31 March, 2011

25 March, 2011

H/T to Patrick Madrid for this wonderful Lenten penance: "Sometimes, a well-placed photon torpedo is the only answer"

Why Going to Church Can Make You Fat - TIME Healthland

Pizza Pizza... I want to order an extra large!



Silly me! Here I thought it was because I ate too much!!

Why Going to Church Can Make You Fat - TIME Healthland

It s "Buy Your Priest a Beer" Week! | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Given the fact that it's the end of March and the temperature outside is -17C (with windchill -27C), maybe a hot rum toddy would be a better alternative. Just so long as it won't result in a rush to the bathroom as my municipal water line is frozen AGAIN (2nd time in 3 weeks - last time cost $784 to repair).


SIGH!

It s "Buy Your Priest a Beer" Week! | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Pray-as-you-go . . . daily prayer for your MP3 player

Pray-as-you-go . . . daily prayer for your MP3 player

Victor Frankl addresses Toronto student conference - Thank you Dianne Wood for finding this clip

23 March, 2011

A Light to the Nations: The Meaning and Future of the Catholic Church | Feature | Articles

+Chaput of Denver offers insights into the relationship between the Church and State ... one of his favorite subjects! Always a good read.

InsideCatholic.com | A Light to the Nations: The Meaning and Future of the Catholic Church | Feature | Articles

A House Discovered From the Time of Christ

A House Discovered From the Time of Christ

My cemetery misdemeanour - The Globe and Mail

My cemetery misdemeanour - The Globe and Mail

Father Who? Why Corapi Matters

Father Who? Why Corapi Matters

Hilarious and Unique Signs Outside of Church

Hilarious and Unique Signs Outside of Church

Believe it, an online funeral service - The Globe and Mail

Believe it, an online funeral service - The Globe and Mail

The Church and the Unions | First Things

George Weigel explains the Catholic position on 'trade unions', successor to the Catholic trade guilds of the middle ages.

The Church and the Unions | First Things

20 March, 2011

I appreciate St. Paddy's Day has past, but it's never a bad day to share a bit of wisdom from the Irish

Murphy showed up at Mass one Sunday and the priest almost fell down when he saw him. He'd never been to church in his life.

After Mass, the priest caught up with him and said, "Murphy, I am so glad ya decided to come to Mass. What made ya come?"


Murphy said, "I got to be honest with you Father, a while back, I misplaced me hat and I really, really love that hat. I know that McGlynn had a hat just like mine and I knew he came to church every Sunday.. I also knew that he had to take off his hat during Mass and figured he would leave it in the back of church. So, I was going to leave after Communion and steal McGlynn's hat."


The priest said, "Well, Murphy, I notice that ya didn't steal McGlynn's hat. What changed your mind?"


Murphy replied, "Well, after I heard your sermon on the 10 Commandments, I decided that I didn't need to steal McGlynn's hat after all."


With a tear in his eye the priest gave Murphy a big smile and said; "After I talked about 'Thou Shalt Not Steal' ya decided you would rather do without your hat than burn in Hell?"


Murphy slowly shook his head. "No, Father, after ya talked about 'Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery' I remembered where I left me hat."

19 March, 2011

The Passion of Dorothy Day - NYTimes.com

The Passion of Dorothy Day - NYTimes.com

A parents worst nightmare befalls local families

Michael Pineau, missing in Ottawa
Luc Joly, missing in North Bay
Please pray for this lad, Michael Pineau from our little town of Mattawa. He has been missing since Tuesday and his family is deeply distressed and worried.

Also, please pray for another lad from my neighboring parish, Luc Joly. He has been missing since last Saturday when he was seen leaving a bar in North Bay, Ontario. The news in this case is not looking good as the police have now transferred it to their criminal investigations unit.


Holy Mary, Mother of God, please bring these boys home to their mothers.

Teen missing since Tuesday

The Lutheran Landslide | Blogs | NCRegister.com



I always knew that my old friend Fr. RJN was a trend setter. Too bad he didn't live to see these changes in the ecumenical movement he supported bear fruit.

The Lutheran Landslide | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Harry Reid: We’ll shut down government before we shut down Planned Parenthood funding | LifeSiteNews.com

Talk about having your priorities screwed up! Harry Reid provides an almost perfect example. When pro-life politicians ask to have their concerns addressed in legislation such as Obamacare (which I support BTW even though I'm not an American - a country as rich as the USA should provide health care to its citizens) they are denounced as extremists who would destroy the country. Now with this statement from Reid it will be interesting to see if the same media which denounced Stupak and his fellow legislators offers the same type of denunciation for his threat to shit down the entire US government over his pro-choice stance. Probably not.

