Friday, September 27, 2002

Traditional Values Coalition reports Miss Illinois, Erika Howard was crowned Miss America on Saturday 9/21. She’s an outspoken advocate for abstinence!

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Mother Teresa's Cause for Beatification Clears a Key Step
Cardinals and Bishops Recognize Her "Heroic Virtues"

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 24, 2002 ( Cardinals and bishops of the Congregation for Sainthood Causes have acknowledged Mother Teresa's lifelong "heroic" virtues, a key step toward her beatification, Vatican sources told ZENIT.

Mother Teresa could be beatified as early as next year. Such a process of beatification would break all records in modern times. It was opened formally on July 26, 1999, less than two years after her death.

This story interests me because my friend, Sr. Mary Edward, is a nun in Mother Teresa's order and is working on the cause for beatification. When she visited me in June, she told me some wonderful Mother Teresa stories and about the miracle that has helped speed up the cause.

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Sacramento Bee reports Berkeley study finds youths more conservative than parents.
Teenagers are more conservative on issues such as school prayer and abortion than their parents, according to a study released Tuesday.

Political science professors Merrill Shanks and Henry Brady of the University of California, Berkeley, found the generation gap was most pronounced on issues such as school prayer - on which 69 percent of teenagers surveyed said it should be allowed, compared to 59 percent of adults 27 to 59.

Monday, September 23, 2002

Look out St. Louis
Women for Faith & Family

A local effort to spread dissent in the Church, "Faithful St. Louis", is a spin-off of a "reform" coalition of dissident Catholic groups organized in Boston in the heat of the clerical sex-abuse crisis, "Voice of the Faithful". Some presenters at the St. Louis gathering, "Ways to Create a Healthier Church", held September 21, at Harris-Stowe State College in midtown St. Louis, are high-profile dissenters. None of the sixteen-member steering committee is known for faithfulness to Church teachings.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

The Washington Times reports the findings in the most complete religious survey of the United States. "Catholic parishes in the West and South are growing faster than elsewhere, often by a third, he said. The Church may have to shift more of its institutional resources to meet this growth, or give more attention to mission needs there. One reason for the cooperative census is to find out at the county and state levels how much of the population is "unclaimed" by religious groups and thus fertile ground for faith organizations to reach out."

Very interesting.
Ignorance of History of Slavery and Christianity

Catholic Encyclopedia has an interesting article about the history of slavery.


"In the Middle Ages slavery, properly so called, no longer existed in Christian countries; it had been replaced by serfdom, an intermediate condition in which a man enjoyed all his personal rights except the right to leave the land he cultivated and the right to freely dispose of his property. Serfdom soon disappeared in Catholic countries, to last longer only where the Protestant Reformation prevailed. But while serfdom was becoming extinct, the course of events was bringing to pass a temporary revival of slavery. As a consequence of the wars against the Mussulmans and the commerce maintained with the East, the European countries bordering on the Mediterranean, particularly Spain and Italy, once more had slaves -- Turkish prisoners and also, unfortunately, captives imported by conscienceless traders. Though these slaves were generally well-treated, and set at liberty if they asked for baptism, this revival of slavery, lasting until the seventeenth century, is a blot on Christian civilization. But the number of these slaves was always very small in comparison with that of the Christian captives reduced to slavery in Mussulman countries, particularly in the Barbary states from Tripoli to the Atlantic coast of Morocco.

The language in the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia is outdated. Mussulmans are now called Muslims. Barbary states is a term used for the North African states of Tripolitania, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. From this article, one can conclude that Catholics abolished slavery and Muslims revived it. I wonder if Afro-American Louis Farakan, leader of the Nation of Islam, tells his followers that the organization they belong to promoted slavery.

Also, the Southern Baptists should know the origin of their denomination. According to another Catholic Encyclopedia article:

"Calvinistic" or "Particular" Baptists, ... maintained that Christ's redemption was intended for the elect alone. Particular Baptist congregations were established in and about Philadelphia, and these through the foundation of the Philadelphia Association in 1707, which fostered mutual intercourse among them, became a strong central organization about which other Baptist churches rallied. As a result, we see today the large number of Particular (Regular) Baptists. The Regular Baptists divided in 1845, not indeed doctrinally, but organically, on the question of slavery. Since that time, attempts at reunion having remained fruitless; they exist in three bodies: Northern, Southern, and Coloured.

The Official Website of the Southern Baptist Convention says, "Since its organization in 1845 in Augusta, Georgia, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has grown to 15.9 million members who worship in more than 41,500 churches in the United States."

Hmmm. Interesting that the web site does not mention the reason for the split. Considering how many are in the denomination, Afro-Americans should know they belong to an organization that once believed slavery was OK. I wonder if Afro-Americans would be more open to become Catholic if they knew who abolished slavery in Europe. I guess it's up to Catholics to make this fact more widely known.

And who was that female Democrat politician from the south who accepted money from Arabs that lost the primary election recently?

