Friday, July 13, 2007

University of Florida: Yes! to Death

The University of Florida my be the first institution, following his release from prison, to provide Jack ("Dr. Death") Kevorkian with a forum to disseminate his belief that more of the sick and elderly just need to die.

Kevorkian accepted an offer to speak at the university on October 1. He will be paid $50,000.

When Larry King interviewed him, he said that he felt "it was important to speak to young people in high school and college about these issues."

And given a forum by the State of Florida, too...

If you are old, sick, disabled, or imagine you ever could be any of those things, I think you should seriously start considering leaving Florida, soon.

The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation is sponsoring an online petition asking the University to rescind the invitation.

From the Petition:
This invitation is an affront to everyone who stands for the value and the dignity of every human life. Dr. Kevorkian is determined to instill the future leaders of our nation with his twisted ethics of euthanasia. We need everyone to join us in telling the President of the University of Florida that it is unacceptable to invite Jack Kevorkian to spread his message of death and violence on the campus.

In another, saner age, a man like Kevorkian would have been treated as the monster and pariah he is.

In our age, he's given television interviews and University speaking appointments.

The Future for Orthodox Catholics in the Republican Party

The other day I was listening to the Neal Boortz show (I don't listen regularly - Boortz exemplifies I've-got-mine-the-rest-of-you-can-go-to-Hell libertarianism, and he's pretty hostile to any form of serious Christian belief). But Boortz was talking about the Republicans chances in '08, which he thought weren't good.

He referenced a column by Robert Novak, in which he wrote:
It is difficult to exaggerate the pessimism about the immediate political future voiced by Republicans in Congress when not on the record. With an unpopular president waging an unpopular war, they see electoral catastrophe in 2008, with Democratic gains in both House and Senate and Hillary Clinton in the White House.

This led me to wonder about whether orthodox Catholics and other traditon-minded conservative Christians would have a place in the Republican Party for much longer.

I don't think so.

The widespread attractiveness of the Giuliani candidacy, the willingness of even so-called "social conservatives" to look the other way regarding Rudy's embrace of the Culture of Death, and the Republicans' enthusiasm for The Leviathan State all bode ill for the future.

Say what you will about the Republicans "lip-service" to social conservatives, their keeping pro-lifers at arm's length and their paltry delivery in about 25 years in power in the White House and Capital Hill. The fact is, conservative Catholics had a voice in the party's agenda.

But the Mammon-first conservatives have always wrinkled their noses in disgust at us, and that disdain is starting to break out into open hostility.

If, as seems to be the common opinion, the Republicans lose again in '08, I think that will be the beginning of the end for any substantive socially conservative Christian voice in the Republican Party. Social conservatives will receive the brunt of the blame. It's happening already.

The trend in our culture is more and more towards "leave me alone, don't try to tell me I can't [insert vice or sin crying out to heaven here]." The Republicans will eventually cave in to the pressure to submit to that trend. The Republican Party is not the Church; it does not have the graces and charisms that allow the the Church to resist the prevailing winds of the Zeitgeist.

So what will we do then?

This is not a brief for the Republican Party, urging you to stick with them because "its our only hope". The Republicans don't deserve our vote. They have all but flipped us the bird over the last couple of years. I'm not sure there's much hope left - there.

So what will we do? And where will that leave our country, pulled on one side by the Jacobins (Hillary) and Panderers (Obama) of the Left, and on the other by Friede durch Kraft cynics (Giuliani) and hollow men (McCain) of the Right?

Common Ground Catholic - Evangelical Dialogue To Air

Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN), home to Televangelists Benny Hinn and Joyce Meyer, will be broadcasting a 90 minute "dialogue" between Fr. John Riccardo, a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, and Pastor Steve Andrews of Kensington Community Church, a suburban Detroit "MegaChurch".

The show will air tomorrow, Saturday July 14, at 5:00 PM Eastern.

I'm not familiar with Pastor Andrews or his church, but I do know Fr. Riccardo: He is an outstanding priest, well known in the Detroit area for his orthodoxy and zeal for the faith. I'm confident that Fr. Riccardo will hold up the Catholic "end" very well.

This promises to be something rather different from the usual fare on TBN.

It also seems to me to be a tremendous opening, that an Evangelical broadcaster would air such a bold and zealous proponent of the Catholic faith.

