Saturday, July 26, 2008

Back to work...

Now that "crackergate" is over, back to the basics...

Frank Turk over at "...and his minister is a flame of fire" has written a blog post on "Why I'm OK being called 'Anti-Catholic'" I posted this response to him:

It seems to me, you suffer from the same affliction that many anti-catholics do: The delusion that the Catholic Church IS what you think it is. Have you ever considered the possibility that you are wrong?

For example, in your post, you state that Catholics believe God saves "by rites" and not through Christ. This is, of course, completely and absolutely wrong. Catholics believe in salvation through the atoneing work of Christ on the Cross, and we are all saved by the Grace of God.

Another example: You state that Catholics believe Christ can only save us after we spend time in Purgatory. That is wrong as well. True, that Catholics believe that Jesus is not a "get out of hell free card", that all we have to do is heed an altar call or say a "sinners prayer" and we are saved. No, we believe God gave specific instructions on how we are to come to him. And we as Catholics seek to follow him completely.

Once again, it seems the hardest thing for anti-catholics to do is admit that what they think they know about the RCC is wrong. I know it is difficult, they have learned these things from good people, people that they trust. Of course, they learned it from people they trusted, etc.. Such is the ingrained nature of bigotry.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Congratulations to His Grace...

Archbishop Gomez appointed to Vatican Commission working with Latin America

Archbishop José H. Gomez of the Archdiocese of San Antonio has been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as a consultant to the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, whose purpose is to assist the human and spiritual needs of the Latin American church. The announcement was made July 25.
“I am indeed humbled and truly grateful for the confidence the Holy Father has shown in me through this nomination,” said Archbishop Gomez. “I look forward to working with my brother bishops in Latin America so that together, we can forge a bond that will be a sign of unity as we carry out the mission of the church throughout the American continent.”
The commission has as consultants bishops from selected churches associated with Latin America or from the Vatican.
According to information from the Holy See’s Web site, the function of the commission is to be available to the church in Latin America, by counsel and by action, regarding questions that affect the life and progress of those churches, and to help the churches in finding solutions. It also fosters relations between the national and international church institutes that work in Latin American and the Vatican.
Archbishop Gomez stated, “I accept this honor to serve the Holy See, to work with the bishops of the United States and Latin American in nurturing better communication in the spirit of solidarity, with the knowledge that this appointment points to the importance of San Antonio -- its history, its culture, its reality and its people.”
The commission was created by Pope Pius XII on April 21, 1958, and is commemorating its 50th anniversary this year. It is currently presided over by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, the entity by which the group is overseen, and the commission’s vice president is Archbishop José Octavio Ruíz Arenas, who formerly served as prelate of the Archdiocese of Villavicencio, Colombia.
“I look forward to working with my brother bishops at this critical time in history for all of our people. The church of the American continent faces many challenges today and even greater challenges in the future,” Archbishop Gomez said. “As we proclaim the Gospel of Christ, in a spirit of faith and love, I am hopeful that our cultures will come together to reflect respect for life and the dignity of every human person, especially the most in need.”
In an address to an assembly of the commission held in Rome in January of 2007, Pope Benedict XVI addressed some of those challenges, listing globalization, secularism, increasing poverty, violence, and the drug trade. The pontiff said, “For the future of the church in Latin America it is important that Christians have a deeper knowledge and adopt an appropriate lifestyle as Jesus’ disciples, simply and joyful with a firm faith rooted in the depths of their heart and nourished by prayer and the sacraments.”
(Story provided by Today's Catholic)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Catholic League, please knock it off!!

I have only the utmost respect for Bill Donohue and the work that he does defending the Catholic Church. However, his constant baiting of PZ Myers is only making the situation worse. Myers wants attention, and the Catholic League keeps giving it to him.

