Saturday, April 10, 2004

Here is a story on Long Islanders coming into the Catholic Church tonight at Easter Vigil. I will be at the Easter Vigil tonight, something I have done for several years now. It is a beautiful finish to the Easter Triduum and I hope that all those entering the Church are enthusiastically welcomed by Catholics.

"One made a promise to become a Catholic if his back surgery was successful. Another was baptized a Lutheran but says she was not raised in a very religious household. A third, an emigrant from Japan, says he realized Catholicism reflects his own values.

Saturday, on the eve of Easter, they will be among 548 people who join the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Rockville Centre and 150,000 in parishes nationwide."

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Jeff Sharlet of The Revealer posts a discussion at BloggerCon on religion and blogger.

"So what do religion blogs mean to traditional media, religious and secular?"

For me, correction. Media (especially Newsday) is so anti-religion and especially anti-Christian that I will turn to St. Blog's to get the correct information on current news. The errors I see daily add up to an incredibly ignorant understanding of the Church and Christianity in general. St. Blog's will often have people who are behind the scenes or who can give 1st hand info on what is going on in the Church.

"Are they bringing belief more visibly into the public sphere?"

For St. Blog's, no, I think it is an "in-house" thing that does not necessarily appeal to a wider audience, although the best few blogs might.

"Do they threaten traditional religious hierachies?"

Ha!, no, but they treaten the lunkheads who have infested the hierachies for the past 30 years, since they expose their doings to the light. I don't think Fr. Paul Shanley could have gotten away with what he did if blogs were around in the 80's.

"Do they tend toward the politicization of religious beleif?"(sic)

I hope not, but this might be a chicken or the egg thing. Do they politicize religious belief, or are they manifestations of politics within religion?

"How do belief blogs relate to the real world -- as lay ministry, as rebellion, as outsider critique?"

Again, as far as St. Blog's goes, I think the blogs are mostly outsider critique, in the sense that most orthodox Catholics are outside of the parish/diocese power structure. We blog about the way we would like to see dioceses and parishes run because we are not the ones running them. Very few blogs would be lay ministry, although there are some apologetic blogs. Overall, most of us could do a better job of making blogging more of a ministry.

"Are they a force for change within religious institutions? Journalistic institutions?"

I could hope!

Alicia of Fructis Ventris will be at BloggerCon and it looks like it should be interesting.
I just did the optical image thing at A Catholic Blog for Lovers and it works. We Gen-Xers are famous for being cynical but this is cool!
I went to the Chrism Mass this morning and it was good. I have never been to this before. Five bishops, hundreds of priests and deacons, hundreds of lay people, and a good choir made the Mass quite inspirational. A liturgical highlight was at the Our Father- the organist played only a few notes at the beginning and then the rest was sung, chanted really, a capella by everyone present.
Jimmy Breslin Accused of Faking Interview


"Newsday's New York editor, Les Payne, said Breslin should have made it clear in Wednesday's column that the quotes he attributed to Sheldon came from a 1992 interview. "Our readers should have been let in on the time frame," Payne said. "

I heard a priest say that Breslin became angry at the Catholic Church because at the funeral of his first wife, the priest read the prayer that includes the line "forgive her her sins". Breslin was insulted because you see, he believes his wife was perfect. Which is why he has a problem with the Church, because the Church knows all people are sinners. That is why Mother Theresa went to confession often. Since Breslin is a child in many ways, he never could get over the death of his first wife, and a lot of anger and bigotry is hurled at the Church. But a bigot is a bigot, and Catholics are not the only ones who are his targets--

"It was a Friday afternoon in May 1990. Ji-Yeon Yuh, then a journalist at Newsday’s Queens bureau in New York City, came home to discover more than a dozen messages waiting on her answering machine. She soon learned why.

Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist Jimmy Breslin had called her a “yellow cur” and “slant-eyed” during an angry outburst in Newsday’s Manhattan office after he read Yuh’s e-mail message in response to one of his columns, which she had criticized as being sexist. "

This is from the Northwestern University magazine. But this article left out one of the things he called the woman, so I link to this article by Nat Hentoff that reminds people Breslin also called her something the "The New York Times demurely called "an obscene anatomical reference. . . .". He adds:

"In that soliloquy, which will dog him the rest of his days, Breslin also railed at her for having the nerve to send him a computer message that called a column of his "sexist." She had no right, he more than implied, to criticize him, because she was inferior, in more ways than one. She did not deserve free speech."

