Those Crazy Catholics: NYT draws attention to Santorum’s home parish

Dear God. (No pun intended).

The NYT, in an attempt to paint Rick Santorum’s home parish as extreme offers this:

Mass is offered in Latin every Sunday at noon — most parishes have Mass only in English — and each Wednesday parishioners take turns praying nonstop for 24 hours before a consecrated communion wafer, a demanding practice known as Eucharistic adoration.

24 hours? How inconvenient to pray for 24 hours! After all, we can run to Walgreens at 2 in the morning. Or Safeway. Heck, even the local laundrymat announces it’s “24/7.” How extreme for someone to go into a church of all places and pray in the middle of the night. Crazies! Loons every one. And to want to worship at one of four weekend Masses offered in Latin. How … archaic.

But wait, there’s more:

As members of St. Catherine of Siena, a parish here in the wealthy Northern Virginia suburb of Great Falls, the Santorums are immersed in a community where large families are not uncommon and many mothers leave behind careers to dedicate themselves to child-rearing, as Mrs. Santorum has. Mr. Santorum has been on the church roster as a lector, reading Scripture from the pulpit.

A lector! Thank goodness he’s not a … Eucharistic Minister! Scandalous! And who do those women think they are? Devoting themselves to child-rearing. Large families at that! How mundane.

And now for a little guilt-by-association:

The parish is known for its Washington luminaries — Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court is a member — as well as its spiritual ardor.

And everyone knows that that obviously means. Keep going, NYT, don’t fail to disappoint:

The Santorums’ beliefs are reflected in a succession of lifestyle decisions, including eschewing birth control, home schooling their younger children and sending the older boys to a private academy affiliated with Opus Dei, an influential Catholic movement that emphasizes spiritual holiness.

Oh my. Birth control and homeschooling! Two points! I give the writer credit for the restraint obviously necessary not to mention “The Da Vinci Code” in connection with Opus Dei. Maybe that would’ve been … oh, too over the top, no?

I’ve saved the best for last:

Mr. Santorum has been a supporter of Regnum Christi, the lay wing of a conservative, cultish order of priests known as the Legion of Christ. In 2003, he was the keynote speaker at a Regnum Christi event in Chicago that drew protesters because the group’s charismatic founder, who had spent years denying that he had sexually abused seminarians, was scheduled to share the podium.

Cult and sex abuse in the same sentence! Score another for the writer!  It’s comforting to know we can always count on the esteemed Gray Lady for such zealous reporting.


UPDATE: linked by Pundette as a Recommended Read. Thanks!

“We will close down our schools, our hospitals, our nursing homes, our orphanages. We will go out of business… before we will pay to have a child murdered.”

So argues Father Sammie Maleta, Jr. of St. John the Evangelist Parish in St. John, Indiana, in his homily earlier this month responding to the HHS mandate. This is the response I craved from my parish priest but never heard. Give a listen. It’s incredible.

At 08:45, on the inevitable aftermath of the largest provider of medical care, nursing home care, education and social services outside the government closing its doors:

The real issue that’s going on here: the  government can reasonably argue that we cannot as a nation allow that suffering to continue, and the government will step in and provide less effective and more costly services which will mean more government employees and more individuals who become completely dependent on government help. Taxes will be raised to cover this. And the ultimate goal behind this is exposed, for the United States of America will be one step closer to socialism. And in every country that has become socialistic, religion has become peripheral. But, you’ll be able to have reproductive services available at every corner.

So maybe this really was the goal all along, eh?

H/t: AL

Was this the goal all along?

Cardinal George of Chicago warns of “no Catholic hospitals in two years” if the mandate isn’t rescinded. He writes:

So far in American history, our government has respected the freedom of individual conscience and of institutional integrity for all the many religious groups that shape our society […] The government has not compelled them to perform or pay for what their faith tells them is immoral. That’s what we’ve meant by freedom of religion. That’s what we had believed was protected by the U.S. Constitution. Maybe we were foolish to believe so.

