Saturday, May 31, 2003

Pot Calls Kettle Black
Homosexual groups have lashed out at the 4 Massachusetts bishops and their initiative to remind parishioners across the Commonwealth of the Church's opposition to gay marriage and civil unions. They say the Church has no moral authority because it protected child abusers and that homosexuals should walk out of Mass this weekend and boycott collections if the pastors do as they are told.

Notice the fact that the homosexual groups omit what the underlying behaviour that the bishops covered up was: 85% of it was homosexual rape by gay priests of teenage boys. So because the hierarchy of the Church winked and nodded at the inclusion of homosexuals in the priesthood and the natural consequences of that for the last 50 years or more (something the homosexual movement certainly favored and encouraged at the time) it has no moral authority. The hierarchy is suffering from the consequences of being soft on homsexuality for too long, and so therefore it has, in the eyes of the gay lobby, no moral authority to adopt a tougher line on homosexuality and oppose gay marriage.

Talk about inconsistent! Talk about incoherent! The hierarchy of the American Church has for a long time been a de facto ally of the goals of the homosexual lobby. It opened the door to homosexuals in the priesthood, first quietly, then more openly, and in defiance of Rome. Then, when the inevitable consequences started coming home to roost, they swept them under the rug and gave the offenders second, third, fourth, forty-second chances to bugger young boys. What more could the homosexual lobby have asked of the American church, short of an open break with Rome?

Now, when the goals of the homosexual movement are in conflict with and threaten the integrity of the institution of marriage, and four bishops raise, ever so hesitantly and cautiously, an admonitory voice, the homosexual lobby condemns them because, in the past, the predecessors of these same bishops did the bidding of the homosexual lobby.

And beyond the hypocrisy of the gay movement's position, the bishops have the right, they have the obligation, to proclaim the true teaching of the Church on important "social issues" on which the teachings of the Church are clear. Homosexuality is objectively disordered. The practice of it, in and of itself, is a sin beyond the fornication or adultery involved. It is unnatural, immoral, and wrong. Marriage is a holy state, a sacrament, entered into between a man and woman with the natural consequence, God willing, being the production and raising of children. Valid marriage cannot exist between two men or two women, no matter what the civil authority says. If the civil authority says it can, it is morally wrong. If the issue is up for debate, all good Catholics must oppose this perversion of the state of marriage. It is necessary that the bishops loudly and forcefully proclaim this, no matter what they have done in the past.

As We End Our Special Marian Devotions For May on the Feast of the Visitation
We remember that devotion to the Blessed Mother (and to the Saints, and belief in the Real Presence of the Lord in the Eucharist) are the doctrinal beliefs which make us distinctively Catholic. We should foster these wonderful blessings which others are not so fortunate as to have recourse to. We should pass on to the next generation these devotional practises intact, so that they may pass them on, intact, to their children. That is not only desirable, it is our obligation.

Not only was the Blessed Mother the object of the Angelic Salutation (better known as the Hail, Mary) she extemporaneously spoke one of the most beautiful of prayers,

The Magnificat

My soul doth magnify the Lord,
and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

For he hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
And his mercy is on them that fear him throughout all generations.

He hath shewed strength with his arm.
He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat
and hath exalted the humble and meek.

He hath filled the hungry with good things.
My soul doth magnify the Lord.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel
as he promised to our forefathers Abraham, and his seed forever.

Daily Marian Reflection
From YeOldeWoburn.com:

The Visitation

Mary: Sings Of The Love Of God

"God is interested in even the smallest events in the lives of his creatures - in your affairs and mine - and he calls each of us by name. This certainty that the faith gives enables us to look at everything in a new light. And everything, while remaining exactly the same, becomes different, because it is an expression of God's love. Our life is turned into a continuous prayer, we find ourselves with good humor and a peace that never ends, and everything we do is an act of thanksgiving running through all our day. 'My soul magnifies the Lord,' Mary sang, ' and my spirit rejoices in God, my Savior.'"

Let us offer to our Mother today:

The Holy Rosary said with concentration and affection.

Friday, May 30, 2003

Back To Yellow Alert

Speaking Of Actors Who Have Been In More Than One Thing
Today would be the birthday of the man who was the voice of Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Sylvester, Tweety Bird, Speedy Gonzales, Wile E. Coyote, the Road Runner, Marvin the Martian, Pepe Le Pew, Barney Rubble, Mr. Spacely, Heathcliff, Hardy Har Har, Secret Squirrel, Tom & Jerry, and Droop a-Long. Who else in the history of Hollywood other than Mel Blanc would have nearly 900 starring credits? Check him out on IMDb sometime.

