08 May 2009

St Joseph Novena

An excellent novena to St. Joseph. . .offered in response to the upcoming scandal at Notre Dame on May 17th.

Chaput, science, DNC brownshirts, and motivation to buy me a book

Archbishop Charles Chaput's speech upon receiving the Becket Fund’s Canterbury Medal:

Archbishop Chaput said this view of the value of human life was in direct contrast to a contemporary American spirit in which science can “comfortably” coexist alongside “superstition or barbarism.” As the Western moral consensus weakened alongside the progress of science, people did not become more ethically mature.

“The 20th century was the bloodiest in history, and today the occult is flourishing right alongside our computers and Blackberries,” he said.

“Knowledge is merely knowledge. Power is merely power. Nothing inherent to knowledge or power guarantees that it will translate into wisdom or justice or mercy.”

He quoted a passage from President Barack Obama’s inaugural speech about restoring science to “its rightful place,” contrasting this with a passage from the 2008 Vatican document Dignitas Personae:

“The dignity of a person must be recognized in every human being from conception to natural death. This fundamental principle expresses a great ‘yes’ to human life, and must be at the center of ethical reflections on biomedical research, which has an ever greater importance in today’s world.”

Archbishop Chaput said that the rightful place of science is “in the service of human dignity, and under the judgment of God’s justice.”

“Science can never stand outside or above moral judgment. And people of faith can never be neutral or silent about its uses. Otherwise, sooner or later -- but unavoidably – human beings, their rights and their dignity pay the price.”

Give this man a Red Hat! Thank God we will have bishops like this around when the Nannified Brownshirts come to round us up for our "Cookies and Waterboarding" at the summer camp sponsored by the Obamessiah's newly founded and fully funded Committee for the Promotion of Religious Diversity and the Propagation of the Gospel of Moloch.

High Priestess Linda Sanchez, House Representative Democrat from CA, has fired a major salvo in this summer's war on the Christian faith. Sanchez is ready to toss into jail any emailer, blogger, website operator who posts anything that might be taken to cause "substantial emotional distress to a person." Of course, far be from me to miss a chance here.

When I look at the 25 books on my WISH LIST and see that no one has bought me any books today, I begin to feel a substantial emotion distress. Even a bit weepy, actually. So, I suggest that all of you click over to the WISH LIST and shoot a book my way before the Mujerista of Moloch, Ms Sanchez, sics her Brownshirts on you for making me cry.

For a devastating fisking of Uberfrauline Sanchez's fascistic tendencies, check this out.

07 May 2009

The next book?

In the past I've asked readers to suggest topics for blog posts. The topics suggested were usually quite good.

So, now I'm asking readers to suggest topics for my next book. I already have a couple of ideas bouncing around in my head, but it's good to keep things fluid.

The question: if you could order a custom-made book written by a Dominican priest, what would you order?


1). Nothing too academic. I have a thesis and dissertation to write, so what brainpower I still have access to will have to be spent pounding out these demonstrations of academic prowess.

2). Something useful to regular Catholics. I spend way too much time around "religious professionals," i.e. priests, religious, etc. so it is too easy for me to see the world in terms of our issues and answers.

3). Something that will challenge, provoke, build-up. It would be too easy to write something that confirms what we already know.

4). Something creative. I take this to mean: not a Q&A, not a "self-help" book, not a "Catholicism for Dummies" type book, nothing merely apologetical.

What I'm thinking of doing. . .

. . .a book of short essays dealing with cultural themes (e.g. violence, debt, excess, joy, death)

. . .a book of meditations on selected passages from the writings of the Church's spiritual masters, a sort of daybook for growing in holiness

. . .or maybe a book of meditations on selected poems from a Catholic perspective

. . .at some point I want to write a book of short stories.

. . .what else?

Some news: I sent too much material to my editor, so there is a possibility that we will divide the manuscript into two books!

Needing literary relief!

Having sent my own creative writing project off to be edited and prepared for publication, I returned to philosophy and theology. . .I was not expecting to miss the thrill of reading and writing creatively as much as I have!

I've updated the WISH LIST to include a series of anthologies that collect spiritual writing, short stories, and essays from the last few years. These anthologies always provide an excellent overview of what's going on in the literary world I miss so much. . .

