Flipping Cool!

OK, nothing about apologetics in this post... but pardon the pun, this is flipping cool!

From what I was reading, this happens frequently, but is seldom caught on video.

Happy Birthday to the Catholic Church!

Today we celebrate Pentecost - the birth of the Catholic Church!  

The Holy Ghost descends upon the Apostles on Pentecost - and as they "went out" and preached, starting with this day, the Lord added to the number of believers daily (Acts 2:47).  St. Peter, our first pope, stood out as the leader and spokesman for the Church that first Christian celebration of Pentecost (Acts 2:14).

Pentecost also marks the end of Eastertide and begins the ordinal (counting, not "ordinary") days between Pentecost and the "New Year" of the Church - which is Advent.

If you have not made your "Easter Duty" by this time, all is not lost.  Get yourself to Confession as soon as you can (you do not want to remain in mortal sin - separated from Saving Grace) and continue to observe the "Sunday Obligation" from here on out.

Godspeed, my friends.

Bp. Fellay Sermon

The following is from John Vennari's CFNews.org site:

Bishop Fellay Sermon in Vienna
Sunday after the Ascension, May 21, 2012
You have surely heard that, in the last few months, Rome has offered us a solution - we could rather say, a recognition.
This structure that is being offered to the Society is in fact entirely appropriate. That is, if it actually takes place, you will feel absolutely no difference between now and afterwards. We will remain as we are, so to speak. The problem is the [existence of] safeguards: will it actually happen this way? The fear is great that we will be transformed. Our experience up to this day is there.
It is quite clear that this offer is also very, very controversial in the Church at large. I can assure you: It is the will of the Pope. This must not be doubted. But it is certainly not the will of everyone in the Church.
Whether this will come to fruition depends on terms that are not yet clear terms. There are still points that remain unclear. It could happen that, in the upcoming days, weeks - it is very hard to ascertain this - the Pope will decide directly. It could be that he takes the case back to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. There is a lot of pressure in Rome. Which is why I couldn't say more than this. That is the current status.
One must not think that things will be easy afterwards. To use the words of the Pope that describe the situation quite well: 'I know,' he said, 'that it would be easier both for the Society and for myself to leave the situation as it currently is.' This describes very well the situation, and also that the Pope himself knows that he, when he does it, will be attacked. And also that the situation will not be easy for us. That which will arise out of this situation will be with Rome or against it. Both of which will be difficult.
Yet we have trust in the good God. He has guided us very well so far. We must not think that, praying so much, He would abandon us in the moment of greatest danger. That would be [a thought] against hope. We are counting on God's assistance. [We are ready to pay the cost.] His will be done.

Posted: May 26, 2012
Catholic Family News
This and more commentary can be found online at: 

Invocation at Colorado Republican Assembly

Fr. Andrew of St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Centennial, Colorado was invited to lead the opening prayer at the 2012 Colorado Republican State Assembly and Convention in the Magness Arena at the University of Denver. The moral challenges facing our country are not caused by political affiliation, but rather by attacks on religious freedom. He invites all people of conscience to uphold religious freedom.

While on this subject, how about some words from a great president:
Can I get an "Amen!?" 

Laity and Reading Scripture

I responded to Grant with this video, but it doesn't show up in the combox other than as a link - so I thought I'd post it as a separate message.  The video is about reading Genesis...
Grant's statement was regarding Fr. Barron's position on the laity reading Scripture...  my response, essentially is that I was not aware of any Catholic, priest or otherwise, who discouraged Catholics from reading Scripture.  This video is Fr. Barron talking about the complexity of Genesis and HOW we should read it - implying we SHOULD read it.

