Monday, December 28, 2009

Book of Eli

So, a new Denzel Washington movie is set to release in January 2010. The Book of Eli is a post-apocalyptic action film. The year is 2043 and Washington's character (Eli) is traveling through the remains of civilization with a book that contains knowledge that could redeem society.
Now, from the trailer and what people have been buzzing about, this book appears to be the Bible. Lots of explosions and Washington killing and maiming people.

My questions are what happened to end civilization and why wouldn't people know what the Bible is? Might be interested to see how the Hughes brothers (directors) answer this. I wonder if he's got all 73 books in that Bible. Is Eli a reference to Elijah?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Find My Family

Here's a clip from ABC's new show Find My Family. The basis of the show is to reunite families that have been separated for various reasons. Monday's episode was about a woman who gave her daughter up for adoption.

In this clip the mom talks about entrusting the safety of her daughter to St. Jude and giving her a medal that the daughter has kept with her her whole life. In a letter to her birth-mother the daughter writes "thank you for giving me life."

Later in the episode when the mom and daughter meet, the daughter says "thank you for giving me life" and the mother's response? "It wasn't my life to take from you."

That statement pretty much sums it up. These are lives we are talking about. No matter what kind of semantics you try to get into the fact of the matter remains that a fetus is a human life. An innocent baby. Separate and distinct from the mother. We don't have the right to take that life.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Robin Hood is Catholic of course

Check out the new trailer for Ridley Scott's Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe.
Towards the end, Robin kneels beside a fallen soldier and makes the sign of the cross.

I'm interested to see how the
movie portrays the Church. In the movie, Robin has just returned from fighting in the 3rd Crusade. Of course there's King Richard and Friar Tuck as well.


We all know babies are cute. Well, now they have their own movie!

Babies is a documentary film by Thomas Balmes, depicting the early lives of four infants growing up in Mongolia, Namibia, San Francisco and Tokyo, respectively. The film is scheduled to be released in the United States by Focus Features on April 16, 2010.

Thanks to Gretchen at for the video.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Update: Legal Religious Discrimination

Here's an update on an earlier post.

From the Associated Press:

PORTLAND, Ore. – An Oregon legislative leader plans to introduce a bill to repeal a 1923 state law that bans teachers from wearing religious garb.

House Speaker Dave Hunt, D-Gladstone, said he will push to "allow teachers to have the same religious free exercise rights as every other Oregonian" when legislators meet in February.

Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and state schools Superintendent Susan Castillo, who recently sent letters to every lawmaker asking them to drop the ban, also support such a proposal.

The Legislature passed a law this year allowing all workers except teachers to wear religious dress at work in most instances. Its passage led to questions about why the law remains on the books, given that Oregon is one of only three states with such a ban.

The law, which was aimed at keeping Catholics out of public schools, has not been tested in court since the Eugene School District won a 1986 Oregon Supreme Court case that upheld its firing of a Sikh teacher for wearing a turban.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, which has long supported the ban, said the Legislature should not end it without enacting additional protections for Oregon students. The Oregon Education Association has not taken a position on the issue, a spokeswoman said.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Official Narnia: Dawn Treader pics

See here at Facebook!
And become a fan of Vernacular Catholic while you're at it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Coed Dorms Fuel Sex and Drinking

Duh! Who would have thought this was a good idea? Ever?

No Surprise: Coed Dorms Fuel Sex and Drinking

By LiveScience Staff

posted: 17 November 2009 08:21 am ET

It's no secret to students that coed dorms are more fun than same-sex dorms. But they can also fuel very unhealthy behavior that might otherwise be moderated.

A new study finds university students in coed housing are 2.5 times more likely to binge drink every week. And no surprise, they're also likely to have more sexual partners, the study found. Also, pornography use was higher among students in coed dorms.

Some 90 percent of U.S. college dorms are now coed.

More than 500 students from five college campuses around the country participated in the study. Among the results:

  • 42 percent of students in coed housing reported binge drinking on a weekly basis.
  • 18 percent of students in gender-specific housing reported binge drinking weekly.

While that doesn't put coed housing on par with fraternity and sorority houses, the researchers note that binge drinking isn't exclusively a "Greek problem."

"In a time when college administrators and counselors pay a lot of attention to alcohol-related problems on their campuses, this is a call to more fully examine the influence of housing environment on student behavior," said Jason Carroll, a study coauthor and professor of family life at Brigham Young University. BYU was not one of the participating campuses.

The findings are detailed in the Journal of American College Health.

A separate study in 2007 found that college exacerbates the innate predisposition of some young adults to become heavy alcohol users. In effect, going to college can fuel alcoholism.

In light of the finding, the natural question is whether a selection effect is in play. For example, do partiers and teetotalers sort themselves out in the housing application process?

That doesn't appear to be the case, the researchers said in a statement today. College housing offices generally assume students prefer coed housing and give them the option to "opt out" if single-gender housing is available. Very few exercise that option.

"Most of the students who live in gender-specific housing did not request to be there; they were placed there by the university," said Brian Willoughby, lead author of the study. Willoughby recently earned a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and returned to BYU as a visiting professor.

A wealth of information on the study participants allowed the researchers to examine other factors that could predict binge drinking. Their statistical analysis took into account the effects of age, gender, religiosity, personality and relationship status.

"When we first identified these differences with binge drinking, we felt certain that they would be explained by selection effects," Willoughby said. "But as we examined the data further we found that the differences remained."

