Friday, October 31, 2003

If Every Day Could be Like Halloween--The Last Christian Feast

Once again we arrive at a very strange day. Little people, some guised in grotesque attire will arrive at our doors this evening and beg for food, if you can call candy that. What is even more strange is that only the most stingy among us will refuse their request.

What if everyday were like Halloween? What if no matter who came to us on any day, wearing whatever guise they chose, was greeted with joy and a generous response of almsgiving? Why we might all be saints!

So this truly is All Saints Eve. It is a lesson for us to learn. We are not frightened by the guises of the little monsters because underneath we know them to be good little children. But how can we translate this act of charity into a life of realizing that Christ comes to us in his many guises throughout the year, begging from us, hoping that we will look beyond the mask He dons at the time?

"When I was hungry you gave me to eat, when I was thirst you gave me to drink, when I was a stranger you welcomed me, when I was naked you clothed me, when I was sick you cared for me, and when I was in prison you visited me,"(Matthew 25) "When did we see you Lord?" is the reply of everyone...but for some it is in response to what they did and for others it is for what they did not do.

It is appropriate on the Eve of All Saints (and I do think we should give this celebration its American English translation), that we imitate the Saints in their ability to recognize Christ in our brothers and sisters--no matter how they present themselves to us, in the same way we will imitate the giving of the Father on Christmas Eve by playing St. Nick for our children. It is fitting to face the ghoulish nature of life that is ever heading toward death, on this eve to be faced with skulls and other symbols of death so that we may commemorate our dead on the Feast of All Souls. Indeed in our secular calendar of feasts, this is the last Christian feast which ironically comes under its harshest attack not from the ACLU but from other Christian churches--go figure!

Would that everyday could be All Hallow's Eve...and that for each of us, that everyday will be the eve of our being with God and His Saints in His heavenly kingdom.

Ron Zook--Love-Hate Relationship

From College Football

In Gainesville, the affectionate term for the head football coach is The Zooker. Lord knows, there are a multitude of less affectionate terms floating around out there for Ron Zook.

Saturday, Florida can steal a page from Hollywood and Ronald Reagan. It can win one for The Zooker.

The Gators can win one that might -- just might -- transform a mutinous fan base. Beat fourth-ranked, defending SEC champion Georgia in the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party in Jacksonville, and Florida backers could conceivably go from on The Zooker's back to having his back. They just might let him up and let him breathe.

At least until the next loss to Mississippi.

Good at Rejection??

Since I've received so many rejection letters in my writing career, I guess I'm pretty good at writing them. I frequently receive letters from people whose manuscripts I've rejected, as I did today, this one from an award winning writer:

I rarely have the opportunity to say this, but...thank you for the wonderful rejection letter!

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Wildfire Turns California Resort Into Tinderbox

One of the stranger stories I watched on the news coverage was a story on the CBS news last night where two fire trucks were parked outside of a very large house. There was some implication that whoever owned the house was receiveing preferential treatment. There was never any mention of who the house belonged to though.

From Wildfire Turns California Resort Into Tinderbox (

"Southern California wildfires turned into an 'Apocalypse Now' as a firestorm raced through the mountain resort of Lake Arrowhead destroying an estimated 250 homes in minutes and leaving officials fearing that the fiery rage would not abate on Thursday. "

Fire officials said the only hope they had for preventing a repeat of Wednesday's disaster on Lake Arrowhead was incoming fog that was expected to creep in from the ocean and envelop the mountains by the week's end.

"The good news is that a little too late the weather is changing on us. ... We will still have trouble (on Thursday) in the higher elevations, but by Friday we will get higher humidity ... and this will help the fire suppression effort," said Andrea Tuttle, the head of the state's Forestry Department.

It was Tuttle who said that the San Bernardino Mountains, the winter playground for nearby Los Angeles, could erupt in flames of Biblical proportions because of a huge infestation of minute bark beetles which killed 70 percent of the trees around Lake Arrowhead and surrounding communities.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

The Interview That Wasn't

Questions Larry King should have asked but as usual did not...

From the Weekly Standard--The Interview That Wasn't:

THAT EXCHANGE should have opened the door to some very interesting conversation. King could have asked Schiavo if he is raising children with another woman--a matter finally brought up by a caller near the end of the show--why he should continue to have any say over Terri's care, given that the sanctity of the marriage vows he took are no longer operable. King didn't, of course, which is precisely the reason why people in the center of heated public controversies like to go on his show.

There are a number of questions King should have asked Schiavo:

(1) Why did Schiavo tell a medical malpractice jury in 1992 that Terri would live a normal life span? After Terri's collapse, Schiavo sued for medical malpractice. Under civil law, the longer Terri was expected to live, the larger the verdict would probably be. This fact of legal life could explain why Michael presented evidence to the malpractice jury not only that Terri would likely live a normal life span but also that he intended to be a good and loyal husband and care for her for the rest of his life.

(2) Why did Schiavo have a rehabilitation expert testify in front of the malpractice jury to present a detailed plan of therapy for Terri? Schiavo and his lawyer claimed that Terri is incapable of improving physically, but during the 1992 trial, a rehabilitation plan and its anticipated undertaking provided one of the underpinnings for the jury's $1.3 million award. Of that money, Schiavo received $300,000, lawyers' fees were paid, and about $750,000 was put in trust to pay for Terri's rehabilitation.

(3) Given that the jury awarded $750,000 to be used in part for Terri's therapy, why hasn't Schiavo provided any rehabilitation for her since 1991? When asked by King about the issue of rehab, Schiavo described some early efforts to help Terri, such as an experimental surgery in 1990. But he never identified when this rehab took place.

Which is an important point. The only efforts ever undertaken to improve Terri's condition took place in 1990 and 1991. They had ceased by the time of the malpractice trial in 1992 because her insurance coverage had run out. Indeed, the pressing need to restart therapy was an urgent part of the malpractice case. It could have--and should have--paid to restart the rehabilitation that had been abandoned due to lack of funds.

McKeon Attributes Success to the Little Flower

Sports people are getting evangelized in some good ole Catholicism!

From - Loria says McKeon will be back to lead champion Marlins:

"McKeon begins most days by attending Mass. He carries a crucifix and angel medallion in his pocket, and says had it not been for St. Theresa -- a 19th-century nun who had many miracles attributed to her -- he would not have been in baseball.

McKeon said his father wouldn't let him sign to play as a teenager, insisting instead that he go to college. McKeon said he began praying to St. Theresa and eventually his father gave his blessing.

A half-century career has followed, with this being McKeon's first taste of a World Series.

'St. Theresa has always taken pretty good care of me,' McKeon said. "

Pope John Paul II--- Prayer Can Stop War and Terrorism!

From Ananova - Pope says prayer can bring peace and halt terrorism:

"'In the face of war, violence and tension, praying the rosary is a conscious expression of faith,' he said.

'The upsetting attacks in the United States on Sept. 11 and that which they generated in the world afterward can be stopped through the prayer of the rosary, in which one pleads for peace,' his text read by an aide said."

Spurrier Soon to be Out at Washington???

If that is the case Gator fans should cheer against the Gators for the remainder of the season...Spurrier at the University of North Carolina???

From - Spurrier, Snyder devoid of clues:

"The $25 Million Experiment is over in Washington. Steve Spurrier is a bust, but certainly not busted. It is only a matter of time before he negotiates a settlement, packs up his golf sticks and heads back to college football, perhaps to North Carolina.

Coach Superior will be a little embarrassed tucking his Gator tail 'tween his legs and leaving town but a lot richer for the exercise in futility. When he first came to Washington, Spurrier said: 'In the back of my mind, I want to see if my style of offense and my coaching can be successful in the NFL.'

Now 58, he already has failed in that regard — if wins and losses and the health of Patrick Ramsey are any indication. The quarterback should be wearing a Red Cross on his helmet."

Behind the Smoke and Mirrors is a Coverup

From Father Charles Dahlby comes this scathing commentary on the crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States.

From Catholic Citizens:

"How is it possible that men who claim to stand 'in persona Christi' could be so evil and perverted, especially given what Jesus said about the judgment of those who harm 'His little ones'?

There is only one reasonable answer. They were trained to be Pharisees! They are 'churchmen', not Christians. They are religious but not holy! They put on a fine show but their concern is to appear religious before the world, not holy before God. Like all Pharisees they are beautiful, but 'empty tombs filled with corruption.' They control bishop's conferences and chancery offices and their main concerns are money and appearances.

Committees and programs cannot change this tragic state, only when God raises up saints and prophets will the faith truly be renewed. Until then every Roman Catholic must learn the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas on true and false obedience and the lessons of history where we find that an entire national conference of bishops left the Church at one time. (With one exception, the martyr St. John Fisher!).

