Saturday, March 12, 2005

A "virtuous pagan" looks at the priesthood

The author, daughter of a Catholic priest, interviews the daughter of a man who applied to become an Episcopal priest. I found this via and found the interview interesting. The one thing that amazed me though was the sense of incredulity from the person being interviewed that any "religious" people would actually be normal. I have read this in other places, usually written by people who sound like they have never left the island of Manhattan. This type of bigotry is so common today but it always stuns me.

"I was amazed when the bishop of Indianapolis said, "Of course the church messes up. We have to mess up or else we would have to believe the Inquisition was a good thing." I had thought that the church, any church, was an absolutist organization, and it's not. Religion is constantly evolving, and I think that's a cool thing about it. Not all of them, and the ones that's aren't are either favored for that or in trouble for that, but there's a tremendous diversity. I was surprised at how open and thoughtful and considerate people were, because I had this idea that they were fanatics, and fanatics don't change their opinions. I don't think anyone said anything that shocked me in a negative way. I don't think anybody said anything hateful. " [emphasis mine]

Can you imagine someone being shocked, shocked! that the "religious" people are not wacko fanatics?? They were found to be nice!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Amy Welborn put out a call for her computer fund and the goal was exceeded in just 7 hours. This was her first bleg for donations and I am glad to see people support her blog. She does great work with Open Book and deserves better than a 1998 Gateway and a dial-up.
This is great news-

The Passion Recut - starts tommorrow! The movie has been edited to be a little less gory which is great!
Newsday's Dick Ryan

After admitting to massive fraud that included inflating their circulation to increase advertisement rates, one would think Newsday would wise up. This opinion piece proves they will not. First, I neglected to blog something that struck me as weird - a couple of weeks ago I noticed a little news blurb on the Long Island Voice of the Faithful's upcoming convention. The thing that was weird was that it seemed like a straight advertisement for the event, complete with phone numbers, cost, etc.. I knew the paper supports VOF so I dismissed it as typical Newsday garbage, but then the other day there was yet another news blurb on the event, again reading as if it was written by a VOF staffer. These were in the news section not the advertisement section. Now Newsday is giving this event prime advertisement space as Dick Ryan promotes this "convention" on the op-ed page.

The title screams that Bishop Murphy is "silent" and yet he has been speaking about the problems in this Diocese from when he first got here. Dick claims VOF should invite the Bishop to this conference. He amazingly claims "Murphy is not very good at public appearances". I have seen the Bishop speak several times now and he comes across as very warm, friendly and funny. When he speaks he also comes across as very intelligent and honest. Dick claims that there was a "pre-Vatican II commandment to "pray, pay and obey". This is nonsense although that attitude might have existed in some Irish families like Dick's. Dick also wants to hear from the Bishop about the "shrinking number of priests and vocations"? Is Dick deaf? The Bishop has been talking vocations and the priest shortage since day one. In fact, Dick should know the number of seminarians here has doubled in the past two years - mostly due to some good changes in the seminary. Dick claims Bishop Murphy "remains aloof, out of sight and, yes, out of touch"? I have personally seen the Bishop at least four times at events and at each one he goes out of his way to personally greet everyone he can and listen and talk to them. He seems to be everywhere in the Diocese and I don't see how he is at all out of touch. He has been working hard to clean up the mess left behind by Bishop McGann. Dick seems to think if people don't pay attention to VOF or show up at their little meetings at the local Unitarian hall, then they are out of sight or aloof. That is crazy. I care very much about the Church on Long Island but I don't care at all about VOF. My advice to my fellow Catholics here is: don't be a Dick. And check out The Long Island Press, where an excellent letter to the editor defends Bishop Murphy. Although the Long Island Press is new and not perfect, at least you can trust its balance more than Newsday. As well as its circulation figures!
This conference sounds great -

Jews and the Church

The Role of Judaism in Salvation History
A two-day Catholic conference in New York City

Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, March 20, 2005

The speakers include Roy Schoeman, Ronda Chervin, Fr. Joseph Koterski, S.J., and David Moss and they are honoring the wonderful Dr. Alice Von Hildebrand. Plus there will be live Klezmer music which I have always enjoyed.

Hat tip to St. Blog's "flame-haired" commentator KH!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Diocesan Day of Reconciliation

"On this second day of Holy Week, each of the 133 churches in the diocese will have priests available to hear confessions from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. This day is in addition to the regularly scheduled days and times the sacrament is available at each parish. "

This is the 6th year the Diocese has done this and it is an excellent idea. Anyone can stop in at any parish after work, or after dinner. It makes it easy for people to get there and to confess to a priest that does not know you from Adam.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Alright I'll play too:

10 things I have done that my reader's probably haven't-

10. Been quoted in a book on Catholic young people
9. Been teased by Fr. Mitch Pacwa about my Long Island (Lawn Guyland) accent
8. Fainted while serving Mass – right at the Kiss of Peace
7. Drank Rolling Rock and shot pool in a Monastery
6. Got completely lost hiking in the woods, along with my entire Boy Scout troop
5. Been offered drugs in the hallway of a former Episcopal Church (Limelight Club)
4. Delivered a Pennysaver (free paper) to Jerry Seinfeld
3. Helped Fr. Benedict Groeschel unload stuff from his car twice
2. Accidently made Congressman Peter King spill coffee all over his hand
1. Had lunch a few times with a serial killer (Joel Rifkin)