The participating campuses included two public universities in the Midwest and another on the West Coast, as well as a liberal arts college and a religious university on the East Coast.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Atheist Actor - Religious Films

I saw awhile back that atheist actor Paul Bettany was doing a film about Darwin called Creation and I also noticed he is in an upcoming movie called Legion about a biblical apocalypse and angels battling demons for mankind and control of earth and a woman pregnant with the new messiah, yadda, yadda, yadda. Now I see that he is doing the movie adaptation of a graphic novel called Priest about a priest who disobeys the Church to hunt down the vampires who kidnapped his niece.

Seems like the theme for Legion has to do with God abandoning humanity or outright destroying it, Priest is about a rogue priest out for vengeance. Creation sets up Darwin's crisis of faith juxtaposed with his wife's devout Christianity. According to wikipedia, "Darwin explains her refuge in religion as her reaction to [their daughter's] death."

These movies aren't due out until 2010, and the commentary by me here is speculation, but you can find trailers for Legion and Creation. My guess is that these are the anti-religious, or specifically anti-Christian, drivel that one would expect but I'm waiting to read some reviews closer to a release date. I am holding out hope for Creation to have a redeeming end since it was produced by Mel Gibson's Icon Productions. We'll see. Overall I just find it very interesting that this atheist actor is tackling so much religious content, albeit seemingly from a negative viewpoint. Seems like Hollywood just might still hate us.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

1 lb Baby Born - Health Care Bill

Just noticed this story, courtesy of Good Morning America, a couple of days ago.

Gabriella Gil entered this world four months early and weighed just over a pound. Doctors gave her a 15 percent chance of surviving.

Now, at eight months and 12 lbs, she's come a long way for such a little girl.

"It's hard to believe but Gabby actually weighed less than a can of soda," her mother Maruja told Good Morning America. "It's kind of shocking but at the same time there's hope, there's a life, there's a soul in this little baby."

Current medical technology keeps pushing back the age of viability outside of the womb. And I love the mother's quote, "there's a life,...a soul in this little baby." Exactly! That's the point! These babies are alive, they have a soul. It cannot be legal any longer to kill them.

Gabby isn't the first baby to defy the odds. In 2006, Amillia Taylor, another Miami baby, was born at just 10 ounces, a world record. Today she is three years old and thriving.

In 2005 Sapphire Davis weighed 15 ounces, the size of a small cell phone. Today she's happy and healthy at 37 pounds.

Pro-abortion advocates always seem to say something like "it's just a clump of cells" and refuse to see that these babies look a lot like babies much sooner than they think. Regardless, that "clump of cells" is a distinct and separate entity with its own DNA and is a life - the same way that all human life starts - at conception. This "clump of cells" isn't going to turn out to be a giraffe - it's human.

Radical feminists need to realize this isn't about them, it's not about a woman or her body, it's about babies, about human life. It's ridiculous to think that this should be seen as health care. Abortion is not health care because killing is not health care. Congratulations to the USCCB for standing up for what's right and fighting to keep abortion out of the health care bill.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

V - Is The Pope An Alien?

There's a new show on ABC (that's a remake of an old show) called V. V is for visitors; that's what they call the aliens. It premiered last night and one of the main characters is a priest! Basically the plot is a bunch of alien spaceships arrive over 29 major cities in the world. They say they come in peace. But some people think they're lying!

Father Jack is a young(er) priest at St. Josephine's a small parish along with an older priest. Apparently their parishioners include only a couple of homeless people and a guy in a wheelchair who later takes advantage of the visitors' medical technology and universal (literally) health care. After the visitors arrive, though, the church is packed.

So far ABC seems to be doing an alright job with their portrayal. Although there does seem to be a vestment issue in the premiere (where's your chasuble, Fr. Jack!?). Very early on they let us know that the Vatican's answer to the existence of aliens is basically "we are all God's creatures." Fr. Jack appears to have some doubts about reconciling the existence of aliens with the existence of God as he has known Him. The elderly priest at St Josephine's takes the "don't question the Vatican" stance and sees the visitors as benign. Fr Jack is suspicious of them and preaches about it in his homily (sans chasuble).

Later we find out that the visitors aren't what they appear to be and that many of them have been here for years and infiltrated the important positions of authority in government, military, and yes - religion! So we'll see where this goes, but my bet is that the elderly priest may be an undercover visitor and if the pope turns out to be one I'm gonna flip - channels that is. Also, we'll need to see if ABC can resist the temptation for the relationship between the very attractive single mother FBI agent (played by Lost's Elizabeth Mitchell) and Fr Jack goes anywhere further than co-conspirators.

My message to ABC - we're watching you, so if you want us to watch, then watch how you portray our faith.

You can see video here.

Friday, October 30, 2009


For those fans of LOLcats this should look familiar. LOLsaints uses images of saints with funny captions just like LOLcats uses photos of cats. However, LOLsaints has some reverence with their sometimes irreverent humor (this image is titled "Lazer Wounds"). Along with each image is some information about the saint or the scene depicted. You can comment on the images, rate them, discuss with other Catholics, and most of all laugh.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Law & Order: Anti Abortion?

