The amazing world of storm chasing and the Internet
Posts like this normally drive me nuts because of the load time and besides, who has time to watch all of these videos. The point here is to show you how cool the Internet is. Yesterday, there was a tornado outbreak in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and Kansas. There is expected to me more action today as well. Here is the summary (click on the image for a better view):
First off, while all of this was going on, I followed some storm chasers live on SevereStudios
. I saw two tornadoes live, both in Kansas. Also, I typically follow on radar and through various message boards. A lot of people are in contact with chasers on the ground so they know what is going on. Still its getting close to being a live thing. Video in one place, GPS showing location. Now if only they would overlay radar like Weather.com and WeatherUnderground.com it would be next to perfect.
Second, I woke up this morning to find that several videos of the events made it to YouTube overnight. This includes footage of the Colorado, Wyoming and California tornadoes. I collected many of them for you to see. I make no promises about the language of people who are watching tornadoes ... I am not saying that is the case in these videos but you have been warned.Tornado in Riverside, CA
-- Tornado In Southern California
Tornado in Riverside, CA
-- Tornado In Southern California
Tornado East of Oberlin, KS
Rotating storm May 22, 2008 in Trego County Kansas
Hoxie Kansas Tornado 5/22/08
-- not a video, photographs
May 22 2008 WaKeeney Kansas Tornado
2 Tornadoes: Grainfield, on I-70, mile marker 93, The second about 10 miles south of Collyer
Wedge tornado south of Oberlin, KS
and of course what collection from yesterday would be complete without the following ... Raw video of *huge* tornado in Colorado
Religion holding us back: part II
I want to highlight a few posts that I have made recently and tie them together. Recently I have been getting some hits concerning the idea that "religion is holding us back".
First, I want to point out that this sword easily cuts both ways. I submit my recent post on survey results that came to the conclusion that "religion is holding back nanotechnology"
... In that post I concluded about the Samsung SilverCare line of washers.
It is receiving much scorn from environmentalists willing to apply the "precautionary principle" to it -- ... The washer uses a process to create what Samsung calls "nanosilver" ... not much different than processes used in drinking water treatment and pool water disinfection. ...
Now, to be consistent, I wonder when they are going to subject all those water treatment plants to the same thing ....
Same problem, different religion.
For the dense, the religion I am referring to is environmentalism - and I am referring to it in a sense where it is an idol driving the motivations for nearly everything someone does or demands that we do as a society. Second, in my post titled "The breakdown of Christian teaching leading to approval of the sexual revolution"
I cite a few interesting facts discovered regarding the modern day practice of NFP. Still those facts were not congealed and put into great use because everyone else was using artificial contraception. The largest groups of those not using contraception are Catholics, some Protestants and Muslims. I wonder what role religion has played in focus being placed on this technology? In the Catholic Church we even have the Paul VI Institute
dedicated to the study of a method the secular world has, in its brilliance, written off because there is supposedly no need.
In the end we have a very effective method of birth regulation using ONLY natural signs. Research into how those methods can be effectively used to fight fertility issues is ongoing and showing promising signs -- no pun intended -- of life. The end of this could be technological advances that help women monitor their cycles, even electronically, in order to help achieve pregnancy, modify various hormone imbalances and whatnot, all without resorting to methods with known dangerous and unnatural side effects.
Whether you like the motivation or not, this is science folks; science that the increasingly anti-religious secular world has left nearly exclusively to the religious of the world to explore. In this example, who is really against progress here? It isn't those who aspire to the great religions of the world. In fact often times it is the same folks who cry to the hills that religion is the great halter of all progress. Now it would be logically inconsistent at best for me to say that a single example (or even many) proves that religion is better suited to advancement in science. That isn't my point. My point is that it is precisely matters of doctrine which have borne the necessity of these methods and thus the advancements in technology regarding them. In this area we are just scratching the surface and in 100 years I suspect all of mankind from the religious to the not so will be thankful.
I know times are tough but since when is "Roof" a feature of a home. From a listing I have in front of me .. ahem ...
Features: Dishwasher, Disposal, Range/Oven, Cooling System, Fire Alarm, Heating System, Roof, Garage, Parking, Patio
And also doesn't garage in most places imply parking? See what I am not telling you here is that this same home happens to include tile floors, granite counter tops, hard wood floors, nice fixtures etc. There is no need to tell me you have a roof. I know this already.
While we are at it, we should add: Walls, Floors, Rooms etc. Of course the lack of a roof would give a whole new meaning to "open floor plan" ...
There has to be a best of Real Estate listings out there ... can someone direct me?
The cross of conversion - conviction over indifference
Isn't it funny how every time I say I will be posting less, I manage to find time to post more?
An interesting read today ... Mommy Monsters Inc.: In the Company of God ... and Mary ... and Mom
All of us have been through this ... The painful discussions surrounding the real practice of your faith. You are wrong. You haven't read enough. You have read too much. (heard both of those)
You hate me. You think I am going to hell -- You are going to hell.
