Thursday, October 28, 2004

Kurt Schilling was just on the Today show being interviewed by Matt Lauer and Katie Couric. Matt Lauer opened the interview by saying something to the effect of, "In the interest of disclosure, Kurt, I must tell you that I'm an unhappy Yankee fan." Then Matt went on to quote some article saying that this 87 year quest for the World Series and the whole "Curse of the Babe" idea was what defined the Red Sox and that now they are just another team, a team that has mostly lost over the years, among the many." Schilling said something like, "Well, Matt, I'm not going respond to every broken-hearted Yankee fan in the press."

It would be nice, in the interest of disclosure, if Matt and Katie opened every interview with President Bush with the statement, "I must tell you, to start off, that I'm going to vote for John Kerry. Now, we have this AP story that claims United States soldiers helped the Iraqi terrorists loot the Al Qaqaa explosives. What say you?" Wouldn't it be great, then, if like Kurt Schilling, President Bush would say, "Well, Matt, I'm not going to respond to every Kerry supporter seeking to slander our soldiers in order to bring down my administration."

By the way, on Good Morning America, Kurt Schilling ended his interview with Charlie Gibson by saying, "Go Vote! Vote Bush!" Schilling was born in Alaska.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Catholics for a Free Choice, a group that believes the Pope should stay out of the abortion question, has filed an IRS complaint against the Denver Archdiocese:

"Archbishop Chaput, leader of the Archdiocese of Denver, has repeatedly engaged in voter instruction by explicitly urging Catholics to vote against candidates who support abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research. In fourteen of 28 of his columns in the archdiocese's weekly newspaper, Archbishop Chaput has repeatedly urged voters to reject candidates opposed to the organization's views. The archbishop has also attempted to influence voters during public speeches, interviews and on Friday, October 22, in an op-ed in the New York Times.

"Without mentioning anyone by name, the archdiocese has frequently equated a vote for certain candidates as sinful and even outright 'evil.'

I wonder why no complaints ever seem to be filed against those Southern Baptist churches when Bill Clinton or John Kerry or Jesse Jackson stand in the pulpit and do much more than Archbishop Chaput ever does. This is just the sort of action our priest said the bishops were worried about.

So what if the Catholic Church loses its IRS except status? Whoever said being Christian was cheap, or easy?

I heard Jesse Jackson preach from the pulpit a few weeks ago, saying, "Raise your hand if you or someone in your family is gay and plans to be married this year." Of couse no one raised their hand. "You see, this issue is a side issue, what is it doing in the center of our plate?" I wonder, since there are supposedly 55 abortions for every 100 live births in the African American community, how many women would have raised their hands (honestly) if the question was "Raise your hand if you or someone in your family has had an abortion or plans to have one." -- perhaps the abortion issue should be at the center of the plate.

Update: OK, here's some Republican payback.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Hail Mary, Full of Grace 

Hail Mary, Full of Grace

Our chapter in RCIA tonight is Chapter 10: The Communion of Saints and the Blessed Mother. I had always thought, as a Methodist, that the term "Immaculate Conception" was about the conception of Jesus in the womb of Mary. Instead, it turns out the Immaculate Conception is the conception of Mary. The Catholic Church teaches that the Virgin Mary was conceived without original sin. From the first moment of her existence, Mary was full of grace, free of any alienation from God. In 1950, Pope Piux XII finally proclaimed that Mary was taken up into heaven, body and soul, and was preserved from the decay of death (The Assumption).

Many people outside the Catholic faith believe that Catholics worship Mary and, to a lesser extent, the Saints. All through RCIA we have been taught we only worship God in his three aspects of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We do not worship Mary, nor do we worship the Saints. The Rosary prayer is taken from the Bible, Luke 1:28 (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee) and Luke 1:42 (Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus). And the end of the prayer is a request for intercession: "Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death."). Nowhere does the Rosary or the Catholic church worship Mary.

Some religions dislike the Catholic faith because of the statues of and the prayers to the Saints. Catholics believe that all Christians, living and dead (the communion of the saints), are brothers and sisters. I don't think most Christians would have a problem with praying for one of their family members or asking other family members to pray for them. Just like in the Rosary where Mary is asked to pray for us sinners, so, too, Catholics may ask any saint to pray for us, to interceed for us. I see prayer lists all over other Christian churches. If you ask your church to pray for you in a time of sickness or stress, does that mean you are worshiping the other members of your church? No. And neither do Catholics worship anyone other than God.

And, of course, some religions will dislike the Catholic faith because of beliefs held that are not in the Bible. The Bible never says what happened to the Virgin Mary. But there is much that happened before the crucifixion, after the crucifixion when Jesus returned to his people, and after the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven that was never written down in the Bible. John says so in John 21:25 ("And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written."). There was a long, spoken word tradition of Mary's Immaculate Conception and her Assumption. These were finally proclaimed official doctrine of the church in 1950, but the concepts are ancient and strong in the life of the church.

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