Friday, April 22, 2011

Adoramus te, Christe

Adoramus Te Christe, et benedicimus Tibi: quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Do you really need your 4.0?

This is choice. Hat tip to American Catholic.

Memory and Reality

This takes about five minutes to watch. It is a good short meditation on the meaning of Eucharist within the context of Holy Thursday and the Triduum.

Waiter, I'll take two spheres, over easy please

Or maybe "scrambled" better describes the Catholic League's latest report from the "you can't make this up" files.

Ricky Gervais felt the need to offer a very public "Holiday Message," notifying the world that though he is not a Christian, he is a very Christ-like person. It is revealing that this British atheist couldn't find a single secular humanist to model himself after.

That is pretty rich. Why would you want to be Christ-like if he is a total fraud? Oh, I forgot—Christians are the real frauds. We learn from James Frey with an "E" that Jesus Christ is "an alcoholic who lives in a filthy Bronx apartment, smokes dope, kisses men and impregnates prostitutes." So is that the Christ that Gervais is trying to emulate, or the regular Christ who Christians believe in? Unclear.

Anyway, Frey's book The Final Testament of the Holy Bible contains this valuable bit of info. I don't know about you, but that title smacks of dogmatism to me, does it not? Who is James Frey to assert that he has the final word. And it's far from accurate. Someone is sure to write another "testament" by Lent of next year and chances are it will be fouler and more shocking. Maybe the Jesus in the next fantasy will reside in the suburbs and have a coke problem.

There is nothing quite like doubling down on your bet that God doesn't exist and Christianity isn't true. I don't advise it. Do it every few days like these people do and you're in for quite a negative payoff when the game is up.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We all shine on

I love this song.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Is this my best comment evah?

Just noticed this one from an old post. Thought it was pretty funny.

Personally, I only grunt when I don't understand. And I only throw spears when I'm running around out in the woods with my friends wearing nothing but loin cloths and war paint.

Same to you, Stumpy!

I heard chainsaws last Tuesday, and looking out my office window, I saw the urban lumberjacks with their big fancy cherry picker going at the hollowed out tree across the street. They were done by about 2pm or so, and that's when I first, uh... got the message.

Seems as though the neighbor's tree is flying the bird at us. Or possibly at our rather healthier tree (not pictured). Trunk envy? Unclear.

UPDATE: Dang, they just cut the rest down! I really wanted my bro-in-law to see it at Easter. Oh well, sic transit gloria mundi.

For Passion Sunday: "He Trusted in God"

Picture quality is a little lacking.

Intense nonetheless.

Righteous Anger, Judgment, Reason and Hobbyhorses

If you have a Facebook account then you can see this thread here where Joseph D'hippolito and I are engaged in our same old argument about the child abuse scandals in the Catholic clergy. Or, possibly, we're engaged in "talking past each other" as some call it. Either way I'm done writing anything on Mike Liccione's Facebook account. But I have more to say so I'm going to put it here, and if Joe D wants to he can come over and comment as he's done before in the past.

Here's an abridged version of our exchange so far:

Joseph D'hippolito: Paul, I read William Donahue's response. I did not see one word concerning conviction of sin or repentance. All I read was more of the same kind of arrogance -- only, this time, masquerading as victimization -- that pervades Church leaders and sycophants like Donahue, who wouldn't have a platform if he did not receive support from the hierarchy. Church leaders do a great job lecturing the laity about "social justice" and trying to enforce convoluted fasting regulations during Lent but don't have the guts to apply their self-professed principles to themselves -- at least, not without massive public pressure shaming them to do so. The fact that unscrupulous people will try to exploit the situation does not relieve Church of the responsibility of putting itself in that situation.

Paul: Joseph, you have allowed your anger to countermand your reason when discussing this issue. Some priests *are* innocent victims, and it is not "arrogance" to defend them from those unscrupulous people, as you rightly name them. Your name-calling swipes at Donohue reveal that you cannot contest the facts he presents. Also your remarks about fasting and social justice are completely irrelevant to this conversation.

Joseph D'hippolito: Paul, I don't deny that there are unscrupulous people who will exploit the Church (or any other institution) for financial gain. I don't deny that innocent priests have been smeared. But clerical sex-abuse has been a significant problem since St. Peter Damian's time, when people *weren't* dropping lawsuits left and right, and Church leaders have failed in eradicating it. Yes, this is a "church of sinners." So what? God demands righteousness from His people, especially those who bear authority in His name. Unfortunately, those leaders are so infatuated with the idea that the Church embodies "the fullness of the Gospel" that they refuse to understand the awesome responsibility that carries. Instead, we get misdirection, non sequiturs and arrogance masking as victimization and persecution. Such tactics blaspheme God's holy, righteous name.

