Saturday, October 25, 2008
THE STRANGE LOGIC OF LIBERTARIAN CATHOLICISM
The article is titled "Christians and the Pro-Life Ploy". It appears at the LewRockwell.com website and is written by Dr. Gregory C. Dilsaver. It addresses the Pro-Life vote, but it does not condone the logical response to Obama's support of abortion. Instead it proposes another platform, one based on the concept that America has become a totalitarian empire.
Before going further, it is necessary to look at the author. G. C. Dilsaver is a Catholic psychologist. He has written a book, published by Sapientia Press, affiliated with Ave Maria University, and available through Ignatius Press, as his website advertises. He runs a clinic that he says is based on a Christian conception of God. He calls it Imago Dei Clinic.
Imago Dei Clinic treats the full spectrum of mental illness, including the mood disorders, psychoses, obessive-compulsions (sic), as well as marital, familial, and gender-sexual issues.image of God. Created in this image, the human person has a nature that can be understood in accord with universal attributes and laws, yet always retains a sublime mystery that is to be revered.
Imago Dei means
Imago Dei Psychotherapy is the first psychotherapy to fully locate the science of psychology within a traditional Christian understanding of the nature of the human person. Imago Dei Psychotherapy (IDP) views the human person as a moral agent who is called to assent to the truth and love the good.
Dilsaver lists his credentials here. His doctorate comes from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. That school is a newcomer in Academics. It was founded in 1978 by Pat Robertson, and originally named CBN University (that's Christian Broadcasting Network), according to Wikipedia. The school is not without controversy both in the Law School and in the School of Psychology and Counseling. Wikipedia spells it out:
One professor said that there is a "climate of fear and intimidation” within the school. Another said, “The climate is contrary to Christian values rather than embracing them.” While a third said, “I cannot in good conscience continue to participate in this unhealthy and toxic environment.” A petition was circulated which criticized the behavior of the school's dean and the counseling department's program director said to have used the terms "brothas”, “hoes” and “homos” however some students said the words were used in an "academic context".
Controversy is not inherently bad. One test of the mettle of the school must be what do its graduates stand for? With that question in mind I return to Dilsaver's article at LewRockwell.com. He writes:
Leaders in the Catholic and other conservative pro-life churches are almost making it mandatory this presidential election that the faithful vote for McCain or, more to the point, vote against the pro-abortion Obama. But is this single-issue pro-life exhortation really in harmony with authentic Christian tradition? Are these leaders really showing that they are of the mettle of their predecessors, from the Apostles to St. Thomas Beckett to Cardinal Mindszenty? Or instead are these Christian leaders more aligned with those predecessors who all too often compromised the faith and kowtowed to political power, the world, the flesh, and the devil? This essay advances that it is the latter.(bolding mine)
The Pro-Life Ploy
Indeed, the pro-life ploy is perfectly demonic: in holding out the illusionary possibility of destroying an evil an even greater evil is fed. But what can be more evil than killing babies? It is that which is the cause of this killing and myriad other evils. Indeed, as atrocious as abortion is, it is nonetheless a symptom. Our nation is not vicious because it allows abortion, rather it allows abortion because the nation is vicious.
It is good that church leaders are finally showing some spine in regards to politics and the crime of abortion, but this is neither remarkable nor prophetic. In doing so they are merely reacting to the most gruesome and sensational symptom of a systemic evil. But tragically the election of another Republican will not take care of the symptom; at the very best (don’t hold your breath) it will remand it back to the states. Abortion will remain, legal or illegal. However, it is certain that voting for either the Republican or Democratic candidate will strengthen the systemic evil that is the current Republican-Democratic political axis, and the powers that manipulate that government. Also be certain that the last thing the national government wants to do is remand anything back to the states, much less to the community, church, or family. Indeed, Roe v. Wade is the rotten fruit of the Federal government’s usurpation of state’s rights.
The systemic evil that must be primarily combated is the rise of the most omnipotent State in history, both on the domestic and international level. Under this State, and abided by mind-boggling advances in technology, totalitarianism has the potential of reaching an apex of power and control undreamed of by past despots. The future is ominous indeed, for already this State contravenes its own constitution.
