Daily Archives: April 16, 2009

Steele calls Palin and Sanford "Party Leaders"

GOP Chairman Michael Steele, a liberal Catholic (in that he thinks the US Constitution overrides Natural Law), has identified Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, SC Gov. Mark Sanford and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty as among the short list of the current standard-bearers of conservative leadership.

Personally, since a Gov-Sen ticket is better than Sen-Sen, I’d like to see Palin and Jim DeMint on a ticket together in 2012, as far as currently prominent GOP names go.

I know there’s the whole figure of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, but other than his superficial credentials, he hasn’t done anything to “wow” me yet. Some combination of Jindal, Palin and/or Huckabee would be a great way to remobilize the Christian vote, but I don’t think such a ticket could necessarily win an election, unless they form a new party, and it’s a three way split. Either Sanford or DeMint would allow room for fiscal conservatives and libertarians to move in, and both have earned a lot of credit for standing firm against the hurricane of our current Administration.
But DeMint’s position, I think, is the stronger one. He has consistently voted against just about everything the president has done, refusing to compromise the way, say, Sam Brownback has. Sanford’s got a lot of ill will over some budgetary decisions this past year, and, again, Palin and Sanford would be a Gov-Gov ticket.

But I’m *really* hoping that, by 2012, Christians get their act together and start a new party, and the GOP presents a solid Rockefeller Republican ticket.

If I were as rich as George Soros or Ross Perot, I’d start my own party, based upon a subsidiarity platform, and run Huckabee as my presidential candidate in 2012, with any of the above who were willing to join as his running mate.

When Liberal Catholics think it’s OK to be disrespectful to a commencement speaker.

Apropos of the Notre Shame controversy, “Blackadder,” one of the commentors on Vox Nova commented on how rarely commencement addresses have anything directly to do with commencement. Properly speaking, a commencement address should be advice to the students about their upcoming life. Like the title of a Bill Cosby book that someone gave Mary when she graduated: Congratulations: Now What?

If a commencement speaker is a famous scholar, he talks about his work. If she’s a celebrity, she talks about her career. Politicians give political speeches.

But a proper commencement address should concern, “Now that you’re entering the big world, he’s what you need to think about or do. . . . “

Take the Cardinal Arinze at Georgetown controversy. Georgetown invited him precisely because they wanted a political speech on Islam. Instead, they got what is widely regarded as a “political” speech on “family values.” In reality, it is a speech to the students, talking about how they should live out their (alleged) Catholic education in their adult lives.

Beliefnet has the full text. Here are some “highlights” 😉

God be praised for this major event today in the life of Georgetown
University. Near a thousand young people are graduating. To you, dear young
friends, I say: Allow serious religion to lead you to lasting joy. Happy parents
and friends surround their loved ones. With them I say: Let us thank God for the
gift of the family. The Company of Jesus, the Jesuits, initiated and nourish this University. With them I rejoice
at the patrimony of St. Ignatius and especially that the Catholic Church is
God’s gift to the world. To all I say: Arise, rejoice, God is calling you.

My dear graduands, at this turning point in your lives, it is helpful to
keep to essentials. One of them is to locate in what happiness consists.
Everyone wants to be happy. Every human being desires lasting joy.
True
happiness does not consist in the accumulation of goods: money, cars, houses.
Nor is it to be found in pleasure seeking: eating, drinking, sex. And humans do
not attain lasting joy by power grabbing, dominating others, or heaping up
public acclaim. These three things, good in themselves when properly sought,
were not able to confer on Solomon, perfect happiness. And they will not be able
to confer it on anyone else! (cf Eccles 1: 2-3; II King 11: 1-8; Mt 20: 24-28;
IJn 2: 15-16).

Happiness is attained by achieving the purpose of our earthly existence. God made me to know him, to love him, to serve him in this world and to be happy with him for ever in the next. St. Augustine found this out in his later age after making many mistakes in his youth. . . . God’s grace helps me to live on earth in such a way as to attain the purpose of my earthly existence.
. . .
Allow your religion to give life, joy, generosity and a sense of solidarity to your professional and social engagements. In a world of religious plurality, you will of course learn to cooperate with people of other religious convictions. True religion teaches not exclusion, rivalry, tension, conflict or violence, but rather openness, esteem, respect and harmony. At the same time you should keep intact your religious identity, your distinction as a witness of Jesus Christ.

Sounds like he *did* talk about interfaith issues (however briefly). Addressing the families of graduates, he says the (in)famous part:

In many parts of the world, the family is under siege. It is opposed by an anti-life entality as is seen in contraception, abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. It is scorned and banalized by pornography, desecrated by fornication and adultery, mocked by homosexuality, sabotaged by irregular unions and cut in two by divorce. . . .