We must accept the fact that we cannot always trust our leadership. Many have proven unworthy of that trust and while they have every right to expect our love, they have no right to demand our trust. Trust must be earned! We have consolation and encouragement in the statements of Vatican II on the primacy of a properly formed conscience, and what properly forms that conscience is the teaching of Jesus Christ and the traditional faith known and taught for centuries! To trust anything else is to risk our eternal salvation on the dubious opinions of dissident theologians and television talk show hosts. All Catholics and especially priests must clearly understand that we 'work' for Jesus Christ and not a bishop.

The leadership of the Church seems to lack the humility to repent, but this sad situation gives the true Catholic an opportunity to purify his faith and renew his allegiance to "Christ and Him crucified". This is not the first time in history Catholics have had to choose between Christ and church leadership, but never between Christ and His true Church! The true Church is always pure and holy! But it has not always been well served by those who claim to speak in its name.

Recommended Book

I'm a big fan of Robert Farrar Capon. I've always found his commentaries on Scripture to be the most creative and challenging...something to read if you want your mind stretched. Now in a new book on the first chapters of the Book of Genesis he gives us something new that in fact is something very old--reading Scripture in all its senses. The modern twist? To read it like you'd see a good movie. This isn't pop Bible study though this is good, in depth stuff with plenty of St. Augustine to satisfy everyone!

I also highly recommend any of his "parable" books too!

Catholic Light: Why Was Terri Denied Holy Communion?

Peter Vere weighs in on the Terri Schiavo case from a canonical perspective...Catholic Light: Why Was Terri Denied Holy Communion?

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Loria: Marlins Championship Team Won't be Dismantled

Hopefully, the truth.

From AP Wire | 10/28/2003 |:

"Tens of thousands of frenzied fans waved towels, screamed themselves hoarse and pointed their jubilant hands skyward Tuesday in celebration of their World Series champion Florida Marlins.

But the jersey-clad, sign-toting revelers released their loudest, most earthshaking cheers when owner Jeffrey Loria made a simple promise.

'I just want to say one more thing, to put the whole thing to rest, because I'm tired of answering the same question,' Loria said. 'This is not 1997. This is 2003. We are not dismantling. Thank you.'

With that, six years of malcontent and mistrust between South Florida and its baseball team vanished like the soap bubbles jubilant schoolchildren blew into the breeze coming off Biscayne Bay."

Christus Victor Weighs in on Michael Schiavo's Larry King Appearance

I totally agree with Christine's critique and what I find even more startling is that this is Schiavo's first admission that there is money at stake. He has denied in the past that there is any money to be gained by Terri's death. I didn't see the broadcast but I'll bet Larry didn't throw any throwing the money issue back in his face. The Schindlers are retired and owned their own business by the way, chances are they aren't in need of the money in the way that Michael who has a child by another woman and one on the way by the same woman might be.

From Christus Victor:

"On Larry King Live last night, Michael Schiavo actually accused Terri's father of financial motives underlying his fight.

'He's always wanted the money,' Schiavo said of his father-in-law, Bob Schindler. 'He wants the money. He wants the control.'

Can you say, Projection? Michael Schiavo has been driven for so long by selfish greed, to put it kindly, that he can't understand any other motive for keeping Terri alive. He can't understand how anyone could love what he sees as a vegetable. He can't understand selflessness, or human dignity. Perhaps one day long ago he was able to understand such things; but you can't keep leading the charge to end a person's life without your soul dying in the process. I know Michael Schiavo was driven by despicable motives--but to get onto national television and accuse the Schindlers of being in this for the money is beyond belief. "

New York Times Trivia Quiz #560

New York Times Trivia Quiz #560:

What song was a top ten hit in 1974 for one-hit wonder singer Sister Janet Mead?

''Good News''


''Eres Tu''

''The Lord's Prayer''

''Treasure of Love''"

Does anyone know what happened to the good sister?


"One will be taken, one will be left"

Trees and a few houses remain after devastating fires pass through this neighborhood in San Diego, CA.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Fires in California Terrorism or Just the Usual???

From - FBI: al-Qaeda detainee spoke of fire plot:

"The FBI alerted law enforcement agencies last month that an al-Qaeda terrorist now in detention had talked of masterminding a plot to set a series of devastating forest fires around the western United States.

Rose Davis, a spokeswoman for the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, told The Associated Press that officials there took note of the warning but didn't see a need to act further on it.

The contents of the June 25 memo from the FBI's Denver office were reported Friday by The Arizona Republic. Davis declined to share a copy of the memo and an FBI spokeswoman in Denver didn't immediately return a telephone call.

The Republic reported that the detainee, who was not identified, said the plan involved three or four people setting wildfires using timed devices in Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming that would detonate in forests and grasslands after the operatives had left the country. "

China Arrests Priests, Seminarians and Demolishes Church

Pray for them, and write your congressperson to complain about our support in any way of such a country!


" Police in northeast China raided a religious retreat and arrested about a dozen Roman Catholic clergymen while a church in the vicinity was demolished, a US-based religious rights group said.

The 12 priests and seminarians were attending a retreat on October 20 in Gaocheng county, in Hebei province's Shijiazhuang city, when police swooped and took everyone into custody, the Connecticut-based Cardinal Kung Foundation said in a statement.

The gathering was not sponsored by the government-sanctioned 'Patriotic Association,' which oversees all state-approved churches in China, the foundation said.

The clergymen are being held in a detention house in Gaocheng county."

Marlin Manager Gives Thanks at the Latin Mass on Sunday

Thanks to Steve M. who comments below:

I was at the game on Saturday night with my son (also a Michael), and missed everything after the tag on Posada for the final out. But on my way to St. Agnes Church in Manhattan the next day, I passed Jack McKeon smoking a cigar as he stood on 42nd St. ouside the Grand Hyatt. Thanks to Mayor Blooberg's smoking ban, I got a chance to shake his had and congratulate him---he had a warm \"thank you\" in reply. An hour later, as I recounted on Amy's blog, I saw him at the Traditional Latin Mass at St. Agnes. Apparently he will sometimes take in a good Gregorian chat after a good victory smoke. Running into him was consoling, which may have been my guardian angel's idea in having me be at the right place for these two encounters.

St. Agnes Church

143 East 43rd St.

New York, NY 10017-4065

Msgr. Eugene Clark

(212) 682-5722

Sun 11 a.m.

Terri Schiavo Updates

From Father Rob Johansen, who traveled from Michigan to learn first hand what is really going on down there and why only one member of the local clergy is present. Read all about it at Thrown Back

Peter Vere continues his fine posting on the situation at the Envoy Blog and asks "Is the Media Trying to Kill Terri?"

Strong Words for the Week

Times Against Humanity provides his usual survey of blogdom's strongest "words" of the week. Give it a read at:

Times Against Humanity

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Virginia Cyr--A Saint for Our Times

Our Sunday Visitor will release a book in March of 2004 based on the diaries of Virginia Cyr. For those who would like a sneak peak check out Dr. Quentin Colgan's web site devoted to her atVirginia Cyr.

Virginia Cyr could turn out to be the U.S.'s Little Flower. Her life was short, but one graced with a remarkable faith in the midst of just about every imaginable type of suffering one soul could endure--including sexual abuse from a drunken priest. But perhaps the worst abuse she suffered was being turned down by every contemplative community she sought to enter--I live in the area of the country where many of these communities once stood and I firmly believe that their ruins are a testimony of God's judgment upon them for refusing the "least of his brethren" and forgetting their call.

Virginia died a young woman, visit the site read some of her writings and see in this new religious communty that Amy mentions a sign of hope for people of faith like Virginia.

The Florida Marlins Win the World Series!!!

From Dave Hyde of the Sun Sentinel:

"Can you believe it?" Jack McKeon said as he walked out to the field, shaking hands as he went, his last managerial stroke to pitch Beckett on a controversial three days' rest now looking the most brilliant.

Beckett was being lifted up on his teammates' shoulders now. Someone tugged a "World Champion Marlins" cap on his head backward. The caps were going on everyone, T-shirts, too. The phrase will take some practice: World Champion Marlins. Read it again and weep a little, considering many of the Marlins were by now: World Champion Marlins.

They didn't just do what no one said they could. They did it their way in the city that sings about just that. All last winter and through the spring, as the Marlins first assembled their team and then started playing, they were told small-ball wouldn't work. Couldn't work. Doesn't everyone knows running and bunting doesn't work in this big-bang era of baseball?

Look how they won Game 6.

They bunted. They ran. They played great defense. They played for one run, pulled it close, then played for another and pulled it closer. They played the smallest of ball all the way to the biggest of wins, to the most unlikely of celebrations, coming into a place full of baseball history and making some of their

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Here's Hoping the Florida Marlins Can Win the World Series Tonight!!!

