Saturday, April 05, 2014

Here's a thought: Sr. Jane Dominic, O. P. and the role of women in the Church.

In Sister's case, the O. P. could maybe stand for "Oh Please!"

The role of women in the Church.  We hear all the talk about giving women a greater role - beyond the traditional service roles they already have.
Pope Francis: "Women must have a greater presence in the decision-making areas of the church," he said.  
Hear, hear the episcopate says.  Yet in the case of Sr. Jane Dominic, is there no one to defend her?  What about her role as a woman religious in the Church?  As a teacher?

Where are the priests and bishops who either defend - or condemn - the Nuns on the Bus and the LWCR and its affiliates?  Where are the "bravas" for this woman?

Just sayin'.

"Recovering" Alcoholics Around the World Protest Queen Elizabeth's Gift to Pope Francis.

Photograph: Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA

The Queen and Pope Francis look on as the Duke of Edinburgh points out a fine bottle of Balmoral whisky in the discount gift basket they presented to the Holy Father. - Story here.
Developing - Alcoholics react:

"Untold numbers of Catholic and Anglican 'recovering' alcoholics have returned to the drink!" claimed longtime AA sponsor KF.  "In my home, there was outrage, embarrassment, sadness, disbelief, and further reason for my 16-year-old to move as far away from her religion as possible and as soon as she can." - CNA


Friday, April 04, 2014

Sr. Jane Dominic "... at her request, is preparing to begin a sabbatical from teaching at Aquinas College."

"The Apostolic Delegate of the province telephoned to Mother Mathilde to inform her that one of her nuns had apparently gone out of the mold and was being named by name in public places.
"Your only fault, Sister," she said softly, "was in failing to tell me about this in advance... earlier, when our Delegate telephoned me to ask me why one of my nuns sought to singularize herself, I had no answer."" - The Nun's Story
I'm not saying that's what happened to Sr. Jane Dominic, and I doubt religious life operates like that any longer, but the announcement that Sister is taking a sabbatical from teaching and cancelling her other speaking engagements, certainly reminded me of The Nun's Story.

The latest news:

In an April 4 statement, the president of Aquinas College defended the school's curriculum and Sister Jane's credentials as a theologian, but acknowledged that the portion of Sister Jane's presentation of social science data about the alleged causes of same-sex attraction – which prompted many of the concerns from parents and students – was outside the scope of her academic background. 
Sister Mary Sarah Galbraith's statement reads, in full:
"The events around the recent talk by Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, O.P. in Charlotte, NC have produced a great deal of speculation from many sides. Among the commentators, there are few who were actually present to hear the talk, which was not recorded.
"It is the firm belief of Aquinas College that all men and women are created in God's image and likeness and are made with a capacity to love and be loved. The College supports the Catholic Church's teachings which are open to the diverse needs and desires of all, which must be considered in light of eternal truths.
"We support and affirm that every man and woman, regardless of his or her state in life, deserve respect, and that the health of any culture is gauged according to the capacity of its members to uphold their own beliefs while respecting the beliefs of others. The College's patron, St. Thomas Aquinas, was known for his ability to thoughtfully consider all things and retain what is true, regardless of the source of that truth.
"We believe it is our privilege to bring the best aspects of our faith tradition to bear on the moral and cultural questions of the present age. In her presentation, Sister Jane Dominic spoke clearly on matters of faith and morals. Her deviation into realms of sociology and anthropology was beyond the scope of her expertise. Sister is a trained theologian from a Pontifical University and has the credentials to contribute to scholarly bodies of work. This she has done in the past with distinction. The unfortunate events at Charlotte Catholic High School are not representative of the quality of Sister's academic contributions or the positive influence that she has had on her students. The students at Charlotte Catholic were unprepared, as were their parents, for the topic that Sister was asked to deliver. The consequence was a complete misrepresentation of the school's intention to bring a message that would enlighten and bring freedom and peace.
"There are no words that are able to reverse the harm that has been caused by these comments. The community of Aquinas College is saddened by this extreme outcome and wishes to reiterate that this is not something the College condones or desires to create. There is division where there should be unity. The events and discussions that have transpired over the last two weeks reflect that there is something in this that surpasses an ordinary high school assembly.
"Sister Jane Dominic has cancelled her speaking engagements and, at her request, is preparing to begin a sabbatical from teaching at Aquinas College. It is our sincere hope that the community of Charlotte Catholic High School will soon begin a process of healing and renewal, and that all who have been affected by this event will be drawn into profound reconciliation as we approach this great season that commemorates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ." - Catholic News Herald

Prayers for Sr. Jane Dominic. 

