Saturday, February 22, 2003

Did you all see this? A member of the clergy from New Jersey was busted for trying to have sex with a 13 year old girl he met on the internet (who was really an undercover cop). Some child porn and proof that he had chatted with another underage girl was found on his computer. This is yet more proof that the problem here is with celibacy, which is just too difficult to handle and .......oh...wait....he is a rabbi and married with 6 children.
The latest copy of the Adoremus Bulletin has the results of their reader survey- 1100 responded and their biggest concern is with reverence at Mass (74%). No surprise there. One of the main attractions to going to the traditional Mass is the reverence that is found there. When the Church looks like a barn, people are going to act like they are in a barn. This issue also contains the great article I linked to before – The Fading Orthodoxy of Modernism by James Hitchcock.
ChristiFideles presents the latest in their Campion Series of lectures: Joseph Pearce on J.R.R. Tolkien: Great Catholic Apologist

February 27
Union League Club
38 East 37th Street (corner of Park Avenue)
6:30 PM (club requires jacket and tie for gentlemen)
Admission: $20
Peggy Noonan, born in Massapequa, Long Island wrote this in her great book What I Saw At The Revolution:

“Well, I’ll tell you how I feel about European tastes. I love Europe, we all love Europe. But there’s that European attitude, the snide superior smirk you get sometimes in Paris or Bonn. I have only once seen it properly responded to, by the writer P.J. O’Rourke in a 1986 essay for Rolling Stone about his vacation in Europe. It was the end of the trip and he was having an argument about America with a ‘Limey poofter’ and he finally blew his stack. ‘We’re three-quarters grizzly bear and two-thirds car wreck and descended from a stock-market crash on our mother’s side. You take your Germany, France, and Spain, roll them all together, and it wouldn’t give us room to park our cars. We’re the big boys, Jack, the original giant economy-size new and improved butt kickers of all time. When we snort coke in Houston, people lose their hats in Cap d’Antibes…We drink napalm to get our hearts started in the morning. A rape and a mugging is our way of saying cheerio. Hell can’t hold our sock hops. We walk taller, talk louder, spit farther...and buy more things than you know the names of. I’d rather be a junkie in a New York jail than king, queen, and jack of all you Europeans. We eat little countries like this for breakfast and shit them out before lunch.’
My feeling is: They should get O’Rourke in the diplomats corps.”

Friday, February 21, 2003

I was always a news junkie so buying a satellite dish brought a whole new level of junkie-ness. With CNN, Foxnews, MSNBC, and CNN Headline News, plus CSPAN I and II, I am in heaven. Although lately the push has been towards personality driven shows (blame it on Fox and their ratings), I prefer the hard news. I love news magazine shows like 20/20 and Dateline and want to see more of that on the cable networks. I would love to be able to see what is going on all around the world, especially in the areas of business, education, crime and families. This is why the internet is great. I appreciate Foxnews and its balancing out the liberal bias of CNN but wish it would expand its world coverage and stop turning everything into a liberal/conservative shouting match.
The Mormons have, as politely as I could put it, wacky theology. But the way they do some things interest me. I love the very American way they do things in their denomination. Specifically, the young Mormons will work for a couple of years as missionaries, and they do REAL missionary work, converting people and assisting with their needs. There are professionals who teach the missionaries and work with them. Also, I understand the mormon organization gives business loans to Mormons so they can start their own businesses. There might be individual Catholic groups that do this, but what about the “official” Church, such as the bishops or Vatican? I admire the Mormons way of assisting one another, which I also see among Jehovah Witnesses. Catholics don’t seem to be too interested in assisting other Catholics, particularly with things such as business loans, or mortgages. But isn’t this a modern way of “loving one another” as the early Christians? They took exceptionally good care of their own, especially widows and orphans. If the 1 billion Catholics really treated each other as a family, assisting one another with practical concerns, wouldn’t that put a huge dent in the poverty population of the world.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

