Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Thank God for the Church of England

Whenever I get depressed over the priest sex scandal, Catholic pro-abort politicians, or the apparent weakness of the American Bishops as a community, I have the Church of England and it's Episcopal expression in the United States to remind me that it's good to be a Catholic. Here is their latest, courtesy of Get Religion.

I don't know if the Archbishop of Cantibury, Rowan Williams, is incredibly cynical or pitifuly naive.

But I do know what Homer Simpson said to Bart: "Remember, son: other peoples' misfortunes are our source of self- esteem."

Dang. I'll have to take that one to confession.

Head Games

The Curt Jester performs an interesting experiment here. Read the story in full and you'll understand.

Good news in Iran

According to the Dhimmi Watch story here, an Iranian man was just acquitted of the capital crime of apostasy (In Islam, abandonment of the faith). The judge's statement seems to indicate that his ruling was directed by someone above him in the mullah-ocracy.

This is probably the Iranian way of saying: "See, we really are reasonable and nobody needs to bomb us because of our nukes."

Whether an empty gesture or a sign that reason has arrived in that land, it does indicate something other than utter fanaticism at the top.

P.S.: Sorry for this weekend's unannounced absence. I've been celebrating Memorial Day with family in Mississippi.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

By the Way: Hello

Although I started this blog last night, I've actually been blogging at another site, Tennessee Rants, for several months. My two big interests, however, are religion and politics. Most of the folks who came to my other blog were interested in one or the other, but rarely in both. So, my original blog will now be devoted to news and politics; while this blog will concentrate on faith and culture.

I enjoy comments, so feel free to post them; even when they are critical. Just keep it clean and be respectful of each other.


One More for the "Thank God I Homeschool" File

Michelle Malkin discusses a new book which may be appearing in school libraries and the juvenile literature section of public libraries soon.

What were these publishers thinking?


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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Men with targets on them

Two priests esteemed for their fidelity to the magisterium have been the center of rumor and accusation for the past week. One is Fr. Joseph Fessio, founder of Ave Maria University in Florida. The other is Fr. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ.

Fr. Fessio might be thought of as the last of the true Jesuits. Having been fired from the Ignatius Institute at the Jesuit run University of San Francisco, he was briefly assigned as a hospital chaplain in the Bay area before being released to concentrate on Ave Maria University. The Administration at USF first claimed that Fessio's Ignatius institute was a redundancy, and then accused him of financial mismanagement. The accusations followed him to Florida, where he has been accused of facilitating the fraudulent distribution of government financial aid. I cannot vouch for the truth or untruth of the stories. I do know that Fr. Fessio embarrassed the Jesuits in California by his orthodoxy, by his remarkable obedience during his banishment from USF, and by his founding of a new university which is a living rebuke to what many Jesuit run institutions have become. Adding insult to injury, stories have circulated that he has been picked to succeed Archbishop William Levada as head of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, of such unfortunate memory for him. Because of this, many progressive (heterodox?) Catholics dislike him intensely.

Fr. Maciel might be thought of as the founder of the "new" Jesuits. That is, his Legion of Christ order of priests has gone far in picking up where the Jesuits left off around the middle of the twentieth century. They are a teaching order, intensely orthodox, loyal to the Pope, and pushy in their tactics. Maciel, meanwhile, has been accused of pedophilia involving young seminary students. These charges have dogged him since he founded his order in Mexico, where he survived an investigation the 1950s. The investigation was recently reopened, and now a bizarre series of contradictory reports concerning whether or not he has been cleared this week have been surfacing. First he was cleared. Then his "clearance" was a ruse by the LC. Then it was verified, and now it is being called a trick by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican's Secretary of State and friend to Fr. Maciel.

The evil stories surrounding one or both these priests might be true. Then again, we may be witnessing the personal calvaries of two living saints. Only time will tell.