I have to remember that Protestants in order to be true to their consciences will say things like this. I cannot stop that and I shouldn't stop that. I know they mean well but it hurts. It hurts more to comfort my crying six year old after someone tells him the Catholic Church is wrong or when the kids at school say that he is hell bound. I went through it when I was a kid. Its part of being Catholic. Of course over my life I left the faith. My years as a Protestant were good. I learned a lot of great things. That said, by the grace of God I am back in the Church and my children love the faith far more than I did at their age. I just hope the pain they experience from well intentioned Protestants who do not understand Catholicism is something that helps strengthen them rather than confuse them.
These arguments happen because people love you. When I converted back the people that I respected the most were the ones that at least considered that there were SOME stakes involved in converting. It isn't like switching from one church to another over slight nuances in doctrine or mere preferences. You are taking a stand swimming the Tiber. You are saying Jesus founded a Church and we can know which one it is and that the truths of the faith have been faithfully carried down to us over 20 centuries of a sometimes vibrant, sometimes scandalous history. You are also saying very loudly that others do NOT have the fullness of the truth. Nobody else makes that claim. Everyone else says that we can't REALLY know but we are likely the closest to what Jesus intended. During our conversion the ones that invoked the relativist "whats good for you" line actually disturbed me more despite the fact that conversations with them were far more pleasant. In a way I know they are likely ignorant of the stakes so in that sense they might be in a good place. But if they DO know the stakes, they are playing with the fire of being lukewarm and that is not where you want to be.
Give me conviction over indifference any day ... That lets me know that it matters to you and lets face it, salvation matters.
Adding the iPhone rosary as a permalink on the right
I am done with it for now ... I use it. It works. The code is completely contained in the HTML so anyone who doesn't like it can fix it themselves.
Yes that is me ... and my hair is a mess :) I added this picture so that you can see that the buttons are slightly rounded on the iPhone. Apologies for the garbage picture ...
Compare to what it would look like in Safari on a PC/Mac or online emulator. Not quite the effect of the real thing.
Posting will continue to be light through the first week of June
Work has been really intense the past few weeks and that will continue through the first few weeks of June.
Then I go on vacation :)
Houston church deceiving Catholics and the necessity of rebaptism
Is a Houston church deceiving Catholics?
This is a sad story ... There are a few things I would like to point out ....
The priest had a wife and children — something the Roman Catholic church forbids.
There is a pastoral provision that allows an Anglican priest to be received, reordained etc. into the Catholic Church and retain his marriage. This is one possibility. Second, many of the Eastern Catholic rites in communion with Rome ALLOW married priests. As for the Roman Rite, they are correct. It is a disciplinary law (and I think a good one).
Misahel Lopez was so upset that he didn’t set foot in a church for three years. He felt cheated, hurt and guilty for baptizing his son in a different denomination. ... The Lopez family is yet to return to any church. While they would like Mishael to grow up a good Catholic boy, only a re-baptism by a real Catholic priest and in a real Catholic church would convince them to go back.
This reeks, to a slight degree, of superstition.
I am guessing the fact that the baptism was valid is a sticking point that is keeping this man and his family out of church. As long as the baptismal formula is valid the baptism is valid, no Catholic church will re-baptize his son -- they might conditionally depending on the circumstances of the baptism but its unlikely if the formula was correct. He is already baptized. From the old Catholic Encyclopedia (Rebaptism
To complete the consideration of the validity of baptism conferred by heretics, we must give some account of the celebrated controversy that raged around this point in the ancient Church. In Africa and Asia Minor the custom had been introduced in the early part of the third century of rebaptizing all converts from heresy. As far as can be now ascertained, the practice of rebaptism arose in Africa owing to decrees of a Synod of Carthage held probably between 218 and 222; while in Asia Minor it seems to have had its origin at the Synod of Iconium, celebrated between 230 and 235. The controversy on rebaptism is especially connected with the names of Pope St. Stephen and of St. Cyprian of Carthage. The latter was the main champion of the practice of rebaptizing. The pope, however, absolutely condemned the practice, and commanded that heretics on entering the Church should receive only the imposition of hands in paenitentiam. In this celebrated controversy it is to noted that Pope Stephen declares that he is upholding the primitive custom when he declares for the validity of baptism conferred by heretics.
