Friday, February 27, 2009
A warning comes from the Holy See's Secretariat of State regarding an internet fundraising scheme. It seems that they promise, for the measley sum of 3 Euro to deliver your prayer intention, and that it will be publicly announced at Saint Peter's Basilica. The web-site claims that a portion of the 3 Euro "donation" goes to the Vatican.
The Vatican has no knowledge of this. So stay away!
There is a new men's group forming in our Diocese - the Redeemer Catholic Men's Fellowship.
They are having their first Holy Hour Saturday March 14, and Bishop Joseph Martino will preside. It will take place at St. Joseph's Oblate Seminary, Route 315 in Plains with registration from 8:30 - 9:00. Holy Hour will be from 9 - 10 am ending with Benediction and a talk from the Bishop.
Contact Glen Yanick for more information at 570-362-0417 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Father Leo McKernan of St. Leo the Great at 570-825-6669 or you can email him at email@example.com
In our first of many (hopefully) collaborations, those of you in the Scranton Diocese can look on the back page of the Diocesan newspaper The Catholic Light. There you will find information on the The Red Envelope Project.
I want to thank Father Christopher Sahd, Director of Worship, and William Genello (I don't have his picture) editor of The Catholic Light for helping to get out this pro-life message.
Be sure to pray for both of these men tonight.
I could use some prayers too if ya feel like it....
This little story is a post from this guy on the Caveman's blog. I laughed out loud at my office, so I had to post it up for my tens of readers:
Two Radical Arab Terrorists boarded a flight out of London. One took a window seat and the other sat next to him in the middle seat.
Just before takeoff, a U.S. Marine sat down in the aisle seat. After takeoff, the Marine kicked his shoes off, wiggled his toes and was settling in when the Arab in the window seat said, 'I need to get up and get a coke.'
'Don't get up,' said the Marine, 'I'm in the aisle seat, 'I'll get it for you.' As soon as he left, one of the Arabs picked up the Marines shoe and spat in it.
When the Marine returned with the coke, the other Arab said, 'That looks good, I'd really like one, too.' Again, the Marine obligingly went to fetch it. While he was gone the other Arab picked up the Marines other shoe and spat in it..
When the Marine returned, they all sat back and enjoyed the flight.
As the plane was landing, the Marine slipped his feet into his shoes and knew immediately what had happened. He leaned over and asked his Arab neighbors, 'Why does it have to be this way?' 'How long must this go on? This fighting between our nations? This hatred? This animosity? This spitting in shoes and pissing in cokes?'
THE FEW. THE PROUD. THE MARINES. THE BEST.
The following letter has been sent to Sen. Bob Casey:
Dear Senator Casey,
It is a matter of deep concern that your recent vote against the Mexico City Policy is continually misrepresented by your staff as a pro-life vote intended to promote “contraception and other family planning that avoid unintended pregnancies” (Times-Tribune, February 6, 2009).
The Mexico City Policy is, first and foremost, about abortion, not about family planning. First put in place in 1984, the policy required all non-governmental organizations that receive federal funding to refrain from performing or promoting abortion services abroad. The policy required such organizations to agree as a condition for receiving U.S. foreign aid dollars that they would “neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.” The policy included exceptions for abortions done in cases of rape, incest or life-threatening conditions.
Furthermore, the Mexico City Policy did not take funds away from family planning; its effect is quite the opposite. Tom McCluskey of the Family Research Council reported the following: “. . .The Mexico City policy halts U.S. family planning funds from going to foreign . . . [NGOs] that perform abortions or ‘actively promote’ abortion as a method of family planning in other countries. . . The effect of President Obama rescinding the Mexico City Policy is that now millions ($461 million in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008) of dollars are taken away from family planning groups that do not promote abortions, and delivered into the hands of organizations that are the most militant in promoting abortion as a population-control method—especially in countries that find abortion objectionable on moral grounds” (my emphasis). Contrary to the claims of your staff, the absence of “Mexico City” regulations insures (1) that money is taken away from family planning, (2) that abortion is promoted as a method of family planning, and (3) that countries that have moral and cultural objections to abortion are encouraged to abandon their policies against it.
Finally, it is never permissible to use immoral means such as artificial contraception to achieve a good end, namely, the reduction of unplanned pregnancies. In fact, the mistaken view that artificial contraception may be used to regulate population growth and the size of families has led to countless evils in America and abroad, including the attitude that having and raising children is a burden to be avoided. This attitude has contributed mightily to the acceptability of abortion as a means of contraception both at home and abroad.
My letter of January 30 urging you to rescind your vote on the Mexico City Policy was in no way mistaken regarding the nature and the effect of President Obama’s order to rescind America’s long-standing policy to avoid using U.S. tax dollars to support organizations that promote abortion abroad. It is imperative that this fact be made known to the public.
It is also imperative that there be utter clarity when it comes to the teaching of the Church on matters that pertain to the taking of innocent life and the special responsibilities that fall to you, Senator, as a lawmaker to oppose abortion and other clear evils.
In closing, I refer you to the words of Cardinal Francis George, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to President Obama urging him to retain the Mexico City Policy.
The Mexico City Policy . . . has wrongly been attacked as a restriction on foreign aid for family planning. In fact, it has not reduced such aid at all, but has ensured that family planning funds are not diverted to organizations dedicated to performing and promoting abortions instead of reducing them. Once the clear line between family planning and abortion is erased, the idea of using family planning to reduce abortions becomes meaningless, and abortion tends to replace contraception as the means for reducing family size. A shift toward promoting abortion in developing nations would also increase distrust of the United States in these nations, whose values and culture often reject abortion, at a time when we need their trust and respect (January 23, 2009).