Joseph D'hippolito: BTW, Paul, I am angry. Why aren't you? As one devout Catholic said, "since She is the one, true Church, we expect more from those that represent Her than any other church organization. There is no defense against what the cardinals and bishops failed to do. None."

Paul: Joe, I am angry when I think about what the abusive priests did, and I am angry when I think of how it was sometimes covered up. And if that was the only thing I ever thought about, I suppose that I would be angry all the time. I feel sorry for anyone who obsesses about anything to the degree that it becomes obvious to all that they can no longer think straight.

Joseph D'hippolito: Paul, if you are referring to me, then how do any of my comments prove that I'm not thinking straight? How am I or other Catholics *supposed* to think when they see those who hold authority in God's name abuse that authority (no pun intended) to protect unrepentant evildoers? How are we supposed to think when God's holy, righteous name is sullied -- and nobody, not even the most "devout" Catholics, gives a damn?

Joseph D'hippolito: Here's a post from a Catholic who understands the situation better than you do: "Whether the incidence of abuse is worse elsewhere is irrelevant. I have no doubt that there is abuse in the public schools, in swim teams, and within families, etc. But most of us have no practical way to voice our displeasure within those systems. As Catholics who care about the spiritual health of the Church, we have an obligation to speak out when we see that conditions that enable abusers to escape detection continue to persist. Besides, I don’t think the argument that essentially says, 'The Catholic Church: Just as bad or a bit worse than the rest of society at attracting pedophiles' makes for good apologetics."
So much for Bill Donohue and his spin.

Following are my thoughts, not necessarily in order of importance.

Near the end Joseph asks "[H]ow do any of my comments prove that I'm not thinking straight?" Two sentences later he provides an example with his assertion that "nobody, not even the most 'devout' Catholics, gives a damn[.]" Any Catholic trying to practice his faith devoutly to a measure will find that claim untrue and unreasonable. They will also most likely be offended if they hadn't before encountered this type of extreme rhetoric on the issue.

I don't know who gave swim team coaches some kind of immunity from prosecution for child abuse.

When I wrote "you have allowed your anger to countermand your reason", I was voicing my opinion based on Joseph's comments in past threads as well as the present. Joseph's justification for being angry is that his anger is righteous anger. To wit, he states "Why aren't you angry?" And, of course, he has a point. If we read St. Thomas on anger, we can see that lack of anger can also be against reason and correct judgement and therefore can also be a serious sin of omission. Check out point 1 and point 8 on that page. If I have been dismissive about what a child abuser has done to a child, or have been tolerant of it out of misguided patience then I have sinned, plain and simple.

Here's my defense—I have never done that. If anything, I have been too fierce in my anger about the perpetrators, thinking to myself that when John Geoghan was murdered in a prison cell by a White Supremacist maniac that it was simply a case of what Aristotle called natural justice as interpreted by "the Punisher" comic book character. I'm not sure I was correct at the time about that specific line of thought, but I am still angered by the sex crimes he committed, literally hundreds, and the way he was enabled. If someone wants to attack my righteous anger cred based on my sporadic blog posts then they can attack me just as forcefully on all sorts of other "sins of omission", e.g., is Pauli really angry enough about abortion? does Pauli pray enough? did Pauli, who is conservative, point out when Rush Limbaugh said something uncharitable last week like he did when Obama made fun of retarded kids? did Pauli, who has Jewish friends, condemn Sarah Silverman for saying horrible things about Jesus Christ? Et cetera. It is possible that I'm far too tolerant of the sins of others, but if you want to earn a well-deserved "Are you crazy?" look, ask my kids that question.

I continue to post insights from Bill Donohue because I feel he is providing "equal time" on this issue from a completely valid angle, although it is a different angle than is taken by Lee Podles. If SNAP and Bishop Accountability can be devoted 100% to sexual abuse crimes committed only by Catholic priests, then there is no reason why the Catholic League and this blog can't focus on the gross hypocrisy, lies and propaganda about the same class of people.

If I see a Catholic priest and immediately say to myself "Priests molested children," then I really think there is something wrong with me. If I see a Bishop and immediately say to myself "Bishops enabled molesting Priests," then I also think I have fallen into a dangerous anti-clerical mindset. Explain to me how this is any different than the logic of a suburban black who suspects all blacks in the inner city of being pimps and drug peddlers. We would rightly conclude that that man had sadly adopted the beliefs and conclusions associated with white racism.

My final note. Look back at the St. Thomas anger section and focus on the Angelic Doctor's warnings about when anger can be sinful, then ask yourself if Mr. D'Hippolito seems to cross the line sometimes. Does he ever desire punishment beyond the deserts of the guilty, is his rhetoric immoderately fierce, is it ever contrary to charity and/or justice? Has his anger given birth to clamor, contumely, quarreling, swelling of the mind or indignation? I'm not going to answer any of those questions, which I believe are valid when asked with regard to anyone, myself included.

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