Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. - GK Chesterton

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bill McGlaughlin: Music for the Masses

I'm 2 days late on this, but nonetheless, Bill McGlaughlin's programming this week is titled "Music for the Masses".  I missed the first 2 days, but will try to catch some of the remaining broadcasts (91.5 FM at 7PM).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Best Catholic Charity for Foreign Aid?

I'm looking for some feedback on this one.  We have in the past given to Food for the Poor.  I had assumed it was a Catholic organization since it was promoted at our parish, but I recently learned that it was not.  Not that there's anything terribly wrong with that, but we'd prefer to give to a Catholic organization.  Recently, after the Haiti disaster it seemed like Catholic Relief Services seemed to be the biggie that everyone was giving to.  So we're thinking of switching our contributions from Food for the Poor to Catholic Relief Services.  Anyone have thoughts?  Are there any others that we should know about?

Jesse Romero is Coming

Arch. Dolan on Rome

Arch. Dolan's facebook page posted a clip from the John Gambling Show. I snipped it a little further because I found this particular question and answer interesting (not that he really reveals much, but interesting nonetheless)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Are Catholics Christians?

I found this video on facebook. It was created by a guy from Ghana. You can check out his youtube channel here and his blog here.

Christianity in Norway on the Journey Home

 I don't normally listen to the Journey Home, but I heard a piece in the car the other day and it piqued my interest.  So I downloaded the mp3 and listened to the whole show.  It caught my attention because I grew up with a 100% Norwegian grandmother and I always thought of myself as mostly Norwegian (although I am only 25%).  Don't expect to be wooed by the interviewees passion or fervor, but nonetheless it's a good story and gives a good introductory understanding of Christianity in Norway.


83% of Norwegians belong to the state Church of Norway (which is Lutheran).  Roughly 5% profess to be Roman Catholic.  Although if you listen, you'll find out that Norway didn't have the same major break from Catholicism that some other countries did.  Yes, they broke away, but it was at the Danish king's command.  There wasn't much resistance, but there also wasn't a deep hatred of Catholicism.  Things just kind of continued on and slowly drifted away from Catholicism, but many similarities still exist today.

Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim.

Note: The Norwegian Olympic hockey team is coming of losses to Canada (8-0) and the US (6-1).

Trad Distinction from Orthodox

There are some things that cradle Catholics just don't understand about converts and Protestantism unless it's explained to them really well.  Likewise, there are some things that converts (no matter how much official Church teaching they learn) don't understand about traditionalists unless it is explained to them.  This article does a great job of doing just that.
All Your Church Are Belong To Us  (hat tip Fr Z)

While I get what the author is saying, I think it's quite clear that the same flag hung outside of St. Stan's is also hung outside of OLV.  So it's a good analogy and helps me to understand a little more, but I think it's somewhat an over generalization.  I will say that I do have a similar feeling, though.  If a priest starts talking about the "spirit of V2" or in vague abstracts of love that don't really mean anything I immediately think, "oh boy, here we go".  On the contrary, once I hear "tradition, magisterium, catechism" my ears perk up.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The D&C Mocks Us

But we can't blame them - they're just reporting it as it is.  But of all places they chose the questionable parish of St. Mary's Downtown for their story on Ash Wednesday
Anne-Marie Brogan is quoted several times.  There are no quotes from a priest - why would there be?
Brogan told the crowd about serving as “ambassadors for Christ” and giving back to people in Rochester and around the world.
At the end, Brogan wished the crowd well as they began their Lenten journey.

I will presume good will in assuming that these comments must've been made to the parishioners after the mass on their way out the door and not in a lay homily.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I am a weak, weak, man

So I get home from work today and my wife says

Wife: "no, you are not going to bed."

Me: "It's only 5:30 - of course I'm not going to bed."

Wife: "each year that you've been fasting for Ash Wednesday, you go to bed early because you'd rather be unconscious than awake and hungry.  And you say going to bed is like fast forwarding to when you can eat again."

