March 03, 2007

Roman Catholic Women Priests? Public liars!

Click HERE for it.

March 02, 2007

More about Anger

[Following on questions regarding my post of February 27 about forgiving, loving, and liking]


Suppose you are cleaning your living room.
Your child is playing in your front yard.
You look out the window,
and you see a stranger beating your child with a baseball bat.

It would be natural that three emotions rush up inside of you:
anger, fear, and sadness.

If you were not to have any anger at all,
you are probably psychologically sick, unwell, abnormal.

If you did become angry,
but freely and consciously chose to do nothing for your child,
then you would be guilty of sin--
and the sin would NOT be that you were angry.
The sin would be that you chose to do nothing for your child.

The emotion of anger at seeing someone in the act of beating your child with a bat is part of what can MOVE you ("emotion" is from the Latin that literally means "move outwardly") to save your child.

In addition to the emotions, two other faculties come into play:
reason and free will.

No matter what your emotions and your reasonings may or may not be,
when someone is beating your child to death,
it is virtuous-- HOLY-- to put an end to the beating.

Angry emotion all by itself is not a sin and not a virtue.
What we CHOOSE to DO--
that CHOICE and that ACTION,
THOSE can be either sinful or holy.

Mark 3:1-5
Again Jesus entered the synagogue,
and a man was there who had a withered hand.
And they watched Jesus,
to see whether he would heal the man on the sabbath,
so that they might accuse Jesus.
And Jesus said to the man who had the withered hand,
"Come here."
And Jesus said to them,
"Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do harm,
to save life or to kill?"
But they were silent.
AND JESUS LOOKED AROUND AT THEM WITH ANGER,
grieved at their hardness of heart,
and said to the man,
"Stretch out your hand."
He stretched it out,
and his hand was restored.


February 28, 2007

THE SACRED SOUND

A man is driving down the road,
and his car breaks down near a monastery.

He knocks on the monastery door, and says,
"My car broke down.
Do you think I could stay the night?"

The monks graciously receive him, give him dinner, and even fix his car.

That night in a monastery guest room, as the man tries to fall asleep,
he hears a strange sound,
one unlike anything he's ever heard before.

An alluring, seductive, but sacred and overwhelmingly captivating sound!

He doesn't sleep that night.
He tosses and turns trying to figure out what that sound could possibly be.

The next morning, he asks the monks what the sound was, but they say,
"We can't tell you.
You're not a monk."

Distraught at the response, the man leaves the monastery.

Years later, never having forgotten that sound,
the man goes back to the monastery,
and pleads for the answer again.

The monks reply again,
"We can't tell you.
You're not a monk."

The man says,
"If the only way I can find out is to become a monk, then please, make me a monk."

The monks reply,
"You must travel the earth and count all the blades of grass and all the grains of sand.
When you bring us the number, you will have become a monk."

The man sets about his task.

After years of labor he returns as a gray-haired old man, and knocks on the door of the monastery.

A monk answers and leads him before a gathering of all the monks.

The man reports,
"In my quest to find what makes that beautiful sound, I traveled the earth, and I have found what you sent me to find.
By design, the world is in a state of perpetual change.
Only God knows what you ask.
All a man can know is himself, and only if he is honest and reflective and willing to strip away self-deception."

The monks reply,
"Congratulations.
You have become a monk.
We shall now show you the mystery of the sacred sound."

They lead the new monk to a wooden door, where the superior of the monastery hands him a key, and says,
"The sound is beyond that door."

The new monk opens the door.

Behind the wooden door is another door made of stone.

The man receives the key to the stone door, and he opens it, only to find a door made of ruby.

And so it went that he needed keys to doors of emerald, pearl and diamond.

Finally, they come to a door made of solid gold.

The sound has become very clear and strong.

The superior says,
"Here is the last key, and there is the last door."

The new monk is apprehensive to no end: the answer to his life's obsession is behind that door.

With trembling hands…

he unlocks the door…

turns the knob…

and slowly pushes the door open.

He falls to his knees,
utterly overcome to discover the source of the sacred sound…













































… but I can't tell you what it is because you're not a monk.


February 27, 2007

Someone has asked. So, yes, I coined it last year.

Click HERE for it.

An "archaeology" of penitential violet

In our Roman Catholic heritage the color we use for the season of Lent has the Latin name violaceus-- "violet" (though in English some use the word "purple").

Liturgical violaceus is a blend between red and blue, but one that leans in the direction of red.


If the blend leans instead in the direction of blue, it's moving toward the splendor of ancient royal purple, rather than the ancient penitential violet.

Ancient royal purple was a color, a fabric dye, that was so costly to produce that it was reserved for royalty.

So, if you make or buy vestments for Lent, be sure to go penitential rather than royal.


Forgiveness and the difference between loving and liking

To love my neighbor as God loves is not a matter of emotionally liking my neighbor. It is a matter of wanting what serves my neighbor's authentic and everlasting welfare-- whether I emotionally like that or not, and whether my neighbor likes that or not.