Harry Reid: We’ll shut down government before we shut down Planned Parenthood funding | LifeSiteNews.com

'Courtyard of the Gentiles' promises boost to Catholic pride | National Catholic Reporter

'Courtyard of the Gentiles' promises boost to Catholic pride | National Catholic Reporter

Proposed Italian law bans starvation and dehydration of terminal patients | LifeSiteNews.com

Now, if only we could have such a policy in Canada! I find myself complaining often to hospitals when I see patients being denied the basics of food and hydration in the terminal phase of their illness. Food and water should NEVER be considered extraordinary means of care no matter how close (or far) death appears to be. Even Catholic hospitals (such as our hospital here in Mattawa) use this horrid practice, despite the fact that the Church forbids it. Pro-lifers should recognize that this is happening and work to eliminate its use in Canada.

Proposed Italian law bans starvation and dehydration of terminal patients | LifeSiteNews.com

EU court rules crucifixes can stay in Italian schools | Holy Post | National Post

EU court rules crucifixes can stay in Italian schools | Holy Post | National Post

16 March, 2011

Men will outnumber women in India by 20% in 2030

China... India... South Korea... the evidence is mounting that gender selection as a reason for abortions is HIGHLY DETRIMENTAL to woman's interests, at least when it comes to their demographic status. Please note that these studies are not coming from Catholic or Christian organizations. This one comes from a Canadian study.

Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Men will outnumber women in India by 20% in 2030

World's largest believed online pedophile ring busted - U.s. - Catholic Online

World's largest believed online pedophile ring busted - U.s. - Catholic Online

A reflection of the role of private revelation in our times

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.



This article should be of special interest to Roman Catholics. It is one of the best reflections on the role of private revelation (ie: Fatima or Lourdes) I've read in a long time.

Despise Not Prophesying | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Deep Magic: The “Physics” of Sacrifice

Deep Magic: The “Physics” of Sacrifice

"An atheist blogger surprised me recently by quoting Hebrews: “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” He was quoting it because for him it epitomized everything that’s wrong with Christianity: barbarism, illogic, insanity.
On the one hand, I think he misunderstood the meaning of the phrase. He seemed to think that Christians might go around forgiving people by killing sheep, or cutting themselves like the priests of Baal.
On the other hand, I think his horror was a reaction to something real, and was therefore a credit to him, since he intuitively saw something that we Christians sometimes miss: that love always costs. For the thoroughgoing atheist, the problem of suffering might eventually be solved by means of technology and an ingenious rearrangement of political systems. But the Christian knows that it takes blood."

Click link to read more:  Catholic Phoenix

Avenging Altar Boy - NYTimes.com

This is an article about R. Seth Williams, the District Attorney in Philadelphia who has laid charges not only against some predator priests, but also against the diocesan official who did not remove them from ministry but simply moved them to other parishes (where they sadly found more victims to abuse). I note that he is a practicing Catholic and sees his actions as aiding the Church in ridding itself of these abusers and their enablers.

Avenging Altar Boy - NYTimes.com

Egypt’s Growing Persecution | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Egypt’s Growing Persecution | Daily News | NCRegister.com

CTV News | China Syndrome hits Japan

CTV News | China Syndrome hits Japan

The Global War Against Baby Girls | First Things

Boy? You live. Girl? You die?
This is just one side effect of the attempts of either governments to limit population growth (eg:China's 'one child only' policy) or when parents are allowed to use gender as a selection criterion for abortion. Whether or not you believe in the morality of abortion, the prejudice against females by families who want only one child is becoming an issue that must be addressed.


It does however create a specific conundrum from those who support abortion as being solely a woman's right to choose. How could they support the prohibition of gender selection as a criterion for abortion when they do not hold that the unborn female child is actually a person? 

It's a question worthy of some thought.