Me: "I'm not sure I remember that, but that sounds like a good idea.  BTW - someone on 1460 was talking about the spirit of law as I was pulling in the driveway.  I'm sure it was fascinating, but I didn't catch the end of it."

Well, it's 9:32 and I'm still awake... baby steps to sanctification.

Flash Cards for New Translation

Here's a random idea I had which was inspired by Persis ... a set of flashcards for some of the uncommon words in the new translation.  After following this link, click on one of the big blue buttons to get started.  I've used this site to memorize various things over the last couple of years.  I think it's a great way to learn.

If anyone else finds this valuable please let me know.  I was thinking of entering some of the actual texts, but will probably only do so if others might find it worthwhile.

Q on Wonkiness

I thought this was an interesting call from an Aussie friend during CA Live's Open Forum for non-Catholics.  It really caught my attention for the use of the word wonky.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dear Rome (Take 2)

In keeping with Cleansing Fire's suggestion to share Forward in Hope with a friend, I have decided to start a template for a letter to send to our friends in Rome.  Perhaps doing so will make it easier for others to take the same course of action.  This template is in the form of a collaborative google doc so that everyone can contribute and customize as they wish.  I took a stab at a first draft, but please feel free to make additions, modifications, fix typos, etc.  I believe google keeps the history of the document, so don't worry about screwing it up.  Here it is:

Are you perplexed as to why we are writing to Rome?  Read Cleansing Fire's review of the Bishop's new book:
  1. Backward In Obedience: A Book Review of Forward in Hope
  2. Bishop Clark On Obedience
  3. Creation of a Parallel Hierarchy 
  4. The Role of the Lay Pastoral Administrator in the Mass
  5. The Diocese of Rochester's Erroneous Interpretation of Canon 517.2   
  6. Charlotte Bruney's Comments
  7. Bishop Clark on Lay Preaching

As always let us remember to remain charitable at all times.  If we aren't motivate by love-of-God, then we will surely find ourselves in a situation like this:


Note: I did a double take on this post.  If you happened to read "Take 1", then please accept my apology for including a presumptuous idea.  If you follow along with the CAF thread in my previous post, you'll find it suggested that being informative is a much better tactic than offering suggestions as to how Rome should respond.  I took that advice as I believe it to be correct.  So then the question remained whether or not to even raise the issue in a public setting (such as this blog).  After once again thinking and praying about whether or not to continue with this post, I have come to the conclusion that I have a duty to do so.  My explanation is that it is not us who has made this issue public.  Bishop Clark's book is publicly available, so it only makes sense for it to be critiqued in public.  This logic is supported by 2 examples:
  1. Bishop Tobin's public statement to Congressman Kennedy.  In a similar manner Bishop Tobin states that it was not he that brought the debate out into the public, but since that's where it ended up, then that's where he will engage it.
  2. Ed Peter's offers options as to how to respond to the Albany diocese's needle exchange program.  Dr. Peters displays exactly how to share information, even offer his own understanding, but not presuming what action the hierarchy should take.
Another enlightening piece of data in this regard is Canon 212

§3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they [laypeople] have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

Fr. Rick on Lay Administration

Fr. Rick fielded a call yesterday on lay administration.  Here's the audio clip:

While defending orthodoxy, he also seems to suggest we should accept the Bishop's position.  His suggestion is simply to find another parish.  While I agree that we should respect the Bishop and always give him the benefit of the doubt, I've also felt compelled to do my duty to defend orthodoxy.  I have at times used this blog to question the bishop (never resting on my own authority, but always on Church teaching).  I've obviously thought and prayed about this before, but Fr. Rick's remarks compels me to re-examine what's the best thing to do.  Should we just remain silent and do our own thing?  Or do we have a duty to vocally defend orthodoxy?  Is there any Church teaching on a layperson's duty in such a circumstance?  Once again, I'd rather not rest on my own opinion or on the opinions of others, but on the opinions of the Church.  Anyone have any good references?

update: I also asked this question on Catholic Answers Forums:

update: I have taken down the previous post.  I will change the wording so it's more informative than presumptuous and repost it.

update:  a somewhat related topic:
Whether Roman dicasteries find this situation to rise to a level warranting their attention is not for others to say.

