Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
--T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland
With tip's of my derby hat to Mr Patrick Madrid for pointing me to these, Mr Matthew Warner has composed a list of the types of blog commenters. In the comments to that same post, Mr Mark Shea shares a list of the classifications of Flame Warriors. Epic. I'd say that I generally fall into categories 1, 2, and 3 (generally striving for the last of these, or at least the first) from Mr Warner's list, with the occasional an incoherent jont into category 10.
And for a brilliant demonstration of all 10 types of commenters (aliens a-plenty!), read the comments to Mr Ross Douthat's post "Choose You Own Jesus."
Speaking of lists and categories, Mr Marcel Lejeune of Aggie Catholics has posted a list of his 20 favorite "Catholic" novels. It's a fairly good list, though I'll admit that I haven't read all of the books on it. I think it leaves a few good ones off (no Chesterton? No "Eiffelheim" or "A Canticle for Leibowitz"? nothing by Louis de Wohl or Piers Paul Read?), and I would disagree with him choice for "The Brothers Karaamov" as the best (I favor "Lord of the Rings"), but I can't point to any specific books on the list which I've read which should definitely be excluded: it's a pretty good list, all-in-all.
Catholic Culture's Diogenes has commentary about the women who have had intimate relationships with priests and are now speaking out against celibacy. From Diogenes:
Give these women credit for consistency: what they say matches what they do. They don't just speak against celibacy. Still the story in the Global Post leaves a reader asking a familiar question: Should the Church take advice from people who discover their objections to moral laws only after they violate them?
Also, my favorite line from the letter in question is this:
"We are trying to reaffirm -- although many Christians already know it -- that this discipline [of priestly celibacy] has nothing to do either with the Scriptures in general, or with the Gospels in particular, or with Jesus, who never spoke about it." [emphasis mine]
Because it's not like Jesus was, y'know, celibate Himself.
From across the pond comes this story of the dangers of cybernetic implants:
A British scientist claims to be the first human to have been infected with a computer virus after he contaminated an electronic chip which was inserted into his hand...Dr Mark Gasson, of the University of Reading, said the device was programmed with a virus which could transfer itself to other electronic systems it came in contact with. Any other chips that interacted with the infected systems would also contract the virus, he said, raising the possibility that in the future, advanced medical devices such as pacemakers could become vulnerable to cyber attacks.
The Creative Minority Report's Mr Matthew Archbold reminds us that it's all about "choice."
Despite the fact that a very small minority of clergy were involved in the sexual abuse crisis, it has become the latest stick with which to beat the Faithful. One of the latest examples comes from Mr Nicholas Kristof of The Hell's Bible, last heard uttering something along the lines of "Just enough of me, way too many of you." As Fr John Zuhlsdorf puts it,
The clerical abuse of children is the prized belt liberals outside the Church and progressives within the Church heave dramatically from their pants and use on Catholics who are not manifestly liberal or progressive. I say on Catholics, because this is a manifestation of anti-Catholicism. The teachings of the Catholic Church and those who faithfully embrace them stand in the way of their deconstructing tank.
An example in the latest round of inebriated abuse comes from Nicholas Kristoff in The New York Times, who tries to draw the reader to conclude that since all members of the Catholic hierarchy are morally obtuse, because some members of the Catholic hierarchy did not excommunicate priests who harmed children, therefore a Catholic woman religious who approved a direct abortion should not have been excommunicated.
And Speaking of His Excellency Bishop Olmstead and of the now (self-)excommunicated Sr Maragaret McBride, Mr Jimmy Akin offers his take on the whole situation here:
I’ve seen reports elsewhere on the Net where people are saying things like “the Bishop automatically excommunicated her when he found out.” This is not what happened. It’s a misunderstanding. He didn’t “automatically excommunicate” her. According to the Bishop, she “automatically excommunicated” herself. He informed her of this fact.
Canon law provides an automatic excommunication for a small number of offenses (e.g., abortion, throwing away the consecrated species of the Eucharist, assaulting the pope). When a person commits one of these actions (all things being equal) the person automatically incurs the censure of excommunication by the commission of the act itself. If Sr. McBride incurred this penalty, it was by her own action, not the bishop’s.
Speaking of contrived controversies, Mr Jeff Miller has this post up about the MSM's need for, um, well, more than just a little fact-checking.
I saw the headline for this story on the weekend and growled in its general direction. Seeing what AP story actually said annoys me any more. Usually it is the Galileo story that gets misrepresented as “Eviiilll ignorant Catholic Church against science.” You have to wonder what a reporter workflow is?
1. Hear story about Copernicus being moved into a new tomb.
2. Make Church vs. Science connection in thought process
3. Decide it must be because Copernicus got into trouble.
4. His work being called heretical by the Church must have happened.
5. His previous tomb must not have been worthy and no doubt denied a Catholic burial.
6. Write story using this narrative.
Factchecking is obviously not part of most reporters work flow or so it also seems for editors. After all it is so plausible from the secular point of view.
As Mr Patrick Thornton once quipped, "[This article about the pope will] be easy and I won’t even have to fact-check the article because it’s about the Catholics! Times Journalism Rule #1: Catholics = NO Fact-checking required. Yippeee!!" Unfortunately, this Journalism Rule #1 doesn't apply only to the New York Times.
Since it's Friday, let's close with a bit of humor, found in "A Little Story" on the Acts of the Apostasy site.