Archive for the ‘Roman Catholic’ Category

Coming at you in 3-D

March 24, 2010

Now if this doesn’t return the Catholic priesthood to its dignity and higher calling, I just don’t know what will.   Yes, that IS a Catholic priest in 3-D glasses “appealing” to young people with a faith message that’s more vivid than the usual boring ‘ol religious programming on CatholicTV (yes, the news writer actually used the word ‘vivid’ in an article to describe 3-D TV programming!).   Maybe I’ll be proven wrong, but I’m not convinced 3-D isn’t just in another one of its fad cycles.   All I can say is that if 3-D programming were suggested for Orthodox Church media, I’d be asking why my tithes were being wasted on the kind of gimmicky hocum that makes American religion such a laugh sometimes. 

(The only useful religious application I can see for 3-D technology is filming some poor, unwitting sinner getting ‘slain in the spirit’ by a TV evangelist and falling over on the floor – that should look good filmed in 3-D from a particular angle – kind of like a pine tree getting chopped down.)

Alberto Cutie Just Did It For Love

May 29, 2009

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And with one simple ceremony, Fr. Alberto Cutie is on his way to becoming – Fr. Alberto Cutie.  Roman Catholic, Episcopalian – ehhh, what does it matter, right?  They both believe in God, they both like wearing fancy clothes, they’re both sort of Catholic.  If you believe that, you’ll believe the dribble coming out of the mouth of  Bishop Leo Frade who poached accepted Cutie into the Episcopal Church (he’s the guy in the red & white pointy hat above):

…he traded his collar, his Roman Catholic collar for another different Catholic collar, which is the Anglican, the Episcopal collar.

What a load of crap!   So the philandering Father doesn’t have enough cojones to honor the vows of celibacy he made as a Roman Catholic priest.   Fine, then leave the priesthood honorably and laicize yourself.    Live quietly; live a period of repentance and reflection.   But no, you decide that the doctrines and beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church were as easy to drop as your pants, and you’re suddenly convicted in your heart to become an Episcopalian.   And not even an Episcopalian layman – an Episcopal priest for God’s sake.    Roman Catholic Archbishop John Favalora must have been fuming about this whole mess when he responded with a statement  saying

…(Cutie) has never told me that he was considering joining the Episcopal Church.  (The Episcopal Bishop) has never spoken to me about his position on this delicate matter or what actions he was contemplating. This truly is a serious setback for ecumenical relations and cooperation between us.

But Fr. Cutie just did it for the love of a good woman, right?  The overflowing love of a loving God?   His ecumenical love for his fellow human beings?  No, it was done for self-love, pure and simple.  It appears that Fr. Cutie is possessed by a  self-love that did not consider any other option than “having it all”.  As St. Maximus the Confessor says,

The origin of all the passions is self-love; their consummation is pride. Self-love is a mindless love for the body.  He who cuts this off cuts off at the same time all the passions that come from it.

Misty-eyed, Fr. Cutie said after his reception into the Episcopal Church, “More than ever, I’m assured that God is love.”  How many times has that phrase been uttered by people who use it to justify their actions.   And I bet love is what Fr. Cutie is going to be preaching from his new church pulpit – the watered down message that true love conquers all hardships; that God is love, blah, blah, blah, that any form or fashion of human love is acceptable and should be achieved at any cost.  This should be no problem in the U.S. Episcopal Church.

I doubt there will be many sermons coming out of the good Father’s mouth like St. John Climacus has given us:

However great the life we lead may be, we may count it stale and spurious, if we have not acquired a contrite heart.  For this is essential, truly essential if I may say so, that those who have again been defiled after baptism should cleanse the pitch from their hands with unceasing fire of the heart and with the oil of God.                                                           

Shame Isn’t a Dirty Word

May 26, 2009

Can I ask what has happened to the proper and venerable place of shame in modern culture?   Does no one even know what that is anymore, much less exhibit it in proper moderation?  I’d certainly have thought that if anyone knew the meaning of the word it would be Mel Gibson, but it looks like his big boy hormones have shut off the switch on his good ‘ol reservoir of  Catholic guilt.   

Appearing yesterday on The Tonight Show, his words and body language say (a) I’m the expectant father of an illegitimate child  (b) I’m happy and relaxed with that; and (c) I’m a  sinful package of contradictions and delusions. 

Ironic isn’t it? – that Mel should break the news about the fruit of his infidelity on the same night as America’s current reality TV train wreck, Jon and Kate Gosselin of  Jon and Kate Plus Eight fame.   Here’s a family that needs a little shame in their life too – a little shame and a dose of humility might be able to save them and their poor kids from the monster of reality TV. 