Check 'em out! (Anyone wanna guess what I'm thinking my next book might be. . .?)

06 May 2009

Coffee Bowl Browsing

Obama's bizarre definition of "publicity": $330,000 publicity pics will not be published

Fighting Leftist GroupThink in Canada and winning (the vids are the best part!)

Most Catholics support torture? Not quite.

The One de-funds Charter Schools, supports public schools, and yet sends his daughters to a private school. . .Why?

What's appropriate for a bride to wear on her wedding day? (I've never had to address this problem; however, I make a point of announcing that flash photography during the liturgical celebration is absolutely forbidden.)

05 May 2009

Feminist outrage & the banality of abortion (UPDATED)

NB. I have edited this posted to eliminate my inflammatory language. A commenter correctly pointed out that my description of the author is less than charitable (not in those words but close enough). My apologies to the author. I'm not going to lie and say I didn't intend to offend. That's exactly what I intended to do, and by doing so, I distracted from the real issues. Having been a pro-abortion proponent for years, including a stint as a NOW escort at one of the south's largest abortion clinics, and having worked for a rape crisis center, a battered women's shelter, and a hospital for sexually abused children, I have seen the emotional and spiritual devastation that abortion causes women who have been encouraged to kill their children because not doing so would be taken as a sign that they have capitulated somehow to male dominance. My opposition to the radical feminist agenda is not simply a knee-jerk Catholic reaction to an ideology that rejects the Church. I was a radical feminist and Marxist for years. Up-close and personal, I've seen their agenda destroy lives. The obstinate refusal to recognize what abortion does to women is not only a political blindness, it is a willed evil as well. From the inside, I know that the "pro-choice" movement is anything but supportive of a woman's right to choose to have children. The pressure to abort unwanted preganancies is overwhelming. And the rhetoric of the pro-aborts is designed to de-humanize the child using medical terminology so that the woman is numbed to the reality of what she is choosing to do. In my experience, women who have been raped and choose to carry the child to term are characterized as "gender traitors" and seen by the feminist community as enablers of male dominance. They would rather see a child murdered than see their ideology challenged by a traitor who refuses to sacrifice her child for the good of the cause. A note on comments: I simply don't have time to respond to everyone's objections. But please continue commenting. . .just sign a name!

I've been asked in one of the com-boxes to comment on the following anti-Catholic polemic from a pro-abortionist:

In Brazil, there is a horrific story of a 9-year-old girl who was raped and impregnated. It’s believed that the rape was committed by her step-father. The girl was not only pregnant at that young age, but also pregnant with twins. And so, as makes perfect sense, she had an abortion [Of course! It makes perfect sense to add double homicide to this horror]. Because she was raped, because she was much to young to have a child, and because the stress of having twins would of course have been far too much for a 9-year-old’s body to handle. And she could have died.

Now, the Catholic Church has excommunicated both the girl’s mother and the doctors who performed the abortion, which likely saved the girl’s life [and killed two other people in the process].

[NB. Notice that the author of piece never once acknowledges the humanity of the children much less their personhood. The children are simply disposal by-products of a violent rape. Also note that there is never a peep about the possible mental trauma a forced abortion might cause a pregnant nine-year old.]

Well then. At least they didn’t excommunicate the girl, right? Maybe they decided that she was much too young to have made the decision to have the abortion on her own, or to understand what was happening [and yet Planned Parenthood and other pro-aborts ruthlessly oppose any and all attempts to require parental notification for underage girls, and they illegally encourage the statutory rape of underage girls by telling them to lie about the father's age when the girls seek abortions]. But not too young, apparently, to be forced to give birth to the twins caused by her rapist. Not too young to quite possibly die in the process [and apparently not too young to be forced to get a double abortion].

In defending the decision, the Church’s lawyer has said:

“It’s the law of God: Do not kill. We consider this murder,” Miranda said in comments reported by O Globo.

But rape, apparently, is a-okay [yes, exactly. . .b/c the Church opposes murder, it must necessarily follow that the Church supports rape]. After all, I don’t see the step-father, who allegedly admitted to having raped the girl since the age of 6, being excommunicated [raping a child is beyond horrible, but does it rise to the level of killing her?]. Killing a fetus is apparently worthy of such censure and shunning. Horrifically violating a small child, though? Well, we all make mistakes [in so far as the father has committed rape he is in effect excommunicated. . .he may not "worthily receive" the sacraments until he has repented and received absolution]. And this stance is of course nothing new.

