Saturday, January 31, 2009

FYI and more cluster updates

The Times Leader has a link to the text of the cd being played at churches all across our Diocese.

This one appears to be from Cluster 4 Wilkes Barre. Just an FYI.

Also, more closings...

South Cluster 1:
St. Francis Cabrini, Carverton will close
St. Therese, Dallas stays open.
Gate of heaven will link with Our Lady of Victory at Harvey’s Lake, sharing one pastor.
Blessed Sacrament in Center Moreland will close
Our Lady of Mount Carmel at Lake Silkworth will partner with Gate of Heaven

South Cluster 2:
St. Mary Annunciation, Kingston, will close
St. Ignatius, Kingston will remain.
St. Ann’s Chapel in Kingston will remain open for services as needed and special occasions, but that status will be reviewed after two years.
Holy Name/St. Mary and Holy Trinity in Swoyersville will link and then consolidate at Holy Trinity, with St. Mary closing by 2012

South Cluster 7:
Our Lady Help Christians, Dorrance, St. Jude, Mountaintop, and St. Patrick, White Haven will all remain open but will link, sharing one pastor and priest staff. Odd because St. Jude is probably the fastest growing parish in the Diocese. They have two Masses on Saturday I believe and 3 on Sunday. I'd hate to be that priest.

South Cluster 9:
Several churches will consolidate but remain available for services as needed.
Holy Redeemer in Harding will consolidate with Immaculate Conception but remain available.
St. Cecelia in Exeter witll consolidate at St. Anthony Padua but remain available.
St. John the Baptist in Exeter will close and consolidate at St. Anthony.
Our Lady of Sorrows in West Wyoming will consolidate at St. Joseph, Wyoming, but remain available for services.

South Cluster 10:
St. Rocco, Pittston, will close
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Pittston stays open
Blessed Sacrament, Hughestown, and St. Mary Assumption, Pittston, will close
St. Mary Help of Christians, Pittston. Will stay open. These on top of last years church closings in Pittston.

East Cluster 1:
St. Nazarius in Pardeesville will close
St. Mary in Lattimer and Sacred Heart in Harliegh will close
Our Lady of Grace in Hazleton stays open.
Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, Freeland, will remain open.

East Cluster 2:
Holy Trinity (Slovak) and St. Stanislaus in Hazleton will close
St. Joseph's gets a reprieve, though St. Stanislaus will initially link with St. Joseph for up to two years.
St. Joseph will partner with Most Precious Blood, which will remain open.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel will close.
Holy Rosary and St. Gabriel will partner. No suprise here

East Cluster 4:
St. John Bosco in Conyngham, good Shepherd in the Drums section of Butler Township, and Sacred Heart in Weston will partner but remain open. The three may link by 1012, sharing a pastor and priest staff.

North Cluster 5:
Holy Family Scranton will close by July 2010
St. Peter's Cathedral in Scranton will remain open

North Cluster 7:
St. Mary of Mt. Carmel, St. Casimir and All Saints in Dunmore will close by July 2009. St Casmir and All Saints will close by July 2011.

St. Anthony of Padua and St. Rocco in Dunmore will consolidate by July 2009. St. Rocco will close by July 2011.

That's it for now. Complete list should be out tomorrow. Pray for our Diocese, it needs it badly.

So far, so bad.

Out of the 53 churches that have reported in, 28 of them are closing, 25 of them are remaining open.

I feel like a republican waiting for the election returns to come in.

More closings. And some staying open. But mostly closings.

I just got a bunch of these things. Let's put them into one post or else this will take me all night and my fill up my whole blog.

Thanks to all those sending me info.

And I really have to say at this point, the parishes I attended this evening were packed like it was Christmas or Easter.

Perhaps if attendance at Mass was always so vigorous I wouldn't be posting about dozens of church closings, but perhaps of church openings.

I'm just sayin'.

South Cluster 5:
Blessed Sacrament, St. Francis, and St. John The Baptist, all in Wilkes-Barre, are to close by July 2010 and consolidate at St. Dominic, Wilkes-Barre.

South Cluster 11:
Ascension Church in Mocanaqua will close by July 2011.
St. Martha, Fairmont Springs, St. Mary, Mocanaqua, and Corpus Christi in Glen Lyon will remain open.

South Cluster 12:
St. Charles Borromeo Sugar Notch will close.
Holy Family Sugar Notch will stay open
St Leo Ashley will remain open
Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Hanover Township stays open but is linked to St. Aloysius in Wilkes-Barre.

South Cluster 13:
Sacred Heart Duryea will close
St. Joseph in Duryea will close, both by July 2010
Holy Rosary in Duryea satys open
SS. Peter and Paul in Avoca will close by 2011 and consolidate with St. Mary Avoca.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, Dupont, will remain open.

South Cluster 15:
All Saints in Plymouth and St. John the Baptist in Larksville will work in partnership.

East Cluster 1:
St. Nazarius in Pardeesville will close
St. Mary in Lattimer will close
Sacred Heart in Harleigh will close
Our Lady of Grace in Hazleton wins the longevity award.
Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Freeland will remain open.

South Cluster 14

South Cluster 14:
St. Maria Goretti Laflin staying open
St. Mark in Inkerman closing by July this year.

Sacred Heart in Plains will close
St. Joseph in Hudson will close. Both by July 2010

SS. Peter and Paul in Plains is the winner

East Cluster 3

East Cluster 3:
SS. Peter and Paul and St. Francis in West Hazleton will close and consolidate at Transfiguration Church in West Hazleton.

Cluster 8

From Dan at The Mass of the Ages:

Cluster 8 Nanticoke Pa

Holy Trinity to remain open
St. Mary Czestochowa to remain open
St. Stanislaus to close
St. Francis to close
St. Joseph to close
Holy Child to close

Odd that two churches are staying open in Nanticoke, as that town is the size of my dining room. But hey. I'm not the Bishop.

And good for you I'm not!

Anyone want to buy a house? Some of them rectories are pretty nice....

The Pink Pig VS Bishop Martino

When I was at St. boniface to hear the Bishop's recording, a fellow came up to me with a blue sheet of paper.

It read:

"Now that the decision has been disclosed, what would you like to do? As the son of Al and Mary Stilp who were members of Saint Boniface Church forever, I would like to help. What do you want to do? Please do not hesitate to call for my assistance in looking at the possibilities."

It was signed Gene Stilp with his phone number.

Gene Stilp is a political activist that has made a name for himself by putting this inflatable pink pig thing outside the offices of pork loving politicians.

What does he think he can do to keep St. Boniface open?

What makes him think he can do anything? And why would he give false hope to parishoners already upset at the closing of their church?

I may have to call that number.

Litany for the Diocese of Scranton

Over at The Mass of the Ages Dan has a nice Litany for the Diocese of Scranton. Here is it. Pray for our Diocese.

What about us?

If you recall, when the planning commission released their recommendations on the church closings, they had thought it prudent to close, among others, Holy Rosary. They also had two "also recommends" for Cluster No. 3.

Namely they asked to move the Hispanic ministry from Holy Rosary to St. Patrick's.