Ten Thousand Feet of Snow in Minneapolis This Morning

I just got in after removing everything.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Last night there was a meeting in Charlotte about Sr. Jane Dominic's lecture.

According to reports, there was drama, a lot of drama.

School leaders asked parents to engage in a respectful dialogue, and a statement was read aloud from Bishop Peter Jugis, who was unable to attend because he was presiding at a church dedication in Hayesville. Bishop Jugis prayed there would “be a friendly and respectful conversation among Catholic brothers and sisters, united in the one faith and in the love of Almighty God.”
But many parents’ emotions boiled over, with arguments even carrying over into the school’s parking lot when the meeting ended after two hours. Two observers called the meeting’s climate “disrespectful” and “hate-filled.”
“There was a lot of passion from two different viewpoints,” David Hains, diocesan director of communication and moderator for the parents meeting, said afterwards. - h/t Deacon's Bench

Sr. Jane Dominic won't be going back.  Her superiors determined a return engagement wouldn't be fruitful.

Recycled news.

There are so many people discussing this situation with so many opinions floating about, and understandably so, since the problem involves parents who send their kids to Catholic school - most of whom (hopefully) expect a solid education in Catholic faith and morals.  I believe this situation could happen anywhere in the country.  Over the past year or so, as same sex marriage is legalized around the country, Catholic students have protested when a teacher or principal resigns or is terminated after it is revealed they are in a same sex relationship, or happens to be a lesbian with child.

Obviously Sr. Jane Dominic was presenting solid Catholic teaching in the body of her speech.  For the sake of relevance, and perhaps to illustrate the consequences of sinful behavior, Sister relied on statistics to punctuate her talk.  That's what I understand at least.  I get that.  I totally understand why someone would use stats in an educational setting.

The problem is, statistics are always disputed and found wanting by anyone opposed to what is being said.  Stats on homosexuality and homosexual relationships are nearly militantly opposed and rejected by gay activists.  I do not even know how some of the claims, such as 28% of gay men have 500 to 1000 partners comes from.  How can that be?  I don't know.  I know the dark side of homosexual life, I know the sexual addiction aspect of the sub-culture.  Is it still like that?  Not if you read "gay-Christian/gay-Catholic" sites.  Besides, younger people don't believe it.  Young people are of an invincible mindset - "bad stuff just doesn't happen to me."  Likewise - if it is that dangerous, it's got to be fun.

The other fact of life is that media works to prove that gay is not bad.  TV, movies, entertainment and celebrities demonstrate that.  Will and Grace, Modern Family, and most recently HBO's Looking. The series is criticized by older gay critics as boring - but I think that's the plan.
Looking star Russell Tovey recently told Digital Spy that he believes the show provides "a fresh eye" on the gay community.  "This is showing a section of the community where there isn't any crisis in the fact that they're gay and it isn't the all-defining personality trait of each of the characters," said Tovey, who plays Kevin.  "It just happens to be that they are gay and this is their lives and this what they are doing - they are living. They've got over all their s**t and they're just being." - Source
Perception is tactically important.  To remove the notion of sin is critical.  It begins in childhood, at home, among peers, at play, in day care, pre-school - parked in front of the television.  It wasn't just the students, but the parents who were upset with what Sr. Jane Dominic had to say and how she said it.  I read that most said they could accept a simple repetition of what the Catechism says about marriage and sexuality - but that's it.   The implication being that no bias, no statistics, no anecdotal evidence of the consequences of sin was needed or wanted.

So where did Sr. Jane Dominic get her stats?

I'm not sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if she is aware of the research of NARTH - National Association of Research and Therapy for Homosexuality, or at least serious studies similar to those of NARTH.  If that was the case - no wonder Sr. Jane Dominic was blown out of the water. Anything associated with such research-studies is always rejected by the gay is good lobby.  The Spiritual Friendship/Sexual Authenticity group and gay-Christian groups like them, reject the POV that homosexuality is not fixed and change is possible.  In fact, all pro-gay groups pretty much reject that notion, as well as research helping people understand the origins or development of same sex attraction in individuals.