I saw last week's Law & Order episode based on the Tiller murder and was amazingly surprised on how pro-life it was. Many main characters admitted to being pro-life, admitted most of America is pro-life, or had a change of opinion from pro-abortion to pro-life. I kept waiting for the big twist that would reveal that they really thought all these pro-lifers were extremists crazies, but it never came. I couldn't find the full episode online but while looking for it ran across Jill Stanek's post on it - so I'll just link to her since she pretty much said what I was going to say anyway! It includes a clip from the episode. Click here!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity

Here's some great work by what looks like a great organization.
This is happening today!
So if you see someone with red duct tape on show them some support.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Katie Holmes' Daughter in Catholic Preschool

This report comes via American Papist who cites UK Daily Mail.

Katie Holmes has won a battle with her Scientologist husband Tom Cruise to enrol their daughter Suri in a Catholic pre-school.

The Church of Scientology has always been a bone of contention between the couple and Tom wanted three-year-old Suri to be raised a Scientologist.

But last week Katie enrolled the toddler at the Catholic Charities Yawkey Centre For Early Education And Learning in Boston, Massachusetts.

The family are living in the city while Tom, 47, films his new movie, the spy comedy thriller Wichita. Katie’s mother also flew in for her granddaughter’s first week at the pre-school.

‘Katie has been listening to her parents who are devout Catholics,’ I’m told.

‘She is not convinced by Scientology and has told Tom that she wants Suri to be educated as a Catholic – as she was.

‘They had been having huge problems agreeing on her school. To say they were having arguments is putting it mildly – but Tom came around to the idea in the end.’

Holmes, 30, has not been seen at the Church of Scientology for more than
five months.

But Cruise, who was also raised Catholic but converted to Scientology in 1990, remains an ardent follower.

However, the decision does not seem to have upset the couple's relationship.
Good for her!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mel Gibson's Edge of Darkness

Looks like crazy Catholic actor, Mel Gibson, is going back to some of his acting roots as a tough revenge-seeking detective in his new movie Edge of Darkness. Yahoo Movies has the trailer.

Love the last line in a Bostonian accent, "You had better decide if you're hangin' on the cross or bangin' in the nails."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mother Teresa vs President Obama on Peace

President Obama would do well to heed the words of the late great Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta from her Nobel Lecture when she won in 1979.

… I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing

President Obama recently won the Nobel Peace Prize, but there are those out there who say peace begins in the womb.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Respect Life Sunday

Sunday October 4th, 2009 was Respect Life Sunday. The Church reiterated that abortion and euthanasia are intrinsically evil and always wrong. Our priest added the very appropriate reminder that our morality comes from God and not from the government. Just because something is legal does not mean it is right. It kinda reminded me of something else...

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life...

Seems like the founders of our country had the right idea! Our rights come from God and chief among those rights is the right to life. What happened, America?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Dawn Treader!

Pics of the Dawn Treader from the next Chronicles of Narnia movie!
Looks pretty cool. More pics can be found at here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pope Impervious to Spiders!

The Pontiff recently visited Prague, Czech Republic, where he gave a speech. The AP reports that
A large arachnid appeared on the pope's white robes as he addressed politicians and diplomats in Prague on Saturday afternoon. The pope didn't seem to notice at first — but journalists following the speech on a large screen flinched as the spider inched toward Benedict's neck.

It disappeared from view for a moment, but then could be seen crawling up the right side of the 82-year-old pontiff's face.

When it reached his ear, Benedict gave it a swat.

Apparently the spider was telling the Pope that he didn't agree with the upcoming revisions to the GIRM.

But it didn't go away — it reappeared on the pope's left shoulder and scampered down his robe.

As the pope left the medieval Prague Castle's ornate Spanish Hall, the spider could be seen hanging from a piece of web.

Ooooh, ominous. Kinda like those people who like guitar masses and liturgical dancing.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Middle East Synod in 2010

Yahoo news has the story.

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI has announced a special meeting of bishops next year to discuss Middle East peace efforts and the role of the Catholic Church in the region.

Addressing bishops and patriarchs from Eastern rite churches, Benedict said Saturday that the meeting will take place Oct. 10-24, 2010, and will be titled "The Catholic Church in the Middle East: communion and testimony."

The meeting of bishops, called a synod, will gather church leaders from the Middle East and around the world.

The pope and the Vatican have long been active on the Middle East diplomatic front, seeking to protect Christians in the Holy Land and elsewhere in the region while supporting efforts to solve the Israel-Palestinian dispute.

Could this have anything to do with this post?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Dan Brown And The Masons

Dan Brown, notorious anti-Catholic and author of The Davinci Code, has a new book coming out about the Masons called The Lost Symbol. Bill Donahue of The Catholic League has his take on it here:

Dan Brown may loathe Catholics, but he just adores the Masons. “Brown goes out of his way in ‘The Lost Symbol’ to present the lodge as essentially benign and misunderstood,” says an AP story today. The Catholic Church, of course, is seen by Brown as essentially wicked and misunderstood only by its followers. “Masons are praised for their religious tolerance,” the article says. Somehow Catholics failed to notice: so abhorrent were Masons in their thrashing of Catholicism that the 1917 Code of Canon Law provided for automatic excommunication to any Catholic who joined a lodge. The current stricture in the Church, following the 1983 revisions to the Code, doesn’t mention Masons by name, but does retain excommunication for those who join anti-Catholic organizations.

In his new book, Brown defends the Masons against “unfair” portrayals. So kind of him. In real life Brown says he has “enormous respect for the Masons.” Must be their historic anti-Catholicism that won him over. Showing nothing but sweetness and light, the man who has made millions dumping on the Catholic Church says of his new work, “It’s a reverent look at their philosophy. I’m more interested in what they believe than all their rituals and conspiracy theories about them.” Now if only Brown had cut Catholics the same break.