They also asked to see if there was a need for the Latin Mass in Wilkes-Barre. Surprise! The Latin Mass just happens to be said at Holy Rosary, which they want to close.

"Whoa! Hold your horses, Padre's", I said.

Of course there is a need.

Ask the forty or so faithful Catholics that attend the Old Mass at Holy Rosary every Sunday at 8am.

Well so far the question on whether or not there is a need for the Mass has not been answered.

Bp. Martino did indeed choose to close Holy Rosary, and he did decide to move the Hispanic ministry to St. Nick's/St. Mary's.

No mention so far of the Usus Antiquior and it's fate. We are running out of churches in Wilkes-Barre.

Has the question been determined?

Hopefully more news is forthcoming.

Pray the Bishop will follow to Holy father's wishes and tend to ALL of his flock.

Cluster Four

For Cluster Four Wilkes Barre and Hanover Township:

St. Nick's/St.Mary's will form a partnership. The hispanic ministry will locate here. Odd that one of these churches did not close considering you can spit from St. Mary's parking lot and hit St. Nick's.
St. Therese will close.
St. Joseph will close.
St. Casimir will close.
I think Exaltation of the Holy Cross will stay open, but the cd was making weird noises.
St. Aloysius will stay open. They want to renovate it. Traddys in the area need to go on instant alert whenever the word "renovate" is uttered. We'll stay on top of that as this is one the few nearly unraped churches in the area.

Cluster Six

From a friend:

Cluster Six Wilkes-Barre
Sacred Heart
of Jesus/St. John's
Holy Savior
St. Stanislaus Kostka

CONSOLIDATE at St. Stanislaus Site. Holy Savior Church will stay open for a "limited time' as an alternate worship site.

Sacred Heart of Jesus Church and St. Christopher Mission will CLOSE no later than July 2009.

For the record I think that's 2100 families at a Church that seats 269.

And then there were two

This morning in cluster 3, Southern Pastoral Region there were 6 churches.

1. Holy Rosary (where they say the Usus Antiquior)
2. St. Patrick's
3. Maternity of the BVM
4. St. Joseph's
5. Holy Trinity
6. St. Boniface

Only St Patrick's and Maternity escaped closure.

No other news.

Stay tuned.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Look how unracist we are!

It would seem the RNC has a new Chairman.

Michael Steele.

Some catholic bloggers are excited because he is a "devout" catholic.

We shall see.

The first order of business for Mr. Steele if he wants to be taken seriously would be to find CONSERVATIVE candidates for the mid-term elections. And also to tell RINO's like Arlen Spector to tow the party line or expect a challenge to their incumbancy by the aforementioned CONSERVATIVE candidates.

But do we really expect the latter to occur?

If we expect a turnaround, it will be us, the party, who will bring it about. Not the RNC chair.

The MSM will only say we're pandering to the blacks anyway.

Maybe an Asian lesbian would have been the way to go?


See? It's starting already and from none other than Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:

“I congratulate Michael Steele on his historic election as Chairman of the Republican National Committee. "

Well, they do want to be the party of inclusiveness. "Look! We elected a black guy too!"

Maybe by historic he meant that a Republican somewhere finally managed to win an election.

Bishop Williamson Apologizes

To His Eminence Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos

Your Eminence

Amidst this tremendous media storm stirred up by imprudent remarks of mine on Swedish television, I beg of you to accept, only as is properly respectful, my sincere regrets for having caused to yourself and to the Holy Father so much unnecessary distress and problems.

For me, all that matters is the Truth Incarnate, and the interests of His one true Church, through which alone we can save our souls and give eternal glory, in our little way, to Almighty God. So I have only one comment, from the prophet Jonas, I, 12:

"Take me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will quiet down for you; for I know it is because of me that this great tempest has come upon you."

Please also accept, and convey to the Holy Father, my sincere personal thanks for the document signed last Wednesday and made public on Saturday. Most humbly I will offer a Mass for both of you.

Sincerely yours in Christ

+Richard Williamson

Thursday, January 29, 2009

No pro-life message for you!

The scumbag lefties at NBC have rejected a pro-life ad, claiming 'that NBC and the NFL are not interested in advertisements involving ‘political candidates or issues.’

I'll be watching for sure now to see what political ads do show up during Sunday's game. Cuz there will be something.

Here's the ad you won't be seeing Sunday:

A Stammering Fool

Could you say that again, please?

New Interview with Bishop Fellay

Interview granted by the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bishop Bernard Fellay, to French Catholic Magazine Monde & Vie. The noticeable line is Fellay's declaration that not all doctrinal positions have to be exhaustively discussed with no end in sight - what is needed is a "sufficient clarification" of doctrinal issues.

Did you expect, Your Excellency, this removal of the excommunication concerning you?

[Fellay:] I expected it since 2005, after the first letter requesting the lifting of the excommunication which I had sent at the request of Rome itself. Because it is clear that Rome did not ask for this letter in order to refuse to lift the excommunication. As for the moment when it took place, I did not expect it. These past few months, after the ultimatum affair [link], even after it had been minimized, we were mostly cool [in the mutual relations]. Then, I wrote the letter of November 15, which is mentioned in the decree and in my letter to the faithful... [sic]

Is this decree a sign of the Pope's will?

I ascribe it first of all to the Holy Virgin. It is a manifest sign, with an almost immediate response. I had just decided to go to Rome to deliver the result of the Rosary bouquet we had launched at Lourdes with this explicit intention when I received a call from Rome inviting me to go there.

Is the satisfaction displayed by you today tempered by the remainder of the path to follow?

It is too early to tell. An act of the greatest relevance, for which we are truly grateful, has just taken place, but it is very difficult to assess it at this moment. We still do not view all its ramifications. There still is a lot of work, but we truly have great hope for a restoration of the Church.

From what moment dates this change in your relationship with Rome?

From the accession of the current pope. I first evoked the Holy Virgin but, at a human level, there should be no fear of ascribing to Benedict XVI what has just taken place. It is the beginning of something, which had already begun with the Motu proprio [Summorum Pontificum]. I think that the Pope appreciates the work that we do.

In this development, this movement, some have held that you departed too late. Do you believe today that others, especially inside the Fraternity of Saint Pius X, may hold that you are departing too soon?

I cannot rule out everything, but, in case there are separations, they will be extremely minimal.

Do you believe that your situation will be first settled at a practical level?

Up to now, our roadmap has been to clarify first the doctrinal problems - even if it does not mean settling everything, but obtaining a sufficient clarification - or we risk doing things incompletely. Or it may end up badly.
And do you believe that, beyond Rome, your contacts will intensify?

It is the goal, as I explained in Rome, by saying that the situation, as we propose it, is certainly temorary, but it is pacifying, and that it will allow all souls of good will to catch up. This will thus be done gradually. And this will also depend on the reaction on the other side. But there is no a priori, the only a priori is that of Truth and of Charity.


