Monday, October 27, 2003

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.

Hopefully Pope will Win Nobel Peace Prize

He deserves it for his bold and prophetic stand against war earlier this year.

From Pope, Brazilian president tipped for Nobel Prize -DAWN - International; 27 September, 2003

Wednesday, October 8, 2003

Pope--Every day on earth is a new gift

From Agenzia Giornalistica Italia - News In English:

"A tenacious and indomitable Pope today said that 'every day of our pilgrimage on earth is a new gift,' but ultimately he had to give in to fatigue, which was accumulated in the pilgrimage yesterday to Pompeii. John Paul II appeared in this way to the faithful who had gathered in Saint Peter's today for the general audience. The Pope was forced to skip some passages of the catechises in Italian, which introduces the cycle of the Vespers Liturgy. There was long applause, like an affectionate hug, from the 15,000 people in the piazza during the longer and longer pauses taken by the Pope. "

At first I thought this was some spoof of someone spoofing Arnold's groping...but it is his in-laws.

They say the best way to know what your wife will look like when she is older is to take a look at her mother. I think its the full head of blonde hair that makes it hard to look at her for too long. Reminds me of the old morality posters.
Arafat Suffers Heart Attack

Also has Parkinson's???

From Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Arafat has suffered heart attack, admits aide:

"Yasser Arafat has suffered a mild heart attack but the Palestinian leadership has sought to keep his health problems secret for fear it will 'create panic'.

The 74-year-old Palestinian president, who is suffering from Parkinson's disease, disappeared from public view last week and re-emerged at the weekend looking extremely ill. His face was pale and pinched, he had lost weight and he was almost inaudible. He had trouble standing for more than a few minutes at a time. "
Thoughts from the Great Father Schmemann

While flying down to South Carolina last week, I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with the diary of Father Alexander Schmemann--who I think is probably the greatest spiritual writer in the last century. One of his entries gave me a lot to think about. Let me paraphrase his thought and add to it a bit.

God created everything that is as good. The devil introduced a problem and posed this to Adam and Eve. "Did God really say..?" Evil is seeing the goodness of God as a "problem." Jesus redeems creation by reintroducing the intention of God over and against the "problems" posed by evil. Therefore when Jesus encounters the disciples on the road to Emmaus, he terms them as foolish when they interpret the events of Good Friday as unnecessary and not what they had "hoped" for. He tells them that these events were necessary and part of God's plan for good--the salvation of many!

How do you and I see the events and the people of our daily life? Do we perceive the goodness of God or is everyone around a "problem"?

Soon to be "Blessed" Mother Teresa was known to encounter the poor as "Christ" and not as a bum or "problem". Social Workers often had a problem with her because of her disinterest in doing anything to aleviate "problems". Once when she was to speak at a world conference to end hunger, she found a man begging for food at the entrance of the auditorium and took him and fed him--never speaking that day. The people attending the conference weren't really interested in ending the hunger of the man they had all passed, she was.

Tied into this perceiving the good in all, through the eyes of Christ, is Christian joy. True followers of Christ our joyful, they are not downcast bemoaning what could have been--they believe that victory is ultimately there and they pray that God's will be done in all things and they believe that it will be done on earth as it is in heaven. They see the events of their lives as not accidential occurences but meaningful events that are moving them often inspite of themselves and their sins to where God wants them to be.

I told a friend of mine, a bishop, that the sign of the healthiness of a religious community, movement, or individual priest in his diocese was the level of "joy" that they exhibit in their lives.

Highly Recommended Book

If I haven't convinced you that you should buy this book and read it yet...Good News! Now Amazon has some excerpts that you can read that'll give you a good feel for the book. You won't be disappointed...check it out!

Tuesday, October 7, 2003

Speaking of this case Prophetess

Amy in the midst of the Bucs/Colts game last night announced when the Colts were trailing 21-0 that the Colts would win the game. Final score in overtime...(with a lot of help from the referees, I might add) 38-35...Colts!

I'm of the firm belief that people that are highly intuitive have this gift of foresight that is especially powerful when they are not all that conscious of it. In other words they just blurt it out without a lot of censoring.
New Bishop for Toledo...