The article continues in that vein for a total of five pages of printout. The bottom line? Dilsaver places a higher priority on combatting this evil institution called America than he places on the lives of unborn and born infants who are the result of botched abortions. Life itself, in other words, is subservient to Dilsaver's idealism.
With this article Dilsaver joins the other public voices undermining the clear directives of a few brave bishops who are fighting for the life of the most helpless humans of all--unborn babies.
While I agree with most of his claims of a need for change, I surely cannot agree with his overall philosophy as expressed in this priority. It is a priority that will undermine any hope of addressing abortion by dividing the Catholic pro-life vote. Ron Paul is not going to be elected President. A vote for him is a vote against our only hope of addressing abortion--voting for a man who opposes it and has a chance to be elected. Instead we are urged to throw our Catholic vote away by voting for one who will not win.
The Republican candidate is not going to be a knight in shining armor delivering us from the evils of totalitarianism. Republicans and Democrats are not all that different on issues of governmental power. That is a given. Ron Paul may be advocating for addressing a wider scope of evil, but he has no hope of accomplishing his dream within the next four years. Supreme Court justices are at stake. Laws to entrench abortion more irreparably in the American legal system are at stake. They are on the table during the next term. We must address with our vote the immediate wrong that hits us in the face. Idealism can wait when infant lives are at stake.
With this essay Dilsaver joins the other Catholic voices of dissent such as Nancy Pelosi, Doug Kiemec, and Joe Biden that courageous bishops are opposing. It is sad to see such hypocrisy on the Catholic right as represented by Ave Maria University and Ignatius Press. We are a house divided in more ways than we know.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Friday, October 24, 2008
VOODOO AND CATHOLICISM
There is a story at The Salt Lake Tribune website by Jessica Ravitz which unravels the history of VooDoo in New Orleans as told by VooDoo historian Gerald Gandolfo, including the bizarre variety of Catholicism that it has generated. According to this story the VooDoo Queen of NO was a devout Catholic who appears to have been buried in the Catholic cenetary. There is the story of Legba, VooDoo version of St. Peter.
Then there is the following:
Offering further illustrations of how Catholicism and Voodooism go hand in hand in New Orleans, Gandolfo pointed out unusual crosses affixed to the city's famous St. Louis Cathedral, calling them indicators of harmonious coexistence between the two religions. This relationship was bolstered by institutional viewpoint changes. During the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s, the Catholic church recognized African Traditional Religions as accepted forms of spirituality. And when Pope John Paul II attended Voodoo ceremonies in Togoland in 1985 and Benin in 1993, he helped further lift the veil of mystery and misunderstanding.
LIFENEWS REPORTS MORE CATHOLIC ORGANIZATIONS FUNDED BY SOROS
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Two Catholic groups that have received heavy criticism for making false claims that Barack Obama is pro-life and for receiving funding from pro-abortion billionaire activist George Soros are now trying to deflect attention by saying other Catholic groups get Soros money as well.
As LifeNews.com reported, Catholic League president Bill Donohue accused two left-wing Catholic groups of getting money from the activist.
Donohue said Catholics in Alliance receives funding from Soros’ Open Society Institute (OSI) and that it is integrally linked to Catholics United.
Now, Chris Korzen of Catholics United is deflecting the criticism by claiming OSI also funds Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Catholic Legal Immigration Services -- making them supposedly "morally equal."
Donohue told LifeNews.com in response: “Unlike the three Catholic organizations cited by Korzen, Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance are apologists for abortion."
Read the rest...
Randall Terry at Catholic Online tells us:
Bishop Rene H. Gracida releases radio ad against voting for Barack Obama; Catholics Plan anti-Obama Demonstrations and Press Conferences Coast to Coast on Thursday, October 30.
The specific quote from Bishop Gracida:
"This is Bishop Rene H. Gracida, reminding all Catholics that they must vote in this election with an informed conscience. A Catholic cannot be said to have voted in this election with a good conscience if they have voted for a pro-abortion candidate. Barack Hussein Obama is a pro-abortion candidate."
Bishop Gracida recorded the radio spot in English and Spanish; it can be heard at www.randallterry.com.
I expect he will be hearing from the ACLU.