Code of Canon Law

Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.

§2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

§3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dominican Sisters of Mary

The Dominican Sisters of Mary, who appeared on Oprah today, are obviously on fire for Christ.  Usually when you see a religious spot on TV those portrayed are allowed a very small chance to say their piece and instead are viewed through a very secular lense.  Well kudos to Oprah and especially to the Sisters for testifying to the light of the world.  All I can say is wow - sign me up!  Oh wait - I'm not a woman... and I'm married!  But, you get the idea.  Perhaps watching this show might inspire some other young women to get a crazy idea.

We tivod it and watched it that way, but it looks like you can watch it in pieces here.

Tired of Waiting for the Church to Change?

Fr. Z's simple suggestion:
Since you seem to want to be Anglicans, leave that closet and ask Archbishop Rowan Williams for your own Ordinariate.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Movie: (500) Days of Summer

F&F Rating: 6/10

I debated whether to put this one up or not.  It doesn't have a whole lot to do w/ the topic of this blog.  However, it does make you think about your world view.  I wouldn't really recommend it based on the fact that it has some moral problems.  However, if you want to break out of your comfort zone a little and perhaps use it as a conversation starter, I think there's some potential here.  I didn't give the lower rating because of the moral issues, but because it's kind of cliche and trendy.  "You like the Smiths?"  "Me too, I'm in love" (although I admit I also like The Smiths).  There is an overarching theme in this movie about love, fate, and free choice.  I thought the ending was great.  Until that point I was ready to say it was terrible, but I thought the final minute redeemed itself.  You know the "everything happens for a reason" crowd?  The people who use that statement as if it's a religion in and of itself.  I've never heard someone of faith dispute it, although I've always had reservations about it.  I was never quite sure how to say it.  So on a somewhat related note, I read an article that put into words (many of which I had to look up in the dictionary) my thoughts.  Every once in a while I read an article that really makes me think and think and eventually shapes my world view.  This article did that for me and I had to read it three times to really get it.  So how does it tie in with this movie?  Probably loosely, but this how my mind works.  If by chance, you read the article and watch the movie, let me know what you think.

Tsunami and Theodicy by David Hart

As for comfort, when we seek it, I can imagine none greater than the happy knowledge that when I see the death of a child I do not see the face of God, but the face of His enemy.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Doubt (2008)

F&F Rating (8/10)

This movie is very well done.  If you are sensitive to certain stereotypes then it's possible you may be turned off.  However, if you take it as a story then I think you can enjoy it.  I found the interaction between the characters to be very deep.  I don't remember the quote exactly, but at one point Amy Adam's character raises her voice to Meryl Streep and Streep responds by saying, "The ancient Greeks resolved arguments by seeing who could shout the loudest.  Let's hope we are above that now."  I'd like to print and paste that quote in my work cubicle :-)  For those that have seen this movie, I'd be curious as to your feedback in regards to the last line in the film.  My wife and I had differing opinions about what Streep's character meant.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pius XII

This post is intended to be a message to Ray Grosswirth because he doesn't allow comments on his blog?  I have a link I'd like to share with Ray in regards to this post.  I won't do a full rebuttal because it's already been done and your position has been proved wrong.  Ray, if by chance you read this blog I was wondering what your take would be on these NY Times editorials from 1941 and 1942:

And here's link to a CA Live show addressing the topic (Feb 1st):

or just click play below (the actual show starts at about the 6th minute)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Discalced Carmelites of Rochester, NY

