Saturday, 6 February 2010
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, says those Anglicans who respond to Pope Benedict's invitation to join the Catholic Church under the provisions of the new Apostolic Constitution, would not be "proper Catholics".
Here's part of the exchange I had with Dr Sentamu on this week's Sunday Sequence:
Archbishop Sentamu: "If people genuinely realise that they want to be Roman Catholic, they should convert properly, and go through catechesis and be made proper Catholics. This kind of creation [the Apostolic Constitution] -- well, all I can say is, we wish them every blessing and may the Lord encourage them. But as far as I am concerned, if I was really, genuinely wanting to convert, I wouldn't go into an Ordinariate. I would actually go into catechesis and become a truly converted Roman Catholic and be accepted."
William Crawley: "So those Anglicans who take advantage of the Apostolic Constitution, you're saying, would not be 'proper Catholics'?"
Archbishop Sentamu: "Well, I mean, I'd be very surprised --"
William Crawley: "What would they be if they are not 'proper Catholics'?"
Archbishop Sentamu: "They would be what they are: an Ordinariate of the Vatican."
William Crawley: "Anglican Émigrés?"
Archbishop Sentamu: "(Laughter) Well, if I was a Roman Catholic bishop and I had this group within my diocese being looked after by an Ordinariate whose reference was back to the Vatican, I'd have to ask a number of questions."
COMMENT: Ooh, you bitch! Well done Archbish! But this is what really annoys me about the Archbishop of York. He's a clever old so-and-so with a very quick mind. So YTF does he allow his cultural baggage to trump his intellect on so many important subjects where we really could do with a man with his intelligence and personal knowledge of oppression to counterbalance The Grand Tufti's academic gobbly gook with some logic and straight talking? Honest, John. You disappoint me at times.
Mind you, I could almost forgive him anything just for the fact that he's got Damian Thompson of THE TELEGRAPH, rolling around the floor frothing at the mouth and coming out with a load of hissy fit dross on his blog that is so obviously petulant that he might as well have just written, "DAMMIT! SENTAMU'S RIGHT" in bold, capital letters and just left it at that.
A senior cleric of the Anglican Church of Canada has identified inaccuracies in Lorna Ashworth’s BRIEFING PAPER for her private member’s motion, which will come before the General Synod next Wednesday. Similar concerns are coming from the Episcopal Church in the United States. Mrs Ashworth’s motion will urge the Synod to “express the desire that the Church of England be in communion with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)."
Canon Alan Perry, a lecturer in ecclesiastical polity and former Prolocutor of the Province of Canada, rebuts allegations on clergy and property in her paper.
The Revd Brian Lewis, a Synod member from Chelmsford diocese, circulated the note to all members on Monday.
I have posted Canon Perry's rebuttal in full at FOOTNOTES.
From THE TELEGRAPH:
The head of Religion on the BBC, Aaqil Ahmed, a controversial executive whose appointment last year prompted more than 100 complaints, said: "I think all the faiths should be treated in the same way. I don't believe in treating any faith differently."
He dismissed claims that the BBC was marginalising religion as overly simplistic and argued that Christianity, in particular, was already covered well on television.
His comments come on the eve of a debate at the General Synod, the Church's parliament, over the BBC's treatment of Christianity. There has been growing concern at top levels of the Church over the corporation's approach to religion, with warnings that it must not ignore its Christian audience. Output has fallen from 177 hours of religious programming on BBC television in 1987/88 to 155 hours in 2007/08 - a period during which the overall volume of programming has doubled. Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, met last year with Mark Thompson, the BBC's director-general, to discuss religious broadcasting.
However, in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Ahmed, an award-winning programme-maker, said that the Church's criticisms were too simplistic.
wait for it...
you're going to love this...
... he said, "We'll listen to what they say, but we're clear that we know what we're doing and we'll stick to that."
Gay refugees from Africa should be granted asylum in the UK, David Cameron (the leader of the Tory Party) has said.
"If you are fleeing persecution and that fear is well-founded, then you should be able to stay. As I understand it, the 1951 Convention [on the rights of refugees] doesn't mention sexuality, but because it mentions membership of a social group, that phrase is being used by the courts, rightly, to say that if someone has a realistic fear of persecution they should be allowed to stay. It was wrong that refugees were often told to hide their sexuality from police who would imprison, torture or kill them for it," he said.
