7 Responses to Eucharistic Flash Mob

  • We need more of these…..

  • Bravo, Bravo, Bravo…Jesus Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity truly present in the Blessed Sacrament have mercy on me a sinner.

  • Wow I enjoyed that!

  • I really enjoyed this, and the litany read out loud by the 2nd friar sent chills up my spine. However, I realized that the 1st friar, the one holding up the monstrance in the center of the plaza, later stuffed it in a duffel bag and walked away with it as if it were a gym bag. I’m not sure that demonstrates the Catholic belief of Christ’s Real Presence in those who witnessed (and appreciated) the previous act. I also wonder if it’s even licit to carry it in such a way. I applaud the act itself and moreso since these friars did it in the heart of secular England, but I wonder if they may have damaged their cause and shown a lack of respect for Christ’s Real Presence during the Corpus Christi feast? Any thoughts?

  • Jesus has to ride the subway just like everybody else.

    The monk brought the monstrance in and out of the square in the most reasonable and respectful way possible. If you observe at the very end of the video, a woman tries to engage the monk in conversation while he’s leaving the square, and he waives her off. It’s clear he was serious and respectful. What would you expect him to do — build an altar?

  • “Jesus has to ride the subway just like everybody else.”

    Huh? What does this mean?

    “The monk brought the monstrance in and out of the square in the most reasonable and respectful way possible.”

    Nope, not even a little bit correct. Haven’t you seen Eucharistic processions through the streets? I used to live in Spain and witnessed a few myself. The priest is properly vested with the shoulder vestment (not sure of the name?) and carries the monstrance reverently wrapped in the vestment, not in his bare hands; often there are four faithful men carrying a beautiful canopy over the monstrance and the carrying priest; generally there are others walking in prayer before and after the priest with the monstrance, etc. I don’t know if all of those things are prescribed specifically in the GIRM, but I’ve seen it done that way every single time I’ve seen a public Eucharistic procession with a monstrance involved, except for this time. Here’s alink to a video showing such a procession around Manhattan with the CFR priests (in Harlem, no less!), as well as probably diocesan priests (the vid was created by the Archdiocese of NYC:
    http://youtu.be/NX5X2cXMh0o

    “a woman tries to engage the monk in conversation while he’s leaving the square, and he waives her off”

    I didn’t get that sense at all. Instead, I think she was briefly touching him and thanking him for his brave witness, and he waved to her to say “thank you” to her.

    I think it’s easy for us to inadvertently show a lack of reverence for Christ present in the Eucharist, and this could be one example. My point is that it is incongruous with the message we really wish to spread, that this is the Lord of the Universe physically present. I’m not saying the friars did this purposely at all, but merely that they probably didn’t think it through well before they did it.

  • Simply brilliant! I hope that The American Catholic will organize a flashmob in a major American city. Simply tell us where to go and when. Nowadays, that is all it takes. The success of social media in the recent “Arab Spring” is a testament to the power of this new age of global connectedness. [On the flip side social media made it easier for the attackers during the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack].

    I respect that Kevin in Texas points out the need for reference in how the monstrance is handled — may God bless him for his courage… even though he temporarily sucked the wind out of my sails!

    But there is a roll for all Catholics if we are to preserve everything we think is sacred about our faith. He is not unlike “The Vortex” which is relentless in its demand for accountability and spiritual perfection, even though some of their commentaries focus on what I tend to consider “spiritual minutia,” such as whether or not we should kneel when receiving the Eucharist or whether or not we should receive it directly on the tongue.

    I truly appreciate the nit picking because it forces us to reevaluate and appreciate everything we do with reference to our faith.

    This flash mob idea should be extended locally, and it should be done right.

In anticipation of Corpus Christi

Wednesday, June 22, AD 2011

A stirring account from Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York:

Last week, we bishops met for our annual Spring Meeting, this year in Seattle. We had a lot of business: liturgical matters, revision of the Charter to Protect Youth, approval of a defense of fragile human life against physician-assisted suicide, a decision to issue a document to help our priests, deacons, and ourselves preach better . . . plus a lot more.

But the most productive session came on Friday morning. As usual, we began with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. But then we gathered as the Blessed Sacrament was placed in the monstrance on the altar. There we prayed: morning prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours; silence; an excellent conference by a brother bishop; silence; opportunity for confession; and closing Benediction.

It was, in my mind, the most productive part of our meeting. Nearly two hundred bishops, on their knees, in silent prayer, before Jesus, really and truly present in the Holy Eucharist.

As I tip-toed out of the room to stand in line for confession, I heard two of the young hotel workers chatting.

“It’s sure quiet in there,” whispered one of them. “What are they doing?”

“It’s weird,” replied the other. “They’re not doing nothing. They’re all just kneeling there quietly looking at this flat piece of bread in this fancy gold holder.”

He almost got it right . . . except that we believe, with all our heart and soul, that it’s not a “flat piece of bread,” but the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Jesus Christ, really and truly present in the Sacrament of His Body and Blood.

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One Response to In anticipation of Corpus Christi

SOLT Statement Regarding Fr. John Corapi

Monday, June 20, AD 2011

Official Statement of SOLT (Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity) regarding Fr. John Corapi:

As the Regional Priest Servant of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), I issue the following statement on behalf of the Society.

On 16 March 2011, the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas, and the SOLT received a complaint against Fr. John Corapi, SOLT. As is normal procedure and due to the gravity of the accusation alleging conduct not in concert with the priestly state or his promises as a member of a society of apostolic life of diocesan right, Fr. Corapi was suspended from active ministry (put on administrative leave) until such a time that the complaint could be fully investigated and due process given to Fr. Corapi. In the midst of the investigation, the SOLT received a letter from Fr. Corapi, dated June 3, 2011, indicating that, because of the physical, emotional and spiritual distress he has endured over the past few years, he could no longer continue to function as a priest or a member of the SOLT. Although the investigation was in progress, the SOLT had not arrived at any conclusion as to the credibility of the allegations under investigation.

At the onset, the Bishop of Corpus Christi advised the SOLT to not only proceed with the policies outlined in their own constitutions, but also with the proper canonical procedures to determine the credibility of the allegations against Fr. Corapi. We reiterate that Fr. Corapi had not been determined guilty of any canonical or civil crimes. If the allegations had been found to be credible, the proper canonical due process would have been offered to Fr. Corapi, including his right to defense, to know his accuser and the complaint lodged, and a fair canonical trial with the right of recourse to the Holy See. On June 17, 2011, Fr. John Corapi issued a public statement indicating that he has chosen to cease functioning as a priest and a member of the SOLT.

The SOLT is deeply saddened that Fr. Corapi is suffering distress. The SOLT is further saddened by Fr. Corapi’s response to these allegations. The SOLT will do all within its power to assist Fr. Corapi if he desires to seek a dispensation from his rights and obligations as a priest and as a professed member of the SOLT. We request your prayers and the intercession of the Blessed Mother for the healing of Fr. Corapi and for any who have been negatively affected by Fr. Corapi’s decision to end his ministry as a priest and a member of the SOLT.

Fr Gerrard Sheehan, SOLT
Regional Priest Servant

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63 Responses to SOLT Statement Regarding Fr. John Corapi

  • I’d say Corapi does need our prayers and a swift kick in the hind end. I greatly enjoyed his sermons broadcast over the radio a few years ago. I admired both his fervor and his good humor. The failure to actively defend himself against what he alleges are baseless charges and then his unilateral, and bizarre, statement seeking to cease to function as a priest, leads me to assume that the charges against him are likely true and that is therefore why he is not proceeding forward with his defense. Supporters of Corapi will doubtless consider such an assumption as unfair, but it is certainly more “fair” than the way Corapi has let down the many people who looked up to him as a Champion of the Faith.

  • Priests are human beings, too. We don’t know the full story. Furthermore, Bishops continue to allow liberal priests to disinform and mislead the masses. Maybe Father Corapi did commit wrong doing. Maybe not. But he never misled the masses with heterodox liberal progressive crap from the left wing of the Church. True, one could argue this Black Sheep Dog thing is an attempt to mislead. I don’t know. It’s too soon to judge. I would suggest a little charity right now. I am surprised to find myself writing those words.

    Lord Jesus, I do hope and pray that the allegations against Father Corapi are false. Whatever the case may be, if he does deserve the swift kick in the behind that Donald suggests, then Thy will be done. Amen.

  • The SOLT will do all within its power to assist Fr. Corapi if he desires to seek a dispensation from his rights and obligations as a priest and as a professed member of the SOLT.

    Why?

    And as long as he remains a member of the order, should not their investigation continue to its conclusion?

  • I caught a few of Corapi’s self-righteous sermons on EWTN in recent years and always found him a bit creepy. Another reason why I have yet to fully embrace Catholicism.

  • More on the “black sheepdog.” who apparently will now give up and go the way of Jim Bakker and probably turn up soon on TBN

    http://www.ncregister.com/father-corapis-bombshell.html

  • Joe,

    I expected that response from you. Fr. Corapi didn’t preach the Demokratik Party’s false gospel of social justice, the common good and peace at any price. He preached the Gospel of Repentance and Conversion. I suppose that that Gospel was pretty creepy to Jesus’ detractors, as well. Now were there things that I didn’t like about Fr. Corapi? Yes – the whole thing over the sales pitch for his CDs, DVDs and books. But St. Paul did say somewhere in his epistles that the workman is worthy of his hire, and in the main Fr. Corapi was on target. As to whether he’s done wrong or not, he is human and therefore by definition he has done wrong. Who hasn’t?

    One thing is certain: while maybe Fr. Corapi is misleading (or could mislead) people with this new adventure (the Black Sheepdog web site), he didn’t do any of the crap that spews forth weekly from parish pulpits by liberal progressive priests.

    I shall always remember Fr. Corapi as a man of God who, perhaps like King David before him, sinned. Yet the Bible says that David was a man after God’s own heart.

    BTW, Fr. Corapi is a self-admittted cocaine addict. Addicts are almost always grandiose and victimized in their own eyes. Recovery is a daily process contingent on one’s spiritual condition (as Bill Wilson states in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous), and no one is exempt from the possibility of relapse which often happens in the head long before that first drink or drug is picked up. I speak from my own king-baby experiences. Therefore, it’s easy to condemn Fr. Corapi as creepy. It’s not easy to be forgiving and pray for him. So last night I spent an hour at Eucharistic Adoration praying for him, not because I am holy or better than him, but because I am just one drink or drug away from a drunk myself. NO, I did NOT say Fr. Corapi has relapsed. Rather, what I am saying is that I see mixed messages in Fr. Corapi’s statement – messages of victimization alongside messages of “don’t blame the bishop.” That’s behavior I well recognize only because much to my own doom I have indulged in it.

    Pray for Fr. Corapi. Then when you’re done, pray again.

  • Paul, sorry no prayers for him from me or anyone else including myself. After decades of sending up requests and receiving zero replies, I’m done with that nonsense. As for Corapi, he’s a hypocrite first and foremost for having taken vows of obedience, chastity and poverty and then breaking all three. Secondly, this is the same old pattern we see every time a “man of the cloth” declares his sins to the world, issues the obligatory oh-poor-me apology, a general denial of the charges and then portrays himself as “the victim.” For me yet another nail in the coffin that is the Catholic Church.

  • For me yet another nail in the coffin that is the Catholic Church.

    One would think that witnessing yet further proof of the fallen nature of man would lead one to reconsider the primary purpose of Christ’s ministry on Earth. If you’re looking for the sort of God that allows for a semi-utopian plane of existence where none are fallen or deserving of prayer, then naturally you are going to be disappointed.

  • Joe,

    For years I sent up prayers and got what I thought were zero replies. I have since realized I wasn’t praying what I should have been praying:

    “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying ONLY for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

    My problem was that I was always asking for my will to be done instead of His, so like the good Father that He is, He said, “NO!!” (because my willk gets me drunk or high), and then He had the unmitigated gall to have my coworkers and supervisor force me into a rehab and a 12 step program. He saved my life in spite of my best efforts to the contrary. So now I pray, “Thy will be done.” And I don’t expect visions from Mount Sinai. God doesn’t give them to me anyways because I would just consider them LSD flash backs.

    Did Fr. Corapi break his vows? I don’t know for sure. But I certainly broke every vow I made to God. Yet He still had mercy. Don’t judge the Bride of Christ by Her fallible servants. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” “All man’s righteousness is as filthy rags.”

  • “I’d say Corapi does need our prayers and a swift kick in the hind end” “leads me to assume that the charges against him are likely true”

    I guess I expected something a little better from AC. But, as I’m beginning to see, Catholics turn on and abandon there own quicker that you could bat an eye. The insufferable snobbery has indeed drifted over here too, following the lead from Mark Shea. No, They’d rather see Father Corapi bleed to death. Did you even bother to listen to his 2nd meesage.