Now if only uncut versions of all the Warner Brothers cartoons were available on DVD!

My Actor Hunches
By the way, I have a small knack for picking out character actors and identifying them from other movies or shows we have seen them in, particularly British character actors (because we watch a high percentage of stuff with Brit stars). When we watched A&E's Shackleton, I picked out the guy who played the captain of the Endurance as the same guy who, 30 years ago, played Tiberius' son Castor in I, Claudius.

Last night, Mrs. F. was watching The Parent Trap (the original with Brian Keith and Maureen O'Hara). The actor who played Maureen O'Hara's father was Charlie Ruggles. I happened to stop by while he was speaking, and thought the voice sounded familiar. Bullwinkle (we are working on collecting the complete Rocky & Bullwinkle). Fractured Fairy Tales? No, that was Edward Everett Horton. Aesop. Yes. That is the voice of Aesop. IMDb just confirmed my hunch.

Here's one for real experts, though. Lindsay Duncan, the actress who played Annie Mayle in A Year In Provence (she was also the villainess in A&E's Tom Jones), I am convinced was in the miniseries Sleepers (with Nigel Havers, about two deep-cover Soviet spies who have decided to settle into their cover identities in the UK and forget about being spies) as one of the Nigel Havers character"s secretaries, but the name in the credits, "Jane Nash," is different. The interesting thing is that, according to IMDb, the career of "Jane Nash" seems to have petered out about the time Lindsay Duncan began appearing under the name "Linsday Duncan." And while there is not very much personal information about Lindsay Duncan on IMDb, there is nothing about "Jane Nash." I am fairly well convinced that "Jane Nash" was a name of convenience the actress better known as Lindsay Duncan used for a time, possibly for contractual reasons. But I have no hard evidence on it.

But if you have the time this weekend, and if you have both series on tape, plug in A Year in Provence, and then Sleepers, and tell me that the actress credited in Sleepers as "Jane Nash" is not, in fact, Lindsay Duncan. The faces and voices are too similar for it to be a coincidence.

How's Mrs. F. Doing?
Her recovery at home continues and seems to be on track. She walked across the street yesterday to CVS to do some shopping. That seemed to be a little too much, and she was a little worn out for the rest of the day. Her incision and the site of her drain are healing. She is showing no signs of post-operative infection. She will probably be at home for another week or 10 days. Thank heavens we have a large library and video collection, so that she can keep herself entertained as she mends. Thanks to all for your prayers.

Victor Davis Hanson Is Great, As Always

Minuteman NHP Among 11 "Most Endangered Historic Places"
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named Minuteman NHP and the surrounding Lexington, Concord, Lincoln and Bedford areas as among the 11 most endangered historic places in the country. The primary thing doing the endangering is the expanded use of Hanscom Airport/AFB, which is putting pressure on Route 2A (the historic Battle Road) and causing almost 600 flights per day overhead. The Park Service, I know, has long-term plans for relocating Route 2A further south. But Hanscom has become a growing problem.

Take a stroll down Virginia Road, restored in part to its 1775 appearance. If the constant rumble of traffic on 2A isn't enough to spoil the illusion you have returned to 1775, the 2-5 jets that pass overhead in the time it takes to walk from the Captain William Smith House to the Hartwell Tavern and back certainly will.

Our battlefields need to be preserved as special places, part of our heritage to be passed on intact to future generations. It is too late to save the Bunker Hill battlefield, and the Cambridge and Arlington part of Battle Road. But something can still be done to restore Lexington and Concord to their once-pristine condition. Green and Pease and Fort Devens need to take up a greater share of the air traffic. Hanscom should recede in importance as a travel hub. Then the long-term plans of the National Park Service to erase the 20th century from the Battle Road area will make sense.

Last Concorde Flight From Paris Today

Red Sox Trade For Relief
The bullpen has been a cause for concern since before spring training began. "Closing by committee" was a concept doomed from the start, a sorry sign that the team's new owners were not willing to go out on the free agent market, like the ownership of the divisional rival New York Yankees, and buy what the team needed most urgently, an all-star quality closer. But the team needed many truly horrific blown leads from the staff of the bullpen before it made a move. So yesterday the team traded thirdbaseman Shea Hillenbrand for Arizona's right-handed submariner Byung Hyun Kim, age 24. Kim over the last five years has 70 saves in 89 attempts (36 last year). That is much better than the entire current staff of the Sox bullpen.