The Global War Against Baby Girls | First Things

Hating the Near and Loving the Far | The American Catholic

Hating the Near and Loving the Far | The American Catholic

15 March, 2011

Planned Parenthood Lobbies Against Child Sex Abuse Reporting Bill

Planned Parenthood Lobbies Against Child Sex Abuse Reporting Bill

Canadian priest dies in Japanese tsunami, quake - International - Catholic Online

Canadian priest dies in Japanese tsunami, quake - International - Catholic Online

What Does the Church Say about Collective Bargaining? | The American Catholic

What Does the Church Say about Collective Bargaining? | The American Catholic

'Baby Joseph' likely to have surgery within days, hospital says - CNN.com

This case has roiled within the pro-life community in Canada for months now. With Joseph's transfer to an American hospital, the drama shifts south of the border. Click on the link below to read the CNN take on this story. I also recommend this column from 'SoCon or Bust' to understand why it is that this story has been so prominent among the Canadian pro-life advocates. I may not agree with the tone and tenor of SoCon's argument, but the issues he raises are certainly worthy of consideration.

'Baby Joseph' likely to have surgery within days, hospital says - CNN.com

Dion returns to recession-hit Vegas with new show - CTV News

Céline saves Vegas??
"If anyone can speed up Las Vegas' recovery, however, it is Dion, Selesner said."


WOW! Little Céline is a powerful person if she can single handedly bring economic prosperity back to 'Sin City'. If we're lucky, maybe they'll decide to keep her full time.

Dion returns to recession-hit Vegas with new show - CTV News

13 March, 2011

Vegetarians barred from adopting

Two weeks ago it was a Christian couple whose life values rendered them ineligible to act as foster or adoptive parents. Now a vegetarian couple is similarly prohibited.


Can there be any doubt that the European courts have gone off the rails when such issues are the determinate factors in assessing the parenting abilities of prospective adoptive couples?

Vegetarians barred from adopting

12 March, 2011

Anti-Catholic students protest at university chapel in Madrid :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

First it was the Catholic chapel at the university in Barcelona; now it's happening in Madrid. The only 'good news' in this latest incident is that the event was captured on video so that people will not be able to claim that Catholics are distorting or exaggerating these events. 
Anti-Catholic students protest at university chapel in Madrid

Anti-Catholic students protest at university chapel in Madrid :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Quake moved Japan coast 8 feet; shifted Earth's axis - CNN.com

Quake moved Japan coast 8 feet; shifted Earth's axis - CNN.com

Japan Earthquake/Asia-Pacific Tsunami relief

Here's a series of links to Canadian and Catholic Charities if you want to make a donation to assist with the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami relief projects:


Caritas: Catholic relief agency: https://secure.caritas.org/donation.aspx


Red Cross (Canada): http://www.redcross.ca/article.asp?id=38380&tid=001


Global Giving: (American): http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/japan-earthquake-tsunami-relief/


Oxfam Canada: https://www.helpforcharities.com/oxfam/index.php


Here is a link to the Canadian Revenue Agency site that lists other charities that are accepting donations to assist with this disaster:


http://www.international.gc.ca/humanitarian-humanitaire/canadians_help-aide_canadien.aspx

The Sexual Revolution Reconsidered in a New York Times Article? | Archdiocese of Washington

The Sexual Revolution Reconsidered in a New York Times Article? | Archdiocese of Washington

10 March, 2011

The Dachshunds of Lent | Feature | Articles

InsideCatholic.com | The Dachshunds of Lent | Feature | Articles

Support your local priests!

Outside the Asylum: Support your local priests!

New book confirms: Benedict XVI is his own best spokesperson | National Catholic Reporter

New book confirms: Benedict XVI is his own best spokesperson | National Catholic Reporter

Fr. Richard J. Neuhaus on Islam and Reform | The American Catholic

Fr. Richard J. Neuhaus on Islam and Reform | The American Catholic

Pope: violence in God’s name is inspired by the Antichrist | CatholicHerald.co.uk

Pope: violence in God’s name is inspired by the Antichrist | CatholicHerald.co.uk

Secularists want to give up for Lent, too - The Globe and Mail

Secularists want to give up for Lent, too - The Globe and Mail

Another billboard exposing eugenicist Planned Parenthood founder banned | LifeSiteNews.com

Another billboard exposing eugenicist Planned Parenthood founder banned | LifeSiteNews.com

Human Judgment and the Neutral Public Square

Catholic Culture : In Depth Analysis : Human Judgment and the Neutral Public Square

Philadelphia Cardinal Praised for Acting in Sex-Abuse Scandal - NYTimes.com

Philadelphia Cardinal Praised for Acting in Sex-Abuse Scandal - NYTimes.com

09 March, 2011

Mexican priest to appeal charge from Federal Electoral Institute :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

The Mexican priest has been convicted of the crime of "proselytism". I looked it up in the dictionary and here is the definition of proselytism:

Noun: a person newly converted to a religious faith or sect; a convert, esp a gentile converted to Judaism

Verb: a less common word for proselytize


So the priest has been convicted of promoting the faith of the Church with the aim of converting people to the Catholic faith. And this is a crime in Mexico??? 




