically showed the family had been practising Jews.

“He has changed his name for religious reasons, or at least his parents had,” said the Iranian-born Jew [Ali Nourizadeh] living in London. “Sabourjian is well known Jewish name in Iran.”

Now that is revealing.

For more on this article from Damien McElroy and Ahmad Vahdat of the Daily Telegraph of London click here.

2

Jerusalem

Something for the weekend.  An offbeat version of Jerusalem.   I think that half madman, half genius William Blake would have appreciated its quirkiness.  Compare and contrast with this more mainstream version.

And did those feet in ancient time,
    Walk upon Englands mountains green:
    And was the holy Lamb of God,
    On Englands pleasant pastures seen!

    And did the Countenance Divine,
    Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
    And was Jerusalem builded here,
    Among these dark Satanic Mills?

    Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
    Bring me my Arrows of desire:
    Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold:
    Bring me my Chariot of fire!

    I will not cease from Mental Fight,
    Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
    Till we have built Jerusalem,
    In Englands green & pleasant Land.

 

17

What He Said

Here’s Prof. David Post at the Volokh Conspiracy describing politics through an analogy to sports (the easiest way to explain anything to me):

I then said something like – “but it does seem like the overall level of defense is improving all over – I see so many great plays these days . . .” before I recognized how stupid a comment that was.  Of course I was seeing more great defensive plays than I had 10 or 20 years before – because 10 or 20 years before there had been no Sportscenter (or equivalent).  In 1992 (or whenever exactly this was), I could turn on the TV and catch 20 or 30 minutes of great highlights every night, including 5 or 6 truly spectacular defensive plays; in 1980, or 1960, to see 5 or 6 truly spectacular defensive plays, you had to watch 20 or 25 hours of baseball, minimum.  [That’s what ESPN was doing, in effect – watching 10 or 12 games simultaneously and pulling out the highlights].  It was just my mind playing a trick on me; I had unconsciously made a very simple mistake.  The way in which I was perceiving the world of baseball had, with Sportscenter, changed fundamentally, but I hadn’t taken that into account.  Without thinking about it, I had plugged into a simple formula:  Old Days:             5 spectacular plays in 25 hours of baseball watching. New Days:          5 spectacular plays in ½ hour of baseball watching. And I had reached the obvious (and obviously wrong, on reflection) conclusion that the rate of spectacular playmaking had gone up.

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38

Radio Personality: Members of the Opposing Party Should be Denied Health Care

Garrison KeillorYesterday Rush Limbaugh said that Democrats should be denied health care.  No, no, wrong radio personality!   If Rush had said anything that stupid, rest assured that you wouldn’t have had to wait to read about it on this blog to learn of it.  The networks would have been shouting the news and condemnatory editorials would have been thundering from newspapers coast to coast.  Instead it was just Garrison Keillor, National Public Radio’s Mark Twain wannabe, who decided that there are just too darn many Republicans and by gosh something should be done about it.  (As they would doubtless phrase a call for gopcide in Lake Wobegon.)  Writing in the Chicago Tribune,  Keillor has this charming sentiment:

When an entire major party has excused itself from meaningful debate and a thoughtful U.S. senator like Orrin Hatch no longer finds it important to make sense and an up-and-comer like Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty attacks the president for giving a speech telling schoolchildren to work hard in school and get good grades, one starts to wonder if the country wouldn’t be better off without them and if Republicans should be cut out of the health-care system entirely and simply provided with aspirin and hand sanitizer. Thirty-two percent of the population identifies with the GOP, and if we cut off health care to them, we could probably pay off the deficit in short order.

Denying health care on the basis of political ideology.  Nice guy.  Of course Keillor was merely joking.  He has a long history of hating Republicans,   but I am sure he merely jokes, and perhaps fantasizes, about the deaths of those who have the temerity of disagreeing with him politically and in reality he would never harm a fly.  At least a Democrat fly.

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27

France Tells Obama To Cowboy Up

Obama Sarkozy

Never in a million years would I have expected a Frenchman, any Frenchman living today, to chide an American president to be a man.  Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan are rolling over in their graves as French President Nicolas Sarkozy reminds President Obama, our president,that “we live in a real world, not a virtual world“.

This episode between Sarkozy and Obama occurred prior to President Obama’s I have a dream of a world without nuclear weapons disarmament speech as chair of the United Nations Security Council meeting on September 24.  An American holding the chair of the U.N. Security Council was a first, so the foreign media was out in force attracting global attention.  Unbeknownst to the world at the time President Obama, as well as Sarkozy, had intelligence that Iran had an illegal uranium enrichment facility.

So instead of using the bully pulpit as the leader of the free world and his superior oratory skills to admonish Iran at the United Nations Security Council, Obama chose to give his I have a dream of a world without nuclear weapons disarmament speech. The New York Times reported “White House officials,” did not want to “dilute” his disarmament resolution “by diverting to Iran.”

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12

Carter Tries to Deny He Said Obama Critics Driven By Race

Former President Jimmy Carter was interviewed by CNN’s Candy Crowley who questioned him on why he accused “an Jimmy Carteroverwhelming portion” of tea party protesters and others that oppose current President Obama as racists.  Jimmy Carter responded by denying he ever made such a claim.  Several times Candy Crowley tried to ask President Carter to explain himself and each time President Carter denied he even said any such thing.

Am I hearing this right?  The following video shows the portion of the video where Candy Crowley is interviewing President Carter and then at the end it shows a clip of what President Carter said.  Truly amazing that He would have the audacity to lie on national cable television.

[vodpod id=Groupvideo.3546910&w=425&h=350&fv=]

Matthew Balan of NewsBusters has the complete story on this development here.

16

Republicans Should Find an Approach to 'Universal Health Care' They Like

I’m not sure that I like this line of thinking, but I’m starting to think that it’s true, so I’ll put it out there and see what people make of it in debate.

It’s starting to look fairly certain that while a bill called “health care reform” will pass the congress and be signed some time before the 2010 elections (because the administration needs to sign something, even if it’s a fig leaf that does little and doesn’t go into effect until after 2012) what passes will not in any sense be a “comprehensive” health care reform package. Given the people who would be in charge of designing it if it made it through right now, I think that’s probably a pretty good thing.

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46

Signs and Portents

Gallup Party ID

The first in an on-going series.  I have never been interested in sports, much to the quiet chagrin of my late father.  Other than hockey in my college days, I can’t recall ever spending any money to see a sporting event.  On the weekends no sounds of athletic contests emanate from the McClarey household TV.  I suspect that my strong interest in politics takes the place of sports for me.  I am endlessly fascinated by it, pay close attention to all news regarding politics and have familiarized myself over the years with a fair amount of the technical aspects of the craft.  For political junkies like me our season is about to begin.  Next year’s congressional elections are just a little over a year away and I think looking at the political tea leaves as they stand now might be amusing to those of our readers who share some portion of my passion.

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9

Roman Polanski, Hollywood, and Moral Values

[Updates at the bottom of this article as of 1:47pm CDT AD 10-1-2009]

Roman Polanski

[I’ve done my best to tone down the explicit talk related to Roman Polanski, consider this a PG article instead of the usual G]

Famed Hollywood movie director Roman Polanski, who has been hiding in France since 1978, was arrested five days ago by the Swiss Justice Ministry while trying to enter Switzerland at Zurich Airport for an outstanding 1978 US arrest warrant. Polanski was going to attend the Zurich Film Festival to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.  He is now waiting extradition, which he is appealing, to the US for his crime of engaging in unlawful intimate relations* of a 13 year old girl.

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