But was the cost too high? Will the offense suffer without Hillenbrand, not to mention the integrity of the infield? Hillenbrand was batting .303, but his likely long-term replacement Freddy Sanchez is batting .391 at Pawtucket. Who knows if that will translate into an all-star career? But it is hopeful, and indicates that Hillenbrand, while a very good player was expendable. I would have preferred, however, that the people running the team had understood that "closing by committee" was a foolish pipedream from the start and had been willing to pay cash for quality relief pitching, rather than give up a player for it.

Daily Marian Reflection
From YeOldeWoburn.com:

Mary: The Channel Of Grace

"Her power before God is such that she can obtain anything that we ask for, and, like any mother, she wants to answer our prayers. Like any mother, also, she knows and understands our weaknesses. She encourages us and makes excuses for us. She makes the way easy for us, and even when we think there is no possible solution for our worry, she always has one ready to offer us."

Let us offer to our Mother today:

A visit or a conversation with a friend or relative whom we want to encourage to go to Confession

Thursday, May 29, 2003

The First Anniversary of the Dallas Policy Is Coming Up
Here is your primer on the issue of homosexuality and dissent, especially on social issues, in the priesthood as the cause of the scandal:

Father Paul Shaughnessey, The Gay Priest Problem from Catholic World Report.

Mary Eberstadt, The Elephant In the Sacristy, from the Weekly Standard.

Rod Dreher, The Gay Question, from National Review On Line.

Brooks Egerton & Reese Dunklin, Catholic Bishops and Sex Abuse, Dallas Morning News.

G. Thomas Fitzpatrick, Understanding the Pedophilia Crisis In the Boston Priesthood, The New Oxford Review.

Toby Westerman, Gay Culture In Catholic Church Grows, WorldNetDaily.

George Sim Johnston, Can the Bishops Heal the American Church?, Crisis.

Father Richard John Neuhaus, Scandal Time, Scandal Time Continued, Scandal Time III, First Things.

Good book-length treatments can be found in Good-bye, Good Men, by Michael Rose, and The Courage to Be Catholic by George Weigel, as well as Shaken by Scandals by a variety of authors (not all of them on the same page).

I'll gladly add other good full-length treatments that conform to the paradigm and are available on line.

Queer Studies And the Effort To Recruit Kids For the Homosexual Lifestyle
FrontPage Magazine reprints a piece that Marjorie King originally wrote for City Journal in which she discusses the various aspects of the homosexual movement's efforts to make homosexuality mainstream, by promoting it as a legitimate lifestyle choice to children as young as kindergarteners. Kids in primary grades encouraged to try out transgender role play? Kindergarteners propagandized to not just accept and tolerate but experiment with homosexuality? This is sick stuff. And it is gaining ground in the educational establishment and starting to seep into classrooms across the country.

I would say that this is a great argument for homeschooling (and it is). But one must ask how long it will be (20 years? 40 years?) before homeschooling parents are required to teach their kids poisonous crap like this in order to meet state requirements in states like Massachusetts. The educational bureaucracy is riddled through with rot like this. Distancing one's family from this toxic stuff is the only solution. But how long will that help?

It is a fairly long article for web journalism, but I encourage you to read it. And don't think Marjorie King is barking up the wrong tree. There has been controversy over this issue here in Massachusetts going back to the Weld and Cellucci Administrations, and Massachusetts News has given it full coverage.

To look at it another way, this is nothing more than a fancy version of what NAMBLA tries to do when it lobbies against age-of-consent laws. This is an effort to recruit new young people to the homosexual lifestyle. Instead of doing it through the ineffective means used by NAMBLA (though there is almost certainly a substantial carry-over and common membership between the groups King discusses and NAMBLA) they are using the PC equality machinery of the public schools.

This is a very dangerous effort. He who controls what young people are taught about certain social realities, controls their attitudes towards those realities as young adults. If kids are indoctrinated from an early age that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle choice, and a valid choice, not just something about 2% of the population is actually wired for, then kids may experiment with it much more than they otherwise would. They will be more accepting of it. And the pool of people practising homosexuality will grow. And that, of course, is the goal of these groups: more attractive young boys willing to be buggered by them (or to bugger them).

