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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Future of Europe?

While Pope Benedict hopes and prays for a resurgence of Christianity in Europe, the naysayers instead say that the future is either a dominant Muslim population or secularism. Neither is particularly good for the fate of Catholics since either would require the denial of the truths of the faith. However, if Catholics do not wake up to the need to evangelize once again, they have no one to blame but themselves for empty churches or worse - more things like this.

Monday, June 26, 2006

When "respecting religious freedom" means "Catholics, shut up!"

The Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry is exercising their freedom of speech by telling the Catholic Church to stop exercising their freedom of speech. Apparently, for certain "leading religious denominations" religious freedom means not seeking to influence public policy. This, of course seems, somewhat hypocritical as this is precisely what the "Religious Coalition" seeks to do. Might I suggest that the "Religious Coalition" learn importance of diversity and the evils of religious bigotry.

Update: The Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry has two Catholic priests among the signers of its declaration in support of "gay marriage" -

Rev. Dr. Richard Rasi - a Melkite priest
Fr. Robert E. Nee - a Roman Catholic Priest

Update 2:Rev. Dr. Richard Rasi passed away from cancer last year. May perpetual light shine upon him.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

From the "she turned me into a newt" files

St. Michael's University in Scotland has decided to permit Pagan/Wiccan activities at the Catholic institution.

Now pagan or wiccans as they prefer to be called, will be allowed to use campus buildings and outdoor space for festivals, providing they do not utter incantations or spells that might harm others. Nor may not raise spirits or to call up dark forces, and ritual nudity is strictly forbidden.

Well, I think that pretty much has it covered [well except for the non-ritual nudity and the fact that they are acting contrary to the message of Christianity makes it inherently harmful to others.]

I wonder where they will put the wicker man?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Soon we will make our move...

The California Catholic Conference is predicting that in 20 years, 60% of California will be Catholic. Most of that increase will not be from immigration from Central and South America, but from natural increases. But the increase coming from immigration will certainly affect the way that the Catholic Church in California sees itself. I also would not be surprised to see similar forecasts for other states in the Southwestern United States.

But it also means that the Church must place all new efforts in catechesis and promoting vocations. Because if the spiritual needs of these new Catholics are not met, they will look elsewhere.

No word on whether it will offer Bingo

The Ukrainian Catholic Church is condemning a plan to build a casino next to its cathedral in Kiev. The Church authorities are offended and urging that a school be built in its place.

Where's Common Ground when you need them?

When members of the Women's Ordination Conference and members of Restore the Sacred meet....

You can be sure that things are going to get interesting.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Priest dies while praying

Jesuit Father Claudio Rossi, vice-rector at Rome University, fell to his death in a chapel while praying with his mother. Apparently, the chapel was built over a well, into which Fr. Rossi fell.

May God have mercy upon him.

Belly Button Exposure

"God knew what your navel looked like even before you were born, so there is no need to expose it in church."

So says a sign at the Catholic Church of Cinisello Balsamo.

Trying to encourage modesty in Church, much less in the rest of society, continues to be a probem. The article notes that the priest of Cinisello Balsamo can't afford to hire guards to ensure that the inappropriately dressed don't try to enter the Church. I can remember when I took a visit to Russia - they didn't need guards, they relied on the older women to act as a brute squad should someone showing a bit too much seek to enter the church.

For my part, we priests could certainly use some more homilies on the importance of modesty as well.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Another reason for priestly celibacy

From Bishop Peter Hickman of the Ecumenical Catholic Church - composed mostly of former Roman Catholics -

"Marriage promotes growth," says Hickman, 50, who has fathered five children, been married three times and divorced twice. "People who've never been married have a hard time knowing themselves."

I can only hope that in his third marriage he has experienced some growth and finally knows who he is.

Back again, hopefully for a bit longer this time

It has been so long since I last posted, even after I posted that I would be posting more often. The main reason for the end of posting was that I just became totally overwhelmed with my new priestly duties and a full teaching load at the university. I decided that I couldn't keep this blog up and do the podcasting over at Catholic:Under The Hood, so I decided to go with the podcast.

I also found myself getting a bit frustrated a bit with the blog. There is a lot that goes on out there that just gets on my nerves. On the one hand I want to talk about it, on the other hand I find that it can sometimes just get me angrier. I was wondering if I wasn't just making this blog into a list of personal complaints. So, having taken a very extended break, I'm going to mention things here that I probably won't talk about over at the podcast. Some of the things will still be issues that get my dander up, but I hope that is not all that will be here.

To those who are still periodically checking this blog out, thanks for hanging with me. God bless you.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ash Wednesday through the eyes of children

There is a neat article from the Marion Chronicle Tribune about an Ash Wednesday service for elementary children which involved the children bring palm leaves which they had in their homes from the previous year's Palm Sunday to turn into the ashes that would be put on their foreheads for this year's Ash Wednesday.

My favorite question -

"Do you think it will burn our heads tomorrow when they put it on us?"

Yes, indeed, may these ashes burn with a holy fire that burns away our sins.

Priest in England attacked

Youths threw a brick at a Sri Lankan priest in England who was delivering Communion to the sick and called him a "Paki".

Fr. Anton Fernandopoulle does not think the attacks are racially motivated. But, I wonder whether the use of the slur "Paki" might indicate that they thought he was Muslim - even though he does wear a priest collar.

Let me add this to my list of things and people to pray for.

Pope drops a title

The Holy Father no longer counts "Patriarch of the West" among his official titles.

"He is simply Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Roman Province, Sovereign of Vatican City and Servant of the Servants of God."

Some speculate that the reason for the drop was to establish better relations with the Orthodox and to end a contrast between East and West. Others say that the drop may hurt relations with the Orthodox who might interpret the move as a claim to be Patriarch over the East and West.

Personally, I don't know how this will be picked up or whether most people will know the difference. I just wonder, "Holy Father, since you won't be using that title anymore, do mind if I pick it up?"