Saturday, January 20, 2007

Becoming Jane trailer

AustenBlog, naturally, has the link


New version of Jane Eyre

on Masterpiece Theater (BBC page)

missed it last Sunday (because of 24)--maybe I'll see the conclusion tomorrow

There's a fire engine out in front of the house--the firemen are walking down the street--was there a report of smoke or burning smell?

*edit* Turns out I didn't miss the first part... but I may still watch Trump (Yahoo) instead.

China from the Inside

PBS program

order the dvd by calling 1-800-play-pbs

It's playing with now on WGBH--the next episode might be interesting--it discusses freedom (apparently including religious freedom).

Saturday happenings

As we had planned, Fujian Gal and I saw Curse of the Golden Flower tonight. Before that, we had dinner at Bamboo Thai restaurant on Commonwealth Ave. The food there is decent, but pricey with small portions, like other Thai restaurants. Maybe we should go American or Chinese next time. Ha, that's what I get for suggesting Thai... Our waitress was ok, but seemed a bit brusque. Fujian Gal was a bit quick to label her the b-word, and I was taken aback. Maybe women are quick to use that word in making a judgment?

*runs away from angry mob*

I actually thought the waitress was cute, even if it might have been due to the makeup. She was a bit shorter than me... I don't know about the attitude, it did seem like she was trying to rush us. At least she did it with a smile? haha

We got to talking about dating, since I was mentioning various people as I gave the update (this being the first time seeing Fujian Gal since I returned to Boston). Evidently Fujian Gal is not really motivated to meet the people her friends and family have lined up for her. As for the doctor who had asked her out a couple of times, she had to say no because friends were visiting and she now thinks he may have given up, since he hasn't contacted her for a while. Besides, he was still a client so she didn't think it would be right, though she is being 'transferred' so it might be ok now. Nonetheless, she thinks he might be a bit odd, or have some sort of 'yellow fever'--she thinks his ex-'s are Chinese, the last one also being from Fuzhou.

Anyway, she did say that she doesn't like guys who look typically Chinese--they remind her too much of her father, and hence there are a lot of bad associations. Even if non-Chinese guys do something to remind her of her father, she will have a bad reaction or lose interest. It's what I thought, and when I told her she was surprised that I had made the connection. Ah well, I guess it's not easy to dissociate. Hopefully she'll find a nice Catholic guy regardless.

Haha she showed me her new LV bag. I suppose the Lady Downstairs will have to ask to see it.

As for the movie... it was ok, but too much over the top. A lot of exaggeration, especially with respect to the action sequences (and the last one!). I don't know if they used cgi to replicate people or if they did have a cast of thousands (since it is still possible in the Mainland to find inexpensive extras). Sure, the movie does have a point to make about tyranny. But other than that? Hmm... the servant girls do have some appeal.

As Bob Dole would say, "Easy, boy."

I would have preferred something stretched out a bunch of episodes and more subdued, like a Chinese Mainland drama about a dynasty (those tend to be ok), or a Japanese historical drama. The emperor has no concubines that we know of, no other children--that sort of simplification may be necessary to compress a storyline such as this into 2 hours, but it's not that historically accurate, as far as I know. How many emperors had only one wife and one mother for his children? The acting is generally good. The ending song (sung by Jay Chou?) was out of place though, and almost ridiculous. Would I see the movie again? For the colors and the depiction of life in the palace, perhaps. Otherwise... I hope if Zhang Yimou directs another historical drama/epic he'll pick a better script. One wonders if Tsui Hark's Seven Swords (MP) sequel will be an improvement over the first.

Fujian Gal did look cute tonight. *shrugs*

Live-action Adaptation of GITS in the works


Anime News Network and Anime Anime report that Production I.G, the studio that produced all of Ghost in the Shell's adaptations into anime (the two movies and the three Stand Alone Complex works) has received permission to develop a Hollywood adaptation of the Masamume Shirow created cyborg sci-fi. A new contract with rights holder Kodansha allows Production I.G. to represent the creators and negotiate distribution of a live action film.

The third Stand Alone Complex anime, Solid State Society, a movie that originally aired on Japanese pay-per-view, will receive its North American premiere at next month's New York Comic Con (February 23-25).

I don't think you'll be going to the NYCC, will you Pete Takeshi?

Beatification cause of John Song Hae-bung moves forward

Martyr's Beatification Cause Moves Forward

Korean Layman Worked With Poor

SEOUL, South Korea, JAN. 19, 2007 ( The diocesan phase of the cause of beatification and canonization of John Song Hae-bung, a lay missionary martyred during the Korean War, has opened in the Diocese of Incheon.