Most Reverend Joseph F. Martino, D.D., Hist. E.D.
Bishop of Scranton
All I know is that no Bishop of Scranton ever had to "instruct" Rick Santorum....
Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion
The Eucharist is the source and summit of all Christian life. It is the sacrament of salvation, the Body and Blood of Christ offered for us on Calvary and received by us, the People of God. Regarding the Holy Eucharist, St. Paul says, “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Cor. 11:27).
The law of the Church requires each Catholic, before receiving Holy Communion, to make a careful examination of conscience, using the teachings of the Church as the examining criteria. After this private examination, each Catholic is able to determine whether he or she is prepared to receive the sacrament. Canon 916 of the Code of Canon Law states:
A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or receive the body of the Lord without previous sacramental confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible.
The above mentioned preparation is private, as the state of each Catholic’s soul is known to him or her alone. However, there are instances when a Catholic’s unworthiness to receive Holy Communion will be determined by the Church because of a person’s public conduct. This determination does not depend upon the private examination of conscience but results rather from a Catholic’s public and persistent actions in opposition to the moral law as taught by the Church. In these cases, the Church forbids members to receive the sacrament. Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law states:
Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.
In recent years, the Holy See has declared that those who are unworthy to receive Holy Communion if they are “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin” include persons directly involved in lawmaking bodies. These have a grave and clear obligation to oppose any law that attacks human life. Pope John Paul II also addressed this matter when he wrote, “The judgment of one’s state of grace obviously belongs only to the person involved, since it is a question of examining one’s conscience. However, in case of outward conduct which is seriously, clearly and steadfastly contrary to the moral norm, the Church, in her pastoral concern for the good order of the community and out of respect for the sacrament, cannot fail to feel directly involved. The Code of Canon Law refers to this situation of a manifest lack of proper moral disposition when it states that those who ‘obstinately persist in manifest grave sin’ are not to be admitted to Eucharistic communion.”
In 2004, the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) instructed the Bishops of the United States as follows:
Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.
This denial, the Cardinal noted in the same instruction, “is not a sanction or a penalty. Nor is the minister of Holy of Communion passing judgment on the person’s subjective guilt, but rather is reacting to the person’s public unworthiness to receive Holy Communion due to an objective situation of sin.”
Therefore, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Joseph F. Martino, Bishop of Scranton, reminds all ministers of Holy Communion, ordinary and extraordinary, that:
- To administer the Sacred Body and Blood of the Lord is a serious duty which they have received from the Church, and no one having accepted this responsibility has the right to ignore the Church’s law in this regard;
- Those whose unworthiness to receive Holy Communion is known publicly to the Church must be refused Holy Communion in order to prevent sacrilege and to prevent the Catholic in question from committing further grave sin through unworthy reception.
James B. Earley
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Documents show Pius saved Jews from Nazis By Ed West 27 February 2009
Documents discovered in the Vatican Secret Archives prove that Pope Pius XII helped to save thousands of Jews during the Second World War and firmly opposed anti-Semitism before he became pope, it emerged this week.
The 300 pages of documentation, posted online last week, suggest that Pius saved 80,000 lives by persuading the Hungarian regent to prevent deportation of the Jews, and that he saved a further 12,000 by securing visas for them to leave Europe for the Caribbean.
The documents, discovered by Dr Michael Hesemann, a German historian, show that, as Archbishop Eugenio Pacelli, the future pope intervened with the German government to assure that their Turkish allies would not harm the Jews living in the Ottoman province of Palestine.
As nuncio to Bavaria, Pacelli personally helped World Zionist Organisation representative Nachum Sokolov to meet Pope Benedict XV in 1917 to discuss a Jewish homeland in Palestine. And in 1926 Cardinal Pacelli encouraged German Catholics to join the Committee Pro Palestina, which supported Jewish settlements in Palestine.
Other documents include an entry written by a nun detailing Pope Pius XII’s order of 1943 to hide the Jews of Rome in religious houses, and listing the names of Jews sheltered.
Furthermore, they show that Pius’s anti-Nazi tendencies went back to before the war. A 1939 US Foreign Service document in which the US Consul General to Cologne reports to Washington on the "new Pope", stating that he surprised him by his hatred of Hitler and the Nazi regime, and how Pope Pius supported the German hierarchy’s opposition to Nazism, even if it meant losing the support of German Catholics.
A 1938 document, signed by Cardinal Pacelli during his last months as Vatican Secretary of State, declare the Vatican’s opposition to a planned Polish law to make Kosher slaughtering illegal. The anti-Semitic bill was defeated. Other documents show that Pius XII convinced the Brazilian government to accept 3,000 Jews and helped to forge baptismal papers to allow Jews to pass as "Aryans".
The Pave the Way Foundation, invited by Yad Vashem to carry out research into the conducted of a man vilified as "Hitler’s Pope", has also posted several video interviews on its website (www.ptwf.org), including an interview with an elderly priest who describes how Pope Pius helped 12,000 Jews to escape to the Dominican Republic.
Pius XII died in 1958 but his wartime reputation became a source of controversy five years later, when German Communist Rolf Hochhuth wrote The Deputy, a fictional play that indicts Pius for his failure to speak out against the Holocaust.
