{    Cnytr   }

{Friday, April 29, 2005  }

.:{St. Catherine of Siena}:.

Virgo prudentum comitata coetum
obviam sponso veniens parata,
noctis horrendae removet tenebras
lampade pura.

Ille fulgentem nitidis lapillis
anulum miri tribuit decoris
virgini dicens: "Tibi trado sancti
pignus amoris".

Mota flagrantis stimulo caloris
mentis excessu rapitur frequenti,
fixa dum portat Catharina membris
vulnera Christi.

Unde ter felix quater et beata
in sinu sponsi requievit almi,
inter illustres animas relata
lux nova caeli.

Sit Deus caeli residens in arce,
trinus et simplex benedictus ille,
qui pontens totum stabili gubernat
ordine mundum.

Catharina, virgo Senensis, piis orta parentibus, beati Dominici habitum quem sorores de Pœnitentia gestant, impetravit. Summa ejus fuit abstinentia et admirabilis vitae austeritas. Inventa est aliquando a die Cinerum usque ad Ascensionem Domini jejunium perduxisse, sola Eucharistiae communione contenta. Luctabatur quam frequentissime cum daemonibus, multisque illorum molestiis vexabatur ; aestuabat febribus, nec aliorum morborum cruciatu carebat. Magnum et sanctum erat Catharinae nomen, et undique ad eam aegroti et malignis vexati spiritibus deducebantur. Languoribus et febribus in Christi nomine imperabat, et daemones cogebat ab obsessis abire corporibus.

Cum Pisis immoraretur, die Dominico, refecta cibo caelesti et in extasim rapta, vidit Dominum crucifixum magno cum lumine advenientem, et ex ejus vulnerum cicatricibus quinque radios ad quinque loca sui corporis descendentes ; ideoque, mysterium advertens, Dominum precata ne cicatrices apparerent, continuo radii colorem sanguineum mutaverunt in splendidum, et in formam purae lucis pervenerunt ad manus, pedes et cor ejus ; ac tantus erat dolor, quem sensibiliter patiebatur, ut nisi Deus minuisset, brevi se crederet morituram. Hanc itaque gratiam amantissimus Dominus nova gratia cumulavit, ut sentiret dolorem illapsa vi vulnerum, et cruenta signa non apparerent. Quod ita contigisse cum Dei famula confessario suo Raymundo retulisset, ut oculis etiam repraesentaretur, radios in imaginibus beatae Catharinae ad dicta quinque loca pertingentes, pia fidelium cura pictis coloribus expressit.

Doctrina ejus infusa, non acquisita fuit ; sacrarum litterarum professoribus difficillimas de divinitate quaestiones proponentibus respondit. Nemo ad eam accessit, qui non melior abierit : multa exstinxit odia, et mortales sedavit inimicitias. Pro pace Florentinorum, qui cum Ecclesia dissidebant et interdicto ecclesiastico suppositi erant, Avenionem ad Gregorium undecimum Pontificem maximum profecta est. Cui etiam votum ejus de petenda Urbe, soli Deo notum, sese divinitus cognovisse monstravit : deliberavitque Pontifex, ea etiam suadente, ad Sedem suam Romanam personaliter accedere ; quod et fecit. Eidem Gregorio et Urbano sexto ejus successori acceptissima fuit, adeo ut legationibus eorum funderetur. Denique post innumera virtutum insignia, dono prophetiae et pluribus clara miraculis, anno aetatis suae tertio circiter et trigesimo, migravit ad Sponsum. Quam Pius secundus Pontifex maximus sanctarum Virginum numero adscripsit.

Catherine was a maiden of Siena, and was born of godly parents. She took the habit of the Third Order of St. Dominic. Her fasts were most severe, and the austerity of her life wonderful. It was discovered that on some occasions she took no food at all from Ash Wednesday till Ascension Day, receiving all needful strength by taking Holy Communion. She was engaged oftentimes in a wrestling with devils, and was sorely tried by them with divers assaults : she was consumed by fevers, and suffered likewise from other diseases. Great and holy was the name of Catherine, and sick folk, and such as were vexed with evil spirits were brought to her from all quarters. Through the Name of Christ, she had command over sickness and fever, and forced the foul spirits to leave the bodies of the tormented.

While she dwelt at Pisa, on a certain Lord's Day, after she had received the Living Bread which came down from heaven, she was in the spirit ; and saw the Lord nailed to the Cross advancing towards her. There was a great light round about him, and five rays of light streaming from the five marks of the Wounds in his Feet, and Hands, and Side, which smote her upon the five corresponding places in her body. When Catherine perceived this vision, she besought the Lord that no marks might become manifest upon her flesh, and straightway the five beams of light changed from the colour of blood into that of gold, and touched in the form of pure light her feet, and hands, and side. At this moment the agony which she felt was so piercing, that she believed that if God had not lessened it, she would have died. Thus the Lord in his great love for her, gave her this great grace, in a new and twofold manner, namely, that she felt all the pain of the wounds, but without there being any bloody marks to meet the gaze of men. This was the account given by the handmaiden of God to her Confessor Raymund, and it is for this reason that when the godly wishes of the faithful lead them to make pictures of the blessed Catherine, they paint her with golden rays of light proceeding from those five places in her body which correspond to the five places wherein our Lord was wounded by the nails and spear.

The learning which Catherine had was not acquired but inspired. She answered Professors of Divinity upon the very hardest questions concerning God. No one was ever in her company without going away better. She healed many hatreds, and quieted the most deadly feuds. To make peace for the Florentines, who had quarrelled with the Church, and under an Ecclesiastical Interdict, she travelled to Avignon to to see the Supreme Pontiff Gregory XI. To him she shewed that she had had revealed to her from heaven his secret purpose of going back to Rome, which had been known only to God and himself. It was at her persuasion, as well as by his own judgement, that the Pope did in the end return to his own See. She was much respected by this Gregory, as well as by his successor Urban VI, who even employed her in their embassies. The Bridegroom took her home, when she was about thirty-three years old, after she had given almost countless proofs of extraordinary Christian graces, and manifestly displayed the gifts of Prophecy and miracles. Pope Pius II enrolled her among the Virgin Saints.

Happy feast day to all my brothers and sisters in the Dominican Third Order!

posted by Lauren, 10:06 AM | link | 0 comments

{Wednesday, April 27, 2005  }

.:{A cure for a headache}:.

I tell you I've just had the most headachy conversation with my history professor. It's really difficult to take on intelligent professors, and I had no intention of doing this. But it also turned out to be difficult enough to figure out what is so wrongheaded about the diagrams/lecture notes I got in what was supposed to be a 15-minute post class discussion on a statement of his that got published in the school paper, in short about why he was initially upset about Ratzinger's being elected pope.

I'm glad he spent as much time with me as he did, but now I have a headache from thinking too much.

If I can get ahold of the notes he was using, perhaps I can put them here on my blog and analyze them. Intelligent stuff, as I say, and about 85%-90% was good, but the 10%-15% that wasn't is really missing a link here or there. I just can't quite put my finger on what, yet.

But in the meantime, I'll revel in my own delight at our current pope, and I present you with "All your base are belong to Ratz" with a few of my own modifications, via Meredith from Basia me, Catholica sum ( ... please!)

In AD 2005, a new papacy was beginning...

Liberal Catholic: What happen?
Bishop: John Paul II pass away.
Priest: We get signal.
Liberal Catholic: What!
Priest: Conclave set up us the chimney.
Liberal Catholic: Habemus papam
Ratz: How are you gentlemen!!
Ratz: All your base are belong to Benedict XVI.
Ratz: You are on the way to salvation.
Liberal Catholic: What you say!!
Ratz: You have no chance to survive make your time
Ratz: Ha ha ha ha.
Priest: Hallelujah!
Liberal Catholic: Take off every 'Feminist Theologian'
Liberal Catholic: You know what you are doing.
Liberal Catholic: Move 'Feminist Theologian"
Liberal Catholic: For social justice.

(If you're not a complete and total geek, Wikipedia might help you.)
posted by Lauren, 3:48 PM | link | 8 comments

.:{Yep, that's about right}:.

posted by Lauren, 10:31 AM | link | 1 comments

.:{Ratzinger Joke}:.

A variation on one I've heard before, but still great ... via Contemplating the Laundry ("Because when I'm done here, I've got loads to do.")

Karl Rahner, Hans Kung and Ratzinger all die on the same day, and go to meet St. Peter to find out their fates. St. Peter points at Rahner and says 'Karl! In my office.' After four hours, the door opens, and Rahner comes out. He is distraught, mumbling, 'Oh God, that was the hardest thing I've ever done! How could I have been so wrong! So sorry.' He stumbles off into heaven, a testament to the mercy of God.

Kung goes in next. After eight hours, the door opens, Kng is near collapse. He too is mumbling, 'How could I have been so wrong!' as he lurches into heaven, another testament to God's mercy.

Lastly, St. Peter calls Ratzinger. Twelve hours later, the door opens and St. Peter stumbles out. 'Oh, God,' he says, 'How could I have been so wrong?' "

See the whole article on Catholic humor.
posted by Lauren, 10:23 AM | link | 2 comments

.:{A post I've been seeking for a long time}:.

...and rejoice with me, I've found it!

The Top Ten Reasons to Join the Dominican Order

From Disputations

10. Everyone looks better wearing black and white. (Not necessarily good, but better.)

9. It adds depth and resonance to all those great Jesuit jokes.

8. November is Party Month! (St. Martin de Porres, Nov. 3; All Dominican Saints, Nov. 7; St. Albert the Great, Nov. 15)

7. They validate your parking at Santa Sabina.

6. You can learn the correct way to spell and pronounce "Schillebeeckx."

5. You do expect some sort of Spanish Inquisition.

4. Buying lots of books doesn't count (much) against the Dominican spirit of poverty.

3. When Cardinal Ratzinger summons you to Rome, it's to ask you to be his secretary.

2. Arguing in bars is part of the founding spirituality of the Order. (See para. 15 of the Libellus.)

1. If you do it right, you go to heaven.

(btw, some reflections on the Third Order in a comment to this post; will be posted here more fleshed out and later)
posted by Lauren, 12:29 AM | link | 5 comments

{Tuesday, April 26, 2005  }

.:{Canonical Hours and Vigil Masses}:.