The manager Jack McKeon is a daily communicant. When I saw the Marlins play in Cincinnati earlier this year, most of the team was at Mass in the Cathedral that Sunday. Mike Lowell and Mike Redmond sat a few pews in front of me and both conducted themselves like this wasn't an infrequent occurence in their lives. Perhaps the real secret of the Marlin's success is their manager's faith and his dependence on God not on sports.

From the Sun-Sentinel:

He arrives just before the 8:30 a.m. mass at St. Matthew in Hallandale Beach, just another worshipper in shorts, golf shirt and gray hair. Plus, there's the cigar. You've got to love this touch. Even here, Jack McKeon has a trademark cigar puffing, as well as a strategy for it.

"This is my spot, right here," he says, placing the cigar carefully on the ledge of a post before walking a few steps through the church door.

Do you want to know how it felt to wake up Thursday as everyone's Manager of the Year, as the surprising boss of baseball's surprise team, as the leader of the Marlins as they stand one game up in the wild-card playoff race with 16 games to go?

It felt about the same as it did any day. That's just being honest. The man's 72. He has his days down pat by now, no matter where he wakes up. Go to mass. Take communion. Say a few prayers. And then, of course, hope your cigar is still waiting for you on the way out.

The Manager of the Florida Marlins--Jack McKeon

From Street Miami | 08/01/2003 | MEET ... JACK MCKEON:

"Got any good stories?

I was managing the Reds. Like me, [then Los Angeles Dodgers manager] Tommy Lasorda likes to go to church. So one Sunday morning, in Cincinnati, we went to the same mass, at 8 in the morning. I asked him if he wanted a ride to the ball park afterward [the Reds and Dodgers were playing each other that day]. He said ''sure.'' So after church, I went outside, but he stayed inside. I went in looking for him and he's at the altar, lighting a candle [and probably asking the Lord for a Dodger victory]. Well, when he started to walk out of the church, I walked back in, just for minute. Later that day, before the game, we're at home plate, exchanging lineup cards, and I said, ''Hey Tommy, I saw you light that candle.'' He said, ''Oh yeah?'' And I said, ''Yeah, I sneaked back in and blew it out.'' I really didn't, but that's what I told him."

Friday, October 24, 2003

Pope Doesn't Say Mass for Students

From Welcome to AJC!:

"The Vatican dropped an afternoon Mass from Pope John Paul II's schedule Friday to give the frail pontiff more rest after a hectic week, officials said.

The Mass with university students in St. Peter's Basilica is an annual event and was confirmed by the Vatican on Tuesday.

But the pope's spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, said it was dropped to ``lighten his schedule after such a busy week.''

The 83-year-old pontiff suffers from Parkinson's disease. He presided over weeklong events to mark his 25th anniversary as pope, concluding with a Mass on Wednesday with 30 new cardinals installed the day before.

He has been handing over more of his ceremonial duties and, because of difficulties in speaking, has turned over most his speeches to aides to read.

Navarro-Valls said the pope will hold his regularly scheduled meetings on Saturday.

``Almost 90 percent of the activity of the Holy Father these days has been live on television, so everybody saw him. He was a bit tired because the schedule was hectic, with many long ceremonies and so on,'' said the spokesman when asked about John Paul's health. "

"The End Is Near! Turn yourself around now before it's too late!"

A priest and a pastor are standing by the side of the road pounding a sign into the ground that reads:

"The End Is Near! Turn yourself around now before it's too late!"

"Leave us alone, you religious nuts!" yelled a driver as he sped by.

From around the curve they heard screeching tires and a big splaaaashshsh!.

The pastor turns to the priest and asks: "Do you think the sign should just say: "Bridge Out!"?"

Back to the Beginning (GENESIS)

"After the flood Noah lived three hundred and fifty years," (Genesis 9:28).

Ananova - 'Humans could live for hundreds of years':

"Scientists say people could live active lives for hundreds of years if humans follow the same biological rules as laboratory worms.

By carefully tweaking genes and hormones, scientists extended the lifespan of the tiny roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans six times. In human terms, the worms stayed healthy and active for 500 years.

The researchers pointed out that the chief mechanism they tampered with - a signaling pathway involving insulin - was common in many species, including mammals.

But many people might find the price of immortality a little high. The worms with the longest lifespans also had their reproductive systems removed."

Schiavo's Spouse Explains Side, Parents Respond

Schiavo's Spouse Explains Side, Tells Of Struggle - from Tampa Bay Online

Schindler Family Statement In Response To Michael Schiavo Statement - from Tampa Bay Online

Terri Responsive to Father

From - Father: Brain-damaged daughter responsive - Oct. 23, 2003:

"The father who has fought for more than five years to keep his brain-damaged daughter alive said when he visited her Thursday, she turned down his kisses, saying, 'Uh-uh.'

'I was in front of her and I'm kissing her on the cheek, and she doesn't like that,' said a smiling Bob Schindler after visiting his 39-year-old daughter Terri Schiavo.

He said he then asked, ''Do you want me to kiss you again?' She goes, 'Uh-uh. Uh-uh.' That's what I got from her.' "

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Fascinating Site Dedicated to the Pope's Anniversary

Includes year by year links to everything this pope has done, all set in a picture of the Pope journeying on the way of the cross. Also includes email address to send your greeting to the pope.

25th Anniversary of Pontificate

To email the pope click here.

Dave Barry on the Marlins Stunning 31-0 Win Last Night

His dig at the poor umpiring during this series is well waranted.

From - Your Miami Everything Guide:

"Fortunately, the weather Wednesday night was spectacular, and so was the game, which the Marlins won 31-0, with a World Series record 17 home runs hit by Snook and Mullet.

Or, possibly not. As I've noted, I have to send these columns to The Herald before the game is over, so I've decided to make them positive and upbeat, in the hope they will come true.

But it's not going to be easy, not when everybody in baseball is so sure the Yankees are going to win this Series, with their huge payroll, their mystique, their talent, their constant cheating. Consider, for example, the first so-called ''run'' they allegedly ''scored'' in their so-called ''win'' on ``Tuesday'':

It was the fourth inning, the Marlins leading 1-0. The Yankees loaded the bases, then scored a run when, on a 3-2 count, Josh Beckett threw Jorge Posada a pitch that home plate umpire Gary Darling called a ball -- despite the fact that, in the TV replay, Posada can be seen giving Darling what Tim McCarver described as ``clearly a $100 bill.''"

Indian Rationalist Protest Claim of Blessed Mother Teresa Miracle

Talk about demonic, is this demonstration rational?

From Yahoo! News -

Hot breath : An Indian activist of the Science and Rationalists' Association of India performs a fire-breathing act as she demonstrates against claims that Mother Teresa performed a miracle in Calcutta. (AFP/Deshakalyan Chowdhury)

Amazon Has New Feature

Starting today you can search inside a book! I don't think this works with all titles yet, but it is an interesting way to find books that mention a topic that might not be evident from the title. I did a couple of tests and found it to be pretty amazing!

Check it out at:

Who Is the 31st Cardinal who's Name has been Kept Secret?

I believe if it is the Bishop of Hong Kong and it was made pubic before the Pope's death that he might be the next Pope.

From Rocky Mountain News: Opinion:

"Vatican watchers have speculated that the new secret cardinal-in-waiting may be Stanislaw Dziwisz, the pope's private secretary. But our hope is that the candidate is the bishop of Hong Kong, Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun, an outspoken advocate of religious freedom and human rights, whose appointment would undoubtedly annoy China's communist government in Beijing. "

Cardinal George Mentions a Few Cardinals that He Likes

Of those listed I've met Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga and attended a Mass that he said earlier this year. I liked him, for what its worth--he was very joyful.

From 'After John Paul, what do you do for an encore?'

"A very interesting man in that group is Angelo Scola," George said, talking about the 61-year-old cardinal-archbishop of Venice, Italy, who was among the 30 new cardinals. "He's been around and has been known internationally because he's a scholar."...

One potential candidate is Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop of Milan. "[Tettamanzi] is a very, very capable man, obviously, and well-respected," George said.

Another Italian whose name George mentioned more than once over the last week in Rome is newly elevated Cardinal Tarcisco Bertone, 68, the bishop of Genoa. "Everybody knew him. He was the No. 2 guy in for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith," George said, adding that Bertone was "very helpful" to the American cardinals last year when they were crafting new church law governing the handling of cases of clergy sexual abuse of children. "He has a lot of good will in the United States."

George also spoke highly of Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna, Austria, who is widely considered to be among the strongest non-Italian candidates from Europe.