Mr. Donohue, I urge you to ignore Dr. Myers. He's like a 2 year old having a tantrum, ignore him and he'll stop, keep paying attention to him and you prolong the agony.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lessons Learned

In the military, whenever an operation is completed, often the "After action report" will include "lessons learned". Well, after getting sucked into the "crackergate" controversy over at Pharyngula, I learned some things:
  1. There are such things as fundamentalist Atheists. The sanctimony and self-righteousness of some of the atheists over there would put Fred Phelps to shame.
  2. Atheists have a odd definition of what a personal attack is. (Over on those boards Catholics have been called: religious, deluded lunatic, a**holes, f***ers, Catholibots incapable of independent, rational or intelligent thinking, who abuse our children by teaching them our religion. But, none of this is meant as a personal attack [yeah, right])
  3. I used to think atheists believed that others were free to choose what they wanted to believe, nope, it seems atheists have a major superiority complex. Apparently only a child or a imbecile believes in religion.
  4. And anyone who is a Christian bears personal responsibility for the sins of every other Christian throughout history.
  5. They know what we believe better than we do, just ask them.
Oh well, I am done with this. I refuse to give Dr. Myers any more attention. His threat to desecrate the Eucharist, I see know, is nothing more than a child demanding attention. He lack the courage to enter a Catholic Church to get the Eucharist himself (what is he afraid of?), and now he is going to rant in private about the church, well, I encourage my fellow Catholic bloggers to ignore him, deny him his 15 minutes of fame and let him go back to the obscurity where he belongs.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I stand corrected, an even newer low...

This may be a coincidence but I doubt it.

Eucharist taken from Cathedral tabernacle

The Eucharist was stolen Friday from the tabernacle at Corpus Christi Cathedral on the 500 block of North Upper Broadway, police said.

Corpus Christi Police Lt. Raymond Lara said the Eucharist, the consecrated bread used in Catholic Mass, was taken after someone entered the church through an open door. The exact time of the theft has not been determined and there have been no arrests made in the case, Lara said.

Corpus Christi Cathedral officials would not comment when reached Monday.

I know this is not what Dr. Myers intended, but given the contempt he has shown for Catholic beliefs can he really be surprised the more radical people who agree with him would do something like this.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Oh, that one hurt!

I posted this over at Scienceblogs:

This just goes to prove that the last acceptible form of prejudice in the US is Anti-Catholic.

sigh, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Posted by: kmerian | July 13, 2008 1:36 PM

And the responses:

Absolutely. I mean, gosh, there are people getting tied to fences and beaten to death for being Catholic, states keep passing laws against Catholics getting married, and we would never, ever elect a Catholic president!

Posted by: Gretchen | July 13, 2008 1:46 PM

Right. No prejudice against Gays, Muslims, Blacks, Jews, etc. Only against Catholics, and it takes the terrible form of people saying your belief in transubstantiation is absurd. Congratulations, you may win the award for the dumbest comment ever.

Posted by: Taz | July 13, 2008 1:53 PM

Jon Rowe wrote:

Man I can't believe how many comments PZ is getting over at his blog.

I know- it's crazy. I think a good part of was instigated by a sock-puppeting troll (or trolls), though. One weirdo had about 15 names and all of his posts were about the caliber of kmerian's here. And for whatever reason people just can't seem to ignore it. Then it just snowballs and, oh my.

Posted by: Leni | July 13, 2008 2:12 PM

And the one thing that seems to stay the same is the absurd need to case oneself as a martyr. This is pure ********. this is criticism of your ideas, which is not bigotry. Every idea is open to criticism and criticism is not evidence of bigotry. This is nothing more than this country's cult of victimization - everyone's a victim because being a victim insulates you from criticism. Sorry, that isn't going to fly here. If you want to believe stupid things, you have every right to do so. But others also have the right to call those beliefs stupid. And calling them stupid is not bigotry, it's criticism.

Posted by: Ed Brayton | July 13, 2008 2:30 PM

I stand by what I said.

The fact is, that if Prof. Meyer had written a post that vitriolic about any other group (with the possible exception of Muslims) 99% of the people there defending him, would be calling for his head on a platter. There would be protests outside his office and he would be stripped of tenure.

In academia, criticism and mocking of Christians (especially Catholics) is perfectly ok. Criticism of any other groups, is verbotten, and will earn you a very swift visit from the PC police.

If you want to criticize what I believe, fine, go right ahead. But keep in mind, I am no victim, I will fight back.

Also, how is calling me a "deluded lunatic" who believes "stupid" "hokum" criticizing only my beliefs?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A new low.

I encourage everyone to pray for this professor.

You have to wonder what would make someone this hateful.