Read on. Just posted from The Remnant

Vatican Insider Projects Speedy SSPX Resolution

SSPX Will Not be Forced to Swallow the Council

Brian Mershon
(Exclusive to The Remnant)

January 28, 2009, Rome, Italy—In his first interview subsequent to the Society of St. Pius X’s (SSPX) official statement to the good news, Superior General Bishop Bernard Fellay said that he believed in the infallibility of the Church and that he was “confident” that the Society would “reach a true solution” in its doctrinal discussions with the Holy See.

In fact, Vatican sources have indicated that the full regularization may occur as early as February 2, 2009, the Feast of the Purification of Our Lady and Candlemas, which, if true, would be quite a Christmas present to the Church and especially traditionalist Catholics worldwide!

Vatican Working on Stable Juridical Structure

Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro, chief of Human Life International’s Rome bureau, could not confirm the February 2 date, but said his Curial source told him that they are currently busy working out the practical arrangements for a fully regularized Society of St. Pius X.

The final solution “cannot depend upon individual diocesan bishops,” Monsignor Barreiro said, noting the longsuffering many traditionalist Catholics experienced for nearly 20 years under the Ecclesia Dei Adflicta arrangement.

“They would certainly need to have guarantees that where they currently are located, they cannot be touched by the local bishop,” Barreiro said, noting the Society’s chapels being located across the globe, which he described as “de facto parishes.” Barreiro rightly noted that the Society bishops most likely would not accept any solution that involved jurisdiction by the local territorial Ordinary.

France’s Seminaries to be Over One-Third Traditionalist

In fact, specific resistance is most prevalent in the dying churches of France with their bishops and priests. Upon final regularization, Monsignor Barreiro said, “More than one-third of all seminarians in France will be in traditionalist seminaries.” This would include the SSPX, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), the Institute of Good Shepherd and the Institute of Christ the King (ICR) as well as some other lesser known traditionalist priestly groups.

“I expect that some structure like a universal Apostolic Administration may be the only solution,” Monsignor Barreiro said, while cautioning that he did not have direct access to the specific details.

Several articles this week on the SSPX excommunication annulments contained comments from bishops and George Weigel in a New York Times interview noting that they expected that the Society bishops would need to explicitly adhere in some fashion to the Second Vatican Council. However, Monsignor Barreiro opined that the SSPX’s official request for the lifting of the sanctions would be sufficient as it demonstrates explicit recognition of the authority of the Holy Father and the magisterium of the Church.

Prior to the easing of the excommunications, Bishop Fellay wrote, in part, the following to the Holy See:

We are always firmly determined in our will to remain Catholic and to place all our efforts at the service of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the Roman Catholic Church. We accept its teachings with filial disposition. We believe firmly in the Primacy of Peter and in its prerogatives, and for this the current situation makes us suffer so much.

Vatican II and All the Councils

“They won’t be asked to accept the Council,” Monsignor Barreiro said. “There is nothing dogmatic regarding faith and morals in the Council documents,” he emphasized. “Many have elevated the Council as if it were a superdogma, when in truth, it was not dogmatic at all.”

In the SSPX’s official request to the Holy See asking for the lifting of the excommunications, Bishop Bernard Fellay wrote the following: “We are ready to write the Creed with our own blood, sign the anti-Modernist oath, the Profession of Faith of Pope Pius IV, we accept and make our own all the Councils up to the First Vatican Council. Yet we can but confess reservations concerning the Second Vatican Council, which intended to a Council “different from the others.” (Addressed by Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI)

The perspective of Monsignor Barreiro and Bishop Fellay can certainly be read to be consistent with then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s 1988 Address to the Bishops of Chile:

Certainly, there is mentality of narrow views that isolate Vatican II and which has provoked this opposition. There are many accounts of it which give the impression that, from Vatican II onward, everything has been changed, and that what preceded it has no value or, at best, has value only in the light of Vatican II.

The Second Vatican Council has not been treated as a part of the entire living Tradition of the Church, but as an end of Tradition, a new start from zero. The truth is that this particular Council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council; and yet many treat it as though it had made itself into a sort of superdogma which takes away the importance of all the rest.

This idea is made stronger by things that are now happening. That which previously was considered most holy – the form in which the liturgy was handed down – suddenly appears as the most forbidden of all things, the one thing that can safely be prohibited. It is intolerable to criticize decisions which have been taken since the Council; on the other hand, if men make question of ancient rules, or even of the great truths of the Faith – for instance, the corporal virginity of Mary, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, the immortality of the soul, etc. – nobody complains or only does so with the greatest moderation.

In Pope Benedict’s “Letter to Bishops” accompanying the July 7, 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, while positively affirming that the Traditional Latin Mass had never been abrogated, the Pope wrote the following, which, upon reflection, was an important but overlooked part of the document. Part of this text corresponds very strikingly with the 1988 Chile Bishops document aforementioned:

We all know that, in the movement led by Archbishop Lefebvre, fidelity to the old Missal became an external mark of identity; the reasons for the break which arose over this, however, were at a deeper level. Many people who clearly accepted the binding character of the Second Vatican Council, and were faithful to the Pope and the Bishops, nonetheless also desired to recover the form of the sacred liturgy that was dear to them. This occurred above all because in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear. I am speaking from experience, since I too lived through that period with all its hopes and its confusion. And I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church.

Cardinal Ratzinger Recommends Bishops Examine Their Consciences

So in the Bishops Letter, Pope Benedict covers some of the same ground as in the 1988 Chilean Bishops address about the SSPX and many traditionalist Catholics who were attached to the traditional liturgy and devotions. Pope Benedict made clear in the 1988 Bishops letter that while he believed the Church had gone as far as it could at that time with its negotiations with Archbishop Lefebvre, he posed that it was the pastoral duty of all bishops and pastors to conduct an examination of conscience regarding the then currents within the Church that could have helped lead to the consecrations of bishops without a mandate. In hindsight, Cardinal Ratzinger was precisely accurate in his assessment.

Without any doubt, the problem that Lefebvre has posed has not been concluded by the rupture of June 30th. It would be too simple to take refuge in a sort of triumphalism, and to think that this difficulty has ceased to exist from the moment in which the movement led by Lefebvre has separated itself by a clean break with the Church. A Christian never can, or should, take pleasure in a rupture. Even though it is absolutely certain the fault cannot be attributed to the Holy See, it is a duty for us to examine ourselves, as to what errors we have made, and which ones we are making even now...

For all these reasons, we ought to see this matter primarily as the occasion for an examination of conscience. We should allow ourselves to ask fundamental questions, about the defects in the pastoral life of the Church, which are exposed by these events. Thus we will be able to offer a place within the Church to those who are seeking and demanding it, and succeed in destroying all reason for schism. We can make such schism pointless by renewing the interior realities of the Church.

One wonders: how many bishops and pastors in the Church in the past 20 years have used the traditionalist situation as a true “examination of conscience” as Cardinal Ratzinger outlined? To ask the question is to answer it.

Pope Urges Bishops to Pastoral Solicitude

Indeed, in the July 7 accompanying letter to Bishops, Pope Benedict repeated this same theme even more insistently, perhaps as a foreshadowing of the January 21 excommunications annulments.

It is true that there have been exaggerations and at times social aspects unduly linked to the attitude of the faithful attached to the ancient Latin liturgical tradition. Your charity and pastoral prudence will be an incentive and guide for improving these.

