Monthly Archives: June 2008

"I’m 100% behind the Church, except when it’s inconvenient for me."

Last week, Silvio Berlusconi, prime minister of Italy (who is in the middle of a big corruption trial) bragged that he was 100% behind the Church. This week, the divorced and remarried billionaire confronted a bishop –apparently at Mass–demanding that the Church allow him to receive Communion!

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Usual Straw Man from some brainwashed Ontario Teenager

College student Aisha Parkhill-Goyette offers a tirade of the usual ad hominems and straw men one hears from Feminazis:

1. “Abstinence has been proven ineffective”?
When? Where? Show me a public school that teaches abstinence only? Public schools teach promiscuity and condoms. That is what’s been proven ineffective.

2. “You don’t care about children after they’re born.”
Give me a break! LIberals are the ones who don’t care. Liberals just want to pass their responsibility to their neighbor off to “the government.” Most authentic pro-lifers i know will go out of their way to help those in need. All the genuine help I’ve ever received in my life has come from pro-lifers. Liberals just look on me as disgust.

3. “Legalizing abortion was a huge victory in the fight for human rights”
Huh?? Obviously, we disagree.

4. “If abortions are wrong and abortions are murder, I’d like the pro-lifers please explain to this: what is it called when the Church says not to use a condom, abortions are against God and mothers have another child when her first four are already living below the poverty line? What is it called when those children die of starvation? “
a. They’re dying of starvation because it’s US policy not to give food to countries that won’t accept “population control.”
b. That’s why the Church teaches about “living wage” and the dignity of work.
c. Natural Family Planning (I’m sure they didn’t teach you that in your Canadian public schools)
d. Where is the father in your assessment?

I’d also like to point out that “If abortions are wrong and abortions are murder” is a run-on sentence. It goes to show the educational quality of this “University of Guelph” that they don’t teach their students who to build proper arguments.

Also, I don’t see what public education has to do with anything, since public education is designed to keep people in poverty and mediocrity.

More of the wonders of Liberation Theology!

One of the reasons for big Catholic families is the hope that at least one child will grow up to be a monk or nun.

Well, sometimes, that hope is fulfilled in ways one might not expect.

Joe and Helen Shalhoub had a decent-sized (Maronite) Catholic family of children. Their second-youngest son, Anthony Marcus, grew up to be a different kind of “Monk,” TV’s Adrian.
Maronite Nun:

Maronite “Monk”:

Second-youngest of . . . what was that? Ten? And his older siblings helped him get started in theatre? Gee! I thought kids from large families were doomed to be failures in the eyes of the world! Too poor to amount to anything?
Imagine if the Shalhoubs had only had 2.5 children!

Having one’s "hands full"

A popular comment when one has more than 2.5 is, “I see you’ve got your hands full.” Usually, when people say it, I literally *do* have my hands full, so my favorite reply is, “Yeah! I don’t know what I’d do without these kids to help me carry it!”

Today, I was at Wal-Mart with Clara, and, when I asked the elderly greeter for an electric cart, he said, “You can’t have a baby in that thing!” I said, “I’ve had lots of practice!” “You can’t put her in the basket!” “No, on my lap!” When I returned with my purchases in the basket and Clara on my lap, he asked, “Now how you gonna get all that to your car?” He got me a regular cart, put my packages in, and I put Clara in the seat. He said, “You shoulda been born a girl.” “Why?” I asked? “The way you can handle all that with a baby on your hip.”

Anyway, it made me think of the old Russian story about the guy with ten kids who goes to his Rabbi and says, “Rabbi, I have too many children. My house is too crowded, and we’re driving each other nuts.” The Rabbi says, “Bring the cat inside and come back in a week.”

So the guy comes back in a week and says, “I brought he cat in, and it’s only made things worse. Now there’s even less room!”So the Rabbi says, “Bring the dog inside, and come back in a week.”

So the guy brings in the dog, and, a week later, comes back to complain, “That hasn’t helped at all.” “Well, try bringing the chickens in.”