"The Church is founded on Peter who denied Christ three times and couldn't walk on the water by himself. You are expecting his successors to walk on the water." Flannery O’Connor from Habit of Being: The Letters of Flannery O’Connor

This is a great book that shows O’Connor to be brilliant and funny, which I already knew. What the book revealed was that O’Connor was quite the apologist, conversing with very educated and successful people who questioned this or that.
Received some good news in the mail today from the Legion of Christ-

1.) On November 11, Bishop Weigand of Sacramento, CA, announced his approval of the founding of the Legion's first University in the U.S.! (That sound you heard was Fr. Richard McBrien's teeth grinding)

2.) On December 24. Archbishop Sandri of the Vatican Secretariat of State ordained 44 Legionaries to the priesthood in Rome!

3.) On January 6, Pope John Paul II ordained Legionary priest Fr. Brian Farrell, LC, Bishop, and appointed him Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity!

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

Some good comments below on the post on holding hands. I don't find holding hands too bad, but everything that makes the Mass seem or sound like just a gathering of people should be stopped. My favorite priest, does everything perfect, except says “Good Morning” at the beginning of the Mass. Small detail? Not really, as Thomas Day pointed out in Why Catholic’s Can’t Sing, at that moment a huge invisible wall comes crashing down. It is no longer ritual but a simple gathering, with us as audience and Priest as MC. I am going to politely mention this to him to break him of this one bad habit he has. He has not been a priest for a year yet, so this should be easy but I want to find the right way to say this to him.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Some bloggers listed their favorite 70's songs, but don't wait for me to do this. I don't recognize the 70's. Don't believe they really existed. Someday I will list my favorite 80's songs.
Holding Hands During the Our Father
Some people would rather handle toxic waste with no gloves than hold hands during Mass. Usually this practice gets mentioned with the usual litany of complaints of liturgical innovations. But although no priest should insist or push this, I think this practice is different from other annoying things. I understand this hand holding started in Latin America where the people are warmer than up here. I first encountered this during my trip to San Antonio years ago at a Mass held in one of the missions. The custom there was to hold hands lightly but up in the air and sway back and forth while singing the Our Father. I did not feel self-conscious at all, and it was not at all something that felt pushed on the congregation by some modernist Amchurch person. It felt like I was simply doing what seemed natural in the warm, Latino culture while at Mass. Some families hold hands in our parish, but it is not too common. In a few parishes I have been to many join hands, and I don’t mind this. There are real abuses occurring at Mass that should be the focus of complaints before the hand holding.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

I grew up without cable television and at age 31 decided to get a Dish Network satellite so I could finally see EWTN. The dish was purchased at the end of August 2001 and came in handy when fundamentalist muslims temporarily destroyed all NY tv stations in September (except channel 2 which had its antenna on the empire state building).

Reasons I love my satellite dish:
-Insomniac with Dave Attell on Comedy Central --very funny
-Fox news
-Booktv on CSPAN II
-British House of Commons on CSPAN II
-I Love the 80’s on VH1
-Bookmark on EWTN (hosted by Doug Keck who grew up here on Long Island)
-Daily Mass on EWTN
-The Journey Home on EWTN
-The Church and Culture on EWTN
-E! True Hollywood Stories (guilty pleasure)
-A & E Biography
-Franciscan University Presents on EWTN
-Osbournes on MTV (1st season only)
-The Man Show on Comedy Central (guilty pleasure)
-The History Channel

If you live on Long Island get Dish Network, it is worth it just for EWTN, everything else is extra.
I went to the traditional latin mass today- the Gospel was the story of the laborers paid the same wage no matter how many hours they worked which was the Gospel a couple of weeks ago at my parish. I remember the priest then started his homily by wondering what the teamsters would have thought of this story. This is one of the problems of occasionally attending the latin mass, the calender is different and you do not get a full sense of the liturgical year unless you attend the latin mass each week or the novus ordo each week.