I hope his fellow bishops stand with him.
I'm not counting on it.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for him!
Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton is standing with him. The Dallas Morning News Religion Blog reports:
Joseph Martino, the Catholic bishop of Scranton, Pa., showed up unannounced at a church forum on the presidential election and let everyone know in no uncertain terms that his word on abortion is the final word.
Martino is a hardliner on how Catholics should regard pro-choice candidates. He had earlier written a letter to his diocese saying abortion is the issue by which Catholics must judge candidates. (He went further than the bishops of Dallas and Fort Worth did in their recent pastoral letter on the subject. Martino wrote that "public officials who are Catholic and who persist in public support for abortion and other intrinsic evils should not partake in or be admitted to the sacrament of Holy Communion. As I have said before, I will be vigilant on this subject.")
He also took issue with the USCCB statement titled "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship":
That's a nuanced document on the political responsibilities of Catholics. It says that while abortion is an "intrinsic evil," Catholic voters "should not use a candidate's opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity."
It also says it's not a bishop's job to tell people who to vote for -- that "the responsibility to make choices in political life rests with each individual in light of a properly formed conscience..."...
"No USCCB document is relevant in this diocese," he said after crashing the forum. "The USCCB doesn't speak for me."
Fox News tells us Denver's Bishop Chaput is standing with him:
Denver's Roman Catholic Archbishop says Barack Obama is the "most committed" abortion rights major party presidential candidate in 35 years.
Father Charles Chaput says, "To suggest, as some Catholics do, that Senator Obama is this year's 'real' pro-life candidate requires a peculiar kind of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse."
Chaput adds that pro-Obama Catholics "seek to contextualize, demote and then counterbalance the evil of abortion with other important but less foundational social issues."
Thursday, October 23, 2008
COMPULSORY SEX ED IN THE U.K.
Goodbye to innocence. If they are serious about reducing the number of out-of-wedlock births perhaps they should consider the number of these that took place prior to the advent of sex education.
* Polly Curtis
* Thursday October 23 2008 12.07 BST
Sex education is to be made a compulsory part of the national curriculum in primary and secondary schools under government plans to cut teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.
A new personal, social and health education (PSHE) curriculum, expected by 2010, will include compulsory sex and relationships education as well as better advice warning children against drugs and alcohol.
Children will learn about body parts and the fact that animals reproduce from the age of five, puberty and intercourse from the age of seven and contraception and abortion from the age of 11.
Schools will not be allowed to opt out of the rules but the government is promising separate guidance to faith schools, which could find elements of the new curriculum at odds with their spiritual beliefs.
The schools minister, Jim Knight, said they would still have to teach the curriculum - which includes contraception, abortion and homosexuality - but will separately be allowed to continue to teach religious beliefs about sex.
Read the rest...
CCHD AND ACORN
More evidence of betrayal of the Catholic laity...
ACORN's Unlikely Allies
Posted by Joseph Lawler on 10.23.08 @ 6:04AM
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) recently cut off its over $1.1 million in funding for the left-wing community organizing group ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), citing a million-dollar embezzlement case. Of course, news of the malfeasance first came out four months ago, whereas most have regarded ACORN as radically liberal for years. What explanation could the Catholic outreach program possibly offer for funding until now a group that is defrauding the electorate to help Barack Obama, the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever?
None -- except for that maybe they thought they'd get away with it, before ACORN became a fixture in the evening news. The CCHD, which is run by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has funded far-left organizations with missions diametrically opposed to that of the Catholic Church for years, including, in the '90s, the pro-abortion group National Organization for Women and the American Civil Liberties Union.
The CCHD filed its grants for dozens of ACORN outfits under such left-wing euphemisms as "Economic Justice" and "Civil Rights." While some of the funding most likely went toward some kind of economic justice through immigration reform (for which John McCain also collaborated with ACORN) and helping impoverished families claim their Earned Income Tax Credit refunds, there is no doubt a substantial portion of those grants also went to voter turnout initiatives -- not to mention voter registration fraud. It would have been impossible to oversee the actions of these numerous ACORN affiliates.