Cyprian, on the contrary, implicitly admits that antiquity is against his own practice, but stoutly maintains that it is more in accordance with an enlightened study of the subject. -- FC: Pride maybe, even in a man who ended up a saint) The tradition against him he declares to be "a human and unlawful tradition". Neither Cyprian, however, nor his zealous abettor, Firmilian, could show that rebaptism was older than the century in which they were living. The contemporaneous but anonymous author of the book "De Rebaptismate" says that the ordinances of Pope Stephen, forbidding the rebaptism of converts, are in accordance with antiquity and ecclesiastical tradition, and are consecrated as an ancient, memorable, and solemn observance of all the saints and of all the faithful. St. Augustine believes that the custom of not rebaptizing is an Apostolic tradition, and St. Vincent of Lérins declares that the Synod of Carthage introduced rebaptism against the Divine Law (canonem), against the rule of the universal Church, and against the customs and institutions of the ancients. By Pope Stephen's decision, he continues, antiquity was retained and novelty was destroyed (retenta est antiquitas, explosa novitas). It is true that the so-called Apostolic Canons (xlv and xlvi) speak of the non-validity of baptism conferred by heretics, but Döllinger says that these canons are comparatively recent, and De Marca points out that St. Cyprian would have appealed to them had they been in existence before the controversy. Pope St. Stephen, therefore, upheld a doctrine already ancient in the third century when he declared against the rebaptism of heretics, and decided that the sacrament was not to be repeated because its first administration had been valid, This has been the law of the Church ever since.
I have opted for the second version
with the larger screen for displaying Sacred Scripture texts, prayers and mystery images.
The code is more readable now but needs some commenting. Just view source ...
OK, I made a modification ... I like it. My wife likes it BUT it removes some of the initial design in favor of actual usable real estate for reading prayers and viewing the mystery image. Let me know what you think ...
The original: http://earlychurchfathers.org/fullcircle/rosary.php
The larger center: http://earlychurchfathers.org/fullcircle/rosaryb.php
This afternoon I am going to add the mystery to the title bar when it is selected. Also, when you flip over the image, initially it is blank. I plan to add a scripture passage for each mystery. That way everything you might want to meditate on is easily available.
Working on an iPhone rosary
I am experimenting with writing an iPhone rosary. If anyone is interested you can find at http://earlychurchfathers.org/fullcircle/rosary.php
. Apparently I have been told that using pixed pixel sizing is causing problems with some iPhones. Check it out and give me some feedback. I would really appreciate it. This is not an application but a simple web site that is geared more towards use with the iPhone. I asked some of my friends with iPhones to try it out and they indicated that it had scaling issues. I spent some time working on that and it scales great in Firefox and in Safari on my PC. The cool part, from a nerd perspective, was my need to scale background images on the center button. You are fairly limited here. My solution was to write a small block of PHP code that takes a JPEG URL and a scale factor and returns a scaled JPG. That way I could reference it like any other image and it would work when the screen was rescaled. For example, here is the header image above rescaled to 40%:
Here is a brief overview with some screenshots ... First screen, contains Apostles Creed (gray), Our Father (red), 3 Hail Marys (black), Glory be (green). The prev and next buttons move forward or backwards in the rosary. At each phase it resets the prayers to the darker color (unsaid).When you click on them they turn a lighter colorThis is an example of a decade with an image of the mysteryClicking on the center image hides it. Clicking a prayer after that shows the text of the prayer (for dolts like me who have yet to learn them all)This final shot is of the last screen which is reserved for the Hail Holy Queen (purple)
I have only done ONE mystery. The others will happen as I select images. I may even change the colored squares to bead like images. Its workable on an iPhone ... even with the small text. You can zoom in slightly to make even the Apostles Creed readable ... well, at least I think so.
Seriously ... I would appreciate feedback.
Why do so many Catholics not know their faith?
Posted this on a forum answering the question of a Protestant inquiring about the faith (reposted today) -- Originally posted Nov 11, 2006
I have some theories of my own, as a revert... you will likely find yourself asking the same question regarding sin -- "by your fruits you shall know them" (see my conversion story essay: My own struggles with the people in the pew next to me
) ... There are several compounding factors here.Cultural Catholicism
- I live in south Louisiana and I see this all the time. In fact to a degree I am from it. Never underestimate the power of "mama", who may or may not understand her faith to any degree, to pressure her kids to "be" Catholic. My wife and I went to an engaged encounter long before we were even considering converting. We were the only completely non-Catholic couple there. A significant percentage of them were going because their parents wanted them to get married in the Church. Threats of being disowned were involved in a few. If you were to ask those people what they are, they will tell you Catholic. Its just how they were raised. They, nor their parents attended mass, but they are Catholic because all Cajuns are Catholic, or French, or Italians etc. To get a better idea of what I am talking about, think Big Fat Greek Wedding. It can become a cultural religion devoid of its meaning -- something you just do because it is part of who you are. Some older branches of Protestantism suffer this same reality (the mainlines certainly) ...The "Here I stand" mentality vs. "schism is totally out of the question"
- When I was Protestant, if I didn't like the direction the church was taking, I would simply leave and find more like minded congregation. If the church started to gather into two opposing factions on a particular doctrinal point they would simply divide, the elect to go one way and the damned the other. This led me to be in contact with people who hated the same sins I hated and emphasized the same doctrines I emphasized. In essence, everyone around me looked darned near perfect. In the Catholic Church UNITY is certainly emphasized. Consider if you took your average, doctrinally conservative, evangelical Protestant church with, say 200 members. Now, add 200 very liberal Universalists with no desire to leave. Then toss a doctrine staunchly held by all dictating that under no circumstances can you split or leave the church. How different would things seem? Half your congregation would seem nuts to you. That scenario is a reality in the Catholic Church.Poor catechesis
- This is a significant factor, especially in recent generations. Sadly, in some places it isn't getting much better whereas in others there is great cause for hope. I just complained to some Catholics the other day about the catechesis program we are using. It focuses very heavily on response as opposed to the teachings of the Church. Thats kind of putting the cart before the horse and what you end up with are a bunch of socially responsible people who have no idea what they believe. The WHAT, WHO and WHY is important. My wife and I have decided since to cover the material, read related scriptures to the kids and allow the Holy Spirit to do the work. I pray it works better that way. It did with me.Pilot light Catholics
- This is actually the hopeful portion of the masses of ignorant Catholics you meet. They cannot figure out why they go after all these many years but they keep coming. You see, there is something very real about receiving Christ. They walk into a grand cathedral or even a moderately well done local parish and they are just struck. They cannot put their finger on it but they remain drawn to it. Those people are having grace poured all over them and as I am sure you know it doesn't take much of an open door for Christ to flood you over.