The present cause is the first of a layman in the period following the Japanese colonial era, the Fides news agency of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples reported Thursday.

The diocesan commission has been established which will guide this phase of the process, collecting the necessary testimony and documentation for the cause of beatification.

According to a biography published by Fides, John Song was the eldest of a Catholic family, and entered the seminary in 1944.

After Korea's liberation from Japanese occupation, he left his theological studies to dedicate himself to active missionary work. He opened schools and homes for orphans and the poor in the Diocese of Incheon.

When the Korean War broke out in 1950, he was falsely accused of being a Communist. He was arrested and killed by a death squad, reported Fides.

Korea has over 10,000 Christian martyrs, killed in various persecutions over the centuries.

In 1984, in the first canonization ceremony held outside the Vatican, Pope John Paul II inscribed 103 martyrs of the Korean Church into the catalogue of saints.

In 2003, the Holy See approved the opening of the beatification process for Paul Yun Ji-Chung and 123 companions, tortured and killed for the faith in 1791, when Christianity had just reached Korea.

But was he killed because he was a Christian? Was he falsely accused of being a Communist because he was Christian? Or did someone mistake his charity for pro-Communist leanings?

Cardinal Arinze Address to Institut Supérieur de Liturgie

"Horizontalism … Does Damage to Catholic Faith and Worship"

Cardinal Arinze Address to Institut Supérieur de Liturgie

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 20, 2007 ( Here is an address given by Cardinal Francis Arinze at a colloquium to celebrate the golden jubilee of the Institut Supérieur de Liturgie of the Institut Catholique de Paris. The prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments gave the address Oct. 26.

* * *

At the Service of the Mysteries of Christ

1. Fitting Celebration. Time of Grace

God be praised that the Institut Supérieur de Liturgie is celebrating a half-century of its life and service. In these 50 years this institute has made a significant contribution to liturgical reflection, life and allied formation in the Church. We pray the Lord Jesus to bless and reward all who in the past, or at the present time, have contributed to the work of this important section of the Institut Catholique de Paris. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments offers its warm congratulations to the institute.

A jubilee celebration such as this is a time not only for thanksgiving but also for reflection, for re-examination of orientations, for clarification of the road map, and for resolutions for the future. Let us touch on some of the areas which a higher liturgical institute such as this one could seek to serve. It is important to show the light in matters liturgical. The "ars celebrandi" and the homily deserve special mention. An ecclesiology of communion includes clarity on the roles of the priest and of the diocesan bishop. A consideration of these elements will help us to conclude with a listing of the major services expected of a liturgical institute.

2. Show the light in matters liturgical

Primary among the duties of a higher liturgical institute is to be a beacon of light in matters liturgical. It informs and forms leaders who appreciate the riches to be found in the public worship of the Church and who will be ready to share them with others. It throws light on the close link between theology and liturgy, between the faith of the Church and the celebration of the mysteries of Christ, between the "lex credendi" and the "lex orandi."

While, therefore, a higher liturgical institute should promote research, it above all bases its strong and durable foundations on the faith, on the Tradition of the Church and on the heritage enshrined in liturgical texts, gestures and postures. Such an institute appreciates that the sacred liturgy is a gift we receive from Christ through the Church. It is not something that we invent. It has therefore unchangeable elements which come from our Savior Jesus Christ, as in the essential forms of the sacraments, and changeable elements which have been carefully handed on and guarded by the Church.

Many abuses in matters liturgical are based, not on bad will but on ignorance, because they "involve a rejection of those elements whose deeper meaning is not understood and whose antiquity is not recognized" ("Redemptionis Sacramentum," No. 9). Thus some abuses are due to an undue place given to spontaneity, or creativity, or to a wrong idea of freedom, or to the error of horizontalism which places man at the center of a liturgical celebration instead of vertically focusing on Christ and his mysteries.

Darkness is chased away by light, not by verbal condemnation. A higher liturgical institute trains experts in the best and authentic [theological]-liturgical tradition of the Church. It forms them to love the Church and her public worship and to follow the norms and indications given by the magisterium. It also provides appropriate courses for those who will promote ongoing liturgical formation for clerics, consecrated people and the lay faithful.

As Pope John Paul II wrote the Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments a month before his death: "It is urgent that in parish communities, in associations and in ecclesial movements there be assured adequate courses of formation, so that the liturgy be better known in the richness of its language and that it be lived in fullness. To the measure to which this is done, the result will be benefits showing themselves in personal and community life" (Letter of John Paul II to Cardinal Arinze, March 3, 2005, No. 5).