So the Pope asked the bishops to be pastoral and charitable to traditionalist faithful in guiding their pastoral solicitude. Cardinal Castrill√≥n Hoyos dubbed it as avoiding treating traditionalist Catholics as “second-class citizens” in spite of the exaggerations and social aspects that had been “unduly linked” to traditionalist Catholics.

I now come to the positive reason which motivated my decision to issue this Motu Proprio updating that of 1988. It is a matter of coming to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church. Looking back over the past, to the divisions which in the course of the centuries have rent the Body of Christ, one continually has the impression that, at critical moments when divisions were coming about, not enough was done by the Church’s leaders to maintain or regain reconciliation and unity. One has the impression that omissions on the part of the Church have had their share of blame for the fact that these divisions were able to harden. This glance at the past imposes an obligation on us today: to make every effort to unable for all those who truly desire unity to remain in that unity or to attain it anew. I think of a sentence in the Second Letter to the Corinthians, where Paul writes: “Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return, widen your hearts also!” (2 Cor 6:11-13). Paul was certainly speaking in another context, but his exhortation can and must touch us too, precisely on this subject. Let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows.

So as we move steadily closer to full canonical regularization for the SSPX, whatever form it may take, we note that the precedent has already been set, most recently by the Institute of Good Shepherd, whose priests were allowed to continue working on the disputed theological points of the Second Vatican Council documents in good faith and avoiding public rancor, in the heart of the Church.

Vatican Will Not Demand SSPX Swallow the Council

In other words, there will be no demand for the SSPX leadership to accept the “Decree on Social Communication” as an infallible, dogmatic document.

And despite the ruminations of certain bishops, cardinals, priests, Cardinal Kasper and even George Weigel, neither will they be asked to accept the Decree on Ecumenism, the Declaration of Religious Liberty, Nostra Aetate or even Lumen Gentium and Dei Verbum as dogmatic declarations that can stand alone without reading them in light of Tradition.

The Pope made this clear in his December 22, 2005 address. The “hermeneutic of continuity” can not allow the Second Vatican Council to be interpreted any other way other than “in light of Tradition.” And certainly, traditionalists should not overemphasize the degree of binding authority that marks the Council documents. If there is error or imprecision then there can and must be correction. And we now have a pope who is as much as ordering that correction. On what grounds can traditional Catholics object to that? Theological speculation on disputed and unclear points in a spirit of charity and without polemics and rancor will aid future generations in their understanding of Catholic truth.

Let us pray that the SSPX theologians, priests and bishops, as well as the Institute of Good Shepherd, Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter and Institute of Christ the King, exercise considerable influence in this arena. And if there are points in the Council that cannot be interpreted in light of Tradition then, obviously, they will be exposed and excised. Again, on what grounds could a traditional Catholic possibly object to that?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Not much longer

Just wanted to remind all of you in our Diocese of Scranton that the Bishop will announce what is happening to our parishes THIS WEEKEND.

The Diocese is keeping the announcement under wraps until the Masses this weekend, where we will hear a recorded message from Bishop Martino explaining what the decisions are regarding our particular "cluster".

Of course, if any news breaks on this before the weekend Masses, we will have it here.

If you learn the fate of your parish before the weekend, please get it to me at

Monday, January 26, 2009

Babies a burden on the state!

A "Catholic" we can all be proud of. Thanks to Drudge.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi boldly defended a move to add birth control funding to the new economic "stimulus" package, claiming "contraception will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government."

Pelosi, the mother of 5 children and 6 grandchildren, who once said, "Nothing in my life will ever, ever compare to being a mom," seemed to imply babies are somehow a burden on the treasury.

The revelation came during an exchange Sunday morning on ABC's THIS WEEK.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Hundreds of millions of dollars to expand family planning services. How is that stimulus?

PELOSI: Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no apologies for that?

PELOSI: No apologies. No. we have to deal with the consequences of the downturn in our economy.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

FLOTUS in trouble!

First Lady Of The United States, in case you were wondering.

The Black Artists Association is chiding FLOTUS for not choosing any African-American designers. They will send a letter to FLOTUS's office and appeal to her to include items from black designers in her wardrobe. BAA Cofounder Amnau Eele, who was a former runway model told Women's Wear Daily:

"It's fine and good if you want to be all 'Kumbaya' and 'We Are the World' by representing all different countries. But if you are going to have Isabel Toledo do the inauguration dress, and Jason Wu do the evening gown, why not have Kevan Hall, B Michael, Stephen Burrows or any of the other black designers do something too?"

Can't we all just get along?

Help UNelect Obama

Tired of Obamaland already? Want to actually help make change occur?

Here's how:

Get active politically. But only if you are a Republican. We have enough libtards as it is running around here. Don't know if you are a Republican - or better yet - a conservative? Here's how to tell:

Do you believe in the strength of the individual? Do you believe in equal rights, free enterprise and individual initiative? Do you believe in fiscal responsibility, low taxes and smaller government? Do you believe in meeting challenges through principled innovation? Do you believe in a strong America which strives for worldwide peace, freedom and human rights?

If you answered yes to the above, congrats. You swim in the deep end of the gene pool.

Are you registered as a Republican? If you aren't - register today.

Next, contact your local GOP. If you are in Pennsylvania go here. If you are somewhere else in the country, go here. From either of those two sites, you can find your local info.

Then go to a meeting. Get involved locally. Canvass your neighborhoods, make phone calls, register voters, do whatever you can to make a difference.

Change won't come unless you make a difference. The guy next door isn't going to. You're going to have to.

It's not that hard.

Then you can be cool like me.

What were the dems smoking?

Early this afternoon, the D.C. Fire Department was called to the Executive Office Building in response to reports of smoke on the 4th floor. A limited number of staff were temporarily evacuated and have now returned to their offices. There were no injuries and no apparent damage to the building.

More condemnation from the Jews

From the AP:

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has lifted the excommunications of four traditionalist bishops, including that of a Holocaust denier whose rehabilitation sparked outrage among Jewish groups.The four bishops were excommunicated 20 years ago after they were consecrated by the late ultraconservative Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre without papal consent — a move the Vatican said at the time was an act of schism.

The Vatican said Saturday that Benedict rehabilitated the four as part of his efforts to bring Lefebvre’s Society of St. Pius X back into the Vatican’s fold.

But the move came just days after one of the four, British Bishop Richard Williamson, was shown in a Swedish state TV interview saying that historical evidence “is hugely against 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed.”

Jewish groups denounced the Vatican for having embraced a Holocaust denier and warned that the pope’s decision would have serious implications for Catholic-Jewish relations as well as the pontiff’s planned visit to the Holy Land later this year.

“I do not see how business can proceed as usual,” said Rabbi David Rosen, Jerusalem-based head of interreligious affairs at the American Jewish Committee and a key Vatican-Jewish negotiator.

He called for the pope or a senior adviser to issue a “clear condemnation” of all Holocaust denials and deniers.


