Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Will You Be Forced to Participate in a Gay Pride Parade?

Great column by Jimmy Akin at the National Catholic Register.

Good Food for Thought

Mark Shea at National Catholic Register has some good food for thought for Politically Conservative Catholics - because Our Lord's Kingdom is not of this world, the Gospel is neither Conservative nor Liberal, neither Republican or Democrat. Right is always right and wrong is always wrong no matter which side of the isle it comes from.

The Left Ratchets Up Anti-Catholic Rhetoric

Lately, the Left has ratcheted up anti-Catholic rhetoric. Archbishop Timothy Dolan has complained about advertising and articles in The New York Times and the Minnesota Democratic Party mailed out a post card calling the Church insensitive to the needs of the poor (!)

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's OK for the Government of San Francisco to Define the Catholic Church as a Hate Group

The Ninth Circuit United States Court of Appeals has ruled that it was OK for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to pass a resolution calling the Catholic Church a hate group for its moral stand on homosexuality.

The Catholic Taliban

The Associated Press and National Catholic Reporter commentator John Allen are worried about Right Wing Catholic Bloggers who are "The Catholic Taliban."
We here at LOVE IN THE RUINS are proud to be a part of "The Catholic Taliban." Of course, I wish that I were as much of an extremist as Saint Joan of Arc, who appears above, or Saint Francis of Assisi, or Dorothy Day, or Father Damien, or Saint Edith Stein.

The American Catholic has a good post analyzing the current situation in the media.

Retreat Resolution

This past week end, I attended a retreat led by retired Bishop David Foley of the Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama. Bishop Foley encouraged the participants to make a retreat resolution. My retreat resolution is to say the Rosary every day. I ask all my blogging friends to pray for me that, by God's grace, I may keep this promise.

Crystal Cathedral Goes Bankrupt

TV Preacher Robert Schuller's Crystal Cathedral has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection.

Maybe they will sell it to Muslims who can put up some glass minarets and then we will have The Crystal Mosque!

Advertising for A Christian Room Mate is a Civil Rights Violation?

The insanity continues.

A Michigan woman who placed an advertisement in a Church Bulletin for another Christian woman to be her room mate is being sued for Civil Rights Violations by the State of Michigan. I have to ask the question, if this were an ad for a Muslim room mate placed in the Mosque newsletter would there still be a lawsuit?

Thursday, October 21, 2010


NPR has fired Juan Williams for telling the TRUTH.

Like Jack Nicholson said in A Few Good Men maybe its because the lefties at NPR CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH.

To quote the Fount of All Wisdom, Forrest Gump, "That's all I have to say about that!"

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Gay Episcopal Bishop Denounces the Moral Teachings of the Catholic Church as "Flat Out Wrong"

Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson has denounced the moral teachings of Roman Catholics, Mormons, and Southern Baptists as "flat out wrong." Hear the whole thing and read the great commmentary from Deacon Greg Kandra at The Deacon's Bench.

Top 10 Myths about the Middle Ages

Here's a great post about the top ten myths about the Middle Ages.

Heaven and Hell

I received this in an email and thought it was fairly humorous as well as being true.


While walking down the street one day a Corrupt Senator was tragically hit by a car and died.

His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is
a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the Senator.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from the higher ups. What we'll do is have
you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend

"Really?, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven," says the Senator.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules."

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down,
down to hell.

The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In
the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and
other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his
hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense
of the people. They played a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and the finest

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who is having a
good time dancing and telling jokes.

They are all having such a good time that before the Senator realizes it, it
is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises...

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens in heaven where St. Peter is
waiting for him, "Now it's time to visit heaven.."

So, 24 hours passed with the Senator joining a group of contented souls moving
from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before
he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

"Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your

The Senator reflects for a minute, then he answers: "Well, I would never have
said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better
off in hell."

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell..

Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered
with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the
trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above.

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulders.

"I don't understand," stammers the Senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was
a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and
danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my
friends look miserable. What happened?"

The devil smiles at him and says,
"Yesterday we were campaigning, Today, you voted.."

Vote wisely on November 2, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Father Barron on the Depressing Pew Forum Survey

Vatican Office In Charge of the Internet Doesn't Have an Internet Connection!