These were just some of the articles I had on file about the bigotry of Jimmy Breslin because a long time ago someone came to this blog after doing a google search for "jimmy breslin slant-eyed". I had mentioned this bigot on my very first week of blogging.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Brother Juniper

I don't know where it came from, but since I was a child there was a cartoon book in our house called More Brother Juniper. It featured a round faced franciscan who was child-like and it quite humorous. Today I found some information on this cartoon, which I was shocked to find out ran until 1989!

The Brother Juniper story

The creator Fred McCarthy is still alive but no longer a priest

Sample cartoons
I took off from work for Holy Week, something I have done for the past 4 years. For a Liturgy nerd there is nothing better than the Easter Triduum. Even the horrible liturgists can't seem to mess that up entirely. However, one thing that I would love explained to me is why on Palm Sunday and during Holy Week, the Passion Gospel is not read in parts anymore. The priest used to read the parts marked Christ, a lector would read the narrator parts, and everyone in the pews would read the crowd part. Now, the lectors and the priest simply take turns reading sections of the Gospel, with no regard to different parts, including the words of Christ. The reading is also stopped a few times for the singer to sing "Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom", which I don't mind since it is a beautiful refrain.
Change of Heart: Sister Butler Explains Why She No Longer Backs Women Priests

"Sister Sara Butler, a Missionary Servant of the Most Blessed Trinity, is a theologian who in the 1960s and 1970s was one of the leading proponents for women’s ordination. But she now embraces and defends the teachings of the magisterium on the priesthood with conviction and expertise. "

It is always comforting to see women defend the tradition of an all male priesthood. Although this is solid Catholic tradition and I have never understood how people can see this in terms of equality and power, I have always felt it is difficult for me, as a guy, to defend it without sounding sexist. The best is when former clergy convert, such as Linda Poindexter, a former "episcopal priest". Jennifer Ferrara and Patricia Ireland, former Lutheran ministers who are now Catholic, wrote a book entitled The Catholic Mystique, which tells the story of women converts.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

I added a Passion of The Christ gross tracker to the right. It is supposed to automatically update itself. I enjoy seeing the success of the movie because of all the bigotry surrounding it. I wonder if Roger Friedman from the Foxnews website has ever printed a retraction of the lies he wrote about the movie not being distributed widely, or in Jewish or wealthy neighborhoods. In case anyone forgot here is the original article, here is a second, and a sampling of what he wrote:

"When the film — which some critics are calling anti-Semitic and inflammatory — opens on Feb. 25, it will be in very select theatres only. "
(emphasis mine)

"Theater-goers will also be hard-pressed to find "The Passion of the Christ" in Nassau County, Long Island on either the south or north shore, or in affluent Westchester County, New York."

Funny, I only know of a few people who have not seen the movie, all by choice, none because they had trouble finding it.

"The theaters they have chosen in Jewish areas are minimal — none, for example, on Long Island near Valley Stream and the Five Towns or Great Neck and Roslyn — but screens in more friendly places like Merrick, Lynbrook and Seaford. "

Towns where the movies is showing compared to the towns he cites:

Lynbrook is 12 minutes (4.77 miles) from the Five Towns area
Lynbrook is 5 minutes (2.20 miles) from Valley Stream
Port Washington is 17 minutes (5.28 miles) from Great Neck
Port Washington is 13 minutes (4.38 miles) from Roslyn

And: The movie is showing in Seaford, which is in between Massapequa and Bellmore, both of which have large Jewish populations. Also, Merrick is both heavily Jewish and upscale.

As David Poland wrote here and here, Roger Friedman should be fired for this bigotry. For such a hard to find movie, it is amazing The Passion of The Christ is one of the 10 most successful movies of all time!

Monday, April 05, 2004

I thought I had seen all the stupidity possible in critiques of The Passion of The Christ, but Tom Beaudoin takes the cake. Writing in the non-Catholic National Catholic Reporter, he claims the movie is anti-Christian. It is writing like this that makes me so glad to see the box office numbers climb higher and higher.