Saturday, February 02, 2008

Marshall McLuhan

Crunchy Con: St. Marshall's warning
the Wired article: The Wisdom of Saint Marshall, the Holy Fool
Honoring Wired's Patron Saint

So is the electronic media more "dangerous" than the printed media? What would Plato say? Even if one cannot dialogue or interrogate a book, one can at least put it down and reflect upon what one has read before continuing. One might say that before the invention of recording devices, the electronic media required total attention--one can't stop and think, because one has to continue listening or one will miss something (possibly important). But how is this different from attending a lecture?
(Besides the lecture having a Q&A session afterwards.) The manipulation of images and sounds, to trigger certain responses and emotions? Something that goes beyond what a skilled orator is capable of?

Marshall McLuhan on the TODAY Show

Google video:
Retro: Mailer and McLuhan
The Official Site of Marshall McLuhan
The Marshall McLuhan Global Research Network
The Marshall McLuhan Center on Global Communications - HOME
Basic Mc Luhan: Marshall McLuhan and the Senses
Playboy Interview (just the interview, nothing else)

More info:
Marshall McLuhan
Marshall McLuhan Links - Professor Bernard Hibbitts
Marshall McLuhan:"The Medium is the Message"
by Todd Kappelman
Technological Determinism of Marshall McLuhan
The : Revisiting Marshall McLuhan

Jerri Lynn Ward interviews Kevin Gutzman

Jerri Lynn Ward interview with Kevin Gutzman here (regarding the Constitution and its interpretation)

Other interviews with Kevin Gutzman
Pundit Review Radio: mp3 (PodcastBlaster directory)
Martin Dzuris Live Radio Show: mp3
With Phyllis Schlafly: Part1, Part2
American Federalist blog

Michael Oakeshott on a liberal education

The Love of Learning
Home Page of the Michael Oakeshott Association The Voice of Liberal Learning: Michael Oakeshott on ...

Launch of Education and the Voice of Michael Oakeshott by Dr. Kevin Williams
Liberal Learning as Conversation by John B. Bennett

Spring 2008 issue of The Intercollegiate Review

I got it today--two of the articles are of particular interest--"The New Classical Schooling" by Peter J. Leithart and "The Curious Return of the Small Family Farm" by Allan Carlson

Not available yet at the website, but here is the rest of the archives.

Edit: The Leithart article is available at First Principles.

Ron Paul, Politics and Judicial Activism

Politics and Judicial Activism

What went wrong with the Federal government? How should the Constitution be understood and interpreted? Topics worthy of further investigation...

Wen Jibao: Worst is still to come in snow emergency

Wen Jibao: Worst is still to come in snow emergency
President Hu Jintao, the head of the armed forces, has asked the army to support "the local governments in every way possible". The prime minister explains that the worst is yet to come, while an economist quantifies the damage: a half point decrease in GDP growth, and a one-third point rise in inflation. The government is worried about public protests.

Robert Clinton, Precedent as Mythology: The Case of Marbury v. Madison

Precedent as Mythology: The Case of Marbury v. Madison

Robert L. Clinton

Beyond Capitalism and Socialism

new collection of essays from IHS Press--it should be published soon; Amazon page

Edit: The ChesterBelloc Mandate has more details about the book

Winter 2008 issue of Vermont Commons out

"Reviving Town Meeting"

LoS: The Grey Book

on sale here

The League of the South, the premier Southern Nationalist organization, announces the pending release of its long-awaited publication: The Grey Book: Blueprint for Southern Independence.

If there is one book you must read to understand today's Southern independence movement, it is The Grey Book.

Among other things, you will learn

  1. Why Southern independence is not only desirable but likely
  2. Why independence for the Southern States is the only realistic remedy for a descent into cultural barbarism, political tyranny, and economic bankruptcy
  3. How a Southern nation, based on its Christian faith, would be radically different from the current American regime
  4. How an independent South would handle the Social Security debacle
  5. What sort of financial, monetary, and banking systems the South would adopt in order to ensure sound money and true economic prosperity
  6. How a Southern armed services would look compared to the current imperial military
  7. How a Southern defense and foreign policy would truly serve and defend the interests of the Southern people
  8. How the dispossessed Southern Middle Class would benefit from independence
  9. How the abolition of the income, property, and inheritance tax burden would increase prosperity and freedom
  10. How breaking the current leftist media stranglehold would benefit the Southern people
  11. How different education-elementary, secondary, and higher-would look in a free Southern nation
  12. How law enforcement and the criminal justice system would be revamped to serve true justice and the security of the people of the South
  13. How firearms ownership would be protected from anti-gun zealots

Finally, there is a plan and a vision for Southern independence.

Building castles in the air?

2 more from Dr. Wilson's list

are available through Google Books:

A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the States, by Alexander Hamilton Stephens

Robert Dabney's A Defence of Virginia, and Through Her, of the South

Lost: The Crash of Flight 815

Check out this fan-made video:

via NYMag

New Scientist: US drought 'man-made' says study

Via EB: Climate--Jan 2

US drought 'man-made' says study
Jim Giles, New Scientist
The water shortages gripping the western US are the result of global warming, not natural variations in climate, according to a bleak study by hydrologists. The results suggest that water disputes will plague the region in the future and damage economic growth unless action is taken now, warn researchers.

About 60% of the changes seen in river flow in the western US are due to warming caused by humans, their study suggests.

Key indicators have hinted at looming water problems for many years. More rain and less snow has been falling in mountain ranges such as the Rockies, for example. River levels, which depend on melting snow from the mountains during the spring and summer, have fallen as a result.

...Hopes that the drought is temporary have been dashed by the analysis, prompting leading researchers to intensify their calls for policy change.

Peter Gleick, a water policy expert at the Pacific Institute, an independent think tank based on Oakland, California, says that water use in his state could be reduced by a fifth by 2030, even if the population and economy continue to grow.

Many sectors need to change to achieve that goal. Agriculture would have to shift towards drip irrigation, in which small amounts of water are focused on individual plants, rather than whole areas being sprayed. Home owners would also have to adopt toilets and washing machines that use less water, he says.
(31 January 2008)

Friday, February 01, 2008

San Francisco Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force

Via EB: Peak oil - Feb 2

The San Francisco Peak Oil Preparedness Task Force explores life after fossil fuels -
an era that may be coming sooner than most people think

Charles Russo, San Francisco Bay Guardian

also posted at our city's policies: peak oil task force

2nd trailer for MR73

@ Twitch

Full recruiting video for Saint Gregory's Academy


Not sure if it was just uploaded recently, or if it couldn't play on one of the browsers and I just couldn't see it before. Makes one want to get involved with "alternate education."