Pave the Way now has testimony from Lt General Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest-ranking KGB agent ever to defect to the West, that The Deputy was financed and edited by the Soviets, and sustained by doctored Vatican documents as part of a KGB plot to discredit the Vatican.
Gary Krupp, the president of Pave the Way Foundation said: "Personally, as a Jew, I find that correcting this revision of history according to documented proof has really nothing to do with the Catholic Church. In the interest of Jewish justice we must acknowledge the efforts of one man during a period when as a people we were abandoned by the rest of the world. It’s time to recognise Pope Pius XII for what he really did rather than what he didn’t say."
Some scholars, including Pinchas Lapide, the Jewish diplomat and historian, estimate that the Catholic Church under Pius saved between 700,000 and 850,000 Jews from the Nazis, mostly by either providing sanctuary or passage to safe countries but also by intervening, when practicable, to stop their round-up in occupied countries.
But John Cornwell, author of Hitler’s Pope, a critical biography of Pius, said: "If Pius is to take credit for non-Aryans given safe passage to Brazil via Rome during the war, then he should take responsibility, by the same token, for Nazis given safe passage via Rome after the war. It could well be that he was ultimately responsible for neither."
You knew what he was going to do, and yet you turned your back on unborn babies and pulled the lever for the most radical pro-death candidate ever put up for president.
As LifeNews.com has reported, the appropriations bill Congressional Democrats put forward to fund the federal government through the end of the year restores funding to the United Nations Population Fund.
The United Nations Fund both advocates for abortion and is heavily involved in China's population control program - forced abortions.
In a time when our economy is teetering, when we need to look to our people at home, Obama is sending 50 million dollars to kill more babies overseas.
Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn't it?
The Elephant in the Room: In praise of Catholic priests who dare to teach and enforce
By Rick SantorumSpeaker Nancy Pelosi, a self-proclaimed "ardent, practicing Catholic," had an opportunity last week to meet a fellow ardent Catholic, Pope Benedict XVI.
It appears that the pope used the visit to educate a confused Pelosi about the Roman Catholic Church's long-held position on the life issue.
Appearing on Meet the Press just prior to the Democratic National Convention, Pelosi told the country that, over the centuries, the Catholic Church had been unable to define when life begins. "We just don't know," she chirped.
The Vatican's statement after last week's meeting between Pelosi and the pope began: "His Holiness took the opportunity to speak of the requirements of the natural moral law and the church's consistent teaching on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death."
Pope Benedict did not allow any photos of the meeting, making a second and equally bracing instructional point: Dissenting Catholic politicians who deliberately mislead others about the church's core teachings will not be given another chance to do so by having their picture taken with the vicar of Christ.
The pope heads a long list of church leaders who have used the speaker's comments to teach the faithful. It includes our own Cardinal Justin Rigali.
Pelosi made it easy for the bishops to confront an offense against church teaching, because, rather than state her own position, she misstated the church's position. To the church, this is akin to wearing a "Kick me" sign on your backside. (read more)
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
And the 1 trillion dollar healthcare plan is next.
220 years to build a Republic, Obama can tear it down in a month.
Every year the issue comes up, and every year at my Novus Ordo parish, and at countless Novus Ordo parishes, the feet of women are washed, despite what Rome has written on the subject in the past.
Here is what the Sacramentary says: The men [vir] who have been chosen are led by the ministers to chairs prepared in a suitable place. Then the priest (removing his chasuble if necessary) goes to each man. With the help of the ministers, he pours water over each one's feet and dries them.
This is what Paschale Solemnitatis (the circular letter on Holy Week issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments) says concerning this: 51. The washing of the feet of chosen men which, according to tradition, is performed on this day, represents the service and charity of Christ, who came "not to be served, but to serve."  This tradition should be maintained, and its proper significance explained.
Many people have decried that the USCCB has said it is allright to wash the feet of women.
And they have said that. Here: Because the gospel of the mandatum read on Holy Thursday also depicts Jesus as the "Teacher and Lord" who humbly serves his disciples by performing this extraordinary gesture which goes beyond the laws of hospitality,2 the element of humble service has accentuated the celebration of the foot washing rite in the United States over the last decade or more. In this regard, it has become customary in many places to invite both men and women to be participants in this rite in recognition of the service that should be given by all the faithful to the Church and to the world. Thus, in the United States, a variation in the rite developed in which not only charity is signified but also humble service. While this variation may differ from the rubric of the Sacramentary which mentions only men ("viri selecti"), it may nevertheless be said that the intention to emphasize service along with charity in the celebration of the rite is an understandable way of accentuating the evangelical command of the Lord, "who came to serve and not to be served," that all members of the Church must serve one another in love.
This is the ambiguous way of saying "...we know it's wrong, but we're going to do it anyway."
Let me remind all priests in the Scranton Diocese and abroad: The USCCB is NOT an American Vatican. Nothing the USCCB has written in regards to this customary washing of the feet carries a Recognitio from Rome, hence, it doe's not carry force of law. And since Rome HAS issued a statement, namely Paschale Solemnitatis quoted from above, I certainly hope and pray that all priests will take the Vatican's word and prohibit women from the washing of the feet at the upcoming Maundy Thursday Masses.
From my friends over at Fisheaters.com, we have this Lenten Overview.