Auxiliary Bishop Leo Blair from Detroit named today. The bishop I stayed with over the weekend predicted he would be the choice (probably knew, I'd guess).
Good News From Times Against Humanity

From Times Against Humanity:

"Today, Florida Governor Jeb Bush filed a motion to appear as an amicus curiae in Federal Court in support of the Shindler's motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent the imminent starvation of their daughter Terri Schiavo. "
Feast of the Holy Rosary

John Paul II travels to Pompeii

From Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage:

"When he came to the address, his voice was initially halting and he skipped some lines, but he read the final remarks strongly and clearly.

'Pray for me in this sanctuary today and always,' he said. The word 'always' was a clear reference to after his death, which the pope has been speaking of more in recent months.

Overall, he appeared better, paced himself as he spoke and waved spontaneously as he was driven through a crowd of some 30,000 gathered before the shrine in the modern part of Pompeii.

On his way to the shrine he passed excavations of the city destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 and later said old Pompeii still had a message for modern society.

'These ruins can talk. They ask the decisive question of what is man's destiny,' he said.

'Today, just as in the times of ancient Pompeii, it is necessary to proclaim Christ to a society that has distanced itself from Christian values and even seems to have lost its memory,' he said, speaking from a flower-bedecked platform.

He issued an urgent appeal for peace, saying the new millennium had already been 'lashed by winds of war and etched by blood in so many regions of the world.'"

Monday, October 6, 2003


So it'll be the Cubs vs. the Marlins...I've seen both play the Reds this year...Florida won the Cubs lost

Hearing what has raised the alarm flags on the Pope's health is that the disease is affecting his lungs and that he can barely breathe anymore... read a story in the BBC about yesterday's canonizations and how strong he looked but if you look at the sidebar you'll see an audio link that reads "pope short of breath"...pray for him.

Rosary Rally in SC went well yesterday, lots of people under the hot Carolina sun praying the rosary for peace and families.

Stories of staying in the haunted bishop's house will come, once I've actually left it. Don't want stir up the demons..

Speaking of the Luminous mysteries, a priest wrote a piece in OSV proposing them in 1974 only he called them the "ministerial mysteries", I met him yesterday asked him if he had any good lottery number picks.

Sunday, October 5, 2003

Congratulatons to the Florida Marlins!!!

As one of their seven loyal fans, I'm overjoyed!
Fire Ron Zook (Third Posting)

The Gator's a 12 point favorite against the horrible Ole Miss Rebels lose at home. In reality this is the fourth game they should have lost. God was good to me last week in Lexington when I was at the game not to put me through that humiliation but alas Zook is doing everything he can to make the Florida Gators to be the next Vanderbilt of the SEC. Amazing....

Saturday, October 4, 2003

Marlins Win

Stadium filled with fans watching not the big money Marlins win and come one step closer to making it into the NLCS to play for all the marbles.

Sure sign of the Apocalypse??
Rowan Meet the Pope...Thank You for Coming!

Pope meets with Archbishop of Canterbury...for 10 minutes.

From the UK Telegraph:Pope John Paul II and the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams have met at the Vatican.

The meeting, which lasted only around 10 minutes, was the first encounter between the two men since Dr Williams was appointed as spiritual leader of the world's 70 million Anglicans last year.

The previous Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey made regular visits to the Vatican.

Dr Williams gave the Pope a book on the history of Anglicanism, and an Anglican cross, which the Pope kissed.

Friday, October 3, 2003

Lots of Headlines--Sin and Confessions

Arnold Admits He Was a Badboy--Does the GOP want Clinton in CA???

Courtney Love O.D.'s but Lives--What is it with these people???

Rush on Drugs--Probably the real reason he resigned from ESPN

Perhaps the Surest Sign of the Pope's Poor Health

Is his elevating his personal secretary to Stanislaw Dziwisz to an Archbishop on Monday. He's preparing for his death when Dziwisz will be at the mercy of his successor. By making him an Archbishop he insures that he'll be treated better.

Thursday, October 2, 2003

Now Schoenborn Weighs In


Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn made his comments on the same day the pope's private secretary was trying to play down concerns about the pope's evident frailty.

Pope John Paul, who suffers from Parkinson's Disease (news - web sites) and can no longer walk without help, has appeared weaker than normal in recent public appearances and has struggled to speak at times.

"The whole world is experiencing a pope who is sick, handicapped and dying -- I don't know how close to death he is -- who is approaching the last days and months of his life," Schoenborn told Austrian radio.

Later Schoenborn's spokesman, Erich Leitenberger, said the comment was meant "to be seen philosophically" and should not be interpreted literally.

Freedom of Speech???