Here's one for the cheerleaders

Too bad that in the case of those who swallow the party line [especially that of the Republican party or of so-called "conservative" pundits], "saving the cheerleader" will not save the world. Nonetheless, getting them to acknowledge the truth would be a good thing, but that may require a drastic conversion experience.

Economy Loses 17,000 Jobs in January
Recession Looms

Michael Shedlock: Jobs Contract as 2007 Job Growth Revised Away

Department of Labor

U.S. job losses in January raise recession fears
A separate report from the Commerce Department showed an unexpectedly steep 1.1 percent drop in construction spending in December, as home construction continued it steep fall. Sales, construction and prices of both new and previously owned homes are in sharp decline with no early end in sight.

The Battle of Red Cliff trailer

@ Twitch

Lin Zhi Ling of course looks gorgeous.

Lin Zhi Ling's photogallery @ AsianFanatics Star's Avenue
AsianFanatics Forum > Lin Zhi Ling (林志玲)
Lin Zhi Ling - The (Taiwan) Celebrity* Gallery
Lin Zhi Ling pictures

The Duchess trailer

@ Apple

PCR, The Dollar’s Reserve Currency Role Is Drawing to an End

The Dollar’s Reserve Currency Role Is Drawing to an End

American Conservative endorses Ron Paul

The endorsement. Via Conservative Heritage Times.

The Creed of the Old South 1865-1915 by Basil L. Gildersleeve

@ Project Gutenberg

Google Books

Stephen Colbert on Ron Paul

Check it out while it is still available...

Msgr. Cormac Burke on Self-Esteem

Self-esteem: Why or why not?

via Insight Scoop

Friday at school

I should have worked yesterday when I had the chance... but I didn't get enough sleep. But it would have been an easy day, floating. I got the call at 7:45... they probably would have waited for me to come to school, even though the bell rings at 8:15? Or maybe it's 7:45. I can't remember the schedule for that school.

Hrm, today I was at S____ School, near the d.o., subbing for a third-grade class. The teacher is ill, and may be in the hospital. She will be gone all of next week. At the end of the day I happened to see someone I know from my RCIA class, M's ex-fiancee? I can't remember her name, and I have forgotten if they were married or not, but I do remember that they separated, and she left the Church as a result. (M was in RCIA, and he did get baptized. Was he there only because of her? Was his conversion genuine? Who knows.)

One of the students in the class reminds me of Hermione Granger (or Emma Watson at least).

Except maybe her eyes are bigger... I don't know if the student is 100%, part or 0% Hispanic.

A lot of reminders to students to say please and thank you today.

One of the girls wanted me to hold her hand while we were walking to the cafeteria for rehearsal. (The 3rd graders are singing "What a Wonderful World" for a Tet/Lunar New Year celebration next Wednesday.) She was helping me pick up some paper holes (made by the hole puncher) and she got at the end of the line, and then she walked quickly to catch up with me and was looking at me with her hand out slightly. Where's the father/male figure in her life? Is he around?

Girls looking for a father figure... one can only pray that they don't end up with a bad guy later, or giving up their innocence for male attention.

Joel Salatin endorses for Ron Paul

From the Crunchy Con:Joel Salatin goes for Ron Paul (and Bill Kaufmann too!); the endorsement

More on Joel Salatin. Bill Kauffman.

Bill Kauffman: American Anarchist by Laurence M. Vance

Zenit: Papal Address to Education Congregation

Papal Address to Education Congregation

"Teaching Is an Expression of Christ's Charity"

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 1, 2008 ( Here is a Vatican translation of Benedict XVI's Jan. 21 address to participants in the plenary meeting of the Congregation for Catholic Education.

* * *

Clementine Hall
Monday, 21 January 2008

Your Eminences,
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you for your visit which you are making on the occasion of the Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for Catholic Education: my cordial greeting to each one of you. I greet in the first place Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, Prefect of your Dicastery, and together with him, the new Secretary and other Officials and Collaborators. I extend special thanks to you, Your Eminence, for your words to me, presenting the various topics on which the Congregation intends to reflect on in these days. They are subjects of great interest and timeliness to which, especially at this moment in history, the Church addresses her attention.

The education sector is particularly dear to the Church, called to make her own the concern of Christ, who, the Evangelist recounts, in seeing the crowds, took "compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things" (Mk 6: 34). The Greek word that expresses this attitude of "compassion" calls to mind the depths of mercy and refers to the profound love that the Heavenly Father feels for man. Tradition has seen teaching - and more generally, education - as a concrete manifestation of spiritual mercy, which constitutes one of the first works of love which is the Church's mission to offer to humanity. It is particularly appropriate that people in our time are reflecting on how to make current and effective this apostolic task of the Ecclesial Community, entrusted to Catholic universities and in a special manner to ecclesiastical faculties. I therefore rejoice with you that you have chosen a theme of such great interest for your Plenary Meeting, just as I also believe it will be useful to make a careful analysis of the projects for reform that are currently being studied by your Dicastery concerning the above-mentioned Catholic universities and ecclesiastical faculties.

In the first place, I refer to the reform of ecclesiastical studies of philosophy, a project which has now reached the last stages of its elaboration, in which the metaphysical and sapiential dimensions of philosophy, mentioned by John Paul II in his Encyclical Fides et Ratio (cf. n. 81), will certainly be emphasized. It would likewise be useful to assess the expediency of a reform of the Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana. Desired by my venerable Predecessor in 1979, it constitutes the magna carta of ecclesiastical faculties and serves as a basis for formulating criteria for evaluating the quality of these institutions, an evaluation required by the Bologna Process which the Holy See joined in 2003. Today, the ecclesiastical disciplines, especially theology, are subjected to new questions in a world tempted on the one hand by rationalism which follows a falsely free rationality disconnected from any religious reference, and on the other, by fundamentalisms that falsify the true essence of religion with their incitement to violence and fanaticism.

Schools should also question themselves on the role they must fulfil in the contemporary social context, marked by an evident educational crisis. The Catholic school, whose primary mission is to form students in accordance with an integral anthropological vision while remaining open to all and respecting the identity of each one, cannot fail to propose its own educational, human and Christian perspective. Here then, a new challenge is posed which globalization and increasing pluralism make even more acute: in other words, the challenge of the encounter of religions and cultures in the common search for the truth. The acceptance of the cultural plurality of pupils and parents must necessarily meet two requirements: on the one hand, not to exclude anyone in the name of his or her cultural or religious membership; on the other, once this cultural and religious difference has been recognized and accepted, not to stop at the mere observation of it. This would in fact be equivalent to denying that cultures truly respect one another when they meet, because all authentic cultures are oriented to the truth about man and to his good. Therefore, people who come from different cultures can speak to one another and understand one another over and above distances in time and space, because in the heart of every person dwells the same great aspirations to goodness, justice, truth, life and love.