3. Promotion of "ars celebrandi"

A consequence of sound [theological]-liturgical grounding and proper formation in faith and reverence is that the "ars celebrandi" will be promoted not only on the part of the celebrating priest, but also as regards all others who take part in liturgical functions, above all, the deacon, but also altar servers, readers, those who direct the singing and all the faithful who participate.

"Ars celebrandi" is based on the theological truth articulated by the Second Vatican Council, namely that "the liturgy is considered as an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ. In the liturgy the sanctification of man is manifested by signs perceptible to the senses, and is effected in a way which is proper to each of these signs; in the liturgy full public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Christ, that is by the Head and his members" ("Sacrosanctum Concilium," No. 7).

A liturgical institute should help everyone concerned in a liturgical celebration to appreciate this truth. The first place goes to the celebrating priest or bishop. If they are sufficiently inserted into the meaning of liturgical celebrations which have Christ as their Head, if they respect the Scripture, Tradition, historical roots of the sacred texts and the theological riches of liturgical expressions, then the results will be a happy manifestation of the "ars celebrandi."

Liturgical celebrations will beautifully manifest the faith of the Church, nourish this faith in the participants, awaken this faith in the dormant and the indifferent, and send the people home on fire to live the Christian life and spread the Gospel. This is very far from the cold, man-centered and sometimes openly idiosyncratic mannerism which our Sunday congregations are sometimes forced to endure. Both the Letter of Pope John Paul II already mentioned (No. 3) and the October 2005 Synod of Bishops (Proposition 25) emphasize the importance of "ars celebrandi."

4. The homily

"The homily," says the Second Vatican Council, "is to be highly esteemed as part of the liturgy itself" ("Sacrosanctum Concilium," No. 52). In it the Word of God is bread broken for the people. The sacred readings are related to the realities of life in the world of today. The homily, well delivered, should make the people's hearts burn within them (cf. Luke 24:32).

Unfortunately, many homilies as delivered by priests or deacons are not up to what is desirable. Some homilies seem to be mere sociological, psychological or, worse still, political comments. They are not sufficiently grounded in Holy Scripture, liturgical texts, Church tradition and solid theology. In some countries there are people who do not appreciate that the delivery of the homily at the Eucharistic Sacrifice is a pastoral ministry assigned only to ordained ministers: deacon, priest or bishop. Lay people laudably conduct catechesis outside Mass, but not the homily which demands ordination.

A higher liturgical institute can help spread the right convictions regarding the homily. It can help create a climate of opinion which will lead to more substantial pastures for the people of God, considering that for many Catholics the homily is probably the only ongoing religious and catechetical formation that they receive in the week (cf. Letter of Pope John Paul II, No. 4; October 2005 Synod: Proposition 19).

5. The liturgical role of the priest

It is crucial that a higher liturgical institute delineate clearly the role of the priest in the sacred liturgy. The Second Vatican Council says that "the wished-for renewal of the whole Church depends in large measure on a ministry of priests which is vitalized by the spirit of Christ" ("Optatam Totius," No. 1).

The common priesthood of all the baptized and the ministerial priesthood of the ordained priest come from Christ himself. Confusion of roles in the hierarchical constitution of the Church does damage. It does not promote witness to Christ nor holiness for clergy and laity. Neither attempts at the clericalization of the laity, nor efforts toward the laicization of the clergy, will bring down divine graces. "In liturgical celebrations," says Vatican II, "whether as a minister or as one of the faithful, each person should perform his role by doing solely and totally what the nature of things and liturgical norms require of him" ("Sacrosanctum Concilium," No. 28). It is false humility and an inadmissible idea of democracy or fraternity, for the priest to try to share his strictly priestly liturgical roles with the lay faithful.

It is not therefore superfluous to state that a higher liturgical institute, just as any theological faculty, should help people to see that the priesthood is an integral and constitutive part of the structure of the Church and that therefore we absolutely need ordained priests to celebrate Holy Mass, to absolve people from their sins in the sacrament of penance and to anoint the sick (cf. James 5:14-15).

Moreover, if fuller spiritual benefits are to come to people at weddings and funerals, then we need priests to celebrate the Eucharistic Sacrifice, preach spiritually enriching homilies to the people, some of whom would otherwise rarely come to Mass, give them blessing and be a sign that the Church is near them at such a milestone in their lives. No doubt, it is necessary that the priest does not merely perform liturgical functions, but that his ministerial activities come from the heart and that his pastoral presence be a spiritual nourishment for the people.