 Every priest should be so lucky as to all be convicted of this 'crime'.


Mexican priest to appeal charge from Federal Electoral Institute :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Chaplain has change of heart

Egan: Chaplain has change of heart

I know Lent is a time of penance but this is ridiculous!

"Hey Buddy. Can you spare a cup of water?"


OK, so we don't often hear that in our daily lives but it's a request I put before you today. Evidently the water line from the main on the street (600+ ft away from church) has frozen somewhere across the school yard behind the Church. The town and the plumber say there's nothing that can be done other than to await the spring thaw.


So, I'm willing to give up somethings for Lent but I hadn't considered that it was going to be flush toilets, showers and drinking water.


Please say a prayer for warm weather or some other divine intervention as the thaw is still five or six weeks away from beginning in this part of the north. Either that or perhaps a prayer that I can find a plumber to do SOMETHING to get us water!!


Fr. Tim

When I Read Things Like This | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Mark Shea has opined on who will win the Battle of Church and State (Believers and Non-believers)... "neither" is the apparent answer. What do you think of his prediction?

When I Read Things Like This | Blogs | NCRegister.com

07 March, 2011

Opinion: Abortion statistics show reality of a land without restrictions | Holy Post | National Post

As predicted: abortion has become a preferred method of contraception. Why take a pill and play with your hormone levels? An abortion is the answer for far too many. These statistics are telling us that a time when we are beginning to experience a the negative effects of the emerging demographic failures of the past (too many pensioners - not enough younger workers), over 1/3 of all pregnancies in Ontario are ending in the termination of the unborn.


I appreciate than many believe that a woman's right to choose should be completely unrestricted and absolute. I disagree. From my perspective, it is an issue of human rights - the right to life of the unborn. Demographic information such as this only adds to the weight of evidence that there have been unintended and negative consequences for society through the maintenance of the holding of 'choice' over 'life', consequences that must be addressed by both sides in these great debates.


Someway, somehow we all need to find a common moral ground that helps us to come closer as a society to a resolution of this debate before these negative consequences become even worse. It's the demographic equivalent to 'global climate change'. It's becoming the elephant in the room that pro-choice advocates are failing to acknowledge the population consequences of their 'successes'.


Just my opinion.


Fr. Tim

Opinion: Abortion statistics show reality of a land without restrictions | Holy Post | National Post

Same-sex marriage Maryland: A Catholic's case for gay marriage - baltimoresun.com

I have published many posts opposing Same-Sex marriage on this blog. It's time to post something that speaks in favor from a Catholic perspective.


Comments?

Same-sex marriage Maryland: A Catholic's case for gay marriage - baltimoresun.com

04 March, 2011

Two fetuses make appearance at Ohio abortion bill debate | Holy Post | National Post

Two fetuses make appearance at Ohio abortion bill debate | Holy Post | National Post

St. Paul Lawyer Sues Catholic Church, Will Air Ads in Wis.

A sign of the times. Kind of gives new meaning to ambulance chasers, eh? When world wide, the Roman Catholic churches have paid almost 1 billion dollars in settlements, it's staggering to consider how much has flowed into the hands of lawyers. I know that most of these cases are not taken on 'pro-bono' or 'expense only' basis. Victims who have spoken with me say that in Canada, most lawyers charge 20% or more as their fees.

UNDERSTAND THIS PLEASE: I fully support victims in seeking whatever remedy they would want. They have been harmed and are owed appropriate compensation. As confessors, we are taught to require that appropriate compensation be performed by penitents who confess a sin. Why would the Church not be obliged to do the same when they are found to have facilitated (even if unintentionally) the exploitation of innocents and materially cooperated with the crime? No Bishop I know denies this moral obligation. They desire nothing more than to bring peace to broken souls... it is the church's exact reason for existing! My own Bishop +Michael Mulhall made this abundantly clear if reports of a recent public meeting he participated in are correct. Everything he has said and written begin's with an expression of concern for victims. Clearly he is sincere in his conviction.