    With all your heroic posts about brave Americans, you have truly revealed yourself to be a coward, a sellout.

  • Paul, it’s always interesting how Scripture can be used for whatever purpose or excuse one needs to summon. I read, too: “Ask anything in my name and it shall be done.” I didn’t see an asterisk on that comment by Jesus nor did I think it applied to his apostles only.
    Kierkegaard said prayer doesn’t change God, it changes us. And he was right. Because it changed me into a non-believer. I’m glad, Paul, you’re saved and believe. I cannot come to the point and don’t think I ever will. As for “God’s will,” another easy way to explain all the disappointments that we as humans experience after the sufferings and travails we are forced to endure. Like Job, who am I to question the Man in Charge? Either do it His way or hit the highway to hell. That’s not free will.

  • I guess I expected something a little better from AC. But, as I’m beginning to see, Catholics turn on and abandon there own quicker that you could bat an eye. The insufferable snobbery has indeed drifted over here too, following the lead from Mark Shea. No, They’d rather see Father Corapi bleed to death. Did you even bother to listen to his 2nd meesage.

    All other things being equal, I would have been happy to give Corapi the benefit of the doubt, but up and abandoning your vows as a priest is way up there on the list of worst possible things you could do in this situation.

    I think Creative Minority Report pretty much nailed this one.

  • Did you even bother to listen to his 2nd meesage. [sic]

    I don’t know about Don, but I did, and it convinced me further that something was afoul.

  • Joe,

    To ask something in Jesus’ Name is to do what He did: “Father, if it be possible, may this cup be removed from me; yet not as I will, but Thine be done.”

    When I pray, “God, in Jesus name heal this person”, or “God, in Jesus’ name give me a new wife,” I am demonstrably NOT praying in Jesus’ name, but making a mockery of His name (which I did for years as I treated God like a slot machine).

    I was in hell when I did things by my own will. I was once a millimeter away from the heroin needle, AIDS and death. I lived that hell for a number of years. I should be dead underneath a bridge with a needle in my left arm and a bottle of vodka in my right hand. I really don’t want to go back.

    Have bad things happened to me in the 25+ subsequent years? Yup. A woman who once loved me and marrried me has turned on me. I don’t get to see my kids any longer. I often feel so alone. But when I look at all these things objectively, I usually see where “self-will run riot” has screwed up my life, NOT God. Hell is my refusal of God. God doesn’t so much send me there as I send myself there. He isn’t a dictator who says, “My way or I burn you for an eternity.” He is a Father who says, “Don’t send yourself to hell; come home into my loviing arms.” But in His love He respects our free will and has provided a way without Him. That way is simply hell. In other words, refusal of God is hell and it starts here and now. I have been there and done that.

    Read the Chapter to the Agnostic in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. I realize you’re not alcoholic (and this isn’t “Catholic”), but at least look at this with an open mind (and any Traditionalists reading this shouldn’t object to something that has saved millions of lives). Don’t close yourself up as I did for so many years. Here’s the link (I hope – I really hate doing blog comments on an iPad – Apple ain’t all it’s cracked up to be):

    http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/en_bigbook_chapt4.pdf

  • Sorry about the digression from the topic of Fr. Corapi, folks. I was just answering Joe’s objections. As for Fr. Corapi, yes, I think something is afoul, but II shall still give him the benefit of the doubt. Yes, I agree with Darwin that abandoning one’s vows is a very bad sign indeed. Yet we still donn’t know all the circumstances, and Fr. Corapi, as fallibly human as he is, still isn’t one of the effeminate nit wit liberal progressives spewing forth nice-nicee at Sunday morning Masses instead of openly confronting abortion, contraception, sodomy, etc. However, as a recovering cocaine addict, he is likely finding (as the Big Book describes) that the lime light is a set up for relapse, mental and spiritual if not physical. Nope, I did NOT say he relapsed. But as Paul Zummo said, something is afoul.

  • Zummo’s reference to second message I believe is this. Plays the blame game.

    http://theblacksheepdog.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/unleashed_ep106-20-11.mp3

    Still pointing fingers. Remember when you point a finger there are four more pointing back at you.

  • “With all your heroic posts about brave Americans, you have truly revealed yourself to be a coward, a sellout.”

    Get over yourself Jasper. Actually that is sound advice for Corapi also. Since you are lobbing personal insults I am putting you on moderation.

  • Darwin, I find myself agreeing with you for a change. Great Corapi parody:

    http://youtu.be/t373uxztyio

  • Father Corapi’s latest announcement is here:

    http://theblacksheepdog.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/unleashed_ep106-20-11.mp3

    He references the accusation of relapse. I repeat: I have NOT accused him of relapse. I do NOT know who has so accused him. I am simply thankfully that I myself haven’t relapsed. But this audio release makes me more worried than ever. I shall continue to pray for him. Please, everyone, pray for Father Corapi.

  • Sounds like Corapi was fed up with the Church hierarchy for failing to lawyer him up on prior accusations, including raping a woman in Milwaukee and allegations he was back on coke. Likewise, the bishop appears to have either had the goods on him on the latest charge or felt the continuing charges of wrongdoing were sufficient in themselves to justify letting him hang out to dry.

    Corapi says the Church “didn’t lift a finger” to help him over the years with legal expenses or health care and that he spent tens of thousands of dollars of his own money on such things. Which raises the question as to where all the money came from. Evidently, he did a thriving business in selling crucifixes, Bibles and other religious items via EWTN, on his website and by the collection plate while on an Elmer Gantry-style tour.

    As he “broadens” his interests, look for him to show up soon on secular shows and TBN hawking his autobiography and taking cheap shots at the Church while piously professing to still be a faithful son. Oh, the hypocrisy! But then, who among is is not a hypocrite at one time or another in our sorry lives?

  • “For me yet another nail in the coffin that is the Catholic Church.”

    Please Joe. Judas, an apostle, betrayed the Son of God with a kiss. If human weakness, folly and sin were an argument against Catholicism the Church would have died at the Crucifixion. It is no argument against Catholicism that some of its representatives are mired in sin. Christ died on the Cross precisely to save us from the consequences of our sins and not to magically transform the race of Adam into sinless Angels who will never have give way to temptation or sin. Mother Church has confession for the very good reason that we are all sinners in great need of repentance. The idea that priests can sin is no more argument against the truth of the Faith, then the idea that cops and judges commit crimes is an argument against the law.

  • Don, I take no pleasure in schadenfreude. While Corapi dug his own hole, seems to me the Church could have done more both now and in the past to stand by him IF he is/was innocent as he proclaims. Perhaps, however, the budget for legal expenses has been so overwhelmed that there’s nothing in the till to defend yet another lawsuit.

  • A point of clarification regarding that accusation of rape in Milwaukee to which Joe refers,, Fr. Corapi explained in his audio recording that the alleged incident occurred when he wasn’t even present in Milwaukee, and that the woman who so accused him explained to the police that he jumped out of the TV screen and raped her.

    Joe, please let’s have some relevant context here.

  • Does anyone know if Corapi collected the $3.2 million he won in a lawsuit and, if so, what he did with the money?
    Here’s a link referring to it:

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2692343/posts

  • Paul P, my point referring to the rape charge was not to give it any credence but rather to point out that the Church, as he asserts, did not come to his defense. Corapi said he had to clear things up by hiring his own lawyer and it cost him 5 grand.

    I’m interested in the legal/canonical process, which Corapi is foregoing asserting it is “impossible” for him to get justice or be exonerated. It would seem to me that the Church and ultimately Rome, to which he could finally appeal, would use a fair and exhaustive process in a search for the truth.

    Don, any insights into this?

  • Regarding my previous post, here is but one example of how a falsely accused priest suffered calumny. His death came June 11 after much needless suffering.
    http://www.themediareport.com/jun2011/mitchell-garabedian-brian-mcgrory.htm

  • Remember when you point a finger there are four more pointing back at you.

    Actually, only three. Unless you have some wierd jointing in your thumb, which usually rests across the other three fingers when pointing, and therefore is aimed to the side, rather than back at you. :mrgreen:

  • “I’m interested in the legal/canonical process, which Corapi is foregoing asserting it is “impossible” for him to get justice or be exonerated. It would seem to me that the Church and ultimately Rome, to which he could finally appeal, would use a fair and exhaustive process in a search for the truth.

    Don, any insights into this?”

    The Church would have the right to take any action against him she pleased in regard to his status as a priest and any ecclesiastical sanctions that were to be imposed. Just because Corapi is saying “no mas” does not end the matter as far as the Church is concerned. If Corapi is refusing to cooperate, which I assume that is what he is saying, then he could be held to have defaulted in the case. In regard to these issues of course I am not a Canon Lawyer, nor do I play one on the blog, and it would require a Canon Lawyer to flesh out the very rough outline I have just given.

  • I agree with Joe. I am a proud Catholic, but beleive the Church does absolutely nothing to defend it’s accused priests. In light of all the bad publicity the Catholic Church has had recently, it just does not want anymore! So.. They take the priest out of service, shut him up, and tie up the acusations in court till they go away and are forgotten. The accused priest never get’s justice, and the accuser is usually shut up by an out of court settelement with the stippulation they can not talk about or profit from the incident.
    I beleive John Corapi is doing the right thing. I hope he goes after the false accuser in court, exposes them, and the unfair practices of the Catholic Church when it pertains to accused priests.
    I pray for all involved, and God’s Will be done when it comes to defending your bretheren.

  • c matt, point conceded, 3 not 4 fingers, of course. In my case, I can point my thumb back at me when I raise my forefinger at a higher angle…oh, never mind.

  • Don, by “any action,” assume this could include defrocking or excommunication. I came across the word, “laicize,” which sounds like a euphemism for defrocking. In any event, it appears his days as a priest are over despite is claims otherwise.

  • Don,

    I’m sorry about the comment above, it was out of line-

  • No problem Jasper. As far as I am concerned it never happened. You are off moderation and I feel so good I am even taking T.Shaw off moderation! 🙂

  • Please see, “Calling Back Black Sheep Dog Home” at St. Joseph Communications.

    http://www.saintjoe.com/calling_the_black_sheepdog_back_home.asp

    or

  • “Please see, “Calling Back Black Sheep Dog Home” at St. Joseph Communications.”

    While I found their appeal moving, it was erroneous in the respect of their “Come back to the Church” statements and their exhorting Corapi to be “obedient”. John Corapi has not left the Church. He may or may not be on that trajectory, but he hasn’t left the Church as of yet. Nor has his actions constituted an act of disobedience. By stating “[t]he SOLT will do all within its power to assist Fr. Corapi if he desires to seek a dispensation from his rights and obligations as a priest and as a professed member of the SOLT.” Fr. Sheehan is acknowledging that Corapi is acting within his rights.

    While I find the course that he has decided to embark upon troubling, some of the critiques of it to be just as troubling. For one I find Mr. McClarey’s saying he believes the accusations against him to be likely true on that basis to be knee jerkish and uncharitable. His actions, given the present provisions now in place that have trapped several accussed priests in suspebnsion indefininately, give no indication of his guilt or innocence for that matter.

    I say this as one who is neither a fan or anti-fan of Corapi. I just think we don’t have enough knowledge of the facts thus far to make teh kind of critiques that thave been made. I would suggest one read what Bishop Gracida has to say via the link Jay Anderson posted above.

  • I would also like to say that in reading the somewhat distressing accounts of those who have been positively influenced by John Corapi’s preaching I am reminded of how I feel about the unCatholic behavior of the prominent Catholic apologetics and writers establishment’s refusal to, as Our Lord says, “pull the plank out your own eye before you pull the speck out of your brother’s eye.” I am talking about the way they refused and still refuse, to hold people like Mark Shea accountable for his calumnious diatribes against those who hold legitimately Catholic views on geopolitical and national security issues. For a good, but by no means exhaustive, synopsis, I would recommend reading Chris Blosser’s take here:

    http://www.ratzingerfanclub.com/blog/2007/06/rewarding-bad-behavior.html

    Like many of those who were influenced by Corapi, I was similarly influenced by the works of Catholic apologists like those at Catholic Answers, and the like when I was just coming back to the Church almost 20 years ago. And to watch these very same people continue to circle the wagons around their bad apples while telling others to clean their batches is heartbreaking. So, I understand the pain many are feeling with the whole Corapi situation. But there is no evidence at this juncture that John Corapi has engaged in calumny or enabled it. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about the “orthodox” Catholic apologists and writers establishment.

    I think that what has transpired in the last last decade with things like teh priest sex abuse scandal, the horrible double life lead by LC founder Marcel Maciel, as well as what I describe above offers a great opportunity to for us Catholoics to take a long hard look at ourselves before we tell the rest of the world what is wrong with them.