Another theme being studied at your Plenary Assembly is the question concerning the reform of the Ratio fundamentalis institutionis sacerdotalis for seminaries. The basic document, dated 1970, was updated in 1985, especially subsequent to the promulgation of the Code of Canon Law in 1983. In the decades that followed, various texts of special importance were promulgated, in particular the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis (1992). The present atmosphere in society, with the massive influence of the media and the expansion of the phenomenon of globalization, is profoundly changed. It would thus seem necessary to question oneself on the expediency of the reform of the Ratio fundamentalis, which should emphasize the importance of a correct articulation of the various dimensions of priestly formation in the perspective of the Church-communion, following the instructions of the Second Vatican Council. This implies a solid formation in the faith of the Church and true familiarity with the revealed Word given by God to his Church. The formation of future priests, moreover, must offer useful guidelines and directions for carrying on a dialogue with the contemporary cultures. Human and cultural formation should therefore be significantly reinforced and sustained, also with the help of the modern sciences, since certain destabilizing social factors that exist in the world today (for example, the plight of so many broken families, the educational crisis, widespread violence, etc.) render the new generations fragile.
At the same time, an adequate formation in the spiritual life, which makes Christian communities and especially parishes ever more aware of their vocation and able to respond satisfactorily to the question of spirituality that comes especially from young people, must take place. This requires that the Church not lack well-qualified and responsible apostles and evangelizers. Consequently, the problem of vocations arises, especially to the priesthood and the consecrated life. While in some parts of the world vocations are visibly flourishing, elsewhere the number is dwindling, especially in the West. The care of vocations involves the whole Ecclesial Community: Bishops, priests, consecrated persons and also families and parishes. The publication of the Document on the vocation to the presbyteral ministry which you are preparing will certainly be a great help to your pastoral action.

Dear brothers and sisters, I recalled earlier that teaching is an expression of Christ's charity and is the first of the spiritual works of mercy that the Church is called to carry out. Those who enter the offices of the Congregation for Catholic Education are welcomed by an icon that shows Jesus washing his disciples' feet during the Last Supper. May the One who "loved [us] to the end" (cf. Jn 13: 1) bless your work at the service of education and, with the power of his Spirit, make it effective. For my part, I thank you for all you do daily with competence and dedication, and while I entrust you to the maternal protection of Mary Most Holy, the Wise Virgin and Mother of Love, I cordially impart the Apostolic Blessing to you all.

© Copyright 2008 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

123 Meme

I was tagged by the Western Confucian.

The Rules:-
Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. (No cheating!)
Find Page 123.
Find the first 5 sentences.
Post the next 3 sentences.
Tag 5 people.

The two prohibitions form one precept, in Aquinas's mind, because the prohibition against graven images is understood to forbid worshipping these images as gods. There is a relationship of entailment between the prohibition against graven images and the prohibition against worshipping other gods besides the one, true God, and thus there is need for only one precept. But the point most worth emphasizing here is the way in which the First Commandment reposes upon a prior understanding of ourselves as bound to honor God as the ultimate end, and as the unrivalled ultimate end, of human beings.

This is from Daniel McInerny's The Difficult Good: A Thomistic Approach to Moral Conflict and Human Happiness, one of the few books that are out of the moving bins and one I was planning to use for the dissertation. (But I've narrowed the dissertation topic down since then, so I would be referring to it much, if at all.)

I see Fr. Dewan, O.P has a new book in the Moral Philosophy and Moral Theology series--Wisdom, Law and Virtue: Essays in Thomistic Ethics. $85, rather expensive, but it is for 600 pages...

I tag Pete Takeshi, Seraphic Single, heh. I think that's about it? Not sure who else reads this blog and blogs as well.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music

some samples of music played by teachers and students of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music

(I was doing a search on Alberto Turco.)

Alberto Turco & Nova Schola Gregoriana – Music at
Nova Schola Gregoriana Biography. Download Classical Music by Nova

Piazza Duomo, 31/A
37121 Verona (VR), Italy
+39 045 8005233

Alla scoperta della musica medievale

Three suspended Ave Maria law school professors file suit

Three suspended Ave Maria law school professors file suit

Gene Logsdon, How long can paper dollars keep a house warm?

How long can paper dollars keep a house warm?
What is wrong about allowing money to "grow" as if it were a real thing? Answer: Real things grow, mature and die. Pretend money grows and grows every second of every hour of every day and night. Pretend money therefore tends to overwhelm the growth rate of real resources.
published January 31, 2008.

I think he gets the change in teaching in usury (not really a change at all, as far as I know, but a clarification as to what counts as usury and what doesn't), but he does raise the seemingly valid point that perhaps the Church should not be involved in banking.

Stuff from Energy Bulletin

The limits to scenario planning
I was involved in one of those periodic discussions that spring up about The Limits To Growth recently and found myself wondering, not for the first time, if other people have read a completely different version of the book to the one I possess.
published February 1, 2008.

Asking better questions
The discussion at The Oil Drum takes a more personal nature with me; much of my own history involves looking back toward a simpler time in agriculture. (The account of a "recovering energy engineer.")
published January 31, 2008.

via Up from Dysfunction--Jan 31:
From buses to blogs, a pathological individualism is poisoning public life
Madeleine Bunting, Guardian

Take a big jump and switch from the shared physical spaces of streets to a very different shared public space - the internet - and a related phenomenon is being played out. Aggression, abuse and contempt are now the normal currency of debate among strangers on blogs. Last week two prominent columnists, David Aaronovitch and Linda Grant, added their bewilderment to the growing chorus of those arguing that public debate on the internet is being strangled at birth by the quantity of personal abuse and bullying. The response from bloggers was fascinating. One argued that "the internet is good therapy. People can use it to voice their opinions, anger, fears and worries in anonymity, instead of penting it up [sic] leading to violence or suicides", while another argued that blogging is an "internal monologue ... spilling over into the public domain". Several contributors to the voluminous debate Grant's column spawned on Comment is free online admitted revulsion and shock. One asked: "Is human nature as awful as this?"

The thinker who predicted all of this with remarkable prescience was Richard Sennett in his book The Fall of Public Man, published 34 years ago. He argued that the distinction between the public and private realms was being eroded as we elevated the self-absorption and narcissism of "knowing oneself" into an end rather than a means by which to know the world. The public sphere - where we encounter strangers - becomes a canvas on which we play out our own emotional preoccupations and neuroses. Sennett sharply warned us that "because every self is, in some measure, a cabinet of horrors, civilised relations between selves can only proceed to the extent that nasty little secrets of desire, greed or envy are kept locked up".