If the role of the priest is weakened or is not appreciated, a local Catholic community may be dangerously lapsing into the idea of a priestless community. This is not in line with the genuine concept of the Church instituted by Christ.

If a diocese does not have enough priests, initiatives should be taken to seek them from elsewhere now, to encourage local vocations and to keep fresh in the people a genuine "hunger" for a priest (cf. John Paul II, "Ecclesia de Eucharistia," No. 32). Non-ordained members of the faithful who are assigned some roles in the absence of a priest have to make a special effort to keep up this "hunger." And they should resist the temptation of trying to get the people accustomed to them as substitutes for priests (cf. op. cit., No. 33). There is no place in the Catholic Church for the creation of a sort of parallel "lay clergy" (cf. "Redemptionis Sacramentum," Nos. 149-153,165).

Priests on their part should show themselves transparently happy in their vocation with a clear identity of their liturgical role. If they celebrate the sacred mysteries with faith and devotion and according to the approved books, they will unconsciously be preaching priestly vocations. On the other hand, young people will not desire to join a band of clerics who seem uncertain of their mission, who criticize and disobey their Church and who celebrate their own "liturgies" according to their personal choices and theories.

A higher liturgical institute and a theological faculty are precious instruments in the hands of the Church for the sharing of the correct theology on the priest as Christ's instrument in the sacred liturgy.

6. The role of the bishop

Obviously ecclesial communion has to mean "communion" with the diocesan bishop and between bishops and the Pope. In the diocese, the bishop is the first steward of the mysteries of Christ. He is the moderator, promoter and guardian of the entire liturgical life of the diocesan Church (cf. "Christus Dominus," No. 15; Code of Canon Law, Canon 387; "Redemptionis Sacramentum," No. 19). The bishop directs the administration of the sacraments and especially of the holy Eucharist. When he concelebrates in his cathedral church with his priests, with the assistance of deacons and minor assistants, and with the participation of the holy people of God, "the Church reveals herself most clearly" ("Sacrosanctum Concilium," No. 41).

Catholic theological faculties, liturgical institutes and pastoral centers are there to help the bishop, the chief pastor in the diocese. They also in appropriate ways cooperate with the bishops' conference and the Apostolic See and help to explain and spread their documents and instructions. They are obvious treasured advisers to the diocesan bishop, bishops' conferences and the Holy See. They appreciate and help people to understand that the sacred liturgy is not a free-for-all research area, but rather the public and official prayer of the Church for which the Pope and the bishops are chiefly responsible. A Catholic institute or theological faculty thus sees that it is not right for it to run parallel to the bishop or the Holy See, or to regard itself as an independent observer or critic.

Here we must thank the Institut Supérieur de Liturgie for the positive role it has played for half a century in the Church, in promotion of the sacred liturgy and of ecclesial communion. This leads us to conclude with a listing of some of the services expected from a higher liturgical institute.

7. Services expected from a higher liturgical institute

It follows from the foregoing considerations that a higher institute for the liturgy should be a house of light and love. It should prepare, inform and form experts on the sacred liturgy. It is its role to inspire people with faith and with love for the Church so that they appreciate that liturgical "norms are a concrete expression of the authentically ecclesial nature of the Eucharist; this is their deepest meaning. Liturgy is never anyone's private property, be it of the celebrant or of the community in which the mysteries are celebrated" ("Ecclesia de Eucharistia," No. 52).

This means that liturgical institutes should arm people to reject banalization, desacralization and secularization in matters liturgical. Horizontalism which makes people tend to celebrate themselves instead of the mysteries of Christ does damage to Catholic faith and worship and deserves to be avoided.

An institute such as yours exercises great influence because of the orientation and spirit which it imparts to its students, because of its publications and because of its moral authority in giving ideas to diocesan liturgical and pastoral centers and to publishing houses. This influence goes beyond France and reaches villages in Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

A higher liturgical institute can be a powerful help to the bishop, to the bishops' conference and to the Holy See, in the formulation of liturgical directives and in the articulation of the theology which underpins liturgical rites. Since "the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; at the same time it is the fountain from which all her power flows" ("Sacrosanctum Concilium," No. 10), no one can fail to see the importance of the apostolate of a liturgical institute.

Institut Supérieur de Liturgie, I greet you as you complete your 50th year! May the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of our Savior whose mysteries we celebrate in the liturgy, obtain for this institute and all its sisters throughout the world joy, efficiency and ecclesial growth in the discharge of this high vocation and mission.

Father Cantalamessa on Evangelical History

Father Cantalamessa on Evangelical History
Pontifical Household Preacher Comments on Sunday's Readings

ROME, JAN. 19, 2007 ( Here is a translation of a commentary by the Pontifical Household preacher, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, on the readings from this Sunday's liturgy.