Ralph McCloud, the director of CCHD, told Catholic News Service that he was aware that some of the money must have been used for voter registration drives in the past. "But by the same token, we didn't find any voter registration irregularities, the allegations we are finding now," he claimed.
Perhaps they didn't, although that's hard to believe considering the memorable stories of registration fraud from past elections, like the one in 2004 when ACORN offered a man crack cocaine to sign a registration form.
Here's the whole article.
GAY CATHOLIC WEDDING
Old Catholic Church embraces marriage equality - even for its priests
by Ethan Jacobs
Thursday Oct 23, 2008
Archbishop Bruce Simpson...and his partner, Jack Bixler...will be married in Massachusetts after living as a couple for 35 years.
Given the Roman Catholic Church’s strong advocacy against same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, the news that a Catholic archbishop and a priest will be marrying their respective partners of more than 30 years at a Catholic service in Milton later this month is sure to raise eyebrows at first. Yet Archbishop Bruce Simpson, head of the Benedictine Order of St. John the Beloved, and Father Bernard Sheffield, a member of the order and a priest based out of Port St. Lucie, Florida, are not conventional Catholics in any sense.
The order belongs to the Old Catholic Church, an off shoot of the Roman Catholic Church that split off from Rome in the late 1800s over opposition to the doctrine of papal infallibility and other doctrinal matters. Bishops within the Old Catholic Church have the authority to govern their own jurisdictions, and within the Benedictine Order of St. John same-sex couples have just as much right as their heterosexual counterparts to a church wedding. Simpson, who lives in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and Sheffield will marry their partners at Milton’s Holy Family Catholic Community, which also falls under the Benedictine order, on Oct. 29.
Simpson, who has penned a column on religious issues for The Advocate and other publications and who authored the 2004 book The Gay Face of God, said there are several practical reasons that he and his partner of 35 years, Jack Bixler, are coming to Massachusetts to be married, but he also hopes his wedding will send a message and serve as a counterpoint to the Roman Catholic Church’s advocacy against marriage equality....
Simpson and Sheffield originally planned their visit to Holy Family Catholic Community, which formed three years ago as part of the Brazilian Catholic Church and shifted to become part of the Old Catholic Church and the order last year, to learn about the congregation’s missionary work and help the church’s pastor, Father Peter Miller, develop a plan to shore up the church’s finances. Holy Family does not own its own church; it meets at the Church of Our Savior in Milton, an Episcopal church. After learning about the repeal of the 1913 law Simpson decided to take advantage of Massachusetts’s marriage laws while he was in town, and Sheffield decided to do the same.
Miller said members of Holy Family, Church of Our Savior, and the public are invited to attend the weddings, which begin at 11 a.m. on Oct. 29. He said he is proud to be able to perform the marriage ceremony for his order’s archbishop.
Read all of it...
We have a very progressive Holy Family Catholic Community here. I was a frustrated member for many years. It's Roman Catholic. The pastor, and two of the priests who served together at the parish, have all been credibly accused of sexual abuse. Hmmmmm.
The Catholic bashing continues...
WASHINGTON — A church-state watchdog group has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate whether the Roman Catholic bishop of Paterson, N.J., violated tax laws by denouncing Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama.
In a letter sent to the IRS on Wednesday (Oct. 22), Americans United for Separation of Church and State accused Paterson Bishop Arthur Serratelli of illegal partisanship for lambasting Obama's support of abortion rights.
Read the rest...
Meanwhile Rabbis for Obama receives nary a word of criticism.
I call that blatant discrimination.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
The political signs are blooming in front yards in my little corner of Northeast Ohio, especially in the recent couple of weeks. Judge signs. Representative signs. Strangely, there is a dearth of presidential signs. Occasionally I find a McCain or Obama out there, but if I didn't already know it, I'd suspect there wasn't going to be a presidential race this year. Why is that? Could it be because most of us up here in Northeast Ohio still haven't made up our minds? If this is typical, one of those signs might be worth preserving for posterity! But what do I know...!
Susanna sent in an article in The [Philadelphia] Bulletin about Black support for McCain. While 95% of the Black community is expected to vote for Obama, some Black leaders have emerged as McCain supporters. One particular leader is especially interesting, Dr. Alveda King, wife, mother, Director of African-American Outreach, Gospel of Life Ministries, and most significant, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King.