Hence the censorship of the type we see at work in the reaction to Sr. Jane Dominic's presentation, as well as what can or should be taught in Catholic schools.  Obviously it is important to the parents that students not be taught such things because it is deemed 'divissive' and 'offensive' to students who may be questioning their own sexual orientation, or whose parents or some other relative is gay, a single parent, and so on.  Perhaps - in other words - don't disturb their peace at home.

I blame the parents.

I love saying that - but I blame Catholic education too.  I'll bet most of these parents went to Catholic schools themselves - and probably Catholic colleges.  These parents are as influenced by media and culture just as much as their kids.  They have most likely accepted cultural standards such as divorce and contraception, choice, and now - gay is normal.  I'm generalizing of course - but I think that's the scenario.

The new evangelization.

What to do?  Blaming people doesn't work any better than offering statistics about the natural consequences of particular sins and disorders.  Neither does bullying or condemning have a place in evangelization.  Some people online - even priests - demean and mock those who present arguments against Sr. Jane Dominic.  They belittle them and revert to high school level name calling and criticism.  That is not defending the faith or offering appropriate catechesis.

The situation encountered in Charlotte seems to me to be proof that the new evangelization must take place in our parishes and schools and neighborhoods, first and foremost.  It calls for faith, love and devotion, as well as respect for persons, no matter their age.  There is no place for name calling or intimidation - or blaming the victim.

If a priest, a nun, a lay catechist or teacher, even an ordinary lay person feels put upon as a Catholic - that is part of our vocation.  That is what the slap on the face meant at Confirmation - at least when I was confirmed.

The Bishops at the Border

I love this photo - reminds me of Mass in a cloister.

Song for this post here.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Something big is coming.

I'm not kidding.

I'm not.

I saw a meteor last night!

Look at this photo I found online - the thing I saw was just like that.

I just went to bed after watching Jimmy Kimmel's Aunt Chippy getting fooled by his cousin Sal in a fake interview at her home for April Fool's day.  "Oh that Jimmy!" I thought as I laid me down to sleep.  Just then I looked out my window and I saw the fireball - a green fireball.  I jumped out of bed only to see it disappear beyond the tree tops.  I wondered if it could be a firework - but it came in at a slightly sharper angle than what is shown in the photo.  It must have been a speck since the ball and tail was as small as what is shown in the photo.  I did not hear a sound - no fireworks sounds at all - no bang.

I'm serious.  I saw it.

I wondered if it was a sign?  Part of the secret(s)?  The earthquakes - all the earthquakes.  The lights people see before earthquakes...

Watch out Los Angeles.  It's coming San Francisco.

Sorry - it's the blogs - the Catholic blogs that make me talk like that.

You'll get yours!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

"Noah" - Deleted Scenes

Caution: Nudity

Rock people discover Noah's plans for the ark.

Noah's other son,  Clamie Mae.

How they saved Toonces trapped in his cage.

Tried to surf onto the ark.

Shelley Winters deserved an Oscar.

They said they'd wait for the bus.

View "Noah" uncut here.

He Did It! LarryD finally signed with Patheos!

I told you he would pull something like this.  Sr. Patricia will continue blogging at Ax the Apostate though.  Go spike her stats here.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Something to think about.

'A grumbler is not a Christian. Anyone who gives evil for evil is not a Christian. An irritable man is not a Christian.' - Poeman

Art: Banksy’s street art.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Art for Sunday

I found a wonderful painter, miniaturist, iconographer, illustrator while searching for something else.

Her name is Elena Stefarova - her work is beautiful.

"A garden enclosed, a fountain sealed." -Songs

Thanksgiving after Communion.

Healing man born blind - Vasily Surikov
The man born blind answered, "I do believe Lord!"
-and he worshipped him.

If you desire to enter into the prayer of recollection, never neglect the quiet prayer of thanksgiving after Holy Communion.  Think of yourself as the woman at the well, or the blind man in today's Gospel.  Christ is right there, within you, and he says:  "You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he." - John 9

Do not ignore him within you - do not leave him alone.