What makes Sennett so pertinent is that this concept of privacy, of concealing thoughts, is exactly what is under assault. In some vain search for authenticity and honesty, all those horrors in the cabinet are now hawked around the blogging sites. Debate has become so gladiatorial that it generates its own mechanisms of exclusion; anyone who doesn't want verbal fisticuffs withdraws. Some participants, intoxicated by absurd interpretations of freedom of speech and individual entitlement, suggest people should be able to say whatever happens to pop into their heads, that there should be no space for reflection before speech. Martin Amis gave some intellectual credibility to this notion last autumn in the controversy over his remarks about Muslims, saying that he couldn't edit his thoughts. Yet deciding which thought to give voice to is precisely what all of us do all the time - and so it should be. What relationship, either public or private, could ever be sustained on any other principle?

A century of psychoanalysis and its derivatives and misapplications has legitimised parading our cabinets of horrors. Sennett describes this as having been a "trap rather than a liberation". The self-referential frame by which all is measured is "what does this person, that event mean to me?", he argues.

Amid such cacophony of attention-seeking "me, me, me", two things are in danger of being lost: first, the ability really to listen - rather than just wait with varying degrees of patience for your chance to spout off; and second, that grand old etiquette of liberal debate, the option to agree to differ. Both are vital ingredients of public debate as a process of learning and negotiation, both are much needed if the unprecedented diversity of our public spaces now is to produce civility or even conviviality.

Ha Ji Won's new movie

They started filming a while ago (in 1986?), but it is just getting released now? Or is this the normal timetable for Korean movies?

website (includes trailer)

So Cha Tae-hyun is playing a mentally handicapped man. I hope this movie is better than Forrest Gump or I am Sam. At least it has HJW...

KFCCinema thread

Sacred Music archives


Volume 134.3, Fall 2007 (Summorum, by Mahrt; Defense of Singing, by P. Phillips; Ward Method, by A. Brown; St. John Cantius, Fr. Kolinksi; 2 Communios, by Mahrt; Concerning Hymns, A. Fortescue; Gregorian Music, F.A. Mocquereau; Polyphonic Masses, by M. Procter)

See the article by Peter Phillips, "Defense of Singing."

Ron Paul after the California CNN GOP Debate

Lost mobisodes

or webisodes...

Just found out about them today.

I think these are it.

"So it Begins"
is rather interesting--not available online yet--should be available soon.

Spin Farming


What's SPIN?

SPIN is a non-technical, easy-to-learn and inexpensive-to-implement farming system that makes it possible to earn significant income from land bases under an acre in size. Whether you are new to farming, or want to farm in a new way, SPIN can work for you because:

  • Its precise revenue targeting formulas and organic-based techniques make it possible to gross $50,000+ from a half- acre.
  • You don't need to own land. You can affordably rent a small piece of land adequate in size for SPIN-FARMING production.
  • It works in either the city, country or small town.
  • It fits into any lifestyle or life cycle.

SPIN is being practiced by first generation farmers because it removes the two big barriers to entry - land and capital - as well as by established farmers who want to diversify or downsize, as well as by part-time hobby farmers.

via Is the desire to relocalize merely aesthetic?

Zenit: Papal Address on Synod Preparation

Papal Address on Synod Preparation

"Among the Ecclesial Community's Duties, I Emphasize Evangelization and Ecumenism"

In the recent Encyclical Letter Spe Salvi on Christian hope, I wished to underline the "social character of hope" (n. 14). "Being in communion with Jesus Christ", I wrote, "draws us into his "being for all'; it makes it our own way of being. He commits us to live for others, but only through communion with him does it become truly possible to be there for others", since there exists a "connection between the love of God and responsibility for others" (ibid., n. 28) that enables one to avoid falling into the individualism of salvation and hope. I believe that one can discover this fruitful principle effectively applied in the synodal experience, where the encounter becomes communion and solicitude for all the Churches (cf. II Cor 11: 28) emerges in the concern for all.

Zenit: Interview with Fr. Yves le Saux

On the Changing Model of Parishes

Interview With Father Yves le Saux of the Emmanuel Community

By Gisèle Plantec

ROME, JAN. 30, 2008 ( If a pastor in a parish today wishes to have souls to care for, he needs to go looking for them, says the leader of the priests of the Emmanuel Community.

Father Yves le Saux, general delegate for ordained ministry of the Emmanuel Community, spoke with ZENIT during a conference under way in Rome on "The Parish and the New Evangelization."

The congress is organized by the Emmanuel Community and the Pontifical Institute Redemptor Hominis. It ends Friday.

Priests in the Emmanuel Community are diocesan priests under the authority of their respective bishops who allow them to be members of the group.

Q: Is there a future for parishes?

Father Le Saux: Today, in different regions of the world, some are wondering about the future of parishes.

I think that the parish is and will continue being the principal and privileged space of the life of the Church. By nature, the parish is the place where the Christian community meets. It has the vocation of welcoming all Christians around the Eucharist, around Christ, also through the ministry of the parish priest. The parish is the place where every Christian, every baptized, independently of his sensitivity, his personal charism, can live and be integrated into ecclesial life.

That said, the model of the parish in which the pastor is there, in the midst of its community, available for all the people to go to, is no longer sufficient today. If a pastor wishes to still have sheep, he should go to find them. Today, the parish should be understood as “mission territory.” It seems to me that perhaps the term “mission territory” has to be added to the term parish so that the priest and Christians who live in a determined place can enter into a dynamic of announcing the Gospel.

Said in another way, does the parish have a future? Yes, on the condition that it is missionary.

Q: What advice could you give to a pastor who has a deep consciousness of the evangelizing role of his parish but who feels alone facing this challenge?

Father Le Saux: It is clear that the responsibility for the mission should not fall on only one man. I think that today the parochial function should not be entrusted to only one man, but to a team of priests who have a demanding community life and who are prepared for working together in the mission.

But this is insufficient. Today a parish priest has to be surrounded by the baptized who share with him the same missionary drive. The priest who feels alone should, in principle, have the objective of surrounding himself with people who not only evangelize with him, but who also pray with him, reflect with him, have a Christian life with him.

That being said, I think that there is also a responsibility of the bishops themselves, who should be on guard to not leave a priest alone. A man alone, even with a lot of help and talents, remains limited in his fruitfulness.

Today the world needs witnesses, not only individuals, but also groups. This restlessness corresponds not just to the priest but also to the baptized, who should accompany their priest and also their bishops, who should be preoccupied about not leaving their priests alone.

Q: Ecclesial movements sometimes have more consciousness of the importance of the new evangelization than parishes, but they hesitate in committing themselves in the parishes for fear of losing their identity. What is your opinion about this?

Father Le Saux: A movement is not there to defend its identity. We can see that more and more, the communities and movements place their own charism at the disposal of the parish. This is only possible if the people involved return to a true ecclesial sense and do not reduce the Church to their own experience, even if it is very powerful.

