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The Pope Shunning Orthodoxy??

  /   Tuesday, January 31, 2006   /   Comments(0)

I haven’t read the Pope’s new encyclical, but I hope to soon. I just heard word of this article saying that he “Shuns Strictures of Orthodoxy”, brought to you by the same newspaper who said that John Paul II’s smile “belied his doctrinaire stance.” It’s like those who have been set free by the truth, as Jesus said we would be, are walking around with the look of severe constipation on our faces all the time.

I can’t help but wonder if Pope Benedict’s approach may slowly ease a few of them into finding out what the Church really stands for. Maybe some will even begin to understand the Church’s supposedly “repressive” teachings. It’s like I told a the RCIA to whom I told my conversion story. If you don’t see a particular teaching of the Church as a positive good, then please keep searching.

Then again, maybe I am dreaming here. Take a look at the quote from “We are Church [despite the fact that the things we believe put us out of communion with the Church]”:

Loving your neighbors also means loving critical theologians, he said. “He also has to apply these ideas within the church itself.”

Does loving someone mean letting them persist in their error and spread it to others? No, it does not. If God’s love existed apart from his truth, then it couldn’t be true love. Love wills the good of the beloved; therefore, it wills that the beloved know the truth.

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New Text Message: You’re Accepted

  /   Tuesday, January 31, 2006   /   Comments(0)

I just got a news report that Creighton University is using text messaging to let students know that they have been accepted. That’s kinda cool.

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Signs of the Times, Well . . .

  /   Tuesday, January 31, 2006   /   Comments(0)

There are signs posted along the road that I use to get to work that say “Got $500? Buy your house now.” Well, I don’t think I want to live in a $500 house. My rent payment is more than that. Ok, I know . . .

Better yet, I saw a sign in front of the Backyard Burgers near my workplace. For those of you who don’t have a Backyard Burgers in your town, their hamburgers are 1/3 of a pound and have about 600+ calories in them. They were advertising their “Breakfast Griller” on this sign. Right in front of it, someone stuck a sign that said “Affordable Health Insurance.” I suppose it is only fitting that one purchase such a policy before eating one of those.

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Therese the Movie

  /   Sunday, January 29, 2006   /   Comments(0)

I was looking up something on EWTN’s web site and came across an advertisement that pre-orders are being taken on the DVD of Therese the Movie. The movie will be released on February 14th. I do believe I will place my order soon, even though I really don’t need anything else on my credit card right now.

Now, if only EWTN would make Msgr. Stuart Sweatland’s Catholic Social Teachings series available on DVD. If you haven’t had a chance to watch or listen to it, it’s a great introduction to the social teachings of the Church. Msgr. Sweatland is a great teacher, and I hope he does more talks and shows of this kind.

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Bishop’s Pastoral Letter

  /   Sunday, January 29, 2006   /   Comments(0)

Bishop Terry Steib has released his pastoral letter marking the end of the Year of the Eucharist. The title is Eucharist: Sacrament of God’s Love. You can download a 340 K PDF file at the link below:

Click here to download.

I gave this a somewhat light reading while I was doing my adoration hour last Sunday. For the most part, it’s pretty good. The only thing that bothered me was the statements of Christ’s presence in priest, people, Word, and the Eucharist (from article 7 of Sacrosanctum Concilium as though they were all equal. The document itself says “especially the Eucharist.” Indeed, the Eucharist is Christ himself, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. I wish this had been accented when that statement had been used. Granted, some people go to the extreme of ignoring their brothers and sisters and the Word of God, but much of the danger I’ve witnessed is in the opposite extreme. Still, this letter is a good statement of how God loved us so much that he gave us his presence in such a wonderful way.

