Monday, May 30, 2011

Pro-life groups call for Pepsi boycott over aborted fetal cell lines

LARGO, Florida, May 26, 2011 ( – Scores of prolife groups are calling for a public boycott of food giant, PepsiCo, due to its partnership with Senomyx, a biotech company that uses aborted fetal cells in the research and development of artificial flavor enhancers.

LifeSiteNews previously reported on Senomyx’s partnership with major food corporations, most notably PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, and Nestlé. 

Pro-life watchdog group, Children of God for Life (CGL), is now joined by major pro-life organizations calling upon the public to target PepsiCo in a boycott.

Pepsi is funding the research and development, and paying royalties to Senomyx, which uses HEK-293 (human embryonic kidney cells) to produce flavor enhancers for Pepsi beverages.

“Using isolated human taste receptors we created proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems that provide a biochemical or electronic readout when a flavor ingredient interacts with the receptor,” says the Senomyx website.

“What they do not tell the public is that they are using HEK 293 – human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce those receptors,” stated Debi Vinnedge, President for CGL, the watch dog group that has been monitoring the use of aborted fetal material in medical products and cosmetics for years..

Monday, May 23, 2011

Paul Augustin Card. Mayer, OSB – 100 years – R.I.P.

From Fr. Z:

"Paul Augustin Card. Mayer, OSB, would have been 100 years old today.  He died on 30 April 2010.

Card. Mayer was a great friend and a mentor for me for many years and it was an honor to know him.  He was the holiest man I ever met.

He was a monk his whole life.  When I worked for him in the offices of the Pont. Comm. “Ecclesia Dei” his demeanor and way of collaborating with us was so humble that has we asked him to empty a wastebasket, he would have done it without thinking. He ordained me to the diaconate in the Basilica of San Nicola in Carcere in 1990 (Feast of the Sacred Heart).  In the sight of John Paul II he knelt and asked for my blessing after my ordination and, during a visit to his monastery at Metten, he served my Masses and then waited on tables for guests in the refectory..."

WHO will crush the head? - The Vortex With Michael Voris of RealCatholicTV From Rome

Italy: Milan will be 'Islamised' if leftist mayor elected, warns Berlusconi, 23 May (AKI) - Days ahead of a key run-off vote for mayor of Milan, Italy's prime minister Silvio Berlusconi warned the opposition centre-left would turn his hometown into an "Islamic" city overrun by Roma Gypsies and other immigrants.

"Milan can't become, on the eve of the Expo 2015, an Islamic city, a city of Gypsies, full of Roma camps and swamped by foreigners, a city that gives voting rights to immigrants in municipal elections," Berlusconi said on Monday.

"I don't think that we Milanese consider it a priority to build a beautiful mosque," Berlusconi said in a message posted to the website of his ruling conservative People of Freedom (PdL) party.

The leader of Italy's largest centre-left opposition Democratic Party Pierluigi Bersani met Berlusconi's inflammatory remarks with an ironic putdown.

"Your words are're going to need to wear a burqa to avoid people recognising you in the street," he jibed.

This month's local elections taking place in Milan, Naples and other Italian cities are being seen as key test of the Berlusconi coalition government's popularity, two years before its mandate ends in 2013.

In a bitterly contested first round of voting in the northern business capital last week, the centre-left's candidate, former Communist Giuliano Pisapia bested incumbent conservative mayor, Letizia Moratti, taking some 48 percent of votes compared to her 42 percent.

Pisapia, branded a leftist extremist by Berlusconi has announced he is suing Moratti for claiming he associated in the past with far-left terrorists. The pair are due to face-off again in run-offs scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

The issue of an official mosque is a politically charged one in Milan which has been a conservative stronghold for almost two decades. Moratti, a former national education minister from the PdL, says she opposes the construction of the mosque requested by Muslims.

A mosque in Italy's business capital woud create "a centre of attraction for Islamic groups from all over Italy who then would not be controllable," Moratti has stated.

Pisapia has criticised Moratti's position saying Milan should allow a proper place of worship for its Muslim community, who have been forced to hold prayers in makeshift venues such as garages and a disused cycle stadium.

Both candidates say several encampments on the outskirts of Milan mostly occupied by Roma Gypsies, which Milanese associate with crime, should be closed down.

Pisapia has blamed the squatter camps on negligence by the conservative city administration.

Barack Obama gets car stuck at Dublin Embassy May 23rd 2011

Netanyahu's rules of debate

If it had been a fight, they would have stopped it.
  Friday's showdown between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wasn't close, and it wasn't pretty -- though Netanyahu didn't want to leave any obvious marks. The end result was that our president is suddenly aware that Chicago rules don't work on tough-minded leaders of countries surrounded by terrorists.

The battle between the warrior and the academic was bound to turn out this way. President Obama was a community organizer once. Netanyahu was commander of the Israeli Defense Forces' elite special forces unit, Sayeret Matkal. Faculty meetings can get rough, but not as rough as the hostage rescue mission to free Sabena Flight 571.

So the president's absurd declaration about 1967 borders is off the table. In fact, the table is gone. Israel can wait out the 20 months left to Obama's presidency, or even 48 months if American voters insanely choose to experiment with epic incompetence at the top for another term. Israel isn't going back to the Auschwitz borders, and only a naive and inexperienced academic would think that Thursday's speech would do other than worsen prospects for a negotiated settlement.

Netanyahu's take-down of the president should be on the TiVo of Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, Jon Huntsman (and, yes, Rick Perry if what I have been hearing is true). One of those men will be standing opposite the president in the debates of September and October of 2012, and Netanyahu showed exactly how to respond to the prolixities and pauses of the teleprompter-dependent president.

First, let the president talk, and talk, and talk. (And talk.) His frequent rhetorical cul-de-sacs numb the minds of listeners and set up the opportunity for sharp contrasts between the definitive and the ambiguous, the purposeful and the feckless.

Second, look right at him when responding. This so unnerved President Obama that his anger and frustration was visible. Whether he brought the sense of superiority to the White House or whether it erupted there, the president does not care for people who challenge him directly, cannot seem to believe that anyone would have the temerity to do so. This is the sign of a deep insecurity, and Netanyahu used it.

Next, speak from specifics, using facts and especially history. Netanyahu used history to spank the president on Friday. A GOP nominee armed with specific references -- not just to Obama's many blunders but also to clear evidence of the American exceptionalism that Obama has clearly rejected -- will put the wordy academic on his heels.