For more information on the show (which is also available on DVD) go to the producer's website, Nineveh's Crossing.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The "Live Earth" Idiocy

This past weekend, while Catholics were considering, celebrating, and (in some quarters) lamenting the Motu Proprio "Summorum Pontificum", ignorant rock stars and celebrities were engaging in the act of mutual mental masturbation known as "Live Earth".

I was going to write a sendup of the foolishness, but someone beat me to it. From Dan Proft's column at Human Events:
It was not the noise pollution from climatologists like Kanye West and the Pussycat Dolls. No, that didn’t bother me...

The delicious irony of watching the Dave Matthews Band, the same eco-friendly Dave Matthews Band that dumped 800 pounds of human waste from their tour bus into the Chicago River during their stop through three years ago (well, maybe the irony wasn’t exactly delicious), that also didn’t bother me...

Watching Gore keep it real with his Hollywood friends is kind of like watching your dad shake his groove thing at a wedding...

Read the rest.

Monday, July 09, 2007

My Motu Proprio Celebration

Because of parish committments, I had to delay my celebration of the Motu Proprio to yesterday afternoon.

But celebrate I did! It seems that most of the Traddy celebrations of Summorum Pontificum involved Veuve Cliquot. I'm more a Moet man myself, and I have a bottle of Moet Nectar Imperial on hand, but I decided to celebrate with different libations:

I broke out my bottle of Lagavulin 16 year-old Scotch and I opened a bottle of my prized 1989 Barros Colheita Port. It is, absolutely, the best port I have ever had. Don't bother trying to find any more in the U.S. I've tried extensively, and it's all gone.

I also thought that such a momentous occasion deserved a burnt offering, so I lit up one of my Cuban cigars, a Montecristo No. 4.

So, glass in hand, I savored God's goodness in granting us our holy father Pope Benedict, as I savored his goodness in giving us things like single-malt scotch, vintage port, and the beautiful varieties of nicoteana.

Here's to You, Papa Benedicte!

I hope and pray that all of you will receive our holy father's generous act as the great gift it is!

Fr. Rob, enveloped in the Odor Sanctitatis

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Announcement On The Motu Proprio

Here is the announcement I made about the Motu Proprio at all the Masses at my parish this weekend:
Many of you, no doubt, may have seen or heard already about the document just released by our holy father Pope Benedict XVI. I'd like to say a few words about it. This document is a Motu Proprio, which is a Latin phrase meaning "on his own initiative", meaning that the holy father released this document on his own initiative for the good of the whole Church. This Motu Proprio provides for a much wider and more extensive use of the "old" Mass, that is the Mass as it was celebrated before Vatican II.

Many people over the years have been led to believe that Vatican II "got rid of all that." In previous homilies I have already explained that this was not the case, and our holy father makes this clear as well in this new document. Pope Benedict is convinced, as are many other theologians and scholars, and as I am myself, that the intentions of the Council fathers of Vatican II were not fully realized in the "new" Mass that we celebrate today, and that it is necessary to recover the fullness of our Catholic Tradition in order to live the fullness of our Catholic Faith.

I'm not going to go into the document in any detail here and now, as I've only read through the English translation a couple of times, and I'm still digesting the Latin original. I want to be sure I understand the document before I try to explain what it means. But it is already clear to me that the holy father's intent is to enrich and deepen the faith and life of the Church. In our first reading today we heard the prophet Isaiah tell the Israelites about the "prosperity" he would lavish upon Jerusalem. Well, the Church is the New Jerusalem and she lavishes her riches upon us in the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church. Pope Benedict is giving us an opportunity to draw even more deeply and widely from these riches, so that our souls may be more truly fed.

I will have more to say about this document and what it means in the coming weeks. I'll give you some points from it in next week's bulletin. As to what it will mean for us here at St. Stanislaus, I'm not sure as of yet. Fortunately, as you know we have been working for the last year or so to implement a wider use of Latin in our liturgies here, so in a sense you could say we're already ahead of the the curve.

I would caution you to take with a grain or two of salt (or even a whole shaker) what you may read or hear about this in the media. A friend of mine once said that when the mainstream media talks about religion you have to deduct 50 points from their IQ. I've seen a lot of misinformation out there already. I'll have more information for you in the coming weeks, and I'll give you some points from the Motu Proprio in next week's bulletin.

As I said, it's clear to me that the holy father is offering us an opportunity to enrich and deepen how we live our faith in the the liturgy. This is a great gift to the Church, and I think we'll have a great deal to be thankful for.