  • When encountering sad developments like Corapi’s, it is important to remember this wisdom from Flannery O’Connor:

    Christ was crucified on earth and the Church is crucified by all of us, by her members most particularly, because she is a church of sinners. Christ never said that the Church would be operated in a sinless or intelligent way, but that it would not teach error. This does not mean that each and every priest won’t teach error, but that the whole Church speaking through the Pope will not teach errors in matters of faith. The Church is founded on Peter who denied Christ three times and couldn’t walk on the water by himself. You are expecting his successors to walk on the water.

    O’Connor had it right. We will always have sinful priests, just as we will always have sinful laity. We must hold onto the Church anyway — I hope Corapi eventually realizes that too.

  • If you take time to read the hundreds of comments on various websites, the vast majority are supportive of Corapi, who is gradually achieving cult status. Many of his followers are pledging eternal devotion to him, which reminds me of what happened with Jim Jones 30-some years ago when they all wound up drinking the Kool-Aid.

    Corapi’s selection of “black sheepdog” not only connotes the idea, as I am sure he intended, of portraying himself an antiestablishment underdog rebel but also alludes to his defiance of the Church leadership. His in-your-face, less-than-humble pronouncements paint a picture of a megalomaniac tone deaf to the vow of obedience he took when ordained.

    The entire story has yet to unfold and be rewritten. Interesting timing given that his autobiographical book is due out soon, which no doubt he will be plugging on every talk show he can get on, fueled by the growing notoriety he himself has managed to ignite, making him much in demand for his 15 minutes+ of new-found fame.

    Clearly the Church would like nothing better than for this rogue to vanish into obscurity, but Corapi’s avowals to keep on trucking augur for more drama and unwanted publicity in the weeks and months ahead. Sooner or later, the 3-page letter the alleged victim wrote to the bishops will be leaked, providing more salacious material for the tabloids. One can see the cover story of a future Enquirer: “Pop Preacher In sex-drug scandal”. Should sell a lot of books.

  • “For one I find Mr. McClarey’s saying he believes the accusations against him to be likely true on that basis”

    Having spent the last 29 years representing people in court accused of felonies or misdemeanors, I have never, in the hundreds of cases I have been involved in, had someone who is innocent not mount a vigorous defense. Corapi began this whole melodrama by claiming that the charges against him were false and stating that he would cooperate in the process. Now he refuses to cooperate in the process, walks away from the priesthood and wants people to simply accept his word that he is innocent. Yeah, to me that all adds up to someone who is probably guilty of what he is accused of. Common sense should not fly out the window simply because a priest is the accused.

  • I for one hope and pray you are wrong, Donald. I am still sick to my stomach because (having been a lying alcoholic dope fiend myself) I know how true your words could be for me. But for the grace of God……..

  • Don, in a narrow sense your analysis is compelling but in a larger frame of reference, consider the complications caused by Corapi’s civil lawsuit against his accuser, which SOLT determined to be a problem in conducting its investigation.

    As The National Catholic Register reported:

    “The civil suit against the former employee created a problem for SOLT investigators.

    “In canon law, there can’t be any pressure on witnesses; they have to be completely free to speak. The investigation was compromised because of the pressure on the witnesses. There were other witnesses that also had signed non-disclosure agreements,” said Father Sheehan (diocese spokesman).

    “The canon lawyers were in a difficult situation, and Father does have his civil rights and he decided to follow his legal counsel, which he had a right to do,” he said. “We tried to continue the investigation without speaking to the principal witnesses.”

    Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/father-corapis-bombshell#ixzz1Q2Juup3Y

    Perhaps it’s too fine a legal point to put on it, but is Corapi, as a priest, precluded from exercising his civil rights and are these rights subordinate to the Church’s authority?

  • I might add that I would be overjoyed if Corapi were to be found to be completely innocent. However, I can see little chance of that ever being the case since he refuses to cooperate in the process.

  • I know, Donald, that you would be overjoyed if Fr. Corapi is found innocent. We all would. But everything looks so dark now, and it doesn’t help that he chose the Black Sheepdog moniker.

    I like Joe’s relative open mindedness about this whole thing. He’s being a lot more charitable than many of either Fr. Corapi’s supporters or detractors.

  • “Perhaps it’s too fine a legal point to put on it, but is Corapi, as a priest, precluded from exercising his civil rights and are these rights subordinate to the Church’s authority?”

    Canon law is certainly not my field Joe. I will look at his as an ordinary non-Canon attorney. Corapi is suing his accuser for breach of confidentiality for breaking a condition of employment that she not reveal anything about her employment. I think it is a stretch to say that a confidentiality agreement would prevent her from revealing drug use or violation of celibacy by Corapi, but that is the basis of the lawsuit. Her attorney might well be counseling her not to say anything more since further comments might lead to further damages, although I would say such a risk would be minimal. Corapi of course should have waived the confidentiality agreements so that his accuser and witnesses could have spoken freely to the Church authorities. I would assume that his priesthood would be far more precious to him than enforcement of a civil contract. All of this underlines the dangers that can arise when priests establish businesses, especially when businesses are based on their preaching as priests. Trade and being a priest go ill together, and this is part of the Corapi saga that hasn’t received enough attention yet in my opinion.

  • Don

    Comparing your experience in American civil law, which is generous to the accused, to a process in the Church that is quite the opposite is an apples to oranges comparison.

  • Thanks, Paul P. I know I get snarky at times and tweak you believers, but deep down I believe in the truth and am always seeking it. As a freelance writer, I’m trying to dig out some facts. Appreciate the latitude that has been extended on TAC in allowing a diverse range of opinion.

  • I just think that more evidence needs to come to light before we start going around saying we think he is guilty (or innocent for that matter) of what he is accused of. That’s not throwing common sense out the window at all.

  • Don, as for Corapi’s “business” side, consider that Bishop Sheen for several years hosted what likely was quite a profitable TV show but did not compromise (as far as we know) his integrity as a priest. I still watch Sheen and never got the sense of self-promotion and always admired his humility. However, someone must have made a lot of money from Life is Worth Living. Likewise, Sister Angelica and EWTN likely are in the black and although the network is not in the “business” of making a profit, it is the only way it can stay on the air.

  • Don:

    Here is Corapi’s explanation as to why he filed the civil suit for breach of confidentiality clause. You will notice that he claims that he was advised by Bp. Gracida, former Ordinary of Corpus Christi, who granted permission for the erection of SOLT, and the Founder of the SOLT himself. This is posted on Bp. Gracida’s blog with no qualification that Corapi is misrepresenting him. You of all people ought to know that you shouldn’t publicly state such an opinion without doing the needed research into the matter.

    “Many have asked, or criticized, me (FATHER JOHN CORAPI) concerning the reason I filed a civil defamation suit against the accuser in this case. It is because the two men I respect most in the Catholic Church advised me to do so. Fr. James Flanagan, Founder and most respected member of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, and Bishop Rene Gracida, the former Bishop of Corpus Christi, had a meeting on this matter. The result was that they advised me strongly to file a civil defamation suit. Why would they do this? Because they felt it was the only way I could receive a fair and just hearing. This advice was conveyed to me through Fr. Tony Anderson of the Society of Our Lady.”

  • Has anyone considered 1st Corinthians 6:1-8?

    “How can any one of you with a case against another dare to bring it to the unjust for judgment instead of to the holy ones? Do you not know that the holy ones will judge the world? If the world is to be judged by you, are you unqualified for the lowest law courts? Do you not know that we will judge angels? Then why not everyday matters? If, therefore, you have courts for everyday matters, do you seat as judges people of no standing in the church? I say this to shame you. Can it be that there is not one among you wise enough to be able to settle a case between brothers? But rather brother goes to court against brother, and that before unbelievers? Now indeed (then) it is, in any case, a failure on your part that you have lawsuits against one another. Why not rather put up with injustice? Why not rather let yourselves be cheated? Instead, you inflict injustice and cheat, and this to brothers.”

  • There is strong evidence Fr. Corapi is guilty of misrepresenting his military service history.

    http://markshea.blogspot.com/2011/06/gaping-hole-in-fr-corapis-story.html

  • Personally, I ignore Mark Shea and will continue to do so.

  • As far as I know Greg, Corapi has not filed a civil defamation lawsuit. He has filed a breach of contract suit for alleged violation of the confidentiality agreement by the former employee. In a civil defamation lawsuit Corapi would have to prove that the charges made by the accuser were false. In a breach of confidentiality suit the truth or falsity of the accusations would not be at issue but rather whether confidential information was disclosed about his business. Since Corapi is a public figure I think he would have extreme difficulty winning a defamation lawsuit under current case law, so I do not fault him for not bringing such a suit. I do find it odd that he appears to be referencing a civil defamation suit when what he has actually filed is a breach of contract suit.

  • Paul, I’m as big a fan of the genetic fallacy as the next guy, but permit me to glean the essentials from the above link: Fr. Corapi claimed to have received Special Forces training, and even wearing a Green Beret.

    A FOIA request for his military record reveals no such assignment:

    http://www.pownetwork.org/phonies/phonies344.htm

    [Look at the upper right hand corner for a link to the service record]

  • Dale,

    Maybe what you write is correct. I do not know. However, http://www.pownetwork.org is not a US military web site, nor does it have the power or ability to comply with an FOIA request.

    I do agree, however, that Fr. Corapi did indulge in exaggeration from time to time. I took the embellishments in his stories as such – good story-telling for the old Irish Catholic ladies, but as an ex-submarine reactor operator (with zero Special Forces or Green Beret experience, thank the Lord Jesus!), I just didn’t take all that stuff literally. I really didn’t like being in the Military because I didn’t like going out to (er, I mean under) the sea for months at a time. But I can embellish my experiences, too. Standing watch at the Reactor Plant Control Panel for hours on end over and over again for weeks on end was so boring (and thank God, because any excitement there is a bad day in paradise!).

  • PS, Dale:

    In case you submit an FOIA request on me, my last name was Towne at the time, I served from 76 to 82, I spent most of my time in the shipyard and saw very little at sea experience, and I hated being out to sea because it kept me away from my partying. Except for my drunken exploits that I don’t remember (due to blackouts), my life was pretty boring.

    I don’t begrudge Fr. Corapi his embellishments. I do think leaving the priesthood is a bad idea. But what do I know? I am just a boring nuclear engineer (well, technically a QA specialist for software in digital microprocessor-based instrumentation and controls systems used in nuclear power plants, but that’s a mouth full, so I’ll embellish with “nuclear engineer” and perhaps 10 years from now somebody will say I lied). 😉

  • “embellishments,” Paul, a nice word for lies. FYI, I tried reaching Corapi at his listed phone number in Montana but it’s no longer in service. Calls to Corpus Christi diocese were answered by a frightened receptionist who said she didn’t have a clue about any of this and Father Sheehan was out of town till Monday and was the only one who could talk to the press.

    The more digging you do on this story the fishier it gets. I smell cover-up.

  • Joe, I deleted your comment. No need to go there.

  • I understand, Paul. Thank you.

  • About the only comment that bore any weight is one that states – “We don’t have any facts” – Here’s what we know for sure.
    – Father has been a faithful, deliberate, constant and devoted loving priest to his Church, its teachings and have brought many many people back to the church and I personally can account for his teachings saving my brothers life and that of many other viet nam veterans.
    – A woman has posed allegations.
    – Our justice system was founded on – Innocent until proven guilty.

    – Opinions and judgement are both thoughtless and Godless
    – Fr. Corapi, our Catholic Church and all Priests are under siege by the devil.
    – Hopefully Fr. Corapi will no stop praying and his followers will continue to pray for him.
    – Most of all considering his devotion to his church – and I am sure as my priest would indicate – not without pain – all families have disagreement and all families have disfunction – even the church – but no less – may his parents of the church while following the law – support him as the law of the land and of the church investigate to uncover the truth.

    May God Bless Fr. Corapi, All of our priests and our church world-wide – and today I pray mostly for Fr. Corapis order and superiors – that they will support and love thier brother in Christ and help him fight this battle to uncovering the truth in Jesus name.

  • Opinions and judgement are both thoughtless and Godless

    As this is an opinion and the tenor of the comment is rather judgmental . . .

Memorial Day 2011

Monday, May 30, AD 2011


Almighty God, our heavenly Father, let thy protection be upon all those who are in the service of our country; guard them from all harm and danger of body and soul; sustain and comfort those as home, especially in their hours of loneliness, anxiety, and sorrow; prepare the dying for death and the living for your service; give success to our arms on land and sea and in the air; and grant unto us and all nations a speedy, just and lasting peace. Amen.

— Prayer in Time of War

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Waterboarding is for pansies.

Sunday, May 22, AD 2011

‘You asked me once,’ said O’Brien, ‘what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.’