And he claimed that rappers who sang songs inciting violence against gays should be banned. "I think we can stop some of these people coming into the country," he said.
Mr Cameron also called for an end to the ban on gays giving blood, saying: "Logic would dictate that it's time to change."
He promised to put in place 'ground rules' to make sure religious schools 'teach equality'. But he came out against further equalities legislation, saying: 'I think it's much more about culture than about law now.'
Mr Cameron also called on Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to follow his party's lead and move the Church of England in the direction of gay rights. "I don't want to get into a huge row with the Archbishop here, but the Church has to do some of the things that the Conservative Party has been through. Sorting this issue out and recognising that full equality is a bottom-line, full essential." he said.
Mr Cameron apologised for his previous support of Section 28. The 1988 law was repealed by Labour in 2003. At the time, Mr Cameron attacked Tony Blair for "moving heaven and earth to allow the promotion of homosexuality in our schools." But he claimed he had never believed it was possible to ' promote homosexuality' or make children gay.
"I think, now, looking back, you can see the mistake of Section 28," he said.
COMMENT: Obviously Cameron has had a moment of extreme clarity when the gay thing became suddenly very clear. A realisation, you might say.
A realisation that gay people and their friends have the vote and there's lots and lots of them.
Friday, 5 February 2010
I'm not going to mess you about on this one.
Posted by Jan at YEARNING FOR GOD:
I again entreat you to pray for my sister-in-law Chris. Although she has endured a harsh regimen of chemo therapy in the past months, Chris has more cancer in her lungs from what was originally breast cancer. (Since August, she also lost 25 pounds, which she did not have to lose.) She lives in Bellingham, WA with CB's brother TH.
Right now Chris and TH are on a short trip to Hawaii. I pray that this is an enjoyable and love-filled time for both of them.
Posted by Ormonde at THROUGH THE DUST:
The following men have been murdered this week in the New Orleans Metro area:
1/29 Donald Bates 53 M Shot Jefferson
2/3 Calvington Wallace 23 M Shot Orleans
2/3 Unidentified 20’s M Shot Orleans
Please pray for the victims, their families, and their murderers.
Sara, at CRYING IN THE NIGHT, is still deeply concerned about her friend who is insisting on having treatment for cancer in China rather than going back home to the States.
She has also posted the following:
Michael Spencer, the INTERNET MONK, is not doing well. He is being treated for a malignant brain tumor, and now he says he also has colorectal cancer. He has lost his job and his insurance coverage from the school he worked at, ends this month. The surgery and radiation on his brain makes it hard for him to communicate, something that he was the master of before.
On his own blog, Michael writes:
My situation is serious. Sleep is a big issue. I need rest and it is hard to get. This cancer situation is not going to give my old life back. It may take the life I have. I choose whatever mission God has for me, the utmost need is a simple prayer on my behalf.
From yesterday's PRAYER LIST thread:
Ellie Finlay said...
Please pray for a young woman who attempted suicide week before last. She is still struggling.
Thanks for the prayers for Dr. Ann. She is back home now and still improving--amazing her doctors, friends and family, actually.
Posted by Father Dougal at DOUGALTHINK:
The trip to the new doc's surgery to be peered at went well. My blood pressure is normal, my meds prescribed and the Hepatitis B vaccine is now in the fridge awaiting a trip to the practice nurse.
Posted by Father Kenny at RECTOR'S RAMBLINGS:
My visit to the new rectory today brought joy to my heart. The plumber had been back and sorted the new leaks, plumbed stuff in and sorted the showers. The joiner is finished. The boiler is now working and the house is "toastie", drying out. Tam, the decorator is being his brilliant best, what a man!! And apart from new carpets in the hall and stairway, we could possibly move in next Friday!
Thursday, 4 February 2010
But I will say this. As modern, liberal minded people who are far too enlightened to believe in devils and mumbo jumbo etc., we can be so easily knocked off our feet when the reality of our true situation comes home to us. The truth is that we are fighting against pure evil. On it's own that is bad enough but, of course, we are also up against a heck of a lot of gullible people who, though not pure evil themselves, are easily influenced by, and so easily used, by whatever pure evil is.
