Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Second Coming

There's more than one way to make a buck in this world...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Another gem of G.K. Chesterton.

Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.

This is taken from his book, Orthodoxy, which I highly recommend.

Monday, September 24, 2007


At the prompting of Jenny Mahler, I've decided to post some revised lyrics to various Catholic ditties. These are all borrowed from the Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas, or SMMMHDH for short.

I am proud to be an honorary member of this group (my name appears in the roster list) but due to the high volume of applicants, there's been a "moratorium on the moratorium."

Anyway, here are a few of my favorites:

Gather Us In

Here in this place, our comfortable parish,
All of the statues carried away,
See in each face a vacuous visage,
Brought here by guilt or by R.C.I.A.

Gather us in, by Bimmer or Hummer,
Gather us in, so we can feel good,
Come to us now in this barren Zen temple,
With only a shrub and an altar of wood.

We are the young, our morals a mystery,
We are the old, who couldn't care less,
We have been warned throughout all of history,
But we enjoy this liturgical mess.

Gather us in, our radical pastor,
Gather us in, our unveiled nun,
Call to us now, with guitars and bongos,
Hang up your cellphones and join in the fun!

Here we will take some wine and some water,
Whether it changes, we really don't care.
But when the Sign of Peace comes, our pastor,
Jumps from the altar and hugs like a bear.

Gather us in, the privileged and snobby,
Gather us in, the liberal elite,
Help us to form our personal Credo,
Give us a choice between white bread and wheat.

A Ditty to God (after Dan Schutte's The City of God)

Awake from your slumber, arise from your sleep;
The homily's over, it wasn't too deep.
He spoke of a 'journey', well, what else does he say?
We're all part of a 'story' as we go on our way.

So let's sing a ditty to God,
It's a way we can all be together.
And we'll be the City of God
If we tell his story once more.

We're all part of a journey, to 'I-don't-know-where',
But that isn't important, so long as we're here.
Be part of the story of me and of you,
And don't worry asking if the story is true.

No, just sing a ditty to God,
It's a way we can all be together.
It would be a pity for God
If we told his story no more.

So come if you're ready, the meek and the smug,
For God is a Teddy, he'll give you a hug.
And take consolation, till next time we meet,
As you go on your journey, God's in the back seat.

So just sing a ditty to God,
It's a way we can all be together.
It would be a pity for God
If we told his story no more.

Gather Us In

Gather us in, the disheartened faithful,
force fed a watered-down liturgy.
Gone are the hymns that point us toward heaven
- courtesy of the OCP.

If I had pow'rs of telecombustion,
the songbook I hold would burst into flame.
Judging by those around me - not singing,
everyone else here feels just the same.


I envy the deaf who can't hear this music;
I envy the mute who don't have to sing.
I might "sing a new church into being"
if I knew just what the hell that means.


If I must hear this music much longer
I fear that I will surely puke.
Two-thousand years of church music history,
flushed down the john by Haas, Haugen, and Schutte.


Sunday, September 23, 2007


Will someone puh-LEASE get me tickets??

Gerald spreads the word:
The St. Louis Jesuits, considered by many to be the fathers of contemporary American liturgical music...will hold a reunion concert Oct. 19 at St. Joseph Church, 732 18th Ave. E. [Seattle, WA].

The concert, which starts at 8 p.m., will benefit the Ignatian Spirituality Center in Seattle. Tickets are $40 general admission, $125 for patron tickets, which include a pre-concert reception and prime seating. For more information, call (206) 329-4824 or visit the website.

Composers of popular liturgical songs including “Be Not Afraid,” “Here I Am, Lord,” “One Bread, One Body,” “Sing to the Mountains,” “Lift Up Your Hearts,” and “Let Us Build the City of God,” the five men -- Tim Manion, Dan Schutte and Jesuit Fathers Bob Dufford, John Foley and Roc O’Connor – were seminarians at St. Louis University when they came together and began composing. They are credited with combining songs based on Scripture with American culture following the Second Vatican Council.