Finally, express core truths bluntly -- especially the harshest ones, such as the nature of Hamas. The president has been shrinking from clarity for more than two years, whether it is clarity on Iran, on the butcher Assad and the nutter Chavez, and most recently on the key Palestinian problem -- that Hamas, like Hezbollah to the north, wants Israel destroyed.

Netanyahu showed a worldwide audience that purposefulness can be as polite as it is pointed, and that Obama has a glass jaw. A clenched glass jaw, but a glass jaw nonetheless.

Israel isn't going back to the 1967 borders. Hamas cannot be a partner in peace negotiations. And Israel is a friend and a valued ally, not a lap dog. The president would do well to figure out that our country prefers Netanyahu's approach to his. Even the president's own party does.

Examiner Columnist Hugh Hewitt is a law professor at Chapman University Law School and a nationally syndicated radio talk show host who blogs daily at

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Treasures From the Preconciliar Papal Liturgy

From Orbis Catholicus:

"Photographs of these objects do not exist.  People do not even know what they are, let alone what they are called.  They were used until circa 1964 in the papal liturgies.  These particular objects were used at the Lateran Archbasilica and only just now were brought to the Vatican's Museo Storico (Historical Museum) for display.  The employees do not even know how to describe them.  The bird cages represent the Holy Spirit.  The wine caskets represent the precious blood while the bread on plate represents the Blessed Eucharist.  The bread representation is actually hollow and can be lifted off the plate.  They were used, I guess, in the rite of episcopal consecrations."

Radio Replies Second Volume - Sex Education

By Fathers Rumble & Carty The Catholic Church seems very much behind the times where the training of children in sex psychology is concerned.

Experts are against you.

970. Psychology tells us that a child's sense of responsibility simply does not develop in its childhood.

That is not true. The conscience of a child or its sense of responsibility, begins to develop from the moment it attains to its first conscious ideas. The basic general intuition that good ought to be done and evil avoided has not to be taught to the child at all, for it is the innate characteristic of every soul. Precisely what is the good to be done, and the evil to be avoided begins to be understood from the moment a child becomes aware that parents approve or disapprove of some of its actions. The apprehension that some actions are right and others wrong may be fairly vague at first, and insufficient for any serious degree of moral guilt. But a diminished sense of responsibility is not a complete lack of responsibility, and it is ridiculous to make the sweeping statement that a child's sense of responsibility "simply does not develop in its childhood."

971. Therefore, the child has no morals. Its notions of wrong are not distinct to itself from the moral point of view.

Such an assertion makes no allowance for degrees of knowledge and corresponding degrees of moral responsibility. Does it follow that, because a child has less apprehension of moral values than a guilty adult, therefore a child has no moral responsibility at all?

972. Moral training is evil because it hampers the free development of the child, and thus leads to delinquency.

That is an example of the folly to which your theories lead in the end.

973. A child with no moral training would not develop a conscience; and thus he would not know the difference between right and wrong because he would not do any wrong.

Comment upon that is scarcely necessary. The "reductio ad absurdum" will be patent to all. When a man's theories arrive at such a conclusion they have refuted themselves. What is conscience? It is the human judgment applied to moral matters. The primary judgment that good ought to be done, and that evil should be avoided is natural to a human being — as natural as the judgment that the mouth is the proper receptacle for food. Moral training does not create conscience, it teaches what is the evil that should be avoided. It makes the difference between a rightly informed conscience, and a wrongly informed conscience. To say that a child's judgment in moral matters should receive no training, and that it should not be taught the nature and the obligation of virtue, is a disgraceful utterance to offer in the name of education. That "the child would not know the difference between right and wrong because he would not do any wrong" is absurd. The most that could be said is that the child, not knowing the difference between right and wrong through lack of moral training, would do wrong without knowing it to be wrong. Do you advocate that as an excellent result to be attained?

974. A science like biology should be introduced in the ordinary timetable.

Do you think it a pity that innocent children should be left in dismal ignorance of reproductive functions for so many years before nature has fitted them for such capabilities?

975. The sexual functions should be treated quite openly, and the sense of mystery should he done away with.

To that let an expert in such matters reply. Dr. F.W. Foerster, who was lecturer in Psychology and Ethics at the University of Zurich, and Professor of Education at the University of Vienna, says of himself, "I come from the ranks of those who dispense with all religion." That profession of unbelief will possibly appeal to you. But it is too much to hope that the balance of Professor Foerster's remarks will do so. Here they are: "The foundation of all sound education in sex must consist in distracting the mind from sexual matters, not in directing it towards them. Moral preservation is a question of power far more than of knowledge. Our modern educators are no more than beginners in the great problem of the care of souls and the development of conscience; and they would have done well to have learned in this difficult sphere from the great spiritual and psychological knowledge and pedagogical experience of the Catholic Church, instead of attempting to act on their own ideas and on their own fragmentary knowledge. The more realistically the teacher grasps human nature in his study of the problem of sex, the more he will be constrained to abandon the materialistic standpoint, and to recognize the indispensability of the Christian ethic. The time is only too soon coming when those who are now the victims of folly and blindness will be compelled to realize that there are eternal truths which cannot be set aside with impunity by any would-be wisdom of today. The old idea of loyalty with its immense educational power, one of the pillars of all higher culture and civilization, has become a thing of mockery, and sexual purity is looked upon as unhealthy. All these concessions to the natural man not only tend to undermine character in the sphere of sex, but they help to destroy the authority of spiritual ideals in every other sphere of life." So speaks Dr. Foerster. When some fellow freethinkers condemned him for paying a tribute to Catholic principles, Dr. Foerster replied, "Is it in accordance with the spirit of free inquiry to reject a genuine scientific opinion because it happens to be in agreement with the stand of the Catholic Church?"