The lawyer also argued that the girl just should have carried to term and had a cesarean section. Because obviously a lawyer knows the girl’s condition better than her own doctor. And obviously the girl’s mental well-being doesn’t count for a damn thing [because avoiding even the possibility that the girl might suffer mentally from giving birth is worth the lives of two children. What about the damage a forced abortion will cause this girl?].

Who knows what a cesarean section would have done for the girl [precisely, who knows? On the other hand, we know exactly what abortion does to children], since the doctors didn’t present the issue of her giving vaginal birth as being the main health concern here. But oh well. God says. Clearly, if this child died in the course of fulfilling “God’s wishes,” it would have been a lesser tragedy than the cold-blooded murder of those innocent little fetuses [no, it would have compounded this tragedy even more. . .]. After all, in other extremist Catholic doctrine, a woman is better off dead than raped anyway [yup, got us again. . .this interpretation of Catholic doctrine seems to square quite well with paragraph 2356, of the Catechism, which reads: "Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them." Did you catch that: like abortion, rape is always an "intrinsically evil act."

RH Reality Check asks: Is this what religious objection to abortion looks like [No. But this woman's post is what anti-Catholic bigotry looks like]? Seeing as how the point of the entire anti-choice movement is indeed to erase any and all concern for the woman in question, in fact to erase her very existence if at all possible [again, right on! And the fact that the Catholic Church is the single largest non-governmental donor of charitable funds to social service organizations in the world is entirely besides the point. . .also ignored in this piece is the fact that the Catholic Church in the U.S. provides free pre-natal care, free adoption services, and even free recovery services to any pregnant woman who wants them. . .let's see, I think Planned Parenthood charges $350 per abortion] . . . clearly, yes. In an extreme nutshell, this is exactly what it looks like.

Folks, this is what the Church is up against. The sheer irrationality and venom of this post is incredible. The author sees no moral dilemma here, no horror in aborting the girl's children. She takes no stand against forcing a nine-year old, already traumatized by rape, to undergo an abortion. Abortion, after all, is the Feminist Sacrament. The real kicker is that she directs her outrage at the Church for announcing the excommunications of the mother and doctor. . .excommunications that happened long before the Church even knew the abortions had taken place. The Church did not excommunicate these people. They excommunicated themselves by committing a double-murder. And, AND! These excommunications are really quite simple to lift. Those babies are still dead. And always will be.

I don't know the all the circumstances of this case.
I don't need to know the circumstances to call an abortion murder. If it became apparent later in the pregnancy that carrying and giving birth to the twins would kill the girl, then an extraordinarily difficult decision would have to be made. And even if the girl's mother and doctor opted to abort the children, we could never call it good. It would be an evil regardless of circumstance or intent. The only thing that we might say is that culpability for the murders would be somewhat mitigated by circumstances and intent. The object of abortion. . .the ONLY object of abortion. . .is the death of an innocent human person. When can we say that this is a Good Thing? Never.

NOTE: Sign a name to your comments or they will be deleted. HancAquam does not tolerate anonymous hit and run cowards in its com-box!

Coffee Bowl browsing. . .

And yet even more eco-hypocrisy. . .

Lots of Top Ten Lists

Bishop Blair and friend of the CDF Theological Assessment team confront the LCWR

And don't forget to vote for HancAquam in the 2009 Cannonball Blog Awards. . .make ACORN proud and vote as many times as you like.

Big "C" Catholic

Click over to Big "C" Catholic and welcome them to the Papist Blogosphere. . .

They are re-posting installments of my piece, "Put Down the Missalette!"

This was one of my first non-homily postings on HancAquam. . .it caused quite a stir in the comment boxes.

04 May 2009

Come on, Jesus! Just tell us!