EWTN has an article by Fr. William Saunders about the history of Freemasonry's anti-Catholic heritage here.

And here's a link to Top 10 Reasons Catholics Cannot Be Masons.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Stoning of Soraya M.

I saw the trailer for this movie awhile ago and it's apparently showing now in limited theatres. I saw that Jim Caviezel starred with the always amazing Academy Award nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo (you'll recognize her when you see her), but had no idea that the producer, Stephen McEveety, is a devout Catholic who has also been involved with the movies Braveheart, We Were Soldiers, The Passion of the Christ, and Bella. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee's Catholic Herald has an article here.
The film, based on the book of the same name and inspired by events that took place in 1986 during the reign of Ayatollah Khomenini, tells the story of Soraya, a woman who lived with a womanizing, abusive husband for 20 years.

In his quest to leave her for a 14-year-old girl, the husband turns her two sons against her and ignores his daughters as if they do not exist. When she refuses to divorce him, he falsely accuses her of adultery. She is tried and convicted. The villagers in the small Iranian town bind her arms and legs, bury her up to her waist and bombard her with rocks for hours until she bleeds to death.

Only her aunt, Zahra, is brave enough to stand up for her and speaks out against this atrocity. She unexpectedly meets up with a passing journalist played by Jim Caviezel (“The Passion of the Christ”) when he stops in the village to get his car repaired.

After weaving him through the story, which he puts on tape, she unravels the political components that combined to make this tragedy happen the day before he arrived.
What McEveety really wants to do with this film is have it "serve as a mirror for victimizers, who regularly abuse women or children all over the world,” he said. “I think that certainly someone in an abusive relationship will take one thing from the film that no one else would take – especially about the role of victims, particularly women as victims. For some reason, this movie gives them some kind of meaning to their experience.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Church, Gender Roles, and Feminism

Many people will attack the Church on the idea that she is an archaic and out-dated old relic of a time-gone-by whose chief offense is being anti-woman. This charge is far from the truth. It's not like we're advocating the requirement of wearing veils or wives walking ten paces behind their husbands or not speaking unless spoken to! If the Church is so anti-woman, then why is Mary so highly venerated as first among saints? The Church celebrates women frequently. The problem that opponents of the Church have is that they aren't looking at women the same way.

Let's face it. Women and men are different. God created Man and Woman, separate and distinct, but both human and both capable of the love and salvation of Christ. Some of these differences are (obviously) physiological, some emotional and mental. But those differences lend themselves to complementariness! What one lacks the other has in spades. Granted there is a wide spectrum and much overlap, but you get the point. Someone has to harvest the wheat and someone has to thresh it or no one's going to eat.

In the second creation narrative, through the symbolism of the woman's creation from the man's rib, Scripture shows that humanity is not complete until woman is created (cf Gen 2:18-24). . . . . "Created together, man and woman are willed by God one for the other" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 371). Woman's presentation as a "help similar to him" (Gen 2:18) does not mean that woman is man's servant — "help" does not equal "servant"; the Psalmist says to God: "You are my help" (Ps 70:6; cf 115:9-11; 118:7; 146:5). Rather, the expression means that woman is worthy of collaborating with man because she is his perfect correspondence. Woman is another type of "I" in a common humanity, constituted in perfect equality of dignity by man and woman. — Pope John Paul II, General Audience, "Woman as Masterpiece of God's Creation," November 24, 1999

The Church celebrates femininity. John Paul II wrote much about it (see in particular Evangelium Vitae). Radical Feminists celebrate women being masculine. See the difference? Radical Feminists want women and men to be the same, and in so doing, deride what is feminine. Now I'm not talking about social justice here. Obviously equal pay for equal work and suffrage and the like are commendable and necessary. But this radical feminism scoffs at child-birth, breastfeeding, stay-at-home moms, being a loving wife, modesty, sexual fidelity, etc.

So who is really in favor of femininity? Sociologically making women into men hurts women. It objectifies them. The sexual revolution has done more to hurt women than any other movement in civilized society before it because it essentially advocates the objectification of women into sexual objects instead of people who are mothers and daughters who deserve to be respected and whose image and dignity protected.

In transforming the culture so that it supports life, women occupy a place, in thought and action, which is unique and decisive. It depends on them to promote a ‘new feminism’ which rejects the temptation of imitating models of ‘male domination’, in order to acknowledge and affirm the true genius of women in every aspect of the life of society, and overcome all discrimination, violence and exploitation. — Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, par. 99 (1997)

RIP Patrick Swayze

Apparently he was born and raised Catholic. I didn't know this. His movies ran the gamut and some of them were awesome! Red Dawn was one of my favorite movies in the 80s. Let's face it, this guy was iconic, even if most will recognize him for some pretty cheesy movies.

Until the age of twenty, Swayze lived in the Oak Forest neighborhood of Houston, where he attended St. Rose of Lima Catholic School
I was wondering if he was Catholic and it wasn't until I saw this on Wikipedia that I saw any mention of it. It's my understanding that he struggled with alcohol abuse at points in his life and that he also had some association with Buddhism and Scientology. It is a familiar story that fame, money, celebrity culture, and Hollywood corrupts individuals. But many times we've also seen people's struggles bring them back to the One True Faith. We can only hope and pray that during his courageous battle with a horrible cancer that Mr. Swayze came to realize the love and comfort of Christ and had the time to confess and receive Anointing. Let us pray for the repose of his soul.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Poverty Breeds Violence

Yahoo News reports:

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican has invited Muslims to work together to end poverty and the violence and extremism that are often its result.