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

A Call to Racial Reconciliation in the Church
Janet Chismar writes, "Sometimes dubbed "the most segregated hour of the week," Sunday mornings indeed have a long way to go. One New York Times poll said that 90 percent of whites said there were few or no blacks at their religious services, and 73 percent of blacks said their congregations had few or no whites."
Garland Hunt's booklet, "The Mandate: A Call to Biblical Unity," serves as a succinct call to action. "It challenges the reader to understand that our nation, as a whole, must do something about this incredible racial divide that still haunts us as we go about internationally and proclaim ourselves to be a nation of peace," says Hunt.
"Globally, the Anglican Church is a church of color," said the Rev. Butch Naters-Gamarra from the Diocese of Los Angeles. "We know that in the next 15 or 20 years, the majority of the population in Los Angeles will be people of color. The church needs to be prepared to welcome whoever wants to come," he added.

The same thing can be said of the Catholic Church in St. Louis. Several parishes have closed because they failed to evangelize the neighborhood after the white Catholics moved to the suburbs.

Christopher Reeve Apologizes to Catholics

Christopher Reeve issued an apology to Roman Cathoics, who may have been offended by his recent remarks concerning embryonic stem cell research.

That's super of him.

Monday, September 16, 2002

An editorial in the usually liberal St. Louis Post Dispatch supports the statute of limitations in clergy abuse cases.
Lawsuit abuse


WHEN BISHOP Anthony J. O'Connell of Palm Beach, Fla., resigned six months ago, the news reverberated through an already-shaken American Catholic Church. This was no mere priest, but a shepherd of the church admitting that, yes, he had sexually abused a student at a Hannibal, Mo., seminary more than 20 years earlier. What's more, Bishop O'Connell warned, another abuse victim might come forward.

In fact, three other men came forward. The first two filed suit in Marion County Circuit Court in Hannibal, where their cases are pending. The third man filed an ambitious suit in St. Louis County Circuit Court, naming not only Bishop O'Connell, but church officials in Kansas City, Jefferson City and Knoxville, Tenn.

Lawyers for the 50-year-old Massachusetts man, known in court documents as John Doe, charged that the defendants had engaged in a pattern of racketeering and civil conspiracy to cover up sexual abuse that began in 1969 and continued until the early 1990s.

Last week, St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Mark D. Seigel threw the case out. His decision makes sense. .... But, in light of the unusual facts in the John Doe case, use of the statute was appropriate. There are too many victims in too much pain to abuse the court system with overstated claims like this one.

I'm surprised that the St. Louis Post Dispatch would agree with the law as it is. They tend to want judges to legislate from the bench.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

David Limbaugh in the Jewish World Review lets those who object to enforcing UN resolutions against Iraq have it.

"The Bush administration takes the position that a strike against Iraq is justified under international law as a matter of self-defense. If we had 100 percent proof that Saddam had or would soon have nuclear weapons and was going to use them against the United States, through terrorists or otherwise, would we be justified in attacking him? In other words, is it the level of proof that bothers you, international law or world opinion?

Regardless, on the matter of proof, shouldn't we err on the side of preventing another 9/11, especially when we do have strong proof, including that if Saddam had nothing to hide, he wouldn't have continually expelled the weapons inspectors? And, if you were reasonably certain that Saddam was going to unleash weapons of mass destruction on our people or our soil, would you be quibbling over the fine points of international law, much less world opinion?

It would be one thing for people to object to our invasion of Iraq if we had imperialistic designs -- if we wanted to absorb the Iraqi nation or even steal her oil. But no one believes that. This is about self-defense, pure and simple. If we are correct that Saddam will unleash these catastrophic weapons against our allies or us, we have not only the legal right but the moral obligation to act before he does it.

As Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld so cogently observed, America's task is to "… behave in a way that there won't be books written about why we slept."

Hear that? Self defense. Isn't that allowed under the moral code?

Prime Example
This is what CNN chopped out of their report from President Bush Addresses the Nation on the Anniversary of September 11 from Ellis Island
"The attack on our nation was also attack on the ideals that make us a nation. Our deepest national conviction is that every life is precious, because every life is the gift of a Creator who intended us to live in liberty and equality. More than anything else, this separates us from the enemy we fight. We value every life; our enemies value none -- not even the innocent, not even their own. And we seek the freedom and opportunity that give meaning and value to life.

There is a line in our time, and in every time, between those who believe all men are created equal, and those who believe that some men and women and children are expendable in the pursuit of power. There is a line in our time, and in every time, between the defenders of human liberty and those who seek to master the minds and souls of others. Our generation has now heard history's call, and we will answer it."

President Bush makes a subtle hint that terrorists are as bad as abortionists, I think. Go George! The dependably biased CNN chopped it out.

Later in the speech, he said, "Ours is the cause of human dignity; freedom guided by conscience and guarded by peace. This ideal of America is the hope of all mankind. That hope drew millions to this harbor. That hope still lights our way. And the light shines in the darkness. And the darkness will not overcome it."