976. The attitudes of fear and shame should be entirely eradicated.

Is there no such thing as a proper sense of shame and modesty, that all sense of shame should be entirely eradicated? The virtue of purity or chastity is so important that God Himself has implanted in human nature a particularly strong sense of shyness and delicacy concerning sex matters, and shame in sins against virtue. This sense of decency is one of the strongest preservatives against depravity. But with the loss of religion, modern so-called psychologists and educators are attacking this sense of modesty in every mood and tense. Dr. Richard Cabot, a non-Catholic medical man, has this to say on the subject: "Nowadays it is said that there is nothing improper in itself, and there is no reason why we should not deal with anything in any company. The answer to that is contained in the relationship of our minds to our bodies. It is a general law that if our minds interfere in a province where they do not belong, we get into trouble. For example, we are not meant to be conscious that we have a heart. As physicians go through their work they see a good many sick people who are sick because they have been made conscious that they have a heart. As soon as a person turns the full light of consciousness on the state of his heart he begins to have trouble. The enormous effect of many advertisements we see in the papers is to dislocate consciousness. Concentration of attention in itself makes things actually work wrong. We are not meant to think, or speak, or write of everything in heaven or earth, in every company and at every time. A great deal said today contains the silent implication that the virtue of modesty is an outgrown affair, and that we today, in accordance with the revelations of science, have no use for it. As a result of this idea much is said under the name 'frankness' that does not deserve praise."

977. The "sex-drive," like all others, must, of course, be controlled.

Sex inclinations are not "drives." Such terms convey a wrong impression, as determinists, of course, wish them to do. Sex inclinations are innate tendencies, if you like, or passions.

978. Though we should do our best to eradicate fear in this matter, it must be confessed that the reactions to fear often help one to get out of danger.

Out of what danger? Physical danger? That is denied. Moral danger? That is not admitted. Determinists at best can speak of "the good of society." But what influence upon a child will be exercised by the thought of the "good of society"? That awakens no fears in the individual where the sex problem is concerned. Dr. Cabot, the non-Catholic medical authority whom I have already quoted, writes as follows: "Those who are trying to prosecute the campaign for purity without manifesting at every point the Christian religion are acting to a very considerable extent upon the assumption that the motive of fear is the most important motive of which we can make use. But this is not only ineffective teaching. It does positive harm because it teaches us to believe in a morality of consequences. There is already too much tendency to believe that to be found out is the great sin. Christians have a special duty to insist on the religious view of this matter. Immorality is not primarily a matter of social disorder or inconvenience, nor a matter of personal misfortune or disease, but a rupture of the relation between the soul and God; and ultimately, nothing else." In other words, immorality is sin, and a violation of God's laws. But Christ would lift men's thoughts from the vice to the virtue, inculcating ideals of chastity, and giving the promise, "Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God."

Encoding copyright 2009 by Frederick Manligas Nacino. Some rights reserved.
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0

Saturday, May 21, 2011

John Allen’s (of the National Catholic Reporter) strategy for legitimizing Catholic dissent 19, 2011 ( - In recent months, media celebrity John Allen has been on a campaign to legitimize the dissenting, anti-life and anti-family views embraced by his publisher, the “National Catholic Reporter” (NCR).  Let us call it the “Allen Strategy”.

The Allen Strategy hearkens back to the 1990s, when Chicago’s Cardinal Bernardin sought to co-opt orthodox Catholics with the “common ground” and “seamless garment” initiatives. His apparent intent was to induce the faithful to compromise with liberal dissenters in order to promote “unity” in the Church. Inevitably he failed, although the Common Ground Project maintains a postmortem presence at Chicago’s Catholic Theological Union.

Allen incorporates this element into his overall approach with his claim that the Catholic Church has been splintered into numerous “tribes” during the “postmodern” period, due to the cultural fragmentation of society. His model presents a multipolar world inhabited by what he calls “pro-life Catholics, peace-and-justice Catholics, liturgical traditionalist Catholics, neo-con Catholics, church reform Catholics, feminist Catholics, and on and on”. Not coincidentally, “peace-and justice” “feminist” and “reform” are the labels that NCR uses to sugar-coat its dissenting ideology.

In Allen’s universe, the Catholic Church is not polarized between those who are faithful to its perennial teachings and those who oppose them—an inconvenient notion that highlights the unacceptable and increasingly marginalized position of NCR. Rather, the Church is “tribalized” among various groups that have legitimate differences in perspective. This permits Allen to smuggle in his assumption that those who write for his newspaper are in an analogous position to “pro-life Catholics” and “traditionalist Catholics” in their differences with the others. In other words, liberal dissenters are only one Catholic “tribe” among many.

Allen’s term “pro-life Catholic” speaks volumes about his own distorted perspective on the faith. He seems to regard “pro-life” as a mere type of Catholic, rather than an essential element of the faith. However, the deeper significance of Allen’s “tribal” model of modern Catholicism lies in the proposed solution to his contrived problem.

Writing about the divisions among his “tribes” in a recent article, Allen opines that “Such diversity is healthy in principle, but destructive in practice if these tribes come to see one another as the enemy, and in many cases that’s precisely the situation. Compounding the problem is that these tribes have spent so much time moving down separate paths that they often have completely different senses of what the issues facing the church actually are, so on those rare occasions when they do rub shoulders, they often lack a common set of points of reference to sustain a conversation.”

So, for example, when the disgraced “theologian” Charles Curran is given space on NCR for long and convoluted essays attacking the bishops’ pro-life teachings and defending the “pro-choice” position, and then is praised for it by NCR itself we must not react with outrage. And when NCR’s openly homosexual columnist Kate Childs Graham rejects the Church’s condemnation of sodomy—an article of the natural law recognized by virtually every society and religion in history—we are not to see her publisher as “the enemy.”

When we find NCR writers defending nuns who are excommunicated for authorizing abortions, or trashing the homosexual ministry group Courage for encouraging its members to remain celibate, we should not raise our voices in objection. Nor should we grimace with indignation when we read NCR legitimizing heretical nun Jeannine Gramick’s campaign to legalize homosexual “marriage.” Rather we need “common points of reference” with such people, accepting them as just another species of Catholic.

As Allen uses very euphemistic language in his own columns to refer to the NCR agenda, and takes pains to present himself as “balanced,” one might easily conclude he doesn’t share in the anti-Catholic perspectives of NCR and its other columnists. However, his own words in a recent NCR fundraising campaign leave little to doubt about the matter.  He calls NCR a “precious gift, a gift to journalism, and a gift to the Catholic Church” and an “incredibly important vehicle for keeping Catholic conversation alive.” He adds that NCR is “about the only outfit” where “it is theoretically possible” to write objective, accurate stories.

The real problem for Allen and NCR: “evangelical Catholicism”

Later in the same article, Allen identifies the true source of the conflict between the “tribes” that he so laments. It is caused by what he calls “evangelical Catholicism,” which is creating “pressure” on “Catholic identity.” Even more alarming for the dwindling faction of sixties radicals that Allen represents is the fact that this movement is coming from both the upper and the lower levels of the Church.