Yet we constantly hear in the media and throughout out the blogosphere that Bishops are being portrayed as miserly and obstructionist in negotiating settlements. This is a bum rap that is undeserved. As a Bishop of the Church, they have obligations to both the victims and to their flock. They are also responsible as a good shepherd in stewarding a diocese's resources, for they are the accumulated savings of individual donations for a local church. As such, he is morally and canonically bound to respect the responsibility to ensure that the compensation is 'appropriate' so as not to commit an additional injustice to the individual Catholics who contributed to whatever wealth exists.

So, it actually seems to  boil down to this: lawyers strive to maximize the size of any settlement, as the larger the prize, the greater their reward. Church leaders are bound to 'appropriately' balance compensation to victims in a manner that provides good stewardship of the donations of over a billion believers.

'Appropriate'. That is a difficult 'place' to be. Balancing different obligations in a manner that will still allow the Church to continue her mission of preaching and teaching and ensure justice done for victims. Add this one to the ever growing list of reasons why I'd never want to be a Bishop!

Pray for Bishops. I do for mine and others every day. They need our help

The shot heard ’round the Globe — still: Boston’s Catholic Church scandal turns 10 | Poynter.

The shot heard ’round the Globe — still: Boston’s Catholic Church scandal turns 10 | Poynter.

Smoking marijuana won't give you lung cancer - The Globe and Mail

Old friends are the best friends!
Perhaps this could be an incentive to quit smoking tobacco for Lent & switch to something else? Nah... probably a bad idea. I'm too old to take a run at being 'rebellious adolescent'. But I know a lot of friends from my early university days that are probably breathing easier in the wake of this report.


Smoking marijuana won't give you lung cancer - The Globe and Mail

B.C. inmates attempt to form first prison labour union in Canada - The Globe and Mail

EXCUSE ME??? This too could be another sign of the approaching abyss. Folks, there's being progressive. There's being enlightened. And then there's being STUPID!!! If this is allowed, it will rank as one Canada's greatest 'D'Oh' (Homer Simpson) moment in recent memory. Anyone interested in laying down a bet as to whether or not our equally progressive and enlightened courts is going to rule on this one (because you know that eventually the SCC will probably have to rule on the case).

B.C. inmates attempt to form first prison labour union in Canada - The Globe and Mail

The Vatican beyond its worst days, and Rome beyond the Vatican | National Catholic Reporter

The seven different stories that Allen writes on in this article gives substance to the teachings of the church, and gives lie to those scoundrels who like to foist their maladroit parodies in place of what the church actually teaches and says.

The part about the reform of the clerical penalties that the canon law offers to Bishops to discipline and punish obstinate or criminal priests proves that the church IS NOT using these punishments to 'hide' predator priests from civil authorities. The interview with Cardinal Kasper which demonstrates that ecumenism is alive and well; the efforts of the communications and social justice wings of the church to renew and institute 'best practices' procedures to improve the ability of the church to speak and teach. Taken together Mr, Allen paints a picture of, if not perfection, at least of vitality, renewal and holiness.

Well worth the read.


The Vatican beyond its worst days, and Rome beyond the Vatican | National Catholic Reporter

Vatican tries to flesh out 'New Evangelization' | National Catholic Reporter

Vatican tries to flesh out 'New Evangelization' | National Catholic Reporter

02 March, 2011

The Chutzpa of the German Theologians | Feature | Articles

Hummunna...hummunna! Gotta love that George! As a life time Baltimore Orioles fan, he knows how to throw the hard, up and inside fastball. He also knows how to hit one out of the park as he does with this critique of a recent manifesto issued by German theologians, demanding the church change many (most) of its moral teachings.


Read it and witness to the regard the way he marshals his argument. It's like watching Earl Weaver (RIP) manage a game. Note as well the beauty of the thumping he lays upon these dissident theologians. Just It's fastball, Roman Catholic - American style. What Jim Palmer was to the Orioles, George Weigel is for the Catholic proposition.


Batter up!

InsideCatholic.com | The Chutzpa of the German Theologians | Feature | Articles

Aliens? Be not afraid

Aliens? Be not afraid

A longer version of a song that carries the same message as previous video!

A little tidbit that we should all keep on our computers! It will eventually come in very handy

Catholic critic of blasphemy law is shot dead in Pakistan | CatholicHerald.co.uk

Catholic critic of blasphemy law is shot dead in Pakistan | CatholicHerald.co.uk

01 March, 2011

Couple Rejected: Will Christians Be Allowed to Provide Foster Care in England? - International - Catholic Online

Eunice and Owen Johns


... and we inch a little closer to the edge of the abyss?