My downfall has come out of an act of generosity on my part. It came out of my desire to collaborate and respect the people of my congregation. Unfortunately, it was seen as weakness by a few gatekeepers and bullies who took the opportunity to make sure that an inclusive minded priest would never be in charge of what they consider to be their church.
But the real pain is knowing that, with the exception of a couple of true friends at my church, nobody believes the true circumstances of what happened. Most worrying, because I was not liked by them in the first place, it seems those in authority over me don't believe me and, if they do, then they have deliberately decided to placate the aggressive parties and sacrifice me.
Worst of all, from the point of view of my own peace of mind, I have to wait weeks to find out what fate has been decided for me. I have been told this but I have not been given any indication of what has been decided. I don't think I matter. In fact, I'm coming to the conclusion that ordinary parish priests don't matter, full stop (period).
“That is, an attempt to remove religion from public life. And in the process, tolerance, which is supposed to be the tool to help us deal with difference and disagreement has instead, become a negative virtue – a means of diminishment and marginalisation.
Today, many people imagine we are living in an increasingly secular age. At the same time, the Church has taken something of a battering from critics. Some of these are uncomfortable about the church’s role in the public square, preferring to relegate it to the private sphere. These are the people who would prefer we didn’t talk about ‘Church’ schools and instead talked about ‘faith’ schools where all faiths could be conveniently blended together and kept in a safe place – a process of ghetto-ization at work in a ferocious and insidious way. They are not all hostile to religions in general or the Christian religion in particular. They simply don’t want it in the public square.
“Tolerance has become a restricting quality – a grudging ‘putting up - with’ rather that a positive means of building a caring, peaceful society. The problem with this is that it does not give us the means of voicing and dealing constructively with differences. We give people private space but do not encourage public discussion and debate on key areas which are seen as ‘difficult’ such as religion, immigration, the optimum funding for public services. In consequence, these areas of difference are thrust into the margins where they do not go away but instead, tend to fester.”
I have posted the full speech on the FOOTNOTES page.
Please add the lovely Missy McKerroll (Missy's Big Fish Stories and St. Anne, Pray for Us blogs) to your prayer list if possible. On Wed. her car was totaled. Thank God she is ok, but this is more than just a minor inconvenience in Missy's life and we do love our Missy!!
Posted by SCG at WAKE UP AND LIVE:
Not-so-good news from Charlotte
I feel like I am back on the roller coaster, or better, that I am on the mat again. The pathology report came back. I wasn't going to call and ask. Had decided to wait until Friday when I could take it in and ask any questions but Dr. Albers called me. I could tell that it wasn't all sweetness and light. Everything is fine on the right side. Sentinel nodes were clear and the margins were clear. The left side was a different story. The sentinel nodes were clear but the margins were not. There is still non-invasive cancer in the area where the tumor was taken out so I have to go back into surgery to have more taken so we can get clear margins. The conversation happened so quickly that I didn't get the details but I did get that we need to operate again on the left and take care of what stayed behind. The surgery will be day surgery, again, with nothing else but in and out-no tests, mammos, x-rays, etc. I will be at Day Surgery on Friday, Feb. 12 and the surgery will be at 7:30 AM. I'll be the first one in this time so no waiting-I hope.
Ugh!! I hate cancer! And today is her 61st birthday, so that's not much of a present to get for such an occassion.
Posted by Arkansas Hillbilly at HILLBILLY MUSINGS:
I just got an e-mail to schedule an interview for a job. A change of venue would do wonders for my soul, as my current workplace is the cause of a great deal of my angst. Please continue to pray for me!
Posted on yesterday's thread:
From Paul at BYZIGENOUS BUDDHAPALIAN:
I also ask prayers for Tad who is having surgery on his knees today and is a bit anxious.
Small change amid larger requests: I may be battling a cold one week before my big trip to Turkey and wish to beat it down under my feet before traveling.
UPDATE posted by Paul on his blog:
News of Tad's surgery:
I was just at the hospital keeping Karen company when the surgeon called to say Tad had come through surgery just fine and the he had been able to perform both knee replacements (there had been some doubt since Tad had come down with bronchitis over the weekend). Karen seemed vastly relieved, understandably.