“Whether anyone likes it or not, pressure related to Catholic identity is here to stay,” he writes. “This is not only because a fragmented, post-modern world always makes identity contentious, but because one key trend in today’s church is precisely the rise of ‘evangelical Catholicism.’”

Allen informs us that “evangelical Catholicism” is “premised on recovering a strong sense of Catholic identity (including traditional markers of Catholic thought, speech and practice, such as Eucharistic adoration and Marian devotion) and using that identity as a lever to transform culture - beginning with the culture of the church. This evangelical wave comes from the top down, in the sense that policy-makers are understandably concerned to defend Catholic identity vis-à-vis secularism. Yet it also comes from the bottom up, in the form of strong evangelical energy among younger priests, religious, theology students and lay activists.”

What are aging radicals to do in the face of this youthful fidelity to the Catholic religion? If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em—or co-opt them, to use the more precise term.  It is impossible to reconcile NCR’s dissenting positions with the teachings of the Catholic Church, to which they stand in stark contradiction.  However, if orthodox Catholics can be induced to join organizations or movements that include dissenters, they are likely to stop fighting and cooperate, giving the dissenters the legitimacy they need to continue their subversion of the faith.

“What the church needs instead are spaces in which relationships among Catholics of differing outlooks can develop naturally over time,” Allen opines. “The plain fact of the matter is that such spaces have been badly attenuated by the ideological fragmentation of both the church and the wider world.” Within such zones, liberal dissenters and faithful Catholics would work together, creating a “hybrid vigor” through synergistic action.

Among the groups he names to perform this amalgamating function is Canada’s Salt and Light Television, run by Allen collaborator Fr. Thomas Rosica.  In a recent Salt and Light interview with Rosica (beginning at 19:49), Allen promises viewers that there will be a “new spiritual awakening” where “we realize the sterility of this dead-end street of importing the culture wars into the Church” and names Salt and Light as an institution that conforms to his “zones of friendship” concept.

“One of the things that has always struck me about you personally and the Salt and Light network generally is that it genuinely is open to all of the different tribes of the Catholic landscape. that is you are not speaking from one side of the street, you are not speaking for one constituency, you are speaking for, and to, and about the entirety of the Church,” Allen gushes to an affirming Rosica.

Unfortunately, Allen’s “tribal” model is shared by many other Catholic leaders as well, who see themselves not as protectors of the faith and morals of the laity, but rather managers who balance competing factions against each other in order to maintain a peaceful equilibrium in the Church. Those who take this view seem to care little for the essential message of the Gospel— conversion from error and sin to the light of truth and of love. They are fundamentally politicians rather than leaders, and they are among the most useful allies of heretics, dissenters, and other malcontents who undermine the Church’s salvific mission.

Ironically, the true source of the “polarization” in the modern Church is arguably to be found in the same relativistic concept of the faith pushed by Allen, which leads so many into a deluded sense of Catholic identity. A truly charitable approach to discipline would not permit those who promote an anti-life, anti-family agenda to deceive themselves into believing that they are authentically Catholic. The accompanying divisions owe their existence to a fundamentally uncharitable laxity of discipline on the part of many bishops, which permits confusion and strife where there should be clarity and harmony, an authentic unity based on the truth.

Allen’s Plan B

If the “common ground” aspect of the Allen Strategy fails, however, Allen has a backup plan, which we shall call “Plan B.” In Plan B all pretense of reconciliation and syncretism is dropped. Faithful Catholics are tar-brushed as extremists, while NCR’s dissenting viewpoints are portrayed by implication as the reasonable middle ground in the Catholic Church.

Allen’s choice of smear-term, “Taliban Catholicism,” has become standard fare in his talks since he first used it in a 2006 speech,  in which he expressed his concerns about new movements to restore “Catholic identity.”  Despite his protests that he doesn’t apply the term to any particular person or group, there is little doubt of its meaning within the NCR paradigm.

Allen warns of a “defensive and polemic Catholic traditionalism that depends upon enemies, perceived or real, to give it strength. This reaction too fudges the identity question by attempting to define Catholicity in terms of the narrow borders of one or another Catholic tribe, which amounts to an artificial limitation of our universality.”

The universality of the Church, therefore, depends on an inclusiveness that contains all of Allen’s “tribes”—both those that defend the faith and those that distort and undermine its teachings.  The latter are not to be seen as “enemies,” lest one fall under the rubric of extremism. All must be included, and those who oppose this “universality” are the moral equivalent of Muslim fanatics who engage in terrorism, oppress women, and prohibit kite-flying.

The answer to the wicked Catholic Taliban, Allen assures us, is to be found in St. Thomas Aquinas’ concept of the “just mean,” which he regards as the veritable essence of Catholicism. 

“In the long run, what almost always prevails in the Church is what Aquinas called the ‘just mean’ between such extremes,” Allen assures his readers. “Assuming this pattern holds, it suggests that the future will belong to those voices able to articulate a robust sense of Catholic distinctiveness, but one which does not shade off into a Taliban Catholicism that knows only how to excoriate, condemn, and smash the idols of ‘the other.’”

The “just mean” of Aristotle and St. Thomas is a favorite theme of Allen’s when he addresses the issue of conflict in the Church, but the star journalist has somehow forgotten that Thomas regarded virtue as a mean between extremes only in the case of the moral and intellectual virtues, which are directed to the created world. With regard to the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, which are directed to God, Thomas writes that there can be no excess, no extreme too great. Perhaps the Angelic Doctor himself is in danger of Allen’s “Taliban” smear.

If we wish to see an example of the Allen Strategy in action, we have no further to look than Salt and Light’s Fr. Thomas Rosica.  Without a hint of irony, Rosica has launched his own campaign to tar-brush pro-life and pro-family groups with Allen’s “Taliban Catholicism slur”  and other similar epithets, while simultaneously calling for civility and moderation.

Although Rosica can count on the backing of many bishops as well as chancery and episcopal conference bureaucrats, his actions reveal an increasing frustration with the liberal establishment’s inability to control the flow of information. Rosica has gone so far as to call for “oversight” of the Catholic internet by the hierarchy—a concept discarded at the Vatican’s recent meeting held for bloggers.

What the Allen Strategy really means

And it is here that we arrive at the deeper meaning of the Allen Strategy. Although it is distressing to witness such a famous and capable reporter putting his talents to ill use, Allen’s words can only inspire hope, if read in their proper context. The Allen Strategy, which has no real possibility of succeeding, is nothing less the swan song (if swans will excuse the comparison) of a dying movement that has no recourse left but to silly subterfuges and weak protests against “extremism.”