* * *

Are the Gospels Historical Records?
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Nehemiah 8:2-4a,5-6,8-10; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a; Luke 1:1-4;4:14-21

Before beginning the account of the life of Jesus, the Evangelist Luke explains the criteria that guided him. He says that he is referring to facts attested to by eye witnesses, which he verified by "accurate research," so that those who read what he writes may realize the solidity of the teachings contained in the Gospel. This provides us with an occasion to consider the problem of the historicity of the Gospels.

Until some centuries ago, the critical sense did not exist in people. What was referred to in the past was taken as having been an historical event. In the last two or three centuries the historical sense was born which brought people to submit things to a critical test to ascertain their validity before they would believe them to be facts of the past. This procedure has been applied to the Gospels.

Let us sum up the various stages that the life and teaching of Jesus have passed through before they have reached us.

First stage: Jesus' earthly life. Jesus did not write anything, but in his preaching he used some common expediencies of ancient culture which facilitated keeping a text in one's memory: brief phrases, parallels and antitheses, rhythmic repetitions, images, parables.… Think of lines from the Gospels like: "The last will be first and the first will be last"; "Wide is the door and broad is the way that leads to perdition…; "Narrow is the gate and hard is the way that leads to life" (Matthew 7:13-14).

Phrases like these, once heard, would even be difficult for people today to forget. The fact that Jesus himself did not write the Gospels does not mean that the words that they contain are not his. Unable to write words on paper, the men of ancient times wrote them on the mind.

Second stage: the oral preaching of the apostles. After the resurrection, the apostles immediately began to proclaim to all the life and words of Christ, taking account of the needs and the circumstances of the different listeners. There purpose was not to do history but to bring people to faith. With the clearer understanding that they now had, they were able to transmit to others that which Jesus said and did, adapting it to the needs of those to whom they turned.

Third stage: the written gospels. About 30 years after Jesus' death, some authors began to write down this preaching that had come to them orally. The four Gospels that we know were born in this way. Of the many things that had come down to them, the evangelists selected some, they summarized others, and others they explained to adapt them to the needs that the communities for whom they were writing had at the moment. The need to adapt Jesus' words to new and diverse demands influenced the order in which the facts are recounted in the four Gospels, as well as their coloration and importance, but they did not otherwise alter their fundamental truth.

That the evangelists had, insofar as it was possible at the time, a historical concern and not only a concern with edification, is demonstrated by the precision with which they situate the event of Christ in time and place. A little further on, Luke furnishes us with all the political and geographical coordinates of the beginning of Jesus' public ministry (cf. Luke 3:1-2).

In conclusion, the Gospels are not historical books in the modern sense of detached and neutral accounts of facts. They are historical, rather, in the sense that what they transmit reflects the substance of what happened. But the argument most in favor of the fundamental historical truth of the Gospels is that which we experience inside ourselves every time we are profoundly touched by the word of Christ. What other word, ancient or new, ever had the same power?

The Pope prepares a letter to China’s Catholics

The Pope prepares a letter to China’s Catholics
The announcement was made at the end of a 2 day meeting in the Vatican. The Holy See reaffirms its desire to continue a “constructive and respectful dialogue” with the Beijing Government, arriving at full diplomatic relations.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Benedict XVI has decided to shortly “address a letter to the Catholics of China”: this was the important conclusion contained in an official statement released by the Holy See press office at the end of a 2 day meeting held at the Vatican January 19 and 20. Participating in the meeting which had as its theme “The situation of the Catholic Church in China” were Chinese bishops from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan and the most important representatives from the Secretary of State and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. The meeting was presided over by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of state. The statement affirms that “The will to continue on the journey of a respectful and constructive dialogue with the governing authorities in order to overcome past difficulties, emerged. More over, the hope was expressed that a normalization of relations on all levels would come to pass”.

The statement notes that the meeting was called at the express wish of the Pope “in the desire to deepen his knowledge of the situation of the Catholic Church in China”.

The meeting “was animated by a frank and fraternal cordiality” and examined “the most serious and urgent ecclesial problems, which call for adequate solutions based on the fundamental principles of the Church’s divine constitution and religious freedom”. In the last few months in China there have been a series of arrests of priests loyal to the underground Church as well as the ordination of priest without the approval of the Holy See, facts judged by the Vatican to be “a grave violation of religious freedom”.