That is just four of my reasons. I have seen all of this. I was raised Catholic, went through an agnostic phase, then something clicked in college in very Protestant north Louisiana and over 10 years I found myself gleefully back where I started.---A followup to my post contained the following regarding ex-Catholics who say they were taught things that are clearly against the teachings of the Church.
There's a fifth piece, which I might as well call "selective memory", even though that's a little more pejorative than I mean it to be. If Mr. X converted from Catholicism thirty years ago, and if he's been told in those intervening thirty years that Catholics believe X and Y and Z, he might well end up believing that he was taught X and Y and Z as a Catholic.
1908 Amite tornado and Isaac Cline
Originally posted on November 16, 2006 - reposting for the 100th anniversary of the event.
In Nov 2006 we had a small tornado outbreak
in southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi which sadly included at least one death and several injuries. This caused me to recall that one of the deadliest (#7 in the top 10
) tornadoes in the history of the United States began just a few miles from where we currently reside. On April 24, 1908 an F4 tornado took the lives of 147 people and injured 770 in Louisiana and Mississippi. The tornado left only 7 of 150 structures standing in the city of Purvis, MS where a significant percentage of the total deaths occurred.
Anyway, when doing a little research I discovered a writeup on the 1908 event. Here is the portion that refers to the local tornado
TORNADOES IN LOUISIANA, APRIL 24,1908. By I. M. CLINE, District Forecaster. Dated New Orleans,La, June 12,1908.
The second tornado made its appearance between 11 a.m.and 12 noon in the vicinity of Weiss, Livingston Parish. The storm came from the southwest and moved toward the north-east across St.Helena, Tanngipahoa, and Washington parishes, and past into Mississippi near Balltown, La. There was a well-defined pendant funnel-shaped cloud, with rotary winds of suficient violence to uproot trees and prostrate buildings in its path. The path of greatest destruction ranged in width from one-half mile at Weiss to two and one-half miles at Amite, and covered a distance of about 80 miles in Louisiana
...See full report
Weather historians will quickly notice that the author of this writeup is Issac Cline about which the Wikipedia notes:
A well respected man in his time, Cline was the first meteorologist to provide reliable forecasts of freezing weather. He also provided some of the first available flood warnings on the Colorado and Brazos rivers. However, in 1891, he wrote an article in the Galveston News in which he gave his official meteorological opinion that the thought of a hurricane ever doing any serious harm to Galveston was "An absurd delusion". Many residents had called for a seawall to protect the city, but Cline's statement helped to prevent its construction.
He was proven tragically wrong on September 8, 1900 when the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 hit the island killing thousands. Isaac was nearly drowned, but managed to save one of his children. Joseph Cline saved Isaac's other two children, but a pregnant Cora did not survive.
Spe Salvi ... on withdrawing from relationships because they *might* be painful
I finally read Spe Salvi
. The following hit me like a ton of bricks ...
We can try to limit suffering, to fight against it, but we cannot eliminate it. It is when we attempt to avoid suffering by withdrawing from anything that might involve hurt, when we try to spare ourselves the effort and pain of pursuing truth, love, and goodness, that we drift into a life of emptiness, in which there may be almost no pain, but the dark sensation of meaninglessness and abandonment is all the greater. It is not by sidestepping or fleeing from suffering that we are healed, but rather by our capacity for accepting it, maturing through it and finding meaning through union with Christ, who suffered with infinite love.
I'll try to comment more tomorrow.
L'Osservatore Romano: a possible return to receiving on the tongue only?