I am sure she and Tad would value your continued prayers for his complete recovery.
Also, check out Paul's latest HEART THREAD for further important prayer requests.
From Terri C of PS 121 IS MY FRIEND:
Another tiny piece of change--I have broken a bone in my foot (falling in a church parking lot, Catholic no less, after the funeral of a co-worker!! I have only myself to blame for inattention. I wish I could blame the rather awful homily.)
From BooCat of AN APPLE NOT FAR FROM THE TREE:
Please add Dr. Ann, from East Alabama, who had brain surgery earllier in the week, but may be going home in the next two days. Please pray for her continued improvement.
Someone in my 12 Step group's awaiting the results on a "problem" mammogram.
For that matter, for EVERYBODY in 12 Step groups!
pray for us
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
He is spitting in the wind. Although there may be a long period during which various views on a moral issue compete with each other to become the accepted morality, once society has overwhelmingly accepted one view and it becomes part of the law of the society, the discarded view must be made illegal. The defeated party must be allowed to campaign for a reversal of such legislation if they so wish, but they must do so from within the law, or, if they break the law, be subject to prosecution, as gay people have had to do up to now in my country. A society cannot operate with two moral systems in respect of matters that are not just personal, but effect the lives of others in the society. Imagine a situation where honour killings were allowable for certain ethnic groups within English society and you then see the ludicrous position this bishop is advocating.
However, if we did, as a society, agree to the bishop's request for two legal systems running side by side, I for one can see some benefits. For a start, as a Christian and priest, I will be able to go back to smoking in restaurants and pubs and on public transport. That'll be nice for me if not everyone else. And I shall not worry about everyone else because Bishop Scott-Downsizer has proved conclusively in his excellently argued landmark philosophical work that everyone else can go screw. It's what we think as individuals that matters.
It's strange, reactionaries continually accuse liberals of individualism yet they are the first to cite individual liberties when the community decides to go in a direction the reactionary individual personally doesn't like.
A 12-year-old Saudi girl unexpectedly gave up her petition for divorce from an 80-year-old man her father forced her to marry in exchange for a dowry.
Despite support from human rights lawyers and child welfare advocates, the girl and her mother, who originally sought the divorce, withdrew the case Monday in a court in Buraidah. The girl told the court that her marriage to the man was done with her agreement.
"I agree to the marriage. I have no objection. This is in filial respect to my father and obedience to his wish," she said.
COMMENT: Such "marriages" are regarded as perfectly okay by many Muslims (unlike marriage between two, consenting adults of the same sex) because the founder of their religion married a 9 year old girl. However, although fundamentalist Muslim clerics may give their vocal support to this obscenity many clerics are vocal in their opposition to such practices and recommend that 16 should be the minimum age for wedlock. These more enlightened clergy state that the context of society is completely different now to that of Mohammed's time and that the Prophet's actions should not be regarded as a precedent for today.
Could you add my Aunt Isabella Blair to the prayer request please?
She is in alot of pain after all fall outside her church. The doctors thought it was a broken hip but they now suspecting something else might be broken.
From Arkansas Hillbilly:
Thank you, Jonathan. I'm just going through some really tough issues right now and need some time to focus on my internal wellbeing. Thank you and everyone for your prayers and caring concern. Prayers for strength and healing would be much appreciated.
Posted by The Finnie Family at ADVENTURES WITH GOD:
Please pray for Joel. On top of his broken arm which is almost healed, he's gone and got something called Irritable Hip (never heard of it before now) which is causing him a lot of distress. The Dr said he needs complete bed rest for a week and must not put any pressure on it. Tomorrow he's going for a blood test to rule out any possibility of an infection and at some point he needs to go for an MRI to check that there is no serious underlying thing going on.
Posted by Mark at
ENOUGH ABOUT ME: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY:
Good News, Everyone! This past Sunday, my nephew's girlfriend, Melinda, was baptized at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Atlanta, J. Spurgeon Hayes celebrating. To top off the day, Mike and Melinda announced their engagement!
Posted by Lisbeth at TELLING SECRETS:
Somebody's gettin' maaarrrreeeeeddd!