I wish that this were a joke, but apparently the Vatican Office in charge of evangelizing on the internet doesn't have an internet connection! Well, they say it take the Church a long time to change. Read the full story here.

Oklahoma Turnpike Authority is Insensitive and Anti-American!

From the mindless bureacracy department, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority has refused a request to exempt the funeral procession of a solidier killed defending our country in Afghanistan from highway tolls. Read the full story from the blog Blackfive.

Shame! Maybe we should let the Taliban take over Oklahoma. They can probably provide better government!

Stephen Colbert Loves His Church

Apparently, comedian Stephen Colbert is fairly devout in his personal life. Read the full story from The Deacon's Bench.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Last Rites: The End of the Church of England

From the first time I ever visited an Episcopal Church while still a Baptist, I have had a great affection for all things Anglican. Even though I have now moved on to the fullness of the Church Christ founded, I still love the Anglicans. There is something really attractive in the idea of the via media, that is, in combining the best of Catholicism and the best of Protestantism. This ideal has never been achieved and can never be achieved outside of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The brutal truth is that the Protestant Church of England has pretty much been a disaster ever since the day Henry VIII broke from Rome.

My fascination with all things Anglican led me to read Last Rites: The End of the Church of England (2006) by Michael Hampson. Last Rites is an interesting book and Hampstead is an interesting character.

Hampson, who is an openly gay man and former clergyman in the Church of England, details his conversion experience during the "charismatic revival" of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The events he recounts, like prayer services where people spoke in tounges, heard "words of prophecy," and were "slain in the spirit," mirror many of my own experiences being involved with a group of charismatic Episcopalians.

When trying to pick a seminary or "theological college" to attend, Hampson recounts that each of the theological colleges in England have a different theological bent, Evangelical, Anglo-Catholic, or in between. After ordination, he recounts what it is like to be a minister in the "C of E." Since the Church of England is a state church, any member of the public has the legal rite to have their children baptised, get married, or have a funeral performed, whether or not they have ever attended Church or not. Hampson recalls how much of a parochial vicars' time is taken up performing weddings and funerals for people that the minister has never seen before, to the neglect of those who attend church regularly. Another problem is the use and upkeep of ancient buildings.

The big chip on Hampson's shoulder is the "don't ask, don't tell" policy which the "C of E" had with regard to homosexuality. There was a written policy which basically said that if the Anglican priest kept his or her lifestyle a secret, the Bishop wouldn't ask and everybody would pretend it didn't exist. In other words, homosexuality was the 10,000 pound pink gorilla in the room that everybody was pretending didn't exist.

Hampson ran into trouble when a local fundamentalist or "open church" minister confronted him about his homosexuality. Hampson had already been selected as the rector of a retreat center until the bishop revoked the offer based on his lifestyle. Hampson recounts how he and his partner had maintained the pretence for years that his boyfriend was just "a friend from college days" and that they were just room mates. Feeling betrayed, Hampson ultimately left the ministry.

Michael Hampson

Bitter over his experience, Hampson writes a scathing attack on the Evangelical wing of the Church of England. Even though he came out of charismatic evangelicalism, Hampson is now promoting a liberal theology of the "I'm OK, You're OK, God's OK" kind, which is not likely to convert anybody or lead anybody to too much religious fervor.

Hampson thinks that the C of E is a failed institution which will soon sink under the weight of its own bureaucracy and theological in-fighting. He is in favor of dis-establishment of the Church as an arm of the government.

Although I do not agree with a lot what Hampson writes with regard to his beliefs and his lifestyle, Last Rites is a fascinating read for all of the Anglophiles out there.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Abortion Mentality: Kill Your Sick Baby.

A British pundit remarks that "any mother" would kill her child to keep him or her from suffering. (Notice the shock on the Anglican Minister's face).

Fired for his Faith?

The Deacon's Bench reports that a highly rated Virginia TV weatherman may have been fired due to his off hours preaching as a Christian evangelist.

Our Lady of the Rosary

Today, October 7, the Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Under the name of Our Lady of Victories, Pope Pius V instituted the annual feast to celebrate the victory of Don Juan of Austria and Christian forces over the invading Turks at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

Pope Pius V with the victorious flags of the Battle of Lepanto in the background.

Pope Gregory XII changed the name of the feast to OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY.