The Vatican office in charge of interreligious dialogue issued a message to Muslims Friday to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

In the note, Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran said poverty has the power to humiliate people and is a source of isolation, anger and revenge. Since extremism and violence are also the result, he said it is important to tackle poverty at its root.

The Vatican has sought to mend relations with Muslims that were strained after Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 quoted a medieval text depicting Islam's Prophet Muhammad as violent. Benedict apologized and said the text didn't reflect his views.

I find it curious that Yahoo reports this as trying to mend relations with Muslims. I would think the real motive is to help people in horrible living conditions and to stem the flow of violence created by extremists who prey on the poor in order to bolster their ranks of terrorists and suicide bombers.

But in all honesty, Muslims and Christians need to mend relations. The two largest faiths in the world who, at the non-extremist level, have very similar ideals and goals (monotheism, alms-giving, prayer, resisting moral secularization). It's just a tough sell when most Muslim nations are militant theocracies that destroy religious freedom (as well as freedom in general). And it's this general freedom that leads to economic freedom which leads to economic prosperity which leads to fewer poor and extremists and terrorists. Of course, religious freedom will help the Church protect those who are persecuted by these regimes which will in turn help the Church grow and spread within these regions. So it's a win-win!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bringing Up Geeks

This is a great little book being featured in some women's groups lately. It gives good advice to raising your kids to be polite, respectful, cooperative, engaged, and not easily distracted by today's secular appeal. Fantastic commentary on the sexualization of girls and the lure of technology and its effect of turning kids off to interaction with family and others. One negative is that the author tends to draw predominately from her own experience and children which gives the reader a sense of "this lady's kids are perfect and annoying." However, the valuable (if somewhat obvious) information contained within more than makes up for any distraction.

You can purchase the book here at the Vernacular Catholic store.

Catholic Artists: ModHMary

I thought every so often I'd feature a Catholic artist's website that I like. Something not quite as big as EWTN or a famous speaker, but the local, small business, mom-and-pop type Catholic shops online. Those of you out there making hand-made rosaries or print art or writing.
So, this is the inaugural post!

How cool is this!? I want to see a whole comic book done.
Check out more great stuff from ModHMary here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Live Matt Maher Video

Alive Again gets better every time I hear it.
Here's a great live acoustic version from K-Love radio.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

President Obama Prayed In School

I found it interesting that President Obama ended his speech to American students today with "God bless you" and "God bless America."
I thought we had a separation of Church and State.
I thought prayer wasn't allowed in public school.
Uh-oh! :)

Pope: religion should build peace, fight racism

Well, duh!
From Yahoo news:

VITERBO, Italy – Pope Benedict XVI marked the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II on Sunday by saying religion should promote peace and fight racism and totalitarianism.

The German-born Benedict said the memory of one of the worst conflicts in history should serve as a warning to never repeat such a "barbarity" as the Holocaust and the extermination of millions of innocents.

"The contribution that religion can and must make is particularly important in promoting forgiveness and reconciliation against violence, racism, totalitarianism and extremism, which defile the image of the Creator in man," he said.

Benedict spoke during his traditional Sunday blessing while visiting Viterbo, a city north of Rome that once rivaled Rome as the residence for popes. Viterbo also was the site of five papal elections, or conclaves, and is affectionately known as the "city of popes."

The 82-year-old Benedict has spoken out frequently about the horrors of World War II. The pontiff was forced to serve in the Hitler Youth corps and later in the army before deserting near the end of the war.

This week, European leaders gathered in Gdansk, Poland to mark the 70th anniversary of the opening salvo of the war, when a German battleship shelled a Polish military outpost.

A lot of people make the argument that religion causes wars and killing. Well, that's just wrong. Mankind causes war and killing. Greed and vengeance cause war and killing. If mankind stopped defiling "the image of the Creator in man," and started acting more Christ-like, living the way the Church teaches us to, then we'd be just fine, wouldn't we?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day

The long-awaited sequel to the very violent and obscenity-ridden Boondock Saints released 10 years ago. Boondock Saints is about a pair of Irish-American Catholic brothers who turn to vigilantism for a variety of reasons I won't spoil. While not suitable for family viewing, many Catholics really like this movie and it's become quite the cult classic.
Here's the recently released trailer for the sequel. Needless to say, the more sensitive among you may want to skip this due to lots of people getting shot and cussing!

Legal Religious Discrimination

According to this article from the Associated Press, Oregon has a law that forbids public school teachers from wearing religious clothing. A law that was backed by the Ku Klux Klan to keep Catholics out of schools.
Oregon's law, originally aimed at priest collars and nun habits, survived a legal challenge in the 1980s by a Sikh convert who wanted to wear her turban in the classroom and was recently upheld by the state's Legislature.
Now, Oregon is supposed to be all liberal and progressive, but apparently not when it comes to the religious. Oh, that's right, progressive means getting rid of that old out-dated belief in God. Nonetheless, Gov. Kulongoski did sign the Workplace Religious Freedom Act in July that allows workers to wear religious clothing on the job. So what gives? Well, bet you can guess who is behind this:
the did law did not change the ban for teachers enacted in the 1920s, after that portion was opposed by the Oregon chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union on the grounds that impressionable children should not feel indoctrinated by their teachers.
Congratulations, ACLU, you agree with the KKK! Apparently the ACLU is only interested in protecting the civil liberties of certain Americans in this case, namely the irreligious. And what liberty is that, exactly? The liberty to not look at the way someone dresses?