One of the comments in one of the earlier posts has got me thinking/researching, and I thought my commentary on said comment might be too large for a comment in the comment box.

("Get it?" "Got it." "Good.")

The relevant part reads --

I wonder what is considered 'evening', as there are vigil masses in my family's parish before sundown? Exactly how early on Saturday would fulfill the obligation.

As I understand it, this coincides with the traditional canonical hours:

* Matins is to be said really stinking early if you're a contemplative. The Trappist nuns near where I live say this at 4am.

*Prime at 6am is no longer said, but instead Matins is retained as "Morning Prayer" and to be said around 6am if possible, but no later than the next hour.

* Terce is said at at 9am -- this is considered an hour for contemplatives; Sacrosanctum Concilium says, "In choir the hours of Terce, Sext, and None are to be observed. But outside choir it will be lawful to select any one of these three, according to the respective time of the day."

* Sext is said at noon. This is now called "Daytime Prayer". In practice, this is largely treated less like a contemplative; else, the current American breviary in English selects this as hour for you as the hour to be said "outside choir".

* None is said at 3pm; the other hour typically said "in choir".

* Vespers is the main evening prayer of the day -- the modern Liturgy of the Hours revolves around Lauds and Vespers; Sacrosanctum Concilium calls them "the two hinges on which the daily office turns; hence they are to be considered as the chief hours and are to be celebrated as such." Vespers, continuing with the three-hour scheme, is said at 6pm.

* Compline (Catholic Encyclpaedia entry here) doesn't really have a set hour. Traditionally it's the last thing you do, the completion of the day. Hence, I believe it is technically improper to say compline and keep on studying and go to bed four hour later.

It's interesting to note that in many of the Medieval Romances (especially the French ones and most especially the Vulgate cycle), the events of the day for the knights-errant center around the canonical hours; "It was about the hour of terce when ... " etc. Umberto Eco's "The Name of the Rose" is structurally divided up into a certain number of days (I forget how many -- 6 or 7?) which is most explicitly divided up into the canonical hours as well. Furthermore, the progression of the narrative of the martyrdom of St. Thomas a Becket by William Fitzstephen is likewise centered not only structurally but in terms of his rhetoric, as well as tying his martyrdom in with the passion, and thus he ends his narrative:

Archiepiscopus a capite defluum cum bracchio detergens et videns cruorem, gratias Deo agebat dicens: "In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum." Datur in caput eius ictus secundus quo ille in faciem concidit, positis primo genibus, coniunctis et extensis ad Deum manibus, secus aram, quae ibi erat, sancti Benedicti; et curam habuit vel gratiam ut honeste caderet, pallio suo coopertus usque ad talos, quasi adoraturus et oraturus. Super dextram cecidit, ad dextram Dei iturus.

Now, getting back to the question of anticipatory masses -- the word used in the Italian Code of Canon Law 1248 §1 is "vespero" (...o nel vespro del giorno precedente). Given the evolution of the Latin language into the modern Italian language, I am surmising that the Latin word used in the original word is "vespera", the Latin word for evening band also whence comes the word "vespers".

As we have seen, Vespers is defined as, essentially, 6pm.

Doing some Googling, I find that apparently Pius XII, when first permitted evening masses in 1953, he established the rule that they could not begin before 4:00 p.m (source). This was originally intended for daily evening masses and not strictly anticipatory masses. Unfortunately, I don't know the name of the document in which this was promulgated, so I can't give anything other than hearsay for this issue.

However this shows that "evening" as Rome understands it is not before 4pm, but most properly around 6pm. Certainly no earlier than 4pm and no later than 9pm, with the exception of things like Christmas midnight mass, etc.

It used to be that the Easter vigil was celebrated as early as 8am, and some clerics would recite the entire day's office at 11pm, and the next day's office as 12am of the same waking hours. These, certainly, are obvious examples of abuse. SC notes the office of the day are to sanctify the hours.

Speaking of abuses -- technically the time between compline of the first day and the first hour of the following day (either matins or lauds) is not part of any canonical day. Thus in Lent, the time between compline and lauds is technically not, and if one has given up chocolate or some such pleasure like that, there is a great temptation to cheat. This is working with the letter of the law against the spirit, especially since one is supposed to sleep as soon as possible, having said compline.
posted by Lauren, 10:13 PM | link | 7 comments

.:{Pope Bear!}:.

Being a sucker for teddy bears and considering our Pope to be cute as a button (which in no way detracts from his considerable theological prowress) I've had this story sent to me several times already (and here it is on ... AMDG), but I've just noticed something about the Pope bear --

Look!!! He still has on the black Cardinal shirt under the Papal white, like he did when he came out on the loggia to greet us for the first time!!!

That, I think, is adorable.

However, it really bugs me that they put neither Peter and Paul on the stole, nor the fringe at the edge, and as a result it curls up at the ends a bit.

But all in all, what a cute idea. [G]

As I say I'm a sucker for bears ... I'm a girl! But hey, you got two posts on Papal liturgical footware out of it. ;)
posted by Lauren, 2:35 PM | link | 4 comments

.:{When Liturgical Calendars Collide}:.

Recently, a reader emailed me with the following --

My wife and I usually attend an indult "Tridentine" Mass to fulfill our Sunday and Holy Day obligation. The 1962 calendar is followed. That means that when there is a Holy Day of Obligation--such as Epiphany or the Ascension--which is transferred to a Sunday we get the liturgy of the Sunday, not of the Holy Day of Obligation.

Since there usually IS no Old Mass for the Feast on the Proper Day, we have been going to a New Mass on the assumption (no pun intended) that the obligation attaches to the Liturgy of that Feast, whenever it might fall. But it would be nice to KNOW, rather than just guess, and to know what the basis in the canonical texts is.

As I admitted in my reply, I am by no stretch of the imagination a canon lawyer. In fact, I'm probably far more ignorant of Canon Law than I ought to be.

Fortunately, if I'm not smart, I know smart people so I can plagiarize their ideas. ;) I wrote to a seminarian friend who responded with the following --

I'm not a canonist and I'm going to express myself in language which might set an expert's teeth on edge... however, I am very sure of the answer I am going to give.

The obligation to attend mass on a Sunday or Holy Day of Obligation arises from the Code of Canon Law. The relevant Canons are 1247 and 1248 par 1:

Can. 1247 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass.

Moreover, they are to abstain from those works and affairs which hinder the worship to be rendered to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s day, or the suitable relaxation of mind and body.

Can. 1248 §1. A person who assists at a Mass celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the feast day itself or in the evening of the preceding day satisfies the obligation of participating in the Mass.

As you can see from Canon 1248 Par 1., ANY Catholic Mass fulfils the oblugation. It does not have to be the Mass of the Feastday or Sunday.

So, one fulfils one's obligation by going to any Mass when one is obliged to do so under the regulations laid down by the Code of Canon Law and the list of Holydays set out by the American bishops as a body and at an individual diocesan level even if the Tridentine Mass is not the Mass of the feastday due to changes in the liturgical calendar.

The obligation would also be fulfilled by going to an ordination or wedding mass (for example) or even a mass in one of the Eastern rites which (like the Tridentine Missal) may celebrate feastdays slightly differently.

The obligation attaches to the day itself (or the evening beforehand) and not to the particular liturgy (e.g. Mass of the Ascension, Mass of Corpus Christi etc...). I also note that the Canons listed above are found in a section of the Code called 'Sacred Times' and not the section of the Code concerned with the celebration of the liturgy.

And so there you have it. I don't have much to add to that. [G]
posted by Lauren, 12:34 PM | link | 5 comments

{Monday, April 25, 2005  }

High king of heaven, thou heaven's bright star
O grant me yet joys after victory is won
Great heart of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be thou my vision, O ruler of all
posted by Lauren, 1:13 PM | link | 3 comments

{Sunday, April 24, 2005  }

.:{More on Episcopal/Pontifical Sandals}:.

Pope Leo X receiving the ceremonial sandals in the vesting rituals before the mass; the arms of Leo's family, the Medici of Florence are in the lower margin; his name is painted on the step, as is the date of the manuscript, 1520; see the whole image
Courtesy of Columbia.edu's Web Exhibit

An anonymous reader commented on the previous post from the OSV Catholic Encyclopedia with some very useful information. Furthermore, apparently the technical term is "sandals", "sandalia" or formerly "campagi".

With this to go on, I have a few more resources towards which I intend to direct you.

Would you believe that in the supplement of the Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas Aquinas makes reference to them in q. 40 art. 7, "Are the vestments of the ministers fittingly instituted by the Church?"; in it, he says --

Bishops have nine ornaments besides those which the priest has; these are the "stockings, sandals, succinctory, tunic, dalmatic, mitre, gloves, ring, and crozier," because there are nine things which they can, but priests cannot, do, namely ordain clerics, bless virgins, consecrate bishops, impose hands, dedicate churches, depose clerics, celebrate synods, consecrate chrism, bless vestments and vessels.

We may also say that the "stockings" signify his upright walk; the "sandals" which cover the feet, his contempt of earthly things; the "succinctory" which girds the stole with the alb, his love of probity; the "tunic," perseverance, for Joseph is said (Gn. 37:23) to have had a long tunic--"talaric," because it reached down to the ankles [talos], which denote the end of life; the "dalmatic," generosity in works of mercy; the "gloves," prudence in action; the "mitre," knowledge of both Testaments, for which reason it has two crests; the "crozier," his pastoral care, whereby he has to gather together the wayward (this is denoted by the curve at the head of the crozier), to uphold the weak (this is denoted by the stem of the crozier), and to spur on the laggards (this is denoted by the point at the foot of the crozier). Hence the line:

           "Gather, uphold, spur on
           The wayward, the weak, and the laggard."