Couple Rejected: Will Christians Be Allowed to Provide Foster Care in England? - International - Catholic Online

The 'Manslator' - H/T 'Big Blue Wave'

Brace yourself: Colder-than-normal spring on the way - CTV News

Environment Canada is calling for colder than normal weather with lots more snow. Hummm... Guess that means it's time to take out the golf clubs for surely warm dry weather is just around the corner!

Brace yourself: Colder-than-normal spring on the way - CTV News

George Weigel: “The Catholic Church in the United States is the safest environment for children in the country. Period.” - Caught your attention, eh?


The Catholic Church in the United States is the safest environment for children in the country. Period.”

So says George Weigel, theologian, historian, biographer of Pope John Paul II and media commentator representing what is perceived as being the 'orthodox' voice of today's Roman Catholic Church. Weigel has never been accused of dodging the difficult question facing the Roman Catholic in these challenging times and he didn't disappoint when he recently agreed to share his thoughts on some of the challenges facing contemporary Catholic values and practice.

Joan & George Weigel
(Note from Fr. Tim: In the interest of transparency, let me state up front that I've been privileged to share a friendship that stretches back over 20 years with George. We've spent many a summers evening together on the Quebec side of the Ottawa Valley, usually in the company of our mutual friend, Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, (R.I.P). While those conversations maintain the privacy that friends share with each other, his answers today were very much 'on the record'. I thank him for this kindness.)
---------------
TM: From the many books and articles you've published, (putting to the side 'Letters to A Young Catholic') of which work are you most proud of from the perspective of explaining or developing theological issues in a manner that the average Catholic can understand? In your opinion, why is it that the Church has been so ineffective in explaining its theology in the 'lingua franca' of today?

GW: “I like to think that 'Witness to Hope' (1999), 'The End and the Beginning' (2010), and 'The Truth of Catholicism' (2001) all make the Church's teaching accessible to anyone willing to work through an argument. I do think we need more substantive preaching: preaching that breaks open the Scripture in order to unpack the truths the Church proposes. Benedict XVI is in fact a master preacher and catechist, and his Wednesday audience addresses are quite accessible.”

TM: Both Pope John Paul I & II were able to communicate theological teachings through the use of metaphor and analogy which spoke directly to Catholics hearts. The current Holy Father has not yet seemed to be able to connect with Catholics on that same emotional level. Is this due to the personality of Pope Benedict or is it reflective of the Church's difficulty in knowing how to craft an effective communications strategy?

GW: “If he seems less connected, it may well be because the global media simply decided in 2005 that he wasn't going to be much of a story and have followed their own script ever since. He 'connected' brilliantly in the U.K. and Spain last year, and yet got very little North American media attention. It may well be because the global media simply decided in 2005 that he wasn't going to be much of a story and have followed their own script ever since.

TM: Do you see your role as a 'lay theologian' as an instrument to present Catholic teachings in a more understandable form? Should the Church not be more concerned with the fact that it is not effectively promoting the positions of faith?

GW: “I've never been sure what a "lay theologian" (as distinguished from any other sort of theologian) is. Priests, bishops, and the unordained among the theologically literate ought to be able to "translate" the Church';s teachings into a vocabulary that can be grasped by non-specialists (meaning 98% of the Church and 100% of "the world").”

TM: 'Witness to Hope', your biography of Pope John Paul II is the most comprehensive account of his entire life on the market today. You've book-ended this great work with 'The Final Revolution' (1992), an exposition of his role in the collapse of European Communism, and with 'The End and The Beginning' which sums up his final years and offers a synopsis of the themes of his pontificate. Given the extensive research that the first two works demanded, were you surprised by any information you discovered as you researched your latest book?

GW: 'The End and the Beginning' is the sequel to and completion of the story I told in 'Witness to Hope'. The surprise between the two books was the previously top-secret communist foreign ministry and intelligence agency materials I was given by scholars working in archives in Warsaw, Budapest, and Berlin. That allowed me to revisit the story of John Paul II vs. communism in a dramatic way, for the communists were at war with this man for forty years.

copyright: Stephen Weigel
 Photography
TM: Fr. Richard John Neuhaus was a dear friend to both of us. In the latter years of his life, he wrote often of the 'Long Lent' the church was enduring in the wake of the Bishops mishandling of the sex abuse cases in both Canada and the USA. Do you see an end to this period of purification and penance any time soon?