"I am very excited about the McCain-Palin ticket, simply because they support the values that mean the most to me," Ms. King said. "It is a plus to me that Sarah Palin is a woman because I've been elected to office as a wife and mother. I've been appointed to office as a woman and at the time I was a mother and became a grandmother."
Ms. King said her experience taught her she could both be a good mother and still serve the public. This is something she has in common with Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, McCain's running mate.
However, the most important reason she is backing the McCain-Palin ticket is its commitment to the pro-life cause.
How refreshing for a change! She proves that at least some Black voters are not racist and have given some thought to how they are going to vote, considering that the majority of abortions wipe out the lives of black babies. I bet she would join me in casting a vote for Alan Keyes if he ever appeared on the ballot.
SPOKEN LIKE A PSYCHOPHANT
Rome, Oct 20, 2008 / 11:39 pm (CNA).- Manfred Lutz, a psychiatrist with the Congregation for the Clergy, has responded in an extensive article to those who consider celibacy not to be "natural" and explained that the discipline is not only necessary for priests and religious to fully live out their vocations, but that it is also a "provocation" to a superficial world that does not believe in life after death.[emphasis mine]
In the article published by the L'Osservatore Romano, Lutz commented that celibacy represents "a permanent protest against collective superficiality." It proclaims that "the earthly world, with its joys and sufferings, is not all there is."
One who cannot renounce the exercise of sexuality is not capable "of joining in a marital union" either, Lutz continued. Looking upon women as "the object of satisfaction of a personal impulse plays a key role in the criticism of celibacy," he stated. Lutz also noted that there are even times when spouses cannot "fully exercise their sexuality, as in the case for example of a temporary illness or a permanent handicap. In these cases, a spousal relationship that is truly profound is not destroyed but rather enriched.”
I especially disliked this notion also included in the article:
This explains, for example, the surprising fruitfulness of the writings on marriage of that great shepherd of souls, the Servant of God John Paul II."
Would that be the "Great Shepherd of Souls" who allowed the homosexuals to take over the seminaries so that today we have no priests? The Shepherd who knew about the clergy abuse of the laity's children and didn't try to stop it? Perhaps children and teenagers weren't worthy of shepherding.
Was the conjugal act made an integral part of the sacrament of marriage because it contributes to superficiality? Give me a break!
Chastity is a provocation to the contemporary world. Babies speak more accurately that "the earthly world, with its joys and sufferings, is not all there is." We get them by having sex within the confines of marriage. Superficiality disappears in the reality of caring for them. Which is the way God made it. And which is why the conjugal act is a part of the sacrament of marriage and needs to be preserved, even under difficult circumstances, when it is possible to do so without causing abortion.
The psychiatrists who advised Rome during the scandal did us no favors at all. Why listen to this one?
CANCER JOURNAL - ONE LESS ROUND TO GO
I've developed a habit of late. When there is something scheduled that I really don't like, I think of having completed it and then knowing that in the total picture of my life there is one less of it that I still have to endure. One less round of chemo to go. One less PET scan. One less blood test. One less trip to the doctor. It's comforting somehow, though I suppose a person would have to be in the midst of battling cancer to understand why.
The medical demands can pile up. One day I counted all of the things that my doctors have told me to do each day. Twenty-eight. Some take minutes. Some take hours. There is something inherently unacceptable about the idea of doing a list of medical stuff each day so you can live one more day to do a list of medical stuff. A person has to have a life! So sometimes I just opt out.
Yesterday I opted out of wearing my sleeve.
A sleeve is something that is used to treat lymphedema, which develops when lymph nodes are impacted by cancer in one way or another. My left arm is affected. It's swollen because too much fluid accumulates there and the lymph nodes don't shuttle it away. That is typically the result of radiation that destroys the nodes, or else the result of the nodes being removed. In my case neither scenario explains why my arm is swollen. The doctors wax theoretical or remain silent when I ask the question.