OK, OK so it doesn't follow that we are headed that way but this is certainly interesting ....
CWS has a summary here .... Historical argument favors Communion on the tongue
... concluding that the early Church quickly developed the practice in which lay people Communion on the tongue while kneeling. Only ordained ministers were allowed to touch the consecrated Host with their hands.
By the 6th century, Bishop Schneider writes, the Church had formed a consensus that Communion should be received on the tongue, of reverence for the Eucharistic Lord. Pope Gregory the Great chastised priests who resisted that consensus, and it was become an "almost universal practice" in the early Church, the author says.
Kneeling to receive Communion was also a pattern established early in Church history, Bishop Schneider reports. That posture, too, was seen as a means of expressing reverence for Jesus in the Eucharist, and "the most typical gesture of adoration is the biblical one of kneeling."
By administering Communion on the tongue, priests were able to foster greater devotion to the Eucharist; Bishop Schneider remarks that that form is "an impressive sign of the profession of faith the in the Real Presence."
He adds the argument that this form of distributing Communion can prevent accidents. The author cites St. Cyril of Jerusalem, who exhorted priests to use extra caution "so that no even a crumb of the Lord's Body could fall to the ground."
I had read this in my research on the early fathers years ago. While it is true, as some commenters have pointed out, that many accidents have occurred with people who DO receive on the tongue, these accidents would be virtually eliminated with altar rails and patens (which to my understanding should be used anyway). Also, in my experience altar rails seem much faster than the way one typically receives today which would reduce the need for extraordinary Eucharistic ministers.
See Te Deum laudamus!: Historical-Liturgical Notes on the Rite of the Eucharist by Bishop Athanasius Schneider
Also a recent email to Fr. Z has prompted him to repost his PODCAzT about Communion in the hand
John Henry Cardinal Newman To Be Beatified
John Henry Cardinal Newman To Be Beatified
As Opinionated Catholic said
-- Good news for Brits and for converts.
John Henry Newman was born in 1801. As an Anglican priest, he led the Oxford Movement that sought to return the Church of England to its Catholic roots. His conversion to Catholicism in 1845 rocked Victorian England. After becoming an Oratorian priest, he was involved in the establishment of the Birmingham Oratory.
The Catholic Church has accepted as miraculous the cure of an American deacon’s crippling spinal disorder. The deacon, Jack Sullivan of Marshfield, Massachusetts, prayed for John Henry Newman’s intercession.
As someone who converted partially on the strength of his writings I say this is a most welcome "development". :)
A few comments on the Papal visit to the US
In all of this mainstream papal coverage I have noticed three things.
1. The Pope can never do enough to please Americans. Americans as a whole think the world revolves around us. To the Pope we are one nation, with one set of problems. He cannot drop everything when genocide, AIDS and other problems combat a very real world outside of the US. Either he never does enough or he has his hands in things too much.
2. I should collect all of the articles with the statement "what the Vatican can learn from us" ... A bunch of people with limited experience in solving their own problems is going to tell the leader of a 2000 year old religion that is still around despite the botching of its own leadership at every step of the way how to go about stepping into the "real world". Be more liberal. Be more conservative. Be more democratic. Be this. Be that. Yeah, the timeless teachings of an increasingly wise Church will take deference to the whims of people who think their thoughts haven't been tried and found wanting in the past.
Catholics generally regard the survival and success of such a flawed institution as evidence of divine favor. The church has managed to outlive all of its scandals -- and all of its critics. (source)
The Catholic Church is the only thing which saves a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age. --GK Chesterton
3. The Pope is painted an arch-conservative bad guy when he speaks about abortion, stem cell research. He is an enlightened liberal that can teach Bush a thing or two when he speaks about peace, the Iraq war and environmentalism.
But for many, this most peculiar papacy still sets Catholics apart. The Pope, of all things, would seem to stand outside our common values as Americans. The Pope is what we’re not: regal, authoritative, indifferent to polling data, able to ask that we follow without giving us a vote on the issue.
Yes, he is all that. But we live in a time hungry for unity, hungry for clarity of purpose, hungry for the presence of God—the real presence of the divine. Americans are a people on pilgrimage, always searching, always willing to reinvent ourselves as we try to find out who we might become.
So maybe just for a few days, we might all pause before this man of God: human he is, on pilgrimage like the rest of us. Sure, I wish he’d make pulpits open to women, I wish he’d eliminate “only” from his love of the church he leads, I wish he’d spend more time with the poor and less with the rich. Full Circle: see point #2 I was making above
But he made me proud nonetheless. He brought a profound reminder of what it means to believe in a faith so grand and so humble too, a faith ultimately in nothing less than God’s love, God’s presence among us, God’s promise to be with us always.