The door opened again. A guard came in, carrying something made of wire, a box or basket of some kind. He set it down on the further table. Because of the position in which O’Brien was standing. Winston could not see what the thing was.

‘The worst thing in the world,’ said O’Brien, ‘varies from individual to individual. It may be burial alive, or death by fire, or by drowning, or by impalement, or fifty other deaths. There are cases where it is some quite trivial thing, not even fatal.’

He had moved a little to one side, so that Winston had a better view of the thing on the table. It was an oblong wire cage with a handle on top for carrying it by. Fixed to the front of it was something that looked like a fencing mask, with the concave side outwards. Although it was three or four metres away from him, he could see that the cage was divided lengthways into two compartments, and that there was some kind of creature in each. They were rats.

‘In your case,’ said O’Brien, ‘the worst thing in the world happens to be rats.’ [George Orwell’s 1984 Part III, Chapter 5.]

Those familiar with Orwell’s 1984 know what happens next. And if you haven’t, here’s the final scene of the movie adaptation (embedding disabled).

* * *

A scene which struck me, appropos of the following remarks from a recent exchange here at @ American Catholic:

“What John McCain suffered actually was torture. His bones were broken, for example. Induced panic isn’t torture.”

“I don’t base the definition of torture on subjective determinations. Clearly it’s an issue of prudential judgment and it is certainly clear to me, someone who has severe panic attacks, that panic is not torture.”

“If we cannot induce panic in our enemies with the intention of saving millions of lives, we can’t go to war at all. It’s as simple as that.”

Waterboarding is for pansies. If Ab? Zubaydah could withstand being waterboarded 83 times during August 2002, we’re clearly not doing it right. Let’s turn up the panic a few notches. Let’s take it one step further. Let’s put the fear of God almighty in these pathetic excuses for humanity.

Let’s go Orwellian — “Room 101” style.

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11 Responses to Waterboarding is for pansies.

  • Uh-oh Chris, you just made Mark Shea very, very, angry! When Shea get mad, Shea smash! However, unlike the Hulk, Mark turns purple instead of green!

  • Stephen, I think you failed to detect some major sarcasm in Chris’s post.

  • I think Jesus did take it up a few notches with Jezebel at the Church in Thyatira in Revelation 2:20-23, for verse 22 states quite clearly:

    “So I will cast her on a sickbed and plunge those who commit adultery with her into intense suffering unless they repent of her works.”

    All those now condemning our defense forces and CIA for using water boarding will be the very first to wail and whine and moan and cry about why more water boarding and similar coercive techniques were not used once Al Qaeda succeeds in detonating a fission or fusion weapon in a major metropolitan area.

    The Prophet Elijah was no pansie. When he was confronted with men as evil as these Islamic fanatics, he took them down to the Kishon Brook – all 450 of them – and didn’t bother with the small talk or the water boarding. He slit their throats where theyu stood. True, he got scared of another Jezebel after that. But the dogs made short work of her a little later on.

    Oh for men of God willing to stand up. Where are the Christian fighting men who stood at Tours of France and pushed back the Moors? Where are the Christian fighting men who with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary defeated the Islamic fleet of the Ottoman Turks. The Muslim infidels are back at the door of Vienna again. The day grows short and night approaches while we hear arm-chair theologians waxing eloquently from the safety of their living room about why water boarding is prohibited torture. Meanwhile, half a world away these demonic men of iniquity train little girls to be suicide bombers on Israeli school buses. Pulllleeeeaaasssseeeeee, Lord Jesus, deliver me from such insanity!

  • Da pacem, Domine, in diebus nostris
    Quia non est alius
    Qui pugnet pro nobis
    Nisi tu Deus noster.

    Give peace, o Lord, in our time
    Because there is no one else
    Who will fight for us
    If not You, our God.

    http://www.gloria.tv/media/45526/

  • John McCain is a wonderful patriot and an American hero. It is completely understandable why he has an exceptional opposition to torture…but understanding his point of view does not require complete agreement with it. Remember what the enemy was trying to get out of him – not the truth, but a lie. At no time in Gitmo have we ever attempted to get one of them to deny their religion – to deny what is most precious to them. No, all we ever wanted out of them was the truth of what they knew. There is a world of difference between a man trying to elicit a lie and a man trying to find the truth. A man trying to get another to lie is much worse than the man trying to get at the truth – even if the former never touches so much as a hair on a head, while the other uses waterboarding.

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  • I’m with you, Chris, but the danger of this kind of dark parody is that some people actually think that way! (And others can’t tell the difference.)

  • I’m with you, Chris, but the danger of this kind of dark parody is that some people actually think that way! (And others can’t tell the difference.)

    It’s kind of a sad commentary on the state of things that this is true, but it is.

  • But Mark, you are only looking at half the equation – the end sought. You completely ignore the means.

    So as long as you are looking for the truth, rather than trying to get someone to lie, anything goes?

  • Christopher, thank you for this.

  • You cannot have a moral good when the either the object, the intension or the circumstance is evil. I know this slaps into the face of the idea that to torture one could save hundreds of lives later, but in this case the intension is an evil in order to produce a good. Regardless of the outcome, it is an immoral act. Actually there is a word for this called Proportionalism. What makes this more interesting is that we have free-choice to make this act and this is where being human is key and what God wants us to understand. God will not prevent us from committing an evil act, we make this choice on our own, what we need to better understand is that when you commit evil you must therefore accept the circumstances of that immoral act. This is something we rarely do. We act immorally, refuse to accept the act as immoral and therefore refuse to accept responsibility when the circumstances start to reveal themselves.

“the Gaga-who-walks-among-us”

Saturday, May 7, AD 2011

Blogging for the Jesuit national weekly America, Tom Beaudoin (associate professor of theology in the Graduate School of Religion at Fordham) indulges in speculation about the theological and cultural significance of … Lady Gaga, soliciting reflections from a new generation of budding scholars and theologians on Lady Gaga’s “ethos of ‘authenticity'” — as in the following, from a faculty member of Marymount School in NY:

But to think about incarnation in another way, imagine Gaga performing unplugged and sans makeup as her natural-born self. She would then be not the Gaga sanctified and worshipped as “Mother Monster” on a (media) pedestal, but the Gaga-who-walks-among-us, the one who knows and understands the pain of being freak, outcast, and reject.

Recall the furor back in 2005 when the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the direction of then-Cardinal Ratzinger, gave the order to dismiss Fr. Thomas J. Reese, former editor of America. The CDF has been long concerned about the Jesuit publication’s promotion of positions on moral issues often in conflict with Catholic teaching. And insofar as the heterodox theological output of America was taken seriously, the Vatican’s concerns seemed warranted.

But in this case, I would encourage Mr. Beaudoin and company to keep up the good work.

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21 Responses to “the Gaga-who-walks-among-us”

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  • To paraphrase Karl Marx, America the Jesuit rag is the opiate of idiots. That anyone takes this deeply silly publication seriously now is a sign of what an intellectually and spiritually impoverished time we live in.

  • The “significance” of Gaga is that she’s determined to be even more tiresomely “edgy” than the trashy and now long-in-the-tooth Madonna was back in the day. Madge strutted about in a ridiculous cone bra, so Gaga has to drape herself in a meat dress (what a sad waste of perfectly good sirloin). Madge used crosses and Catholic iconography in her videos so Gaga has to push the envelope even further by singing about how she “loves” Judas. He’s a bad boy, you know?

    The only theological significance Gaga has is that she demonstrates for the umpteenth time, that Christian-bashing is lucrative and earns one the reputation for being a daring artiste, without any real risk involved. Well, there is, in fact plenty of risk involved if one considers the afterlife, but Madge, Gaga, et al don’t. Or if they do, they undoubtably assume that getting into heaven is like gaining entrance to a snooty Manhattan club. The Lord will be so impressed with their celebrity and string of Number 1 hits that He’ll make allowances and wave them right in. And then He’ll ask them for an autograph.

  • Congress needs to enact legislation outlawing that magazine from abusing the name, “America.”

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  • Talking about Gaga’s “ethos of authenticity” just shows you’re not in on the joke. As Weird Al recently pointed out, Gaga’s not crazy, she just “performs that way”. Outrageousness for the sake of outrageousness as a means of increasing fame and record sales is hardly a novel media strategy at this point. I’ll admit Gaga’s better at manipulating the media than most, but how anyone could look at the deliberate spectacle and come away talking about “authenticity” is beyond me.

  • “I’ll admit Gaga’s better at manipulating the media than most, but how anyone could look at the deliberate spectacle and come away talking about “authenticity” is beyond me.”

    That great philosopher David Hannum explained it long ago John Henry: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”, and nowadays many of them have degrees.

  • The idea that an entirely corporately managed, marketed and packaged product is “authentic” really betrays the spirit of a Christian ecology that the America readership embraces doesn’t it. This performer and marketing team merely studied the way another Italian-American and traditionally Catholic success story sold records via tapping anti-Catholic sentiment and has played it up to the maximum.

    People liked to dance to a certain throbbing beat in nightclubs and then it was marketed as a mainstream product. It doesn’t mean that people actually really like it or that the market would embrace a pro-Catholic performer dressed the same, with the same beat etc…

  • But I think I can be of service here to help clarify the context better. Likely this author would have taken it further but perhaps he was distracted, had papers to grade, etc., we all know how it can be these days in academia.

    Here’s the thing with Ms. Germanatta/Gaga. She and her sister were privileged enough to attend an elite, private, progressive, all-girls nursery through 12 Catholic school in Manhattan for her years of schooling. Likely her parents sacrificed to give her this education in the faith to the tune of what average Americans will spend on a car for transport to and from job, on an annual basis. Undoubtedly in choosing one of the most expensive private schools in the country that also happens to be Catholic, her parents wished for Gaga to have the benefit of faith.

    Leaving aside the fact of the corporate marketing driven popular culture which does not really favor open and spontaneous artistic expression, and leaving aside the fact that Madonna decades ago did the exact same things to the tune of many millions of dollars reaped for herself and the companies who sponsored her and then going on to be her own company in effect, leaving all of that aside if you will.

    Looking at the Gaga oeuvre it seems that she is prone to posing, with little clothing on in a manner that emphasizes breasts and a rosary or some re-enactment of some sexual act. I am sure the author of this article did not intend to hide that which Gaga herself is most proud. We need not be embarrassed to acknowledge her message.

    As she walks amongst us she grapples with coming to terms with faith. She wishes that the rosary will bless her sexual persona.

    I think what this author and America readers are in fact pining for is the full reconciliation of Gaga with her faith such that she put into action all the benefits of a progressive elite expensive Manhattan Catholic school education. To be a leader and a disciple, a voice for the outcast and condemned.

    I envision that Gaga will process this article and the sentiments therein and be encouraged to rise to her calling. I picture Gaga organizing and leading the next prolife flash mob. Just to underscore the resistance. To show the little 2nd grade girls (who I know for a fact watch her and consume her products) that, indeed, what God has made is very good and, hallelujah that their mothers permitted them to be born. This way. Or that way. Or whatever way God created them. That when they enclose their breasts in cone shaped expensive bras and simulate graphic sexual acts on the stage or in video, they may also look forward to authenticity in their life of faith and that they need not be scandalized by a generation that loves to sell them things and takes their money that also out of the other side of their mouth pronounces life as not always desirable and indeed if one aborts a little girl simply because a boy was wanted in her place this is entirely a private and ok thing.

    We will see what is in store for Gaga. With her finances and the successful marketing of herself, she certainly has a bully pulpit at her disposal. Let’s hope that little girls who see and hear her products do not misunderstand that the only or best power and dignity they possess comes from the ability to wear conifer shaped bras and simulate sexual acts to music. Let’s hope that for little girls in difficult and diverse circumstances there are enough good voices in their lives who see them for who they entirely are, listen to what they have to say, as good.

  • Very good Donna V.

  • Don: “how anyone could look at the deliberate spectacle and come away talking about ‘authenticity’ is beyond me.”

    I neglected to mention Michael O’Loughlin’s earlier post to America:

    What does unconditional love and acceptance look like in twenty-first century America today? Sometimes, she wears a dress made of raw meat. … This message, so simple yet so elusive today, is one that echos some central tenets of the Christian faith: the love of neighbor and acceptance of yourself as God created you.

    and as another scholar-to-be at Harvard puts it:

    “A different lover is not a sin”—the affirming message about sexuality in Gaga’s “Born This Way” is quite amenable to the views of most young adult Catholics I know. As such, the real theological impact of her work resides not in the content of her position on sexuality, but in her willingness to proclaim it.

    So, it’s “authenticity” and self-affirmation that sort.