The "ring" signifies the sacraments of that faith whereby the Church is espoused to Christ. For bishops are espoused to the Church in the place of Christ. Furthermore archbishops have the "pallium" in sign of their privileged power, for it signifies the golden chain which those who fought rightfully were wont to receive.

The 1912 Catholic Encyclopedia makes reference to them under the heading vestments,

...from the ninth to the thirteenth century, completed the development of the priestly vestments in Western Europe... above all, the pontifical dress received its definitive form. This was the natural result of the enormous advance in the secular importance of the bishops and of their position in public life, which occurred in the Carlovingian era. Vestments such as sandals and stockings became exclusively episcopal ornaments. New pontifical vestments were the gloves, the succinctorium, and the mitre, to which were added among the German bishops the rational, an imitation of the pallium. When Amalarius wrote his treatise, "De officiis ecclesiasticis" at the beginning of the ninth century, eleven garments were included among liturgical vestments: amice, alb, cingulum, maniple, stole, tunic, dalmatic, chasuble, sandals, pontifical stockings, and the pallium. In the time of Innocent III the liturgical vestments numbered seventeen, the fanon, that is the papal amice, not being included among these.

They are also mentioned in the bit on pontificalia, listing them as one of the common pontificals enumeratd by Pius VII in his constitution Decet Romanos, and a short mention on the practice of bestowing pontificalia to prelates of lesser rank (i.e. the Abbot of Metz in 970 as mentioned).

The chapter on the pontifical mass mentions them among the items not used in a Pontifical Requiem mass. In a regular pontifical mass of the old rite, however,

...The pope is received at the door by the cardinal-priest and the chapter, visits the Blessed Sacrament, and goes to the small throne for terce, where he receives the obedience of the cardinals, bishops, and abbots. While the psalms are being chanted, he reads the prayers of the preparation for Mass, during which his buskins and sandals are put on, and then he sings the prayer of terce. After that vestments are removed as far as the cincture, and the pope washes his hands, and puts on the subcinctorium, pectoral cross, fanon, stole, tunic, dalmatic, gloves, chasuble, pallium, mitre, and ring. He does not use the crosier or the bugia. He then gives the kiss of peace to the last three of the cardinal-priests.

Finally, there is an entire section of the Catholic Encyclopedia devoted to Episcopal sandals, noting that they are unknown in the Eastern rites. As noted, the sandals must be worn with the liturgical stockings. What's neat is that they're apparently depicted in the mosaics of San Vitale in Ravenna -- note too the shape of the pallium, the same shape now used by our present pope. Further notice that in this mosaic, while the Emperor Justin isn't wearing campagi, they are red, denoting his authority.

Making no claims for the rest of this page, if you scroll down to about halfway (or do a ctrl+f in windows Netscape an search for " campagi "), there seems to be an interesting account to the formalization of dress and a bit of history on the development.

In v.4 of The Ecclesiastical History of John of Ephasus where it says, "At Constantinople many still held to Conon for old association sake: for his house had been at the foot of the palace, and they used to go down in their court shoes and communicate in secret, and return and stand before the king without being found out", there is a footnote on the mention of the shoes --

The campagi were shoes worn only by the emperors and the chief officers of their court; and subsequently they were adopted by the pope of Rome; and George Metochita tells us that Michael Cerularius, patriarch of Constantinople, broke off communion with Rome because the pope would not let him wear 'a pair of scarlet campagi.' At the present day cardinals are also allowed to use them.

(Never let it be said that a girl's fascination with shoes is entirely useless).
posted by Lauren, 7:43 PM | link | 1 comments

.:{The Ruby Slippers}:.

Pope Pius VII's traditional red velvet shoes

It seems the ruby slippers, the red shoes cooed over in this post, have been getting some attention lately (i.e. from The Curt Jester and Summa Mammas).

Some mention of the red shoes and their now-abolished Cardinalite usage is posted on the blog Romanitas, but the blog with the best name ever, The Secret Life of Shoes, gives some background on shoes in general and the papal red shoes in particular.

(on the other hand, a short-and-sweet-but-not-personally-researched-by-me answer relates to the Byzantiine emperors wearing red shoes as a sign of their office; I just stole that off of the Catholic Answers forum)

From the same site you can also find information on Gamarelli's, the pope's taylor, and cute pictures of zuchettos:

Although our late Pope John Paul II often wore brown loafers, there are still a few pictures with him wearing red shoes, such as here.

The New York Times also had an article about Gamirelli's the day before our late pope's funeral; along the same lines as the aforementioned kingship, the article says (and some Italian responds):

Each of the white cassocks - the pope is the only Roman Catholic bishop who wears all white - has some 30 buttonholes for handmade buttons and comes with the usual papal accessories: the short hooded scarlet cape called a mozzetta, worn over the robes; a white zucchetto, or skullcap; and red shoes.

Yes, red shoes.

"The pope is king, and the king can wear whatever shoes he likes," one of the Gammarelli tailors shouted out before tucking back into a piece of fabric.

Gotta love those Italians.
posted by Lauren, 5:04 PM | link | 1 comments

{Saturday, April 23, 2005  }

.:{More on our Pope -- More good journalism!}:.

When I took journalism back in the day, I was told that the New York Times was often held up as a standard for American journalism.

This has its pros and cons of course. I am, however, a bad journalism student and don't read enough of the New York Times (though we used to have a subscription) to have a personal opinion.

But lo, they put forth another excellent human interest article on the pope, going beyond the exterior to find the man behind the mitre. While not overly effusive and engaging in some criticism, it nonetheless exhibits very good points and seems fairly well-balanced.

Look at it quick before they archive it and you'll need a subscription to get it.

More points where I sympathize with our Pope:

John L. Allen Jr., a writer for The National Catholic Reporter, recalled meeting him for the first time at a cocktail party in 1997 in San Francisco. The second most powerful man in the Roman Catholic church was definitely not holding court.

"He was just sort of off in a corner," said Mr. Allen, who was working on a biography, later called "Cardinal Ratzinger" (Continuum: 2000). "And I remember going up and introducing myself to him. I was just bowled over, first of all how shy he was. And secondly, he had a kind of dry sense of humor and just how nice he seemed."

"This certainly was not what his public image would lead you to expect," he said.


Ms. Macher said he was modest, not at all showy for a man of his position, with a dry sense of humor.

"Someone lost his dog and put up a sign: Has anyone seen this German Shepherd?" she recalled. "He came in and said, 'No, no, it's not me. I'm here.' It was really funny - it surprised us. I think he is going to surprise us."

Of all the issues surrounding the early days of this papacy - and the man who will be installed formally on Sunday as the successor to St. Peter - Cardinal Bertone said his friends are curious about one detail in particular.

"One question we've all asked ourselves is whether he'll bring his piano to the Vatican," Cardinal Bertone said. "I'd like to hear the pope playing Bach or Mozart."

Our pope also likes lemonade.

It's the small details...!
posted by Lauren, 7:56 PM | link | 2 comments

.:{An ad I saw on bible.crosswalk.com}:.

I miss the Army. Though obviously I couldn't be an Army chaplain, I could be a chaplain's assistant. There's a way to do some missionary work!

And check out the info on some of the Catholic chaplains:
Fr. I-can't-spell-his-last-name, a West Point grad, in Ft. Bragg, NC.
His excellency Jerome Listecki -- the auxiliary bishop of Chicago!
Fr. Isaac Opara in Ft. Bliss, TX.
Fr. Lee Yoakam, who looks for all the world like Fr. Jack.

A once-a-week prayer meeting is typical for a priest. But a prayer meeting 4,900 feet above a combat zone in Afghanistan?


Chaplain Madej created study groups. He made resources available for people to investigate and look into their faith and what they believe. He baptized someone into the Catholic Church on Easter. We actually had our Easter mass at the ruins of the city of Babylon, city of Hillah, last year. Part of that Catholic Easter mass was the baptism of our Soldiers. So that was a unique experience.

Fr. Madej served witht he 101st Airborne division during Operation Enduring Freedom.
posted by Lauren, 4:57 PM | link | 2 comments

.:{More cute pope pictures}:.

Look at those red shoes!

Pictures that make him look small:

Especially with the impressive Swiss Guard in the background. Good job, photographer.

I can't get over those shoes.

And his brother, Fr. Georg Ratzinger:
posted by Lauren, 2:51 PM | link | 11 comments

.:{Speaking of Latin and Fr. Foster}:.

Summer tutorials with Fr. Reggie Foster are FREE. Seriously! You just need to get yourself to Rome, and then house and feed yourself for a month and a half (early June to mid-July).

Also, you can listen to Fr. Foster's program on Vatican Radio, "Latin Lover".

The woman who does the interviewing is rather a nesciens.

Note, too, those who would argue about the pronuntiation that Fr. Reggie uses Ecclesiastical method.

Also ... Fr. Reggie isn't afraid to bust out singing into Pueri Hebraeorum. Rock on, Fr. Reggie.

Heck, why haven't I listened to this before? It's going on my sidebar.
posted by Lauren, 2:35 AM | link | 2 comments

.:{The Cardinals, Latin and Reggie Foster}:.

Before the conclave started, I asked a Roman friend of mine how the heck these Cardinals from all over the world were going to communicate with each other. I thought to myself it would be cool of they would speak to each other in Latin, but I didn't really think in all practicality that that would be happenening. "Most of these cardinals are multi-lingual," said my omnisciens, "and between their many languages they'll manage to get their point across."

But this article has some coolness on the multi-linguality of the Cardinals, and a funny Fr. Reggie Foster quote --

...[R]eciting texts [in Latin] is easy, conversing off the cuff is hard.