The parish cannot be the parish of a community, of a concrete movement. But the parish can be the place where the charism of a community, of a movement, can be put into action on the condition that it is not exclusive.

Two temptations exist that have to be avoided: that of a parish priest who uses the communities or movements simply as objects, using the people without taking into account their own vocation or charism, which makes it impossible for them to give what God gives them.

The other temptation is that a community, a movement, uses the parish to promote itself.

But today there are fruitful experiences in different parts of the world.

The conference that we are having aims to reflect on all of this and evaluate the conditions necessary for facilitating the sharing of the communities and permitting parishes to be missionary spaces.

website for the Emmanuel Community
Zenit profile

MG, The tragic tale of the last fool in line

The tragic tale of the last fool in line
By The Mogambo Guru

this is one of the few things in the world of economics and finance that I comprehend exactly; when more people are selling something than there are people buying it, then the price goes down, and that means that when there are more people selling stocks than are buying them, the stock market goes down, and all those people who owned those stocks took another loss, and then a tiny bit of incrementally more people one day, suddenly, sit up in bed, alarmed and afraid, and say, "Hey! That Stupid Mogambo Halfwit (SMH) was right about investing for the long term in the stock market; it can't be done for the vast majority of people, and only a tiny minority of people will make money from owning stocks! The majority of us must lose! Damn!"

Mike Whitney, America's Teetering Banking System

Rate Cut as Dagger
America's Teetering Banking System


Gary Leupp provides a Sibel Edmonds timeline

A Sibel Edmonds Timeline
"We Can't Afford to Let Them Spill the Beans"


Plus, Found in Translation: FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds spills her secrets, by Philip Giraldi

Scott Richert on Patriotism

Race, Nationalism, and Patriotism, Part III: Patriotism

Historically in English, both patria and natio have come together in patriotism, the love of a particular people in a particular place. Again, this is analogous to the human society of the family, which, throughout history, has not simply been defined genetically or culturally but with reference to the physical location of the family. Our modern, mobile American society throws us off here, because we think nothing of moving from state to state several times in our lives, nor do we particularly find it odd to sell our childhood home after we inherit it (assuming our parents haven’t sold it long ago). Our sense of belonging to a particular place--not only being a part of a particular place, but that place being a part of us--is extremely attenuated.

But the modern American experience is not normative--not only historically, but even today, among European-derived peoples. Europeans in Europe are much more rooted, and that close association with the land of their fathers--the patria terra, to return to the Latin--has a cultural (and, indeed, even a genetic) significance that has largely been lost here in the United States.

It’s no surprise, then, that patriotism, in modern American usage, has diverged from its historical definition and largely come to mean abstract adherence to some set of American “ideals"--for instance, the “proposition nation” or “credal nation” idea of the neocons, or the Jaffa-ite version of the “noble lie” of the Straussians. After all, how can patriotism retain its traditional meaning for people whose connection to the land on which they currently reside is at best momentary and accidental? It makes little sense to develop an attachment to a place (and the people who reside therein) when we’re only “passing through,” looking forward to our next move, “onward and upward,” as we chase the “American dream.”

The result, in the United States, has been the separation of those two terms that should be inextricably linked--natio and patria--and the destruction of patriotism, as traditionally understood. But because natio and patria are linked, when our relationship to the latter is attenuated, the former becomes more abstract--an ideological construct, rather than a lived reality.

The answer is not to throw up our hands and declare ourselves “rootless cosmopolitans,” as some who have actually begun to see the problem have done, nor to think that an abstract nationalism (either the “proposition nation” or some defining away of our differences until “American” means nothing more than “of the white race, residing within the borders of the current United States") will solve our problem. Instead, we need to return to life as our ancestors lived it, and as most Europeans today still do: in one place, among our people, through many generations.

John Zmirak writes on Rome

Better to Blow Out One Candle than Curse the Light

Character Posters for The Forbidden Kingdom

@ Yahoo; via Twitch

Eye for an Eye, Tooth for a Tooth Trailer

Via Twitch:
Trailer for Korean actioner EYE FOR AN EYE, TOOTH FOR A TOOTH [눈에는 눈 이에는 이] (2008)

Johnnie To update

@ Kaiju Shakedown

h/t to Twitch

Founder of the LC passes away

via Fr. Z.

official website for the Legionaries of Christ

EDIT: website set up by LC/RC to announce his passing

From NOR -- Fr. Maciel & His Legionaries
"Some of the harshest critics of the Legionaries of Christ are orthodox Catholics; and they're not upset about the Order's fidelity to the Pope."

Lakis Polycarpou, Is the desire to relocalize merely aesthetic?

At EB:

Published on 31 Jan 2008 by Lakis Polycarpou. Archived on 31 Jan 2008.
Is the desire to relocalize merely aesthetic?

by Lakis Polycarpou

CI: Actress Petitions to Scrap Adultery Law

Actress Petitions to Scrap Adultery Law

So what to make of S. Korea's adultery law? Just? Not just? What is the appropriate punishment, if any, for adultery? Does society have such a compelling interest in protecting the marriage bond that it has the authority to punish adultery?

Celebrity tryst may change Korean adultery law - Yahoo! News
Adultery Law: A Necessary Evil? (written in response to another incident involving a minor Korean celebrity)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


the niece: *poot*

My mom: "uhoh"

the niece: "fart"

"What's that?"

"Fong chau pei."

"What's that?"

"Kau kau knows it."

hahaha. If I taught her the Chinese, at least I didn't teach her the English as well.

British Territorial Army - Officer - Selection & Training

Everybody's Dixie

Bobby Horton's rendition
General Pike wrote the following to replace the lyrics of "Dixie's Land" and to make the song more martial.

source for the following:


by Albert Pike

Southrons, hear your country call you,
Up, lest worse than death befall you!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
Lo! all the beacon-fires are lighted,--
Let all hearts be now united!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!

CHORUS:Advance the flag of Dixie!
Hurrah! Hurrah!
In Dixie's land we take our stand,
And live or die for Dixie!
To arms! To arms!
And conquer peace for Dixie!
To arms! To arms!
And conquer peace for Dixie!