I’m certainly not saying that celebrities should be held to a higher standard of morality or that society should go to a Taliban extreme of enforcing virtue.  I’m saying that, by choice, these people have placed themselves in the public eye for monetary gain.   Children and teens are influenced by them in a way that vastly exceeds anything their parents hope to achieve.  But the perks of celebrity carry a  public responsibility to act in a decent, respectable manner.   You wanna drink your brains out, ditch your wife, and  knock up your girlfriend?  Fine, go right ahead; just don’t go on TV and declare your happiness to the whole world and expect lots of affirmation for your lack of self-restraint. 

Orthodox Internet Radio Ministries In the News

April 23, 2009

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It’s been my belief that the newly emerging Orthodox Internet radio ministries of Ancient Faith Radio  and Orthodox Christian Network  are one of the most dramatic and relevant forces for change, growth and unity in American Orthodoxy today.  Here’s a very nice piece by Amy Rogers  at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the phenomenon of Orthodox Internet media.  Poor Amy seems to have been knocked around a teeny bit  over her one sentence history of Orthodoxy when she boiled down the Great Schism to “Orthodoxy developed in Eastern Europe and Asia when Christianity split into Orthodoxy and Catholicism in 1054, primarily due to conflict over papal authority”.   Well, I’ll take exception to the characterization of the Orthodox Church “developing” only after the split.  I think we were pretty well formed in  AD 33 and only improved with age, but really, it’s nothing we all haven’t done trying to give the condensed version of Orthodoxy to an inquirer.  If we’re Orthodox, though, I think our take on it is that ‘the Roman Catholic Church split from us primarily over the issue of papal authority’.    Amy does what a good journalist should do – she tries to relay the story with a minimum of bias.   If she was writing about Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses, she couldn’t very well say “founded on false historical premises by nut jobs” or “not Christian despite their claims to the contrary”. 

Whoever left whom, that’s what makes a schism.  As a very devout Roman Catholic friend and former co-worker told me on more than one occasion, “You’re not a heretic, you’re just a schismatic”.   Woohooo!  I love being a schismatic.

Go listen to some good Orthodox Internet radio today.  And while you’re at it, if you feel it’s done you some good and you can help financially with their ministries, please think about making a donation.  For the good of the American Orthodox Church, these are resources we can’t afford to neglect.

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Telemarketing Confession with Soul Wow

April 13, 2009

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Does this kind of marketing  really work?  It seems kinda cheesy and pandering, but hey, it seems to have been a success for the Diocese of  Brooklyn, so more power to ’em.  The story has made all the news outlets, so strange must be a good marketing technique.

I’ll agree 100% that confession is good for what ails ya.   This past Saturday  I took my grouchy 9 year old to Vespers for Palm Sunday.  He needed to go for his Great Lent confession.  Well, he pulled one major attitude through the whole service – pouting and standing as far away from me as he could possibly get, even going out to sit on the front steps of the church in protest.    After suffering through Vespers he went to confession and was amazingly transformed into the same happy-go-lucky, reflective, sweet thing he mostly is.  On the way home he  tells me, “Mom, you know, I do feel better;  I feel really perky, like I’ve been reborn”.  

Son, that’s the power of the Holy Spirit!

Passion Play 2009

April 10, 2009

Photos as promised.   I apologize for the poor quality – the battery died on the camera just as I went to take the first photo.  My kids got a hold of it and wasted the battery on self-portraits of their butts and blurry, drive-by photos of scenery, and video of a burping contest.   Boys can be so gross sometimes.  Luckily I had my cell phone charged up.  The photos taken from my office aren’t the best either, but a co-worker shot those through the dirty windows 10 stories up and I’m lucky to have them.

The first 3 photos were taken along Houston Street after the procession left Milam Park, where the trial and scourging took place.   My best friend and co-worker, Heidi, and I walked around the corner to see the procession coming up the street, then high-tailed it over to the Cathedral along a couple of short cuts to see the culmination, the Crucifixion, and the taking down from the Cross.

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The Roman soldiers at this point are actually spitting on the actor/Christ and pushing him violently.  Their feelings of anger and disgust are intense.  The crowd is following along, being held back by the police and volunteers from the Cathedral.  Someone commented to me later that this scene must have been just like Jerusalem in Christ’s time.  For some people this was just a spectacle, something to observe.  For others it was the death of a loved one.carryingcross21

Heidi and I got as close as we could to the front of the Cathedral, but the view wasn’t very good so we went back up to our office where we could watch the whole panorama below us.  It’s just not the same feeling as being in the crowd.  There were people crying, parents holding up their children for them to get a good look, children playing in the fountains, vendors selling food and braided, palm frond crosses.  It’s an experience of living, breathing, everyday spirituality.

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Well, that was the Passion Play 2009.  For a much more beautiful and moving image of the Passion 2009, please check out this video.