  • As such, the real theological impact of her work resides not in the content of her position on sexuality, but in her willingness to proclaim it

    I know it can be a bad career move for a theologian, but sometimes it’s more in-keeping with an “ethos of authenticity” to just come out say, “I give up. I have nothing interesting to say about theology or culture.”

  • Octuple facepalm. “Thinking Catholics” at work.

    Are they really arguing for the “authenticity” of someone who calls herself “Lady Gaga”? At least Madonna used her given name, for the love of Elvis. I guess their knack for critical thinking shorts out spectacularly when it’s not aimed Romeward.

    So if I change my name to Lord Portaloo, run my voice through an autotuner and rip-off a much-more-talented-in-every-way predecessor, as long as I mouth platitudes about self-esteem I can strut around in a codpiece (literally made of cod) and get lickspittle love from some of the best educated laity ever?

    Better get to work.

  • Thank you for the laugh, Christopher!

  • “As such, the real theological impact of her work resides not in the content of her position on sexuality, but in her willingness to proclaim it”

    Tell that to the junior high kids hooked on the porn who haven’t even begun yet to live or sort out sexuality or identity…

    By this criteria, the billions plus porn industry (which is an export for the US) is a theological good. Meaning, good, virtuous, healthy, helpful…

  • I remember Camille Paglia nuking the painfully inauthentic nature of Ms. Germanotta’s corporate machine a few months ago. And here it is:

    http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/public/magazine/article389697.ece

    We live in very interesting times: an avowedly atheist professor has a much better moral compass (not to mention a nose for pure BS) than members of the Catholic theological establishment in America.

  • The whole notion that one only has sexual power if one simulates sex acts on tv or wears things that arouse in order to be objectified by another seeking immediate sexual gratification and nothing more is so passe.

    Apart from the cleavage or the thongs what she wears (and says and sings) is a bit sterile. Since she does not mention anything spiritual but just uses certain words and throws rosaries around for effect, it’s kind of hilarious to say that she carries any theological message.

    I think that her overall theological message is more having to do with this “funny expensive clothes, a disco beat, combined with marketed with hatred towards the Church” sells big right now in the U.S.

    If a young woman who looked exactly like her but dressed according to the Mormon culture shown on reality tv were to attempt to market her stuff how far would that go? Who’s to say that such a person lacks “sexual authenticity” or “sexual power”?

  • Great post, Emily.

    Dale, that is why I read Paglia a lot more regularly than America.

  • Cut them some slack – those America writers have deadlines to meet and white space to fill just like everybody else. They may have even misplaced their “pop star has theological theme” article generator and had to write from scratch! That ain’t easy while nursing a hangover.

  • c matt, So I take it you aren’t one to take the “theological output” of America magazine seriously? Certainly there can be some interesting articles. Maybe it was sort of like PBS pledge week…

  • This Paglia line pretty well sums up:
    “Lady Gaga is a manufactured personality…”

    What year did David Bowie do the Ziggy act…now living a bourgeois albeit extremely wealthy existence with wife Iman…It’s about profiting from manufactured shock and awe isn’t it.

    Sort of insulting to artistic community to say that if they cannot afford to wear push-up bras and simulate sex (or, for whatever reasons, choose a different avenue for their art) while throwing around a rosary that they lack authenticity or power…pretty sad commentary isn’t it.

Resurrection: The Rock Video

Tuesday, April 26, AD 2011

Robert Holmes “Rob” Bell Jr. is an American “megachurch” pastor and author of such trendy books as Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith, and Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections between Sexuality and Spirituality. His latest book, Love Wins, which from what I can tell is an exploration of Christian universalism, has caused quite a stir of late.

I don’t know a great deal about Rob Bell, save for my stumbling on this video this morning of Rob Bell preaching on the Resurrection.

Now — ordinarily, you might think the the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead would be sufficient enough to provoke some stirring of human wonder in the listener.

Not so.

Rather, the resurrection (or Rob Bell’s speculations on the meaning of such) has to be accompanied by a hip modern rock soundtrack and a streaming psychedelic light show such as I might have enjoyed — oh, perhaps two decades ago, at a Grateful Dead concert, “under the influence.” To such an extent that, at least from my perspective, the content of his message is repressed, obscured by the barrage of the senses.

What is it with these modern, megachurch televangelists?

What does this say about the attention span of the intended audience?

Has the gospel become so boring that we really have to be entertained by it?

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9 Responses to Resurrection: The Rock Video

  • I kept waiting for him to break into a U2 song. He looks like Bono with those glasses.

    As for the message content? Pretty fluffy, IMHO. Lots of buzz words and catchy phrases (“Embraced, graced and saved by God”). But not much meat on those bones.

  • Yet another reason I’m a convert. Every Protestant church I’ve attended since the 90’s has ended up going the flashy, concert-style route with their “worship” services. There’s just no reverence or sacredness to it. The seriousness with which the Catholic church takes in regards to worship was one of the very first things that attracted my attention.

  • I couldn’t watch the whole thing because I, as well, kept losing his words in the music and lights.

    It also feels like he is speaking to children; people who know nothing about the resurrection. I have always felt that Megachurches talk to their congregants as if they were children and they could possibly not understand anything more than just the basics of faith.

  • I agree with Chris and all of the comments. But…

    While this sort of approach lacks in *nourishing*, it obviously succeeds in *attracting*. So is there anything in this kind of approach which we can somehow emulate — with a thoroughly Catholic foundation — to reach the kinds of people who *are* attracted by it?

  • There’s more of these ‘rock band’ churches all over the place & now ‘worship on the internet’ haha how is worship in the comfort of your couch with a beverage listening to ac/dc or 30 seconds to mars or pick a band?! Go into these places & its grab a coffee, & enjoy the show. Oh & please we have 100s of workers in our groups so donate as much as possible there’s really a cover charge for the band today. This is today’s worst heresy. Do it your way they way that will entertain you. You don’t need those fuddy duddy sacraments or reverance or worship you just need a nice speech & great tunes. Oh & if you are just too lazy to come then turn on your computer we stream it live so you don’t have to make the sacrifice of showing up.

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  • @Chris Burgwald,

    Chris, I wonder really if the attraction you mention is of the “a mile wide and an inch deep” variety? In other words, do people watch it on YouTube once because it’s “edgy”, but then not respond to it in a meaningful way because it fails to challenge them?

    I’ve often thought that what is lacking in so many Catholic parishes nowadays, especially for men (who seem to be abandoning the active practice of the Faith more readily than women), is the challenge to DO something actively to engage one’s Faith and what it means to have it and live it, as Christ calls us to do in Scripture. Off the top of my head, the return of traditional devotions like perpetual adoration of the Eucharist, the Stations of the Cross on Lenten Fridays, and even the public recital of the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet testify to young peoples’ desire to get actively engaged and not simply sit passively in Mass and receive the Eucharist passively. Other things that are popular at the Catholic college where I currently teach include alternative spring break missions to Latin America, volunteering at Catholic soup kitchens, tutoring underprivileged children with homework and catechesis at our local Catholic schools, and even the 40 Days for Life and the Life marches in Washington each winter.

    Our young people hunger for the Truth of Christ and for the challenge to live their faith more fully. I think this is a major key to attracting more fallen-away Catholics as well as converting secular atheists and agnostics.

    None of the above is meant to “pooh-pooh” the idea of using social media in Catholic outreach, but merely to suggest that such media are only the very beginning of a more in-depth apostolate we need to be developing in the Church in the US and across the post-Christian West.

  • Kevin, I agree with virtually everything you said, including your opening “mile wide & inch deep” comment.

    To clarify one point… I wasn’t thinking so much of how people like Bell use social media, but more about the apparent popularity of evangelical megachurches with *very* informal services (it’d be a stretch to call some of them worship services); there’s a (relatively) large church of that type a half-mile from my parish, and it’s definitely getting inactives (Catholics and others) to darken the door.

    Hence my question: is there something in what they do that we can emulate in a Catholic context, one with — as you note — great substance in formation and apostolate.

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He is Risen! ~ Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 24, AD 2011

Yes, we believe in God, the Creator of heaven and earth. And we celebrate the God who was made man, who suffered, died, was buried and rose again.

We celebrate the definitive victory of the Creator and of his creation.

We celebrate this day as the origin and the goal of our existence.

We celebrate it because now, thanks to the risen Lord, it is definitively established that reason is stronger than unreason, truth stronger than lies, love stronger than death.

We celebrate the first day because we know that the black line drawn across creation does not last for ever.

We celebrate it because we know that those words from the end of the creation account have now been definitively fulfilled: “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen 1:31). Amen.

Easter Vigil: Homily of His Holiness Benedict XVI
St. Peter’s Basilica. 23 April 2011.

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4 Responses to He is Risen! ~ Happy Easter!

Terror on the Ivory Coast

Friday, April 8, AD 2011

The blogger Gateway Pundit relays the news that Muslim Troops have slaughtered 1,000 Christians on the Ivory Coast:

Early reports suggested that more than 800 people, largely from the Gbagbo-supporting Gueré tribe, were killed in a single day at the sprawling Salesian Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus mission in Duekoue, 300 miles west of Abidjan towards the Liberian border. The attackers seem to have been largely soldiers descended from Burkina Faso immigrant Muslim families loyal to Ouattara.

Late yesterday the Roman Catholic charity Caritas said more than 1000 people were massacred in Duekoue. A Caritas spokesman said Caritas workers visited the town and reported seeing a neighbourhood filled with bodies of people who had been shot and hacked to death with machetes.

The perpetrators of the massacre are troops loyal to the Muslim President Alassane Ouattara, rebels attempting to forcefully remove Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent President refusing to step down after allegedly losing the vote in November 2010.

As Gateway Pundit notes, “the conflict has been brewing for years,” with a country divided between the Muslim North and Christian South and a disputed election of a Muslim president against a Christian incumbent who has remained in office since 2000.

Further reading is required to grasp the true horror (and nature) of the conflict:

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7 Responses to Terror on the Ivory Coast

  • The violence in Ivory Coast is indeed horrific.

    It is, however, largely tribal and political in nature.

    Don’t get me wrong: I think that Islam as such has serious problems with violence – but to describe the conflict in Ivory Coast as an essentially religious one is inaccurate.

    Best,
    Chris

  • The conflict may be tribal in origin, but the presence of Islam in any form in any area of conflict is a guarantee that the differences are magnified to the point of war and massacre. It is a satanic system that at its innermost core enjoins violence and rapine as a religious duty. This is why it has such purchase on tribes and peoples that live on plunder and mayhem. Paraphrasing Bertrand Russell, it have all the advantage of theft over honest toil. Considering only examples from Africa and then only from the recent past we had widespread killings of Christians in Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. But hey no worries, they are just a bunch of Christians.

  • Ivory Coast “savages vs. western cowards” . . . [see “Never Yet Melted” blog posts].

    In other related news, Obama throws another key GWOT ally, Yemeni Prez, under the bus as The Won previously discarded long-time ally, Mubarak.

    In other news: Saudi royalty courts China and Russia as US no longer seen as solid ally.

    Poor Israel . . .

    The US had better, post haste, end its dependence on foreign oil!

  • “It is, however, largely tribal and political in nature.”

    Chris A. — Yes, I’d agree it’s hard to isolate any one primary motivating element. There are definitely tribal, economic and political factors as well.

    What I took away from reading and researching this was the difficulty of fitting this kind of conflict into the framework of an ‘Islamic Conquest of Africa’, as some bloggers are doing.

    The free-for-all, morality-be-damned anarchic nature of the conflict with atrocities being committed by both sides reminds me more of the Rwanda than anything else.

    Contra Ivan, it is not just the Muslim presence that we can attribute a “guarantee of violence” to — as demonstrated by the horrific conduct of
    President Gbagbo’s own non-Islamic forces.

    Gbagbo portrays himself as a sincere “evangelical Christian” when schmoozing it up with Pat Robertson; his tolerance for the human rights abuses committed under his watch tell another story.

  • Sultan Knish covers the Ivory Coast at his site; its the same story all over again: when the Muslims are in a minority they are only too eager to please, but watch out when their number increase. I may not know anything at all about Africa, but having lived all my life in India and South East Asia, I can smell the Muslim MO from a mile off. Darwin himself would have trouble coming up with a system that can compete with the Islamic juggernaut, that evolved so purposefully for the ruin of others.