Hear the Northern thunders mutter!
Northern flags in South winds flutter!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
Send them back your fierce defiance!
Stamp upon the cursed alliance!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!--CHORUS

Fear no danger! Shun no labor!
Lift up rifle, pike, and sabre!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
Shoulder pressing close to shoulder,
Let the odds make each heart bolder!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!--CHORUS

How the South's great heart rejoices
At your cannon's ringing voices!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
For faith betrayed and pledges broken,
Wrongs inflicted, insults spoken,
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!--CHORUS

Strong as lions, swift as eagles,
Back to their kennels hunt these beagles!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
Cut the unequal bonds asunder!
Let them hence each other plunder!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!--CHORUS

Swear upon your country's altar
Never to submit or falter--
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
Till the spoilers are defeated,
Till the Lord's work is completed!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!--CHORUS

Halt not till our Federation
Secures among earth's powers its station!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
Then at peace and crowned with glory,
Hear your children tell the story!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!--CHORUS

If the loved ones weep in sadness,
Victory soon shall bring them gladness--
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!
Exultant pride soon vanish sorrow;
Smiles chase tears away to-morrow!
To arms! To arms! To arms, in Dixie!--CHORUS
compare with Dixie's Land (wiki; wikisource; Daniel Decatur Emmett)
wiki on the origin of the name Dixie

St. Andrew's Armenian Apostolic Church

in Cupertino

I don't think I'll ever step foot into this one...

(plus St. Gregory the Illuminator in San Francisco and St. Vartan in Oakland)

Western Diocese of the Armenian Church
Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
Armenian Prelacy of Eastern United States
Armenian Churches in the USA -

Some architects

Brought to my attention by NLM:

Mr. William Heyer (his website); and via this post, Mssr. Craig Hamilton and Andrew Gould

(from the comments, Christ J. Kamages--wow!)

AT: Macau adds up gambling debts

Macau adds up gambling debts
Macau, growing fat on a casino boom, is starting to look beyond the mainland and gambling for future business. Some folk, though, are looking at the city itself, and are wondering if more than cash has been thrown away with the gambling chips. - Muhammad Cohen



Scott Richert on Nationalism

Race, Nationalism, and Patriotism, Part II: Nationalism

Indian gaming, anyone?

The California Republican party recommends a yes vote for propositions 94-7. (So is Tom McClintock following the party, or is he making his own independent judgment?) I was going to vote no, because I oppose casinos and the state needs to come up with a better way for generating revenue, and I'm not going to vote one way just because the Republican party says I should--why should I trust the GOP apparatchiks?

While McClintock personally opposes gambling, he gives the libertarian line with regard to government regulation of gambling.

I’ve had a lot of spirited discussions with conservatives over the last few weeks who are adamantly opposed to the Indian gaming compacts for one of two reasons: either they disapprove of gambling or they don’t believe the proponent’s claims that the new revenues will be significant. I agree on both points – but that’s not the issue. And they completely miss the real battle that’s going on – between one of the most corrupt unions in California and the rank and file workers on the reservations....

The big boon comes from the jobs and investment that the compacts make possible – not for government but for the economy. Those who enjoy gambling are doing so anyway and will continue to do so -- in Nevada. Those California dollars are helping to drive Nevada’s hotel industry, its restaurant industry, its gaming industry and all the other businesses that support them. Hasn’t California government done enough already to drive investment, jobs and enterprise out of state?

Finally, there's a dirty little secret that conservatives need to understand clearly: why the compacts are on the ballot at all. Under federal law, every California Indian tribe engaged in gaming has to negotiate a compact with the state to share revenues. These agreements are routinely negotiated with the governor and approved by the legislature without going to voters.

This time however, the hotel and restaurant union, UNITE-HERE, wanted a piece of the action. The union bosses pressed to have a provision inserted in these four compacts that would have denied workers at the Indian casinos the right to a secret ballot in union elections – a despotic arrangement euphemistically called “card-check neutrality.” Instead of casting a secret ballot in the sanctity of a voting booth, workers could be intimidated into casting ballots while surrounded by union organizers.

The legislature balked and approved the compacts without taking away workers’ rights to a secret ballot. In response, the union qualified a referendum to force a statewide vote on these particular agreements (with Las Vegas casinos gleefully joining them). If they succeed in defeating the compacts, it will be a powerful message that all future agreements must include the “card check” provisions that deny Indian casino workers the protection of the secret ballot. Sadly and ironically, many conservatives are unwittingly standing with one of the most corrupt unions in California and against Indian entrepreneurs who finally figured out a way to prosper on the flinty land of their reservations.

So we need the jobs that the casinos would provide to industry and the service sector? Come, now, shouldn't the state work for a sustainable economy? But I'm betting no one in Sacramento has ever given that a thought.

Transcript for tonight's Republican debate in CA

I wish I could have watched this one--with the field down to 4 candidates, you would think Ron Paul would get more time, right? From the complaints at LRC blog, this once again didn't happen, even though CNN was a sponsor.

the transcript

edit: Another disgrace for CNN. Meanwhile the commentators over at the Corner reveal how unfit they are to speak for any form of true conservatism. If it's a waste to have Ron Paul on the stage it is so because of the way Anderson Cooper handled the debate--instead of a real debate with a discussion of first principles (as Ron Paul would want--interventionism or non-interventionism?), we got an exchange between two uninspiring politicians acting like politicians.

You know things are changing...

when one of your students comes up to you at recess, and asks this about another student:

"Why is his hair that color?"
"Who, him? You mean the boy with blonde hair?"
"Yea? Why is it like that?"
("It just is...")

So what will the demographics for California be like in 50 years?

It feels good to get hugs from children you like you, I'll have to admit that. Another reason to prefer being around them than with [some] adults. Getting pictures from them is nice too.

Bernard Chapin interviews Theodore Dalrymple

State of Humbug; via City Journal

BC: Hasn't the line between "having a right to an opinion" and "having a valid opinion" become completely blurred in recent years?

Theodore Dalrymple: Many young people now end a discussion with the supposedly definitive and unanswerable statement that such is their opinion, and their opinion is just as valid as anyone else's. The fact is that our opinion on an infinitely large number of questions is not worth having, because everyone is infinitely ignorant. My opinion of the parasitic diseases of polar bears is not worth having for the simple reason that I know nothing about them, though I have a right to an opinion in the sense that I should not receive a knock on the door from the secret police if I express such a worthless opinion.

The right to an opinion is often confused (no doubt for reasons of misplaced democratic sentiment) for the validity of an opinion, just as the validity of an argument is often mistaken for the truth of a conclusion.

His new book. (A video of him speaking.) A review of it in the New English Review.

(Hmm, there's a revised edition of Mexifornia out. And Philip F. Lawler has this book out, The Faithful Departed: The Collapse of Boston’s Catholic Culture.)

Ron Dreher on males who don't grow up

The Child-Man; he refers to Child-Man in the Promised Land by Kay S. Hymowitz.

See also his Re-thinking the meat guzzler; most of us live intemperately even if we don't over-eat.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Motte Brown, The "I Just Haven't Found the Right One" Trump Card

The "I Just Haven't Found the Right One" Trump Card

Duelling histories

Last night I came upon the blog of Kevin M. Levin. How? I was doing some research on the English Civil War, typing specifically "cavaliers Stuarts" into the search engine. Instead, I first found this account of JEB Stuart's death. Then there was this post on Levin's blog, a review of a Christian devotional book using Stuart as a model for Christians to emulate. Levin apparently thinks that the war was fought primarily over slavery, the dominant view that most Americans adhere to today, one would think. Certainly this is the one that is inculcated in the public school system.