Mona Elgindy, a Muslim law student at Loyola University in Chicago (A Jesuit Catholic school) and a former teacher, wrote a paper on the issue of religious clothing laws. She points out that it's not the students or parents that invoke the laws but that "the recent legal history has been created by teachers trying to keep their jobs after administrators confronted them."

Rajdeep Singh Jolly, legal director for the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, has asked the Justice Department to investigate. He suggests "the best way to deal with any problem involving religion in classrooms is to discipline teachers if they try to proselytize students or advocate favoring a particular religion, not for the way they dress."

"I think it's perfectly reasonable to expect that teachers will not talk about their religion in the classroom," Jolly said.

But when it comes to a Sikh turban or other clothing, he asked: "Why should I have to surrender something that is such an integral part of my life in order to pursue a career? It just doesn't make sense."

But that's exactly what proponents of these laws want the religious to do - give up their religious beliefs for secularism.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Penn and Teller Talk Bullsh*t

Penn and Teller's program, Bullsh*t, on Showtime (owned by CBS), spent its season finale blatantly spewing ignorance, bigotry, and outright lies about the Catholic Church. Catholic League president Bill Donohue has this to say:

Go to our website at and click on the Penn & Teller video. There you will be able to see in its entirety the vile August 27 episode of their Showtime program. The mass mailing of the DVD to religious and lay leaders across the United States begins today and will continue until completed.

It is important that CBS, which owns Showtime, hears from you about this unprecedented attack. I spoke to a high-ranking CBS official on Monday about this, and though he was genuinely concerned and very professional in his response, it is still important that all CBS officials be sent the message: Enough is Enough—show Penn & Teller the gate.

Contact CBS rep Nancy Tellem at


Mr. Leslie Moonves

Chairman of CBS

7800 Beverly Blvd., Rm. 23

Los Angeles, CA 90036-2112

Just imagine what would happen in the media and in the public if this were any group other than Catholics.

You Have To Be A Real Man If You Want To Become A Priest

The quote from the title is by John Cardinal O'Connor, and he couldn't be more right. In today's society it seems that the definition of what a man is or should be is in direct conflict with what God wants men to be. Real men know sacrifice and humility and devotion and kindness and respect. This is the year of the priest. Let's pray for our priests and pray for our young men to discern their vocation, to listen for the call, and answer it if it comes.
Here's a great video for created by Grassroots Films (the company behind the fantastic Fishers Of Men).

Abortion Documentary

A new documentary entitled Blood Money attempts to expose the motivation in this country behind legalized abortion. As the title implies, a lot of it has to do with making money (surprised?)! Also featured are Roe V. Wade, Planned Parenthood, the scientific fact that life begins at conception, and how abortion affects women who have had one. Lifesite News has an article here.
Watch the trailer:

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Word on Senator Kennedy and American Catholics

We all struggle with sin. The difference is when someone consistently and obstinately, with a full consent of the will, advocates those things that are directly contradictory to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. Not only that, but when one uses one's status in society to advocate that which is in direct opposition to the Church's message. Many American Catholics find themselves in a situation similar to Senator Kennedy, namely that they do not believe all that the Church teaches. Let me be the first to say "that's okay" on some things. But there are other things that cannot, will not, and should not change. They're just not up for discussion because they are inherently evil and the Bride of Christ just isn't into Evil.

Abortion and embryonic stem-cell research are, of course, the front runners in the list of evils I'm talking about here. This isn't about a woman's right or privacy. This is about killing. Whether you think women should be priests or nuns should wear habits or the priest should face versus populum are not issues of life and death. None of the excuses that "pro-choice" advocates give for allowing abortion trump the fact that an innocent human being dies in the process (and a second human being is put in danger).

The most tragic thing about Senator Kennedy's death is not the grief of his loved ones at his passing but the fact that he never publicly denounced his previous positions on abortion and embryonic stem-cell research. Thousands of American Catholics can point to him, and others like him in positions of power who call themselves Catholics and advocate otherwise, as a justification for their own beliefs. This is a great disservice not only to the Church but to those individuals who use pro-choice Catholic politicians to prop up their own misguided opinions.

Kennedy advocated for signature Catholic causes, such as help for the poor, health care and immigration reform, and opposition to the Iraq war. Working at social justice is very admirable but is ultimately not enough. In these issues he did much good but left much to be desired in his work for the justice of the weakest and most innocent among us. So let us pray for this man, let us pray for each other and for the Church, but we should not exalt him like some modern-day martyr. Let us grieve for the pain his family must be feeling, but most importantly let us use his death as a talking point on these contradictions between his Faith and his politics to illustrate why his politics were wrong. Let us hope that on his death-bed he remembered his words from 1971 (before Roe V. Wade and before his political party was influenced more by NARAL and "Feminist" organizations instead of pro-life Southerners and pro-life Catholics) in his letter to Catholic League member Tom Dennelly:
While the deep concern of a woman bearing an unwanted child merits consideration and sympathy, it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life. Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized—the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old.

...[O]nce life has begun, no matter at what stage of growth, it is my belief that termination should not be decided merely by desire.

When history looks back to this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family, and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mickey Rourke Thanks God and Catholic Faith

The extremely talented and extremely foul-mouthed actor was on the verge of suicide but credits his Catholic faith for saving his life and God for giving him a second chance.