The statement highlights the “troubled history of the Church in China” and recalls the heroism of many faithful, priests and bishops of the underground church who have suffered persecution: “The Church expresses its profound gratitude for the inspiring witness of the bishops priests and lay faithful, who without compromise, have maintained their loyalty to the see of peter, often paying a grave and painful price by doing so.”

According to AsiaNews data at least 17 underground bishops have disappeared, been arrested or are detained in isolation; 20 priests have been arrested. The latest arrest took place on December 27th in Hebei. Of the 9 priests arrested, 5 remain in prison, 4 have been released.

At the same time the statement highlights that the official Church (“almost in it’s totality”) is in communion with the Pope. “The Church notes with particular joy that almost all of the bishops and priests are in communion with the Holy Father”. At least 85% of the bishops from the official Church – registered and recognised by the government – have been for years now in contact with the Holy See, contrasting the work of the Patriotic Association bent on creating a Church independent of Rome.

The statement continues “The numeric growth of the ecclesial community in china is further more surprising, where it is called to be a witness to Christ, to look ahead in hope and to measure itself against the new challenges that society is facing”.

Data from the Holy Spirit Study Centre in Hong Kong show that there are 12 million Catholics presently in China. In ‘49, before the coming to power of Mao Zedong, there were 3 million. According to AsiaNews sources, in China each year there are over 150 thousand newly baptised most of whom are adults. The important factor is that many of them come from the cultural spheres of the cities, universities and business world.

“In the multiplicity of the participant’s contribution - the statement reads - the will to continue on the journey of a respectful and constructive dialogue with the governing authorities in order to overcome past difficulties, emerged. More over, the hope was expressed that a normalization of relations on all levels would come to pass in order to allow a peaceful and fruitful life of faith in the Church and to work together for the good of the people of China and peace in the world”.

It is no secret that the Chinese Government for some time now has been sending positive signals to up a dialogue with the Vatican, above all to present to the world in occasion of the Olympics “a great nation” modern and free. However it has to take into account the hard fringe elements of the Party – and the Patriotic Association – that are against the re-establishment of diplomatic relations. China and religious freedom have been ever present on the agenda of Benedict XVI, since the very beginning of his pontificate.

The statement concludes saying that “The Holy Father was fully informed of the proposals reached in the course of the meeting” and “has benevolently decided to address a letter to the Catholics in China”. It’s probable that more specific questions such as the unity of the Church (official and non), how to deal with illicit ordinations and how to deal with the Patriotic Association, will be directly dealt with by the Pope.

Some within the Church feel that the Vatican should not open up to diplomatic relations with Beijing until the Church does not enjoy full religious freedom, free from AP oppression. Others suggest to open relations with China and slowly annul the negative influence of the Association. In fact because of this difference of opinion many Chinese Bishops had asked for the Pope to address the issue in a letter on many occasions. (BC)

Midwest Grill

Some reviews. Ok KK guess we'll have to go, since no one I know here is a big eater.

Photo: Wendell Berry

From the Land Institute.

From the 1999 ASLE Conference.

John Zerzan

First reference on this blog.

A representative writer of anarcho-primitivism. If one has time, one could probe his writings and examine his assumptions and philosophical presuppositions.

official website

online texts
Guardian profile ;Anarchist News profile
Anarchy radio
Alternative Press interview
"Future Primitive"
"Mass Psychology of Misery"
essays at Insurgent Desire (Why Primitvism)
Interview at Creel Commission
Debate between Michael Albert (Parecon) and the Green Anarchy Collective (Primitivist Anarchism)

a critique

Riddley Walker

post-apocalyptic novel, referenced by a writer for New York Magazine.

Pete Takeshi have you read this?

A highway 18 lanes wide?

You gotta be kidding me. I have heard from many that Texas is overrun with suburban sprawl and all of the extreme effects of a automobile-centric lifestyle. I don't think I would want to live there.

The Grand Silence

Some news at NLM about the movie--it will be released on DVD in Canada soon; no news about when and how it will enter the U.S. market. In the comments section readers have expressed disappointment that there was not a lot of footage of the divine liturgy being celebrated. I'm disappointed as well, but on the other hand, I wouldn't want to reduce the divine liturgy to a spectacle.

Also check out
Function and Training: Historical Models of the Church Musician
By László Dobszay

Friday, January 19, 2007

New website for Seraphim Falls

opens Jan. 26 in select cities

Peak oil production, by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett

Peak oil production

by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett

(via EB)

Prayer request

Please pray for a friend experiencing difficulty right now and in need of healing. Thanks!

Padre Pio, Miracle Man

Domenico Bettinelli introduces this movie

Should be better than the majority of movies coming out of Hollywood--I don't think it will be as bad as certain American productions of the lives of certain saints.