And that somebody would be our beautiful youngest daughter, Mia. Her beau of almost two years proposed this weekend. I've been waiting for the word to spread the word. Sitting on this much joy has been a real labor of love.
Tuesday, 2 February 2010
From THE INDEPENDENT:
Spare a thought for the staff at Swiss International Air Lines, who were tasked with informing an assortment of bigwigs returning from the World Economic Forum at Davos that they had overbooked the plane and would need some of the business class passengers to move to economy. Luckily for them, the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams was on board, and promptly offered to trade in his seat."It was very nice of him," says our spy. "The last I saw him, he was at the back of the queue to board." How very Christian.
COMMENT: To be honest, I am unsure how to react to this story. Is the Grand Tufti a brick for volunteering to give up his seat or a pharisee for travelling business class in the first place. I suppose it all depends on who paid for the seat in the first place.
A Polish priest has installed an electronic reader in his church for schoolchildren to leave their fingerprints in order to monitor their attendance at mass. The pupils will mark their fingerprints every time they go to church over three years and if they attend 200 masses they will be freed from the obligation of having to pass an exam prior to their confirmation.
The pupils in the southern town of Gryfow Slaski told the daily they liked the idea and also the priest, Grzegorz Sowa, who invented it.
"This is comfortable. We don't have to stand in a line to get the priest's signature (confirming our presence at the mass) in our confirmation notebooks," said one pupil.
COMMENT: This is an excellent example of how the modern church should be embracing modern technology. However, I personally think that the priest should have gone for retina scanning. I know this is more expensive but the problem with electronic fingerprint readers is that they are easy to fool. I know from the movies that it is extremely common for bad people to chop a finger of a security guard or other employee, and use that dismembered digit to get into the bank vault or whatever. Certainly there are quite a few kids round my way would not think twice to such surgery on their weaker playmates if it meant they could get out of going to church or taking an examination. Of course, the children in Poland will be a lot more willing to resort to such bad behaviour because they are foreign.
And I also think the priest has overlooked a perfect opportunity for the enrichment of the bride of Christ. I mean, where is the cash option? Surely there should the facility for richer parents to pay a fixed sum so that their children can be fast tracked through confirmation without having to actually go to church or sit an exam. As it stand's the good father's system means that well off youngsters are being treated exactly the same as the children of unemployed people and cleaners etc. This makes a mockery of the capitalist system and stinks of the communism that Poland is supposed to have left behind. Where is the incentive to make obscene amounts of money by ripping off your former comrades if your children still have to queue up with the hoi polloi? And, more important, where's the profit for the church?
Monday, 1 February 2010
But the trains are running again and tonight we have three tracks chosen by our good friend, Eric Scully, who lives in the frozen wastes of Canada.
The first track is by a group called Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. They've been around for yonks and are massive-ish in Canada but pretty much unknown elsewhere (I'm probably the only person in England to have most of their records and that's because my young bruv sends them to me from Ontario). The second track is from Canadian folkie, Gordon Lightfoot. Normally he's too twee for my taste but this tune is good. The last track must be a first for OCICBW... - an Ozzie track. This one is from his debut solo album from back in the early eighties (I think). It still sound like Sabbath and that is the only reason I'm playing it. If it was more recent Ozzie I may have had trouble putting it up on the blog other than in the "Where does he find them?" section.
I welcome all of you on your ad Limina visit to Rome, where you have come to venerate the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul. I thank you for the kind words that Archbishop Vincent Nichols has addressed to me on your behalf, and I offer you my warmest good wishes and prayers for yourselves and all the faithful of England and Wales entrusted to your pastoral care. Your visit to Rome strengthens the bonds of communion between the Catholic community in your country and the Apostolic See, a communion that sustained your people’s faith for centuries, and today provides fresh energies for renewal and evangelization. Even amid the pressures of a secular age, there are many signs of living faith and devotion among the Catholics of England and Wales. I am thinking, for example, of the enthusiasm generated by the visit of the relics of Saint Thérèse, the interest aroused by the prospect of Cardinal Newman’s beatification, and the eagerness of young people to take part in pilgrimages and World Youth Days. On the occasion of my forthcoming Apostolic Visit to Great Britain, I shall be able to witness that faith for myself and, as Successor of Peter, to strengthen and confirm it. During the months of preparation that lie ahead, be sure to encourage the Catholics of England and Wales in their devotion, and assure them that the Pope constantly remembers them in his prayers and holds them in his heart.