Catholic News Agency has the story.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Good Kind of Change

The Church has been working, for some time now, on perfecting the imperfect translation of our English-language mass from the original Latin. Other countries, with mass in their vernacular language, have a more exact translation. The English version is woefully out of synch! So here is a link on the upcoming changes, present vs new.

Changes are in bold. This is kind of exciting! I bet there are going to be people screaming about it, though! Some people will see this as more "Traditionalism" crammed down their throats. But really, let's just think of it as a more correct version.


Priest: The peace of the Lord
be with you always.
People: And also with you.

Priest: The peace of the Lord
be with you always.
People: And with your spirit.
See how much cooler that sounds!?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Kourtney Kardashian Keeps Kid

While not much the Kardashians do is even worth talking about, let alone posting on a Catholic blog, it looks like Kourtney made a great decision to not get an abortion.

Though these days she couldn't be happier about her mother-to-be status, Kourtney Kardashian admits to People magazine that she initially had mixed feelings about her pregnancy and seriously considered terminating it.

"I definitely thought about it long and hard, about if I wanted to keep the baby or not, and I wasn't thinking about adoption," Kardashian reveals.

While Kardashian's baby daddy, Scott Disick, told her, "I really want you to keep it, but I will support you whatever you decide to do," Kardashian eventually turned to a close pal to discuss her dilemma.

"I called my best friend crying, and I was like, 'I don't know what to do,'" Kardashian says. "She said, 'Call your doctor, and at least find out the risks and stuff.'"

Well, looks like the "risks and stuff" along with a thorough search of the interwebs weren't the only thing that factored into her decision! And it's nice to see the father actually weighed in on the debate - and he wanted to keep the baby!

After consulting with her doc, Kardashian did some research on the Internet.

"I looked online, and I was sitting on the bed hysterically crying, reading these stories of people who felt so guilty from having an abortion," Kourtney recalls. "I was reading these things of how many people are traumatized by it afterwards...I was just sitting there crying, thinking, 'I can't do that.' And I felt in my body, this is meant to be. God does things for a reason, and I just felt like it was the right thing that was happening in my life."

Kourtney says she is still pro-choice but does admit that too many women these days are just going out and getting abortions without thinking about the consequences or long-term effects.

"I do think every woman should have the right to do what they want, but I don't think it's talked through enough" Kardashian says. "I can't even tell you how many people just say, 'Oh, get an abortion.' Like it's not a big deal."
Well, it certainly is a big deal - it's a human life! Maybe those years at an all-girl Catholic school did her some good afterall.

original here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Catholic Church's Woes In Asia

Looks like Asia is actually having similar issues as America. Most notably inter-faith marriages, the secularization of society, fewer children, and materialistic tendencies.
MANILA (AFP) – Mixed marriages, dwindling entrants to the priesthood and violence against its members are among problems facing the Catholic church in Asia, bishops said at a conference here Saturday.

Inter-religious marriages have helped the number of Catholics to fall even further, Philippine Archbishop Orlando Quevedo told a meeting of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC) being held Manila this weekend.

Catholics who marry outside the church in countries where they were part of a minority often converted to their spouse's religion, said Quevedo, secretary-general of the FABC.

Many bishops also said there was difficulty attracting young men to the priesthood because of poverty and the secularisation of society.

Poverty meant that many parents found it "a big sacrifice to give up their young son" to a seminary, Pakistani Archbishop John Saldanha said.

"More girls are joining the convents now than the boys entering the seminaries," he added.

"The number of vocations is going down. The Christian families have fewer children and the reason is secularisation of the society," Cardinal Oswald Gracias of India said.

Hong Kong Bishop John Tong said "materialistic tendencies" were also an obstacle, but remarked that there had been an increase in the territory's seminarians, to 15 this year from 10 last year.

Sources who asked not to be identified also said that the bishops discussed the issue of Asian governments who did not do enough to protect Christian minorities under attack in their countries.

Quevedo said the FABC was preparing a document that "will mention endemic corruption in countries in Asia, not just the Philippines but corruption in most of the governments of Asia."

The FABC represents dioceses from across Asia, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Let's not forget the outright hostility that many Asian governments hold towards Christianity in general and Catholicism specifically. Attacks in these countries don't just come from non-Christian citizens, it comes from the State itself. Whether the atheistic government of China or the blasphemy laws in Pakistan.

Original link here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Nuns Help Catch Armed Burglar

Now, this is just cool.

A man who robbed a house and ran near an Independence convent was chased from the building by one of the nuns Thursday morning, police said.Police said the man took a shotgun and other items form a house and then ran near the Sisters of St. Francis convent. Sisters Connie and Catarina said they saw a suspicious man walking in a bean field behind the convent.At first the sisters thought he may have been a hunter, which they said is illegal. The two nuns said they approached the man and saw that he had a shotgun in one hand, boxing gloves and other items in the other hand. They said when they began to question the man, he ran into a nearby wooded area.Sister Catarina chased the man when he started to run until police arrived.
Yes, that's right. A 50 year old nun in full habit chased him!

"Knowing Sister Catarina, I thought she might have caught him and tackled him," Sister Connie said."I reacted because that was our property," Sister Catarina said. "We want to know who's coming here, why he is here."
Congratulations, Sisters of St Francis! See, people, there are no excuses not to wear habits. You can even run through a field after a suspected criminal. Something most of us wouldn't do in a track suit, this sister does in a habit and flip-flops.