So the guy brings in the chickens. Then, a week later, it’s the cow. Then the horse.
Finally, the guy goes back to the Rabbi and says, “Rabbi, your advice is absurd! We can’t even *move* in our house, it’s so crowded!!”

Rabbi says, “Put the animals back in the barn, and see me in a week.”
A week later the guy says, “You’re right, rabbi! Our house is huge now!”

When you have one kid, you think it’s impossible. I remember thinkng two was easier than one. Definitely, three was easier than two or one, because Allie was old enough to help out a bit.

Four is darn near impossible, but, when the four drop down to one, two or three, it’s like, ‘Hey! This is a breeze!”

This week’s liturgy

Traditional Liturgies, 5th Sunday After Pentecost:
Byzantine: Matthew 8:28-9:1: Gadarene Demonaics
Latin: Matthew 5:20-24: Exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees; don’t be angry; forgive
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Cycle A: Matthew 9:36-10:8: “The Harvest is Plenty”
Cycle B: Mark 4:26-34 Some Parables Concerning Seeds
Cycle C: Luke 7:36-8:3 The anointing of Jesus at the home of Simon the Pharisee; the Holy Women

This week’s reading for Cycle A was the “Harvest is Plenty” and the Commissioning of the Apostles. St. Francis Xavier, in the reading for the Office of Readings on his feast, condemns the many priests who sit in cushy university jobs, battling over theological minutiae, when they could be out in the missions, reaping the Lord’s harvest.

Similarly, the Cycle B reading from Mark features two of Jesus’ many agricultural parables. In the first, the sower plants the seeds, lets them grow on their own, then reaps them. Like many of the Kingdom of God may be likened to”, this can be read in two ways: God is the sower, who creates and sanctifies, lets us grow, and then comes back to see what He gets; or we plant the seeds and let God do the rest. The second concerns the mustard seed being small but growing into a huge tree: just as the Church would grow from being small to being great, just as God alwas chooses the weak things of this world that no flesh may glory in His sight.

Cycle C would be the anointing of Jesus by the woman with a bad reputation. Now, three figures get conflated in the popular mind, and the pairing of this reading with Luke 8:1-3 makes it more ambiguous. All the Scripture says of St. Mary Magdalene (Mary of Magdala) is that Jesus exorcized seven demons from her (though commentators argue that the “seven demons” are the seven deadly sins, meaning she’d “done it all,” to quote Mother Angelica). Mary of Bethany was the sister of Lazarus and Martha. Mary, Martha and Lazarus of Bethany (as opposed to Magdala) are Jesus’ friends, mentioned once in Luke and twice in John. John tells us of how Mary–at her own home, that of her brother Lazarus–anointed Jesus and was scolded by Judas. Luke tells us the famous vita contempliva versus vita activa story of Mary and Martha. Luke also tells us this story of an unnamed woman bursting in, while Jesus dines at the home of a Pharisee named Simon, and does something similar to Mary of Bethany. Therefore, people conflate these two incidents, to say that Mary of Bethany was an adulteress, and then confuse Mary of Bethany with Mary of Magdala.

Jesus uses the incident to make the point that the one who is forgiven much cares more about the forgiveness. She represents the seeds referred to in Mark and the Harvest referred to in Matthew, if we are to continue my theory that, in addition to merely giving the sequences of the Gospels, there is a parallel unity in the different liturgies.

Now, let’s go to the traditional calendars. The Traditional Latin Mass reading is from the sermon on the Mount and gives Jesus’ explication of the Commandment “Thou shalt not kill”: “do not be angry,” with the admonition to forgive. The command to exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees, of course, presumes that they are righteous. Today, we tend to think of Pharisees as “bad guys,” so this sounds like a “lowest common denominator” thing, but Jesus is setting the bar *really* high.

The Byzantine reading is the one where Jesus drives the demons into the pigs, and they run into the sea.

Other than the stretch that the Apostles are commissioned to drive out demons and that Jesus exorcised Mary Magdalene, I don’t see a connection there.

"Render Unto Caesar"

Catholic Insight, a Canadian magazine, has had to pay $20,000 in legal fees so far to defend itself against a harrassment campaign by advocates and practitioners of the Sin Against Nature.