A Stark Warning

From Citizen's Voice:

Approving legislation intended to force Bishop Joseph Martino’s hand on a rift with the Diocese of Scranton’s teachers union “will mean the end of Catholic schools” in 11 counties in Northeast Pennsylvania, the diocese warned in a statement Saturday.

Democratic legislators from the cities of Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, state Reps. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Wilkes-Barre, and Kevin Murphy, D-Scranton, announced at a union rally they will reintroduce House Bill 26 soon. The bill would amend the state’s labor relations law to include employees of religiously affiliated schools.

The Saturday rally marked the one-year anniversary of the announcement that the diocese would not recognize the teachers union as a collective bargaining unit. The diocese instead created an employee relations program to address wages, benefits and other similar issues.

House Bill 26 would allow lay teachers and employees at religious schools to decide by a majority vote if they want to be represented by a union. Unions in religious schools could then bring grievances to the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board — which currently has no jurisdiction over workplace issues in parochial schools.

The decision a year ago puts teachers at the “will” of their employer, the union has argued. The diocese argues its new employee relations program will include provisions to ensure job security.

The rally, held in front of the rectory at St. Peter’s Cathedral, brought out about 125 teachers, parents and union members who are supporting the Scranton Diocese Association of Catholic Teachers.

Following the rally, the diocese countered by revising a statement initially sent out Thursday. The statement ended with a new, clear message from the diocese: “Make no mistake about it, if HB 26 passes, it will mean the end of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Scranton, costing local communities $73,880,400 each year to educate these students.”

Diocesan statements have previously stated the bill would be detrimental and “compromise the religious character of Catholic schools,” but have not gone so far as to say it would eliminate Catholic education.

Michael Milz, president of the teachers union, said the statement is not surprising, the tactic is not new. He said the diocese previously said the bill would bankrupt the diocese.

“That kind of rhetoric is despicable. That’s a typical union-busting approach to scare people away from the union,” Milz said. “We’ve been here for 30 years and we’ve never put the diocese in a financial situation where it would not be able to afford to pay (its bills).”

“Who would make demands that would put themselves out of work?” he added.

Pashinski, the main sponsor for House Bill 26, said he expects the bill to get out of committee “within weeks” and he was optimistic about it passing the state House. But neither Pashinski nor Milz showed that same amount of optimism for the bill passing the state Senate, which is dominated by Republicans.

“It’s a monumental task, getting legislation passed,” Milz acknowledged. “It’s Democrats who tend to be pro-labor.”

Since losing his job in June as a history teacher at Holy Redeemer High School — the 34-year employee of the diocese claims he was unjustly terminated — Milz has been working for the Northeastern Pennsylvania Area Labor Federation, lobbying for support of the legislation.

While labor unions are expected to lobby in support of it, diocese spokesman Bill Genello said the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and other religious organizations and private institutions are expected to lobby against the bill.

Milz said they will argue the exclusion of employees in parochial schools from the labor law, the only workers in the state not covered, is a loophole that needs to be addressed. The diocese, in its statement, said the bill would damage religious freedom and “grant a governmental agency the right to examine Church doctrines and religiously-based disciplines.”

“The authorization of that type of church-state entanglement would provoke a constitutional confrontation of the first magnitude,” the statement said.

If Pashinski and Murphy want to tangle with the Church, I say let them try. Litigation would, at the very least shut Milz and his anti-church rhetoric up when the Church beats them like a dog in the court system.

But of course this is Pennsylvania, and with Fast Eddie calling the shots from the big chair, I'm sure pro-union Judge Mundy would find the case on his docket. Then the Church is in trouble.

Bishop Martino, are you reading this? The "Catholic" school system under laymen is a joke anyway. Shut it down, bring in a traditional group of nuns, and re-open a real Catholic high school in the abondoned school next to the chancery office.

At the very least the best that would happen is that maybe then the female students wouldn't wear their skirts so short it is hard to determine if they are going to Catholic school or to work at the BYOB.

Just my two cents.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Dali Bama Immaculation Gigapan!

This is pretty fun. Go look for lefty celebrities and put them down on your list so you know whose films to avoid in the future.

Update from the Hill

Minority Leader John Boehner's office just emailed members to let them know Obama will be coming up to the Capitol on Tuesday for lunch with Republicans. Should be fun times. I'll let you know what happens.

More evidence that Change has come to the White House: As of 8:20 a.m. this morning, the Marine guard who stands outside the West Wing when POTUS is present had not yet appeared. At the same time Larry Summers, Obama’s chief in-house economic guru, was just making his way through the White House gates, salmon-covered Financial Times in hand.

Obama’s daily intel briefing wasn’t slated until 9:15 a.m.

Not W's hours I can tell you.

More on SSPX Bishops

From Catholic Family News:

* Decree is signed January 21, 2009, which is the 55th anniversary of the death of Father Denis Fahey (JV)
* Document Repealing Excommunication of SSPX Bishops
* Response by Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Document repealing excommunications


By way of a letter of December 15, 2008 addressed to His Eminence Cardinal Dario Castrill'n Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Mons. Bernard Fellay, also in the name of the other three Bishops consecrated on June 30, 1988, requested anew the removal of the latae sententiae excommunication formally declared with the Decree of the Prefect of this Congregation on July 1, 1988. In the aforementioned letter, Mons. Fellay affirms, among other things: "We are always firmly determined in our will to remain Catholic and to place all our efforts at the service of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the Roman Catholic Church. We accept its teachings with filial animus. We believe firmly in the Primacy of Peter and in its prerogatives, and for this the current situation makes us suffer so much."

His Holiness Benedict XVI - paternally sensitive to the spiritual unease manifested by the interested party due to the sanction of excommunication and faithful in the effort expressed by them in the aforementioned letter of not sparing any effort to deepen the necessary discussions with the Authority of the Holy See in the still open matters, so as to achieve shortly a full and satisfactory solution of the problem posed in the origin - decided to reconsider the canonical situation of Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson, and Alfonso de Galarreta, arisen with their episcopal consecration.

With this act, it is desires to consolidate the reciprocal relations of confidence and to intensify and grant stability to the relationship of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X with this Apostolic See. This gift of peace, at the end of the Christmas celebrations, wishes also to be a sign to promote unity in the charity of the universal Church and to try to end the scandal of division.

It is hoped that this step be followed by the prompt accomplishment of full communion with the Church of the entire Fraternity of Saint Pius X, thus testifying true fidelity and true recognition of the Magisterium and of the authority of the Pope with the proof of visible unity.

Based in the faculty expressly granted to me by the Holy Father Benedict XVI, in virtue of the present Decree, I remit to Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson, and Alfonso de Galarreta the censure of latae sententiae excommunication declared by this Congregation on July 1, 1988, while I declare deprived of any juridical effect, from the present date, the Decree emanated at that date.

Rome, from the Congregation for Bishops, January 21, 2009.