"I joke with cardinals in Latin ... and most don't laugh," Father Reginald Foster, a Latin teacher at the Pontifical Gregorian University here, remarked with clear disapproval. "Some say they have no idea what I'm saying."

Among the few who can is Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who is tipped as a frontrunner in the race for the papacy.
[This is an oldish article ~LB] Some East Europeans have also kept up the tradition, Foster said.

Others try but their Latin "is on the spaghetti side," said Foster, meaning it sounded more Italian, which like French and Spanish developed over the centuries out of Latin. Many Italian and Latin words are so close they are easy to guess.
posted by Lauren, 2:25 AM | link | 0 comments

.:{The Pope's Latin}:.

I've had a half-finished post sitting since Thursday night, when I read the Pope's homily in Latin instead of paying attention to class. Er, "read" the Pope's homily ... It's decidedly not in the style of Ecclesiastical Latin. It not only shows much more sensitivity to the language, but it also employs a lot more complex forms, a bunch of little words I don't know (like Greek ... particles are the bane of my classical Greek existence), and less straightforward word order.

After attempting to read the homily, my little email looked really stupid. :P

But if Fr. Bryce is right, saying somehow from this article that Fr. Reginald Foster, the Vatican Latinist under whom I am dying to study, wrote the Pope's homily. However if the Pope himself is fluent (and he is!!!), I don't see why he couldn't have written it ...

What's depressing from that article, though, are these few lines:

“We have never heard so much Latin before as in the past few days,” said Gianluca Nicoletti, a Vatican-watcher for La Stampa. “Even Italian television has had to get to grips with it, bringing on classics pundits to explain the terminology. Italian has Latin roots, but few Italians understand it.”

*hold head in hands and shakes head slowly*

The people you'd expect to understand it best! Their own ancestors ... it's not that hard. If one knows Latin, Italian is a snap. Gaaah.

But, happy subjects. Latin is up and coming! Perhaps it'll be required for seminaries. *eyes Quodlibeta, Zadok, Meandering Mind, and other St. Blogs seminarians pointedly*
posted by Lauren, 1:29 AM | link | 3 comments

{Friday, April 22, 2005  }

.:{A marriage anecdote about our new Papa: the Lover of Lovers}:.

I think big. And then I ask my mommy.
"Mom, can I get married in Rome?"
"No, you have to be married in your parish."
"So I can't get married at St. Peter's?"
"No, I wouldn't be able to come."
"What if I could be married by the Pope?"
"No! St. Peter's is not a parish!"


But these people did! They were married by Papa Ratzi 10 months before he became Pope.

I wonder if I can be married by Cardinal Schoenborn. I mean, theoretically, if I ever find a husband; at this rate I'll die a spinster.

The Real Ratzinger: The Lover of Lovers
- by Anthony & Marta Valle

(from Inside the Vatican)

Who is the real Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI? To the world he is many things; to us he is the priest who celebrated our wedding Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on June 24, 2004, a short 10 months before he became Pope Benedict XVI.

Who are we? Two ordinary students who met three years ago in Rome on the footsteps of a church after Mass.

What was our “connection” to the current successor of St. Peter? None. We simply asked and he said yes.

In February, 2004, we attend Cardinal Ratzinger’s weekly Mass, celebrated Thursday morning at 7 a.m. inside the Vatican in the church of the Campo Teutonico, but open to the public.

He has celebrated the Mass for many years for anyone who wishes to come.

After celebrating his Mass, then Cardinal Ratzinger, the Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, emerged from the sacristy in a simple cassock and was greeted warmly by an excited crowd of people from all over the world, some to get the great theologian’s personal autograph, others to get a picture with the second most powerful prelate in the Church, and yet others to thank this holy German priest for his persevering and faithful service to Christ and the Church.

At first he struck us as somewhat timid.

However, as he approached the excited and sizeable crowd of people, he began to talk to and take interest in each individual person who has come to see him.

He answered questions in various languages, asked some of his own, occasionally cracked a joke or two, while always devoting his entire attention to each individual person in such a soft, pastoral way.

This much was obvious: the real Ratzinger was most at home as a man of the people, as a shepherd keeping watch over his flock.

It was our turn. We introduced ourselves to his eminence, reverenced his ring, engaged in some pleasant talk with him, and then – we popped the question: “We have a favor to ask of you, your Eminence”.

He waited patiently.

“Will you celebrate our wedding mass?”

“Well, let’s see what we can do. Why don’t you write a letter to me with some possible times and dates.”

“Well, actually your eminence, we already have one prepared.”

Within a week, Marta received an envelope from the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith. We open it, stunned: it is a yes!

Several months later and a few days before our wedding date, at the cardinal’s request, his secretary scheduled us to meet the cardinal. He wanted to get to know us a little better.

Being a responsible secretary, he emphasized over and over, “You only have 10 minutes with the cardinal – that is all. He is a very busy man and I am responsible for keeping his schedule.”

The door opened and we entered to be warmly received by the cardinal.

However, we exited his office some 30 minutes later, only at the end realizing that not we but rather he had far exceeded the set limit.

We talked about everything from our backgrounds, our families, and our studies to spirituality, sacred music, liturgy, theology, plainchant and polyphony.

Yet what struck us immediately about the cardinal during our private meeting with him and also when he celebrated Mass was not his towering intellectual genius, but his obvious simplicity, his humility, and his holiness.

Two days later was June 24, the day of our wedding.

We were brimming with joy since we would receive the sacrament of matrimony, be eternally wedded to each other in Christ, and all this in the Eternal City, in the Heart of the Church, from a man whose heart is clearly burning with a deep love for Christ.

The sermon was a profound meditation on the readings, particularly on Ephesians 5.

Here the cardinal passionately underscored the husband’s subordinate role to the wife in so far as the husband must sacrifice himself continuously for his wife out of a deep love for her, just as Christ sacrificed himself for his own spouse, the Church.

What made the highest-ranking prelate in the Catholic Church next to the Pope give his yes to an unknown couple’s request that he celebrate their wedding Mass?

At their wedding, what made him give such a nearly half-hour long sermon, which could --or one could even argue-- should have been much shorter given the cardinal’s tremendous responsibilities?

What, on top of all this, compelled him to send us a personally inscribed, limited edition of his latest book as a wedding gift?

These are questions that we continually ask ourselves, and the only answer that gives itself back to us in the faintest of whispers is Love, better yet, a person so smitten by a deep and personal love for Christ that he himself becomes the Lover of Lovers.

And that is the real Ratzinger we came to know.
posted by Lauren, 9:02 PM | link | 2 comments

.:{I knew my hopes were a bit too high...}:.

60,000 Send E-mails to Benedict XVI

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 22, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Of the 60,000 messages that Benedict XVI has received in less than 48 hours, more than half -- 31,000 -- were written in English.

The next biggest language group were in Italian (13,000) and Spanish (6,000).

The messages, sent to benedictxvi@vatican.va and other similar addresses, were also written in German, Portuguese and French.

Striking among the messages are some from nonbelievers who request prayers. Others are from Catholics who assure their prayers and thank the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger for having accepted the mission to be Pope.

There are also messages from young people, who wish him "all the best."


Well, it didn't say anything about the one dumb kid who sent him an email in Latin. ;) Ah well. I thought my hopes were a bit too high...

I still intend to write a letter in Latin to somewhere where I'm likely to get a response in Latin.
posted by Lauren, 8:09 PM | link | 1 comments

.:{Impressive Pope Pictures}:.

The pope addresses the college of cardinals

Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Germany kisses the papal ring

The pope with the cardinals in Clementine hall

The pope greeting ... and genuinely smiling

Isn't he lovely??

Und Ich liebe dich auch, Heilige Vater Benedikt!
posted by Lauren, 4:58 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Who is our Pope? -or- More Good Journalism}:.

(I think it's terribly cute that the Pope wears glasses)

What's idiotic about the reporting on the papacy now is that every single one of the topics and headlines can be summed up, as other St. Bloggers have noticed, in the following words:

"New Pope is Catholic: World in Shock"

The old cliche "is the Pope Catholic?" is working people into a tizzy. No he's not going to go all wussy on women priests because women priests aren't Catholic. Get over it.

They're all the same, every last one of them. And what's nasty is calling the Pope a Nazi. You don't throw mud at a person after they've been elected-for-life, especially not the Pope. Mud-throwing before elections is kind of expected, but afterwards is not cool.

Frankly, the news is boring. It's uninteresting. It's repetative. It's tautological.

If news agencies want something that people will want to read and buy a paper for, they want human interest stories -- who is this new pope, what's he like?

If I knew where this article were in print, I would buy every copy of every paper that ran it.

It's an excellent portrait of the Pope from the people who know him best -- his family, his housekeeper, his friends.

Did you know that our pope has a sweet tooth? He'll try every type of Christmas cookie at a party. (Note to self -- when the Pope comes over to visit, bake cookies) He also enjoys hiking in the mountains of Tyrol, he plays the organ. And he likes to just sit down and talk. He's a reserved but quiet and sweet and he likes to play with cats -- they make him laugh.

From this, I deduce that if I knew the Holy Father on a personal level, we'd get along swimmingly... I enjoy exactly the same things (except I like baking cookies more than eating them ... ).

One has to dig for stories like these. Zadok finds the same sort of things -- that the Pope has to have his books, and that he's not entirely comfortable around large crowds, at least not in the same way his predecessor was. And so Zadok, too, is sympathetic and emphathetic.

This is the sort of stuff that I -- and, I'm guessing, the rest of the public -- will eat up. Scandals are not news anymore.

Individuals are unique, individuals are important -- people are newsworthy.
posted by Lauren, 4:21 PM | link | 1 comments

{Thursday, April 21, 2005  }

.:{As per Mark Shea's suggestion}:.

Here is my email to the Holy Father!

Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2005 23:44:18 -0500
To: benedictxvi@vatican.va
From: Lauren B******
Subject: Dilectissime Pater, Summus Pontifex Benedictus XVI

O Dilectissime Sancte Pater,

Lauren N. B****** T.O.P., discipula quae habet XX annos, Richmondis Dioeceseos, in Domino Iesu Chriso et SPN Domenico Pontificem Maximum Sanctum Patrem Benedictum XVI salutat.

In lingua Latina auctor pessima sum, sed scio quia eam aliis praeferas et ego Germanice neque Italice non loquor.

Ego gratias multas ago propter lectum tuum ad sedem Petri! Gloria, laus, honorque Domino!
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini. :)

Multum te diligo, O Sancte Pater, et propter te, pro Ecclesia et me et Ordine mei Praedicatorum multum gaudeo.

Diu regnes, O Sancte Pater. Pro te et ad mentem tuam quotidie orabo, et peto ut pro Ordine mei, Ordine Praedicatorum, orabis.

Te nunc et semper Benedictus benedicat, et Beata Maria semper Virgo te subrideat. Mater Beata vere quoque diliget et semper diligebit.

Filia humilis tua quae te diligit,

Lauren B******, T.O.P.
quae est Sr. Thomas de Aquino Sanctissimi Sacramenti

[Email address]

[Mailing address]
[city, state, zip]
Stati Unidi
posted by Lauren, 12:40 AM | link | 13 comments

{Wednesday, April 20, 2005  }

.:{Long Live the Pope Sheet Music and MIDI}:.

Bloggians --

For your PODness, and it would tickle me greatly if one's parish were to employ this, I have composed a modest arrangement of "Long Live the Pope" on Noteworthy composer, printed it out, scanned it, and have it available online for you.

You can also get a midi of the same here.

I did arrange this myself -- with some cleanup-work thanks to Jon L -- and if you do use it I would appreciate it if you didn't say "*I* wrote it!". But have fun, knock yourself out, is it too late to use as the entrance or recessional hymn this Sunday? ;)

The title printed out stupidly, so you'll note the dorkiness of my blue Gothic lettering at the top. The whited-out areas were full of "unregistered NWC print" nonsense.

God bless!

posted by Lauren, 10:07 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Prophetic Photo}:.

This was emailed to me by our Third Order Chapter back home, from Fr. Thompson, OP.

posted by Lauren, 8:48 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Long Live The Pope}:.

Long live the Pope! His praises sound
Again and yet again:
His rule is over space and time;
His throne the hearts of men:
All hail! the Shepherd King of Rome,
The theme of loving song:
Let all the earth his glory sing,
And heav’n the strain prolong.

Beleaguered by the foes of earth,
Beset by hosts of hell,
He guards the loyal flock of Christ,
A watchful sentinel:
And yet, amid the din and strife,
The clash of mace and sword,
He bears alone the shepherd staff,
This champion of the Lord.

His signet is the Fisherman’s;
No sceptre does he bear;
In meek and lowly majesty
He rules from Peter’s Chair:
And yet from every tribe and tongue,
From every clime and zone,
Three hundred million voices sing,
The glory of his throne.

Then raise the chant, with heart and voice,
In church and school and home:
“Long live the Shepherd of the Flock!
Long live the Pope of Rome!”
Almighty Father, bless his work,
Protect him in his ways,
Receive his prayers, fulfill his hopes,
And grant him “length of days.”

posted by Lauren, 5:16 PM | link | 2 comments

.:{By the way...}:.

My dear friend Zadok provides his firsthand account of yesterday. Huzzah!

I myself was going to post what was going on here, but in the light of this post ... who cares? He's in freakin' Rome, I'm in ... Dallas???
posted by Lauren, 4:47 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Double Coolness!}:.

The interview I posted before with my friend Fr. John just gets better -- the context of the interview includes, get this, A FEW WORDS WITH CARDINAL SCHOENBORN!!!

Ahhhh, prissy accents, British music, New Pope, and CARDINAL SCHOENBORN! Truly a delight.
posted by Lauren, 4:40 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{I know that guy!}:.

My mother (who visited Rome and met all my little priestlings) called me this morning and said, "Lauren, I was reading USA Today and I saw a quote by someone ... do you know this guy ... Sean Crombie?" "Shane Crombie?? Yeah I know him!! Shane!! Yay!"

Sure enough, USA today has two articles with the same quote from (recently-ordained) Deacon Shane Crombie from Co. Westmeath in Ireland:

Deacon Shane Crombie from West Meath, Ireland, said, "This is the man the Lord has chosen, and I'm happy, and I would have been happy with anyone they chose. ... The new one should be expected to live up to John Paul II. His death was the closure of one chapter. This is the beginning of a new one."

The articles are here, and this one has a quote from someone who my mom said must be my clone, as USA Today reports:

Christine Mugridge, of Santa Rosa, Calif., is studying for a doctorate in theology at one of the Holy See universities and was part of the throng in St. Peter's Square. Her reaction: "Ratzinger rocks."

Respondeo dicendum: rock on!!

(The articles themselves are some usual liberal boilerplate stuff and some good stuff as well... I just like it because Shane is mentioned there. Also he was in an article about the orthodoxy of seminarians, largely critical but not without some merit. I tell you there are normal seminarians in Rome, and then there are the "longfaced saints"... The Irish are not (longfaced, that is!).
posted by Lauren, 12:13 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{The Coolest Thing I've Ever Done}:.

So last night I got an email with the subject "LAUREN - URGENT HELP NEEDED!!!!!". Whoa, I thought, who died??

But then it's from a seminarian friend of mine (Bryan Jerabek) whose friend wrote a letter in English to the Apostolic Penitentiary asking about plenary indulgences in the time of a sede vacante -- whether or not they can be obtained by praying for the intentions of the Pope. The response he received was in, get this, Latin. They responded to him in Latin!

Being the Latin Queen ("see that girl, watch that scene, she is the Latin queeen.... Friday night and the lights are looooow, looking for texts she doesn't ... knoooooooowww... ") I was asked to translate it. And so here's my translation:

Most eminent father;

Geoffrey W. Horton of the Seminary of the of Baltimore Archdiocese under the title of Mount St. Mary's in the city of Emmittsburg, in a letter dated the 4th of April 2005, puts forth the following questions:

1. In regards to the prayer prescribed for the intention of the Supreme Pontiff for gaining a plenary indulgence (cf. "The Manual of Indulgences", 4th edition, Norm. 2. 20 paragraph 1), if in the vacancy of the Apostolic see the faithful are impeded in procuring said plenary indulgence. And to what point they are not be impeded.
2. How in this condition, with the Apostolic See vacant, the plenary indulgence is fulfilled.
And God, etc.

April 13th, 2005

The Apostolic Penitentiary responds to the proposed question:

To the first question: No, the faithful can seek a plenary indulgence even in the time of a vacant Apostolic See.
To the second question: Even though the Apostolic See is vacant, the conditions of praying for the intention of the Supreme Pontiff are fulfilled (by reciting once the "Our Father" and the "Hail Mary" once; nevertheless, the opportunity is also given to the individual faithful to recite another prayer which pleases them according to the piety and devotion of each one), even if he has fulfilled the duty of his life, since the ends of the Pope's intention, the ends for which one must pray--undoubtedly the spiritual good of the whole Church -- persist.

John Francis Girotti, OFM Conv.

John Mary Gervais

Here is the original letter, and Geoff's post on the whole matter is here.

I think I'm going to write a letter in Latin asking if Latin is still the official language of the Church.
posted by Lauren, 12:00 PM | link | 4 comments

{Tuesday, April 19, 2005  }

.:{A quote by the same}:.

In re the former Cardinal Ratzinger now Pope Benedict XVI:

"I've already got all the books, I can't wait to start collecting the encyclicals!"
~Fr. John

(Reminds me of ... "for a limited time, collect them all! Send in x proofs of mass-attendence...")
posted by Lauren, 5:37 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{A priestling friend of mine on the air}:.

Behold -- here is my own dear friend Fr. John (and a distant Irish relation), hailed as "an Irish theologian" by Vatican radio ;D says some bit about our new pope; it's slightly less than a 5 minute interview... here is the direct link (you need RealPlayer).

"I was quite literally jumping for joy" -- ditto! And huzzah for mentioning St. Thomas. ;D

Fr. John also has the best accent of anybody I have heard ever.

"Most importantly of all, Love."
posted by Lauren, 5:07 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Benedictum XVI}:.

posted by Lauren, 2:24 PM | link | 4 comments


In absence of a Papal crest just yet, the Vatican's website has this --


"Dear brothers and sisters, after our great pope, John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me, a simple, humble worker in God's vineyard.

I am consoled by the fact that the Lord knows how to work and how to act, even with insufficient tools, and I especially trust in your prayers.

In the joy of the resurrected Lord, trustful of his permanent help, we go ahead, sure that God will help, and Mary, his most beloved mother, stands on our side.

Thank you.

posted by Lauren, 2:19 PM | link | 0 comments



(no picture because every server in the whole darn work is busy!!!)
posted by Lauren, 1:12 PM | link | 1 comments

.:{Comment and response}:.

A comment posted way far back in one of the posts:

Any comments on St. Malachy's prediction of "Gloria Olivae", "Glory of the Olive". If the next Pope is a Olivetan the list becomes a little scary and extremly short.

Posted by Matt from syracuse to Cnytr at 4/19/2005 01:47:23 AM

My repsonse:

Matt -- Yes, actually.

1) You'll note the palindrome of my email address -- EvilOlivE.

I am an olive.

If the next pope is the glory of the olive, he's going to be my glory, i.e. one of "my" priestlings or seminarians (and if it's Zadok -- as I think it should be, and as one of my college friends here said, "I'd feel a lot better if [Zadok] were voting") then I'd start to worry.

2) 12th century prophecies of St. Malachy are actually a Medieval forgery. Don't worry about them. I was frightened enough for everbody else at one point.
posted by Lauren, 1:54 AM | link | 1 comments

.:{Once again Ebay strikes out}:.