Professor PZ Meyers, describes himself as a "liberal athiest". Which is his right, where he differs from most Athiests (who could care less what we religious do) is he has a level of sanctimony and self-righteousness that would make even the most extreme Baptist go "Dude, come on!".

He is certain that all of us are imbeciles who should bow before his superior intellect. His frequent use of profanity just shows the level of his ignorance and how even the most highly educated can have a pitiful vocabulary.

Well, I will let Bill Donohue be the attack dog on this one. I would just encourage everyone to pray for this soul living in darkness.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A wonderful testament to our Catholic Faith...

Betancourt set for medical after hero's welcome in France

Posted Sat Jul 5, 2008 3:05pm AEST
Updated Sat Jul 5, 2008 4:07pm AEST

Freed Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt faced a day of medical tests in Paris on Saturday (local time) after receiving a hero's welcome following her six-year hostage ordeal, as video footage was released of her dramatic rescue.

Snatched from the grip of Marxist FARC rebels in a Colombian army operation Wednesday, along with three US hostages and 11 Colombians, Ms Betancourt arrived in France on Friday on board a French presidential plane from Bogota.

After being feted by President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace, the 46-year-old former Colombian presidential candidate, who also has French nationality, was to spend Saturday undergoing an in-depth medical examination at a military hospital in Paris.

Though she told reporters she felt "in great shape," she developed a string of ailments while in captivity, possibly including hepatitis.

On her arrival at Villacoublay airbase outside Paris, Ms Betancourt walked smiling down the stairs of the plane to embrace Mr Sarkozy and First Lady Carla Bruni, waiting to welcome her to her second home.

"I am so happy to breathe the air of France. I owe France everything," she told the crowd waiting to welcome her.

"I have shed a great many tears of pain and indignation. Today I am crying with joy," she said, her voice breaking with emotion. "You saved my life."

"Ingrid Betancourt, welcome. France loves you," Mr Sarkozy told her.

Ms Betancourt paid a personal tribute to the French president, who made her release a top priority, as "this extraordinary man who fought so hard for me."

"This extraordinary, perfect operation by the Colombian army... is also the result of your struggle," she said, explaining that France staunchly opposed any armed "military operation that would put the hostages' lives in danger."

A video showing hostages angry and resigned at having their hands bound, and then minutes later sobbing with jubilation aboard a helicopter upon discovering they had been freed, was shown on Friday for the first time by Colombia military.

The video of FARC rebels benignly handing over the 15 hostages to disguised Colombian commandos was released to counter questions about the military's dramatic and bloodless coup, Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos said.

The video shows the unarmed, disguised Colombian commandos binding the hands of the hostages with plastic cuffs, as one hostage, a Colombian soldier, angrily scolds the fake guerrillas for his treatment.

Once aboard the disguised military helicopter, the video shows Ms Betancourt and others reacting in surprise and breaking out in tears after the cuffs were removed and the soldiers revealed themselves.

"This is absolutely false," Mr Santos told reporters, when asked about reports that $US20 million had been paid as ransom, and that it was all arranged in advance with a rebel commander in charge of the hostages.

Ms Betancourt was accompanied on the flight to Paris by her daughter Melanie, 22, and son Lorenzo, 19.

Speaking at the reception with her supporters at the Elysee palace, she urged Mr Sarkozy to keep working to free the hundreds of other hostages still held by Colombia's FARC rebels, Latin America's most powerful left-wing insurgency.

"Let it be clear, we will continue," the French president replied.

Paris is where Ms Betancourt grew up, studied and raised her family. Her children had waged a relentless campaign for their mother's release, making her a cause celebre in France.

Ms Betancourt said in a radio interview she had been chained up night and day for three years by her captors.

Asked whether she was tortured, she replied: "Yes, yes." She said she saw her captors lapsing into "diabolical behaviour."

"It was so monstrous that I think they themselves were disgusted," she said.

Later thousands of people watched as Ms Betancourt took down a poster of her face displayed on the Paris Town Hall during her captivity.

A fervent Catholic who called her release a "miracle of the Virgin Mary," Ms Betancourt has also been invited to meet Pope Benedict XVI.

"It is a meeting that one cannot pass up," she told AFP.

The Colombian army rescue mission was a huge triumph in President Alvaro Uribe's long battle against the leftist rebels.

A news outlet close to FARC said on Thursday the group would be open to peace talks with the Uribe government.