December 30, 2009
December 29, 2009
December 28, 2009
On my "Open Line" radio show last week (Thursdays from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. ET), I took a call from Ryan in Baton Rouge. He asked for some advice on resources for studying Scripture in a systematic way. Here's what I told him. Take a listen . . .
In view of the widespread orgy of gloating among those who were delighted by the Christmas-Eve attack on the Pope at the start of midnight Mass in Saint Peters, I offer up to the Lord this scriptural prayer of encouragement for the Holy Father, that He would continue to protect and strengthen him in the face of his enemies:
May God "deliver you from the way of evil, from men of perverted speech, who forsake the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness, who rejoice in doing evil and delight in the perverseness of evil; men whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways" (Proverbs 2:12-15).
Conservative columnist Theodore Kettle comments on the shameful display of glee in some circles about the attack on the pope:
It was only minutes after Pope Benedict XVI was violently attacked on Christmas Eve by a woman described by authorities as mentally deranged, but leftist blogs lit up with joy over the assault.
The Daily Kos’s “Late Afternoon/Early Evening Open Thread,” for example, featured this posting at 8:10 PM Eastern Time: “Having just about enough of this male dominance bull---t, one bold Italian woman ran up and knocked down the Pope and a Cardinal!”
The woman, Susanna Maiolo, 25, was actually Swiss-Italian, and while the Pontiff himself came out of the episode unhurt and able to complete his celebration of Midnight Mass, 87-year-old French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray was left with broken bones requiring hip replacement surgery.
The comments that soon appeared on blogs known to be critical of the social teachings of the Catholic Church were so harsh that even fellow bloggers of similar ideological bent were outraged.
In a Dec. 26 a Daily Kos article entitled “Anti-Catholicism,” a “former Republican” Catholic woman and “forester/biologist” from the Deep South wrote, “I logged onto HuffingtonPost.com and read about the Pope getting knocked over by a mentally disturbed woman.
While several people pointed out the Pope’s age and how this could have easily resulted in a broken hip, many more rejoiced in the event.” One blogger’s “attack on Catholicism and Catholics was met with near universal approval within the HuffingtonPost community.”
She added, “I have read numerous, nearly identical comments and posts at Daily Kos.”
A number of HuffPost bloggers were also amazed at the venom of some of the responses, like one woman who observed, “This incident with the Pope has brought lots of Christmas cheer to the HP community. Wow.” . . . (continue reading)
December 26, 2009
Here is one of the first photos of former British university student, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, being arrested on Northwest Airlines 253 after allegedly trying to blow up the Airbus A330 filled with 11 crew members and 278 passengers, as it was on its final landing approach to Detroit Metro Airport. (Photo CNN.)
This unfolding story of the man who attempted (nearly successfully) yesterday to blow up Northwest Airlines 253 in mid-air is nerve wracking on several levels. Yes, he's a Muslim and, apparently, a self-proclaimed "jihadist," which does fit the prevailing "airline terrorist" profile. But that's not what concerns me here. The fact that he is black — black African — is something, at least ethnically, that has not been part of the standard Muslim terrorist paradigm.
Consider a few points. First, this "leg-bomber" and/or his accomplic(es) managed to smuggle liquid and powder bomb components onto this trans-Atlantic flight, assemble them in flight, and ignite the mixture is cause for grave consternation for every law enforcement agency with any role to play in preventing this kind of thing. If this jihad-addled yahoo got this close to killing 289 innocent people, my hunch is that there are other such yahoos out there all ginned up and ready to go on similar airline slay rides.
December 25, 2009
The Pew Forum has come out with a new study showing the relative levels of religious activity based on four measurements: "the importance of religion in people's lives, frequency of attendance at worship services, frequency of prayer and absolute certainty of belief in God."
December 22, 2009
December 19, 2009
No, really. It looks like that's what at least somebody in the HS press office intends to do. I did a double take when I saw this on their website today, but here's the declaration in plain English, not to mention in plain German, Spanish, Italian, French, and Portuguese.
DECLARATION ON THE PROTECTION OF THE FIGURE OF THE POPE
Recent years have witnessed a great increase of affection and esteem for the person of the Holy Father. There has also been a desire to use the Pope’s name in the title of universities, schools or cultural institutions, as well as associations, foundations and other groups.
In light of this fact, the Holy See hereby declares that it alone has the right to ensure the respect due to the Successors of Peter, and, therefore, to protect the figure and personal identity of the Pope from the unauthorized use of his name and/or the papal coat of arms for ends and activities which have little or nothing to do with the Catholic Church. Occasionally, in fact, attempts have been made to attribute credibility and authority to initiatives by using ecclesiastical or papal symbols and logos.
Consequently, the use of anything referring directly to the person or office of the Supreme Pontiff (his name, his picture or his coat of arms), and/or the use of the title "Pontifical", must receive previous and express authorization from the Holy See (source).
December 18, 2009
The dreadful gauntlet of disclosure of the many frauds perpetrated by recently deceased Father Marcial Maciel, the founder and dictator of the Legionaries of Christ religious order and all its various sub-manifestations, such as its lay affiliate, Regnum Christi, just goes on and on, with no end in sight.
In an effort to distance itself from the wrongdoings of its founder, the Legion of Christ has recently circulated an internal memo detailing how a long venerated work of spirituality attributed to Fr. Marcial Maciel was actually a slight re-writing of a book from a little-known Spanish author.