Pope John Paul II praying the Holy Rosary

"It could be said that each mystery of the rosary, carefully meditated, sheds light on the mystery of man. "Cast your burden on the Lord and he will sustain you." Psalm 55:23. To pray the rosary is to hand over our burdens to the merciful heart of Christ and his Mother. The rosary does indeed 'mark the rythm of human life' bringing it into harmony with the 'rhythm' of God's own life, in the joyful communion of the Holy Trinity, our life's destiny and deepest longing. Through the rosary the faithful receive abundant grace, as though from the very hands of the Mother of the Redeemer."

PRAYER: God, fill us with Your Grace. We know the Incarnation of Your Son by the message of an Angel. Through the intercession of Mary may we obtain the glory of resurrection through Christ's Passion and Cross. Amen.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Turning Religion Into a Toy

Father Robert Barron on the danger of turning religion into a toy.

The Seven Hampsters of the Apocalypse

The American Catholic has a great series of posts about why the Modern World is going to hell. As an old fogey myself, I can't help but chuckle. I, too, remember the world without the internet, cell phones, tatooed and pierced young girls, and every other word being the "f-bomb." Here are the posts so far in the series: (1) The Tatooed Vermin; (2) The Pierced Vermin; (3) The F-Bomb Vermin; and (4) The Texting Vermin.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Eclectic Reader

The Bad Catholic reviews Evelyn Waugh's comic masterpiece Decline and Fall. Read it at The Eclectic Reader.

What Happened to the Music?

Along the same lines as the question "What happened to Church Architecture?" is the question "What happened to Church Music?" in the decades following the Second Vatican Council. Here's a review of a new book on the subject.

Ugly As Sin

Anyone who has been Catholic for any length of time has been in one. It looks like a shopping mall or a school or an office building. On the inside, you pass something called a baptistry that resembles a hot tub. The altar has been dragged to the center of the Church, often there are chairs in a circle with no kneelers, and who knows where they have put Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. There are no statues of the Blessed Mother or the Saints and if there is a crucifix at all it’s either going to be a bare “plus sign” or a modern art monstrosity. Who in the world thought that this would be a good design for a Catholic Church, which alone of all buildings in the world, is the home to the Sacramental Presence of Christ?

This is the question which Michael Rose addresses in his 2001 book Ugly As Sin: Why They Changed Our Churches from Sacred Places to Meeting Spaces and How We Can Change Them Back Again . Rose is a trained architect and is the author of Goodbye Good Men, a book which should be read by every American Catholic.

In Ugly As Sin, Rose first takes us through the purpose of Church architecture and how the traditionally designed Catholic Church leads the mind and heart of the worshiper to God. Rose follows a pilgrim through a classic Catholic Church and explains how each element of the architecture creates an atmosphere of prayer. Then, in what I found to be a great work of satire as well as a serious discussion, Rose takes the same Pilgrim on a visit to a Church built in accordance with the 1978 document “Environment and Art in Catholic Worship” or EACW issued by the U.S. Bishop’s Committee on Liturgy. Rose quotes Notre Dame professor Duncan Stroik who said that EACW was “a document of architectural reductionism that reflects a liturgical reductionism. It’s fearful of symbols, complexity, history, art, and even architecture.”

Rose details how EACW was the primary culprit behind the virtual destruction of the interior of a number of pre-Vatican II churches, with high altars and priceless works of art being ripped out and discarded. EACW is a toned down version of a 1973 book by Lutheran architect Edward Sovik called Architecture for Worship. Sovik’s motivation was to deconstruct Church buildings so that there would be no Church building, just a “multi-purpose meeting space.” Sovik did not believe in the Sacramental Presence of Christ in the Church, and did not believe that consecrated Church buildings should be special from other buildings. Rose’s summary of Sovik is as follows: “ . . . here was a Protestant architect with a decidedly Protestant viewpoint advocating the reform of Catholic church architecture to conform with Protestant theology and ecclesiology.”

Rose sets forth how bad church architecture breeds bad theology: “Our pilgrim is neither awed nor humbled here in the worship space of the people. He can sense, too, that no one else is awed or humbled. The casualness in dress and demeanor at the modern church is striking, surely a result of the casualness and informality of the modern church itself.”

Fortunately, Rose recounts that old churches are now being restored and new churches are being built to look and feel like churches. At last, perhaps the smoke of Satan is being driven out of the Sanctuary of God.