G.K. Chesterton
This also would be G.K. Chesterton's birthday. He was born a little before Bob Hope, in 1874.

Lord Bless Him!
Bob Hope turns 100 today. Bob Hope was a fixture of my childhood, like Walt Disney on Sunday night, Bugs Bunny, Lucille Ball, and Fred Flintstone. His specials on Sunday nights, sponsored by Texaco, were on too late for me to watch the whole thing while in the lower grades. At first I was sent to bed during his monologue and sat up in bed listening to the rest of the show from the living room. Later, I made it half way through before being sent to bed. Most of the jokes went over my head. But the Road movies Hope made with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour often turned up on Sunday afternoon TV. And you would see Hope on the newscasts entertaining the troops in Vietnam. And if that wasn't enough, he turned up on coverage of numerous golf tournaments.

So Bob Hope was everywhere in my 1970s childhood. Slowly he withdrew from the public eye about a decade ago. His specials became less frequent (in one of the last ones I saw a female co-host had to help him find his mark on the stage). His own golf tournament is now rarely graced with his presence. He made a brief trip to the Saudi theater for Desert Storm. Now aspiring starlets will have to find some other vehicle to showcase their talents. The troops overseas need to look elsewhere for entertainment.

But Bob Hope is still with us,at 100, a testimony to hard work, making onself visible in the public eye, a long, good marriage, and decades of lame jokes. We even bought the Road movies in a boxed set a little over a year ago, when we still bought VHS.

Happy Birthday, Bob!

Massachusetts Bishops Urge Pastors To Tell Parishioners About Dangers Of Gay Marriage
The bishops are a little late getting into the fight, but they are welcome.

Bishop Lennon could do much to clarify Catholic teaching on this issue by severely discipling the three Boston diocesan priests who testified against legislation last year that would have banned gay marriage in Massachusetts (Father Walter Cuenin {naturally}, Father Thomas J. Carroll, and Father William McKenzie: Father Richard Lewandowski of Fitchburg also testified, but I think Fitchburg is in the Worcester Diocese; I may be wrong about that) as well as publicly rebuking Father Stephen Josoma of Dedham, quoted in the article as publicly opposing the bishops' initiative.

It will be interesting to see what parishes suppress the bishops' message this weekend. Any that do ought to have their pastors transferred to very insignificant places, and be seriously looked at for closure. But of course, Bishop Lennon will do nothing about dissent.

Ascension Thursday
Yes, some parts of the country (mostly the west) have given in to modernity and, as they did for Epiphany, have moved the Ascension so that it takes over a Sunday (which is supposed to have its own seperate liturgical observance; the west missed the story of Cornelius and the gift of baptism to us Gentiles, which is the Easter equivalent of Epiphany). Now people there don't have to find the time to go to Mass on a weekday. Priests and liturgical assistants don't have more work to do. How convenient for them! Next thing we know, they'll be moving Christmas to the nearest Sunday, and All Saints' Day to the first Sunday in November. It is easier for them. "It's too hard to expect people to go to Mass on a Thursday!"

But let us look at Ascension Thursday customs from the days before our bishops bent over forwards and dropped trou for every whiny complaint (as long as it doesn't come from the enemy, the traditionalists). In pre-Reformation England, church bells were pealed (no worries about neighbors suing the parish for ringing bells at odd hours then). The Easter Candle was lit at the start of Mass, and extinguished after the Gospel (today is it kept lit until Pentecost Sunday). In London, churches were decked with flowers. At Durham, the monks carried the relics of Saint Cuthbert in procession. Villagers observed the day as a holiday (meaning they only did the necessary agricultural work, like feeding the animals). So nobody had a problem getting to Mass then. Actually, given the number of Masses available, people don't have a genuine problem getting to Mass on a Thursday now. If they make it a priority, they will get there.

In other parts of Europe, it was the custom to eat a bird on this day, because the Lord had "flown" to Heaven. Prisoners were sometimes set at liberty on Ascension Thursday. At Rouen, there was a procession with the liberated prisoner, who was brought to the bishop for confession and absolution, taken to Mass, and given a banquet. In Germany, pastries in the shape of birds were prepared for this day.