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Another Case of Unjust Discrimination

  /   Friday, January 27, 2006   /   Comments(0)

I have recently been made aware (see sites referenced below) that Target has now fired a pharmacist for refusing to dispense the morning-after pill. I wish to be charitable and assume that this is just a local decision that will be revered by corporate. I want to take that attitude before I take any action. I’d love to find out that the story was entirely untrue. Here is an e-mail that I sent through their website.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Some recent news articles (referenced below) have brought to my attention that a pharmacist in one of your stores in St. Louis, Missouri has been fired for refusing to dispense “emergency contraception.” Given that no one from your company was quoted in the article, I cannot verify if this was some local or corporate decision. I am writing this in hopes that this is a local decision that will be reversed by your corporate office.

Being a pharmacist myself, I am disappointed to see that this action was taken. I like your stores and the quality of the merchandise available. However, if this decision will not be reversed, I will not be able to shop in your stores in good conscience. Insofar as I can, I base my purchase decisions on whether a business shows respect for human life from the moment of conception or at least shows respect for the conscience of their employees.

Your website states that you are committed to a diverse work force. I hope that this would include those who do not wish to participate in the destruction of a newly conceived life. As a Catholic and as a pharmacist, I am concerned that the day may come when those who take the teachings of Christ seriously will be barred from practicing health care professions. This will not likely happen all at once but little by little through actions such as this firing.

Finally, I do hope that you will remember that one day we must all stand in judgment before God. This will not be dependent on whether or not one believes it but rather on the fact that there is a God who will demand an account of our lives. Please remember this in any decision you make.


David Ancell


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  /   Saturday, January 21, 2006   /   Comments(0)

Ironically, I found the article on something posted by Diogenes. I make no secret of the fact that I strongly believe that Diogenes could much more charitable in his writings about our clergy. Perhaps he can learn from this courageous and charitable Dominican priest whom he cited. Fr. Brian Shanley did his homework to find out what he was up against, and he came to his conclusion and explained it in a clear and charitable manner.

My favorite line was this one:

Any institution which sanctioned works of art that undermined its deepest values would be inauthentic, irresponsible, and ultimately self-destructive.

Well said, Father. I hope that there are more of you out there who will become president of Catholic Institutions. We have long endured seeing supposedly Catholic institutions replace the authentic faith for a cheap substitute like this production, and I am grateful that you are there to bring them the real teachings of the Church in the way that you did.

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Priest Facing the People

  /   Saturday, January 21, 2006   /   Comments(0)

I am glad to see that Ignatius Insight has published
the essay that is Chapter 3 of The Spirit of the Liturgy
online. This is what convinced me that turning the priest around to face the people during Mass is not the best practice. He actually calls this practice a form of clericalism that makes the priest seem more important than he really is. What really needs to take place is for everyone to look together before God.

I really like this gem that I’ve posted below that can, in my opinion, can also be applied to the semicircular church design that is prevalent in modern churches. I have heard from more than one person that we need to face each other during Mass so that we can see Christ in each other. I just don’t buy it any more than I’d replace Eucharistic adoration with individual parishoners taking turns sitting on the altar. Here it is:

Another objection is that we do not need to look towards the East, towards the crucifix that, when priest and faithful look at one another, they are looking at the image of God in man, and so facing one another is the right direction for prayer. I find it hard to believe that the famous critic thought this was a serious argument. For we do not see the image of God in man in such a simplistic way. The “image of God” in man is not, of course, something that we can photograph or see with a merely photographic kind of perception. We can indeed see it, but only with the new seeing of faith.

This book, by the way, is what showed me that then-Cardinal Ratzinger is a formidable thinker. I have bought many other books of his and hope to begin reading them someday. I’m way behind on my reading.

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Illegal Use of an iPod

  /   Saturday, January 21, 2006   /   Comments(0)

Some criminally minded people thought they had the perfect tool with an iPod. Well, it turns out that they were wrong. The iPod contained all the evidence needed. Some people may get a big-brotherish feeling about this, but what if you were the vicitm of identity theft? This is just what is needed to prosecute the culprits.

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Let the Countdown Begin

  /   Thursday, January 19, 2006   /   Comments(0)

There are only six more days left until Pope Benedict XVI releases his first encyclical. He made the announcement that we will see it on January 25th.

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