The defeat of NCR’s phony, neo-modernist “peace and justice Catholicism” is in large part the product of lay movements exercising the very functions that liberal dissenters hoped to expropriate for their own ends following Vatican II, a council for which the latter professes a profound reverence. Although the legitimacy of lay movements to protect orthodoxy has always been recognized in the Church, the concept was engraved in stone in the new Code of Canon Law, which explicitly recognizes the right and even the obligation of Catholics to inform their prelates, and one another, of their concerns regarding the faith.

To the dismay of NCR and the movement it represents, this new emphasis on lay involvement in the Church did not spawn a proletarian army to carry out their “peace and justice” revolution. It produced instead the “evangelical Catholicism” that so troubles Allen and his publisher. In recent years, “evangelical Catholicism” has made increasing use of the Internet as well as television, augmenting its influence dramatically. The Church’s establishment, so accustomed to controlling the Catholic means of communication, is finding that modern communication is a two-way street.

The response it is hearing is a clear “no” to the culture of death and sexual perversion, and to compromise and laxity with regard to the truths of the faith.  It is a voice that will only grow louder until the Catholic faith, in all its integrity, is fully upheld and protected in the Church.

John Allen and his unfortunate patron are facing an inexorable imperative of Catholicism: the tribe of life must prevail over the tribe of death. Then, and only then, will authentic justice and peace reign among Christians.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Prayers for FReeper sionnsar

From sionnsar's wife, Freeper LibreOuMort:

"Please pray for Sionnsar. He is at John Muir Hospital in Concord, CA, where he was admitted last evening for breathing problems. He has sepsis, is on a ventilator, they started dialysis and the infections disease specialist is ordering tests to rule out serious things. He is NOT awake. Not sure why he is so sick.
We need your love and support, now.
Thank you."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Critics say new study misses real reasons for priest abuse crisis

By Marianne Medlin A $2 million study commissioned by the U.S. bishops is not likely to put to rest questions about the causes of the sexual abuse crisis in the priesthood.

Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, a top psychiatrist and authority on treating sexually abusive priests, told CNA that he is “very critical” of the findings because they avoid discussing important causal factors in clerical sex abuse cases, namely homosexuality...

Despite the report showing that nearly 80 percent of victims were post-pubescent and adolescent males, the study concludes that clinical data “do not support the hypothesis that priests with a homosexual identity ... are significantly more likely to sexually abuse.”

Fitzgibbons disputed that conclusion, saying that “analysis of the research demonstrates clearly that the major cause of the crisis was the homosexual abuse of males.”

This, he underscored in a May 18 phone interview, “was the heart of the crisis.”

Statistics from the recent John Jay report show that less than 5 percent of abuse took place with prepubescent children, making pedophilia a fraction of the core issue and sexual activity with adolescent males the primary occurrence.

“One can conclude that these priests have strong same-sex attraction,” he said. “When an adult is involved with homosexual behavior with an adolescent male, he clearly has a major problem in the area of homosexuality.”

“If the (U.S. bishops) conference wanted an analysis of the causes of complex sexual behavior with adolescents,” he said, “don't turn to criminologists.”

“They are not trained to understand those causes – that training is given to mental health professionals.”
“They can report on the statistical analysis of the behavior but in terms of causes, they've crossed a line, in my view.”

The John Jay researchers also clarified in their study that priestly celibacy was not a factor in clerical sex abuse and said that the offenders chose to victimize boys because clergy had greater access to them.

Bill Donohue, president of The Catholic League for Religious Liberty, reacted to the notion of accessibility to boys over girls, saying the “there are so few incidents of abuse these days – an average of 8.3 per year since 2005 – that it makes no sense to compare the percentage of male victims at the peak of the scandal to what has happened since altar girls were allowed.”

“The latest study on abuse notes that 83 percent of the allegations made in 2010 were by males, and the bulk of incidents took place in the early 1970s,” he said.

“Besides, priests had nothing but access to male altar servers before the 1960s, and the report notes that sexual abuse was not a problem then.”

“That’s because there were fewer gay priests then,” Donohue argued.

The report “says that 81 percent of the victims were male and 78 percent were post-pubescent,” he reiterated. “Since 100 percent of the abusers were male, that's called homosexuality, not pedophilia or heterosexuality...”

Rare Color Photographs of the Depression Era

From The Daily Mail:
Part of the South Water Street freight depot of the Illinois Central Railroad in Chicago, Illinois, May 1943
Having a chat: Women workers employed as wipers in the roundhouse having lunch in their rest room at the Chicago and Northwest Railway Company in Clinton, Iowa, April 1943

Like a hobbit house: Garden adjacent to the dugout home of homesteader Jack Whinery, in Pie Town, New Mexico, September 1940
The Faro Caudill family eating dinner in their dugout in Pie Town, New Mexico, October 1940 men stand ready: M-4 tank crews of the United States in Fort Knox, Kentucky, June 1942
Mike Evans, a welder, at the rip tracks at Proviso yard of the Chicago and Northwest Railway Company, in Chicago, Illinois, April 1943.
Boys hauling crates of peaches from the orchard to the shipping shed in Delta County, Colorado, September 1940
Shasta dam under construction in California, June 1942
Facing life head on: Jack Whinery, homesteader, and his family in Pie Town, New Mexico, October 1940

Mel Gibson Still Wears His Scapular

From The Eponymous Flower:
"Some of us never take them off, not even in the shower. Who cares about stars anyway? Well, Mel Gibson is one of the most significant creative artists of our age, such as it is, and he's still got the Faith, even if he is a bit broken down inside. He still has a devotion to the Blessed Mother, the Carmelites and St. Simon Stock, and so should you.

After failing to appear at a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival for his upcoming film, "The Beaver", Gibson is depicted here wearing a Scapular, or a religious garment that consists of two brown pieces of wool attached to a string worn around the neck. From the looks of it, this is a really cheap one he's worn for ages, it's tied around his neck, the brown colored tag of fabric hanging down.  It has an image of St. Simon Stock or St. Micheal the Archangel defeating the Devil, with an inscription which reads, "Whoever wears this scapular shalt not suffer eternal fire". It's a promise associated with the scapular that whoever wears it piously and follows its promises will be taken to heaven.

Photo from the Daily Fail.