  • Peter Cardinal Turkson of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace is just returned from his mission to Ivory Coast. He shared his take on the conflict with Vatican Radio here: http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=477142

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On the Muslim response to Terry Jones’ Qu’ran Burning (a reply to Rick Sanchez @ Huffington Post)

Tuesday, April 5, AD 2011

[A reply to “Burning the Quran Is No Childish Game”, by Rick Sanchez (Huffington Post April 1, 2011; republished at Defend The Prophet) ~ Christopher]

With respect to Terry Jones’ burning of the Qu’ran, my position (as a Catholic) is to echo the statement of the Vatican: it is “an outrageous and grave gesture against a book considered sacred by a religious community,” and an unnecessary provocation (if even to make a point). A peaceful dialogue between communities is not advanced by such a direct attack on the other. Likewise, with respect to caricatures of Mohammed by the Western press:

In addition, coexistence calls for a climate of mutual respect to favor peace among men and nations. Moreover, these forms of exasperated criticism or derision of others manifest a lack of human sensitivity and may constitute in some cases an inadmissible provocation. A reading of history shows that wounds that exist in the life of peoples are not cured this way.

I said as much last year (“Lars Vilks, Gay Muhammad and Freedom of Expression” (American Catholic May 16, 2010) — Lars Vilks may endorse his right to depict a gay Mohammed or a paedophile Jesus. We might countenance his First Amendment “right” to sacrilege as Americans, but I believe as Catholics we should protest such offenses, not only to ourselves but to our fellow Muslims.

However, what I think also merits comment is exactly that which is noted by Rich Sanchez in his column: when a Qur’an happens to be vandalized, such an action is “not only offensive, but also dangerous — especially to our troops.” In fact, Terry Jones’ sacrilege “can have dire consequences for all of us.”

But why would it — why should it — be considered dangerous, even lethal, to our troops?

Surely this fact is a travesty as well?

In the past several days, a Muslim mob protesting the actions of Terry Jones in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, culminated in an attack on the United Nations headquarters, the murder of six Nepalese guards and 3 foreign staff members, “hunted down and shot, some in the back, as they ran from a bunker where they had tried to hide. One person’s throat was also slit.” [“Koran Burning Prompts Third Day of Rage” Globe and Mail April 3, 2011.] Two US soldiers were shot dead by an Afghan border policeman in Maymana, northern Afghanistan (The Telegraph April 5, 2011).

By no means am I equating all Muslims with the mob in Afghanistan. We do not see this level of violent protest here in the United States by American Muslims. But surely those Muslims protesting the actions of Terry Jones, and Mr. Rick Sanchez as well, can agree that there is something seriously amiss when the vandalization of a religious icon — or cartoons published in a newspaper — result in a violent mob and the slaughter of innocents.

Christians, much to our dismay, suffer similar incidents of abuse and vandalization of that which we hold sacred here in America: the Holy Mother smeared with feces, the Crucifix dipped in urine, funded with taxpayer dollars and labled “art” to boot.

And yet, has the media ever reported mobs of Christians hunting down and killing the perpetrators of such sacrilege? — Speaking from personal experience, by and large when such incidents occur, the result is the congregation of Christians in prayer and silent, nonviolent protest.

What is it about Muslims in other nations that we see them react in this manner? Is this a religious thing? — Can it be so readily dismissed as a ethnic or cultural thing?

When critics of Islam depict it as a “violent religion”, why do so Muslim reactions have a tendency to lend credence to the very characterization they are protesting against?

I ask this with all respect, as a reader, as a Christian, and as a friend to the Muslim community.

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34 Responses to On the Muslim response to Terry Jones’ Qu’ran Burning (a reply to Rick Sanchez @ Huffington Post)

  • I have pondered this issue too Christopher. Here are my thoughts:

    Terry Jones is a truly contemptible human being. In 2010 he got his more than 15 minutes of alloted fame by threatening to burn a Koran and touched off a world wide furor among the more bloodthirsty adherents of the Religion of Peace. Jones did not care in the slightest that his actions would doubtless put innocent people at risk. Having received enough publicity for the moment, he backed down. Publicity addicts always come back for more, however, and on March 20, he carried out his threat to burn the Koran, once again caring not at all that his meaningless stunt would put innocent lives at risk. Western media outlets, regarding Jones as old news, largely decided to ignore his “Watch Me! Watch Me!” pyrotechnics.

    Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan, is a truly contemptible human being. Always eager to gain “street cred” with the Muslim faithful in his country, he condemned in a public statement on March 24 the burning of the Koran and said that the US and the UN “should bring to justice the perpetrators of this crime.” Until Karzai made a big deal out of it, the whole business was being ignored in Afghanistan. Karzai of course would not be the President of Afghanistan today except for an enormous cost in US blood and treasure.

    The mullahs who fanned the flames of bigotry are truly contemptible people. Three of them in the city of Mazar-I-Sharif, a hitherto oasis of peace in Afghanistan, stirred up a mob which overran the UN compound in that city and slew 8 UN workers. Rioting continues throughout Afghanistan, and more people have died because someone burned a Koran half a world away.

    Karzai, in the wake of his countrymen acting like murderous lunatics, is demanding an apology from the US for the burning of the Koran.

    The Koran burning has been denounced by various US officials, and some politicians, Senator Lindsay Graham and Senator Harry Reid to name two, have expressed a desire to restrict people from burning the Koran, the First Amendment be hanged.

    As politicians tend to do, they miss the point. Grandstanding jerks like Mr. Jones are not the problem. The problem is that we share a world, that is growing smaller every day with technological advances, with a religion, second largest in the world, some of whose adherents believe that the proper response to a publicity stunt by a kook is to engage in riot and murder. Of course not all Muslims feel that way, but enough do to ensure that mobs howling for blood are easy to assemble in most Islamic countries over incidents which appear extremely trivial to non-Muslims.

    The blunt truth is that too many Muslims seem to feel that their religion gives them a license to engage in acts of incredible violence whenever their sensibilities are hurt. This is a bad problem in an ever shrinking world. An even worse problem for us is that too many of our leaders want to engage in make believe where Islam is a religion of peace, and that if we all walk on egg shells forever and ever whenever the subject of Islam comes up, everything will be peachy. This of course is a lie, and every sentient observer of current events realizes it is a lie. Best always to face reality, no matter how unpleasant, than to persist in a pleasant dream world at variance to the facts.

  • Yea. I too marvel at the fact that Ivory Coast rebels supporting the man who lost an election massacred 1,000 men in the Ivory Coast. They are muslims.

    Can you verify whether or not these people believe that on the last day, Jesus will appear and tell all us kafirs He was lying all along?

    ” . . . why do so Muslim reactions have a tendency to lend credence to the very characterization they are protesting against?”

    BECAUSE the murder cult IS a violent cult. The brutish, savage adherents have a collective lump of excrement for brains. The Q’ran is the manual for the massacre of nonbelievers and the enslavement of the planet.

    Ban the Q’ran. Deport all the massacre artists.

  • Roger Kimball has a good post on this issue over at Pajamas Media:

    “Bottom-line question: What are we willing to give up in order to appease a bunch of murderous thugs who approach the world with a pocket full of Semtex and say, “Do — and don’t do — what I want or I will blow myself and you to smithereens”? There’s the Lindsey Graham-Joe Klein-Yale UP-and (I very mush regret to say) David Petraeus answer: “OK. You tell us no cartoons of Mohammed: we won’t draw or publish any. You say, no burning of the Koran, we will prohibit that, too.” The problem is, as I noted about another incident of Muslim insanity some years ago,

    the list of the things Muslims are offended by would take over a culture. They don’t like ice-cream that (used to be) distributed by Burger King because a decoration on the lid looked like (sort of) the Arabic script for “Allah.” They are offended by “pig-related items, including toys, porcelain figures, calendars and even a tissue box featuring Winnie the Pooh and Piglet” appearing in the workplace. They take umbrage at describing Islamic terrorism as, well, Islamic terrorism and have managed to persuade Gordon Brown to rename it “anti-Islamic activity.” But here’s the thing: one of the features of living in a modern, secular democracy is that there is always plenty of offense to go around. No Muslim is more offended by cartoons of their Prophet than I am by their barbaric reaction to the cartoons. But their reaction when offended is to torch an embassy, shoot a nun , or knife a filmmaker. I write a column deploring such behavior. You see the difference.

    As I said above, Terry Jones is a pathetic buffoon. But what we should be alarmed about is not his stunt but the alacrity with which our leaders and commentators rush to curtail free speech because they fear the reprisals of barbarous people addicted to violence and intoxicated by a repulsive, freedom-hating ideology. The spoiled child says, “If you don’t do what I want, I’ll hold my breath till I faint.” The overgrown spoiled children of Islam require the same sort of medicine, though age adjusted, that little Johnny does.”

    http://pajamasmedia.com/rogerkimball/2011/04/04/terry-jones-and-preemptive-capitulation/

  • Don,

    Let me add to your list of contemptible human beings the Senator from South Carolina. Even before this incident, Lindsey Graham had demonstrated his unfitness to hold the office he now occupies. But lamenting the existence of the 1st Amendment and then trying to hide behind Gen. Petraeus to justify his disdain for the 1st Amendment takes Graham’s unfitness for office to a whole new level.

    I’m not sure there’s a sitting U.S. Senator for whom I have more contempt than Lindsey Graham, and that’s saying A LOT when one considers the likes of Barbara Boxer, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, et al.

  • Dick Durbin will always have pride of place in my Hall of Senatorial Contempt Jay, as a fellow Illinoisan that lifts him above the common herd of Senate miscreants for me. Graham is rising fast however. He is a fellow attorney, so one would have thought that he had a passing familiarity with the Bill of Rights. Amazing that South Carolina, South Carolina!, has a RINO like him as one of its senators.

  • Terry Jones maybe a contemptiable hman being, but I can’t understand why so many Catholics are getting their knickers in a twist about him burning a Koran. Hey, we’ve burned Talmuds because of the blasphemies they contained against Christ and BVM, and Waldensians, Wychif, Tyndale, and Geneva Bibles for the faulty translations and footnotes that taught heresy. We Catholics have always burned heretical books, so why condemn him for doing what we have always done. IMO, burn, baby, burn!

  • “We Catholics have always burned heretical books …”

    As well as heretics.

    😉

  • I shouldn’t have added the emoticon to my previous comment, as it makes it appear that the comment itself was not a serious one. The point I’m trying to make is that just because Catholics have burned books in the past doesn’t make it right, and certainly shouldn’t be used to condone what Terry Jones has done. Just as the burning of heretics shouldn’t be condoned, and those historical are often used by the enemies of the Church to provide moral equivalence to the actions of the Islamists who go around killing people for “blasphemy”.

  • Comment above should have said “… those historical events are often used …”

  • A list of Muslim activities this year. Admittedly needs sources. But even if only part true, gives an indication of what some Muslims will do:

    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/index.html#Attacks

  • Burning heretical books was the right thing to do in the past as it helps in some way prevent the spread of heresy keeping Catholics from falling away. The Koran happens to fall under the category of heretical books and should be burned. Terry Jones is admirable; how many of you have the courage to stand up for Christianity especially when you know you will receive a lot of flak from liberals and Muslims? Terry Jones is in the right; the Muslims were very sinful and wrong in their reaction to the burning. It is not Jones’ fault that the people were murdered; it is the Muslims’ fault, they did it. The actions of another do not absolve them of guilt.

  • “The Koran happens to fall under the category of heretical books and should be burned. Terry Jones is admirable.”

    Of course by that logic, it is only right — from their perspective — that the global jihad against the West should continue, together with suppression of non-Islamic forms of worship, since it will encourage heresy. Muslims have every right to pursue their conquest of the Christian West, since they are only rooting out what they perceive as heresy by any means necessary.

    Pope Benedict’s insistence for “reciprocity” in allowing Mosque and Church to co-exist is a sham, together with the notion that Muslims and Christians can exist in peaceful disagreement without killing each other.

    Whatever happened to:

    “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets”?

  • “Terry Jones is admirable;”

    Terry Jones is somewhat lower than what I just scraped off my shoe. The man is a publicity hound who cares not one whit that his quest for headlines has proved fatal to innocent people. He and the mullahs who incited the mobs to murder have a symbiotic relationship, and I would subscribe to a fund so that Mr. Jones could meet them up close and very personal in Afghanistan.

  • I was about to type something offensive . . .

    Islamic intransigence and pretensions to supremacy lead to conflict. Many muslims refuse to recognize the equality of other religious faiths. Many refuse to assimilate. Many reject the principle of separation of church and state.

    As long as a huge number of islamists aspire to replace American culture and politics with their tyranny; as long as islam refuses to criticize itself, reform, or accommodate itself to modern pluralist societies; as long as islam is both a religion and a political adversary of the West; islam is not entitled to claim the immunities and privileges associated with being a religion.

    I bet no mussey-puke has the stones to go for Terry Jones.

  • IMHO, burning the Koran is, in itself, commendable. The problem is that by burning the Koran in the U.S. and then publicizing it all over the world, one is putting other people in danger while remaining safe oneself. It’s the Christians in the Middle East who suffer when Jones and his ilk burn a Koran .