The focus of this Season is the Cross and penance, penance, penance as we imitate Christ's forty days of fasting, like Moses and Elias before Him, and await the triumph of Easter. We fast (see below), abstain, mortify the flesh, give alms, and think more of charitable works. Awakening each morning with the thought, "How might I make amends for my sins? How can I serve God in a reparative way? How can I serve others today?" is the attitude to have.
We also practice mortifications by "giving up something" that would be a sacrifice to do without. The sacrifice could be anything from desserts to television to the marital embrace, and it can entail, too, taking on something unpleasant that we'd normally avoid, for example, going out of one's way to do another's chores, performing "random acts of kindness," etc. A practice that might help some, especially small children, to think sacrificially is to make use of "Sacrifice Beads" in the same way that St. Thérèse of Lisieux did as a child.
Because of the focus on penance and reparation, it is traditional to make sure we go to Confession at least once during this Season to fulfill the precept of the Church that we go to Confession at least once a year, and receive the Eucharist at least once a year during Eastertide. A beautiful old custom associated with Lenten Confession is to, before going to see the priest, bow before each member of your household and to any you've sinned against, and say, "In the Name of Christ, forgive me if I've offended you." One responds with "God will forgive you." Done with an extensive examination of conscience and a sincere heart, this practice can be quite healing (also note that confessing sins to a priest is a Sacrament which remits mortal and venial sins; confessing sins to those you've offended is a sacramental which, like all sacramentals one piously takes advantage of, remits venial sins. Both are quite good for the soul!)
In addition to mortification and charity, seeing and living Lent as a forty day spiritual retreat is a good thing to do. Spiritual reading should be engaged in (over and above one's regular Lectio Divina). Maria von Trapp recommended "the Book of Jeremias and the works of Saints, such as The Ascent of Mount Carmel, by St. John of the Cross; The Introduction to a Devout Life, by St. Francis de Sales; The Story of a Soul, by St. Thérèse of Lisieux; The Spiritual Castle, by St. Teresa of Avila; the Soul of the Apostolate, by Abbot Chautard; the books of Abbot Marmion, and similar works."
As to prayer, praying the beautiful Seven Penitential Psalms (Psalms 6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, and 142) is a traditional practice. It is most traditional to pray all of these each day of Lent, but if time is an issue, you can pray them all on just the Fridays of Lent, or, because there are seven of them, and seven Fridays in Lent, you might want to consider praying one on each Friday. These Psalms, which include the Psalms "Miserére" and "De Profundis," are perfect expressions of contrition and prayers for mercy. So apt are these Psalms at expressing contrition that, as he lay dying in A.D. 430, St. Augustine asked that a monk write them in large letters near his bed so he could easily read them.
Another great prayer for this season is that of St. Ephraem, Doctor of the Church (d. 373). This prayer is often prayed with a prostration after each stanza:
O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despondency, lust of power, and idle talk;
But grant rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to thy servant.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother; for blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages.
In the East, this prayer is prayed liturgically during Lent and is followed by "O God, cleanse me a sinner" prayed twelve times, with a bow following each, and one last prostration.
Also, on all Fridays during Lent, one may gain a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, by reciting the En ego, O bone et dulcissime Iesu (Prayer Before a Crucifix) before an image of Christ crucified.
Food in Lent
According to the 1983 Code of Canon Law, the rule for the universal Church during Lent is abstain on all Fridays (inside or outside of Lent) and to both fast and abstain on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
Some traditional Catholics might follow the older pattern of fasting and abstinence during this time, which for the universal Church required:
- Ash Wednesday, all Fridays, and all Saturdays: fasting and total abstinence. This means 3 meatless meals -- with the two smaller meals not equalling in size the main meal of the day -- and no snacking.
- Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays (except Ash Wednesday), and Thursdays: fasting and partial abstinence from meat. This means three meals -- with the two smaller meals not equalling in size the main meal of the day -- and no snacking, but meat can be eaten at the principle meal.
On those days of fasting and abstinence, meatless soup is traditional (see recipes). Sundays, of course, are always free of fasting and abstinence; even in the heart of Lent, Sundays are about the glorious Resurrection. This pattern of fasting and abstinence ends after the Vigil Mass of Holy Saturday.
As to special Lenten foods, vegetables, seafoods, salads, pastas, and beans mark the Season, in addition to the meatless soups. The fasting of this time once even precluded the eating of eggs and fats, so the chewy pretzel became the bread and symbol of the times. They'd always been a Christian food, ever since Roman times, their very shape being the creation of monks. The three holes represent the Holy Trinity, and the twists of the dough represent the arms of someone praying. In fact, the word "pretzel" is a German word deriving ultimately from the Latin "bracellae," meaning "little arms" (the Vatican has the oldest known representation of a pretzel, found on a 5th c. manuscript).
Fair and Balan
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
As you can see from the picture at the left, someone decided to see how the Mother of God would look in black face. Not funny at all.
I hope they are able to catch the jerks involved.
Thanks to American Papist for the heads up.
Well, the "article" by super sleuth, by that master of reading comprehension, reporter Sarah Hofius Hall over at the Scranton Times has a lot of comments. Mostly negative comments either by people who used to be Catholic until they decided they didn't want to follow Church teaching anymore, or people who belong to some of the other Christian Sects who are clearly against Holy Mother Church and what she teaches.