But the family has friends too. It is nourished and lubricated by mutual love, strengthened by sacrifice and healed by forgiveness and reconciliation. . . . May God bless all the families here present and grant our graduands who will one day set up their own families his light, guidance, strength, peace and love.

Then he praises the Jesuits who run Georgetown, talking of the importance of St. Ignatius’s spirituality.

This Church has produced Saints from every state of life, men and women who, open to God’s grace, have become signs of hope. But this same Church also has sinners in her fold. Far from discouraging and rejecting them, the Church offers them hope, wholesome Gospel teaching, saving sacraments and the invitation to abandon the food of pigs, make a U-turn, and return to the refreshing joy of their Father’s house, like the prodigal son (cf Lk 15: 14-24).
. . .
The tenets of the Catholic faith do not change according to the play of market forces, majority votes or opinion polls. “Jesus Christ is the same today as he was yesterday and as he will be for ever” (Heb 13: 8). This is the Church which St. Ignatius invites all his spiritual children to love and cherish. This is the Church to which we have the joy to belong.

My dear graduands, parents and the Jesuit Community of Georgetown, arise, rejoice, because God is calling us. And may God’s light, peace, grace and blessing descend on you and remain with you always.

Now that’s a graduation speech for a Catholic university.

Georgetown’s Cover Up

Fr. Zuhlsdorf at “What Does the Prayer Really Say” has blogged a report from the CNS that it covered up the inscription IHS on the podium at which President Barack Obama spoke on Tuesday, along with other images, because the White House requested they cover up any explicit religious signs or images.

“But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven. ” (Mt 10:33).

This is the university, you may recall, where faculty members and students walked out of the commencement address by Francis Cardinal Arinze, then Prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

Apparently, because of his work on Interreligious Dialogue (Arinze is himself a convert from paganism), Georgetown had wanted him to come talk about Christian-Muslim relations (and apparently expected some liberal treatment of the subject). Instead, he talked about attacks on the family in Western society, and professors got up and walked out in protest.

” I know thy works, that thou art neither cold, nor hot. I would thou wert cold, or hot. But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.” (Rev. 3:15-16).

When Liberal Catholics think it’s OK to be disrespectful to a commencement speaker.

Apropos of the Notre Shame controversy, “Blackadder,” one of the commentors on Vox Nova commented on how rarely commencement addresses have anything directly to do with commencement. Properly speaking, a commencement address should be advice to the students about their upcoming life. Like the title of a Bill Cosby book that someone gave Mary when she graduated: Congratulations: Now What?

If a commencement speaker is a famous scholar, he talks about his work. If she’s a celebrity, she talks about her career. Politicians give political speeches.

But a proper commencement address should concern, “Now that you’re entering the big world, he’s what you need to think about or do. . . . “

Take the Cardinal Arinze at Georgetown controversy. Georgetown invited him precisely because they wanted a political speech on Islam. Instead, they got what is widely regarded as a “political” speech on “family values.” In reality, it is a speech to the students, talking about how they should live out their (alleged) Catholic education in their adult lives.

Beliefnet has the full text. Here are some “highlights” 😉

God be praised for this major event today in the life of Georgetown
University. Near a thousand young people are graduating. To you, dear young
friends, I say: Allow serious religion to lead you to lasting joy. Happy parents
and friends surround their loved ones. With them I say: Let us thank God for the
gift of the family. The Company of Jesus, the Jesuits, initiated and nourish this University. With them I rejoice
at the patrimony of St. Ignatius and especially that the Catholic Church is
God’s gift to the world. To all I say: Arise, rejoice, God is calling you.

My dear graduands, at this turning point in your lives, it is helpful to
keep to essentials. One of them is to locate in what happiness consists.
Everyone wants to be happy. Every human being desires lasting joy.
True
happiness does not consist in the accumulation of goods: money, cars, houses.
Nor is it to be found in pleasure seeking: eating, drinking, sex. And humans do
not attain lasting joy by power grabbing, dominating others, or heaping up
public acclaim. These three things, good in themselves when properly sought,
were not able to confer on Solomon, perfect happiness. And they will not be able
to confer it on anyone else! (cf Eccles 1: 2-3; II King 11: 1-8; Mt 20: 24-28;
IJn 2: 15-16).