And then, there is the Ascension Thursday Egg. In Rome, it was believed that the Blessed Mother travelled the earth on the Eve of the Ascension. An egg would be placed in a basket with a lit candle on the windowsill. Next Ascension Thursday, the egg would be opened to reveal a pure wax, which was believed to protect the home from misfortune and sickness.

Daily Marian Reflection
From YeOldeWoburn.com:

Mary: The Queen Of Heaven

"She lives now and is protecting us. She is there [in heaven], body and soul, with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. She is the same person who was born in Palestine, who gave herself to God while still a child, who received the message from St. Gabriel the Archangel, who gave birth to our Savior, and who stood beside him at the foot to the Cross. In her, all ideals become a reality. But we should never think that this sublime greatness of hers makes her inaccessible to us. She is one who is full of grace and the sum of all perfections...and she is also our Mother."

Let us offer to our Mother today:

The "Hail Holy Queen" at each hour.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

All the Perverts Are Not Priests
The Boston Red Sox have quietly settled for an undisclosed amount suits by 7 men who claim that, when they were ball boys for the team's Winter Haven spring training camp, they were sexually abused by Donald James Fitzpatrick (no relation that I know of), the clubhouse manager. Fitzpatrick has been convicted on at least some of the allegations, which date back to the '70s, and '80s.

I See Blogger Is Still Having Trouble
Sometime in the next month, the tech people at Blogger may suddenly realize that Blogger sites are loading painfully slowly and they may even do something about it. But the chances are that, however they correct it, it will probably make it more difficult to publish, or make archives disappear, or make templates harder to access.

I have found a temporary fix that may work for some of you. Click on the site, and let it start loading. After a minute or so, click "go." That may jump start the loading process. Otherwise, it may take 3-8 minutes for Blogger sites to load. I started Amy Welborn's site a few minutes ago, walked down the hall into the bedroom to take my wife's temperature, came back after that was done, played a game of Free Cell, and found that Amy's site had still not loaded.

Talk about annoyingly slow! And yes, I've rebooted several times, run scan disks and disk defrags and virus scans. Since non-Blogger sites are loading normally, it must be a "Blogger problem," not a "me problem."

Cuba's Heroes
Myles Kantor, writing for FrontPage Magazine, takes a look at those heroes, many of them recently imprisoned, who are opposing Castro's communist tyranny.

When will Marvin Shanken at Cigar Aficianado next treat us to more whining by rich Baby Boomers about the need to end the embargo so they can smoke Cuban cigars without breaking the law?

The embargo is in force because there is a great evil that dominates Cuba. By not doing business with that regime, we materially harm it. If we were to buy Cuban products, we would materially strengthen that regime, and make its survival more likely. Do you really want to smoke cigars made as a by-product of the slavery of the Cuban people? There are wonderful cigars made by free men in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Jamaica, even now Nicaragua.

Someday, the people of Cuba will be free and we will be able to buy the products of their skill and climate. Then i will be happy to buy a Cuban Cohiba or Hoyo de Monterrey. Until then, shun Cuban cigars, even if you happen to find yourself in a place where it is legal to buy them. Why enrich Castro's government?

Chandra Levy Has Finally Been Buried
May she rest in peace.

Barry Goldwater's Anniversary
In 1998 on this date, Barry Goldwater, the first great political leader of the modern conservative movement died. Many people think that what we consider the modern conservative movement coalesced with the 1964 Goldwater campaign. Goldwater himself was an unsure standard bearer for the movement, tinged a little too much with libertarianism. But he laid the groundwork for Reagan and others, and first gave practical application to the intellectual work of Hayek, Kirk, Buckley, Chambers, von Mises, Friedman, Weaver, Hazlitt, Kendall, and a host of others.

The date that springs to mind most readily was Goldwater's "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice," speech of July 16, 1964, his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. I was born a few minutes after the speech, making me (maybe) the first child of the modern conservative movement, for whatever that is worth.

Rogation Wednesday
I almost missed the Rogation Days this year due to family considerations. The Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Ascension Thursday were traditionally marked with processions along the boundaries of a parish, sometimes along the boundaries of individual families' holdings as a way of marking them to prevent boundary disputes.

They were sometimes, in some parts of England, called Gang Days, which I suspect comes from the common (Scottish) word "gang" for "going," for going around the boundaries. The Rogation, or asking aspect of the ritual comes from the fact that, while processing around the boundaries, the priest would also be asking God's blessing on the growing crops in the fields.