Dr. Clyde Wilson has written against this view. But what history books, acceptable to contemporary academia, present a more complicated account of the causes of secession, and would be worth reading? Would it be too much to ask from contemporary academia, to accept such an argument as being valid?

Dr. Wilson reviews The Myth of the Lost Cost and Civil War History. His book recommendations: The South and Southern History

What would the difference be between Southern mythology and authentic writing of history, content-wise, according to Dr. Wilson?

Jefferson Davis's The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government. Another book for me to read...

Is it going to be McCain?

From Drudge: Giuliani Prepares to Exit, Back McCain

How much longer can Huckabee last? I think Ron Paul should continue to get money and stay in the race; can he take McCain down?

Photos: Tang Wei

Chinese actress Tang Wei attends a Japan premiere event of "Lust, Caution" in Tokyo January 24, 2008. The film opens in Japan February 2.

REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao (JAPAN)

Chinese actress Tang Wei stands in front of a poster of herself during Japan premiere of her latest movie 'Lust, Caution,' directed by Ang Lee in Tokyo Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008.

(AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Film director Ang Lee, center, Chinese actress Tang Wei, right, and Chinese-American pop star/actor Wang Leehom pose for photographers during Japan premiere of their latest movie 'Lust, Caution' in Tokyo Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008.

(AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Chinese actress Tang Wei, center, speaks as film director Ang Lee, right, and Chinese-American pop star/actor Wang Leehom look on during Japan premiere of their latest movie 'Lust, Caution' in Tokyo Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008.

(AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Scott Richert joins in on the discussion of racialism

Race, Nationalism, and Patriotism, Part I: Race

Henry CK Liu, A failure of central banking

A failure of central banking
Before 1913, there was no US central bank to bail out troubled commercial and financial institutions or to keep inflation in check. The near 2,000% rise in prices since then underlines the dismal failure of the Fed to fulfill its role as the nation's monetary guardian. - Henry C K Liu

This is the second part of a series

Mike Whitney, The Great Credit Unwind of 2008

An Inverted Pyramid of Subprime Slop
The Great Credit Unwind of 2008


Ashokan Farewell

Performed By: Jay Unger & Molly Mason (website)

Jay Ungar and Molly Mason

Ashokan Farewell

"The Rose of Alabama"

Camptown Shakers

Camptown Shakers in Fredericksburg, Va Dec, 2007

Zenit: Benedict XVI's Lenten Address

Benedict XVI's Lenten Address

"Almsgiving, According to the Gospel, Is Not Mere Philanthropy"

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 29, 2008 ( Here is the text of Benedict XVI's message for Lent, dated Oct. 30 and released today by the Vatican.

Ash Wednesday is Feb. 6.

* * *


"Christ made Himself poor for you" (2 Cor 8,9)

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

1. Each year, Lent offers us a providential opportunity to deepen the meaning and value of our Christian lives, and it stimulates us to rediscover the mercy of God so that we, in turn, become more merciful toward our brothers and sisters. In the Lenten period, the Church makes it her duty to propose some specific tasks that accompany the faithful concretely in this process of interior renewal: these are prayer, fasting and almsgiving. For this year's Lenten Message, I wish to spend some time reflecting on the practice of almsgiving, which represents a specific way to assist those in need and, at the same time, an exercise in self-denial to free us from attachment to worldly goods. The force of attraction to material riches and just how categorical our decision must be not to make of them an idol, Jesus confirms in a resolute way: "You cannot serve God and mammon" (Lk 16,13). Almsgiving helps us to overcome this constant temptation, teaching us to respond to our neighbor's needs and to share with others whatever we possess through divine goodness. This is the aim of the special collections in favor of the poor, which are promoted during Lent in many parts of the world. In this way, inward cleansing is accompanied by a gesture of ecclesial communion, mirroring what already took place in the early Church. In his Letters, Saint Paul speaks of this in regard to the collection for the Jerusalem community (cf. 2 Cor 8-9; Rm 15, 25-27).

2. According to the teaching of the Gospel, we are not owners but rather administrators of the goods we possess: these, then, are not to be considered as our exclusive possession, but means through which the Lord calls each one of us to act as a steward of His providence for our neighbor. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, material goods bear a social value, according to the principle of their universal destination (cf. n. 2404)

In the Gospel, Jesus explicitly admonishes the one who possesses and uses earthly riches only for self. In the face of the multitudes, who, lacking everything, suffer hunger, the words of Saint John acquire the tone of a ringing rebuke: "How does God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses to help?" (1 Jn 3,17). In those countries whose population is majority Christian, the call to share is even more urgent, since their responsibility toward the many who suffer poverty and abandonment is even greater. To come to their aid is a duty of justice even prior to being an act of charity.

3. The Gospel highlights a typical feature of Christian almsgiving: it must be hidden: "Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing," Jesus asserts, "so that your alms may be done in secret" (Mt 6,3-4). Just a short while before, He said not to boast of one's own good works so as not to risk being deprived of the heavenly reward (cf. Mt 6,1-2). The disciple is to be concerned with God's greater glory. Jesus warns: "In this way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven" (Mt 5,16). Everything, then, must be done for God's glory and not our own. This understanding, dear brothers and sisters, must accompany every gesture of help to our neighbor, avoiding that it becomes a means to make ourselves the center of attention. If, in accomplishing a good deed, we do not have as our goal God's glory and the real well being of our brothers and sisters, looking rather for a return of personal interest or simply of applause, we place ourselves outside of the Gospel vision. In today's world of images, attentive vigilance is required, since this temptation is great. Almsgiving, according to the Gospel, is not mere philanthropy: rather it is a concrete expression of charity, a theological virtue that demands interior conversion to love of God and neighbor, in imitation of Jesus Christ, who, dying on the cross, gave His entire self for us. How could we not thank God for the many people who silently, far from the gaze of the media world, fulfill, with this spirit, generous actions in support of one's neighbor in difficulty? There is little use in giving one's personal goods to others if it leads to a heart puffed up in vainglory: for this reason, the one, who knows that God "sees in secret" and in secret will reward, does not seek human recognition for works of mercy.