In any case, I'm supposed to wear a compression sleeve during my waking hours. This is a compression sleeve. No big deal--right? It's annoying for only about the first 30 minutes of wear. Then I forget I've got it on. When I first started wearing it, my hand swelled up like a balloon. You know those clowns invited to children's birthday parties who make little animals out of balloons? My left arm and hand looked like something they had created. The solution for that is wearing a compression glove. You can see one of those at the above-linked website, top row far right.
Try to imagine cooking with one of those. Or washing dishes. Or doing laundry for that matter. We won't even talk about gardening or changing diapers! I put the thing on at the medical supply place, and promptly told the saleswoman that it wasn't going to happen. She suggested a gauntlet (covering for the wrist, hand above the fingers, and a thumb, but no fingers). It was more practical than the glove, so I agreed. I had it with me last Saturday on my Red Hat train ride through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It was in my pocket. It wasn't there when I got home. So much for the $60 gauntlet. Until my hand swells up again, I'm not even going to think about it.
One of the reasons why my hand is not swollen right now is the lymphedema pump--my latest livingroom accessory. Here's one. Think of a big blue sleeve attached by multiple cords to a motor. They don't show the cords in the picture. No one would buy the thing if they did. It really looks like a predatory sea creature that is preparing to eat your arm. The idea is to start squeezing at hand level, then work progressively up the arm until the pressure reaches shoulder level. Theoretically this pushes the fluid out of the affected arm. It does help. My hand no longer swells up and I can wear my wedding rings again. The downside is sitting there waiting for the results to happen. Hour by hour. A person can't blog or answer email with one arm in a compression pump. A person can't scratch the itch on the nose and still hold onto the book. Nothing's perfect. I keep telling myself, one less time I have to do this in my life every time I've completed a session.
I started out with three sessions per day. When the time crunch came, I got down to two. The other day I didn't even get one accomplished. The trick, I guess, is starting over each new morning.
As of yesterday I've completed the second round of chemo (well, technically the third, but we won't count that aborted attempt last spring). This one was six months long and was done in 1-month cycles of 2-weeks on, 2-weeks off. I'm convinced that the reason for the off-weeks is that the medical insurance goes up if you kill too many patients. This round consisted of three pills a day during the weeks-on, plus an IV once a week. It could have been worse. I could have had diarrhea for the whole six months instead of just for the last cycle. Probably couldn't have been much more tired than I was, though. Some people suffer nausea with these drugs. The only time I did was when I forgot to take the Prilosec for three days running. (With 17 medications to juggle, what's one more or less--until the results take hold.) Each time I got the IV, I knew there was a day of exhaustion coming. Just never knew when it would hit. Last Sunday it hit when I started to get dressed for the day's planned activities. I had to opt out, and spent the day in the recliner.
Then there is the hair loss. When my oncologist and I were determining what drugs to use in this chemo cycle, she asked if I had a request. I requested to keep my hair. "Ok," she said. "This drug won't cause your hair to fall out. It will thin a little, but you have nice thick hair." Uh-huh. I do still have hair. It has to be combed carefully to cover the bald spots. Sort of like the balding man with a comb-over. But hey...she didn't lie exactly. There is hair all over my pillow each morning. There is hair all over my clothes. The bathroom drains are all sluggish now from the hair build-up. There is hair on my grandson. There is hair on the kitchen counter. There is hair in my food. For a while I wore my wig. It kept my hair in check. Then I nearly shaved it off. This morning I glanced in the mirror and concluded that I was in-season for Halloween. I look like a witch.
On Monday I had the PET scan. The PET scan determines where the cancer has migrated if it hasn't disappeared. From this my oncologist decides what course of treatment is next or if I get a reprieve for a few months. I had been getting them at a regional center until this one. The regional center has closed. Maybe it was the little brown room that did it in. The technician who ran it believed that the radioactive stuff they shoot into your veins needed a quiet time in a brown room, in semi-darkness, sitting in a recliner and doing nothing for an hour in order to work. Sort of felt like being buried alive. The walls had leaves in bas relief. Brown leaves. In no identifiable pattern. I used to try to count them to relieve the boredom. This hour was followed by an hour lying on a table without moving, with your arms over your head or up in the air. My sanity survived via the rosary during this endurance test.