What he foresees:

What will happen if the HHS regulations are not rescinded? A Catholic institution, so far as I can see right now, will have one of four choices: 1) secularize itself, breaking its connection to the Church, her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop. This is a form of theft. It means the Church will not be permitted to have an institutional voice in public life. 2) Pay exorbitant annual fines to avoid paying for insurance policies that cover abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization. This is not economically sustainable. 3) Sell the institution to a non-Catholic group or to a local government. 4) Close down.

Part of me really wonders if this was the goal all along, to force one of the largest providers of health care nationally out of business so that the federal government could swoop in and buy it all. Read the rest.

H/t: Hot Air headlines

UPDATE: Via Ed Morissey, more from Cardinal George:

Practically, we’re told that the majority of Catholics use artificial contraception. There are properly medical reasons, in some circumstances, for the use of contraceptive pills, as everyone knows. But even if contraceptives were used by a majority of couples only and exclusively to suppress a possible pregnancy, behavior doesn’t determine morality. If it can be shown that a majority of Catholic students cheat on their exams, it is still wrong to cheat on exams. Trimming morality to how we behave guts the Gospel call to conversion of life and rejection of sin.

Morrissey comments:

Catholics may be giving up some luxuries for Lent, but the bishops aren’t giving up this fight.  They seem ready to make this a weekly battle with the Obama administration, and willing to escalate it to the point of closing doors and stopping services, a move that will make the issue acute in many of the areas where Obama normally would draw his most fervent support.

The Bishops better fight. This isn’t just a battle. This is war.

UPDATE: From the comments, Just a Conservative Girl saw this coming weeks ago:

But I got to thinking, maybe that is the point. Maybe this is the whole reason that they are pushing this. Stay with me now. Say that many faith-based groups do decide to change the way they run their organizations. They will only administer help to people within their own faith in order to stay in compliance with the exemption. What happens to all the others who will no longer be getting the help that they give? They have to turn to the state. Especially if they are not people of faith.

It would be virtually impossible for the faith-based groups to know if the people they are helping are truly people of that faith. I wouldn’t put it past atheist activists to try to get services from a faith-based group and then publicize the fact that they were not truly just administering to the “faithful”. Many good people would lose jobs at Catholic University’s and hospitals. Many people in need of service would be turned away.

“To Hell With Catholics”

Well, it’s not like Obama never telegraphed his abortion views loud and clear before the election.

Remember, the majority of Catholics voted for BO.

While I’d like to think that those are all the Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden types, the truth of the matter remains: Catholics voted for the man.

So will those Catholics–the ones who don’t give a rat’s rear end about abortion or contraceptive culture–be so aghast that their religious liberties are being trampled? Probably not.

But I am.

The Bishop of Pittsburg wrote a scathing response to the new ruling from the Obama administration that Catholic institutions will not receive a waiver from the new mandate from Health and Human Services forcing all employers to provide insurance to cover abortions and contraception. I’m rather saddened that we didn’t hear something similar at Mass this morning:

It is really hard to believe that it happened. It comes like a slap in the face. The Obama administration has just told the Catholics of the United States, “To Hell with you!” There is no other way to put it.

In early August, the Department for Health and Human Services in the Obama administration released guidelines as part of the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The guidelines mandated that by Summer 2012 all individual and group health insurance plans, including self-insured plans, cover all FDA-approved contraception, sterilization procedures and pharmaceuticals that even result in abortion.

A million things are wrong with this: equating pregnancy with disease;  mandating that every employer pay for contraception procedures including alleged contraceptives that are actually abortion-inducing drugs; forcing American citizens to chose between violating their consciences or providing health care services; mandating such coverage on every individual woman without allowing her to even choose not to have it; forcing every person to pay for that coverage no matter the dictates of their conscience.
Let’s be blunt. This whole process of mandating these guidelines undermines the democratic process itself.  In this instance, the mandate declares pregnancy a disease, forces a culture of contraception and abortion on society, all while completely bypassing the legislative process.