4th Week of Easter (T): Acts 11.19-26; John 10.22-30
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
Convento SS Domenico e Sisto, Roma

Those among the Jews who flock around Jesus at the Portico of Solomon sound very much like my literature students when we begin reading modern poetry: “Just tell us plainly what all this means!” Growing increasingly impatient with the ambiguity of his metaphors and parables, those following Jesus around town want a straight-forward, plain-spoken declaration that can either be rejected as false or accepted as true. No more vague hints. No more esoteric gibberish. No more stories within stories that excite imagination so that the heart might believe. Like my poetry students, Jesus’ followers want The Answer because they know it’s going to be on The Test. Truly, who can blame them? Unlike my students, however, those among the Jews who have been captivated by our Lord’s preaching and miraculous works are risking their places in heaven by listening to this Nazarean upstart. He is leading them away from the surety and comfort of the temple and the into the potentially deadly desert of faith alone. So, they clamor after him, crying out in frustration: "How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly." As simply and as plainly as he can, Jesus answers: “I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father's name testify to me […] The Father and I are one.”

As the philosopher in the crowd, I would be the one to ask those pestering Jesus for clarity: “Um, he says he and the Father are one. But why would you believe that? You are asking the would-be King to declare himself King so that you might know who is King.” One would hope that there is at least one soul in the crowd who would point out, “He says he and the Father are one. He also acts in a way that shows he and the Father are one.” Even the most hard-headed, cold-hearted philosopher would have to admit that an empirically verifiable demonstration of divinity is worth consideration! But demanding such a demonstration misses the point entirely.

Those demanding clarity from Jesus have witnessed his miracles. They have much more than his allegedly flighty stories on which to base their faith. Jesus tells them that it is not a lack of empirical evidence or verbal clarity that impedes their acceptance of his claim to be the Messiah. What’s preventing them from coming into the fullness of his revelation is their lack of belief. They cannot see his works for what they are because do not believe in their Father’s promises. Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

First, we must hear the Lord’s voice, then we come to believe. Once we believe, empirical evidence supporting the truth of our belief is irrelevant to our relationship with God. We do not base our love for friends and family on verifiable evidence. Jesus did not perform his miracles as evidence for us to witness, evaluate, and then either accept or reject as proof of his divinity. He cured the sick, fed the hungry, and raised the dead out of compassion, out of love for those who suffer. The question that Jesus’ entire life and ministry—from his virgin birth to his sacrificial death and resurrection—the question he poses to us is this: will you follow me to the cross and suffer for the love of your neighbor? That, brothers and sisters, is an unambiguous question. Now, how do you answer?

03 May 2009

Angels, Demons, Liars & Thieves

Excellent review of the movie adaptation of Angels and Demons. . .this is the latest piece of hateful flotsam to be produced by anti-Catholic bigot and Know-Nothing harpie, Dan Brown. Tom Hanks' participation in this farce is disappointing. Note the liberal cowardice of the movie's producers who change the distinctly Muslim/middle eastern name of the assassin in the book to something less potentially offensive to our fatwa-prone friends. Obviously, the producers aren't all that worried that the violent minions of the Evil Catholic Church will kidnap them and make a Youtube video of their beheading.

During the fracas over The DaVinci Code, I was asked many times if Catholics should go see the movie or read the book. My advice then remains the same for Brown's latest excretion: if you want to give your hard-earned money to someone who is willing to lie about the Church to make a profit, do so.

One could argue that Brown's books and their movie adaptations are immoral in themselves. I won't argue this point. I will say, however, that giving Brown your cash is not unlike an Israeli citizen giving a sweet donation to Hamas. To what degree would you be culpable in any anti-Catholic violence that might result from the hatred puked up by Brown's twisted imagination? Your moral cooperation would be remote at best, but why put yourself in the position of even having to ask the question?

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed an incredibly dangerous "hate crimes" bill. Federal prosecutors will be allowed to investigate and prosecute as "thought criminals" anyone who is suspected of inducing by means of "hate speech" a violent act against a member of an enumerated, protected class of citizens, This bill is modeled on similar laws in Canada that have already been used to arrest and charge clergy who preach against same-sex marriage.

Setting aside the obvious First Amendment objections, this bill violates the Fourteenth Amendment by giving selected citizens more protection under the law than others. Anyone remember this: "Some animals are more equal than others?" Violence against someone due to animus toward their religious beliefs is one of the enumerated crimes.

My question: when some whacko vandalizes a Catholic Church, will the Feds go after Brown for his obvious anti-Catholic "hate speech"?

Yea. I'll sit here and hold my breath.

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