Monday the combination PET/CAT scan was done at the hospital in one of those trailers that travels to where it's needed. This time, after the radioactive injection, I was allowed to read for an hour in a fully lighted room with the radio playing elevator music softly in the background, and so I was still sane by the time the test rolled around. The test lasted 25 minutes. Lie still for 25 minutes? Piece of cake after the previous ordeal. Looks like I can stop dreading the PET scan. This discovery had me walking on a cloud for at least 36 hours.
Now is the waiting time. Wait for the results until November 6 when I have an appointment with the oncologist. On my 61st birthday, no less. We all know that when I go for a blood test this morning the nurses aren't going to tell me the results, even though they got them yesterday. If God is smiling on me, I'll get a few months off. If not, I'll be going back into chemotherapy, or something worse, real soon.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
THREE NEW ENDINGS APPROVED FOR MASS
Catholic News Servicehttp://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0805330.htm reports the Vatican has approved three alternate phrases for the dismissal at the end of Mass:He said along with "Ite, missa est," the Latin phrase now translated as "The Mass is ended, go in peace," the new options are:
-- "Ite ad Evangelium Domini annuntiandum" (Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord).
-- "Ite in pace, glorificando vita vestra Dominum" (Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life).
-- "Ite in pace" (Go in peace).
So, what about the current common dismissal, "Go in peace to love and serve the Lord." That seems to be all I hear at Mass. Is it contrary to the rubrics?
FUSION VOTING AND THE NEW PARTY
Like an unborn baby in the Democratic womb, the New Party nestled within the Democratic Party and gave birth through the fusion method to the candidacy of Barak Obama. Fusion is one political system that Obama supporters do not want to see aborted.
Obama would like to distance himself from ACORN. He would like us to think ACORN played only an insignificant role in his nomination. Apparently that isn't the case. Where is the mainline news media on this one?
To understand how it happened, it is necessary to understand fusion voting. Turn to the National Open Ballot Project - Fusion Democracy webpage. Here and in the other webpages in this website, you can learn what Fusion voting is, how it insinuates its candidate into an established party and takes over the nomination. Current efforts are being exerted in Oregon and Maine to establish it there. Other states where this system is in place include New York, Connecticut, and Oregon.
The Fusion Legislation webpage explains:
In 2007, legislators in four states introduced legislation to re-establish “fusion” voting. This 19th century voting reform, also called “cross-endorsement” or Open Ballot Voting, is experiencing a 21st century revival.
Legislation was introduced with both Senate and Assembly support in Connecticut, Maine, New Mexico and Oregon. The biggest 2007 news comes out of Connecticut, where the legislature passed and the Governor signed a bill in July that established a full fusion voting system across the state.
Fusion has the potential for small party candidates to impact elections. This could be positive if the small party candidate is yours or my candidate. It can be negative when the small party candidate is the opposition.
Working Families is one organization working for the adoption of fusion voting in more states. As you can clearly see at the website, they endorse Barak Obama. You can also see how the third party facilitates getting their candidate of choice on the ballot twice.
Their "about" webpage describes how it works:
The Working Families Party is a third party with a twist, fusion voting.
Fusion voting lets one party (like the WFP) “cross endorses” the same candidate as another party. The votes from each party are tallied separately, but then combined for that candidate’s total. It gives voters a way to “vote their values” by voting for the party of their choice without spoiling an election.
And it lets third parties like the WFP demonstrate support for the issues we’re fighting for. When votes on the WFP’s ballot line help a candidate we’ve endorsed win, we can hold that politician accountable to working people. Big business has plenty of money and power. Fusion helps us even the score.
Once common everywhere, fusion is now only legal in New York and a handful of other states.
Eric Erikson's blog spells out how this worked to Obama's benedit and how ACORN is a part of this picture:
With the New Party’s rise and its entanglements with ACORN came the rise of Barack Obama. According to Stanley Kurtz, “Acorn is the key modern successor of the radical 1960’s ‘New Left,’ with a ‘1960’s-bred agenda of anti-capitalism’ to match.” And Barack Obama was ACORN’s lawyer.