"He is well thought of in Europe. Whether as the pope or not, who knows. But he's someone who knows all the languages, is well-respected as a theologian, who has a very pleasant personality. He's a nice man to talk to, and that's important," George said. "Speaking to people here -- again, not as pope -- but as who are the bishops you respect, his name comes up again and again."

And George also likes Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, 60, of Honduras, saying, "He's obviously a very vigorous man, speaks all the languages, and is a very good man."

Terri Snatched from Hospital

I think in the end of all this, we are going to discover that this man has committed a crime that he will go to any length to cover-up. Why the judicial system is so slow and inept to appoint a guardian is beyond my comprehension. Continue to pray.

From WorldNetDaily: Terri snatched from hospital:

"Attorney Patricia Anderson's greatest fear was realized yesterday when she learned that Michael Schiavo had removed his wife Terri Schindler-Schiavo from Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, Fla., where she was taken to have her feeding tube reinstalled, and returned clandestinely to the Woodside Facility of the Hospice of the Florida Sun Coast in Pinellas Park where she has been a patient for over three years.

Just hours earlier, Anderson – who has represented Robert and Mary Schindler in their decade-long legal battle with their son-in-law – told WorldNetDaily she was intensely concerned that Schiavo would remove Terri from the hospital before her condition was medically stabilized and she was rehydrated, in accordance with Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's executive order.

This would be completely at odds with the purpose of Tuesday's special legislation by the Florida legislature that empowered Gov. Jeb Bush to order Schiavo's feeding tube reinserted, and halted the court-ordered death of the 39-year-old brain-damaged woman, whose husband had long sought to end her life. "

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

More on the Pope

From - Pope Names Cardinals Despite Failing Health:

"Access to the pope has been curtailed in recent months, with meetings cut to three or four minutes to conserve his strength, said Pecklers. And his longtime secretary, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, is said to be signing more of the papers crossing his desk, he said.

Dziwisz (pronounced DJEE-vish) was ordained a priest by John Paul and worked for him in Krakow before he was elected pope. Dziwisz is widely viewed as the gatekeeper and, increasingly, the proxy for John Paul. Dziwisz 'is the single, most important figure in this pontificate in the last few years since the pope's health has declined,' said the Rev. Richard McBrien, a theologian and historian at Notre Dame.

Concerns about the pope have been reinforced by reported episodes of possible mental deterioration.

A Vatican source who asked not to be named said that when the archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, met the pope this month, Williams was told not to expect any meaningful conversation because of the pope's difficulty conversing. One person present said he heard the pope ask an aide, 'Where is he from?' as Williams departed. He said the aide replied, 'England.'

Yet Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C., insisted that when he saw the pope at an audience last week, John Paul 'spoke in seven or eight different languages and . . . he prayed and he waved to the people. Everything he wanted to say, he said.'

Some speculate that the moments in which the pope seems disconnected or disoriented may be suggestive of a man who may become confused when he is tired or when his medications are not working properly - a problem that would not be unusual for a man of 83 who still pushes himself tremendously and who has suffered from Parkinson's disease for years.

Still, there is a sense that a step in the pope's decline may have occurred before people's eyes this week. "Prior to this week, when you asked cardinals about what happens if the pope becomes unable to function, they'd say, 'We'll cross that bridge when we come to it,'" said John Allen, author of "Conclave," a book about papal succession.

"I think for the first time there's a sense that we may be at that bridge."

Required Reading

Amy makes an excellent suggestion that The Power of the Powerless should be required reading for all:

From the Front Lines in the Battle for Life

Pete Vere reports from Florida about the fight for Terri Schiavo.

From :

"Not too long after the ambulance took off with Terri in order to bring her to the hospital, I happened to find myself with Terri's father. So I gave him the rosaries blessed by the Holy Father. Terri's father was in tears, and asked me to extend the gratitude of his family toward St. Blog, FreeRepublic and the Alhambra. He also asked me to make known his gratitude to St. Therese and Bl. Teresa of Calcutta. Since beginning the Novena to St. Therese, he has encountered roses and rose petals everywhere he goes, even in the most unusual of places. In fact, Terri's feeding tube was pulled on the feast day of her namesake, St. Therese, and the critical point in Terri's starvation and dehydration would have taken place last Sunday -- the day the Holy Father beatified Mother Teresa of Calcutta."

Day of Victory in the Battle for Life!

Yesterday was a day of victory in the great battle to defend life. In Florida the legislature overcame the horrible decisions that the judges have made in the Terri Schiavo case. At the same time the US Senate voted to ban partial birth abortions. In years of defeat, one after another, let us take a moment to thank God for these victories and that they may pave the way for turn away from the culture of death.

North American Sems Vow to Stem the Tide

From - Answering an Uncommon Call:

"They refer to themselves as 'John Paul's Men.' And like their 83-year-old hero, they are fervent about their faith and self-confidently orthodox in ways that distinguish them from an earlier generation of seminarians weaned on Vietnam War-era protests and the women's movement.

'I look out my window at St. Peter's every day and I think about John Paul's resiliency and his tireless efforts to bring the gospel to all,' said Robert Keighron, 22, of Ozone Park, a second-year seminarian at the 144-year-old Pontifical North American College in Rome. 'No one is excluded by this pope. No one. And that zeal is what I am attracted to.'

Keighron and many of his 155 brethren at this American seminary in Rome are typical of a new, more conservative generation of seminarians who were born after John Paul's election and came of age during his 25-year pontificate. In a sharp break with the more rebellious attitudes that characterized their predecessors, many emulate John Paul's personal piety as well as his orthodoxy on matters ranging from mandatory priestly celibacy, to birth control and divorce, to his vision of priests as shepherds leading their flock. And they say their intention is nothing less than to carry on the pope's legacy long after he is gone."

Pope Closes Out Month of Celebrations

May travel to Austria, Switzerland, France and Poland next year? That's what Cardinal Meisner is saying. But once again the pope struggled to get through this Mass.

From - Pope may return to Poland in 2004 - Oct. 22, 2003

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Terri Given Second Chance! Bill Passes Florida Senate

From Lawmakers give governor power to order feeding tube for Schiavo:

" Lawmakers voted Tuesday to give Gov. Jeb Bush the power to order a feeding tube be reinserted into a brain-damaged woman in defiance of courts and her husband.

Bush said he will immediately sign the bill and order the tube to be reinserted into Terri Schiavo, the subject of one of the nation's longest and most bitter legal battles over care for a disabled person.

Schiavo's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, want her to live. Her husband, Michael Schiavo, says she would rather die.

With a living will form on every desk, the Senate voted 23-15 for the legislation (HB 35E). The House, which had passed a similar version Monday night, passed the final version 73-24 minutes later. "

Not Here!!!

But unfortunately because everyone else does, suddenly we'll be back in the Eastern Time Zone.

Breaking News

Florida's full senate won't consider the bill until this evening. Isn't time running out? Why all the delays? Keep praying for Terri!

From - News - Senate Panel Approves Bill To Let Bush Intervene In Schiavo Case:

"A state Senate panel approved legislation Tuesday that would allow Gov. Jeb Bush to order a feeding tube be reinserted in a brain-damaged woman in defiance of a court order that allowed her husband to remove the tube. "

New Cardinals Installed

From : Pope John Paul II Installs 30 Cardinals:

"John Paul himself didn't read out the names of the new cardinals, leaving it to an aide. In the few prayers he did deliver, the pontiff slurred his words, symptoms of the Parkinson's disease which has made it difficult for him to speak.

Tuesday's ceremony brought to 194 the active members of the College of Cardinals, although only 135 of them are under age 80 and thus eligible to vote in a conclave. Of those 135, John Paul has named all but five.

Yet picking the next pope from among them is anyone's guess, since the group is still large and geographically diverse.

'It's funny, nobody is whispering `he'll be the next man,'' said Cardinal Lubomyr Husar of Ukraine. 'Nobody has arisen as a personality.'

In fact, the college has gotten so large that cardinals wore tags with their names and home dioceses during meetings at the Vatican last week."

Monday, October 20, 2003

Dwight Longenecker Recounts His Meeting with Blessed Teresa

Over at Envoy Encore:

"One of our stops was the mother house of the Missionaries of Charity. We had taken up a collection for Mother Teresa's work and thought we would stop by to see the mother house and give the nuns our check. When we went to the door we saw a little sign that said, 'Mother is in'. The nun at reception asked if we wanted to meet Mother Teresa.

So we waited for a few minutes until she was finished with her meeting and she came out into the hall to shake our hands. What a dynamo! That little lady was 'full of grace' inasmuch as she was overflowing with a kind of spiritual power that you could almost touch."

I've worked with Dwight on two excellent books. If you are looking for some great spiritual reading check out one or both:

Bishop of Buffalo Named New Archbishop of Hartford, CT

Unnusual for this to come out on a Monday, usually happens on Tuesday. Not sure if this is official or just someone's scoop?