Also misses the point -- the point of my email was to confront them on a different aspect -- and certainly a valid one -- since they obviously don't care that they're acting so unconstitutionally that someone's going to come sue them for every penny they're worth ... religious discrimination, anti-Catholicism... these buzzwords should frighten them and since they're not, they're just asking for a lawsuit.

This was the email I got in response to the one I sent below:

Date: Mon, 18 Apr 2005 22:02:45 -0700
To: Lauren *******
Subject: BA62827 Response to your email from eBay's Banned Items. (KMM164861777V84599L0KM)
From: eBay Customer Support [rswebhelp@ebay.com]
Reply-To: eBay Customer Support [rswebhelp@ebay.com]
X-Mailer: KANA Response


We understand that you are upset at having seen certain Catholic items
or items related to the Pope on eBay, including item #6169851381.
Because eBay’s community is a diverse, international group of more than
135 million users with varied backgrounds and beliefs, there are times
when some items listed on eBay by sellers might be offensive to at least
some of our users somewhere in the world. At times, members may see
listings that they may consider morally wrong or objectionable. However,
even though these listings may be offensive to some, please remember
that most of the time the law does not prohibit the items.

Due to the fact that eBay’s focus is to have a free and diverse
community, we are reluctant to interfere with listings that are not
illegal. Regarding offensive items, there are many items that are
considered sacred to many people of various religions, and we sometimes
hear complaints about these items. Examples would be Catholic relics of
saints, Mormon (LDS) garments, certain Buddhist tablets, etc. However,
eBay has made the decision not to prohibit any item only on the basis of
the item being endowed with sacred properties by certain religious
groups. In general, eBay will remove items for a violation of our
Offensive Materials policy only in extreme examples in which the listing
explicitly promotes hatred, violence, or racial intolerance. However, we
do not remove religious items that are otherwise legal for sale and do
not violate any other eBay listing policy.

Please keep in mind that many of us at eBay may also share your distaste
with an item, and may not support the sale. In fact, eBay has many
Catholic employees. However, we do our best to understand and tolerate
the many viewpoints held by our worldwide community. The Eucharist is
not illegal to sell, and is generally allowed on eBay as long as the
seller does not otherwise include hateful text or images in the listing.
Although we realize that you may not agree with this decision on eBay’s
part, we hope that you can respect the diverse and open nature of eBay’s


eBay Community Watch
posted by Lauren, 1:24 AM | link | 2 comments

.:{I wish I had thought of this first}:.

Though I'd be a certified geek if I had: Chalkboard Fight.
posted by Lauren, 1:23 AM | link | 0 comments

.:{What Age Do I Act?}:.

Via Old-Oligarch

I said once I was 19 going on 90. Now that I'm no longer 19, I can no longer reverse the numerals of my age to get an impressive number (20 going on ... 02??).

Apparently, however, I act older than the Old Oligarch. But only by a year. For a college student, this is wrong. But it's sad because much of it is true ("What do you do after lunching with colleagues? Go back to work -- lunch is all you had time for...")

You Are 32 Years Old


Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

What Age Do You Act?
posted by Lauren, 1:10 AM | link | 0 comments

{Monday, April 18, 2005  }

.:{A front that hasn't been considered yet}:.

Dear Ebay representative,

In regards to item numbers 6169851381 and 6171703649 recently having been sold or currently in the process of being sold : the selling of "communion wafers"/"Eucharist" is clearly a case of religiously offensive (sacreligious) material in which Catholics are being unconstitutionally discriminated against:
expect litigations.

As others including on the largest organizations of the Catholics in the United States have contacted you on this matter, I will draw another to your attention.

Ebay has not considered that these items sold are also food. There has been no regard paid to the perishablility of the item: no expiration dates are given, these items have consistently not been in sealed containers to prevent tampering. All of these are in clear violation of Ebay's food policy ( http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/food.html ), and therefore the sale of "communion wafers"/"Eucharist" should be banned for BOTH the reasons mentioned. Should consumption of these unsafe items lead to damage of health in any way, shape or form, Ebay and sellers should expect further litigations.

Because of these loose security measures and glaringly anti-Catholic and discriminatory policies, Ebay has lost the business of myself, my family, and the 300+ readers per day who visit my blog.


Lauren *******

Contact information available here.

Yes, they're allowing this ... again. There is currently another auction in progress with a higher price threshold of before -- around $9,000 American dollars (the auction is from the United Kingdom).
posted by Lauren, 6:58 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Quickie Movie Review}:.

This week saw another few Father Ted DVDs in the mailbox which provided the laugh when I wasn't crying over the loads of homework I've left for the next three weeks of school (hyperbole), but I don't think I've seen anything quite as side-splitting as My Man Godfrey (1936) starring William Powell in the title role and Carole Lombard, and a very underrated Gail Patrick.

Godfrey is a "forgotten man" Cornelia tries to pick up for a moronic upper-class' scavenger hunt one evening. He wards her off, but the bubbly, charming and slightly air-headed younger sister Irene is enough to get him to go along with her; after winning the scavenger hunt, Irene gives Godfrey a job as the family butler.

Little did he know what he was getting himself into.

The family is in.SANE. Riding-horses-up-stairs-while-passing-out-drunk-and-then-leaving-the-horse-in-the-library kind of insane. Not to mention very loose and free with the family funds which tends to cause a lot of worry for the father in the late jazz age/early depression era.

Godfrey isn't "buttling" very long amongst the upper crust when he is recognized by an old buddy -- as the Godfrey Parks who mysteriously disappeared after his engagement went sour. The Godfrey Parks who is, interestingly enough, of one of the richest American families.

Huzzah. If that isn't enough to intrigue!

I'll admit I'm a sucker for things of this time period; the uber-depressing F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Great Gatsby" I find enthralling.

This has got the satire of Fitzgerald with the slyness of Jane Austen; indeed, the mother reminds me so slightly of Mrs. Bennett -- beneath the loads of one-liners, one might completely miss the seriousness and absolute misery of the characters' lives. Tickling the ribs whilst sliding in the knife.

And there are loads of those one-liners! Whilst one gets the occasional laugh from the Astaire/Rogers banter of the era, this film don't stop them coming. Screwball stuff, but hysterically funny without being idiotic.

I must admit, however, the film is far from perfect, and there are definitely some loose executions (therefore the comparison to Fitzgerald and Austen is more in spirit) and I have to say Irene's character, while cute, did grate on my nerves at times; also I wasn't so sure about the ending, given a highly convincing (in the sense of there-is-almost-no-logical-reason-to-doubt-it) diatribe Godfrey goes on. Yet it fits into the Fitzgerald scheme (are these people going to be happy? Is Godfrey happy?), it has the lighter charm of haha-we've-snagged-ourselves-a-good-one-here.

However, the point of this review is that a the film is a fun one, and beautifully shot (two words: art deco). The version I had from Netflix was a bit overexposed with the white eating up the screen at times, but I am certain there are better versions out there.

See in it what you like: a brain break from school, it's light and charming; a more thoughtful reading is a Fitzgeraldian one.

By the way, where have you seen the leading actors before? William Powell (who seems to be done up like Clark Gable in this movie... *heart goes pitty-pat*) was in, interestingly enough, "The Great Gatsby" (1926!), "The Thin Man", "Ziegfield Follies" and "How To Marry a Millionare" (with other greats such as *cough* Lauren Bacall...)
I must not have spent enough time watching AMC and TCM when I was home-schooled, because I don't recognize Carole Lombard's stuff, though I've heard her name often; here is her imdb page.
posted by Lauren, 1:08 AM | link | 2 comments

{Sunday, April 17, 2005  }

.:{Sparsity of Updates}:.

Apologies, but updates shall be sparse over the next few days -- the demands of college and sleep not-to-be-had et cetera are catching up to me.

I shall return as soon as I am able!

In the meantime, have fun laughing at this guy, and learn from this one why you should never put your picture on the internet.
(*cough* not responsible for any of the links from that page.)
posted by Lauren, 12:45 PM | link | 1 comments

{Saturday, April 16, 2005  }

.:{A Tribute to Papa}:.

One of those flash video tributes with dramatic, swelling, emotional piano music and a bunch of pictures you've seen a thousand times...

... but for some reason, I find it really poignant. If only because it shows Papa getting older and older.

Oh I miss our Pope!
posted by Lauren, 5:25 PM | link | 2 comments

{Friday, April 15, 2005  }

.:{Dominicans and Bunnies!!!}:.

From Moniales!

Does life get better?? I submit that it cannot!!

(Unless... you have a Dominican bunny with black and white. We could name it Fr. Jack Hackett! *cough*)
posted by Lauren, 6:38 PM | link | 1 comments

.:{More on the Dominican Habit}:.

From Ad Altare Dei a year ago comes a bit about the Dominican habit and a lovely painting by our own Fra Angelico on the vision of the Dominican habit.

Also from our brothers in the Western Province are the individual pieces of the habit, not worn, with the prayers to be said whilst clothing oneself with them.

Reception of the Habit, S. Sabina, Rome
posted by Lauren, 1:27 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Dominican Novices Receive the Habit}:.

I have found the most lovely page, showing pictorally about eleven Dominican novices from "the Vietnamese Vicariate in Western Canada" in the Western Province recieving the habit.

(It's quite an enthisiastic page, fond of multiple exclamation marks, which comes off as rather cute...)

After each novice is clothed, they return to their place in choir with the black capuce pulled over their heads:

After they are given their new name and are blessed by the Provincial, then they remove the hood.

Yaaay, the brethren!!

Then, as is traditional, the brothers process out whilst singing the Salve:

... even up to the statue of St. Dominic, where the O Lumen is sung:

For more information on the habit itself, see this post for a listing of the different pieces and links to their descriptions.
posted by Lauren, 1:17 PM | link | 2 comments

.:{Cardinal Watch}:.