Jesus on the cross loved the men that crucified him-- in other words, he wanted what would serve their authentic and everlasting welfare. He did not emotionally like them.

On the cross, Jesus displayed the ultimate goal of forgiveness: wanting the sinner to be reconciled with the Father. "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."

The forgiveness that Jesus wanted his killers to receive did nothing to ease the physical and emotional pains of Jesus. Even though Jesus prayed for his killers to receive forgiveness, the lethal suffering of Jesus did not end.


Shock! God's forgiveness is CONDITIONAL ... and the Lord will send you to hell for being mindless and forgetful.

God's forgiveness is CONDITIONAL? That is what he affirms in the Holy Gospel for today's Mass, Mathew 6:7-15.
For IF you forgive men their trespasses,
your heavenly Father also will forgive you;
but IF you do NOT forgive men their trespasses,
NEITHER will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Furthermore, you don't need to anything at all to earn a place in hell. Just do nothing, and the Lord will send you there. See the Holy Gospel for yesterday's Mass, Matthew 25:31-46.
Then he will say to those at his left hand,
"Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;
for I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was a stranger and you did not welcome me,
naked and you did not clothe me,
sick and in prison and you did not visit me."
Then they ... will answer,
"Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison,
and did not minister to you?"
Then he will answer them,
"Truly, I say to you,
as you did it not to one of the least of these,
you did it not to me."
And they will go away into eternal punishment.


Calling attention to a comment from a reader of my previous blog entry

I remember reading a report about a year or so ago that compared abuse in the Church vs. in Public Education. In the 54-year span of 1950-2003 there were almost 12,000 reported incidents of abuse by the clergy (the bulk of which were during the 60s & 70s - surprise, surprise), which works out to approx. 220 incidents per year nationwide.

Meanwhile, in 2003 alone, there were approx. 100,000 reported incidents of abuse by public school faculty/staff on students in grades 1-12. Incident rates are even higher when involving close family members or friends of the family.

But, we don't want to let facts get in the way of agendas, now, do we?


February 25, 2007

SEXUAL ABUSE IN SOCIAL CONTEXT: CATHOLIC CLERGY AND OTHER PROFESSIONALS

Special Report
by
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights

February 2004



The following is an excerpt from the report. The excerpt has footnotes, but I have not posted them here. The footnotes are in the complete report that you may access by clicking HERE.


TEACHERS

The American Medical Association found in 1986 that one in four girls, and one in eight boys, are sexually abused in or out of school before the age of 18. Two years later, a study included in The Handbook on Sexual Abuse of Children, reported that one in four girls, and one in six boys, is sexually abused by age 18. It was reported in 1991 that 17.7 percent of males who graduated from high school, and 82.2 percent of females, reported sexual harassment by faculty or staff during their years in school. Fully 13.5 percent said they had sexual intercourse with their teacher.

In New York City alone, at least one child is sexually abused by a school employee every day. One study concluded that more than 60 percent of employees accused of sexual abuse in the New York City schools were transferred to desk jobs at district offices located inside the schools. Most of these teachers are tenured and 40 percent of those transferred are repeat offenders. They call it “passing the garbage” in the schools. One reason why this exists is due to efforts by the United Federation of Teachers to protect teachers at the expense of children. Another is the fact that teachers accused of sexual misconduct cannot be fired under New York State law.

One of the nation’s foremost authorities on the subject of the sexual abuse of minors in public schools is Hofstra University professor Charol Shakeshaft. In 1994, Shakeshaft and Audrey Cohan did a study of 225 cases of educator sexual abuse in New York City. Their findings are astounding.

All of the accused admitted sexual abuse of a student, but none of the abusers was reported to the authorities, and only 1 percent lost their license to teach. Only 35 percent suffered negative consequences of any kind, and 39 percent chose to leave their school district, most with positive recommendations. Some were even given an early retirement package.

Moving molesting teachers from school district to school district is a common phenomenon. And in only 1 percent of the cases do superintendents notify the new school district. According to Diana Jean Schemo, the term “passing the trash” is the preferred jargon among educators.

Shakeshaft has also determined that 15 percent of all students have experienced some kind of sexual misconduct by a teacher between kindergarten and 12th grade; the behaviors range from touching to forced penetration. She and Cohan also found that up to 5 percent of teachers sexually abuse children. Shakeshaft will soon be ready to release the findings of a vast study undertaken for the Planning and Evaluation Service Office of the Undersecretary, U.S. Department of Education, titled, “Educator Sexual Misconduct with Students: A Synthesis of Existing Literature on Prevalence in Connection with the Design of a National Analysis.”


- - - -


From
SEXUAL ABUSE IN SOCIAL CONTEXT:
CATHOLIC CLERGY AND OTHER PROFESSIONALS
Special Report
by
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
February 2004
Click HERE for it.