Keep Praying...Governor Bush Calls Special Session

From - The news source for the pro-life community.:

"Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) may have found a way to help Terri Schiavo. He has called a special session of the Florida legislature on Monday afternoon that would hopefully put an immediate moratorium in place on all dehydration and starvation deaths currently pending in Florida.

Speaker of the House Johnnie Byrd (R) has worked with Bush to put a piece of legislation together called 'Terri's Bill' that halts the deaths.

By law, two-thirds of legislators must agree to place a topic up for vote in a special session of the legislature.

Unfortunately, Byrd's bill may have opposition from the leading man responsible for the state Senate's agenda.

'Volunteers with the Terri Schindler-Schiavo Foundation have learned that Senate

President Jim King (R) is against this bill,' Pamela Hennessy said in a statement.

Meanwhile, according to Suzanne Carr, Terri's sister, Circuit Court Judge John Moore plans to hear an emergency petition filed by attorneys on behalf of the Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities."

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Did the Pope Respond to the Scandals by Giving us the Mysteries of Light?

The Luminous Mysteries and the Reform of the Church

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta!

From Pope beatifies Mother Teresa:

"“WITH OUR apostolic authority, we grant that the venerable servant of God Teresa of Calcutta shall from now on be called blessed,” declared the pontiff, a longtime friend of the frail nun who died in 1997 at the age of 87.

Over 150,000 pilgrims, tourists, Catholics and non-Catholic admirers packed the beatification Mass in St Peter’s Square and filled the broad Via della Conciliazione leading from the Vatican down to the River Tiber.

The ethnic Albanian sister, winner of the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, tended to the sick and dying of Calcutta’s slums for decades with the Missionaries of Charity order she founded."

Our Sunday Visitor has published a pamphlet that Amy wrote on how we can apply the lessons of Mother Teresa's sanctity to our own lives.

For a young American's experiences in working with Mother Teresa check out:

Latest Outrage...Terri Schiavo Denied Communion

Whatever happened to the separation of Church and State? Even prisoner's on death row are afforded this right!!!

The Bishops of Florida should scream to the heavens about this...write them....

From WorldNetDaily: Terri Schiavo denied Last Rites:

"Saying she was only following court and doctor's orders, an attorney for Michael Schiavo yesterday would not allow a revered Roman Catholic priest to administer Holy Communion to brain-disabled Terri Schindler-Schiavo, who is being slowly starved to death following the judge-ordered removal of her life-sustaining feeding tube on Wednesday.

Attorney Deborah Bushnell told Monsignor Thaddeus Malanowski, who has been Terri's spiritual provider for three years, that ''because of court order and doctor's orders, you can't put anything in her mouth,'' not even a morsel of moistened communion wafer.

Malanowski recounted the bizarre incident for WorldNetDaily. ''I felt that time was of the essence at this point and made a decision that because she is not going to live much longer, I might not have another opportunity to give her Holy Communion,'' he said.

As he had done almost every Saturday for over three years, the priest accompanied Terri's parents, Robert and Mary Schindler, to the Hospice of the Florida Sun Coast in Pinellas Park, Fla, where she has been a patient since April 2000. Because so little time is left for the family to be with Terri, her brother Bobby and sister, Suzanne, were there as well. "

Saturday, October 18, 2003

Inhumane People Worst than Hitler

In the same way that people cannot understand the actions of the German people under Hitler, who can understand these moderns who watching a late term abortion applaud at the termination of a human life? One is left with a feeling that "evil" is indeed a frightening reality and some allow themselves to be guided by it. Pray for them, that the horror of their sin might be revealed to them.

From WorldNetDaily: 'Pro-choicers' clap after partial-birth abortion:

"Attendees of a national conference for abortion providers watched and listened with rapt attention as the inventor of the partial-birth abortion procedure narrated a video of the grisly procedure – and then burst into applause when the act was over and the unborn child destroyed.

The disturbing and eye-opening event, featuring abortion doctor Martin Haskell addressing members of the National Abortion Federation, was captured on audiotape.

Calmly and dispassionately describing each step of the process – up to and including the insertion of the scissors into the base of the baby's head, followed by the sound of the suction machine sucking out the baby's brain – Haskell walks his audience through the procedure that opponents hope will finally be banned during this congressional session.

At the end of the procedure, after the late-term, fully developed unborn child's life has been violently and painfully terminated, the audience breaks out into applause. "

Big Trouble in Vol Land

Nothing new here, just more allegations that Tennessee cheats, this time its Head Coach Phil Fulmer doing the cheating...

From Fulmer has week off ... from games:

"The meeting reportedly took place in the suburban Memphis law office of Phillip Shanks.

A deposition was taken there Monday from a private investigator who apparently interviewed former University of Tennessee football player-turned sports agent Tim McGee or someone who worked for him. The investigator alleged that former Volunteer players received improper payments and lines of credit during their playing careers.

The alleged players are tailback Travis Henry, defensive lineman John Henderson and offensive lineman Fred Weary.

This bombshell was dropped Thursday on the Finebaum radio show. The report was given by attorney Tommy Gallion, who represents former Alabama coaches Ronnie Cottrell and Ivy Williams in their attempt to get their good names back in the wake of the Crimson Tide's NCAA probation.

The most startling allegation was that Vols head coach Phillip Fulmer was involved in arranging a $50,000 line of credit for Henderson. Fulmer has since denied the violation, telling the Knoxville News-Sentinel he might sue Gallion.

The most interesting thing now? Wait to see if the NCAA investigates the claims. "

Friday, October 17, 2003

But in the End the Great Marlin Wins!

What's left of him anyway...

If you are an English teacher or professor have your students read The Old Man and the Sea and watch the World Series--see if they can make the connections between big money and nature (the young Marlins).

From Hemmingway's The Old Man and the Sea:

"In the American League it is the Yankees as I said," the old man said happily.

"They lost today," the boy told him.

"That means nothing. The great DiMaggio is himself again."

Cardinal George Adds to Speculation

About the declining health of the Pope and specifically his lungs and ability to breathe.

From George saddened visit with pontiff 'might be the last':

"As the prince of the church bowed to kiss the hand of the old man who sits on the papal throne, he had a terrible thought.

'Is this the last time I'll see him?' Cardinal Francis George wondered.

'I've never seen him like this. It was touching,' Chicago's cardinal-archbishop said Thursday night a few minutes after the mass in St. Peter's Square celebrating Pope John Paul II's 25th anniversary as pontiff. 'I hadn't seen him in seven months or so, and when he tried to talk it was really sorrowful.'

Earlier in the day, George had greeted the 83-year-old pope personally in a meeting with about 150 other cardinals where John Paul II released a document about the ministry of bishops.

'If you can't walk, well, that's an inconvenience. Even if you can't express yourself, you could write. But if you can't breathe ...' the cardinal said, his thoughts drifting off as he chatted in a parlor of the Pontifical North American College on a hill above St. Peter's. As George talked about his latest encounter with the man the Italians know as 'Il Papa,' it seemed as if the cardinal was realizing that some of the rumors about his beloved pope's failing health, the ones that have been screaming across the headlines of newspapers around the world for the last year, may be true. Horribly true.

'There is reason to worry,' George said. 'He did take a turn for the worse, evidently, in the summer.'"

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Happy Twenty-Fifth Annivesary to Pope John Paul II

To truly reflect on what a difference this pope has made to the world, pull out an atlas from 1978 and compare it to today. Countries under the former Soviet Union are free now and the Polish Cardinal who was elected twenty five years ago today has changed the face of the earth!

Thanks To Amy for Testing My Pope Knowledge

BBC NEWS | Europe | What do you know about the Pope?:

"You got 10 right!

Cannonisation beckons - as an inveterate creator of new saints the Pontiff may even have his sights set on you already "

I missed the language one--I picked 12...

Pope Releases Apostolic Exhortation

On The Bishop, Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ For the Hope of the World...

There is great stress on bishops being proclaimers of the virtue of Hope, that they be prayerful and that they exercise their office by giving of themselves fully to the task at hand. In other words, imitate Pope John Paul II.

See Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores gregis for the whole document.

Cardinal Arinze: Priests Should Not Inflict Themselves on Congregation!

From CNS NEWS BRIEFS Oct-15-2003:

"'The truth is that genuine inculturation has nothing to do with the product of the over-fertile imagination of an enthusiastic priest who concocts something on Saturday night and inflicts it on the innocent Sunday morning congregation now being used as a guinea pig,' he said. Cardinal Arinze was a keynote speaker at the Oct. 7-11 national meeting of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions. "<
Marlins Win! Marlins Win! Marlins Win!

Actually as Joe Angel used to say, "and the Marlins are in the win column!"