They are also credited with lacing ditties with heresy, and trading in the Pange Lingua for If God Is For Us.

Oh, and did I mention Dan Schutte used to be Fr. Schutte, but has since left the priesthood and now lives in San Francisco with his partner Mike Gale?

Now there's a pious thought for next Sunday when you've got your OCP Music Issue open to Glory and Praise to Our God. Sing-a-long now! We want full and active participation.

Didn't want to smile

You probably saw this cartoon a couple of weeks ago when I originally posted it.

Well it appears someone didn't care for it. And that's fine...I appreciate all the comments I get on my blog -- positive or negative. But I also appreciate the fact that I can always respond with another post, which is what I'm doing now.

Here's what Anonymous said in the comments section:

The cartoon with the husband handing the gun to his wife is supposed to be funny? Only a misogynist would think so.

And here's my response:

Easy there tiger.

Don't like the cartoon? Then don't laugh.

That seems to be the prevailing method of argumentation we get from the Left, anyway...right? (c.f., the promotion of gay marriage and abortion)

Besides, if masculinity can be routinely strung-up, mocked and whipped by the Hollywood elites, then applauded by feebleminded Americans willing to pay for and religiously watch their appalling sitcoms, then I can certainly post a funny cartoon that neither my friend Angie (link above) nor my wife find offensive in the least.

Now go read a good Ann Coulter book...and start enjoying truly amusing cartoons instead of politicizing them.

Think of all the male characters in the sitcoms on TV today. Are these men intelligent, thoughtful, honest and inspiring? Or are they portrayed as clumsy, immature, arrogant and lazy?

And we wonder why the American family is in collapse. We wonder why your chances of divorce have never been better. We wonder why 40% of kids are born out of wedlock. We wonder why 4,000 women sought abortion today. And why 4,000 more will seek it tomorrow.

And now you know why we don't have television.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Cows, the Constitution, and the Ten Commandments

I only wish I had come up with this:

1. Cows
2. The Constitution
3. The Ten Commandments

COWS: Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that our government can track a single cow born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she sleeps in the state of Washington? And, they tracked her calves right to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.

THE CONSTITUTION: They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it anymore.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS: The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse is this: You cannot post "Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery", and "Thou Shall Not Lie" in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment.

Values Voting

Question: What does it say about a presidential candidate's moral character if he fails to show up at an in-house debate on "family values"?

September 19, 2007 ( -The four top Republican presidential candidates skipped Monday's "Values Voter" debate, leaving the forum to several second-tier candidates who lag at single digit levels of poll support.

The debate, which was held at the Broward Center for Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, intended to stimulate debate over religious and moral issues, including those pertaining to human life and family.

Rudolph Giuliani, who shares front runner status with Fred Thompson, claimed he had not been present at the debate because he "didn't know about it", although he was in the Fort Lauderdale area during the debate, and was contradicting a previous statement by his campaign that his schedule wouldn't permit it.
Debate organizers left four empty lecterns to represent the four top candidates who failed to attend the debate: Rudolph Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Fred Thompson. All four have a history of varying levels of inconsistency on human life issues.

The participants included pro-life candidates Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback, Ron Paul, Alan Keyes, Tom Tancredo, and Duncan Hunter. Keyes entered the race very recently, complaining that fundamental values were not being adequately represented
At the conclusion of the debate, Mike Huckabee won the "value voters" straw poll, provoking the New York Times to speculate "whether Christian conservative leaders and voters might be able to coalesce around him as a longshot candidate and propel him to the first tier in the Republican race." Notably, Mitt Romney, who has made a strong pitch to "value voters" in the past, received no votes, the lowest count in the poll.

Worst moment

Take a minute or two and think of some of the worst -- some of the lowest moments in your life.

...Have a few in mind?

Now read about Ellen's:

TORONTO, September 19, 2007 ( - Academy Award winning actress Ellen Burstyn known for her roles in 'Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore' and 'The Exorcist' was interviewed by CFRB radio in Toronto while she was in town promoting her new book - Lessons in Becoming Myself.