This is government by fiat that attacks the rights of everyone – not only Catholics; not only people of all religion.  At no other time in memory or history has there been such a governmental intrusion on freedom not only with regard to religion, but even across-the-board with all citizens. It forces every employer to subsidize an ideology or pay a penalty while searching for alternatives to heath care coverage. It undermines the whole concept and hope for health care reform by inextricably linking it to the zealotry of pro-abortion bureaucrats.

Read the rest. The likely result: if the Catholic Church really goes to war over this, then it will dump the health care coverage for thousands of employees and pay the penalty for doing so.

Will those folks realize that Obama stripped them of their health care coverage? Or will they blame the Church?

A reader wrote  in to PJ Tatler to share what her parish added to the body of the Mass: the Prayer to St. Michael, patron of warriors:

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

This means war.

UPDATE: Linked by Pundette. Many thanks!

Saying Merry Christmas is worse than fornication…

…or getting drunk or even killing someone…

So says an Islamic scholar.

And…ready for a firestorm…..I agree with him…..

What I mean is…if this man believes that Allah is the true god and there is no other god than Allah….to acknowledge and to encourage and to “bless” if you will a false god IS worse than fornication.  Mortal sin is mortal sin, but as a Catholic parent, the lesser mortal sin (if you will) would be for my son or daughter to engage in premarital sex versus actively worshipping Satan.

Now obviously I believe he is flat wrong in his religious viewpoints, but from what I understood him to say in English (who knows what he’s saying in other parts of the clip) – given his religious beliefs, he is correct – it IS a worse sin to blaspheme regarding “the worst evil” and encourage others to do so as well (for which there can be no forgiveness nor repentance) than to get drunk or even to kill another (a lesser evil as I understand his position).

Too bad that the phrase “Merry Christmas” has become so secularized that we forget that what it is (or should) mean is “Rejoice! Our Savior is born!” – today its just a greeting that doesn’t get much thought behind it – but I think he has it “right” as far as what the phrase should mean and I think that its sad that an angry man who is for all appearances trying his best to stir up hate and division has managed to do a decent job of explaining what it means to wish someone Merry Christmas.

Gulp.  There I did it.  Devil’s advocate in all sense of the word.  Hope the WP comment section is fireproof…..blast away!

Update: I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what had made me react to this video the way I did, rather than to immediately dismiss it because of its inflammatory rhetoric.  My Aha! moment came this morning and I recalled this excellent article in the NCR by Matthew Archbold which addresses the subject from the stand point of the “hollowers” – those who want to remove the sacred from Christmas.  It struck home with me and I think that’s why part of the scholar’s message resonated with me in the way that it did.  Mr. Archbold’s article is here and it is an excellent read.

“My purpose was never to be the President of the United States.”

So said Rick Perry last night at the Huckabee forum last night (H/t: Dan Riehl on twitter). More:

“I’ve lived a purpose-driven life, and my purpose was never to be the President of the United States, but our country is in trouble and our country needs us working together to take our country back. So I hope, again, that you’ll take a look at my plan and give me that second opportunity,” Rick Perry said at the Huckabee Presidential Forum on FOX News. “I’ll promise you this. That every day I will work to make Washington, D,C, as inconsequential in your life as I can. God bless you. Thank you for your support and your vote.”

Imagine, a man who feels called to serve. He isn’t the perfect candidate. Is there such thing? But he’s my 75% solution, and that’s a lot better than having to convince myself that he’s a different man. Bryan Preston:

For all of Rick Perry’s flaws as a debater and his various verbal miscues, he’s never said or done anything that would make me question whether the man is worthy of my support. There are no lingering doubts about whether I’ll live to regret the day decided to support him as the Republican nominee. I don’t have to rationalize my decision to advocate on Rick Perry’s behalf. I don’t have to convince myself that he’s a changed man in order to feel good about my choice.


A friend asked me how I could support Perry, an evangelical, rather than Newt, a Catholic. Easy-peasy. Newt converted–not a problem–after divorcing not wife number one, but number two, with the gal he diddled while pointing the finger at Clinton for doing the same. Not so much. I don’t need a President who likes who hear himself talk and who can excuse his past behavior as an aside. Catholic or no.