Edited for clairity."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pro-Life Web Site Links Girl Scouts With Planned Parenthood

by Steven Ertelt

( A new pro-life website set up by two teen siblings exposes the links and connections between the Girl Scouts of America and the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

Last year, the Girl Scout organization came under fire nationally when the World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides hosted a no-adults-welcome panel at the United Nations where Planned Parenthood was allowed to distribute a brochure entitled “Healthy, Happy and Hot.” The brochure, aimed at young people living with HIV, contains explicit and graphic details on sex, as well as the promotion of casual sex in many forms.

In 2004, a report from a pro-life group that monitors Planned Parenthood indicated more than one-quarter of GSA troops work with the pro-abortion group. Of the 315 Girl Scout councils in the U.S. at that time, 17 councils reported having a relationship with Planned Parenthood and its affiliates, and 49 reported they do not. The other 249 refused to disclose any relationship.

After learning of these disturbing links, teen siblings Sydney and Tess Volanski decided to leave their local Girl Scout group after eight years of involvement and they have decided to launch a new web site called “SPEAK NOW: Girl Scouts” exposing the distribution of the brochures at the UN meeting and other links between the young girls’ organization and the abortion business.

Sydney told the pro-life group Concerned Women for America, “Even though they denied this involvement … we wanted to make sure that we knew what we were supporting by being a Girl Scout, so we continued to research the connection.”

“We found shortly after this ‘Healthy, Happy, Hot’ issue, that The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts also called WAAG, which is the international organization that Girl Scouts is a part of, had a post on their website demanding safe, affordable, and accessible abortions for women as young as I am, 15,” she said.

The response from the Girl Scouts has been swift and, according to the Christian Post, a representative said, “Girl Scouts does not take a position on abortion or birth control. The national umbrella organization, Girl Scouts of the USA does not have a relationship with Planned Parenthood on a national level and does not plan to have one.”

But the teens, on their web site, say the various links from individual Girl Scout groups and the UN meeting are enough to compel pro-life scouts to disassociate from the organization.

“Leaving Girl Scouts was not a casual, easy, or convenient decision,” they state on their site. “Girl Scouts was a huge part of our lives that included a bond with our best friends. We refuse to remain silent while this organization’s unscrupulous principles mislead over 2 million girls in the United States alone. We created in order to spread the truth to others who have no idea what GSUSA’s [Girl Scouts of the United States of America's] true intentions are. This website is our way to speak now and we hope it encourages you to do the same.”

“While we recognized the many good things about Girl Scouts, we had to ask ourselves: Will we stand for our beliefs, for the dignity of life, the sanctity of marriage, modesty, purity? Or will we remain true to Girl Scouts? We cannot see any way to truly do both,” they said. “Their CEO proudly admitted to partnering with Planned Parenthood in 2005, and the statement has never been retracted.”

In fact, Kathy Cloninger, CEO of the Girl Scouts of America, appeared on NBC’s “Today” show many years ago and said, “We partner with many organizations. We have relationships with our church communities, with YWCAs, and with Planned Parenthood organizations across the country, to bring information-based sex education programs to girls.”

The Family Research Council has praised the creation of the Volanskis’ new website and has directed young girls to take the teens’ lead and quit Girl Scouts to join American Heritage Girls, a “nonprofit dedicated to the mission of building women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country,” according to the group’s website.

ACTION: Contact the Girl Scouts at

Dublin archbishop says Catholics not passing on faith to young people

Irish Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin talks with Catholic News Service at Georgetown University in Washington. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)
By Barb Fraze
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Irish society is not just suffering from the sex abuse scandal but from a failure to pass on the faith to the younger generation, said the archbishop of Dublin.

"We have to completely, radically change the way we pass on the faith," Archbishop Diarmuid Martin told Catholic News Service May 16. "Our parishes are not places where evangelization and catechesis are taking place."

The archbishop traveled to Washington to present the Order of Malta Inaugural Lecture, "Faith and Service: the Unbreakable Bond." During his speech and in remarks to CNS beforehand, he spoke of the declining practice of the faith in Dublin -- 18 percent of Catholics regularly attend Sunday Mass -- and of the need to give young people responsibility in the parish to reinvigorate them.

Archbishop Martin has served in Dublin since 2003 and presided over the uncovering of hundreds of past cases of sex abuse and the mishandling of priest abusers, but he says the problem goes deeper than abuse.

The Catholic Church runs 90 percent of the elementary schools in Ireland. Yet if only 18 percent of Catholics attend Mass, he said, he has to wonder about the commitment of Catholic teachers.

"If people are being prepared for the sacraments by people who don't frequent the sacraments, there's a real problem there," Archbishop Martin told CNS.

He reiterated what he has said often in the past, that "young Irish people are among the most catechized and the least evangelized."

"Unless we address it, we're not going to have a next generation of young Catholics," he said.

"We're suffering from some of the products of being a mass Catholicism in the past. We're still living, in some ways, as if that were the case today," he said.

In his speech near the Georgetown University campus, Archbishop Martin said he believed the secularization of Irish society was quite advanced, and he spoke of what it means to live as a Christian citizen.

"If we start out in ... reflection on the place of faith in our culture with the conviction that God's grace is present and can be found even within a world marked by human sinfulness, then our vision of the place of the faith in society changes, and the entire framework for the presence of Christians in society takes on a new shape," he said.

"Christian commitment means getting your hands and your shoes dirty," he said. "The Christian in society is not just another social commentator, but a witness to another way of living."

He said Christian commitment "must not be limited to the occasional outburst of global solidarity" after natural disasters or "the more militant enthusiasm engendered around protest meetings."

"For the Christian, solidarity and sharing should be the stuff of every day, an imperative and not just an option, a daily imperative and not an occasional awakening of conscience," he said.

"Faith and service constitute an unbreakable bond," he said.

"Defense of the faith is about living the faith without being afraid," he said, adding that it means knowing that faith can improve all aspects of life.

In his CNS interview, Archbishop Martin spoke of the need for training volunteer laypeople to start relieving priests of some of their extra tasks so they can focus on priestly duties. Laypeople "bring a richness to ministry," he said, and where he has full-time laypeople working in parishes, they have increased the numbers of volunteer laypeople.

He said Irish young people are "extremely generous, dedicated."

"Parishes where young people are present and committed are parishes where they've been given responsibility," he said. "And the parishes which treat young people where they say 'You come on our conditions,' that's just not working."


Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Third Edition of the Roman Missal - Ritual Edition by Liturgical Press

• A rich, durable deep-red cloth cover embellished with Christ enthroned, rendered in a
  distinguished, bold style and foil stamped in gold and copper.
• Interior adorned with fifteen beautiful illustrations by renowned liturgical illustrator and cover artist Br. Martin Erspamer, OSB. ..
h/t to Fr. Cory Sticha

Traditional Anglican Communion Primate Hepworth Writes Angry Letter Blasting Canadian Catholic Archbishop Over Ordinariate

From the Anglican blog Virtue Online:
Exclusive Report

By David W. Virtue
May 11, 2011

The Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) Archbishop John Hepworth has written a letter to Melbourne Catholic Bishop Peter Elliott blasting Canadian Roman Catholic Archbishop Thomas Collins for derailing Ordinariate discussions and has put talks "on hold" indefinitely.

In a letter VOL has obtained, Hepworth described the situation in Canada as "deteriorating" and said the precipitating issue is the impending visit by Catholic priests appointed by Archbishop Collins to Traditional Anglican Communion parishes in Canada in the next two weeks.

"These priests are to announce, on behalf of Archbishop Collins, that the parishes will close forthwith, that the laity and clergy will attend a Catholic parish for from four to six months, that they will not receive the sacraments during this time, that they will be catechised adequately during this time since any catechesis from the Catechism of the Catholic Church done by the Traditional Anglican Communion is inadequate because only Catholics understand the Catechism, that the dossiers submitted by Traditional Anglican Communion clergy show an inadequate training since they have not attended Anglican Communion Theological Colleges, and therefore those selected by the Ordinary and approved by the CDF will have to attend a Catholic Seminary for an as yet unspecified time, at the end of this process, new parishes for Anglicans along the lines of the Anglican Use in the United States may be established, but not necessarily in the former Traditional Anglican Communion churches, and that during this process the Traditional Anglican Communion must cede its property to the Ordinariate," lamented Hepworth.

"This corresponds in large part to what Canon Woodman and I heard in a private meeting in Toronto with Archbishop Collins, and in his private and public remarks during the Toronto Ordinariate meeting.

"As a result, with my explicit consent and approval, albeit given with a full consideration of the likely impact on Ordinariate formation in every other part of the world, including Australia, Bishop Wilkinson is writing to Traditional Anglican Communion clergy in Canada informing them that the process of forming the Canadian Ordinariate will be placed on hold, and that the visits of Catholic clergy scheduled for May will not proceed."

Hepworth opined, "It is just on thirty years since these Canadian Anglicans left the Anglican Church of Canada in support of Catholic teaching and the continuation of the ARCIC dream. After so many years of sacrificial work, the wonton destruction of their communities, the absolute disregard for their ecclesial integrity, and the brutish manner in which these edicts are being communicated, are powerful disincentives to unity, in stark contrast to the clear language and intent of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus".

Hepworth said he had written at length to Cardinal Levada (and yourself) in the past year about the proper interpretation of "Personal Ordinariates for those Anglican faithful who desire to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church in a corporate manner."

"I have also written of the crass cultural insensitivity of the sudden rediscovery of the term "Roman Catholic" by Catholic bishops, in contrast to the culturally sensitive wording of the Apostolic Constitution itself.

"These and many other matters remain unresolved, just as most of my correspondence, and that of my fellow bishops, remains unacknowledged by the CDF.

"The Canadian decision, about the probability of which which I warned you on several occasions, will have two immediate effects. It will give great support to anti-Catholics (especially in the Anglican Communion) who are already putting intolerable pressure on our clergy and people. There will be further losses in a Traditional Anglican Communion already disadvantaged (deliberately?) by the CDF process of implementation. And other Provinces of the Traditional Anglican Communion, including Australia, the Torres Strait, Central America, India, Africa and the Unites States, are already considering supporting the Traditional Anglican Communion in Canada by a similar suspension.

"I warned you last July that the English Ordinariate may well be the first and the last. That outcome is now more certain."


Link to original

And, from the Catholic Archbishop of Toronto, Archbishop Thomas Collins:

May 16, 2011

Statement re: Implementation of Anglicanorum Coetibus in Canada

Program regard to the public discussion concerning the process for the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus in Canada, I would like to make the following statement:
Canada is a vast country, and widely scattered across it are small groups of Anglicans who have expressed an interest in entering full communion with the Catholic Church through the provisions of Anglicanorum Coetibus.  As Delegate of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution, I have asked certain priests in different regions of Canada to serve as "mentor priests", to work with these small groups of Anglicans in their geographical area. These mentor priests have been asked as their first task to visit the communities, to get to know them, to respond to any questions, and to get a sense of the number of people who are interested.
Certainly, the experience of pastoral relationships and ecclesial structures such as those of the ACCC must be honoured with respect and gratitude. But the ACCC is not the only grouping of Anglicans in Canada.  A fruitful implementation of Anglicanorum Coetibus requires that all groups of former Anglicans be equal within the new ecclesial structure, and each individual Anglican considering entering full communion with the Catholic Church through Anglicanorum Coetibus be fully informed and freely decide whether or not to proceed.
I realize that there are complicated corporate and legal issues relating to property which must be resolved if ACCC parishes seek to be part of an ordinariate in Canada.  But those challenges can surely be overcome. The key reality is that Anglicanorum Coetibus offers a fresh beginning, a sign of hope, for any group of Anglicans who freely decide to be received into the Catholic Church, accepting the faith articulated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and forming within the Catholic Church communities in which some elements of the distinctive Anglican patrimony flourish and enrich the whole Church.
For more information on the process of implementing Anglicanorum Coetibus in Canada, please refer to the article on that subject which has been on the website of the Archdiocese of Toronto for several months ( 
Archbishop Thomas Collins
Archbishop of Toronto
Delegate of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for Anglicanorum Coetibus in Canada
Link to original

TAC Primate Backs Down, Says RC Priests Can Mentor TAC Parishes

17th May 2011

Statement from Archbishop Hepworth

I am grateful that Archbishop Collins has published a statement clarifying the implementation of Anglicanorum Coetibus in Canada.

My letter to Bishop Peter Elliott was a private communication on the eve of his current trip to Rome. Besides being the Delegate for Australia, Bishop Elliott has been requested by Cardinal Levada to liaise with me on Ordinariate implementation concerns of the Traditional Anglican Communion,

I very much regret the publication of this letter and the anguish caused to many of those involved in the process of discernment that confronts each of us as the Anglican Ordinariates are formed.