  • I am increasingly astounded that people continue to equate Muslims in Afghanistan and primitive, poor countries with all Muslims. I do not understand why this difference is not instantly and immediately obvious.

    American Muslims have responded to Terry Jones by holding prayer meetings where they prayed for Terry Jones and preyed for peace, welcoming their Christian brethren. American Muslims have done things like started Facebook groups with hundreds of members saying “let’s shower Terry Jones with love.”

    Primitive poor people in a country like Afghanistan–where the average literacy rate is well under 50%, where the average lifespan is 45, where the average age is 18, act like violent petulent children, and you blame their religion?

    That is a thoroughly unChristian thing to do. Read again the parable of the Good Samaritan, and ponder the fact that in using a Samaritan, Jesus was using as his example someone of a heretical religious group (look up the actual Samaritans and you’ll see they were viewed as religious heretics by the Jews of the time–and they still are, by the way. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samaritan for a start.)

    Afghanistan is mired in desperate poverty, functional illiteracy, and torn from decades of war. Our enemies there are busy telling these frighteningly young people (again: average age is eighteen years old) that the Americans are crusaders, imperialists, murderers who want to destroy their way of life and destroy everything they hold sacred. Terry Jones comes up and demonstrates that yes indeed, that’s what we’re doing, and you’re surprised at a violent response?

    I am at turns flabbergasted and infuriated by this conflating of a backward bronze-age culture with the religion that’s part of it. Do we blame the Catholic Church for barbarism and poverty and illiteracy in countries where Catholics are the majority?

    Once again: AMERICAN Muslims do not respond to Terry Jones with violence. They respond with prayers and attempts at reaching out in friendship. Meanwhile, desperately poor, illiterate, short-lived population of Afghanistan responds savagely. Please understand that difference first and foremost before drawing sweeping conclusions about the faith. As Catholics we certainly don’t appreciate it when people do that crap to us.

  • Primitive poor people in a country like Afghanistan–where the average literacy rate is well under 50%, where the average lifespan is 45, where the average age is 18, act like violent petulent children, and you blame their religion?

    I think you mean the median age and life expectancy-at-birth, not the ‘average’ age or ‘average’ lifespan. About a quarter of the population of Afghanistan are adolescents or adults under 25, which is to say of the impetuous demographic cohorts. The comparable figure for the United States is 13%. Implicit in your statement is that technological progress and consequent affluence is readily and manifestly translated into moral progress and self-control. Also implicit is the notion that people’s cogitations about the ultimate reality and the moral life do not influence their behavior. I do not think either observation is sustainable.

  • Osama bin Laden and many of the leaders of Islamist terrorist groups did not come from dire poverty or functional illiteracy. Wanna try again Dean?

  • Art Deco:

    Median age in the United States: 39.6 years.
    Median age in Afghanistan: 18.2 years
    Life expectancy at birth in the United states: 78.37 years
    Life expectancy at birth in Afghanistan: 45.02 years

    Source: CIA World Factbook, 2010 edition.

    Spend some time there comparing the average literacy rate and the average PPP income comparisons, and other things, and you will find it is as I stated: Afghanistan remains essentially in the bronze age.

    And if you believe that short, hardscrabble lives of desperation and poverty, illiteracy and ignorance, do not tend to translate into primitive behavior, then I don’t even know what to say to you: literally, I can’t imagine how your mind works if you think such things are irrelevant.

    I note once again that the typical Muslim response in America to Terry Jones has been prayer vigil, outreach with Christian groups, and promises to shower Pastor Jones with love. Yet this is not noted, while instead we talk about people in one of the most primitive countries on the planet.

    I very much hope you don’t consider yourself a Christian with such sentiments. Especially not a Catholic one.

    Paul Zummo: Nice job completely changing the subject. When you want to come back to the subject at hand–how everyday Muslims in the civilized world behave compared to everyday Muslims in nations of absolute desperate primitive poverty and dark illiteracy behave–get back to me.

  • I am familiar with the statistics you cite and looked at them myself. I merely noted you had used incorrect descriptive terms for them (in addition to offering two bad arguments).

  • Nice job completely changing the subject. When you want to come back to the subject at hand–how everyday Muslims in the civilized world behave compared to everyday Muslims in nations of absolute desperate primitive poverty and dark illiteracy behave–get back to me.

    How is that changing the subject? You equated radicalism with dire poverty, and I noted that many of the leading Jihadis are quite well off. You obviously had no retort to my reply, and so you threw the equivalent of a hissy fit. Unsurprising.

  • I very much hope you don’t consider yourself a Christian with such sentiments. Especially not a Catholic one.

    Art mildly questioned your use of statistics and this is your response? Chill out, Dean.

  • No, Mr. Deco. You gave some unsourced statistics on Afghanistan that were grossly inaccurate.

    More than one-half of the Afghan population is 18 years of age or under. The average Afghan cannot read. The average Afghan lives on an income less than 1/13th of what we call “the poverty line” in the United States. Your callous indifference to these horrifying facts notwithstanding, this will tend to have an impact on how people there tend to behave: most people (you apparently not among them) would expect this to tend to be a state of fear and primitivism and ignorance. Because that is what it would do.

    And by the way, a median -is- an average, in case no one has told you.

    The average Afghan is quite young, desperately poor, and illiterate. That I’m afraid is a fact. That you would dismiss any notion that this would lead toward a state of primitivism in that country is morally vacuous and really quite bloodcurdling, but it’s your business I guess.

    Paul Zummo: Nobody mentioned bin Laden until you did. We were talking about a comparison between Muslims in the United States vs. Muslims in Afghanistan. That makes it a change of subject.

    And now you’re doing it again. It wouldn’t be embarrassing if Mr. Deco was a Christian who just obviously got his statistics wrong (which he very badly did). It would be embarrassing if he were purporting to be a Christian and then being so calloiusly dismissive of the notion that poverty+youth+ignorance=primitive culture, and for his utter indfference to the fact that these are lives of suffering in conditions that are nasty brutish and short.

    The Church has always known that these things cause woe in the world, which is why the Church has long fought them.

    When you have a mother who had 8 kids before she hit the age of 22, with only half of them reaching adulthood alive, and you can’t read, and are yourself 16 years old and have known nothing but wretched poverty and ignorance your entire life (a type of poverty that makes the average “poor” person in the United States look wealthy as a King), THEN you can look down your nose on these people when they act poorly. In the meantime, equating all of them with everyone who shares their religion? Shameful. I’m ashamed for you if you’re too thick to be ashamed for yourself.

  • I’m ashamed for you if you’re too thick to be ashamed for yourself.

    I’m not the one resorting to emotionalism in order to excuse terrorism. And since you are unwilling and unable to discuss this without theatrics, I’ll just call it a night.

  • You’re best calling it a night, if all you’re going to do is change the subject for yet a third time.

    In the meantime, it remains that American Muslims have reacted peacefully to Terry Jones. If we are going to make rational comparisons between Muslims, then we need to look at how American Muslims react to the likes of Terry Jones–and their reaction has been peaceful.

    And when we discuss Afghanistan, any rational, decent, moral person would immediately acknowledge the simple facts of that country: short lifespans, a very young population, no education to speak of, and desperate poverty would inevitably lead any population to have a large number of people who tend to react like thugs when they get offended. This isn’t hard for any reasonably person to understand, and perhaps when you wake up with a fresh mind you’ll come to your senses.

  • The statistics I gave you, Dean Esmay, were derived from population pyramids which are readily available online. They were not inaccurate at all. Those for the United States came ultimately from the U.S. Census Bureau. I offered those data because they were more salient for the point you were attempting to stress than are median age figures or life expectency figures.

  • literally, I can’t imagine how your mind works if you think such things are irrelevant.

    I very much hope you don’t consider yourself a Christian with such sentiments. Especially not a Catholic one.

    Your callous indifference to these horrifying facts notwithstanding

    That you would dismiss any notion that this would lead toward a state of primitivism in that country is morally vacuous and really quite bloodcurdling, but it’s your business I guess.

    It wouldn’t be embarrassing if Mr. Deco was a Christian who just obviously got his statistics wrong (which he very badly did). It would be embarrassing if he were purporting to be a Christian and then being so calloiusly dismissive of the notion that poverty+youth+ignorance=primitive culture, and for his utter indfference to the fact that these are lives of suffering in conditions that are nasty brutish and short.

    I offered you seven simple sentences and one compound sentence taking exception to what you understand to be motors of human behavior. Your response is rather florid.

  • Mr. Deco: If the unreferenced statistics you have used on Afghanistan are so readily obtainable, kindly have the decency to provide them. In any case, it’s pretty clear you now concede that my statistics were completely factual and that you corrected nothing at all. Thank you for that.

    In the meantime, let us have a few examples of “florid” assertions:

    Implicit in your statement is that technological progress and consequent affluence is readily and manifestly translated into moral progress and self-control.

    No such thing is implicit in anything I said; indeed, to me that’s a bizarre inference for you to draw.

    What appears implicit in your reasoning, however, is a belief that young, short, hardscrabble lives of absolute poverty and wretched ignorance will not tend to produce barbarism. Have I got you wrong there?

    Also implicit is the notion that people’s cogitations about the ultimate reality and the moral life do not influence their behavior. I do not think either observation is sustainable.

    I’m afraid I am having trouble even understanding this assertion. But if I read it right, you’re suggesting that I said people’s thinking on reality and morality don’t influence their behavior. But I said nothing of the sort, nor do I believe it. How you drew such a that inference I have no idea; it is certainly not implicit in my logic

    So let’s do the Christian thing and assume I misunderstood you and you misunderstood me, and cut to the chase:

    1) People who lead hardscrabble, short lives that are from infancy mired in utter poverty and illiteracy will tend toward barbarity. Do you dispute this? A yes or no will suffice.

    2) Conflating the behavior of people in lands where barbarism is the norm with that of people who grew up with the luxuries of civilization (literacy, long lives in which the old may effectively guide the young, physical security and stability, ready access to a wide variety of information) is foolish. Do you dispute this? A yes or no will suffice.

  • You can noodle around with the Census Bureau’s International Data Base. The current population estimate for Afghanistan is 29 million. If you do some interpolating, you see the number between their 13th and 25th birthday is 7 million and change.

    http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idb/informationGateway.php

    You were the one who said it was absurd, in the light of the general standard of living in Afghanistan, for us to consider the religion of an angry mob as a motor of consequence. Ordinarily in discussions such as this, I am arguing against people who seem to think that a statement of intellectual genealogies gives one an understanding of historical events. It would never occur to me to say what people think and assent to had no influence on what they do. Given that the mob in question had been incited by instructors in religion consequent to an act of desecration, I tend to think that this is a circumstance where the religion of the mob is influential indeed.

    I myself am not an adept of social psychology, so I do not have much to say about the sources of mob violence. I do not understand why you regard positing and unmediated and unqualified cause-and-effect relationship between the material circumstances of the population of Afghanistan and acts of mob violence to require no elaboration whatsoever. There may be some correlation there. In our own country, the practice of lynching declined as the country grew more affluent. (Of course, income levels are not the only social metric which changed during those years). In urban neighborhoods in affluent countries, levels of violence are also correlated with income levels. However, stating that relationship does not state what the social process truly is. (And I am not sure such a relationship has been established to exist in cross-national comparisons, much less that there are no confounding variables that might explain any such relationship observed).

    One might also ask how common it is for Peace Corps volunteers or USAID employees to be butchered by peasants (much less butchered by peasants reacting to an event in a suburb or Orlando) in any locale similar to Afghanistan in its standard of living. Not very, I will wager.

    This is a Catholic blog. It is not ordinarily frequented by people who think human nature has much of a history, or that you will be redeemed by being made more affluent. Affluence certainly regulates the mode of expression of people’s sinfulness. It does not extinguish that sinfulness.

    As for comparisons between Afghan Muslims and their counterparts in the United States, I tend to think that distinctions in patterns of behavior between the two would be influenced by a number of factors. (One factor would be the balance of power between the Muslim population and the larger society. Muslims constitute about 1% of the population of the United States. That would tend to contain many an inclination to go on pogroms).

  • Heck! I made here my prior (not the last, for sure) inflammatory comment on 4 April.

    Yesterday, a judge jailed Rev. Jones so he couldn’t exercise his First Amendment right to offend the Religion of Peace.

    And, the Judge jailed him because . . . ?

    I don’t know.

    Maybe (unlikely) a journolist will ask the judge.

    I opine: Either, to keep Rev. Jones from insulting muslims or to protect muslims from committing outrages.

    Either, muslims are a special elite not to be insulted, unlike the families of New Yorkers massacred on 11 Sep 2001, or the familes of American combat KIA’s or the Roman Catholic Church.

    Or, the Judge felt the need to protect Rev. Jones from being beheaded.