Rich Leonardi mentioned a while back that the Discalced Carmelites on Jefferson Road take prayer requests.  I recently mailed them a few requests (some specific and some general).  Today I received a very nice note in response saying they would most assuredly pray for my intentions.  They also asked for prayers - which I intend to do.  How great it is to know that these holy women are praying for my intentions!  If you're interested, here's their address that I lifted off of this page:

Prayer Requests & Inquiries

The purpose of the Carmelite apostolate is to pray and intercede for the salvation of souls and for the world. We welcome your prayer requests and petitions, as well as inquires about our life. Please write to us at:
Carmelite Monastery of Rochester
1931 West Jefferson Road
Pittsford, New York 14534

Vocation inquiries may be addressed to Mother Prioress, OCD
at the above address.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Boston: Encouraging Confession

Tip to Fr. Z for linking to this exciting initiative in the Diocese of Boston:

Here's the video on the front page:
A Message from Bishop Robert Hennessey

The Light Is On For You! from bostoncatholic on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


There is only one, true groundhog and his name isn't Staten Island Chuck, Sir Walter Wally, or General Beauregard Lee... it's

Punxsutawney Phil

and the world better start showing some respect!

Tell 'em What They Want to Hear

The Born Loser

New Corporal WOM: Providing Syringes

  1. Feed the hungry
  2. Give drink to the thirsty
  3. Clothe the naked
  4. Shelter the homeless
  5. Visit the sick
  6. Visit the imprisoned
  7. Bury the dead
  8. Provide clean syringes to drug addicts
Remember when Jesus was talking to the Samaritan women and he said, "I don't like that you're sleeping with someone other than your husband, but if you must do it, make sure you do it safely".  Yeah - I think I must have missed that story as well.

"Hey buddy, gotta clean syringe?"
Those are not words I hear often, but perhaps I'm not hanging out with the right people.  This is the type of news that makes one proud to be Catholic?  Ugh!

Bishop Hubbard approves free distribution of needles to drug abusers

Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, who serves as chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, has approved a proposal by diocesan Catholic Charities to distribute free needles to drug abusers in the hope of preventing the spread of AIDS.
Read Ed Peters take here:

Monday, February 1, 2010


It was about a year ago that I left our territorial parish because of frustrations over what the priest was preaching.  It really had nothing to do with liturgy.  I thought the words of the liturgy and the sacrifice being represented were so beautiful that it didn't much matter what type of music was performed, what type of building you worshiped in, or if the priests threw in some wildcards while celebrating mass.  One year later, my view on the importance of reverence and beauty continues to deepen.  I remember when I first found read Canon 846.1:
In celebrating the sacraments the liturgical books approved by competent authority are to be observed faithfully; accordingly, no one is to add, omit, or alter anything in them on one’s own authority.
I remember thinking, "do the people who change the mass realize what they're doing?"  I went from being  lenient to a stickler on the rubrics of the mass.  It wasn't that I turned into a grinch, but that my understanding changed.  In fact - I really had no idea what the Church had to say about the liturgy itself.  In a similar way, I remember reading an article about a year ago about how Gregorian Chant and other sacred music are the only forms acceptable for liturgy.  I was turned off by that article simply because I felt they were trying to push their own preference of music.  Again, I was ignorant as to what Holy Mother Church had to say on the topic.  So once again, I've been having a similar sort of experience with liturgical music as I did with the liturgy itself (seems sort of obvious once you realize the music IS the liturgy - not something separate).  This change in me has had a lot to do with hearing more about what the Church (and our current pope) has to say about music, but it also comes down to experience.  Experiencing high masses at St. Stan's has had a profound effect on me.  Another experience I've had recently was watching this incredible video that I came across when reading the New Liturgical Movement.

SACRED, BEAUTIFUL, & UNIVERSAL: Colloquium XIX from Corpus Christi Watershed on Vimeo.