Happiness is attained by achieving the purpose of our earthly existence. God made me to know him, to love him, to serve him in this world and to be happy with him for ever in the next. St. Augustine found this out in his later age after making many mistakes in his youth. . . . God’s grace helps me to live on earth in such a way as to attain the purpose of my earthly existence.
. . .
Allow your religion to give life, joy, generosity and a sense of solidarity to your professional and social engagements. In a world of religious plurality, you will of course learn to cooperate with people of other religious convictions. True religion teaches not exclusion, rivalry, tension, conflict or violence, but rather openness, esteem, respect and harmony. At the same time you should keep intact your religious identity, your distinction as a witness of Jesus Christ.

Sounds like he *did* talk about interfaith issues (however briefly). Addressing the families of graduates, he says the (in)famous part:

In many parts of the world, the family is under siege. It is opposed by an anti-life entality as is seen in contraception, abortion, infanticide and euthanasia. It is scorned and banalized by pornography, desecrated by fornication and adultery, mocked by homosexuality, sabotaged by irregular unions and cut in two by divorce. . . .

But the family has friends too. It is nourished and lubricated by mutual love, strengthened by sacrifice and healed by forgiveness and reconciliation. . . . May God bless all the families here present and grant our graduands who will one day set up their own families his light, guidance, strength, peace and love.

Then he praises the Jesuits who run Georgetown, talking of the importance of St. Ignatius’s spirituality.

This Church has produced Saints from every state of life, men and women who, open to God’s grace, have become signs of hope. But this same Church also has sinners in her fold. Far from discouraging and rejecting them, the Church offers them hope, wholesome Gospel teaching, saving sacraments and the invitation to abandon the food of pigs, make a U-turn, and return to the refreshing joy of their Father’s house, like the prodigal son (cf Lk 15: 14-24).
. . .
The tenets of the Catholic faith do not change according to the play of market forces, majority votes or opinion polls. “Jesus Christ is the same today as he was yesterday and as he will be for ever” (Heb 13: 8). This is the Church which St. Ignatius invites all his spiritual children to love and cherish. This is the Church to which we have the joy to belong.

My dear graduands, parents and the Jesuit Community of Georgetown, arise, rejoice, because God is calling us. And may God’s light, peace, grace and blessing descend on you and remain with you always.

Now that’s a graduation speech for a Catholic university.

Slightly OT: Mixing the Worlds

Had to post this one for its sheer coolness. I’ve previously mentioned Luis Escobar, my second favorite Catholic cartoon blogger, who is an animator for The Simpsons (and really needs to keep up on his great apologetic cartoons). Well, recently, he and some of his colleagues have been doing “crossover” pictures of DC and Marvel characters that are basically the same (e.g., Captain Marvel versus Captain Marvel or Aquaman versus Sub-Mariner).

Anyway, I wanted to post this one because it’s cool. Crossovers are cool, but three-way crossovers are controversial (personally, I love ’em). For example, I’ve long it would be cool to have a humorous crossover of Guiding Light, G. I. Joe and the Simpsons, to the effect that they all take place in the same “Springfield”: Drs. Bauer, Mindbender and Hibbert consulting; C. Montgomery Burns, Alan Spaulding and James McCullen Destro in a joint business venture. . . .

Anyway, Luis did a cool pic of comic book wizards: DC’s Dr. Fate and Marvel’s Dr. Strange in competition, not in mortal combat, but rather in a game of Quidditch!!

Now can we see Luis Escobar versus Michael O’Brien?

Cardinal Levada acts on Women’s Religious Orders

Well, we haven’t really heard much from William Cardinal Levada in the four years he has been Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Certainly not like we heard from Josef Cardinal Ratzinger when he was in that position.

(It’s amazing, though, how many people I encountered when Pope Benedict was elected who didn’t know who Cardinal Ratzinger was).

However, he’s recently been making some moves. We already know about the Apostolic Visitation of Women’s Religious Orders, called by the Congregation for Consecrated Life.

Now, Cardinal Levada has called for a separate investigation, under the auspices of the CDF, of the left wing Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). It will be led by Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, OH.

Apparently, the LCWR and CDF met in 2001 in Rome, and the meeting left the Vatican with serious concerns about LCWR’s attitudes on women’s ordination (Ordinatio sacerdotalis), ecumenism (Dominus Iesus), and homosexuality.

Adult Stem Cell Therapy for Strokes comes to US

The NIH is sponsoring a test study of an adult stem cell treatment for recent stroke victims: victims who are too late for current methods but still within the first 72 hours of a stroke. It involves injecting them (article doesn’t seem to say where) with their own bone marrow.

They’ve injected one patient so far, a 61 year old farmer. He has shown progress so far, but it is hard to say at this point whether it is specificaly due to the stem cell therapy. Nine other patients will be included in the preliminary study.