Monday, September 01, 2008

Browsing at a hospital chapel

I was wandering around Providence Medical Center today (because...I mean....where else would I want to be on a beautiful sunny Labor Day afternoon?), and I started thinking of the devil's latest conquest in Mexico, and I wanted to reread chapter 12 from the Book of Wisdom. Alas, the drawers in the patient rooms all had protty-bibles, placed by the Gideons. No Wisdom to be found in the prots' bible, as you know. They think Wisdom is apochyphal. I didn't hope for a Douay, but there was not even an emasculated RNAB to be found laying about in a Catholic hospital. Where would I look?

Eventually, I found myself in the chapel, where it appeared (from the white electric sanctuary lamp) that the Blessed Sacrament was reserved. Being easily distracted, my reflections passed from Canaanite and modern infanticide to the hospital itself and the religious order that founded it (what each once was, and what each has degenerated to today). It occurred to me then that our Lord, presumptively in the tabernacle, might appreciate a little old-fashioned worship of Himself and honor to His Blessed Mother, so I knelt down and said the five joyful mysteries of the Rosary, in Latin. It seemed unlikely that such a thing was common in that chapel. I cannot know, but I hope He enjoyed the change from his routine of lay-led communion services in English and Spanish.

Afterwards, as I was leaving the chapel, I noticed a pamphlet rack in the back. Even though it was bad form to do so with my back to our Lord in the tabernacle, for some reason I picked up a couple of them, just curious to know what the laymen who ran the chaplain's office were peddling. Expecting to see just the usual kumbaya-Catholicism one finds in such places, I was really surprised to find that about half the space in the rack was literature from the Unity people (you know, those folks who've gotten beyond the idea of a hierarchical church, and gotten beyond the God of Abraham, and who've built the ooh-so-cool temple on the Plaza).

The tracts were full of reflections on sickness, suffering and hope; a few from a version of the Bible I've never heard of, others from random folks I'd never heard of (presumably, they're folks who hang out with Unity types). Some reflections benign or trite. Some reflections assuring me that god (if not God) is within me in a way that...well...seemed to go beyond anything that Pius XI might have said. And at the end of each, there was a phone number you could call to pray with somebody at Unity, 24/7.

And so I thought, "Surely, even for this place, tracts from such a source were not intentionally placed there? I mean, surely, these were put here by someone passing through without asking for permission?"

That must have been it. The Unity tracts HAD to have been left without permission. After all, a Catholic hospital (even one affiliated with enlightened nuns who've kicked the habit) wouldn't promote whatever sort of religion "Unity" is. But I must say that the guy who left those tracts was enterprising. Before he smuggled the tracts into the chapel, he went to the trouble of stamping them all "Providence Medical Center Spiritual Care Office."

At least I could be assured that as soon as the priests or orthodox laymen who staff the Spiritual Care Office noticed, they'd be off the shelf. Right? Right!

Comforted by that thought, I can worry more about the Unity guys than the Providence staff. Perhaps I'll call the Unity prayer line and invite the guy who answers to pray the full version of Leo XIII's prayer to St. Michael with me.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

USCCB Summer Games

One of my friends, for whom I've invented the moniker "Kumbaya," has a guest post which I'm happy to put up:

WASHINGTON D.C. (Associate Spoof) -- Nevermind the "real" summer games going on in Beijing; there's a far more interesting set of games going on here in the states: The USCCB Summer Games. Just in case you've never heard of these games, here's a rundown of the most popular events.

Starting with a test of speed, stamina, and strength, the games open with the ICEL Translations Criticism Contest. In short, the contestants vie to see who can complain the loudest, the fastest, and the longest about the translations of the newly proposed liturgical texts. This year's competition looks to be especially interesting as the perennial favorites have been stewing over Cardinal Arinze and Archbishop Ranjith's recent exhortation to toe the line and follow the translations as rendered by ICEL. Cardinal Mahoney is favored to win as long as he's not disqualified for false starts.

Verbal dexterity, creative obfuscation, and use of the diocese legal team will be pushed to the limit in the Abuse Lawsuit Obstacle Course. With the retirement of defending gold medalist Cardinal Law, the field is wide open this year. Speculation among some insiders is that Bishop Brom of San Diego might have an edge but the field is packed with many highly qualified contestants. A record number of requests for press passes have been received for this event.
In the non-clerical events, competition for the gold will be the tight in the Liturgical Dance Competition and the Greet Your Neighbor and Exchange the Sign of Peace individual medlies. Assuming enough traditionalists can be duped into being "catchers," the Javelin Throw should be a real crowd-pleaser at the Olympic Coliseum, as well as the Pick Your Dogmas Archery Contest (which, as in previous years, is only open to "dissenting Catholics").

Two new events have been added to the field thanks to last summer's publication of Summorum Pontificum. The first is Team Weight Lifting, a timed event in which contestants reconfigure a sanctuary from Novus Ordo mode to Tridentine mode and then back again. Also new to this year's games is the Red Tape Relay in which Catholics file requests for a traditional Latin Mass with their local bishop while raising a non-refundable 25% down payment to finance the operations of a part-time community which will be serviced by a bi-ritual priest -- all while preparing an appeal to the Ecclesia Dei Commission in case the request is denied.
Sadly, not all of the planned events will be taking place in this summer's contest. One of casualties was The 100-Annulment Sprint which was nixed when all but two of the contestants were dismissed for "rubber stamping" during the qualification round. Also canceled was the Spirit of Vatican II Road Race because nobody could agree where the race started, where it finished, what path the course was supposed to follow, or who was allowed to take part in the event.