In any way, shortly after the article first appeared I made a comment, claiming that Hall was off the mark on her topic for the headline. That was all, pretty much. I didn't call her names, or anything like that, but the editors of the Times decided not to post my comment. I find it interesting that people in other comments can make derogatory remarks about the Bishop, Catholicism, and Catholics in general, but they choose to not post my comment pointing out their mistake.
Or maybe it is that I pointed out their agenda.
That could be what I did wrong.
Some practices which Sacrosanctum Concilium had never even contemplated were allowed into the Liturgy, like Mass versus populum, Holy Communion in the hand, altogether giving up on the Latin and Gregorian Chant in favor of the vernacular and songs and hymns without much space for God, and extension beyond any reasonable limits of the faculty to concelebrate at Holy Mass. There was also the gross misinterpretation of the principle of "active participation."
Basic concepts and themes like Sacrifice and Redemption, Mission, Proclamation and Conversion, Adoration as an integral element of Communion, and the need of the Church for salvation--all were sidelined, while Dialogue, Inculturation, Ecumenism, Eucharist-as-Banquet, Evangelization-as-Witness, etc., became more important. Absolute values were disdained.
An exaggerated sense of antiquarianism, anthopologism, confusion of roles between the ordained and the non-ordained, a limitless provision of space for experimentation-- and indeed, the tendency to look down upon some aspects of the development of the Liturgy in the second millennium-- were increasingly visible among certain liturgical schools.
Towards the end of this post, you will learn about Paczki (poonch-key). I have these every year as well as the King's cake. Both are awaiting my arrival at the homestead, where they will be gobbled up in short order before Lent begins tomorow. I have actually been known to down the final Paczki at 11:59pm, and then go to bed fat and happy. That's a great feeling, the fat and happy thing!
Of course we Irish don't have something as excellent as the Paczki, so I'm lucky I married a Pol!
The Monday and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday are known as "Shrovetide," from an old English word "shrive," meaning "to confess," a name gotten from the tradition of going to Confession in the days before Lent started. Shrovetide is traditionally the time for "spring cleaning," and just as we clean our houses in these days in prepation for Lent, we also "clean our souls" through confession so we can enter the penitential season fresh. Shrovetide is the last two days of "Carnival," an unofficial period that began after the Epiphany and which takes its name from the Latin carnelevare, referring to the "taking away of flesh" (meat) during Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday, the day following Shrove Tuesday. Catholics want to eat while they can and get the frivolity out of their systems in preparation for the somber Lenten spirit to come.
The Tuesday of Shrovetide is a particularly big party day known as "Mardi Gras" (French for "Fat Tuesday") -- or "Pancake Tuesday" because fats, eggs, and butter in the house had to be used up before Lent began, and making pancakes or waffles was a good way to do it. In many places, especially in England, pancake races became popular and remain popular today. In these races, women must run while flipping a pancake so many times, and whoever crosses the finish line first wins. The largest pancake race in England is in Olney, in Buckinghamshire. There, the women must wear a dress, apron, and bonnet, and flip the pancake three times -- while ensuring it is intact after they cross the finish line, of course. The story told to explain the origins of this race is that in 1445, a homemaker heard the shriving bell (the bell rung to summon people to confession on this day) as she was busy working in her kitchen. Not wanting to be late, she rushed about and ran off with her skillet still in hand.
At Westminster School in London, the "Pancake Grease" is held, an event during which the schoolmaster tosses a very large pancake over a bar that's set to about 15 feet high. The children make a mad scramble for it, and whoever emerges with the largest piece is the winner.
In Poland, the food of the day is "Paczki" (pronounced "punch-key") -- large, filled fried "doughnuts" of sorts ("paczki" is plural; the singular is "paczek," pronounced "pon-check"). So ubiquitous is this treat among Poles that Shrove Tuesday is known as "Paczki Day" (this may be more common among American Poles, as Poles in Poland celebrate Paczki day on the Thursday prior to Ash Wednesday).
Paczki (3 dozen)Shrove Tuesday has also become a party day in the secular world, too, where, sadly, decadence tends to reign -- extreme decadence in many places, such as New Orleans, Louisiana, infamous for its vulgar, extremely Dionysian Mardi Gras celebrations. The sort of King's Cake eaten on the Feast of the Epiphany which begins Carnival is often eaten during these Mardi Gras celebrations.
12 egg yolks
4 1/2 cups flour 1 tsp salt
3 TBSP rum or brandy
2 pkg. yeast
1 cup whipping cream (heavy cream), scalded
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups thick jam or preserves -- esp. cherry, prune, apricot
1/3 cups butter, at room temperature
lard (or oil, or combination of the two) for deep frying
1/2 cup sugar for sprinkling
Beat yolks and salt together a small mixer bowl at high speed until mixture is thick (about 7 minutes). Soften yeast in warm water in large bowl. Cream butter, add sugar gradually, creaming until fluffy, then beat into softened yeast. Stir one-fourth of flour into yeast mixture. Add rum and half the cream. Beat in another one-fourth flour. Stir in remaining cream. Beat in half of remaining flour. Then beat in egg yolks and continue to beat for 2 minutes.. Gradually beat in remaining flour until dough blisters. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and tea towel and set in warm place to rise. When doubled in bulk, punch down. Cover; let dough rise again until doubled. Punch down.