Using his position at ACORN in 1995, Obama set up the playing field for his election the following year. The Boston Globe reports, “Obama was part of a team of attorneys who represented the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in a lawsuit against the state of Illinois in 1995 for failing to implement a federal law designed to make it easier for the poor and others to register as voters. A federal court ordered the state to implement the law.” The Globe also notes, “Obama was part of a team of lawyers representing black voters and aldermen that forced Chicago to redraw ward boundaries that the City Council drew up after the 1990 census. They said the boundaries were discriminatory. After an appeals court ruled the map violated the federal Voting Rights Act, attorneys for both sides drew up a new set of ward boundaries.”
With districts redrawn, ingratiating himself to black politicians on his side of the city, and rules loosened on voter registration, Obama could set out to run. And he did. Obama sought the New Party endorsement, which required him to sign a contract that he would keep up his relationship with the New Party.
The end of the story is simple. Obama won the New Party’s nomination and, through fusion with his Democratic votes, he became the Democratic nominee. Using ACORN’s get out the vote efforts and relying on his gerrymandered Democrat district, Obama moved on to the State Senate. While there, he paid back the New Party and the far left. He opposed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, he opposed legislation that would have prohibited the sale of pornography across the street from elementary schools and churches, and he supported allowing criminals to sue their victims if their victims injured the criminals in self-defense.
Fast forward twelve years and Obama is running as fast as he can away from the New Party brand. But beyond a shadow of a doubt, Barack Obama knew what he was getting into and remains an ideal New Party candidate. The New Party was, and as it still exists is, an amalgamation of the left and far left designed to attract far left candidates and move the Democratic Party back to the left. Barack Obama is an example of the New Party’s success.
Thank God William Rehnquist ruled fusionism unconstitutional when he did, or there’d be more of these latent communists on the march upward into the political establishment.
The New Party website claims:
The New Party is an umbrella organization for grassroots political groups working to break the stranglehold that corporate money and corporate media have over our political process.
Our current work and long-term strategy is to change states' election rules to allow fusion voting - a method of voting that allows minor parties to have their own ballot line with which they can either endorse their own candidates or endorse the candidates of other parties.
SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A Catholic pro-life group says new information adds to the criticism a couple of Catholics organizations have already received for trying to make Barack Obama seem pro-life on abortion. Leading abortion activist and billionaire George Soros is behind the groups.
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United have been working overtime to mask Obama's pro-abortion views. The groups have called him pro-life even though he supports unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy for any reason.
In comments sent to LifeNews.com today, Catholic League president Bill Donohue exposes the nexus between George Soros and two left-wing Catholic groups.
In 2006, Soros’ Open Society Institute gave Catholics in Alliance $100,000 (double the amount he gave in 2005), Donohue indicates. In the same year, Catholics in Alliance listed Catholics United on its 990 as an organization with which it has a formal relationship.
Donohue says John Podesta, who runs the Soros-funded organization, Center for American Progress, admits that he works closely with Catholics in Alliance and Catholics United.
Read the rest...
Monday, October 20, 2008
NOT THE TYPICAL CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE STORY
I've read some horror stories of clergy sexual abuse. None of them have even come close to the story in Matt Abbott's column today. If I didn't know Abbott's work from other reports he has made, I'd say he had been duped. He says the story is a report to the New Jersey Archdiocesan review board, but he doesn't say how he got it from them. The priest's name and the places where this story are said to have occurred have been removed even though the priest is no longer living. That doesn't help to make it convincing.
But who could make up a story like this one? Tragically, after the revelations of recent years, I can believe that it's true; and it makes me wonder just what kind of men we may still have in the priesthood; and what they were thinking over there in Rome when these sorts of stories came in to them and they did nothing to stop it. Surely it could never get any worse than this one?
I read the story with the knowledge fresh in my mind that the Archbishop of San Francisco is the featured speaker at this week's priest convocation in my diocese.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
DAY OF REST
There has been no email from Fr. Euteneuer this week, so I'm taking Sunday off.
But before I click out of here, it was announced at Mass by the priest last night, in the parish where I'm registered, that Bishop Lennon is holding a convocation for diocesan priests Tuesday thru Friday this week, and that the speaker will be the Archbishop of San Francisco. I wonder if he plans to talk about Holy Redeemer Parish and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, since that is what he is best known for in the blogosphere? Sigh.