Theodore Dalrymple, Sensitivity Lesson

Theodore Dalrymple
Sensitivity Lesson | You better watch what you say in today’s Britain.

Zara Phillips

Britain's Zara Phillips, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, leaves St Mary Magdalene's church after the Royal Family's Christmas Day service on the Sandringham estate in eastern England in this December 25, 2006 file photo. Phillips was made a member of the order of the British Empire (MBE) after being granted the award by Queen Elizabeth II on December 30, 2006. NO ONLINES REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico/Files (BRITAIN)

Individual Eventing gold medallist and team silver medallist Britain's Zara Phillips laughs with team mates on the podium at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen in this August 27, 2006 file photo. Phillips was made a member of the order of the British Empire (MBE) after being granted the award by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II on December 30, 2006. REUTERS/Caren Firouz/Files (GERMANY)

Britain's equestrian star Zara Phillips, pictured August 2006, will become the first member of the royal family to be named in an honours list after she was awarded an MBE. Photo:Jochen Luebke/AFP

Zara Phillips is shown at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen August 25, 2006. REUTERS/Caren Firouz

Because she accomplished what exactly?

Order of the British Empire
dead link?


The replica 17th century sailing vessel Godspeed makes it's way up the Chesapeake Bay near Reedville, Va., in this May 24, 2006 file photo. Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine will be in England next week for the 400th anniversary of the date three ships set sail for Virginia to found the Jamestown colony. Six months later, England's Queen Elizabeth II plans to be in Virginia for the 400th anniversary of America's first permanent English settlement. Kaine said the monarch's visit should help ensure the commemoration will be a success, and planners are confident they'll reach their goal of attracting 2.4 million visitors throughout the 18-month series of anniversary events. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Thomas Hibbs reviews Volver

at National Review

Ecological disaster in Chinese rivers

Spero News

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Chinese movies coming out in 2007

From Monkey Peaches. (Well there are a couple of movies that aren't Chinese, but star Chinese actors or is directed by a Chinese director.) In purple are the titles that I'm interested in...

The Age of Tattoo (literal) – Jia Zhangke’s project about a group of teenage gangsters in the 1970s China.

Air / Going Home – A farmer promises to bring the body his dead friend home. But, the home is thousands miles away and he gets no penny in his pocket. From Zhang Yang (Sunflower, Shower)

The Assembly – Feng Xiaogang’s drama set in the bloody Chinese civil war (1946 – 1949), his answer to Saving Private Ryan.

The Battle of Red Cliff – The battle will begin this year! Finally! According to John Woo and Chow Yun-Fat…

Blood Brothers – Peter Chan’s remake of Chang Cheh’s Ci Ma with Jet Li, Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaeshiro.

Blood, Brothers – A remake of John Woo’s Bullet in the Head.

Bruce Lee Biopic – not sure it will be good and not sure it will happen this year.

The Children of Huang Shi – a real story inspired drama about a British journalist saving 60 children in the war torn China.

City without Mercy (aka. Po Jun) – Donnie Yen and Wilson Yip work together for the third time.

Dark Matter – Liu Ye plays a talent Chinese student reacts violently to American campus politics.

The Door – horror movies from the mainland China usually suck. But this one is from Li Shaohong, the director of Stolen Life, grand winner of Tribecca 2005.

Dragon Tiger Gate 2 – people have started talking about it. Just talking.

Eye in the Sky – Directorial debut by Yau Nai-Hoi, who wrote many Johnnie To movies.

The First Day of Spring (literal) – Gu Changwei’s project following up Peacock, about several ordinary people’s stories in the 1980s, the first decade during which China made its transform to a capitalist society.

Five Deadly Venoms / Flying Guillotine – Two Shaw Bros. classics will be remade.

The Great Wall – Yuen Wo-Ping directed historical drama starring Jet Li. Will it happen?

Hannibal Rising: Gong Li teaches Hannibal how to eat people!

Horsemen: Zhang Ziyi leads in the psychological thriller.

The Jackie Chan / Jet Li project – Two best screen fighters work together for the first time, in a Hollywood made kid movie.

Kung Fu Hustle 2 – Will Stephen Chow decide to make it in 2007? Wait! Will Stephen Chow decide to write it in 2007?

The Iron Triangle /
Triangle – Three master director, Johnnie To, Tsui Hark and Ringo Lam, to tell a story in rally. Interesting! (The title is "Triangle" according to Variety. Thanks to "Mary".)