Expect security to be tight at this year's games, as well as possible gender-checks for female contestants attempting to infiltrate the all-male events. Check your local diocesan newspaper for complete coverage.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Boston Post

Updated the Boston Church Closing post below with pictures. Finally got them uploaded.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Diabolical self-storage?

Happy to be back in Kansas, and out of new Sodom, I pulled in to the parking lot at Blessed Sacrament in Kansas City for 11am High Mass, thinking it was great to be back in God's country.

Or was I ?

There it was.

.....The deacon who taught my confirmation class in Texas warned me about it.....

.....I heard a sermon preached on it a few years ago..... it was, the most satanic song ever written, morphed into the most satanic self-storage container ever made, right there in the parking lot of a Catholic parish:

I often wonder about what goes on at Blessed Sacrament when we're not there.

Sometimes I wonder more. And sometimes I wonder less.

The comment box is open.

For Alison

First of all, madam, I think you should start your own blog, if you haven't already. You're much more amusing than I am. Mrs. Curmudgeon thought "Pandas Revealed" far superior to any of my witticisms.

Secondly, a "personal parish" is as follows:

Can 518 (1983 Code of Canon Law): As a general rule a prish is to be territorial, that is, one which includes all the Christian faithful of a certian territory. When it is expedient, however, personal parishes are to be established determined by reason of the rite, language, or nationality of the Christian failthful of some territory, or evn for some other reason.

A parish is a juridic person with some rights (however precarious under the new regime). Many places (e.g., Denver, Rockford, Sacramento, Kansas City Missouri) have traditional communities which are established as personal parishes or their equivalents. Others (e.g., our little group) are mere "chaplaincies," with no rights, but which exist only at the sufferance of the ordinary. That's not to say there aren't risks to personal parishes (see Scranton PA), but they're not entirely a plaything of the chancery as St. Rose Philippine is.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Springtime of Vatican II in Boston

I'm on a business trip, and I had a few hours free last night and found myself in Boston's Chinatown, so I went by and took a few pictures of recently-closed Holy Trinity, a symbol of the wise episcopal governance and collegial papal deference that Boston has enjoyed over the last forty years.

How wonderful the aggiornamento has been! This is the traditional Latin Mass community met for a number of years, and it's my understanding that they were quite prepared to take over responsibility for the historic church(which, judging from the exterior, could stand a little work).

Of course, to allow those traditional folks to have their own place would have been unthinkable; they're not really a part of the larger Church, you know. And besides, Cardinal Sean might be able to make a few thousand dollars to throw at the buggery bill by selling it to some goofy New Agers who would....ironically....have a beautiful place to celebrate gay weddin's.

It was the announcement from the Diocese of Scranton, home of the North American FSSP headquarters, that the FSSP-served traditional personal parish be supressed or merged with a happy-clappy parish "to cope with the priest shortage" when the FSSP is probably the only institute in that diocese that actually produces plenty of religious vocations? I figured, having read that, that I'd venture a little bit and see the wreckage in Boston.

Isn't it something, how incredibly stupid we all are, in the eyes of the evil or incompetent men who've politicked their way into being our shepherds, and in the eyes of their crooked chancery rat handlers? And isn't it something, the money that can be made out of church closings when you team the chancery rats up with guys like Alan Meitler? Church closin' is good business, and business has been good in Boston, and Scranton, as it has been in the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas.

New profile photo

It is only out of the profound love I have of Mrs. Curmudgeon that I've donned socks.

Monday, July 28, 2008

What about the one-child policy?

Not surprisingly, some animals are more equal than others in China. Forced contraception and forced abortion doesn't apply to them uniformly:

4 panda cubs born at Chinese breeding center
Sun Jul 27, 9:48 AM ET

BEIJING - Four giant panda cubs were born within 14 hours at a breeding center in southwest China, a mini baby boom for the rare animals, a state news agency reported Sunday.

The births began Saturday at the Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Center when 9-year-old Qiyuan, or Magic Luck, gave birth to female twins at 5:24 p.m. and 6:16 p.m., Xinhua News Agency reported, citing center expert Yang Feifei.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yawn....y'all still here?

I happened to remember my password ... finally. Gosh it's been a long time since I posted. When I look at the site meter I'm absolutely shocked it's not at zero.

Hmm. So much going on in my life. Still not quite settled into the new cave and the environs still need attention. So I guess I'm not ready to resume the blog. Maybe this fall?

In the meantime, if you're still out there, what would you think of a "Kansas Secede!" bumpersticker? I was thinking of printing some up and starting a movement, but I often overestimate the inertia out there.

Monday, January 28, 2008

So what does the average St. Louis Catholic think about his Ordinary?

Well, just so we don't all lose our focus and see a near term success in the culture war, we might spend a few minutes reading the comments to this story about Abp. Burke's rather....episcopal...reaction to SLU coach Rick Majerus's antics (there are almost 500 of them).

The article is stupid and misleading of course...who would expect otherwise from an outlet run by Ted Turner? But the comments are useful, because they give insight into what the "Joe Six-Packs" in St. Louis and elsewhere think about a bishop who dares to do his job. And they help us come to grips with just how far gone the culture is, and just how effective the Vatican II "pastoral" approach has been in forming Catholics and influencing non-Catholics.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

"It seems to me that faith education works all right as long as people are not that serious about their faith."

So says, British MP Barry Sheerman, presumably with a straight face. State subsidies for Catholic schools are under fire in Britain because certain (but not all) Catholic Bishops in Britain are acting in ways which vaguely resemble...Catholic Bishops.

Much can be said about the danger state subsidies would pose to Catholic schools here in the US, when we think about vouchers and the strings that would be attached to them.

But I think much more could be said about the fact that so many prelates and educators in Catholic schools....and for that matter, so many parents of Catholic school children, especially ones I know here in Kansas City...would say the same thing.