Original link here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Pendulum Swing

The Catholic League recently referred to a study by Georgetown's Center for Applied Research that noted :
that men and women entering the priesthood and joining an order of nuns are more likely to be non-white and conservative than their predecessors. Asians, Pacific Islanders, Latinos and Africans make up an increasing share of the new recruits. Also, young women joining an order of religious are twice as likely to join an order where wearing a habit is expected than not.
What a beautiful and diverse Church we have! This is a trend I've been noticing, that younger Catholics and converts are tending to be more conservative and nostalgic for our ancient traditions, many of which have been pushed out or to the side by liberals that dominated much of the (particularly American) Church in the zeitgeist of the 1960s and '70s.
Sister Mary Bendyna, who authored the study, explained why women wanting to become a nun don't choose to join those orders which are dying out: "Volunteering, social work, working for the poor - they can do that elsewhere."
Exactly. Some watered-down Catholic girls-club is not appealing to religious today. Young people thirst for a genuine vocation and dedication to Christ. A way out of all the secular noise and distraction and pressures and into a life committed to something entirely other-worldly. Hopefully whites, both American and European (where we need the most help), can follow suit and more of them return to a true culture of following the Church's thousands of years old teachings.

Answered Prayer

I think this prayer, from The Catholic Youth Prayer Book, is a great lesson for people of all ages:

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do great things;
I was given sickness, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need for God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I received nothing I asked for - but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayer was answered;
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.
(Unknown Confederate Soldier)
This is a great reminder that what we want is not always what we need and that God provides for us in even the most unexpected ways.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dear, God, We Changed Our Minds!

GENEVA – Villagers from deeply Roman Catholic south Switzerland have for centuries offered a sacred vow to God to protect them from the advancing ice mass of the Great Aletsch glacier.

Global warming is making them want to reverse their prayers, and the Alpine faithful are seeking the permission of the pope.

Since the vow was established in 1678, the deal was simple: the citizens of the isolated mountain hamlets of Fiesch and Fieschertal would pledge to lead virtuous lives. In exchange, God would spare their homes and livelihoods from being swallowed by Europe's largest glacier as it expanded toward the valley with heavy winter snows.

Times have changed, and the once-fearsome Aletsch is melting amid temperatures that are 0.7 degrees Celsius (1.3 Fahrenheit) warmer than in the 19th century. The pastor at the Ernerwald Chapel has warned his flock that a new danger threatens.

"We all know — and the Holy Father reminded us in his Easter message — that an unprecedented change in the climate is taking place," Rev. Pascal Venetz said in his sermon to 100 people at the chapel, where until modern times pious women were prohibited from wearing colored underwear for fear of provoking the glacier.

"Glacier is ice, ice is water and water is life," Venetz said to the villagers from the Valais region, which has sent its sons to protect the Vatican as Swiss Guards since the 16th century. "Without the glacier the springs run dry and the brooks evaporate. Men and women face great danger. Alps and pastures vanish and towns die out."

The Aletsch was once seen as a threat because it could encroach on inhabited areas. These days, the glacier is more of a threat because of its melting ice, which risks worsening floods in the valley and, eventually, a loss of water supply. Experts say the glacier will continue to shrink — even if temperatures stay at current levels — because the warming of the last few decades has yet to take full effect.

In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Venetz said many townsfolk have begun questioning the ancient vow that has been commemorated every year since 1862 in a procession to the chapel on July 31, St. Ignatius' feast day.

The idea to alter the vow came from Fiesch Mayor Herbert Volken, but the concern was not driven by worldly or secular impulses. Instead, the villages "were seeing nature change all around them," and realized the glacier might soon need saving, Venetz said.

Conservation body Pro Natura says the glacier base is receding up the mountain by about 100 feet (30 meters) a year. University of Zurich geographer Hanspeter Holzhauser estimates the river of ice has retreated 2.1 miles (3.4 kilometers) since peaking in 1860 at a length of 14 miles (23 kilometers). Nearly half of the shrinkage has happened since 1950.

Venetz said there were "countless, horrible natural catastrophes" in his parish from the 17th to the 19th centuries as the glacier expanded. "These led to the big volumes of water with floods that brought great damage and calamity in our villages," he said.

Villagers should continue with the vow, but the request for divine assistance should be adjusted to conform with the changing reality of nature, the pastor said.

"Praying should of course continue, because our villages should be spared from natural catastrophes," Venetz said in his sermon. "We should at the same time pray that our glacier does not melt any further, but instead grows, and that the most important thing in life — water — remains well preserved."

He said he would ask the local bishop to seek Pope Benedict XVI's permission to change the vow, and a statement from the cantonal (state) government of Valais said a papal audience was planned for September or October.

"At our next procession, we might just be able to pray against climate change, global warming and the receding of the glacier," Venetz said. -Yahoo

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Matt Maher is "Alive Again!"

Eminent Catholic musician, Matt Maher, has a new album coming out in September. The new single, Alive Again, was just released yesterday and can be found on iTunes. However, you can hear it now at Matt's website!
Maher's lyrics are frequently very Catholic. He has songs about the Eucharist and uses phrases and words right out of the liturgy. No wishy-washy pseudo-Christian vagueness here. Also - some songs even have Latin in them!
I've liked just about everything I've heard from him and after a somewhat disappointing last album (
Empty and Beautiful) because it included many re-releases, I'm excited to check out the new album in its entirety. If this first single is any indication, it should be great.