Turns out Billy the Marlin grew up a Cub's Fan!

I'll say this here before tonight's game...I told the Bishop of the Diocese of South Bend-Fort Wayne back in March that this was the year for the Boston Red Sox (he is a fellow New Englander and die hard Boston fan). He said he thought this would be a down year. I'm not even sure why I told him what I told him.

I grew up a Red Sox fan but after I moved from the New England my interest in baseball waned until the creation of the Florida Marlins in the 1990's. I was living in South Florida at the time and became a big Marlin's fan--and so I'd like to see them win no matter who they play but I have a feeling that if it is the Red Sox that their fate is already sealed. But if it is the Yankees the Marlins will win!

For those of you who are fair weather sports fans, pick up a copy of Hemmingway's "Old Man and the Sea" and learn about the origin of the name of the South Florida National League Champions.
Relic of Mother Teresa Touched to Terri

What a great miracle it would be if there was a healing in this much publicized case! Everyone should implore God for just such a healing that could turn the wave of anti-life forces!!!

From Spirit Daily - Daily spiritual news from around the world:

"Terri Schiavo received what was supposed to be her final feeding on Wednesday, but Gov. Jeb Bush told her parents that he would again try to stop her court-approved death. Meanwhile, her parents visited after her feeding tube had been removed, accompanied by the Rev. Thaddeus Malanowski, a Roman Catholic priest who visits Mrs. Schiavo weekly, reports The New York Times. Father Malanowski said he took a scrap from a robe worn by Mother Teresa into Mrs. Schiavo's room and touched her throat, forehead and cheek with it. Mother Teresa is to be beatified on Saturday, and Father Malanowski said that for the next step, canonization, Mother Teresa would need to assist in a miracle. 'She was very calm, very quiet, peaceful looking today,' Father Malanowski said of Mrs. Schiavo, who is plump with dark hair and eyes. "
Peter Vere Reports From Florida About Terri Schiavo

From :

"Today was very gut-wrenching. Sonya, the girls, our friend Marina and I frequented the prayer vigil and news conference for Terri Schiavo in Tampa. The bad news is that they pulled her feeding tube. I was with her brother Bobby, my friend Carlos from the National Catholic Register, and some reporter from the New York Times just before it happened. It was really sad. I was on the cell with Pat Madrid when we got the news, and we had to cut the call short because I couldn't stop crying for Terri. My three-year old daughter was with me and I just could not help but ask, 'What if it was her in that bed while Sonya and I were being deprived the right to fight for her life?' Fortunately, Bill Fuchs (a Past Supreme Vizier of the Alhambra) was working the back room of the Fez prayer chain for us and he managed to step in and get word out to our membership. Similarly, I was glad Pat got word out here.

Monsignor said it best when he said that Terri's parents now know how Our Blessed Mother felt on Good Friday. One thing I should note, and although it pains me to admit this, many of the people there were extremely disappointed with what they saw as a weak response from the Florida bishops. In fact, there was probably more anger expressed against Bishop Lynch than against Terri's husband and the judge who took his side. Please pray for Terri's friends and family, and please pray for the Catholic clergy as well."

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Sad and Tragic News - News:

"The feeding tube that has been keeping Terri Schiavo alive at the Woodside Hospice Center in Pinellas Park was removed on Wednesday.

Doctors removed the tube under a court order. Terri's legal guardian, her husband Michael, gave some of Terri's family members permission to visit with her after the tube was removed."

Please continue to pray for Terri's healing..."with God all things are possible."
Feast of St. Teresa of Avila...Pray for Terri Schiavo

From WorldNetDaily: Terri Schiavo wants to live:

"Terri Schindler-Schiavo does not want to die. She would like to go home. And she tried to convey this to her father in no uncertain terms by sitting bolt upright and trying to get out of her chair when told she might be killed, her family has revealed.

The stunning news was released yesterday afternoon by Terri's father, Robert Schindler, at the 'round-the-clock vigil outside the Woodside Hospice facility in Pinellas Park, Fla., where his daughter's court-ordered death by starvation is scheduled to begin today at 2 p.m. Eastern. At that time, her husband and legal guardian Michael Schiavo is scheduled to give the order to disconnect the 39-year-old brain-disabled woman's feeding tube that has provided her with sustenance for the past 13 years.

In an interview a few hours earlier, Schindler described the incident to WorldNetDaily. He said he was holding a cell phone to Terri's ear as she listened intently to the speaker, propped in her jerry-chair at about a 30-degree angle. Suddenly she sat up straight and tried to get out of her chair, despite her weak legs and muscles that were slack from lack of exercise.

His daughter's response stunned Schindler, who grabbed the phone and asked, 'My God, what did you tell her?'

The speaker said he had warned, 'If you don't get up and get out of there, you're going to die there.' "
Pope Seems Stronger at Audience

Cardinal Law kisses his ring...

Voice was stronger but he still struggled.
Kudos to Fox News

Hannity and Combs did a piece on Terri Schiavo last night. They had Terri's father and the husband's lawyer. In my mind this is why Fox continues to rise while the other news agencies continue to slip. While the others are doing round the clock stories about the story du jour (Kolbe Bryant today), they are actually expanding their scope to the real news that is out there.

The questions were good, although I thought more should have been made out of the husband living with a woman who has fathered two children by him. The lawyer's claim that the husband was the one who really loved his wife and was seeing to it that she was allowed to die rang hollow.

Pray for Terri and pray that the husband will have a conversion to just allow her to be taken care of by her parents.
Shame on Alou, Shame on Fox Sports, Shame on Stuart Scott

All of the above made a fan, who was one among many grabbing for a foul ball, in the eighth inning of last night's National Leauge Championship Game, the scapegoat for what happened later in that inning. What a crock! The fan had nothing to do with the Cubs loss, I repeat nothing! The score was 3-0 before the fan touched the ball, it was still 3-0 after the interference. The pitcher Mark Prior could still have struck out Alex Gonzalez, but instead he walked him--so you could blame him. But the real culprit, if I were a Cubs fan would have been the Cubs SS who committed an incredibly costly error--that could have ended the inning with the Cubs still leading the game. He gets paid to play the game, his play did result directly in the Marlins ultimately winning the game, so why isn't he being made the real "goat" of the game?

If anything happens to the fan who interferred with the game, someone who has probably been a Cubs fan all of their lives, criminal charges should be brought against all those who have made him out to be the reason the Cubs lost last night. The disgrace of making a paying fan the excuse for losing is reason enough in my mind why the Cubs have no place winning not last night or any night.

I am a Marlins fan, btw.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Taking Bets on Who Will Be the Next Pope

The Irish...

Paddy Power: Online betting on the Rugby World Cup, Soccer, Horse Racing, The Premiership and Lotteries

The Favorites....


Ortega y Alamino...4-1 (The Cuban Cardinal???)


Battista Re...7-1

Note: An Italian is the odds on favorite!
Last Chance to Save Terri?

From Times Against Humanity

Lawyers will seek a divorce from her philandering husband who wants her dead.
Pope Unable to Speak?

FromAiling Pope John Paul II struggles for words:

"An ailing Pope John Paul II did not speak during an audience with Uruguayan President Jorge Batlle, as a visiting senior Polish prelate said the head of the Roman Catholic Church was 'suffering' but would not give up.

After private talks lasting 15 minutes with Batlle, the Uruguayan president's 10-strong delegation was ushered into the pope's library.

The 83-year-old church leader, who suffers from the debilitating Parkinson's disease, did not appear in good shape and did not say a single word to the delegation.

Delegation members were however able to kiss the hand of Jean Paul II, who gave them a medal marking the 25th anniversary of his election this week."

Monday, October 13, 2003

The Luminous Mysteries and the Reform of the Church

Last year, when the media kept running stories complaining about the Holy Father not speaking out about the clergy abuse scandals in the U.S. , many missed the key moment when he acted decisively seeking to stem the tide of scandal and darkness sweeping the world and the church. In October he surprised everyone with new mysteries of the rosary and declared a "year of the rosary". Since praying the luminous mysteries, I have found in them a call to reform both personal and collectively to the Church.

I have a free pamphlet that I will send to anyone who sends a self-addressed stamped envelope to me and requests the pamphlet to:

Michael Dubruiel

Our Sunday Visitor

200 Noll Plaza

Huntington, IN 46750

I will also post the contents of the pamphlet at my homepage in the next day or so.
Full Story Below (Under Orthodox Catholic Priest Being Sent into Exile)

I know the priest in question.

When have you heard a Vicar General say this to a priest? And if you know that Pasquini is very pious and orthodox it makes evenless sense:

From St. Juliana priest asked to transfer:

"When Pasquini pressed Notabartolo about what was going on, Notabartolo explained that Pasquini's homilies were poor, he didn't show enough devotion to Mass, he was not equipped to be a priest and would never be a pastor in the diocese."