Australians engage in robust debate with each other. Bishop Elliott and I had an exchange of letters in July last year concerning almost identical issues to those that have recently arisen in Canada. Australian forthrightness is not to be confused with anger.

My task is to ensure that those in the TAC "who desire to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church in a corporate manner" (Introduction, AC) can do so. I must also ensure that the integrity of assets and trusts that have been gathered with great sacrifice by those departing from the Anglican Communion in the past thirty years are dealt with legally and in conformity with the intentions of those who administer them.

As Archbishop Collins notes, the TAC in Canada has a corporate and ecclesial structure. It has bishops and pastors who are responsible in conscience for the souls committed to their care. Until the Ordinariates are proclaimed, the TAC bishops and the CDF Delegates have to discover working relationships in each country where they are seeking an Ordinariate. Far more significant than issues concerning assets is the pastoral responsibility of the present pastors for their flocks.

As unity becomes a reality, new and potentially challenging relationships must be formed. In a number of countries, TAC bishops and clergy are having to discover concrete ways of sharing their responsibilities with Catholic Bishop Delegates, priest mentors and a wider public that is following the evolution of Ordinariates with emotions ranging from admiration to alarm.

Each of the Ordinariates being formed at present poses unique problems. The Torres Strait, where the Bible is still being translated into the three indigenous languages and where decision-making is a long and detailed process with whole Island communities, is not Canada. And Australia, whose constitution forbids the "establishment" of any religion, is not England, which has an Established Church.

I should also make clear that in the original memorandum on which the Canadian bishops sought my advice, most of the matters raised by the priest-mentor in question were entirely fair and in accordance with Anglicanorum Coetibus. The difficulty was created by quite specific points.

Doubtless there will be further details that need clarification in the months ahead.

I have today advised the TAC bishops of Canada to resume the mentoring visits by local Catholic priests.

+John Hepworth

Link to original

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mean ol' insensitive Pope

Vancouver Aquarium welcomes birth of baby monkey
Ginger, a Goeldi's monkey, gave birth to a baby on April 16, bringing the family in the Graham Amazon Gallery to four.

By Staff Reporter, The Province

The Vancouver Aquarium's Amazon exhibit has a new baby monkey.

Ginger, a Goeldi's monkey, gave birth to a baby on April 16, bringing the family in the Graham Amazon Gallery to four.

"Mother and baby are doing very well," said animal operations director Dennis Thoney in a release.

"Staff and volunteers have been closely monitoring the baby since birth to ensure the newborn was nursing and bonding properly."

The new baby is joined by mom Ginger, dad Fred and older brother Diego.

"Typically, when Goeldi’s monkeys give birth, the mother is known to be protective of her offspring and spend the majority of time bonding with it first," said Thoney.

"She carries it on her back and the minuscule baby blends in with the mother’s fur. As time progresses, she will allow the other members of the family to bond with it and participate in the rearing of her young."

Ginger has so far only allowed the dad to carry her baby for short periods.

"Over the next week or so, we expect her to allow Diego, the older brother, to come closer and examine the new baby, providing more interactions between them as the baby grows more independent.

"It certainly is an exciting period for us as we have only been home to this family for a few months."

The gender of the monkey has yet to be determined, and a name has not been picked.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Rolling Stone Readers Pick the Best Ballads of All Time

5. 'Let It Be'

The Beatles were barely functioning as a band when Paul McCartney wrote "Let It Be." It's tempting to speculate that the song is partially a message to his feuding bandmates, but that's most likely a stretch. "It has nothing to do with the Beatles," John Lennon said in 1980. "It could have been 'Wings.' I don't know what he was thinking when he wrote it. I think he was inspired by 'Bridge Over Troubled Water.'" If anything, it was the other way around. McCartney wrote the song a full year before Paul Simon wrote "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Like "Hey Jude," McCartney has played the song at almost every solo concert since he wrote it...

NYC Man Spends Retirement Savings on Rapture Ads

A 60-year-old New York City man is so sure the world will end on May 21, he has spent his retirement savings to warn people about it.

According to a report from the New York Daily News, Robert Fitzpatrick spent $140,000 for an ad campaign for signs on subway cars and bus shelters around the city reading "Global Earthquake! The Greatest Ever - Judgment Day: May 21."

"I'm trying to warn people about what's coming," Fitzpatrick. "People who have an understanding [of end times] have an obligation to warn everyone."

Fitzpatrick told the newspaper how it will go down:

"It'll start just before midnight, Jerusalem time: It'll be instantaneous and global," he said. "There are too many scriptures talking about 'sudden destruction.'"

Fitzpatrick is obviously a big believer of evangelist Harold Camping, who claims to have calculated the date of Armageddon using clues from the Bible.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said it didn't think twice about accepting Fitzpatrick's campaign.
"It's an individual's prerogative to spend their money as they see fit," said MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz.

However an atheist group said the MTA should not have allowed the ad blitz.

"Doomsday cults are money-making enterprises," said David Silverman, of the American Atheists. "I wonder what is going to happen on May 22 when people no longer have their possessions or their savings and we are all still here and they don't have their rapture."

But Fitzgerald is not worried about that. "It is the date," he stubbornly said.

Photo courtesy New York Daily News

Friday, May 13, 2011

Meatless Fridays Re-established by Bishops' Conference of England and Wales

From Father Z via Peter Jennings:

Fish on Friday re-established by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales
By Peter Jennings · May 13, 2011

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have re-established the Friday Penance of abstaining from meat on a Friday [Do I hear an "Amen!"?  Catholics are bound to do penance on Fridays, but conferences play a role in establishing what that penitential practice is to be.]
The law will come into force on Friday 16 September 2011, the First Anniversary of the State Visit by Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom in 2010[Is it therefore reasonable to connect this move with Pope Benedict's wishes?  Perpend.]

Following their Spring Meeting at Hinsley Hall, Leeds, Monday 9 to Thursday 12 May 2011, the Catholic media office issued the following statement (13 May 2011) under the heading Catholic Witness – Friday Penance:

By the practice of penance every Catholic identifies with Christ in his death on the cross. We do so in prayer, through uniting the sufferings and sacrifices in our lives with those of Christ’s passion; in fasting, by dying to self in order to be close to Christ; in alms-giving, by demonstrating our solidarity with the sufferings of Christ in those in need. All three forms of penance form a vital part of Christian living. When this is visible in the public arena, then it is also an important act of witness...