Sometimes boys would be particularly charged with remembering how boundaries ran, and sometimes they would be rewarded with a feast at the parish's expence. However, the Rogation Days were observed by the more devout as a fast in preparation for the feast of the Ascencion. Eastertide is coming to its end. Whitsuntide is about to start. At the same time, spring is giving way to summer, though you would be hard pressed to prove that from the weather we have been having this year here in greater Boston.

Federal Money To Restore One of the Nation's Most Important Historic Landmarks Has The Usual Suspects In A Dither Because It Is the Old North Church
Take a Midol, boys. The money is being earmarked because the church is the site of the hanging of the lanterns to warn Charlestown (not Paul Revere, who knew perfectly well that the British were being ferried over the Charles, but the men in Charlestown, in case Revere was captured before he got across the river) of the British march to Concord via the Charles. The money is not going to the Old North Church because it is an Episcopal church. Relax. Take a minute to get your underwear untwisted.

In the light of reason all but the most feverishly anti-Christian will see that this is no problem at all. And the most feverishly anti-Christian don't want to see, will not be persuaded, won't go away, and will have to be ignored.

A Saint In the Hawthorne Family?
Judge Hathorne would be most seriously displeased. However, Nathaniel's daughter Rose Hawthrone Lathrop converted in 1891 and, as Mother Alphonsa, founded an order (the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne) which runs hospices for the terminally ill. Cardinal Egan began the cause in February.

There is obviously a strong Salem connection to this cause, though it does not appear that Rose Hawthorne Lathrop ever lived in Salem. Her mother Sophia Peabody, as a young girl, lived in a house still standing next to the Charter Street Burial Ground. Her father was born in a house that originally stood in the parking lot of Immaculate Conception parish (and has been moved to the grounds of the House of the Seven Gables). Her father spent most of his early life here, working in the Custom House on Derby Street. Much of his best work, The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables, Young Goodman Brown, is colored by Salem.

It is not surprising to find that Nathaniel was fascinated by the ritual of confession. He had a deep and abiding attachment to the concept of sin and guilt and its effects on the human heart. Just read The Scarlet Letter to see that. But he also, when living at Concord's Old Manse, would contemplate the life and thoughts of the young American who clobbered the wounded redcoat at the North Bridge with a hatchet (it was called a "scalping" by British soldiers who saw the body later). Hawthorne was fascinated with how the guilt for that action would impact on that young man's life. It is typicalof Hawthorne that, living right next to one of the principal scenes of action on April 19th, he would be drawn to this incident, which most people today have never heard of.

But Hawthrone was no Orestes Brownson. He did not convert. He probably did not seriously consider converting. Though his daughter did, 17 years after his death.

Daily Marian Reflection
From YeOldeWoburn.com:

The Assumption

Mary: Taken Up To Heaven

"Mary has gone to heaven in both body and soul, and the angels rejoice. I can imagine, too, the delight of St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse, who awaited her in paradise. Yet what of us who remain on earth? Our faith tells us that here below, in our present life, we are pilgrims, wayfarers. Our lot is one of suffering, of sacrifices, and privations. Nonetheless, joy must mark the rhythm of our steps. 'Serve the Lord with joy' - there is no other way to serve him."

Let us offer to our Mother today:

A smile when someone corrects us or misjudges us.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Kentucky Priest Sentenced To 20 Years for Sex Abuse
This is one of the few instances of a genuine pedophile priest. His victims (and they probably numbered in the hundreds) ranged in age from 7 to 12, and included both genders. His case is atypical, but the sentence is an entirely appropriate temporal punishment for his crimes.

Sorry About the Silence
Mrs. F. is being released from the hospital today, a little earlier than we had been lead to believe. So it is panic stations around here getting ready. When life intrudes, blogging suffers. No way around it. I'll try to offer more interesting stuff tomorrow and later in the week.

Daily Marian Reflection
From YeOldeWoburn.com:

Mary: Mother Of Fair Love

"This is what explains Mary's life - her love. A complete love, so complete that she forgets herself and is happy just to be there where God wants her, fulfilling with care what God wants her to do. That is why even her slightest action is never routine or vain but, rather, full of meaning. Mary, our Mother, is for us both an example and a way. In the ordinary circumstances in which God wants us to live, we have to try to be like her."

