Friday, April 13, 2007

And Speaking of Ships

Diane sent me a recent post from Fr. Dwight Longnecker regarding the ship analogy for the Catholic Church. I believe this could properly be called a Biblical type or allegory; the fathers made the Noah's Ark/Church connection fairly early in the history of Christian biblical study. Noah's Ark no doubt smelled pretty badly long before the fortieth day. But if you can't stand the smell, the alternative was to jump out and drown.

Of course, you could also have opted to steal some of the material on board the ark and fashion a makeshift ark of your own, I suppose. I think there were a few famous guys who did that with some success.

Diane also included a poem inspired by Father's observation. I think it's very good.

It's Easy to be Pure by Diane

It's easy to be pure
When your church consists of four,
And one of them's your priest,
And two others are deceased.

It's easy to be pure
When your church is quite obscure
And minuscule and clannish –
And nobody speaks Spanish.

It's easy to be pure
When your church has closed the door
On the wandering and the weak
And all those who don't speak Greek.

It's easy to be pure
When your group splits more and more,
And each tiny splinter church
Won't show up in Google Search.

It's easy to be pure...
But you'd best make extra sure,
So, here's what you should do:
Start a church confined to YOU!

Catholic League Update

Got a notice from the Catholic League. They've launch a huge internet ad campaign on to attract new members. One of their goals is to raise funds obviously, but also, from the letter:

By advertising on Townhall, we are bound to attract a lot of young people who regularly visit such Internet sites. Even if they can't afford to join the Catholic League, many can be relied upon to send e-mails to the bigots whose e-mail addresses we post on out website. This is how we get out point across -- by having those who share our convictions express their outrage to the offending source.

I think it's worthy to note that Drive-by Dreher only bashed the Church four times in March, a drastic reduction from his eleven in February. He also admitted that he "shipwrecked [himself] within Catholicism" in a tortured post confessing that there is scandal in his new church, but he doesn't know what to do about that yet. We sincerely hope and pray he figures out an appropriate course of action.

Maybe that scandal coming to light will halt or slow down Rod's attacks on the Catholic Church. But whether that's the case or not, I'm glad he's doing other things recently with his free time, like chatting with Camille Paglia.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Neuhaus on B16 on Iraq

Good analysis. Excerpt:

Pope Benedict said that “nothing positive comes from Iraq.” The most plausible interpretation of those words is that he sees no improvement in the situation for the people of Iraq. He says the country is “torn apart by continual slaughter as the civil population flees.” He does not say who is responsible for the continual slaughter, the various factions in Iraq or the coalition forces trying to bring the slaughter to an end. His concern for the fleeing civil population is undoubtedly a reference to the rapidly declining Christian population there. The plight of Christians in the Middle East comes in for more extended treatment in his Easter Sunday address. I hope he is wrong about there being nothing positive in what is happening in Iraq. I am confident that he hopes he is wrong. It is inconceivable that he hopes there will be no positive developments in the months ahead.

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The Other Greatest Cover-up in Human History

According to Pistol Pete and his sources, Judas Iscariot was possibly part of an alleged love triangle between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Whodathunkit. Excerpt:

"We think it could, possibly, with some measure of uncertainty, be two letters," says Professor Sam R. T. Pants, archaeologist from Harvard University. "One is perhaps from Judas Iscariot to Mary Magdalene and the other potentially is Mary’s reply."

That reminds me, these t-shirts are still available.

Perils of Photography in a Catholic Church

If you take pictures in a Catholic church, you have to watch out for what I call the "statue effect". Demonstrated here, statues in certain poses can seem to interact with live human beings. In this unfortunate picture from a local rag mag, an unsuspecting Bishop Lennon appears to be having his nose honked by a statue Resurrected Christ in the background in a parish of the Cleveland Diocese which he recently visited.

This happened awhile back, but I decided to save it until after Easter. It's a little too funny for Lent. Or maybe you don't think this is very funny at all, in which case I shall have to try harder to make you laugh in the future.

"Improbable Easter Bunny" Indeed

John Bolton has a good analysis Iran's latest victory. Excerpt:

Quite possibly, the Iranians were divided internally and may well have stumbled into success at the end. This has already inspired the media's commentariat to conclude that the Foreign Office's "softly softly" approach worked. The Captain Ahabs of British and US diplomacy, obsessed by their search for Iranian "moderates", those great white whales, are proclaiming yet another "moderate" victory in this outcome. Surely, the "moderates" prevailed; how else to explain the hostages' release?

Indisputably the winners in Iran were the hardliners. It was Mr Ahmadi-Nejad who stood in the international spotlight for hours on end, who awarded medals to the Revolutionary Guards who captured the hostages, who announced the hostages' release and accepted their thanks. Even if the moderates concurred in the outcome, divergent motives can lead to the same conclusion. The question is, who increased relative to others in the Iranian calculus of power? The evidence unmistakably points to Mr Ahmadi-Nejad. If strengthening his hand within the Tehran leadership amounts to success for British diplomacy and Iranian moderates, one hesitates to ask what would constitute failure.

Monday, April 9, 2007

This is what it's all about, anyway

Beautiful. Ultimately love knows no subsections. Thanks, Ruth Ann.

Edwards' Neighbor Diagnosed with Rabies

Speaking of biotech and not being nice, read this story about the "rabid, rabid Republican" living next to John and Elizabeth Edwards.

"I wouldn't be nice to him anyway," Edwards said in an interview. "I don't want my kids anywhere near some guy who when he doesn't like somebody, the first thing he does is pull a gun out. It scares the business out of me."


Edwards views Johnson as a "rabid, rabid Republican" who refuses to clean up his "slummy" property just to spite her family, whose lavish 28,000-square-foot estate is nearby on 102 wooded acres.

Johnson, 55, acknowledges his Republican roots. But he takes offense to the suggestion he has purposefully left his property, including an old garage that he leases for use as a car shop, in dilapidated condition.

Johnson said he has lived his entire life on the property, which he said his family purchased before the Great Depression. He said he's spent a lot of money to try and fix up the 42-acre tract.

Johnson also notes that Edwards ain't be much fo' the po' people.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter

We're not experiencing what is traditionally considered Easter Sunday weather today. There is at least 7 inches of snow on the ground and it's still coming down, believe it or not. I'm sure this is all the fault of Vatican II and the prevalence of the Novus Ordo mass.

Nonetheless the scene of barely alive trees and tall evergreens against the bleak, snow-flecked western sky is beautiful to me in it's gothic starkness. Amid the roar of the snow blowers and the scrape of the shovels, Christ is Risen, and now we, the denizens of Northeast Ohio, are ready to "rise" into Spring. Soon. Whenever.