Thank you, Holy Father. Amen. (source)
In the more Catholic coverage much ado has been made about the music at the mass in Washington. I have heard nothing but priases about the mass from people who were there despite their displeasure with the selections of music. I think it is important for us to realize that we have a long way to go when it comes to making liturgy better for the future. For the priests that were there, they got to concelbrate mass with the Pope. For the laity in attendance it will likely be a memorable experience they will never forget. Second, liberal Catholics are all up in arms that deacons and priests were in roles often performed by the laity at your average parish mass (altar servers, distribution of communion). Yeah, lets not encourage our seminarians who are making a huge sacrifice to pursue their vocation. Further ado was made of Kerry receiving communion. He likely received from a deacon without authority to do much about it. He also likely didn't know until Kerry was standing two inches from him who he was if he even knew at all. I am prone to give somebody here the benefit of the doubt. As for Kerry, Scripture has choice words for his situation:
Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying. If we discerned ourselves, we would not be under judgment; -- 1 Cor 11:27-31
I am not sure I want him receiving for his own sake much less for the scandal to Our Lord and His Church.
The Pope should come to America more often. It is truly an exercise in humility for all of us. After all he is a shepherd and he is here to teach us. I think rather than pontificate ourselves it might be time to listen.
A day late and a dollar short ...
Unless you are under a rock ... The Pope is in the states
Follow the coverage at American PapistPope Expresses Deep Shame Over Priests’ Sexual Abuse Former Protestants and former CatholicsSteve Ray
included a stat box from Christianity Today noting that 10% of Protestants are former Catholics. It also notes that 8% of Catholics are former Protestants. Its important to point that out. In most analysis of the situation everyone focused on the 10% number without giving much thought to the 8% number. A Catholic Wind in the White House
-- this is fascinating speculation that GWB may pull a Tony Blair when he leaves office. There is some traction to the speculation:
Moreover, people close to Bush say that he has professed a not-so-secret admiration for the church's discipline and is personally attracted to the breadth and unity of its teachings. A New York priest who has befriended the president said that Bush respects the way Catholicism starts at the foundation -- with the notion that the papacy is willed by God and that the pope is Peter's successor. "I think what fascinates him about Catholicism is its historical plausibility," says this priest. "He does appreciate the systematic theology of the church, its intellectual cogency and stability." The priest also says that Bush "is not unaware of how evangelicalism -- by comparison with Catholicism -- may seem more limited both theologically and historically."
Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson, another evangelical with an affinity for Catholic teaching, says that the key to understanding Bush's domestic policy is to view it through the lens of Rome. Others go a step further.
Paul Weyrich, an architect of the religious right, detects in Bush shades of former British prime minister Tony Blair, who converted to Catholicism last year. "I think he is a secret believer," Weyrich says of Bush. Similarly, John DiIulio, Bush's first director of faith-based initiatives, has called the president a "closet Catholic." And he was only half-kidding.
I am with Mark Shea,
on this ... I have hope that he will pull a Tony Blair and it wouldn't shock me if he did. I have speculated privately about this in the past. His brother, after all, is a convert and every once in a blue moon someone comes out with a rumor regarding it. I am not, however, going to put any great hope into it. Creative Minority Report
is more skeptical.
All of that said, Opinionated Catholic
links to an interview with Bush on EWTN that ends with something that certainly is interesting:
Mr. President, final question. Film at 11 ... Apparently this is a squeaky clean blog ...
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, sir.
Q You said, famously, when you looked into Vladimir Putin's eyes you saw his soul.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
Q When you look into Benedict XVI's eyes what do you see?
THE PRESIDENT: God.
Q Good way to end the interview.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, sir.
Q Thank you, sir. My pleasure.
Created by OnePlusYou Hitler ... in German advertising?A hat company has broken a German taboo by advertising its products using an image of Adolf Hitler. Tuition-free Catholic schools
Of particular interest is the story of the Wichita, Kansas Catholic School System. With but 120,000 Catholics in the diocese Wichita maintains 39 Catholic schools. 36 of these are parish schools (including 34 elementary schools), one is a free-standing preschool, and four are Catholic high schools. According to the report, "What makes the Wichita system truly unusual in this day and age is the fact that all Wichita Catholic schools have eliminated tuition for Catholic students."
This would cause me to give serious consideration to send my kids to school.
WOW I am listening to Boxcar ... Gas Stop (Who Do You Think You Are)
Yes, Greasemonkey is why you should use Firefox.
Interesting conversation over at Catholic Dads
“What’s this, then? The selfishly child-free yuppie mass?”
I try to avoid using them because they are often used to let kids simply run around and for some parents to catch up on their weekly scoop. Besides, I have gotten MUCH better behavior out of my kids by taking them TO the main mass and using the back of the church rather than the cry room.
Let the little ones come to me ... - Jesus
IMHO people are more tolerant of wiggly children than parents might think. Nothing gives me greater hope than to have a little old lady walk up to me and tell me my kids were great when I thought they were difficult. Fact is, when I am standing in the back with the baby while my wife has the other three, I cannot hear them at all. To us they sound like jets flying over at 500 feet but to the people around us, they really are not nearly as loud. Over the years I have learned better what IS worthy of correction, leaving or whatnot. Its more than you initially think when you have your first child in mass.