Let us offer to our Mother today:

The resolution to say, before going to sleep every night, three Hail Marys

Monday, May 26, 2003

The Greatest Tribute To Our Nation's Fallen Heroes Ever
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

Daily Marian Reflection
From YeOldeWoburn.com:

Mary: The Way To Jesus

"Mary does the immense favor of bringing to the cross, of placing face to face with the example of the Son of God, those who come close to her and contemplate her life. It is in this confrontation that Christian life is decided. And her Mary intercedes for us so that our behavior may lead to a reconciliation of the younger brother - you and me - with the firstborn Son of the Father.

"Many conversions, may decisions to give oneself to the service of God have been preceded by an encounter with Mary. Our Lady has encouraged us to look for God, to desire a change, to lead to new life."

Let us offer to our Mother today:

Teaching someone how to say the Holy Rosary.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Somewhere, Summer Has Started
But here in Boston, it was 47 degrees yesterday afternoon with a cold, raw northeast wind and intermittent rain, drizzle, mist, and fog. Windchills must have been near freezing around 7:00 pm when I left the hospital in a windbreaker and light LaCoste poloshirt. It is not going to be much better today or tomorrow (but I'll wear a sweater). It's more like early March than late May.

Boston Ordains 9 New Priests
May God bless them in their priestly ministry, and give them the will to stand up against the world and preach Christ and Him crucified, not give in to the world and make accomodations with it.

Profile of Magdalen College
The Sunday Boston Globe features a profile, surprisingly positive, of conservative Magdalen College in Warner, New Hampshire. The profile was, astonishingly, not an outright hatchet job. It noted that more conservative Catholic colleges like Magdalen and Thomas More are a growing trend. It is clear from the article that campus life at Magdalen is not for everybody, but also that the orthodox Thomas More College has a somewhat less regimented campus life.

Here is the crux of the problem with more established Catholic colleges and universities:

While these schools aren't organized in any formal network, families see them as an alternative to mainstream Catholic universities, where, according to a recent study by the Cardinal Newman Society, students' attitudes actually become more lax on issues like abortion and premarital sex by the time they graduate. Increasingly, such families are also opting out of Catholic school altogether in favor of homeschooling. Notes Mark Gillis, ''I was one of eight kids. We all went to 12 years of Catholic grammar schools and high schools and none of us had the faith when we graduated.''

Odd, but perhaps necessary because these schools exist as "Catholic" institutions at the whim of the local bishop, is support for the worst of the American bishops, John B. McCormack, a protector of pervert priests for 40 years, from students at the school.

Most students express only a hazy understanding of the details of the pedophilia scandals that have rocked the church.

''We really realized what was going on when we went down to the cathedral in Manchester'' after Bishop John B. McCormack invited them to a town meeting with the press, says junior Kristen Sticha. ''It was the most incredible feeling of solidarity because here's the bishop and he was talking to his people,'' she recalls. ''It was so awesome to be there, supporting him.''

Bishop McCormack is not a bishop worthy of support. Of all the American bishops, he is the one who could most appropriately and justly exchange his vestments for an orange jumpsuit. While it must have been pleasant to give one in the eye to the VOTF types outside the cathedral, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Law had to go. McCormack has to go. If VOTF is helpful and effective in bringing that about, it should be used for that end, and then discarded (as many of its "members" became much less active after Cardinal Law stepped down).

These schools, and the under-construction Ave Maria University in Florida, are a ray of hope in an otherwise bleak American Church landscape. It won't be long, of course, before the USCCB or other liberal bodies, or individual local bishops, try to take away the independence of these schools, and make them toe a liberal line. Until they become a substantial threat to more established Catholic colleges (you know, the ones turning out atheists, secularists, and agnostics by the bushels) they may be permitted their moment of glory. We should make the most of them before they are made to knuckle under.

Daily Marian Reflection
From Ye OldeWoburn.com:

Mary: Help Of Christians

"Yes, we are still pilgrims, but our Mother has gone on ahead, where she points to the reward of our efforts. She tells us that we can make it. If we are faithful, we will reach home. Not only is the Blessed Virgin our model, but she is also the Help of Christians. And as we besiege her with our petitions - 'Show that you are our Mother' - she cannot help but watch over her children with motherly care."

Let us offer to our Mother today:

In addition to the mysteries of the day, one more part (five decades) of the Holy Rosary

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