I think the key to understanding this "exile" is this from the same Palm Beach Post story:

Last year, as head of the diocesan Right to Life office, Pasquini wrote an editorial in The Florida Catholic that complained about a subculture of gay priests and accused the church of cronyism and favoritism.

The Gator's Rollercoaster Ride Continues...

The fact that they played so well this past Saturday, just makes the losses that they've suffered at home even worst.

From Yahoo! Sports:

"the emotional ride continues for Florida (4-3, 2-2 Southeastern Conference). Last week, many fans were grumbling, wondering if Zook was overmatched by the job and worrying that the Gators might not get the six wins they needed to make a bowl.

This week, Florida is talking about the SEC title, a notion that seemed laughable only a few days ago. Halfway through the conference season, Florida is one game behind Georgia in the SEC East with the Bulldogs still on the schedule. Florida's next game is at No. 11 Arkansas, a 10-3 loser at home to Auburn on Saturday.

``The door was never shut in our eyes,'' said Zook, who last week repeated several times that seven of the last eight years, a team with two conference losses has played in the title game.

How long the Gators can keep the door open, however, is a mystery, especially considering they haven't had a winning or a losing streak this year; they've won every other game.

But at least for one day, the swagger was back. "
Pray for Terri!

I would suggest asking the intercession of St. Teresa of Avila who is her patron and on who's feast the judgment of the court wishes to stop having any artificial means of keeping her alive stopped.

From WorldNetDaily: Round-the-clock vigil planned for Terri Schiavo:

"At the invitation of Terri Schindler-Schiavo's family, the founder of the famous pro-life group Operation Rescue is in the Tampa Bay area to muster support for the 39-year-old brain-disabled woman, whose death by court-ordered starvation is set to begin the day after tomorrow when her husband and legal guardian gives the order to remove the feeding tube that is keeping his wife alive.

Terri's parents, Robert and Mary Schindler of Gulf Port, who have not completely given up hope that somehow their daughter's life will be spared, invited Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry, as well as Gary McCullough of Christian Communication Network, to organize a round-the-clock vigil.

Beginning with a press conference at noon Eastern today, and for however long Terri is alive or until she is granted a reprieve, members of her family and supporters will hold a 24-hour vigil on her behalf at Hospice Woodside in Pinellas Park, Fla., where her husband, Michael Schiavo, has required her to live for over four years.

A press release from vigil organizers states Terri is neither in a coma nor a 'persistent vegetative state,' that she is aware of her surroundings and has communicated that she does not want to be starved to death. "
Anniversary of the Last Apparition at Fatima

Michael Brown relates a variety of rumors, including one blog that he claims to have a number of details about the Pope's health.

Always many items worth the time to read...Spirit Daily - Daily spiritual news from around the world
Interesting Site...Against War

Just as an aside, I know a ton of people who pray for peace but seem to enjoy war--in fact one might say are cheerleaders for war. I believe in the power of our prayers, but prayers that we pray with our hearts. We can't pray the rosary for peace and at the same time sit like Jonah outside of Nineveh waiting for fire and brimstone to rain down on our enemies. One of the sadest episodes in the reception of this pope's pontificate was how his recent pleas for peace were rejected by his staunchest followers here in the United States. Sad...

Check out

Sunday, October 12, 2003

List of Chaplains Accused of Abuse

From - News - List Of Accusations Against Priests

More than 25 current or former Roman Catholic priests serving as U.S. military chaplains have been accused of sexual abuse.
Orthodox Catholic Priest Being Sent into Exile

An example of what happens to a priest who takes being a shepherd seriously. I encourage everyone that reads this blog to write to the new bishop of the Diocese of Palm Beach protesting this. What kind of sign does this send to faithful Catholics?

There are some serious issues here. I know Father John Pasquini to be a pious, devout Catholic. I taught him in the seminary. These charges that he celebrates Mass with little devotion strike me as slanderous. How many priests I've witnessed who do celebrate Mass without devotion, but I can't even conceive of Father John Pasquini as being one of them. Do you think that someone who is standing bravely against the sins of this age is likely to be less than devout when celebrating Mass?

What is going on down there is an attempt by some to silence a good priest who hasn't been afraid to speak out. I also suspect there is fear among some priests that Father John will name names. That he will expose some of his brother priests who are living double lives. I would encourage Bishop Barbarito to remove Father Chuck Notabartolo, perhaps give him the hospital assignment, and restore Father John to his position at St. Julianna's.

Please take the time to write to the Bishop through Deacon Sam Barbaro at and express your outrage!

From St. Juliana priest asked to transfer:

"An outspoken Catholic priest who publicly condemned homosexuality and criticized Episcopalians for electing a gay bishop is being removed from his church and transferred to a job as a hospital chaplain.

The Rev. John J. Pasquini, a priest at St. Juliana Church in West Palm Beach, said the vicar general of the Palm Beach Diocese, the Rev. Charles Notabartolo, asked him about moving to St. Mary's Medical Center. Traditionally, hospitals have been dumping grounds for clerics who can't work with everyday people and everyday problems.

When Pasquini pressed Notabartolo about what was going on, Notabartolo explained that Pasquini's homilies were poor, he didn't show enough devotion to Mass, he was not equipped to be a priest and would never be a pastor in the diocese.

'I was in tears,' said Pasquini, 39. Pasquini said no one complained while while he preached at St. Clare Catholic Church in North Palm Beach or St. Joan of Arc Catholic parish in Boca Raton.

The vicar general was out of town and couldn't be reached for comment. The Rev. Brian King, episcopal secretary for new Bishop Gerald Barbarito, said the bishop doesn't transfer a priest unless he requests it.

The Rev. Alfredo Hernandez, pastor of the sprawling church on 4500 S. Dixie Highway, said he couldn't comment about Pasquini, but said of the rumors, 'Someone's reading a whole lot into this. Life is not always as simple as we see it.'

Pasquini caused a firestorm of controversy and irked the head of the Anglican diocese when he sent a letter to the The Palm Beach Post, published Aug. 15.

In response to an earlier column endorsing gay marriages, Pasquini wrote that homosexuality is contrary to God's law, quoted scripture to support his point and concluded with this aside:

"Also, about the recent election of a gay bishop, Episcopalianism and its counterpart, Anglicanism, have been on the decline for centuries, and the more this religion compromises with a pagan culture, the more it will continue to decline."

Last year, as head of the diocesan Right to Life office, Pasquini wrote an editorial in The Florida Catholic that complained about a subculture of gay priests and accused the church of cronyism and favoritism.

Pasquini, who was ordained in 1997, finished at the top of his class at St. John's College in California and at the St. Vincent de Paul Seminary in Boynton Beach. He has two master's degrees and is the author of 12 books. He's disappointed about leaving the congregation he joined only three months ago, but said he's looking forward to becoming the head chaplain at the hospital.
Pope Gives Thanks on Eve of Anniversary

From - Pope gives thanks on eve of 25th anniversary- CTV News, Shows and Sports -- Canadian Television:

"A frail Pope John Paul gave thanks Sunday for his 25-year pontificate and asked for continued help to carry on, opening a week of ceremonies surrounding his papal anniversary amid increasing concerns about his health.

The 83-year-old John Paul spoke to the faithful from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square in a weak and laboured voice -- a day after the Vatican again denied reports he was undergoing kidney dialysis and confirmed his taxing schedule for the next several days.

John Paul himself referred to the mass he would celebrate Thursday to mark his Oct. 16, 1978, election, and said that as the anniversary neared, he was recalling his first Sunday appearance at St. Peter's after he was named Pope."
Fake Letter Being Sent to Newspapers Across US

Claims to be written by US soldiers serving in Iraq but clearly is just an attempt by the government or military at propaganda. Kind of amateurish attempt at that.

From Many soldiers, same letter / Front Page -The Olympian:

"Six soldiers reached by GNS directly or through their families said they agreed with the letter's thrust. But none of the soldiers said he wrote it, and one said he didn't even sign it.

Marois, 23, told his family he signed the letter, said Moya Marois, his stepmother. But she said he was puzzled why it was sent to the newspaper in Olympia. He attended high school in Olympia but no longer considers the city home, she said. Moya Marois and Alex's father, Les, now live near Kooskia, Idaho.

A seventh soldier didn't know about the letter until his father congratulated him for getting it published in the local newspaper in Beckley, W.Va.

'When I told him he wrote such a good letter, he said: 'What letter?' ' Timothy Deaconson said Friday, recalling the phone conversation he had with his son, Nick. 'This is just not his (writing) style.'