4. In inviting us to consider almsgiving with a more profound gaze that transcends the purely material dimension, Scripture teaches us that there is more joy in giving than in receiving (cf. Acts 20,35). When we do things out of love, we express the truth of our being; indeed, we have been created not for ourselves but for God and our brothers and sisters (cf. 2 Cor 5,15). Every time when, for love of God, we share our goods with our neighbor in need, we discover that the fullness of life comes from love and all is returned to us as a blessing in the form of peace, inner satisfaction and joy. Our Father in heaven rewards our almsgiving with His joy. What is more: Saint Peter includes among the spiritual fruits of almsgiving the forgiveness of sins: "Charity," he writes, "covers a multitude of sins" (1 Pt 4,8). As the Lenten liturgy frequently repeats, God offers to us sinners the possibility of being forgiven. The fact of sharing with the poor what we possess disposes us to receive such a gift. In this moment, my thought turns to those who realize the weight of the evil they have committed and, precisely for this reason, feel far from God, fearful and almost incapable of turning to Him. By drawing close to others through almsgiving, we draw close to God; it can become an instrument for authentic conversion and reconciliation with Him and our brothers.

5. Almsgiving teaches us the generosity of love. Saint Joseph Benedict Cottolengo forthrightly recommends: "Never keep an account of the coins you give, since this is what I always say: if, in giving alms, the left hand is not to know what the right hand is doing, then the right hand, too, should not know what it does itself" (Detti e pensieri, Edilibri, n. 201). In this regard, all the more significant is the Gospel story of the widow who, out of her poverty, cast into the Temple treasury "all she had to live on" (Mk 12,44). Her tiny and insignificant coin becomes an eloquent symbol: this widow gives to God not out of her abundance, not so much what she has, but what she is. Her entire self.

We find this moving passage inserted in the description of the days that immediately precede Jesus' passion and death, who, as Saint Paul writes, made Himself poor to enrich us out of His poverty (cf. 2 Cor 8,9); He gave His entire self for us. Lent, also through the practice of almsgiving, inspires us to follow His example. In His school, we can learn to make of our lives a total gift; imitating Him, we are able to make ourselves available, not so much in giving a part of what we possess, but our very selves. Cannot the entire Gospel be summarized perhaps in the one commandment of love? The Lenten practice of almsgiving thus becomes a means to deepen our Christian vocation. In gratuitously offering himself, the Christian bears witness that it is love and not material richness that determines the laws of his existence. Love, then, gives almsgiving its value; it inspires various forms of giving, according to the possibilities and conditions of each person.

6. Dear brothers and sisters, Lent invites us to "train ourselves" spiritually, also through the practice of almsgiving, in order to grow in charity and recognize in the poor Christ Himself. In the Acts of the Apostles, we read that the Apostle Peter said to the cripple who was begging alms at the Temple gate: "I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, walk" (Acts 3,6). In giving alms, we offer something material, a sign of the greater gift that we can impart to others through the announcement and witness of Christ, in whose name is found true life. Let this time, then, be marked by a personal and community effort of attachment to Christ in order that we may be witnesses of His love. May Mary, Mother and faithful Servant of the Lord, help believers to enter the "spiritual battle" of Lent, armed with prayer, fasting and the practice of almsgiving, so as to arrive at the celebration of the Easter Feasts, renewed in spirit. With these wishes, I willingly impart to all my Apostolic Blessing.

From the Vatican, 30 October 2007


© Copyright 2007 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Zenit: Papal Message to Orthodox Church of Greece

Papal Message to Orthodox Church of Greece

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 29, 2008 ( Here is the telegram Benedict XVI sent today to Orthodox Metropolitan Seraphim of Karystia and Skyros upon hearing the news of the death of Orthodox Archbishop Christodoulus of Athens and All Greece.

* * *

His Eminence Seraphim
Metropolitan of Karystia and Skyros
The Locum Tenens

Deeply saddened by the news of the untimely death of his Beatitude Christodoulos, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, I express to you, to the holy Synod and all the faithful my earnest condolences, assuring you of my spiritual closeness to all those who mourn the passing of this distinguished pastor of the Church of Greece. The fraternal welcome which His Beatitude gave my predecessor Pope John Paul II on the occasion of his visit to Athens in May 2001 and the return visit of Archbishop Christodoulos to Rome in December 2006 opened a new era of cordial cooperation between us, leading to increased contacts and improved friendship in the search for closer communion in the context of the growing unity of Europe. I and Catholics around the world pray that the Orthodox Church of Greece will be sustained by the grace of God in continuing to build on the pastoral achievements of the late Archbishop and that in commending the noble soul of his Beatitude to our heavenly Father's loving mercy you will be comforted by the Lord's promise to reward his faithful servants.

Please accept, your eminence, this expression of my closeness in prayer to you and your brother bishops as you guide the Church in this time of transition. With fraternal affection in the Lord.


[English original distributed by the Holy See]

Archbishop Christodoulos passes away

Vatican Mourns Death of Greek Orthodox Leader

Bishop Says He Was Key Player in Ecumenical Progress

By Jesús Colina

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 28, 2008 ( The Vatican is mourning the death of Orthodox Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece, who died today at 69.

"We are deeply saddened by the death of Archbishop Christodoulos, for whom we have often prayed during these long months of his illness," Bishop Brian Farrell, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, told ZENIT.

The archbishop died of liver and intestine cancer in his home in Athens. The Holy See will send a delegation to his funeral, scheduled for Thursday.

Bishop Farrell said the Orthodox archbishop was a key player in ecumenism: "It must be recognized that he personally made a significant contribution to improving relations between the Church of Greece and the Catholic Church.

"The turning point was the visit of Pope John Paul II to Athens in 2001, when Christodoulos welcomed him in spite of vocal opposition in Greece to the Pope's visit. Since then there is a new climate of cooperation between our pontifical council and the Church of Greece."

In December 2006, Archbishop Christodoulos and other Greek Orthodox leaders repaid the visit by going to the Vatican. They spent a lengthy time in cordial conversation with Benedict XVI.

"The warmth of his personality and his determined efforts to strengthen his Church's presence in Europe enabled us to have a close, personal relationship with him," Bishop Farrell explained.

Bishop Franghískos Papamanólis, president of the conference of Catholic bishops of Greece, told Vatican Radio that Archbishop Christodoulos was "a conservative and a traditionalist, but his tradition was that of the Gospel."

"Now," he added, "we eagerly await what the Spirit stirs up for the continuation of the ecumenical path already begun, and in which there is no going back. There is no lack of difficulties, but hope should not abandon us."

!!! I hope the next archbishop of Athens is as open to dialogue with the Pope.

The head of Greece's Orthodox Church, Archbishop Christodoulos smiles prior to departing from Elefsis military airport, southwest of Athens, to U.S. Miami in this Aug. 18, 2007 file photo. Christodoulos, 69, who eased centuries of tension with the Vatican but angered liberal critics who viewed him as an attention-seeking reactionary, died of cancer early Monday, Jan. 28, 2008 at his home in Athens, Greece.
(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, file)