    Either way it stinks.

  • Ok, folks …seeing as how it’s Easter, I was wondering if we can table the discussion and focus our minds on other topics for the duration of the weekend — like, oh, perhaps the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord? =)

  • what horse dung all of this appeasement to fascism makes me puke this is the same as saying Rosa Parks should have went to the back of the bus cause her wanting freedom would have made the kkk mad. This is America not Nazi germany if truth being spoke to power offends people then so be it

    Palestinian Christian good will: “Jews, Jews! Your holiday [Passover] is the Holiday of Apes”
    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/04/palestinian-good-will-jews-jews-your-holiday-passover-is-the-holiday-of-apes.html

    Muslim Brotherhood leader: Our objective is to establish an Islamic state
    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2011/04/muslim-brotherhood-leader-our-objective-is-to-establish-an-islamic-state.html

Fr. Richard J. Neuhaus on Islam and Reform

Thursday, March 10, AD 2011

Commenting on a prior post by Paul Zummo on “Religious Egalitarianism”, I had cited the provocative comment of the late Fr. James Neuhaus:

Yet more troubling is the message that Islam, in order to become less of a threat to the world, must relativize its claim to possess the truth. That plays directly into the hands of Muslim rigorists who pose as the defenders of the uncompromised and uncompromisible truth and who call for death to the infidels. If Islam is to become tolerant and respectful of other religions, it must be as the result of a development that comes from within the truth of Islam, not as a result of relativizing or abandoning that truth. Is Islam capable of such a religious development? Nobody knows. But, if the choice is between compromising Islamic truth or a war of civilizations, it is almost certain that the winner among Muslims will be the hard-core Islamism that [Bernard] Lewis rightly views as such a great threat.

Christianity is more, not less, vibrantly Christian as a result of coming to understand more fully the mysterious and loving ways of God in His dealings also with non-Christians. Although the story of this development is complex, the important truth is that tolerance and mutual respect are religious, not secular, achievements. I will say it again: the reason we do not kill one another over our disagreements about the will of God is that we believe it is against the will of God to kill one another over our disagreements about the will of God. Christians have come to believe that. We must hope that more and more Muslims will come to believe that. That will not happen, however, if they are told that coming to believe that will make them less faithful Muslims.

I was asked by a reader to expand on Neuhaus’ remarks, and as I’ve no wish to hijack Paul’s post (particularly as it wasn’t about Islam per se), here’s some further food for thought.

What does Neuhaus mean?

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9 Responses to Fr. Richard J. Neuhaus on Islam and Reform

The Monk-Martyrs of Tibhirine

Sunday, February 27, AD 2011

On the night of 26-27 March 1996, seven Trappist monks from the monastery of Tibhirine in Algeria — Dom Christian de Chergé, Brother Luc Dochier, Father Christophe Lebreton, Brother Michel Fleury, Father Bruno Lemarchand, Father Célestin Ringeard, and Brother Paul Favre-Miville — were kidnapped. They were held for two months, and were found dead on 21 May 1996.

The actual cause of their death remains in dispute. Their captors, the Armed Islamic Group, initially lay claim to the murders — but a French military attaché, retired General Francois Buchwalter, later reported that the deaths were accidental in a botched rescue attempt by the Algerian army. [Source: Wikipedia]

The fate of these monks was the subject of a book by John Kiser, The Monks of Tibhirine: Faith, Love, and Terror in Algeria (2003). A new film has been made — “Of Gods and Men” — recipient of many awards and glowing reviews. America‘s Fr. James Martin SJ has lauded it “the greatest film I’ve ever seen on faith.”

In 1996, First Things published an English translation of a letter by the superior of the monastery, Father Christian de Chergé, “to be opened in the event of my death”. In light of the movie it seems appropos to re-post it here, as food for thought:

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One Response to The Monk-Martyrs of Tibhirine

“Carlos” (2010)

Tuesday, February 22, AD 2011

Carlos, the film, chronicles the life, and often-bungled operations, of infamous Venezualan terrorist Illich Ramirez Sanchez, aka. ‘Carlos the Jackal’ in service to various Marxist and Islamicist fronts (bankrolled by Syria, Libya and oh, yes — Iraq).

For one so fervently committed to “anti-imperialism”, the end of the Cold War must have been quite disillusioning. The toppling of the Berlin Wall and unification of Germany, the downfall of the Soviet Union, the implosion of the Socialist bloc, the mass revolt sweeping across Europe — the culmination of these events left the once proud, once feared, once notorious “Carlos the Jackal” a relic of ages past, now bereft of support and shelter. You almost feel sorry for the guy:

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7 Responses to “Carlos” (2010)

  • Zizek is popular amongst a certain subset of pomo theologians… I’ve never read him… what’s the attraction?

  • Chris — I wouldn’t know. I figured I’d pick up a book at some point to find out (see First Things‘ Joe Carter: “My Zizek Problem”) . . . inasmuch as he the subject of many a post on Vox Nova you could inquire over there. =)

  • You got me interested in renting this movie now, thanks!

    (I’m a movie buff, my vice–that and chocolate)

  • Thanks, Tito. Fair warning: there are a few incidents of brief frontal (male) nudity. Perhaps this is natural for French films? In the beginning, just after committing a terrorist act, Carlos is portrayed admiring himself in a mirror. As the years go by there are similar shots, perhaps to illustrate his age and physical decomposition. Carlos the man contrasted to Carlos the charismatic legend. Some sexual promiscuity (he is a lady’s man, after all) but not as bad as, say, The Tudors.

    Have you seen Munich?

  • I find it quite sad that anyone claiming to be a Catholic theologian would have anything but contempt and condemnation for a Marxist reprobate like Zizek.

    Want to know “what’s wrong with the Church these days?” Start there.

  • The Tudors.

    It’s sad that historic-era miniseries have to be saturated with graphic sex scenes such as Rome and Spartacus.

    Thanks for the warning, I’ll be gazing away eating my delicious Buncha Crunch during those scenes.

  • Yes I’ve seen Munich and I enjoyed and appreciated the film very much.

    I didn’t appreciate Spielberg’s attempt to make a moral equivalency between what the Mossad was doing to the assassins to the executing of innocent Israeli’s by said assassin’s.

    I have it in my Netflix queue!

“Settle for Nothing Less.” (Walker Percy)

Sunday, January 16, AD 2011

Q: What kind of Catholic are you?
A: Bad.
Q: No, I mean are you liberal or conservative?
A: I no longer know what those words mean.
Q: Are you a dogmatic Catholic or an open-minded Catholic?
A: I don’t know what that means, either. Do you mean I believe the dogma that the Catholic Church proposes for belief?
Q: Yes.
A: Yes.
Q: How is such a belief possible in this day and age?
A: What else is there?
Q: What do you mean, what else is there? There is humanism, atheism, agnosticism, Marxism, behavioralism, materialism, Buddhism, Muhammadanism, Sufism, astrology, occultism, theosophy.
A: That’s what I mean.
Q: To say nothing of Judaism or Protestantism.
A: Well, I would include them along with the Catholic Church in the whole peculiar Jewish-Christian thing.
Q: I don’t understand. Would you exclude, for example, scientific humanism as a rational and honorable alternative?
A: Yes.
Q: Why?
A: It’s not good enough.
Q: Why not?
A: This life is too much trouble, far too strange, to arrive at the end of it and then to be asked what you make of it and have to answer, “Scientific humanism.” That won’t do. A poor show. Life is a mystery, love is a delight. Therefore I take it as axiomatic that one should settle for nothing less than the infinite mystery and the infinite delight, i.e., God. In fact, I demand it. I refuse to settle for anything less.

Conversations with Walker Percy (1985)

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2 Responses to “Settle for Nothing Less.” (Walker Percy)

Former Planned Parenthood director tells her story.

Monday, January 10, AD 2011

Next Tuesday, January 11th, Ignatius Press will launch a new book by former Planned Parenthood director and 2008 “employee of the year” Abby Johnson.

Unplanned is a behind-closed-doors expose of one of the biggest providers in the abortion industry, and a testimony of how Mrs. Johnson went from directing an abortion facility to working for the prolife cause. (And not just any abortion facility but the place at which the first 40 Days for Life campaign was launched in 2004).

As expected, Planned Parenthood isn’t taking this lightly. They filed a lawsuit to shut her up — but had their case dismissed.

Get all the details here, and purchase Unplanned from Ignatius Press at 35% off. You can also read the first chapter of Abby’s story in its entirety.

Abby also blogs at: http://www.abbyjohnson.org/.

Please join her prayer campaign for the conversion of Dr. LeRoy Carhart, one of the most experienced second & third trimester abortion providers.

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6 Responses to Former Planned Parenthood director tells her story.

  • She is going to be speaking at a 25th Anniversary banquet for the crisis pregnancy center, of which I have the honor of being the president of the board of directors, in my county later this year. Insider testimony like hers is a damning indictment of how the abortion industry in this country is solely about literal blood money.

  • Abby- you tell em….expose the inner workings of Planned Parenthood. For those interested , i would also recommend this documentary which also exposes Planned Parenthood- called- Maafa21…pass the word, http://www.maafa21com

  • Hmmmmm Lets see. It took the abortions of two of her unborn children and eight years to “smell the coffee.” While I applaud her decision to quit, whatever her motives, I think I’ll wait another eight years before I buy her book. After all, her next one may be an expose of 40 days for Life…The organization she cited specific examples of lying. But no matter, the fall out is that many children will have life, and how ever it comes about, I am grateful.

  • Antonio,

    After reviewing her own writings and the fruits of her current pro-life work to date (engaging and seeking the conversion of others involved in the industry) I see no question the integrity of her conversion.

    “It took the abortions of two of her unborn children and eight years to “smell the coffee.”

    I suppose one could snidely remark that it took “thousands of abortions” before the spiritual conversion of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, founder of NARAL.

    However, when a sinner is convicted and embraces the truth, I simply see this as a cause for rejoicing.

  • “However, when a sinner is convicted and embraces the truth, I simply see this as a cause for rejoicing.”

    Remember we are all sinners and never stop sinning. So unless she has reached sainthood, I wouldn’t get all choked up about this sort of thing. She wouldn’t be the first opportunist who wraps themselves in the bible.
    I don’t say she is, nor do i judge her as you have done, rather, I don;t judge, I wait and see. But for now, the consequence is that children live. That is a reason for rejoicing.

  • “Remember we are all sinners and never stop sinning.”

    Of course there is no denying this. I just see no reason to impugn and cast doubt on her motives with speculation about lying and conspiracies.

    We will both know by her actions and the fruits of those actions — and thus far her actions have been laudable.

Pope Benedict’s Christmas Address to the Roman Curia

Monday, January 3, AD 2011

On December 20, 2010, Pope Benedict gave his traditional annual speech and exchange of Christmas greetings to the Roman Curia in the Regia Hall of the Vatican. Here is the full text of the address.

Photo Credit: Reuters December 20, 2010

To assist in my own belated reading of the document, I found it helpful to break down his talk into various bulleted thoughts/subjects (which might prove helpful for others).

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2 Responses to Pope Benedict’s Christmas Address to the Roman Curia

Signs of despair (and hope) in Christian-Muslim relations

Wednesday, December 15, AD 2010

In his book-length interview Light of the World, Pope Benedict emphasized that, with respect to Muslims:

“The important thing here is to remain in close contact with all the current within Islam that are open to, and capable of dialogue, so as to give a change of mentality a chance to happen even where Islamism still couples a claim to truth with violence.”

Earlier in November, he renewed his call for religious freedom in Muslim countries

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5 Responses to Signs of despair (and hope) in Christian-Muslim relations

  • I guess Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad is living in an alternate universe from the rest of his co-religionists.

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  • “Why do they hate us?”

  • I guess it would be a little more believable if some actual prosecutions of these perpetrators was occurring. I don’t recall hearing about a Muslim government executing some Muslim who carried out attacks against Christians. Heck, I don’t even recall arrests.

  • I’m afraid we’ll have to give it up as a bad job – Christians simply cannot live in peace and freedom under Moslem rule. Of course, they never really did – even in Islam’s most tolerant times, Christians were subjected to persecution to a lesser or greater degree, depending on the rulers and the circumstances; in modern times, it is has become nothing but a horror. For goodness sake, there is a Christian woman in Pakistan under sentence of death because of an accusation of blasphemy against Islam. This is not a society we can live amongst.

    We can, on the other hand, co-exist – even, at times, work together. But only after Christians in Moslem lands are given, at the minimum, autonomy (though I’d prefer setting up entirely independent Christian States…Assyria, part of Egypt, southern Lebanon, that sort of thing). Only when Christians can rule their own affairs – and defend themselves with arms – will Moslems first learn a bit of respect, and then perhaps some tolerance down the road.