CFRB spoke at length about the long and eventful career of the highly acclaimed 74-year-old actress after which the interviewer asked Burstyn "what was the lowest moment" of her life.

After a pause during which the interviewer prompted with her single motherhood, struggles with her son and more, Burstyn said, "You know, I guess, I hate to talk about this on the air, but having an abortion."

Burstyn continued, "You know that was really an extremely painful experience."

"Did you feel you didn't have a choice?," asked the interviewer. "At the time I was just young and dumb, I didn't really want to have a baby then," she replied.

"It was the wrong thing to do and I really didn't understand that till later," said the actress.

"That was very very painful, that was probably the worst."

Having lived for seventy-four years, procuring an abortion was the single worst experience of her life.

How many other 'constitutional rights' can you list which, when exercised, have a good chance of turning out to be your greatest regret?

Small chance

Check out this 57 second video.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Sorry, I had to put this up. :)

H/T: Jonathan Smith

Saturday, September 15, 2007


I have always been intrigued by religious belief of all kinds. As a practicing Roman Catholic I find all other faiths incomplete or deficient, of course, but no less intriguing.

Recently I've had the opportunity to discuss and debate various points of theology and belief with a handful of Latter-Day Saints. In particular, I've had the pleasure of a very thorough (and on-going) discussion with a new friend, Nathaniel. His background in philosophy, logic and math make for a challenging debate, and he certainly keeps me on my toes.

But I've managed to pick up another discussion with a Mormon named Crystal over in the Facebook group called "LDS and RCC Dialogue." You can read all of it here if you like (free membership required).

I'd like to just post two of my comments here, on Ab Opposito, for your own reading -- and hopefully for your benefit, should you find yourself in a discussion of your own with a well-intentioned Mormon Missionary.

Post #1.

The Great Apostasy. This is the crux of our discussion/debate.

Both of our churches hang in the balance. Whether or not there was a Great Apostasy determines whether or not the Catholic Church is right. Clearly, Mormons believe there was a total apostasy some time shortly after Christ's death until God restored his church through Joseph Smith in 1820.

My hope is that in this thread we can discuss reasons to believe or disbelieve in the Great Apostasy.

For starters, I submit this reason to reject the notion of a great apostasy:

Mormonism stands or falls on the premise that Christ was a failure, that his attempts at building a Church flopped. But in Luke 14:28-30 (KJV) Our Lord tells us,

"For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish."

What are we to make of this, but that Christ was a wonderful teacher -- that he had excellent advice to offer -- yet in the end, lacked the ability to take his own advice.

For after laying the foundation of his Church (his apostles), the LDS Church explains that Our Lord was unable to finish it, and the Church immediately devolved into apostasy for eighteen centuries.

"This man (Jesus Christ) began to build, and was not able to finish."

Your thoughts?

Post #2

"My point is that there's no way to documentally prove whether or not there was a Great Apostasy." -Crystal

Crystal, thanks for your patience...But if there's no way to document the Great Apostasy, then I'm afraid there is little to convince me of Mormonism. The Great Apostasy is reduced to merely an assertion on your Church's part.

I could just as well say to you, Crystal, I want you to join my Church -- let's call it the Vadis Church [note to Ab Opposito readers: my screen name on Facebook is Quo Vadis] -- because sometime in the 12th century there was a 'Grand Apostasy' and the Church that Christ had originally established collapsed. Unfortunately, you're just going to have to take my word for it that this collapse did, in fact, take place because there's no way to documentally prove whether or not there ever was a Grand Apostasy in the 12th century.

But it happened...just believe me.

Do you see where this leaves us, Crystal? If there is no evidence of the Great Apostasy, then I'm going to have to take *that* as evidence that there *never was* a Great Apostasy.

As John Robinson once wrote (about something entirely different), "The silence significant as the silence for Sherlock Holmes of the dog that did not bark."