He spoke to his son, Pfc. Nick Deaconson, at a hospital where he was recovering from a grenade explosion that left shrapnel in both his legs. "

Saturday, October 11, 2003

The "Jewish" Pope

Rabbi sings the praises of Pope John Paul II...and wonders about his successor.

From A Pope after the Jews' own heart:

"Pope John Paul II hails from Poland, ground zero of the Shoah, yet he became the greatest friend the Jewish people ever had in the Vatican. As we move ever closer to his final days, it is worth asking will his legacy outlast him, or will Pope John Paul II be an outstanding anomaly?"
Pope May Undergo Dialysis

I recently learned that Paul VI was undergoing dialysis for several years before his death in 1978.

From Yahoo! News - Report: Pope May Undergo Kidney Dialysis:

"A Vatican official said the AGI news agency report 'seemed correct,' but would offer no further details. Later, papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls denied to the ANSA news agency that the pope was currently undergoing dialysis.

The AGI news report said doctors were considering dialysis not because the pope's health has worsened, but to prevent his kidneys from being overloaded by medicine. The agency said John Paul's health has actually improved since he skipped a weekly general audience Sept. 24 due to an intestinal problem. "

Friday, October 10, 2003

Pope John Paul II--"The scandalous behavior of a few has undermined the credibility of many."

The code word in the Pope's address below is "ideal", something that those in the know would immediately pick up on that often celibacy is treated by those in the church as an "ideal" that one should strive to live for but not get too concerned if they fail to live up to the "ideal." This is how many fallen priests live with the apparent inconsistency between what they have chosen and what they are living. The Pope is saying this must not be the case. He also attacks the "secular" view of priesthood which has done much to undermine the office and has just about gutted every female religious order that has bought into the notion.

From Zenit News Agency - The World Seen From Rome:

Today's clergy must be careful not to adopt the secular view of the priesthood as a "profession," a "career" and a means of earning a living. Rather, the clergy must see the priesthood as a vocation to selfless, loving service, embracing wholeheartedly the "esteemed gift of celibacy" and all that this involves. Here I wish to emphasize that celibacy is to be regarded as an integral part of the priest's exterior and interior life, and not just as a long-standing ideal which is to be respected (cf. "Presbyterorum Ordinis," 16). Sadly, the lifestyle of some clergy has been a countersign to the spirit of the evangelical counsels which should be a part of the spirituality of every priest. The scandalous behavior of a few has undermined the credibility of many. I wish you to know that I am aware of the sensitive way in which you have attempted to address this issue, and I encourage you not to lose hope. True discipleship calls for love, compassion and at times strict discipline in order to serve the common good. [It should] always be just and always be merciful.
"Inconsistent Ethic of Life"

The "seamless garment" rent assunder...Martin Sheen Interviewed

Judging isn't our perogative on any level but speaking out for the defense of human life isn't judgment it's a command of God. Sheen can do this on virtually every issue but this one...making his witness and courage to truly be for "life" a sad joke. He believes in life but doesn't want to "offend" anyone? I'm not going to judge him because sadly I think he has been influenced by liberals in the church who have preached to him an "inconsistent ethic of life"--one that values every but the unborn.

I must say though that I do find his answer rather racist.

From Martin Sheen Interview | David Kupfer | July 2003 Issue:

"Q: What are your views on abortion?

Sheen: I cannot make a choice for a women, particularly a black or brown or poor pregnant woman. I would not make a judgment in the case. As a father and a grandfather, I have had experience with children who don't always come when they are planned, and I have experienced the great joy of God's presence in my children, so I'm inclined to be against abortion of any life. But I am equally against the death penalty or war-- anywhere people are sacrificed for some end justifying a means. I don't think abortion is a good idea. I personally am opposed to abortion, but I will not judge anybody else's right in that regard because I am not a woman and I could never face the actual reality of it."
The Silent Holocaust in Israel

Rabbi weighs in on the real terrorist threat that continues to destroy innocent human life.

From Abortion in the State of Israel:

"“He who destroys his own children…who wrecks the handiwork of G-D…brings hunger, plague, and the sword upon the world.”

—Zohar, Shemos (Exodus)"

Should we be surprised that the sword has been unleashed against our people in the Holy Land?

Our continued silence on this issue makes us vulnerable, chas vesholom, to the punishments of hunger, plague, and the sword prophesized in the Zohar Hakodosh.

Now that Rosh Hashana (the New Year) is here, it is time for us to do Teshuva (repent) on this horrible crime in G-D’s Holy Land. If we truly want to end the sacrifice of Jewish blood of our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land of Israel, we must cry out to the heavens, loudly and clearly, against this shedding of innocent blood.

Interesting how "G-D" is handled. So sacred that we dare not speak His name! What a difference and what a sense of awe in the majesty of the Almighty!

Amy alluded to an event that happened over a week ago while I was staying in Charleston, SC. I was on the third floor of an older residence when in the middle of the night around 3:00 A.M I felt someone sit on the bed I was lying on. It wasn't just the feeling of weight that startled me, but it was also the sense that you feel when someone is in the room... a feeling of "presence" that is very real. What is more it did not feel like a "good" presence. I prayed a simple prayer telling whatever it was that was there to be gone "in the name of Jesus!" then slowly turned to find nothing there.

The next day I recounted the story to the owner and they began asking a series of questions..."was the door locked?"...etc. After a number of questions they told me that almost everyone who has been a guest in that room has had similar experiences, some experiencing a banging noise, some finding the door unlocked, etc. Speculation is that the place is haunted by a former slave "Little Joe" who has been seen by some guests.

Nothing else happened on the nights I stayed there...actually after that first night a Bishop blessed the room with holy water...

Anyway the timing of the event caught my interest when I read the following from Michael Brown today:

From Spirit Daily - Daily spiritual news from around the world:

"We warned that it's the serious time of the year, and now, from Washington, New Jersey, comes word that a fire has broken out at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. It happened last week at this place operated by what is known as the Blue Army and dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima. From the candles, or an electrical malfunction? So far the blaze is of unknown origin. We're told it erupted around 3 a.m. last Friday, and this is always peculiar to us. We're constantly running into significant events occurring at this hour. The events are both good and bad. There are bad events like the fire and attacks by the devil at the same time that others report holy experiences during this stroke of the clock.

We've heard many explanations for why this happens. Obviously, three a.m. is the inverse of 3 p.m. -- the hour of mercy, the Jesus expired. Some believe it is thus an hour to plead Divine Mercy. Others believe that 3 a.m. bears potency because it's the hour that Christ resurrected. Still others point to the period of midnight to three a.m. as the time during which occultism takes place -- that at three a.m. evil spirits are released as rituals of witchcraft and satanism culminate.

Our own take is that that for some reason three a.m. is a moment at which the veil between here and the hereafter, between ours and other worlds, is thinnest, allowing for an interaction with forces that are both light and dark. "

Thursday, October 9, 2003

Advice from St. Paul to Timothy on How to Handle Priests...

Paul's letter to Timothy has been the focus of the Office of Readings (from the Liturgy of the Hours) this week. Reading through it I can't help but think that revisiting this letter might be a good idea for the Church to examine its disciplines. Let me quote some passages--but realize that I'm quoting passages--read the whole letter for the context.

Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honour, especially those who labour in preaching and teaching; for the scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain”, and, “The labourer deserves his wages”.

Elder or Presbyter is the Greek word for what we today call "priest." I like this passage because it talks about rewarding those who work hard in the church. I recently told a bishop that the first thing he should do in his diocese is rid it of all the lazy priests--they make more work for the good priests. The way the church is currently organized the priesthood is a socialist organization and the lazy and hardworking priest are paid and treated the same (in this life anyways).

Never admit any charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without favour, doing nothing from partiality.

Obviously a reference to their already being major problems in the early church in the priesthood. So this is nothing new. But what is clear is that when someone has a charge proven against them that it should be treated publicly and rebuked. Paul is emphatic about this and invokes the presence of all of Heaven that this be done with justice. Leaders in the church may be quick to quote the first part of the passage but largely have ignored the rest of it. The dangers to the faith are only compounded when these sins are buried.

Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor participate in another man’s sins; keep yourself pure.

Reading this in the context of the whole of Timothy, one would be struck by Paul's practicality. Paul's talk on the treatment of widows is mindful that young widows should remarry, not allowing lust to move them to rejecting commitments they might make. Timothy is young but we might presume married given the context of the letter where Paul tells him that bishops should be married only once. So I wonder if in the context of the letter we might not interpret this counsel of Paul's given our current situation of ordaining only celibate men--as a counsel to only ordain "older" men who are past the age where they might flea to marry?

Again if you read all of Paul letter you'll see it has a practicality about it that rings true to life. He warns against anyone prohibiting "marriage" or requiring abstinence from certian meats (referring the Judaizers).

Plenty of fodder here for thought.