The last two sentences are from John 1:5. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

So indirectly, Bush is saying that Jesus (the Word) will overcome the evil of not respecting human dignity. I guess only folks that read the Bible "get" the reference. Bush's code language didn't get past me, though. I love it when the President of the US quotes Scripture. Go George!

For the full text of the speech, click here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002 reports Clinton Skates on 9/11 Responsibility

"A full year after the most devastating attack on U.S. territory in the country's history, both Congress and the press have yet to undertake a thorough investigation into the national security failures that left America vulnerable.

Given journalists' enduring love affair with Bill and Hillary, it’s not likely the prestige press will inform Americans anytime soon about the role the Clintons played in the national security breakdown that left the U.S. vulnerable on Sept. 11."

Instead, there's been too much scapegoating and not enough change. Obstructing changes in immigration policy and airport security are prime examples.
Where is all the patriotism, unity and religiosity we had a year ago? Did it go up in smoke? We owe it to those who died to put an end to terrorism. How can we stand by and do nothing? The very people who say we should sit on our hands will be the ones who blast the President for not doing enough if Saddam blows up a few thousand (or million) people. The people who say our privacy rights are more important than protecting the country have a hole in their heads. If I have to carry an ID card that has my fingerprint and DNA data, I will not consider that the "Mark of the Beast" from Revelation. I have nothing to hide. Somethings are more important than others at certain times in history. We need to put the best interests of the nation as the highest priority now.
A Day for Black Bunting....
I grieve for the victims of 9/11/01 and for two dear friends who died that day here in St. Louis, MO.
The first friend was my high school religion teacher. Fr. Tom Donahue was a red head with a charming, loveable manner that made teens idolize him. It wasn't his words of wisdom that made us love him. It was the way he was a witness to Jesus' love and the way he made us feel worthy of God's love that endeared him to us. I guess he went to heaven in the early hours of 9/11 so that he could minister to those who would die in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC. Rest in peace, Fr. Tom.

The second friend was a co-worker, Mimi Saxon, who was in her forties. It seems so strange when someone younger than yourself passes away suddenly from a heart attack. It makes one feel very vulnerable; even more vulnerable than from a terrorist attack. Mimi's death makes me think how I need to value each day as a gift from God and be kind to those I love because you never know how long you have left. Rest in peace, Mimi.

My friend, Ronnie, told me that her brother died suddenly yesterday. I grieve with her.

God bless you all and let me not forget what your lives taught me.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

I was reading a friend's copy of Priests for the Third Millennium by Timothy M. Dolan last weekend. This book is a collection of 24 spiritual conferences which Msgr Dolan as Rector gave the seminarians of the North American College, Rome. They cover almost every aspect of the life of the Catholic priest of this millennium, who has to respond to his call to holiness in the challenging circumstances of our society and culture.
I found the chapter on the virtue of hope very inspiring. If you are wondering what kind of man the new archbishop of Milwaukee is, try to get a copy of this book. It is out of print now, which is a shame. It deserves to be reprinted. But you can get the gist of the book's theme from the Amazon web site. After I read the book, I think Milwaukee got a good deal. St. Louis' loss is Milwaukee's gain.

Friday, September 06, 2002

Have you ever wanted to know the origins of Christianity?
I found a couple good sites that are insightful.
Judaism 101 is an online encyclopedia of Judaism, covering Jewish beliefs, people, places, things, language, scripture, holidays, practices and customs. It's goal is to make freely available a wide variety of basic, general information about Judaism, written from a traditional perspective in plain English. It gives a list of the 613 mitzvot (commandments). It is based primarily on the list compiled by Rambam in the Mishneh Torah and other sources, which I find are very eye-opening.

Conversion to Judaism Home Page, the web site of the Conversion to Judaism Resource Center. The Center provides information and advice to people who are considering converting to Judaism and to those who have converted. This one has some good information.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

Need something to laugh about or think about?
From a post on the Free Republic discussion board about Afghanistan:
"We need to send all of our liberals over there to take all of Afghanistan's guns away.

Then we send all our trial lawyers over there to sue all the opium growers on behalf of the addicts.

Then send all the feminists over there to force their men to treat their women better than dogs. Either the women will "overcome" or be killed. They win - we win, they die - Afghanistan dies off and then we win.

Then send over the "class warfare" democrats to unseat the warlords as they are overly wealthy and their mansions too opulant."

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Talk about a conspiracy of silence about child molesting....
An article that appeared in Citizen magazine by Focus on the Family says, "Planned Parenthood is providing the protection for these pedophiles". Life Dynamics, Inc. (LDI) — a pro-life organization based in Denton, Texas — shows that abortion clinics have their own interests at heart when dealing with pregnant girls under the age of consent.
Though laws defining it vary widely, all 50 states list statutory rape as a prosecutable offense — one health care workers are nearly always required to report. According to Life Dynamics President Mark Crutcher, the results were shocking: 91 percent of the clinic workers said they were required by law to report the statutory rape, but then assured her (the researcher) they wouldn’t.