Your country is well known for its firm commitment to equality of opportunity for all members of society. Yet as you have rightly pointed out, the effect of some of the legislation designed to achieve this goal has been to impose unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs. In some respects it actually violates the natural law upon which the equality of all human beings is grounded and by which it is guaranteed. I urge you as Pastors to ensure that the Church’s moral teaching be always presented in its entirety and convincingly defended. Fidelity to the Gospel in no way restricts the freedom of others – on the contrary, it serves their freedom by offering them the truth. Continue to insist upon your right to participate in national debate through respectful dialogue with other elements in society. In doing so, you are not only maintaining long-standing British traditions of freedom of expression and honest exchange of opinion, but you are actually giving voice to the convictions of many people who lack the means to express them: when so many of the population claim to be Christian, how could anyone dispute the Gospel’s right to be heard?
If the full saving message of Christ is to be presented effectively and convincingly to the world, the Catholic community in your country needs to speak with a united voice. This requires not only you, the Bishops, but also priests, teachers, catechists, writers – in short all who are engaged in the task of communicating the Gospel – to be attentive to the promptings of the Spirit, who guides the whole Church into the truth, gathers her into unity and inspires her with missionary zeal.
Make it your concern, then, to draw on the considerable gifts of the lay faithful in England and Wales and see that they are equipped to hand on the faith to new generations comprehensively, accurately, and with a keen awareness that in so doing they are playing their part in the Church’s mission. In a social milieu that encourages the expression of a variety of opinions on every question that arises, it is important to recognize dissent for what it is, and not to mistake it for a mature contribution to a balanced and wide-ranging debate. It is the truth revealed through Scripture and Tradition and articulated by the Church’s Magisterium that sets us free. Cardinal Newman realized this, and he left us an outstanding example of faithfulness to revealed truth by following that "kindly light" wherever it led him, even at considerable personal cost. Great writers and communicators of his stature and integrity are needed in the Church today, and it is my hope that devotion to him will inspire many to follow in his footsteps.
Much attention has rightly been given to Newman’s scholarship and to his extensive writings, but it is important to remember that he saw himself first and foremost as a priest. In this Annus Sacerdotalis [Year for Priests], I urge you to hold up to your priests his example of dedication to prayer, pastoral sensitivity towards the needs of his flock, and passion for preaching the Gospel. You yourselves should set a similar example. Be close to your priests, and rekindle their sense of the enormous privilege and joy of standing among the people of God as alter Christus. In Newman’s words, "Christ’s priests have no priesthood but His … what they do, He does; when they baptize, He is baptizing; when they bless, He is blessing" (Parochial and Plain Sermons, VI 242). Indeed, since the priest plays an irreplaceable role in the life of the Church, spare no effort in encouraging priestly vocations and emphasizing to the faithful the true meaning and necessity of the priesthood. Encourage the lay faithful to express their appreciation of the priests who serve them, and to recognize the difficulties they sometimes face on account of their declining numbers and increasing pressures. The support and understanding of the faithful is particularly necessary when parishes have to be merged or Mass times adjusted. Help them to avoid any temptation to view the clergy as mere functionaries but rather to rejoice in the gift of priestly ministry, a gift that can never be taken for granted.
Ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue assume great importance in England and Wales, given the varied demographic profile of the population. As well as encouraging you in your important work in these areas, I would ask you to be generous in implementing the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, so as to assist those groups of Anglicans who wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. I am convinced that, if given a warm and open-hearted welcome, such groups will be a blessing for the entire Church.
With these thoughts, I commend your apostolic ministry to the intercession of Saint David, Saint George and all the saints and martyrs of England and Wales. May Our Lady of Walsingham guide and protect you always. To all of you, and to the priests, religious and lay faithful of your country, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of peace and joy in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanks to Whiteycat for sending this in
to MadPriest Towers, hot off the press.
Dosa's doubts eroded after he and his colleagues tallied about 50 correct calls made by Oscar over five years, a process he explains in a book released this week, "Making Rounds With Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat." (Hyperion, $23.99)
The feline's bizarre talent astounds Dosa, but he finds Oscar's real worth in his fierce insistence on being present when others turn away from life's most uncomfortable topic: death.