I received an email from a very kind reader who courteously put forth the postulate that our respected Cardinal Schoenborn might not be as he seem, specifically on the issues of contraception, women's ordinations, and intercommunion with non-Christians.

I didn't get explicit permission to blog his email, so I shall blog only my own response.

Dear ****,

Ah -- cardinalrating.com . This, too, is where I first heard of Cardinal Schoenborn, and at first I was quite worried. However, I am an academic, and academics want credible sources -- especially for something as incredible as the internet -- and I've noticed that the page has none, and it is mostly run by the paranoid, very easily twisting innocent statements into meaning something less than the original inent.

For example, the quote wherein Cardinal Shchoenborn states that "anyone who in good conscience can respond 'Amen' should be able to take communion", or words to that effect. At first glance, it seems that our dear Cardinal is advocating intercommunion. However, upon reflection, he's perfectly correct -- whever can in good conscience respond "amen", meaning that he accepts the Eucharist as the body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord, the source and summit of the Christian life, given at the Last Supper to his disciples and the Tradition preserved in the One, Holy,
Catholic and Apostolic faith such that one is totally and 100% in full communion with the Catholic Church -- for this is, I won't say the full meaning of the Eucharist, but certainly part of it -- should be able to take communion, for this would mean that he is a practicing Catholic in good standing with the church. Said quote was taken from a *personal correspondence* of the Cardinal's, such that the reciepient would certainly know what he meant when he said something to that effect.

If that statement (taken fantastically out of context, I would add, and therefore open to misinterpretation, as our Protestant brethren do so often with Scripture, sad to say) did indeed refer to the Cardinal's belief in intercommunion, it would also be hugely out-of-step with the rest of his theology, recorded elsewhere (i.e. The Cathechism of the Catholic Church!).

According to this more-trustworthy page(*), he's the only reason that there isn't a major schism in Austria (the weirdness Fr. Sibley's posted about and the trouble to which you refer is in the Diocese of Linz, whilst Cardinal Shonborn is the archbishop of the (arch?)diocese of Vienna). Being one of the youngest cardinals and a Dominican since the age of 18 and described as "in the same line of thinking as Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger", I raise an eyebrow at CardinalRating.com . Indeed, there was scandal involved with his predecessor and the diocese itself is rather a mess... it was an enormous act of faith in the character and capabilities of Cardinal Schoenborn for our dear late Pope John Paul II to set him up as the administrator of a messy diocese.

I attempted to look around Cardinal Rating to find a webmaster to whom I could direct my questions. However I gave up after a fruitless search. Furthermore, I've noticed that the tidbits quoted on the page are given without anything other than a date -- no author, no source. There is no way I should believe such a thing -- without a viable source, it's essentially hearsay. It would be like getting one's daily news from the tabloids.

But the last straw was when I read the intro to the page -- "Cardinals are very good at hiding their convictions and adapting to their audiences. Widespread diplomatic talk makes it almost impossible to understand easily what in fact a Cardinal believes and thinks. " That is far too paranoid to be for its own good and clearly has an agenda -- further reason to distrust it.

Hence, since whoever is running the site has no desire to take responsibility for it, or to give credible sources to very ambiguous and non-confirmed and out-of-context "quotes", I'm very much inclined to dismiss the whole site as misled and paranoia.

I very much appreciate your interest and concern in the matter and your taking the time to e-mail me. It is good to know that there are people out there who care enough to correct those in error. I'm not sorry to say that I am not in error, but I am, as I say, grateful for your concern.

With your permission, I'd like to blog this correspondence. The Old Oligarch blogged about this particular site at the beginning of the month and I responded with some of my findings listed above. I did't blog about it personally, however, when he posted a retraction of his previous post.

Thank you very much. And God bless!

In Christ,


p.s. I wouldn't care too much if I were still in ROTC where everybody gets called "sir", but I'm a "ma'am". ;)
p.p.s. If you would like to read more about the cardinal, I had linked to some news articles on my site (some of the secular articles are surprisingly good, including one from Time magazine called "A Walk with a Cardinal"). Furthermore, I recommend his book "Loving the Church". I myself haven't read it (yet) but I have heard it praised to the skies by someone I would trust with my life.

(*) -- NOTE, some of the sources on this website, I have been informed, are somewhat less trustworthy than I thought.

However, the information presented on Cardinal Schoenborn is more in line with a variety of other things I have read about him.

Much apologies for the problems with the link, italics, and faithfulness of the sources related to the link. I'll be more vigilant in the future. Less direct copy-and-paste.
posted by Lauren, 12:16 AM | link | 3 comments

{Thursday, April 14, 2005  }

.:{Proof that I will never get married. Ever.}:.

A good friend of mine once said to me, "All the good men are dead, not real, chickens or mutants."

(The last two were refering to Mel Gibson's character in Chicken Run and Hugh Jackman's character in X-Men.)

According to the Dead Celebrity Soulmate Search, my matches are ... Shackleton (played by Kenneth Banaugh! ooh!) and ... King Henry VIII????

According to his online profile,

My most humbling moment...
When I knelt with my bride before God and my country, and pledged my heart in holy matrimony.

My greatest accomplishment...
That I was able to repeat the aforementioned humbling moment many, many times.

However, what's terribly enraging and annoying is that I got rejected by Henry VIII!!!!

Let me say that again.





I truly think there is no hope in this world *at* *all*.

I will never get married and I will live in a house with my 80 cats and die an old spinster who watches FOX news all day.

Thanks for ruining my life, Happy Catholic. ;) (Just kidding...)
posted by Lauren, 4:24 PM | link | 8 comments

.:{So, what're the odds on ... excommunication??}:.

I'd say it's a sure thing.

What I find extremely annoying about the media buzz surrounding the conclave and the next election is all the talk of the "odds" on this cardinal or that cardinal for next pope (personally, I think they're going to make my un-ordained but entirely brilliant seminarian friend pope, at which point I will move to Rome and demand a position of some sort).

The business of finding the Holy Spirit's will as to be the next vicar of Christ on Earth ain't like dustin' crops, boy.

Nor is it like racing horses.

And so for places like Paddy Power.com et cetera, I stick out my tongue at you!

It is the case that in 1591, Pope Gregory XIV issued a bull called "Cogit nos" which forbids on pain of excommunication betting on

a) the election of a new pope
b) the creation of cardinals
c) the duration of a papal term.

I'd think twice before putting my money on Tettamanzi. Or anybody, really...

For more see here, here, here and here.
posted by Lauren, 3:53 PM | link | 2 comments

.:{Further evidence of Why Andrew Greeley is an Idiot}:.

I've decided that I like Jimmy Aiken, even if I'm not particularly fond of the cowboy hat.
posted by Lauren, 3:39 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{This has nothing to do with anything.}:.

Apparently, I am a a Giant Lizard that cowers from Radiation, looks like a Man in a Rubber Suit, has Tough Leathery Skin, Expands when Attacked, and is Sensitive to Noise.

But I can beat up Fr. Andrew Greeley, who is a Giant Moth that has Acid for Blood, carries a Flamethrower, and is Sensitive to Noise and Highly Flammable.

But, Cardinal Schoenborn, the Giant Dragon that has Crablike Pincers, can Generate Electricity, Screeches when Angry, and is Poisonous beats the Heretics, a Tiny Dragon that leaves a Trail of Goo, Freezes Solid when Cold, has an Extra Head, and is Wreathed with Flames and Sensitive to Noise.

Q: How many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Two -- one to tie the giraffes and the other to fill the bathtub with multi-colored power tools.

(Hat-tip: Siris)
posted by Lauren, 2:26 PM | link | 0 comments

{Wednesday, April 13, 2005  }

.:{The Church has Finally become Democratic!}:.

Granite States hosts first-in-the-world papal primary.

ABANDONING centuries of tradition in favor of direct democracy, the deadlocked College of Cardinals announced that the new Pope will be popularly elected. Cardinals immediately started flocking to New Hampshire for the first papal primary.

As so often happens, the early front-runner stumbled. Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, the leading Italian candidate, had trouble connecting with voters when he insisted on giving campaign speeches in Latin and with his back to the audience...

A third leading candidate, Joseph Ratzinger, was dogged by rumors about his hard-living past. Ratzinger acknowledged, “When I was a young and irresponsible seminarian, I was young and irresponsible,” but refused to answer specific questions about whether he had abused incense...

Noting that any male baptized into the Catholic Church is technically eligible to become Pope, Secretary of State Bill Gardner announced that anyone who pays the $1,000 filing fee would appear on the ballot...

Hillary Clinton, widely regarded as aspiring to become the first woman Pope, was rumored to have gotten baptized in preparation for a run — critics called it an election year conversion — but her spokeswoman insisted Clinton was focused on being the best senator she could be for New York’s Catholics.

Supporters of Arnold Schwarzenegger and his personal brand of muscular Catholicism noted that while the Constitution prevents him from running for President, it was silent on whether he was eligible to be Pope. The New York Post suggested Madonna might get in the race, asking, “What Catholic can vote against the Madonna?”

[Read all of it!]
posted by Lauren, 11:20 PM | link | 2 comments

.:{Good Journalism}:.

From the Star Ledger of New Jersey comes a good bit of journalism, if a bit liberal though certainly not as liberal as others. The article ruminates on the connection of age and the papacy in the past and what effect it may have in the upcoming election.

(Also, it mentions Cardinal Ratzinger's 78th birthday is this Saturday.)

It may be a bit insulting to say the title is the best part, but in my totally unbiased opinion (*cough*), whoever thought of it ought to get a raise.

It is called:

Old men and the See.
posted by Lauren, 12:41 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{I would direct you ...}:.

... to the comment-box of this post, where someone from the Archdiocese of Vienna has kindly enlightened some of the reasons for the photos (like the train-pictures).

Danke schoen!
posted by Lauren, 9:59 AM | link | 2 comments

{Tuesday, April 12, 2005  }


Oh wait, more on languages I can't read and people I can:

Portraits of famous Dominicans on Dominikaner.org. I get a kick out of these names.