“El Salterio de mis días” (The Psalter of my Days), according to the Legionary tradition, was regarded as written by Fr. Maciel during the period of the "great blessing," (1956-59), when the Mexican founder was submitted to a canonical process by the Vatican that was finally called off.
The memo now reveals that the text, very popular among the Legion in its original in Spanish and partially translated into English for internal use, was “based” on the little known work of a Spanish Catholic politician, Luis Lucía.
In a book titled “El Salterio de mis horas” (The Psalter of my Hours), Lucía, a Christian Democrat, reflected on his experience of being persecuted both by the Communist government during Spain's civil war (1936-1939), and the Nationalist government of Francisco Franco, who condemned him to death, but later changed the sentence to life in prison. . . . (continue reading)
24/7 Catholic radio is now beaming across metro Phoenix and beyond thanks to the newest station to come on line in the ever-expanding Immaculate Heart Radio network. This follows the recent launch of another powerhouse Catholic radio station in Salt Lake City, which is now broadcasting 24/7 Catholic programming across the great State of Utah.
DonegalColumbus, known to many as Killian Patrick Madrid, known to me as Mr. Kilpatrick (my 7th grandchild), won't be able to come home from Children's Hospital for Christmas because he's not quite ready, the doctors say. But he's getting close, oh so close. And everyone in the family is waiting anxiously for "The Big News."
True, money can't buy me love, but $26 worth can buy me plenty of lead time to get out of Dodge when a Predator is on the way to blow up my tent. According to this Wall Street Journal story, Predator drones are just as wildly popular with the Iraqi bad guys as they are with the U.S. military good guys. Something tells me that the next generation of the Predator is going to have some serious upgrades.
Militants in Iraq have used $26 off-the-shelf software to intercept live video feeds from U.S. Predator drones, potentially providing them with information they need to evade or monitor U.S. military operations.
Senior defense and intelligence officials said Iranian-backed insurgents intercepted the video feeds by taking advantage of an unprotected communications link in some of the remotely flown planes' systems. Shiite fighters in Iraq used software programs such as SkyGrabber -- available for as little as $25.95 on the Internet -- to regularly capture drone video feeds, according to a person familiar with reports on the matter.
U.S. officials say there is no evidence that militants were able to take control of the drones or otherwise interfere with their flights. Still, the intercepts could give America's enemies battlefield advantages by removing the element of surprise from certain missions and making it easier for insurgents to determine which roads and buildings are under U.S. surveillance.
The drone intercepts mark the emergence of a shadow cyber war within the U.S.-led conflicts overseas. They also point to a potentially serious vulnerability in Washington's growing network of unmanned drones, which have become the American weapon of choice in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Obama administration has come to rely heavily on the unmanned drones because they allow the U.S. to safely monitor and stalk insurgent targets in areas where sending American troops would be either politically untenable or too risky.
The stolen video feeds also indicate that U.S. adversaries continue to find simple ways of counteracting sophisticated American military technologies.
U.S. military personnel in Iraq discovered the problem late last year when they apprehended a Shiite militant whose laptop contained files of intercepted drone video feeds. In July, the U.S. military found pirated drone video feeds on other militant laptops, leading some officials to conclude that militant groups trained and funded by Iran were regularly intercepting feeds.
In the summer 2009 incident, the military found "days and days and hours and hours of proof" that the feeds were being intercepted and shared with multiple extremist groups, the person said. "It is part of their kit now." . . . (continue reading)
December 17, 2009
Perhaps you've heard of "Engrish", the term for the often hilariously ludicrous malapropisms committed by Japanese when translating into English? Here's something I ran across awhile back that, coming from China, could be called "Chingrish."
If anyone knows what's going on here, please share.
December 16, 2009
As I mentioned last week, it's grand to see our bishops standing up to be counted on the side of Christ. More and more of them are giving an unflinchingly direct public witness to the truth on a range of issues, in particular the life issues that are at the center of this country's culture war.
MILWAUKEE, December 15, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The incoming Archbishop of Milwaukee, Jerome Listecki, has responded to a campaign by "Young Catholics for Choice" to promote use of contraception and abortion among Catholic youth.
Using media advertising the group is, says the Archbishop-Designate, "attempting to convey the message that Catholics can disregard Church teaching regarding contraception, abortion and human sexuality in general and remain Catholics in good standing." However, "Nothing could be further from the truth."
"While people can call themselves whatever they want, it is my duty as a bishop to state clearly and unequivocally that by professing and disseminating views in grave contradiction to Catholic teaching, members of organizations like 'Young Catholics for Choice' in fact disown their Catholic heritage, tragically distancing themselves from that communion with the Church to which they are called," added the archbishop.
Using language first employed by Catholic dissenters to Humanae Vitae, YCFC calls on Catholics to use an "informed conscience" to decide to use birth control and the morning-after-pill, also called "emergency contraception."
Their ad campaign states: "Young Catholics are having sex. We are using contraception and condoms. We are having abortions. We are bisexual, gay, lesbian, straight and transgender. And none of this makes us any less Catholic than conservative Catholics who speak out against us.
"The truth is, they don't represent what the majority of Catholics - especially those of us in our 20s and 30s - think about sex. It comes down to Catholic teaching on conscience. Basically, every individual has the right and responsibility to follow his or her own conscience - and respect others' right to do the same. With conscience and respect, good Catholic sex is not only possible, it's already happening. "
The group, claiming to be a youth wing of "Catholics for Choice," admits that it's mandate is to "take action to counter the bishops' impact both in the United States and around the world. " . . . (source)