Addendum, December 2, 2012: 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
123 Christians venerate the Old Testament as true Word of God. The Church has always vigorously opposed the idea of rejecting the Old Testament under the pretext that the New has rendered it void (Marcionism).
129 Christians therefore read the Old Testament in the light of Christ crucified and risen. Such typological reading discloses the inexhaustible content of the Old Testament; but it must not make us forget that the Old Testament retains its own intrinsic value as Revelation reaffirmed by our Lord himself. Besides, the New Testament has to be read in the light of the Old. Early Christian catechesis made constant use of the Old Testament. As an old saying put it, the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New.
133 The Church "forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful . . . to learn ‘the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ,' by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. ‘Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.'"
140 The unity of the two Testaments proceeds from the unity of God's plan and his Revelation. The Old Testament prepares for the New and the New Testament fulfills the Old; the two shed light on each other; both are true Word of God.
1437 Reading Sacred Scripture, praying the Liturgy of the Hours and the Our Father—every sincere act of worship or devotion revives the spirit of conversion and repentance within us and contributes to the forgiveness of our sins.
2205 The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit. In the procreation and education of children it reflects the Father's work of creation. It is called to partake of the prayer and sacrifice of Christ. Daily prayer and the reading of the Word of God strengthen it in charity. The Christian family has an evangelizing and missionary task.
(Cited on: http://faithofthefathersapologetics.blogspot.com/2005/07/why-dont-catholics-read-bible.html)
 The Church Fathers too encouraged scriptural reading:
Saint Jerome--I interpret as I should, following the command of Christ: "Search the Scriptures," and "Seek and you shall find." For if, as Paul says, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, and if the man who does not know Scripture does not know the power and wisdom of God, then ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.
Saint John Chrysostom (Doctor of the Church)--“To become adult Christians you must learn familiarity with the scriptures”
“But what is the answer to these charges?‘I am not', you will say, ‘one of the monks, but I have both a wife and children, and the care of a household.’ This is what has ruined everything, your thinking that the reading of scripture is for monks only, when you need it more than they do. Those who are placed in the world, and who receive wounds every day have the most need of medicine. So, far worse even than not reading the scriptures is the idea that they are superfluous. Such things were invented by the devil.”
Pope St. Gregory I--“The Emperor of heaven, the Lord of men and of angels, has sent you His epistles for your life’s advantage—and yet you neglect to read them eagerly. Study them, I beg you, and meditate daily on the words of your Creator. Learn the heart of God in the words of God, that you may sigh more eagerly for things eternal, that your soul may be kindled with greater longings for heavenly joy”.
St. Isidore (Bishop and Doctor of the Church)-- “Prayer purifies us, reading instructs us... If a man wants to be always in God's company, he must pray regularly and read regularly. When we pray, we talk to God; when we read, God talks to us."
“Reading the holy Scriptures (the Bible) confers two benefits. It trains the mind to understand them; it turns man's attention from the follies of the world and leads him to the love of God. "
“Two kinds of study are called for here. We must first learn how the Scriptures are to be understood, and then see how to expound them with profit and in a manner worthy of them. A man must first be eager to understand what he is reading before he is fit to proclaim what he has learned."
“The conscientious reader will be more concerned to carry out what he has read than merely to acquire knowledge of it... Learning unsupported by grace may get into our ears; it never reaches the heart. It makes a great noise outside but serves no inner purpose. But when God's grace touches our innermost minds to bring understanding, his word which has been received by the ear sinks deep into the heart.”
And popes as well encourage reading the Bible:
Pope Leo XIII--“The solicitude of the apostolic office naturally urges and even compels us…to desire that this grand source of Catholic revelation (the Bible) should be made safely and abundantly accessible to the flock of Jesus Christ”
“...For sacred Scripture is not like other books. Dictated by the Holy Ghost, it contains things of the deepest importance, which in many instances are most difficult and obscure. To understand and explain such things there is always required the 'coming' of the same Holy Ghost; that is to say, His light and His grace...It is absolutely wrong and forbidden either to narrow inspiration to certain parts only of holy Scripture or to admit that the sacred writer has erred... and so far is it from being possible that any error can co-exist with inspiration, that inspiration is not only essentially incompatible with error, but excludes and rejects it as absolutely and necessarily as it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true.” 
Pope St. Pius X-- “Nothing would please us more than to see our beloved children form the habit of reading the Gospels - not merely from time to time, but every day.”
Pope Pius XII--“Our predecessors, when the opportunity occurred, recommended the study or preaching or in fine the pious reading and meditation of the sacred Scriptures. ...This author of salvation, Christ, will men more fully know, more ardently love and more faithfully imitate in proportion as they are more assiduously urged to know and meditate the Sacred Letters, especially the New Testament...” 
(Cited on: http://faithofthefathersapologetics.blogspot.com/2005/07/why-dont-catholics-read-bible.html)
Pope Benedict XV-- "St. Jerome invite us to study the Bible. In the first place, he insists, in season and out, on daily reading of the text. "Provided," he says, "our bodies are not the slaves of sin, wisdom will come to us; but exercise your mind, feed it daily with Holy Scripture."[S. Jerome, In Tit., 3:9] And again: "We have got, then, to read Holy Scripture assiduously; we have got to meditate on the Law of God day and night so that, as expert money-changers, we may be able to detect false coin from true."[Id., In Eph., 4:31] (Spiruts Paraclitus)
In short, to believe or think that Catholics are discouraged or even prohibited from reading Scripture is a huge deception, whether intentionally so or not.
Greek priest and his wife.
A very good friend of mine posts an article of interest to Eastern Catholics and to Eastern Orthodoxy, which has been having conversations about reuniting with Rome.  My friend is concerned about the Vatican encouraging Eastern Catholic priestly candidates in the USA to "embrace celibacy."  