Roll dough on floured surface to about 3/4-inch thickness. Cut out 3-inch rounds. Place 1 teaspoonful jam in center of half the rounds.. Brush edges of rounds with water. Top with remaining rounds and seal edges. Place on floured surface and let rise until doubled in bulk (about 20 minutes). Heat fat to 360 degrees F, and fry doughnuts in hot fat until dark golden brown on both sides (about 3 minutes per side). Drain on absorbent paper. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
How Sarah Hofius Hall, the staff writer assigned to this story can read this release, and then take something that actually reads as an afterthought, and make that the focal point of her article is beyond me. C'mon Sarah, didn't they teach you how to identify topics, recognize main ideas, and locate supporting details in high school? I thought that was tenth grade stuff?
Way to report the story. Maybe you should be a fiction writer instead.
Here is her version of what the news realease below supposedly said. I guess you could call her "article" loosely based on a news release by the Diocese.
What do YOU think?
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS
DIOCESE OF SCRANTON
400 Wyoming Avenue, Scranton, PA 18503
February 24, 2009
For Immediate Release
Bishop Asks Misericordia To Specify How Sexuality Is Taught
In response to Misericordia University’s assertion that it “is committed deeply to its Catholic mission,” Bishop Joseph F. Martino observes that the institution should convey to its alumni, and in fact to all the faithful of the Diocese of Scranton, its efforts to teach Catholic morality regarding sexuality and homosexuality.
In doing this, the Bishop believes the school should speak precisely, naming courses, content and even catalog numbers.
Bishop Martino’s position at this time follows his “absolute disapproval” of the university’s hosting of Keith Boykin, a proponent of morality that is disturbingly opposed to Catholic teaching.
Mr. Boykin made two presentations at the school on Feb. 17. In at least one of his talks, he discussed advocacy for issues such as same sex marriage, and he addressed the intersection of religion and sexuality. The Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality was not presented at the event.
A statement from the Diocese issued the day before the talks noted that “Mr. Boykin has authored three books and all three have been nominated for a Lambda Literary award. Lambda is a legal advocacy effort for homosexual causes. Mr. Boykin is an avid supporter of same sex marriage and is an activist for positions disturbingly opposed to Catholic moral teaching.
“Bishop Martino wants Catholics of the Diocese of Scranton to know of his absolute disapproval of Misericordia University’s hosting Mr. Boykin. By honoring this speaker through allowing his positions, so antithetical to Catholic Church teaching, to be broadcast on its campus, the University has rejected all four essential characteristics of a Catholic institution of higher learning. These are: its Christian inspiration, its obligation to reflect on knowledge in light of the Catholic faith, its fidelity to Catholic Church teaching and its commitment to serve the people of God.
“The faithful of the Diocese of Scranton, the Bishop observed, should be in no doubt that Misericordia University in this instance is seriously failing in maintaining its Catholic identity.”
Misericordia responded with a statement saying it understood the Bishop’s criticism, but “Mr. Boykin’s appearance . . . is not meant to be a forum for advocacy on any singular issue.” The statement also said the University “welcomes legitimate scholarly discussion among its students, faculty, staff and guests from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds.”
The statement also said that “Misericordia University is committed deeply to its Catholic mission.”
Regarding the request for specific information from Misericordia, Bishop Martino said that students attending a Catholic institution should have a clear understanding that while all persons should be treated with dignity, homosexual activity is not condoned by the Church and should never be construed as acceptable behavior.
Bishop Martino is also asking Misericordia to seriously consider discontinuing its Diversity Institute, which co-sponsored Mr. Boykin’s appearance. He had previously served for a week as a visiting scholar with the Institute.
The Bishop’s rationale is that students should learn respect for all races and cultures, but that viewpoints that are in direct opposition to Catholic teaching should not be presented under the guise of “diversity.” Doing so within a formal structure sanctioned by the institution gives the impression that these viewpoints are acceptable, or that all morality is relative.
Readers of this blog knew of this last week. They read it here and here.
Here is the "news" from the Times.
The leader of a Catholic minority party in Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government will deliver the principal remarks at the 103rd annual dinner of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Lackawanna County.
Mark Durkan, 48, head of the Social Democratic and Labor Party, will speak at the society’s gathering March 17 at Genetti Manor in Dickson City, Friendly Sons President John Keeler said.
Mr. Durkan attended St. Columb’s College, Queen’s University and the University of Ulster Magee and became an aide to John Hume, who founded the SDLP in 1970. In 1998, Mr. Hume and David Trimble, leader of the Protestant Ulster Unionist Party, won the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to end decades of social and religious conflict in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Durkan served on Derry City Council from 1993 to 2000 and was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1998. In 2001, he succeeded Mr. Hume as leader of the SDLP, Northern Ireland’s largest Catholic political party. He has been a member of parliament since 2005.
Mr. Durkan specializes in issues involving civil liberties, economic development, health care and children’s rights.
Be sure to take this article from the Scranton Times with a grain of salt, because they are clearly taking the side of the University and their "Diversity Institute". You'll notice that they will claim that Boykin, a gays rights activist was here for "Black History Month", when he was actually here to discuss gay rights and their journey to achieve equal rights to marry and have children and whatever else they feel they need to make them feel like first class citizens.
In a previous post I suggested "...trashing the "diversity" institute and using the money to better declare Catholic faith and morals." Hmmmmmmm.....
Bishop Joseph F. Martino has suggested Misericordia University close its Diversity Institute, which hosted a gay-rights speaker earlier this month.