Card. Giovanni Battista Re

Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops

Letter of the Superior General of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X

Dear faithful,

As I announce in the attached press release, " the excommunication of the bishops consecrated by His Grace Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, on June 30, 1988, which had been declared by the Congregation for Bishops in a decree dated July 1, 1988, and which we had always contested, has been withdrawn by another decree mandated by Benedict XVI and issued by the same Congregation on January 21, 2009." It was the prayer intention I had entrusted to you in Lourdes, on the feast of Christ the King 2008. Your response exceeded our expectations, since one million seven hundred and three thousand rosaries were said to obtain through the intercession of Our Lady that an end be put to the opprobrium which, beyond the persons of the bishops of the Society, rested upon all those who were more or less attached to Tradition. Let us not forget to thank the Most Blessed Virgin who has inspired the Holy Father with this unilateral, benevolent, and courageous act to. Let us assure him of our fervent prayers.

Thanks to this gesture, Catholics attached to Tradition throughout the world will no longer be unjustly stigmatized and condemned for having kept the Faith of their fathers. Catholic Tradition is no longer excommunicated. Though it never was in itself, It was often excommunicated and cruelly so in day to day events. It is just as the Tridentine Mass had never been abrogated in itself, as the Holy Father has happily recalled in the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of July 7, 2007.

The decree of January 21 quotes the letter dated December 15, 2008 to Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos in which I expressed our attachment "to the Church of Our Lord Jesus-Christ which is the Catholic Church," re-affirming there our acceptation of its two thousand year old teaching and our faith in the Primacy of Peter. I reminded him that we were suffering much from the present situation of the Church in which this teaching and this primacy were being held to scorn. And I added: "We are ready to write the Creed with our own blood, to sign the anti-modernist oath, the profession of faith of Pius IV, we accept and make our own all the councils up to the Second Vatican Council about which we express some reservations." In all this, we are convinced that we remain faithful to the line of conduct indicated by our founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, whose reputation we hope to soon see restored.

Consequently, we wish to begin these "talks" -- which the decree acknowledges to be "necessary" -- about the doctrinal issues which are opposed to the Magisterium of all time. We cannot help noticing the unprecedented crisis which is shaking the Church today: crisis of vocations, crisis of religious practice, of catechism, of the reception of the sacraments ... Before us, Paul VI went so far as to say that "from some fissure the smoke of Satan had entered the Church", and he spoke of the "self-destruction of the Church". John Paul II did not hesitate to say that Catholicism in Europe was, as it were, in a state of "silent apostasy." Shortly before his election to the Throne of Peter, Benedict XVI compared the Church to a "boat taking in water on every side."

Thus, during these discussions with the Roman authorities we want to examine the deep causes of the present situation, and by bringing the appropriate remedy, achieve a lasting restoration of the Church.

Dear faithful, the Church is in the hands of her Mother, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. In Her we place our confidence. We have asked from her the freedom of the Mass of all time everywhere and for all. We have asked from her the withdrawal of the decree of excommunications. In our prayers, we now ask from her the necessary doctrinal clarifications which confused souls so much need.

Menzingen, January 24, 2009
+Bernard Fellay

Excellent News!

Pope Benedict XVI has lifted the excommunication of four bishops ordained against papal orders in 1988 by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. The move was considered a major concession to the archbishop's traditionalist followers.

The Vatican said the decree removing the excommunication, signed Jan. 21 and made public three days later, marked an important step toward full communion with the Society of St. Pius X, founded by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1970.

It said some questions remain unresolved with the society, including its future status and that of its priests, and that these issues would be the subject of further talks.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Political Science 101

FEUDALISM: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

PURE SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.

BUREAUCRATIC SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and as many eggs as the regulations say you should need.

FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.

PURE COMMUNISM: You have two cows. You help to take care of them, and you all share the milk.

RUSSIAN COMMUNISM: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.

SINGAPOREAN DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. The government fines you for keeping two unlicensed farm animals in an apartment and you get caned.

MILITARIANISM: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.

PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: The government promises to give you two cows if you vote for it. After the election, the president is impeached for speculating in cow futures. The press dubs the affair "Cowgate".

BRITISH DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. You feed them sheep's brains and they go mad. The government doesn't do anything.

BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. After that it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.

ANARCHY: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbours try to kill you and take the cows.

CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull

MY BOSS'S IDEA OF CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly-listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax deduction for keeping five cows. The milk rights of six cows are transferred via a Panamanian intermediary to a Cayman Islands company secretly owned by the majority shareholder, who sells the rights to all seven cows' milk back to the listed company. The annual report says that the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Meanwhile, you kill the two cows because the feng shui is bad.

ENVIRONMENTALISM: You have two cows. The government bans you from milking or killing them.

FEMINISM: You have two cows. They get married and adopt a veal calf.

TOTALITARIANISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned.

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS: You are associated with (the concept of "ownership" is a symbol of the male-centric, war-mongering, intolerant past) two differently-aged (but no less valuable to society) bovines of non-specified gender.

COUNTER CULTURE: Wow, dude, there's like... these two cows, man. You got to have some of this milk.

SURREALISM: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.


From Catholic League

News reports are that President Barack Obama will overturn restrictions on funding abortions overseas today. The Mexico City Policy, which denied federal funding of private organizations that perform and promote abortions, will be rescinded by executive order.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue addressed this decision today:

“Here we have a black president taking money from the taxpayers in a time of economic crisis and giving it to organizations—many of which are anti-Catholic—so they can spend it on killing non-white babies in Third World nations. And Obama is known as a progressive.

"Obama has said repeatedly that he is not pro-abortion, and some Catholics salivating for a job in his administration believe him. Yet he’s in office for only a few days and one of the first things he decides to do is fund abortion. That would be on a par with someone who said he was in favor of gun control and then provided funds to the NRA. Indeed, no one spends money to support that which he really abhors. In short, it’s time for the pro-abortion crowd to simply say that whatever reservations they may have about abortion (and some have none at all), they are outweighed by their overall support for it.

“Just last Monday, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops made public a letter it sent to Obama asking him to retain the Mexico City Policy. Obama has made his decision, and we hope every Catholic who is truly pro-life gets it.”

Piss off, pro-lifers!

So says the MSM, whose coverage of the annual March for Life was virtually non-existent. But, if the Obamessiah wiped his ass, they wrote about it. Did we think they would really cover the march?

Below are screen-shots from Friday morning, January 23, the day after the pro-life March in which hundreds of thousands marched on Washington to protest "legalized" abortion.

The day after the March, there was no mention of the event on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN or FoxNews.

The final screen-shot is from the Philadelphia Bulletin who on January 23 featured
the pro-life March as the lead item on its website's front page.
(Link to story from Bulletin).

One would think the annual pro-life March in Washington never occured.
Contrast the above pages with the Philadelphia Bulletin below

The Obama Body-Count begins

C'mon Mr. President, where's the peace and love?

From the London Times:

“Missiles fired from suspected US drones killed at least 15 people inside Pakistan today, the first such strikes since Barack Obama became president and a clear sign that the controversial military policy begun by George W Bush has not changed.

Security officials said the strikes, which saw up to five missiles slam into houses in separate villages, killed seven “foreigners” - a term that usually means al-Qaeda - but locals also said that three children lost their lives. ”

So how come when a Republican President orders missile strikes, the lefties decry his Hitler-like actions from the rooftops, but when the Obamessiah does it, the silence from the left is deafening?