There is of course, Heilig Dominikus, Heilig Albert der Große, and Heilig Jordan von Saschsen.

Note too ... *cough* Kardinal Christoph Schoenborn and his POD crozier.

I have to say that one of the coolest things I brought back from Austria was the Hail Mary in German, which I learned inadvertantly. The Italians crashed our mass at the church of St. Peter's in Salzburg, and we were "forced" to go to Franziskanerkirche (the Franciscan church) across the way; about this I have blogged.


Note, too, this lovely depiction from the Mid-Late Middle Ages (14th c.?) of the angels spreading Our Lady's mantle over her favorite order:

Another instance of the Dominican stole.

(You know, for all their German-ness, they have such terribly put-together webpages... what did they do, hire the Cheat?)

Cardinal Schoenborn.

And I really like this statue of St. Dominic.

Graphically, this is nothing special, but here one can obtain information on the Dominican laity in South Germany and Austria.

Ahhh... the family's all over the world. Here is our Order's beloved prayer in German for any of our German-speaking brethren:

Sei gegrüßt, o Königin, Mutter der Barmherzigkeit, unser Leben, unsre Wonne und unsere Hoffnung, sei gegrüßt. Zu dir rufen wir verbannte Kinder Evas; zu dir seufzen wir trauernd und weinend in diesem Tal der Tränen. Wohlan denn, unsere Fürsprecherin, wende deine barmherzigen Augen uns zu, und nach diesem Elend zeige uns Jesus, die gebenedeite Frucht deines Leibes. O gütige, o milde, o süße Jungfrau Maria.

(Learn to pray the rosary/Rosenkranz in German here.)
posted by Lauren, 10:29 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Baliff, I'll be in my office...}:.

...I mean, the Cheat, I'll be in my office... which is this room. So I'll be right here.

(Caramel corn for president, please!)

I was going to write an in-depth post about the EU, but

1) I am very not-qualified to rip it to shreds like I'd like so I'd have to take a different approach
2) With too much caffeine and study and too little sleep, I can't think right now. Don't really expect anything intelligent for the next few days.

In the meantime, the only thing my fried brain can understand right now ...

posted by Lauren, 9:47 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Pearl of Great Price}:.

Person sells Eucharist from the Pope's funeral for $2,000.

According to a seminarian in the comment box of the Angry Twins, a faithful Catholic paid the money to obtain this pearl of great price and will see a priest when he recieves it... Him.

Praise God for the "buy it now" option.

In giving a large sum of money to protect the Eucharistic Lord from sacrelige as much as possible, is this person the opposite of Judas who receieved a small sum of money to give the Eucharistic Lord over to death?

[Edited to add: This is a horrible and most odious sacrelige! Obviously I wish this had not happened, but I am glad that Our Lord will not be sold for desecration and that, I am given to understand, it really is a faithful Catholic who will recieve him and try to make reparation for this sacrelige. I suggest we all do the same, as well.
...I in no way wanted to communicate that I was anything other that outraged at this, but relieved for the aforementioned reasons. Having felt I had not communicated enough shock and horror, I felt I should make it clear lest anyone think I care not. Nobody has accused me of this but, the more I thought about it, the more I thought I should say something.]

Updated: Spirit Daily reports on the California man who saved the Eucharist:

"Any minute I waited, it could have fallen into the hands of a witch or satanist," he said, aghast at the auction. "That's Jesus in that Host."
posted by Lauren, 9:52 AM | link | 1 comments

{Monday, April 11, 2005  }

.:{Why Thomism is Better}:.

(Okay okay LAST POST and LAST "study break" for the night)

For some reason I was on the archives of Zadok's blog and found this gem which mentions (with an illustration!) the drinking competitions between Charles the Bald (called so, because he was), grandson of Charlemage, and John Scotus Eriugena (an Irishman).

(I had to post this because the person I credit for my current education, magister JohnE, is a Scotian and I'm a Thomist.)
posted by Lauren, 10:23 PM | link | 1 comments

.:{To clear the palate}:.

Calming down from the previous posts, here's something Dominican and therefore happy --

Austrian Cardinal Schoenborn OP greeted by a nun (whose habit looks really familiar) as he arrives at Roma Termini April 5th.
posted by Lauren, 9:37 PM | link | 4 comments

.:{This says more than any blogger *needs* to}:.

Liberal Catholics Condemn Pope (Washington Times).

Does any more need to be said?

I don't think so, unless it's Fr. Bryce's fundamental lesson to the kiddies:

posted by Lauren, 9:32 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{More tripe from the anti-Christ ... I mean, Andrew Greeley}:.

Ooh, oooh, are you ready for a laugh? Get ready to split your sides --

Perhaps church will someday find its democratic roots by Andrew Greeley.

The Catholic Church, some cardinal electors and their admirers and supporters will tell you, is not a democracy. That is simply not true. Decisions about faith and morals are not made by lay vote though for a long time it was said that the consent of the whole Christian people was required.

Let's talk about a deep theological misunderstanding of tradition and the living Magisterium. Also, that sentence badly needs a comma. Both of these criticisms cause much offense by coming from a priest and a "journalist", as he honors himself.

He continues on with the prior practice of lay investiture:

Illiterate peasants and townspeople once participated in the election of the pope. Now, the well-educated Catholic people all over the world are told that the election of the pope is none of their business. They must trust the wisdom and virtue of the cardinal electors and the power of the Holy Spirit to guarantee them that a wise choice will be made.

Those who know even a little bit of papal history might want to ask why then were so many monstrously unwise choices made in ages past.

This is where we learn a bit of history, folks. Know why and how those illiterate townspeople once participated in elections?

Remember when the barbarians were converted? That family dynastic/tribal tradition was brought into the church.

When bishops were elected in the early church, their election was based upon the qualities of virtue and learning -- whoever was the most virtuous and most smartest became the bishop. When the bishops became a temporal power as well (I'm talking about before the Medici era, when in the barbarian raids the feudal lord would fail to protect the people, the next person to whom people would run would be the bishop), their position became sought-after by people who wanted power, i.e. Hank the Frank or Herman the German, the newly-converted barbarians who were more in Christianity for the sake of having a reason to attack their Arian neighbors (and, as Gregory of Tours reports, Clovis is famous for having said: "I take it very hard that these Arians hold part of the Gauls. Let us go with God's help and conquer them and bring the land under our control").

So when the bishop passed away and it was time to elect a successor, when Hank the Frank or Herman the German comes into the council wielding axes and other unpleasant, pointy things with which to hit people and says "hey, guess what, I have a great idea for the next bishop -- my son," there weren't a whole lot of people who wanted to argue with that.

Hence the billions and billions of reforms in the Middle Ages, all over the Middle Ages... St. Malachy was important for reforming the church in Ireland and helpping to purge it of this problem. St. Bernard of Clairvaux (his best friend) was also instrumental in this sort of reform, buuuut he was more interested in a personal reform.

Besides, they come even later than the period about which I'm talking.

Everything finally came to a head between 1075-1122 with the strugge between the Holy Roman Empire and the Pope over Who Was To Elect Bishops: because bishops were still a temporal power and therefore partial agents of the Empire, the Emperor wanted to elect bishops. However, the bishops' most important function was as the spiritual shepherd of the flock, and the Pope wanted to appoint bishops, good bishops (the pope himself, at the time -- Gregory VII, I believe -- was himself a reformer). Newadvent has more on that.

Greeley continues,

Those who know even a little bit of papal history might want to ask why then were so many monstrously unwise choices made in ages past.

As shown above, obviously Greely doesn't know "even a little bit of papal history".

Greeley mentions the "elementary human right to participate in the selection of your leader." Note however that the right is to select one's temporal leader, where, according to the Lockian principals upon which this country was built, the temporal government is contingent upon consent of the governed. However, the Catholic Church not exercise temporal power and therefore is not a government.

Greeley says some other stuff not worth responding to, and then claims, "According to the standards of the ancient Catholic tradition and practice, the present system of selecting popes is immoral and corrupt." Of course he fails to mention just what standards these are. According to the ancient Catholic tradition of Lauren N. B., Andrew Greeley should be excommunicated and then force-fed sauerkraut for the rest of his life while being forced to watch every single rerun of "The Andy Griffith Show" ever filmed.

"Worse still, by the evidence of history, recent and not so recent, it doesn't work very well."

Which is why the present system of elections has given us such popes as the late Pope John Paul II. It's not like 3 million Catholics were at his funeral or anything.

Get a life, huh? On a strictly logical and historical level, Andrew Greeley is so full of holes you could strain pasta in his head.

There is, too, a theological level I haven't even really touched -- though others have.

Furthermore, the comment I saw in a myway.com news article on an unrelated topic mentioned Andrew Greeley criticizing the pre-conclave silence of the cardinals. It's a comparatively benign article until the last paragraph (where every journalist knows you don't put the most important part of your article -- hence this gets mentioned at the bottom as futher evidence of the sheer idiocy exhibited by this individual):

"Should not the world know how the electors vote, just as in most other elections? Should not the cardinals be responsible for their votes?"

Andrew Greeley is neither a politician, nor a theologian, nor a thinking person and should stick to writing mindless paperbacks with the other bodice-rippers and other dime-novel authors. Moving beyond ad hominem (I can say whatever I want, it's *my* blog), let's think about the importance that confidentiality has played in elections ... everywhere ... throughout history ... like, here and now in America; if he's so keen on having an American-like democratic election, why doesn't he go whole-hog? Obviously there is no pressure from others, from one's colleagues to vote a certain way if one does a secret ballot. Majority faction can occur anywhere.

Did Greeley ever take American Politics 101? Rather, did he ever graduate from American Politics 101? For heaven's sake, get a highschool degree before you write for a paper.
posted by Lauren, 8:47 PM | link | 0 comments