El Rush Bo resigns from ESPN.

Personally I didn't think he was clicking anyway, in spite of the higher ratings. His comments were about the media and the media made sure that he wasn't going to have that pulpit to preach from too.

Wednesday, October 1, 2003

Does the Pope Have Cancer?

From Belfast Telegraph:

"POPE John Paul II is maintaining his busy schedule despite reports of his current illness which some sources suggest may be cancer.

Last weekend the Vatican stated that the Pope was experiencing 'minor intestinal problems', but significantly Papal sources have not yet denied current reports in some Italian newspapers that the 'intestinal problems' may be cancerous.

A spokesperson for the Catholic Information Office in Dublin told the Belfast Telegraph: 'We are not aware of the exact nature of the illness and we have had no information from the Vatican about this, since the statement last week.

'Therefore we can neither confirm nor deny the claims that he is suffering from cancer. "
Post Your Headline Here!

From AP Wire | 09/30/2003 | Man Dies Before Cathedral-Sex Court Date:

"A man who was to appear in court Tuesday on charges of having sex with his girlfriend inside St. Patrick's Cathedral as part of a radio show stunt has died at his home in Virginia, his lawyer said.

Brian Florence, 38, died last Thursday of a heart attack in Alexandria, said the couple's lawyer, Maranda Fritz. She said the funeral was Monday, and his co-defendant and girlfriend, Loretta Lynn Harper, 36, is 'still in a state of shock.'

The judge adjourned the case until Nov. 6. Fritz said her clients had expected to plead guilty to a minor charge and not receive any jail time.

A third man involved in the case, radio producer Paul Mercurio, 43, pleaded guilty earlier in the day to disorderly conduct. The judge ordered him to perform seven days of community service."
Feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus

Visit the National Shrine of the Little Flower and leave a prayer petition there...
Pope Holds Weekly Audience with Difficulty Though...

From Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage:

"Pope John Paul held his weekly general audience Wednesday but skipped reading much of his prepared address apparently to conserve his strength.

The 83-year-old pope, who has difficulty speaking because of Parkinson's disease, significantly shortened his main, two-page address in Italian.

But later, speaking slowly, he continued brief comments in other languages.

At one point while he was reading in Italian, a clear look of frustration came over his face and he stopped briefly. The crowd broke into applause to cheer him on and he continued the audience for thousands of people in St Peter's Square."

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

One of the New "Conservative" Cardinals

From Edinburgh Evening News - Top Stories - O'Brien in challenge to Catholic traditions:

"SCOTLAND’S new cardinal-elect has spoken out in favour of married priests, acknowledged there are gay clergy and suggested a review of the Vatican’s ban on contraception.

Archbishop Keith O’Brien said there could be no change in the church’s teaching on fundamental issues such as opposition to abortion, war and divorce.

But he called for 'full and open discussion' on other matters, including celibacy, married clergy and birth control.

Pope John Paul II’s choice of the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh as Scotland’s next cardinal caused some surprise because of his more liberal outlook. "
Plenty of Stories Claiming John Paul II is Failing Fast

Of course we've read these before, but you usually don't hear bishops and cardinals saying it.

From IOL : 'The pope is in really bad shape':

"One of the newly appointed cardinals, Archbishop Phillippe Barbarin, of Lyons, France, told Europe 1 Radio on Monday: 'The pope is reaching the end of the road. It's a big responsibility for us. The pope is in really bad shape.'

He has forced himself forward through many years of his failing health by giving himself new goals.

The major milestones next month - his own jubilee and the beatification of Mother Teresa - may have given him the will to continue thus far.

Thus far, but perhaps no further."

From F2 Network:

Ailing Pope John Paul II, easily the most widely travelled pope in history, has told his closest aides he will make no further trips abroad, the daily La Repubblica reported yesterday.

"The trip to Slovakia was the last one," the 83-year-old head of the Roman Catholic Church was quoted as having said of the trip that ended two weeks ago. There was no immediate Vatican reaction.

From Cardinal Ratzinger via Yahoo News:

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the German head of the Vatican body which oversees doctrinal matters, has been quoted as saying Pope John Paul is in very poor health and the faithful should pray for him.

"He is in a very bad way," Ratzinger told Germany's Bunte magazine in an interview on Tuesday. "We should pray for the pope."

Ratzinger, who heads the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told the magazine that the 83-year-old pope had taken on too much, but he was unable to stop him.