I wonder if Chris Matthews' leg is tingling as we watch The One flex his military muscles...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Business as usual

At first I thought this was a picture of the Clinton fireplace.

Then I found out that while the MSM was busy telling us about the worldwide celebrations of the Obamessiah's inauguration, there were anti-American protests throughout the Middle East.

As usual.

But I thought the Arab world was going to slather us with love and affection now that the evil President Bush is gone?

Iran didn't get the memo.

I guess it's not the white man after all...

On a Day of “Hope,” Rev. Joseph Lowery is Overcome by Racist Hate

From Red State:

It was likely inevitable that at least one of the many aging leaders of the civil rights movement would use his time in the limelight today to make an effort to keep the embers of the race-based flame wars from being extinguished once and for all. In this case, it was Rev. Joseph Lowery, who used his opportunity to pray before the masses to rehash the long-past ills of a bygone age of racism and inexcusable ethnic discrimination.

Lord,” said Lowery, “we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around… when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen.”

Listening to Lowery, you would never know that today marked the first time an African American was sworn in to the highest office in the land. Rather, you would think America was still stuck in the pre-1955 era — that Rosa Parks had never refused to move to the back of the bus, and that the Rev. Martin Luther King had never made his historic plea for “all” people to be judged not on the color of their skin, but on the content of their character– something today more than any day since then shows is, indeed, possible.

Today was a historic day for multiple reasons. Unfortunately, even with the swearing-in of the first black president in U.S. history, some Americans - and some American “leaders” - are apparently finding it impossible to let their hatred go and to live in the present, rather than in the distant past.

Apparently it’s not just white Pennsylvanians who bitterly cling to things, is it?

Obama's New Campaign Website has become Barack Obama's propaganda arm and 2012 campaign website. And you and I are paying for it. The big headline is CHANGE HAS COME TO AMERICA.

How about "Change, It's all you'll have in your pocket" instead?

I really can't see any difference between and, his campaign website. Go check it out for yourself.

All that's missing is the "Donate Now" button.

Oh give it up already...

With his fascination with Lincoln, one wonders if he is planning a tryst with Chelle in the Lincoln bedroom later tonight...was that rude of me?

Washington (PTI): Reflecting the immense respect he has for his idol Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama will replicate on his special luncheon menu the food served to the civil war-era U.S. President after his inauguration in 1861.

Soon after being sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, Obama would have his first lunch hosted by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies at the historic Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol.

Approximately 200 guests including the new President, Vice-President, members of their families, the Supreme Court and Cabinet designees, and members of Congressional leadership will attend the luncheon.

The details of the luncheon have been designed to reflect the theme of the 2009 Inaugural ceremonies, "A New Birth of Freedom," celebrating the bicentennial of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln, the Congressional Committee said.

The menu, created by Design Cuisine, a catering firm based in Virginia, draws on historic ties to the Presidency of Lincoln, who led the nation during the civil war.

Growing up in the frontier regions of Kentucky and Indiana, the 16th President favoured simple food including root vegetables and wild game. With time he became fond of stewed and scalloped oysters.

For dessert or a snack, nothing pleased him more than a fresh apple or an apple cake.

The first course -- seafood stew and duckhorn vineyards, 2007 Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley -- will be served to Obama and the invited guests on replicas of the china from the Lincoln Presidency, which was selected by Mary Todd Lincoln at the beginning of her husband's term in office.

The china features the American bald eagle standing above the U.S. Coat of Arms, surrounded by a wide border of "solferino," a purple-red hue popular among the fashionable hosts of the day.

Main course includes a brace of American Birds (pheasant and duck), served with sour cherry chutney and molasses sweet potatoes. Apple cinnamon sponge cake dessert is a nod to Lincoln's love of apples and apple cake.

In the backdrop for the luncheon will be a painting, chosen for the occasion, and borrowed from the New-York Historical Society. The painting, "View of the Yosemite Valley," by Thomas Hill, reflects the majestic landscape of the American West and the dawn of a new era.

The subject of the painting, Yosemite Valley, represents an important but often overlooked event from Lincoln's presidency -- his signing of the 1864 Yosemite Grant, which set aside Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias as a public reserve, said the congressional committee.

Someone pinch me...

Well the unholy thing is done.

Barry the Butcher is our President.

What happens next?

1. Unborn babies will tremble in fear
2. Gun owners will buy up airtight containers and shovels
3. Our Muslim enemies will jump for joy
4. Normal God-fearing Americans who work hard for what we have will watch it be distributed to others.
5. The Traddy and thousands of other patriots will be watching closely
6. Hopefully all of you will be reading

More Catholic schools closing

At least it's not in our Diocese for a change... Thanks to the Times Leader.

Declining enrollment has claimed another Roman Catholic grade school in eastern Pennsylvania.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia says Our Lady of Peace in Milmont Park will close at the end of the 2008-09 school year.

The pastor, Rev. Louis Kolenkiewicz, announced the closure to members of the parish during services on Sunday.

Enrollment at the school, which offers Pre-K through eighth grades, dropped from 262 students in 2000 to 128 this year. Only four students remain in the third grade.

Pupils will transfer to Notre Dame de Lourdes Parish Elementary School in Swarthmore.

Easton Catholic in Northampton County also will shut its doors at the end of the school year.

Allentown Diocese officials say that school also is the victim of slumping enrollment and mounting debts.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Are we surprised?

Well, it seems it is constantly open season on Catholics and Catholicism.

Maybe we should just start beheading these jerkoffs like another "religion" would and they might get the idea.

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - A prominent fashion designer has sparked outrage in Chile by dressing up models like the Virgin Mary -- in some cases with ample, near-naked breasts.

The Roman Catholic Church condemned Ricardo Oyarzun's plans for a show featuring the models, and a conservative group tried unsuccessfully to block it in court.

Oyarzun said he had received telephone threats and had excrement smeared on his doorstep.

"There is no pornography here, there's no sex, there are no virgins menstruating or feeling each other up," Oyarzun said ahead of the catwalk show set to be held at a Santiago nightclub later on Thursday. "This is artistic expression."

He said his designs -- which include halos, look as though they come from a nativity scene and include religious icons -- were inspired by the Virgin Mary but not intended to represent her.

"We look on with special pain and deplore those acts which seek to tarnish manifestations of sincere love toward the Virgin Mary, which end up striking at the dignity of womankind by presenting her as an object of consumption," Chile's Episcopal Conference, which includes Catholic bishops, said in a statement.

The show is more evidence that Chile, heavily influenced by the church for decades, is shaking off its reputation as one of the most socially conservative countries in Latin America.

Happy Robert E. Lee Day!

For my friends in the South, for Confederate sympathizers everywhere, and just for anyone who cares about such things, today is the birthday of a real American hero, General Robert Edward Lee!

Behold his bio:

LEE, Robert Edward, soldier, born in Stratford, Westmoreland County, Virginia, 19 Jan., 1807; died in Lexington, Virginia, 12 Oct., 1870. He was the son of the Revolutionary general Henry Lee (q. v.), known as " Light-Horse Harry," was graduated from the U. S. military academy at West Point in 1829, ranking second in a class of forty-six, and was commissioned as a 2d lieutenant in the engineers.