The reasoning is the "norm" in the USA is celibacy in the priesthood.  I truly don't see this encouragement being any different from St. Paul's "encouragement" in 1 Corinthians 7:7-8 - 

For I would that all men were even as myself: but every one hath his proper gift from God; one after this manner, and another after that.But I say to the unmarried, and to the widows: It is good for them if they so continue, even as I.
Again, this is not a world-wide statement from the Vatican, but directed toward priestly candidates in the United States among Eastern Catholics - because it is the norm in the USA among Catholics.  Certainly there have been exceptions to the "rule" - and sometimes methinks the East protesteth too much.
More reading:

Earthquake in Northern Italy

After visiting Italy in 2010, I have many fond memories.  We did not make it to northern Italy, where this earthquake hit, but my heart and prayers still go out to the victims and their families.

SSPX May Split

The superior general of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) said in an interview that there may be a split within the society if it reconciles with the Holy See.
“There are some discrepancies in the society,” said Bishop Bernard Fellay. “I cannot exclude that there might be a split.”
“The thing is not yet done,” he continued. “We need some reasonable understanding that the proposed structure and conditions are workable. We are not going to do suicide there, that’s very clear.”
Bishop Fellay’s comments come amid widespread speculation that Pope Benedict XVI will soon approve a canonical agreement regularizing the status of the SSPX, thus ending a split that began in the 1970s and peaked in 1988 when the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, then the leader of the SSPX, was excommunicated after ordaining four bishops in defiance of orders from Blessed John Paul II. In 2009, Pope Benedict lifted the excommunications (which also applied to the SSPX bishops), but the traditionalist prelates remain suspended from ministry.
“Personally, I would have wished to wait for some more time to see things clearer, but once again it really appears that the Holy Father wants it to happen now,” Bishop Fellay added. “The Pope says that ... the [Second Vatican] Council must be put within the great tradition of the Church, must be understood in accordance with it.”
“These are statements we fully agree with, totally, absolutely,” Bishop Fellay said. “The problem might be in the application, that is: is what happens really in coherence or in harmony with tradition?”
I say, let them split!  If they are closet sede vacantists then they should stop pretending and let THEIR split be complete!  The rest of SSPX which desires communion with Rome should not be held hostage to those who aren't really "of the fold" anyway.  Comments?

Catholic School Respects Women

So what's the deal?  Mesa Preparatory Academy (MPA) has a girl playing baseball against boys.  On the surface one might think, "who cares?"   But in reality if you're a boy who is considering stealing second, and the second baseman is not a "man" at all, but a girl - do you put forth the full-out effort to steal, knowing that one of the possibilities is you're going to slide into her, and if you hit hard enough she may drop the ball and you'll be safe?  The same holds true in a double-play situation - it is the runner's responsibility to disrupt the second baseman in anyway they can, either missing the throw to him, or messing up the throw to first base.  The boys, coaches and faculty of Our Lady of Sorrows Academy (OLSA) respect women and out of respect for women, they forfeit the state championship game rather than put their morals off to the side for the sake of a game.

Some have argued that OLSA should not participate in a league which allows girls to play, but the league and all the other teams know the position of OLSA and in two regular season games between MPA and OLSA the young lady sat out those games, respecting the values of OLSA - but when it came to the championship game those values were no longer respected?  Why did she not insist upon playing in the regular season?  They know that OLSA would have forfeited those games as well, so why change their position at the state championship game?  The team, coaches and parents showing inconsistency and lack of fortitude is that of MPA.   So why should OLSA play in the league at all?  Again, the league and the teams know the position of OLSA and they said nothing prior to the state championship game.  The position of OLSA has been well known in the league and they have forfeited other games in other sports prior to this incident.

The mother of stated "I felt like any passionate athletic person would feel (in that situation)," said Sultzbach, who added, "I don't want our very first high-school baseball team to win the championship on a forfeit."  The insistence upon putting Paige into the game caused the forfeit.  The mother also said:  “This team has worked so hard,” she said. “They’re undefeated. They had one game left. At our school, we’re taught that when you start something, you complete it, and they weren’t done.”  Then they shouldn't force the hand of the well-known position of OLSA.   They knew going into the game that OLSA would forfeit if MPA played a girl.   

When the league began play Paige was not on MPA's team.  The first time OLSA became aware of her being on the team was the first time the teams met earlier in the season - and it was decided that Paige would sit out the game - which she did on the other time the two teams met in the regular season.  MPA, coincidentally, won both of those games.  The may have been able to win the championship without her too AND would have been playing OLSA on the same terms they played in the regular season.  Insisting that Paige played they guaranteed their state championship.

The bottom line is, the men/boys of OLSA have respect for women/girls - and will not put their boys up against girls in coed sports.   This is not the first time this has come up in this league - and it seems to be making national news this time because someone's mom wants some attention.

Related articles:
Huffington Post

Fox News

AZCentral (The Arizona Republic)

Patheos Blog

Feast of the Assumption

 The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - another example of "not-so-ordinary" days! These are COUNTING days - and...