Tuesday, October 25, 2005

it's the beans

The folks over at Starbucks should really wake up and smell the coffee.

Apparently they will soon begin serving their customers cups with a line from Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life printed on them. "You were made by God and for God and until you understand that, life will never make sense."

Regardless of what the Exorcist thinks of this lame Evangelical paraphrasing of St. Augustine, he certainly doesn't need to have it emblazoned on his morning coffee. As if it weren't enough paying $4.50 for a hot drink in a paper cup - and even the Exorcist has been lured in off the street by the enticing aroma of the neighboorhood Starbucks - now we have to tolerate their philosophizing?

Last summer they ran an equally inane quote from an equally shallow source that said, "My only regret about being gay is that I repressed it for so long."

Please. You've already tricked us into paying crazy money for a cup of coffee. Allow us to drink it in peace. We want your brew, not your ridiculous ideas.

So shut up and drip already.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

things that should be

Occasionally, almost by accident, the media lets slip a line or two that actually confirm the weatherbeaten suspicion that not all is wrong in the world. Here are two hints I saw today.

1. The US Congress has decided that people who skarf down copious amounts of fast food and, amazingly, suffer the consequences (all lard related maladies) cannot sue the company.
There is actually something in this neurotic, litigious country that you can't be sued for!!!
God bless overweight America.

2. An astrologer has predicted his own death.
That is the only type of event astrologers and other purveyors of the inane should be allowed to predict.

These are things that should be.
The Exorcist has spoken.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

the language of ecumenism

I went to a lecture offered by the Christian Conference of Connecticut Ecumenical Forum last night. The speaker was Dr. Thomas L. Hoyt, President of the National Council of Churches USA and bishop of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. His lecture was entitled, "Blind Spots in the Ecumenical Vision".

Perhaps a more apt title would have been, "Ecumenism: The Tower of Babel Revisited".

The brunt of it: Bishop Hoyt said little to convince me that the Catholic Church and the churches of the NCC are anywhere near speaking the same language when it come to ecumenism.

The 'blind spots' he referred to in his discourse were: the mentality of dominance and exclusion that seeps into church structures from society at large, the preference for 'ritual' and 'tradition' over gender and racial inclusiveness, the defense of institution and the disregard for the individual that it supposes, the lack of interest in the plight of the poor and the favoring of a 'priestly model' over a 'prophetic model' in some quarters of the ecumenical forum.

He told stories of bravely joining the communion line at a Catholic Mass, knowing full well the Catholic sensitivity to all things sacramental. He expressed outrage at being told that his title of 'bishop' didn't mean the same thing as 'bishop' in Catholic tradition. He commented that during his visit to Rome he was received by the Pope and daringly broke all protocol by calling John Paul II 'Pope' instead of 'Holy Father'... and still the Pope autographed his copy of the Bible.

I don't know what Rev. Hoyt's intentions were, but I can't see the cause of ecumenism being furthered by his lecture. For him, ecumenism is a social issue, a question of justice, equality and desegregation. It is about race and power and democracy taking root.

No sense of history. No sacramental theology. No concept of Tradition. No inkling of the complexities of 'apostolic succession'. No metaphysics.

How will unity ever be possible if we don't even speak the same language?

The Exorcist is perplexed and, apparently, still has a lot to learn.

Friday, October 14, 2005

moral muddle

A headline like only the NY Post can run.

It's hard to understand how such a relevant and earth shattering bit of news was frontpage fodder in only one newspaper.

This guy Enright claims that he was abused by a priest at summer camp in 1961 and as a result became a homosexual. This will not sit well with the purveyors of the 'born-that-way' theory in the rainbow lobby.

He is demanding $5 million from the Diocese of Albany.
For the privilege of being gay.

We had our mandatory seminar on child abuse here in the archdiocese this week. They gave us a program called VIRTUS. One of the points made was that the majority of child abuse incidents are not comitted by homosexuals.

I believe that to be true.

I also believe to be true the fact that the vast majority of sex crimes against children perpetrated by Catholic priests since the '60s and '70s have involved young males. The list of accusers who have brought complaints against roughly 600 priests in the USA bears this out.

When a male has sexual contact with another male it is, by definition, a homo-sexual act. Is it not?

Does the horrible fact that the act was comitted against a child or an adolescent make it less 'homo-sexual'? Are the sick people who prey on children oblivious to their sex? If so, why such drastic disparity in numbers? I think it is fair to say that a person can commit a homosexual act without being a homosexual. But is it logical to reject a priori all relation between homosexuality and sexual abuse among priests when over 90% of the cases brought to light (many of them repeat offenders!) clearly establish boys as the victims of preference?

The Exorcist just can't shake the uncomfortable feeling that while outrage against predatory priests is VERY politically correct, suggesting that homosexuality in the clergy might be part of the problem is MOST DEFINITELY not.

In the end, what matters is protecting the kids.