The Lady from Shanghai – script known, story unknown, production date unknown… We only know it is a Wong Kar-Wai / Nichole Kidman project. Worth to wait? Yes.

Left Right – Wang Xiaoshuai’s story of a divorced to have a baby together just to save of life of their daughter.

Long River 7 – Stephen Chow’s latest! This one is really! It has wrapped up!

Lust, Caution – Ang Lee’s tells a story of twisted love between a young school trained as an agent and a married man working for the Japanese aggressors…

My Blueberry Night – Wong Kar-Wai’s English language debut, starring Norah Jones, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Rachel Weisz, Tim Roth, Ed Harris…

My Life as a Teacher (literal) – Leung Ka-Fai plays a teacher spent his whole life in a mountain school.
Nie Yin Niang – Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s first martial-art film. Really?!

Orsay – Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s first project outside Asia, about the adventure of a boy, his babysitter and a red balloon.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End – Chow Yun-Fat as a pirate. Ha! Ha! Ha! Just wait for the jokes.

The Postmodern Life of My Aunt – Retired aunt picks up some romance with Chow Yun-Fat.

Protege – Yee Tung-Shing and Peter Chan tell the entire life cycle of heroin.

PTU 2 – If you like PTU, Johnnie To prepares more for you. (Note: this one might be a mini series. Thanks to "Mary".)

Rape of Nanking / Nanjing! Nanjing! / The Dairy – The ambitious projects to retell the Nanjing Massacre.

Rogue – Jet Li plays a cold-blooded killer! Again? The initial reaction is very promising…

Rush Hour 3 – The first one is good, the second one is so so, and the third one is… Jackie Chan is not really exited about it but it is still a Jackie Chan movie.

Seven Swords 2 – Will Tsui Hark continue the story of the seven swords men, who said they would go to Beijing to get the emperor?

Sha Po Lang 2 – Sammo Hung will do the sequel personally.

Slam Dunk – Jay Chou will play a talented basketball player.

The Sun Also Rises – A four act road movie, by talented Jiang Wen and starring Anthony Wong, Jaycee Chan and Jiang Wen himself.

Sunshine / True North – Michelle Yeoh is in both.

Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon – Andy Lau plays a handsome general in the period drama.

Wu Qingyuan / The Go Master – Tian Zhuangzhuang’s biopic of Wu Qingyuan, a master player of Wei Qi / Go.

Photos: Jeremy Irons

I don't think it quite works. I think I've seen him in Chinese-inspired clothing before; I wonder what got him hooked.

Jeremy Irons accepts the award for best supporting actor in a series, mini-series or television movie for his work on 'Elizabeth' at the 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Monday, Jan. 15, 2007, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/HFPA)

(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

British actor Jeremy Irons, nominated for best supporting actor in a series, mini-series or television movie for his work on 'Elizabeth I,' arrives for the 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Monday, Jan. 15, 2007, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

Jeremy Irons holds his award for best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a series, mini-series, or motion picture made for television for his role in 'Elizabeth I' while backstage at the 64th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California January 15, 2007. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES)

Jeremy Irons poses with the award he won for best supporting actor in a series, mini-series or television movie for his work on 'Elizabeth I,' at the 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Monday, Jan. 15, 2007, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

Photos: Evangeline Lily

Actress Evangeline Lilly, from ABC television series 'Lost,' smiles as she joins Robert Iger, not shown, president and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, during Iger's speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 8, 2007. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Evangeline Lilly arrives at the 64th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills January 15, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES)

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Photos: Jessica Biel

There you go Sarge. (But remember what your buddy said. hahaha)

Actress Jessica Biel arrives for the 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Monday, Jan. 15, 2007, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


Presenter Jessica Biel talks on stage during the 12th annual Critics' Choice Awards on Friday, Jan. 12, 2007 in Santa Monica, Calif. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

Jessica Biel arrives at the 12th annual Critics' Choice Awards on Friday, Jan. 12, 2007 in Santa Monica, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Actresses Jessica Biel (L) and presenter Sienna Miller pose backstage at the 18th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala in Palm Springs, California January 6, 2007. Biel received the festival's rising star award at the gala. REUTERS/Fred Prouser (UNITED STATES)

(AP Photo/Matt Sayles)


(AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

Jessica Biel arrives at the 18th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala in Palm Springs, Calif., on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)


Actors Adam Beach (L) and Jessica Biel pose backstage at the 18th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala in Palm Springs, California January 6, 2007. Biel, who stars in 'The Illusionist' and Beach who stars in 'Flags Of Our Fathers' each received the festival's rising star award at the gala. REUTERS/Fred Prouser (UNITED STATES)