I have seen exceptions to the compassion I typically hear but the way I see it the fault for that lies in Catholics antagonistic towards children failing to understand the plight of those of us who have children. They can have their pious frowns and their slightly imperfect masses. My children will be in mass.
Our hardest child at mass is 14 months old. The rest may ask to go to the bathroom more than I would like but they are generally well behaved. After all, we made it through an Easter Vigil service with all four (ages 6,4,3 and 1). For once I felt triumphant as a parent -- never fear, God always keeps me humble. My children really are getting it about mass.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
This is a reminder for me to start using the Knights of Columbus CCC because it contains links to referenced documents. The Catechism of the Catholic Church
Good stuff ...
The rice shortage and the folly of blaming the Catholic Church
The rice shortage and the folly of blaming the Catholic Church
-- from the Philippines.
I'll be honest. I read this because the word "folly" was in the title. I am glad I did.
When you demand that the Church change its doctrine so that the dreaded increase in population might be curbed, you are working with the assumption that doctrine is something akin to a political platform or policy that can be changed when it meets with too much popular resistance. This is not the case. The Church proclaims a message that it gratefully receives as a gift. ... Of course all this is anathema to a nation that lives by surveys and makes decisions about national life by counting noses.
One approach to Catholic doctrine on artificial means of contraception is to see it as the proscription of the manipulation of another human being to suit one’s fancy. ... It effects physiological changes so that one can have sex when one wills. (**1) This is putting it as directly as the argument necessitates. If we are so averse to other forms of manipulation, so insistent—often to the point of absurdity—about politically correct and gender-balanced speech, why can we be so tolerant of manipulation of this kind?
Five more points for using the word anathema
. Of course, the better argument against the complicity of the Church in population and other related problems was succinctly summarized in an article discussing the Vatican's involvement in the AIDS crisis in Africa.
Two doubtful ideas run through all these criticisms. The first is basically this: African Catholics are so devout that if they have sex outside of marriage, dally with prostitutes or take a third wife, they will piously refrain from using condoms because the Great White Father told them not to. Ms. Toynbee darkly invokes "the Vatican's deeper power... its personal authority over 1.3 billion worshippers, which is strongest over the poorest, most helpless devotees."
But she can't have it both ways: these benighted dark-skinned Catholics can't be both too goody-two-shoes to use condoms and too wicked to resist temptation. Journalist Brendan O'Neill -- who describes himself as an ex-Catholic who has jettisoned Catholic teaching on sexual morality -- sums up this patronising argument in the on-line journal Spiked: "The only reason you could believe the fantastically simplistic idea that Vatican edict = AIDS in Africa is if you consider Africans to be little more than automatons... who do as they are told" (8).
- from "Was Karol Wojtyla the Greatest Mass Murderer of the 20th Century?" no longer hosted online ... the way back machine has it here.
**1 see also ABC and the division of sex from marriage
For a basic "natural law" understanding of this teaching see Why is the Catholic Church obsessed with sex?
Blue on blue, now that we are through
My wife and I went to Another Broken Egg
with the kids yesterday. There was a 15 minute wait so we stayed outside to let the kids get a little energy out. While we were out there they were playing some songs from the 60's. One of them was a song I had never heard except as a sample in another song --
The 60's song was "Blue on Blue" by Bobby Vinton (1962)
which I had only heard in "So Easy" by Röyksopp
. I spent a good part of the afternoon scanning my favorites from Bent
, Four Tet
and Wagon Christ
thinking they were the ones responsible for the new version. I hadn't listened to Röyksopp in a few months so I was pretty sure they were not the ones who used the sample. I found it on this samples database
BUT they cited the Gals and Pals version (1967)
(which was a remake of the Bobby Vinton version). Very cool site if you listen to a lot of electronic music.
In the end, I gained an appreciation for both the Bobby Vinton and the Röyksopp version. Now try getting that sample out of your head :)
I'm watching a talking show ...
and its boring. In fact its SUPER boring. - Gabriel
I walked from the kitchen towards the stairs and I could hear what sounded like national morning news. Out of the mouths of babes.
The topic of chapel veils came up recently
... in our homeschooling group. It seems to be coming up everywhere as it often does. Fr. Z
has a good take:
To be clear, I maintain that there is no longer any obligation under the Church’s law for this, but I think it is a good custom that recommends itself for various reasons.
Jimmy Akin provides this good entry
regarding the old canon law (1917) and the new canon law (1983). It summarizes the case against it being a requirement.
Obviously the main sources FOR veiling are the following
1917 Canon Law, 1 Cor 11.
The main case against it being a requirement is 1983 Canon Law abrogating 1917 Canon law and a recent (relatively - 1976 IS recent in Church terms) authoritative CDF document with emphasis on that particular verse in 1 Cor.