On Feb. 17, Keith Boykin, a best-selling author, television commentator and founder of the National Black Justice Coalition, spoke at two functions as part of Black History Month and in conjunction with the group’s annual dinner.
The Institute’s primary goal is to work with community members to promote multi-cultural understanding and the elimination of all forms of discrimination, according to its Web site.
The bishop believes that students should learn respect for all races and cultures, but viewpoints in opposition to Catholic teaching should not be presented “under the guise of ‘diversity.’”
“Doing so within a formal structure sanctioned by the institution gives the impression that these viewpoints are acceptable, or that all morality is relative,” according to a statement released by the bishop Tuesday.
In a statement released by Misericordia this afternoon, the university said it “welcomes the opportunity to discuss these matters with the bishop and his delegates at their convenience.” No further public comments will be made.
Earlier this month, after the bishop expressed “absolute disapproval” for Misericorida hosting Mr. Boykin, Misericordia released a statement that conveyed it was “committed deeply to its Catholic mission” but as an academic institution, ideas and positions are explored critically and freely.
In response to that statement, Bishop Martino also wants to the school to prove its efforts in teaching Catholic morality regarding sexuality and homosexuality — including naming courses, content and catalog numbers.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Another one of my great pro-deathers on a different post went off on me about women who have been raped or are the victims of incest, that they should be allowed to commit murder as well. She wanted to know what degree I have that allows me to say to "stop worrying about the mother and start worrying about the baby".
You do not need a degree to know immorality and evil. You do not need a degree to recognize that additional violence does not solve the problem nor make the pain go away the mother feels from the rape or incest.
And let's not forget that abortions due to rape and incest account for around 2% of the abortion total for the year. Is killing babies so important to the left wing of this country, that they have to pound incest and rape as much as they do? They are certainly trying to make it appear as if rape and incest is the root cause behind many more abortions than they really are.
And that's pretty disgusting.
But to the anonymous baby-killer here's a guy with a Ph.D.
David C. Reardon, Ph.D.
Every pro-lifer has heard these same challenges in one form or another. They are the emotionally charged questions designed to prove either 1) that pro-lifers are insensitive "fetus lovers," 2) or ethically inconsistent, allowing abortion for some circumstances but not others.
Unfortunately, most pro-lifers have difficulty answering these challenges because the issue of sexual assault pregnancies is so widely misunderstood. Typically, both sides of the debate accept the presumption that women with sexual assault pregnancies would want an abortion and that the abortion would in some way help them to recover from the assault. Thus, the pro-lifer is left in the uncomfortable position of arguing that the sanctity of life is more important than the needs of the sexual assault victim with whom everyone should rightly sympathize.
But in fact, the welfare of the mother and child are never at odds, even in sexual assault cases. Both the mother and child are helped by preserving life, not by perpetuating violence.
The reason most people reach the wrong conclusion about abortion in cases of rape and incest is that the actual experiences of sexual assault victims who became pregnant are routinely left out of the debate. Most people, including sexual assault victims who have never been pregnant, are therefore forming opinions based on prejudices and fears which are disconnected from reality.
For example, it is commonly assumed that rape victims who become pregnant would naturally want abortions. But in the only major study of pregnant rape victims ever done, Dr. Sandra Mahkorn found that 75 to 85 percent chose against abortion.1 This evidence alone should cause people to pause and reflect on the presumption that abortion is wanted or even best for sexual assault victims.
Several reasons are given for not aborting. First, approximately 70 percent of all women believe abortion is immoral, even though many also feel it should be a legal choice for others. Approximately the same percentage of pregnant rape victims believe abortion would be just another act of violence perpetrated against their bodies and their children.
Second, some believe that their child's life may have some intrinsic meaning or purpose which they do not yet understand. This child was brought into their lives by a horrible, repulsive act. But perhaps God, or fate, will use the child for some greater purpose. Good can come from evil.
Third, victims of assault often become introspective. Their sense of the value of life and respect for others is heightened. They have been victimized, and the thought that they in turn might victimize their own innocent child through abortion is repulsive.
Fourth, at least at a subconscious level, the victim may sense that if she can get through the pregnancy, she will have conquered the rape. By giving birth, she can reclaim some of her lost self-esteem. Giving birth, especially when conception was not desired, is a totally selfless act, a generous act, a display of courage, strength and honor. It is proof that she is better than the rapist. While he was selfish, she can be generous. While he was destroying, she can be nurturing.
If giving birth builds self respect, what about abortion? This is a question which most people fail to even consider. Instead, most people assume that an abortion will at least help a rape victim put the assault behind her and go on with her life. But in jumping to this conclusion, the public is adopting an unrealistic view of abortion.
Abortion is not some magical surgery which turns back time to make a woman "un-pregnant." Instead, it is a real life event which is always very stressful and often traumatic. Once we accept that abortion is itself an event with ramifications on a woman's life, then we must carefully look at the special circumstances of the pregnant rape victim. Will an abortion truly console her, or will it only cause further injury to her already bruised psyche?
In answering this question, it is helpful to begin by noting that many women report that their abortions felt like a degrading and brutal form of medical rape.2 This association between abortion and rape is not hard to understand.
Abortion involves a painful examination of a woman's sexual organs by a masked stranger who is invading her body. Once she is on the operating table, she loses control over her body. If she protests and asks for the abortionist to stop, she will likely be ignored or told: "It's too late to change your mind. This is what you wanted. We have to finish now." And while she lies there tense and helpless, the life hidden within her is literally sucked out of her womb. The difference? In a sexual rape, a woman is robbed of her purity; in this medical rape she is robbed of her maternity.