Jazz Shaw at Hot Air says Perry had a good night–good enough to be one of the bright spots of the evening.

61 minutes

Is an eternity when your newborn’s heart isn’t beating. Via teachingmytwo and Creative Minority Report, behold a miracle:

One year ago today I delivered my son, a stillborn.   For a moment he was placed in my arms quiet, blue, and limp.  The midwife and her assistant then took him from me and began CPR.  They could not find a pulse.  He did not breathe.  Because we were at home (it was my third, planned homebirth) 911 was called.

While cpr was continued and we waited for the ambulance my husband took water and baptized him using the name we had agreed upon, James Fulton.  I remember sitting on the floor saying, “Fulton Sheen, Fulton Sheen, Fulton Sheen” over and over again in my head.  I suppose it was as close as I could come to a prayer; I suppose it was my way of asking Archbishop Sheen to interceded for my son.

The paramedics came and rushed James away.  In route, as they tried to restart his heart, they gave him two doses of epinephrine by lines in the shin bone.  Neither worked and one leaked out, turning his whole right leg – from toe tip to buttock – black and blue and purple.   In the ER the doctors and nurses worked on him for another 18 minutes or so.  A nurse practitioner told me she wanted James’ mother to be able to hold him alive for a little bit.  Five minutes, an hour – she just wanted my son to be alive long enough for me to say good-bye.

They did a sonogram of his heart.  It fluttered but it didn’t beat.  A nurse held his foot; she later told me it was cold, like the expression “cold and dead”.  He was intibated and getting oxygen, but there was no way that the chest compressions were adequately circulating the oxygen to the brain and other organs.  Following the orders of the on-call neonatalogist they stopped working on him so they could call time of death.

My little boy, James Fulton, 9lbs and 12oz, had been without a pulse for 61 minutes.

Everyone stopped working.  And then his heart started.

They were told he would be brain-dead, paralyzed, blind, on a feeding tube.

They prayed, and more importantly, they never wavered from their commitment to their son’s life.

Read the rest. Get the tissues. And say a prayer of thanks.

Sounds cruel? What happened to “for better or for worse,” Pat Robertson?

Or death do us part?

Pat Robertson says Alzheimer’s is grounds for divorce because it’s kinda sorta like death:

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson told his “700 Club” viewers that divorcing a spouse with Alzheimer’s is justifiable because the disease is “a kind of death.”

During the portion of the show where the one-time Republican presidential candidate takes questions from viewers, Robertson was asked what advice a man should give to a friend who began seeing another woman after his wife started suffering from the incurable neurological disorder.

“I know it sounds cruel, but if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her,” Robertson said.

The chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network, which airs the “700 Club,” said he wouldn’t “put a guilt trip” on anyone who divorces a spouse who suffers from the illness, but added, “Get some ethicist besides me to give you the answer.”

Granted, I’ve always thought Protestant notions of divorce were … loose. Why bother believing in the idea of covenant marriage if you can dissolve it sans guilt? Doesn’t this betray the vows one takes? For better for worse. For richer or poorer. Till death do us part. Now we have famous evangelists who say, nah, your happiness is obviously more important. Go for it! It’s a kind of death anyway.

I wonder what Nancy Reagan would say.

H/t Hot Air headlines (with a lively discussion thread)

Wa Habibi


Wa Habibi (My Beloved) 
My beloved, my beloved
What state are you in?
He who sees you, for you would cry
You are the one and only sacrifice
My beloved,
What blame have the nations put upon you?
They melted you with wounds,
To which no healing would do 
When in the dark orchard at night
The God Creater kneeled and prayed
Life was praying with the One
Who gave life hope and prayer
The olive trees are crying
As the lips of men quiver  
My beloved how will you go?
Has loyalty gone forever?
My beloved, my beloved
What state are you in?
He who sees you, for you would cry
You are the one and only sacrifice

Sunday break

Not that you can’t tell what my favorites are by now.

This young man is fabulous.

Here he is again