At the beginning of the Mexican war he was assigned to duty as chief engineer of the army under General Wool, his rank being that of captain. His abilities as an engineer, and his conduct as a soldier, won the special admiration of General Scott, who attributed the fall of Vera Cruz to his skill, and repeatedly singled him out for commendation. Lee was thrice brevetted during the war, his last brevet to the rank of colonel being for services at the storming of Chapultepec.

In 1852 he was assigned to the command of the military academy at West Point, where he remained for about three years. He brought great improvements in the academy, notably enlarging its course of study and bringing it to a rank equal to that of the best European military schools. In 1855 he was appointed lieutenant-colonel of the 2d regiment of cavalry, and assigned to duty on the Texan frontier, where he remained until near the beginning of the civil war, with the exception of an interval when, in 1859, he was ordered to Washington and placed in command of the force that was sent against John Brown at Harper's Ferry.

On 20 April, 1861, three days after the Virginia convention adopted an ordinance of secession, he resigned his commission, in obedience to his conscientious conviction that he was bound by the act of his state. His only authenticated expression of opinion and sentiment on the subject of secession is found in the following passage from a letter written at the time of his resignation to his sister, the wife of an officer in the National army; "We are now in a state of war which will yield to nothing. The whole south is in a state of revolution, into which Virginia, after a long struggle, has been drawn; and though I recognize no necessity for this state of things, and would have forborne and pleaded to the end for redress of grievances, real or supposed, yet in my own person I had to meet the question whether I should take part against my native state. With all my devotion to the Union, and the feeling of loyalty and duty of an American citizen, I have not been able to make up my mind to raise my hand against my relatives, my children, my home. I have therefore resigned my commission m the army, and, save in defense of my native state--with the sincere hope that my poor services may never be needed--I hope I may never be called upon to draw my sword." (read more)

Thanks, Vatican II!

I just came across this article and I thought my 2 readers might find it funny. And sad.

Mostly sad. It's kind of long, so go here, read it and come back to discuss. Here's the beginning with my emphasis:

WHEN BONNIE LAVRIC WAS GROWING UP IN A PHILADELPHIA SUBURB IN THE MID-1960S, her mother, father, and four siblings dutifully piled into their VW Beetle every Saturday for an afternoon drive. The destination? Weekly individual Confessions at their local parish. Though Lavric somberly remembers being intimidated by the dark, musty confessional with its heavy red curtain, she recalls the drive to church as having elements of both a lighthearted road trip and a sobering guilt trip.

“My siblings and I tried to remember all of the heinous things we had done that week,” she says. “Sometimes we would punch each other on the way over so we would have something to say."

“The road to the church was really bumpy,” she recalls. “And every time the car went over a bump, we’d yell out, ‘Whee!’ And then we would be chastised because we were supposed to be concentrating on our sins. There were a lot of conflicting things going on in that car.”

The road to Confession, for Lavric, was somewhat bumpy on a deeper level, too. “It was all very confusing and uncomfortable and scary. I don’t remember it being positive at all,” she says.

These days, Lavric, now 47 and living in Dublin, Ohio, has a different view of the sacrament. She uses words like “remarkable” and “rejuvenating” to describe her experiences of Reconciliation and celebrates the sacrament three to four times a year. What changed her outlook, she says, was revisiting Reconciliation as each of her five children experienced it for the first time. “Growing up, there was more hellfire and brimstone,” Lavric says, “But now the focus is more on the fact that I am forgiven.”

Lavric now regularly makes time for Reconciliation, as do many young parents who wish to set a good example for their children preparing to experience the sacrament. But the family drive to church for Saturday Confessions is now a thing of the past, and the Catholic population at large doesn’t exactly mirror Lavric’s wholehearted embrace of Reconciliation. In fact, Catholics are split almost down the middle. A 2003 survey of over 1,000 Catholics, conducted by sociologists James Davidson and Dean Hoge, indicates that while 46 percent of Catholics celebrate Reconciliation once a year or more, 53 percent never or almost never do. In addition, only 38 percent of Catholics say that private Confession to a priest is “essential to [their] vision of being Catholic.”

In a 2001 article in Commonweal magazine Boston College historian James O’Toole wrote: “We seem to be in the process of reducing the number of sacraments from seven to six—by default.” A closer look at the “most endangered sacrament” reveals that, though there are signs of hope, this trend isn’t likely to reverse itself anytime soon.

Through new eyes
Despite the widespread national decline in the celebration of Reconciliation, parents of young children are still willing to revisit the sacrament as their children prepare to receive it for the first time, often because parish programs require it. Parents often find that their children’s preparation differs drastically from the doom-and-gloom, anxiety-ridden lens through which they were taught to view Confession. Tom Weed of Merrillville, Indiana noticed this difference when he attended preparation sessions with his 7-year-old son.

“When I was young we were taught to be afraid,” says Weed, 45. “But my son was taught that this is a very loving and giving thing, a gift he is receiving. The understanding of God giving total forgiveness was pushed a lot more.”

Mike Madonna, a father of two living in Old Bridge, New Jersey, also noticed a fresh perspective in his son’s sacramental preparation.

“It was a lot more kid-friendly, a happy occasion, and my son was so excited,” says Madonna. “What I remember more from my parish growing up was, ‘You are going to get punished. Say your rosary and Our Fathers.’”

When Sean Going, 39, of Medford, Massachusetts attended his parish service for his son’s First Reconciliation, he couldn’t believe his eyes.

“After the children went it was tremendous to see the number of parents who took part in the sacrament as well,” he says. “I don’t know when I’ve seen so many people go to Reconciliation.”

In attending the preparation sessions for his son’s first Reconciliation, Going noticed that his parish emphasized a more relational approach to the sacrament than he had been taught as a child. “It focused more on it being another method of communicating with God,” he says. “Back in my day it was, ‘Get in there and confess your sins.’ ”

Claire Lane, 38, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, learned that Reconciliation takes place within the context of a relationship with God, but also within a worshiping community. (Here's where it starts to get more troubling.)

The idea of reconciling to your community through the priest was very new to me,”(really?) she says. “I grew up having an idea of personal sin that I needed to confess and atone for and do penance for. It’s almost easier to avoid the sacrament if you think of it in those terms because we confess our sins, in a way, at the beginning of Mass. But what I learned with my daughter is that in any sin, no matter how personal or private, you are not only turning away from God but you are turning away from your church community.” (o, give me a break. More of that "man is the center of the universe bs!)

Lane, who previously celebrated the sacrament of Reconciliation “once a decade,” says she has participated in the sacrament three times in the past nine months. “That’s a lot compared to my previous life,” she said. “Before I just never felt like I had a mortal sin I needed to confess.”

Lane says that during the time when she was away from the sacrament she relied on her own personal prayers and scriptural reflection for spiritual sustenance. In addition, confiding in her best friend and husband took the place of sacramental Reconciliation.

“As a conscientious adult I felt that I was capable of telling people I’m sorry and acknowledging my wrongdoings,” she says.

Thanks, Vatican II! It's all been working out great!