Faith (religion) and reason (science) ought to be complimentary, not contradictory. And scientists tend to be ruthlessly self-critical, rejecting hypotheses that fail to stand up to tests to which they have been subjected. The problem I see with the LDS Church is that it persists in holding to this hypothesis of the Great Apostasy in favor of which solid and satisfactory evidence has never been adduced.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Permission for Latin Mass is a thing of the past

Today is September 14th.

That means the long-awaited Motu Proprio issued in July by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has taken effect. fills us in:

Cardinal Dario Castrillon-Hoyos-- the president of the Ecclesia Dei commission, which supervises Vatican outreach to traditionalist Catholics-- says that "from this point, priests can decide to celebrate the Mass using the old rite, without permission from the Holy See or the bishop."

In an interview with Vatican Radio on September 13, broadcast just before the motu proprio officially took effect, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos explained that Pope Benedict's motu proprio affirms the right of any priest to use the "extraordinary form" of the Latin liturgy. "It is, therefore, unnecessary to ask for any other permission," he said.

Music to this Catholic's ears.

To my knowledge, Holy Family Parish in Seattle is the only church offering a TLM in this diocese starting today. Does anyone know of any others?

Bishop Giovanni Han Dingxian

Here's a thought for my Catholic readers:

If you lived in the People's Republic of China, would you be a practicing Roman Catholic?

In China, you'll remember, Catholicism is outlawed. Oh sure, you can be a member of the Patriotic Church which is as much a government institution as it is a religion. And the relations between the Patriotic Church and the Vatican seem to be improving.

But my question is whether you would be a member of the Underground Church, persecuted by the state. All worship would have to be done in secret and in constant fear of being discovered. And supposing you were's anybody's guess.

To give you an idea, there's news that the Underground bishop of Yongnian, Msgr. Giovanni Han Dingxian passed away on Sunday. No one is quite sure how His Excellency died, for he died where he's spent roughly half of his life: in prison. But the curious thing is that within hours of his death (sometime around 3 A.M. or 4 A.M.), authorities had the body cremated and buried.

Unsympathetic and heartless to family and friends -- no question. But strange too.

Perhaps events of the past can help shed some light on this bizarre behavior of the Chinese government.

Ah yes, here we go:

Years before, in April ’92, there was the case of Msgr. Giuseppe Fan Xueyan, Underground bishop of Baoding, who died in prison. His body was dumped on the doorstep of his home, wrapped in a plastic bag, with signs of torture on his neck (perhaps the mark of a wire string used to choke him) and bruises on his chest and face.

Another case remembered by the Catholics is that of Msgr. Liu Difen, Underground bishop of Anguo (Hebei), who also died in ’92, after a period spent in prison. The police had warned his relatives to visit him in hospital because he was “gravely ill”. Immediately after the visit the bishop died. His body was handed back to his family and as they prepared him for burial they noticed that he had “holes in his back, the depth of a finger: a sign that he had been tortured”.

After spending 35 years of his life in prison, and being cremated within hours of his death, I think it's safe to assume Bishop Han Dingxian was a martyr who suffered a trifle more than torture by choking, bruising and drilling holes in his back.

Which brings me back to my question: If you lived in the People's Republic of China, would you be a practicing Roman Catholic?

Bishop Giovanni Han Dingxian, pray for us.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Good Ol' Rudy

The problem with Rudy's "two pillars" theory is that they contradict each other.

Does it make any sense to be personally opposed to slavery (Pillar #1) but believe that slavery should be a choice that somebody else gets to make (Pillar #2)?

Does it make any sense to be personally opposed to rape (Pillar #1) but believe that rape should be a choice that somebody else gets to make (Pillar #2)?

Then neither does it make any sense to be personally opposed to abortion (Pillar #1) but believe that abortion should be a choice that somebody else gets to make (Pillar #2).

If Rudy wins the primaries, Republicans can kiss this vote goodbye. For that matter, they can kiss the office of president goodbye as well. There can be no question, without the pro-life vote Republicans will lose in 2008. Any GOP strategist, or politician, who thinks otherwise is in for a rude awakening.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Clare Marie Herring

Just a cross-link with the family blog.

Will resume my running politico-religious commentary shortly.