This experiential association between abortion and sexual assault is very strong for many women. It is especially strong for women who have a prior history of sexual assault, whether or not she is presently pregnant as the result of an assault. This is just one reason why women with a history of sexual assault are likely to experience greater distress during and after an abortion than other women.
Second, research shows that after any abortion, it is common for women to experience guilt, depression, feelings of being "dirty," resentment of men, and lowered self-esteem. What is most significant is that these feelings are identical to what women typically feel after rape. Abortion, then, only adds to and accentuates the traumatic feelings associated with sexual assault. Rather than easing the psychological burdens of the sexual assault victim, abortion adds to them.
This was the experience of Jackie Bakker, who reports: "I soon discovered that the aftermath of my abortion continued a long time after the memory of my rape had faded. I felt empty and horrible. Nobody told me about the pain I would feel deep within causing nightmares and deep depressions. They had all told me that after the abortion I could continue my life as if nothing had happened."
Those encouraging abortion often do so because they are uncomfortable dealing with rape victims, or perhaps out of prejudice against victims whom they see as being "guilty for letting it happen." Wiping out the pregnancy is a way of hiding the problem. It is a "quick and easy" way to avoid dealing with the woman's true emotional, social and financial needs.
According to Kathleen DeZeeuw, "I, having lived through rape, and also having raised a child 'conceived in rape,' feel personally assaulted and insulted every time I hear that abortion should be legal because of rape and incest. I feel that we're being used by pro-abortionists to further the abortion issue, even though we've not been asked to tell our side."
The case against abortion of incest pregnancies is even stronger. Studies show that incest victims rarely ever voluntarily agree to an abortion.4 Instead of viewing the pregnancy as unwanted, the incest victim is more likely to see the pregnancy as a way out of the incestuous relationship because the birth of her child will expose the sexual activity. She is also likely to see in her pregnancy the hope of bearing a child with whom she can establish a true loving relationship, one far different than the exploitive relationship in which she has been trapped.
But while the incest victim may treasure her pregnancy because it offers her hope of release, and the hope of finding a nurturing love, her pregnancy is a threat to the exploiter. It is also a threat to the pathological secrecy which may envelop other members of the family who are afraid to acknowledge that the abuse is occurring. Because of this dual threat, the victim may be coerced into an unwanted abortion by both the abuser and other family members. (And people like my anonymous baby-killer is one such coercer)
For example, Edith Young, a 12-year-old victim of incest impregnated by her stepfather, writes twenty-five years after the abortion of her child: "Throughout the years I have been depressed, suicidal, furious, outraged, lonely, and have felt a sense of loss... The abortion which was to 'be in my best interest' just has not been. As far as I can tell, it only 'saved their reputations,' 'solved their problems,' and 'allowed their lives to go merrily on.'... My daughter, how I miss her so. I miss her regardless of the reason for her conception."
Abortion providers who ignore this evidence, and neglect to interview minors presented for abortion for signs of coercion or incest, are actually contributing to the young girl's victimization. They are not only robbing the victim of her child, they are concealing a crime, abetting a perpetrator, and handing the victim back to her abuser so that the exploitation can continue.
Finally, we must recognize that the children conceived through sexual assault also have a voice which deserves to be heard. Julie Makimaa, conceived by an act of rape, works diligently against the perception that abortion is acceptable or even necessary in cases of sexual assault. While sympathetic to the suffering her mother endured at the hands of her attacker, Julie is also rightfully proud of her mother's courage and generosity. Regarding her own view of her origin, Julie proclaims: "It doesn't matter how I began. What matters is who I will become."
That's a slogan we can all live with.
1. Mahkorn, "Pregnancy and Sexual Assault," The Psychological Aspects of Abortion, eds. Mall & Watts, (Washington, D.C., University Publications of America, 1979) 55-69.
2. Francke, The Ambivalence of Abortion (New York: Random House, 1978) 84-95, 167.; Reardon, Aborted Women - Silent No More (Chicago: Loyola University Press, 1987), 51, 126.
3. Zakus, "Adolescent Abortion Option," Social Work in Health Care, 12(4):87 (1987).
4. Maloof, "The Consequences of Incest: Giving and Taking Life" The Psychological Aspects of Abortion (eds. Mall & Watts, Washington, D.C., University Publications of America, 1979) 84-85.
There is a crazy, anonymous pro-death person that has been commenting here.
What I always see from these pro-death people is that they never recognize the life or the divine spark in the fetus. Doing so makes their position untenable, so what they do is go on and on about the "mother" and what's good for the "mother".
So I made the remark to stop worrying about the mother and worry about the baby for a change. Then the comments started to come in where this person was HOLLERING AT ME! You know, ALL CAPS.
It annoys me enough to have anoymous baby-killers commenting, but when they start hollering at me, that's enough.
So here is a graphic example of why I say stop worrying about the mother.
Here is a woman after an abortion:
Here is a baby after an abortion:
Any questions as to who got the shitty end of this stick?
Friday, February 20, 2009
1974 - Vice Princ
2009 - Schoo
1974 - Crowd
2009 - Polic
2009 - Jeff given
1974 - Bill is more caref
2009 - Bill'
1974 - Mark share
2009 - Polic
1974 - Ants die.
2009 - BATF,