"People actually were taking great comfort in this idea, that this animal was there and might be there when their loved ones eventually pass," Dosa said. "He was there when they couldn't be."
Full story at YAHOO.
And for his loyal commitment to what for many would be regarded as a dead end job, angel of mercy, Oscar, is our
BRICK OF THE DAY
Thanks to IT for sending this story in to MadPriest Towers.
Sunday, 31 January 2010
But, good news! I have found some English pretenders to the throne who are certainly going to give the US acts a run for their money. I cannot begin to describe the awfulness of this group, and most especially their lyrics, unless somebody can come come up with a word to describe a level lower than the absolute pits.
This recording is what happens when some fool gives a pretentious, combined honours undergrad, with the IQ of a dead pheasant a CD by The Fall for Christmas.
Okay, here's the deal. 500 days off purgatory for getting all the way through it without cheating. And I'll double that if you actually listen to the lyrics. This will be very difficult because survival mechanisms in your brains will automatically kick in to block them out. You will probably find yourself having pleasant thoughts about root canal surgery rather than paying attention to this complete pile of s...e.
I'll be praying for you.
The Rev. Gerald Chojnacki, SJ, head of the New York Province of the Society of Jesus, is unhappy. According to a recent Associated Press report on a forthcoming Vatican document (expected in November) which will reiterate the Church’s teaching that “gay” seminarians should not be ordained priests, Chojnacki, in a September 26 letter to the Jesuits of his province, said he is asking bishops to tell Vatican officials who are drafting the policy “of the great harm this will cause many good priests and the Catholic faithful.”
Great harm? Father Chojnacki must not speak to many of the faithful, who simply want to attend church and have their children taught the Faith with fidelity by priests who are happy with Church teachings and their priesthood, and are not ostensibly celibate men preoccupied with their sexuality. The AP said Chojnacki wrote in the letter that he had participated in the funerals of several gay Jesuit clergy over the last few years. “I find it insulting to demean their memory and their years of service by even hinting that they were unfit for priesthood because of their sexual orientation,” he wrote. Chojnacki said he would be working with the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, which represents leaders of religious orders in the United States including the Jesuits, Franciscans and others, and with bishops, to fight “for the opportunity of a gay person to say yes to God’s call in celibate service of priesthood and chaste religious life.”
It seems odd, if not telling, that Father Chojnacki cites these men’s deaths. It raises the inevitable question, “How did they die?” One cannot help but think of AIDS in this connection. If, in fact, these men met untimely deaths from AIDS, the question is of course raised as to whether this is the “celibate” and “chaste” religious life of which Chojnacki speaks. Don’t dead young priests qualify as “great harm?” Most sane Catholics would say yes.
English men compliment women on their intelligence.
Unfortunately French and English women are exactly the same which is why French men are more successful in love.
Mind you, we get our fair share of American women.
Thanks to Paul and Ellie for inspiring this thought.
An ancient Hebrew inscription on a shard of pottery, deciphered by an Israeli academic, shows that the Hebrew Bible could have been written hundreds of years earlier than previously believed. The inscription from the 10th century BC, during King David's reign, is the earliest known Hebrew writing, said a report in LiveScience. The report quoted a press release from the University of Haifa, where Professor Gershon Galil carried out his research n the Department of Biblical Studies.
Many scholars have so far thought that the Hebrew Bible originated in the 6th century BC, because Hebrew writing was thought to stretch back no further.
"It indicates that the Kingdom of Israel already existed in the 10th century BCE and that at least some of the biblical texts were written hundreds of years before the dates presented in current research," said Professor Galil.
The writing was discovered more than a year ago on a pottery shard dug up during excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, near Israel's Elah valley and it was initially unclear whether the writing was Hebrew or some other local language. Galil was able to decipher the text by identifying words particular to the Hebrew language and content specific to Hebrew culture.
"It uses verbs that were characteristic of Hebrew, such as asah ('did') and avad ('worked'), which were rarely used in other regional languages," Galil said. "Particular words that appear in the text, such as almanah ('widow') are specific to Hebrew and are written differently in other local languages."