Another objection [to a male-only priesthood] is based upon the transitory character that one claims to see today in some of the prescriptions of Saint Paul concerning women, and upon the difficulties that some aspects of his teaching raise in this regard. But it must be noted that these ordinances, probably inspired by the customs of the period, concern scarcely more than disciplinary practices of minor importance, such as the obligation imposed upon women to wear a veil on the head (1 Cor 11:2-6); such requirements no longer have a normative value. However, the Apostle's forbidding of women "to speak" in the assemblies (cf. 1 Cor 14:34-35; 1 Tim 2: 12) is of a different nature, and exegetes define its meaning in this way: Paul in no way opposes the right, which he elsewhere recognizes as possessed by women, to prophesy in the assembly (cf. 1 Cor 11:5); the prohibition solely concerns the official function of teaching in the Christian assembly. For Saint Paul this prescription is bound up with the divine plan of creation (cf. 1 Cor 11:7; Gen 2:18-24): it would be difficult to see in it the expression of a cultural fact [Inter insignores 4].(source)
Tempers fly with people insisting it is a current requirement for Catholic women to veil at mass. Others in the antagonistic fray claim it is a bad thing that should be prohibited. The two are not mutually exclusive. One can appreciate the practice all the while knowing that women are not damning their souls to hell when they don't veil. I think verbage like saying its prideful NOT to veil (because its biblical) is about as useful as saying that it is prideful TO veil (that whole self-righteousness, letting people see you while you pray bit) ... It usually gets there in due time. By then the discussion is out of control, neither side budges and everyone comes away hurt.
My opinion ... I think the case for the practice is quite good. I think the case for it being a requirement is next to impossible to hold. Why it can't be left at that is beyond me.
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Followup on my homeschooling negatives
I finally got some negative feedback
on my homeschooling negatives
post just as I predicted:
... it could get picked up by homeschooling apologists, misinterpreted, unread and commented on in a vitriolic manner.
I won't respond point by point because I don't have the time. My response was as follows:
As the author of the homeschooling negatives copied in above I wanted to point something out that was excluded...
"Second this list doesn't apply to all homeschooling families but individual items certainly can apply to some. In at least one case the "negative" seems to apply to all (#4)."
Taken out of context they might paint an unrealistically challenging environment that no sane person could operate under. Furthermore I responded to my own list in a different post showing how we deal with them.
People like to criticize homeschoolers as if they are all incapable of pointing out negative aspects in the particular environment they are in. I have never met someone who is convinced that there are no negatives regarding homeschooling so I decided to collect and enumerate them for the masses. I left the discovery of positives of homeschooling and negatives of public/private schooling as an exercise for the reader. There are plenty of resources there.
The retorts to my negatives from personal experience or pointing out single examples doesn't take them away from some families who experience them. For example the response to #2 (talented athletes -- football mostly) pointed out a basketball player. Basketball has an AAU circuit where schools are not necessary. Find me a football player and I would think your criticism of my #2 more valid. As it is, it is not a valid critique of the football example and certainly not "completely untrue". Even if you could find a football player that doesn't mean the point is undeniably refuted. It could easily be true that in one state an environment IS available for him to compete. The next state over it might not be possible at all. Consider though, this is not a negative for the vast majority of homeschooling families. Its a moot point for most of us.
Whether the negatives are merely perceived or actual, the effect they have on those experiencing them are real and could possibly include depression or other side-effects that could make a parent unfit to homeschool for a particular time frame.
The main gist of my post was to point out that homeschoolers take these challenges into consideration. They by and large WANT to know what they are getting themselves into. I don't think pointing out challenges, calling them negatives and posting them for the world to see is a bad thing. I also don't think we have to pretend that homeschooling is always a bed of roses. For some of us -- dare I say most of us -- it isn't.
Of course the rewards for our sacrifices, I would argue, are certainly worth it.
The defense against all manner of negatives regarding homeschooling from some proponents is certainly a detraction in the minds of most. Its like the posts are not read at all. That fact in itself leads people to believe that homeschoolers are incapable of handling criticism. That is a negative perspective that transparent discussion about homeschooling would go a long way towards defeating. UPDATE:
Ha! Apparently my response was given a thumbs down.UPDATE II:
In the last 500 visits I have been searched using the following terms
8 homeschooling negatives
8 negative aspects of homeschooling
7 negatives of homeschooling
3 negative aspects of
2 homeschooling negative
2 negative homeschooling
2 negative homeschooling experience?
2 homeschool negative
2 negative about homeschooling]
2 homeschool negatives
2 homeschool negative aspects
1 negatives on homeschooling]
1 negative aspects to homeschooling
1 negatives about homeschooling
1 negative points homeschooling issue
1 negative of homeschooling
1 negative homeschool survey
46 hits on the negative homeschooling topic.