GW: While I certainly understand and share the dismay of people who have left the Church because of the sin and crime of sexual abuse and the failures of bishops to come to grips with this, I have to say that the failures of the people of the Church, including its ordained leaders, are no reason to turn one's back on the Church's Lord, who still lives in the Church. He, too, has been wounded anew by the sins ans crimes of his ministers; but He does not abandon us, and we should not abandon Him, or the Church which is his Body.

There have been important and far-reaching reforms put in place in seminaries and in dioceses that have, in the United States, made the Catholic Church the country's safest environment for children and young people. I expect that is true in Canada as well.

This past Saturday night, I spoke to almost a thousand Catholic university students here in Washington. They certainly didn't seem to think that the Church had lost its credibility or its moral authority.

Crosier & Mitre: symbols of episcopal authority
TM: Recent news out of places like Philadelphia seems to demonstrate that some Bishops are still not getting with the program as regards the sex abuse scandals . Here in Canada we had the revelation that after adopting their protocol, a bishop wrote to Rome to try to hide an offender in the Vatican. How can the Church speak authority on these other moral issues when they have been shown to be delinquent in implementing a publicly announced policy to protect innocents from predator priests?

GW: I'd be far more angry at the Irish hierarchy than at Philadelphia, where there are a lot of ambiguities. As for those thousand kids, many of them were heathens before someone unapologetically offered them friendship with Christ. That's what the Church needs to do. Let me repeat: the Catholic Church in the United States is the safest environment for children in the country. Period.

Now, having said that, I would also say that a grave problem for the twenty-first century Church is to devise a process to remove malfeasant or incompetent bishops when they have manifestly lost the munus regendi, which I would translate here as the capacity to give effective evangelical leadership. That's not as easy as it might sound, because you don't want to hold bishops hostage to, say, the Philadelphia Inquirer or the Boston Globe, but we all know that some episcopal appointments fail, and others should never have been made, and we need a coherent, fair process to address those cases.

TM: In 'Faith, Reason, and the War Against Jihadism', you expressed concern about the dangers of a rising tide of militant Islamism spreading throughout Christian Europe. This concern was expressed both in terms of the respective demographic trends, (Christians declining/Muslims ascending) and in terms of Islamist terrorist attacks from groups like al Qaeda. While it seems that the experiences in western Europe evidences to the truth of these phenomena, do you think that North American societies are going to face the same tension and crises in the near future?

GW: Not in the same way, because the demographics are quite different, Still, the radicalization of elements of the Muslim population in the greater Montreal area, which has led to ugly incidents of anti-Semitism, is surely a cause for worry. So is the political correctness that precludes discussion of these problems, and similar ones in the United States.

TM: What's so different about the demographics here than in Europe? North America seems to follow most European trends. In Canada we see this happening first in Quebec and then eventually spreading through the rest of the country. Are our falling birthrates here not indicative that this same trend has taken root here from across the Atlantic?

GW: “Canada is Europe transplanted, demographically; the U.S. isn't. We have an above-replacement level birth rate and our immigrants are from the same civilizational orbit. The Muslims shouting anti-Semiic slogans in Montreal are not from the same civilizational orbit, and the failure to recognize that (and help them assimilate to the way we do things in an open society) is a function of a lot of p.c. nonsense. We've got what might be termed a parallel problem with some Hispanic immigrants, but the civilizational "gap" isn't as great.”  

Report finds poverty myths rampant

poor & homeless in Ottawa

Acts of Contrition - NYTimes.com

Archbishop D. Martin
“When I say ‘sorry,’ ” the archbishop said, “I am in charge. When I ask forgiveness, however, I am no longer in charge. I am in the hands of the others. Only you can forgive me; only God can forgive me.”


It appears as if Archbishop D. Martin of Dublin 'gets it'. Let's pray that all his brother Bishops throughout the entire Church follow his example!

Acts of Contrition - NYTimes.com

Opus Dei founder’s story to be portrayed by Oscar winning director | Holy Post | National Post

"Who can fail to love a movie that compellingly argues holiness is like chocolate?"


What a fantastic description of the appeal a holy life, seen from the 'inside' perspective of a believer! I hope this film eventually makes it into our small town theatre.

Opus Dei founder’s story to be portrayed by Oscar winning director | Holy Post | National Post

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