Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ask Tony: What does the Catholic Church teach about drinking?

Wherever the Catholic sun does shine,
There's laughter and music and good red wine.
At least I've always found it so.
Benedicamus Domino!
Hilaire Belloc 

So of course the Web is humming with the news that Bp. Salvatore Cordileone, the archbishop-elect of San Francisco, was arrested on DUI charges Saturday night.  Neither Bp. Cordileone nor the San Diego police have revealed just how far over the 0.08% limit; officer Mark McCullogh, who was at the scene, said that the ordinary of Oakland "was obviously impaired but he was quite cordial and polite throughout ... He was not a belligerent drunk at all ... There were no problems with him throughout the night."

One DUI does not an alcohol problem make.  As Fr. Thomas Reese of Georgetown put it, "If he is an out-of-control alcoholic who can't function, that would be an issue, but obviously he has been the bishop of Oakland all these years and he seems to be able to function.  Nobody knows if he has a drinking problem or was one fraction over the (blood alcohol) limit."

Since Bp. Cordileone is taking over as archbishop of the Gay—er, Bay City, home of the embarassing quisling Rep. Nancy Pelosi, this is hardly the way to impress the natives.  But we're hardly into "hypocrisy" territory.  (People can fall short of their own expectations without our necessarily concluding that they don't really hold such beliefs; true hypocrisy involves deliberate deception, not mere error.)  Nevertheless, it does bring up a good question: What does the Catholic Church teach about alcohol?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Old school meets school kids in Texas

Roman "fiddleback" chasuble
Yesterday morning, my mother had some gastric troubles, so we decided to go to the 4:00 p.m. Mass rather than our usual 11:30 a.m. attendance.  I'm glad we did.

You see, I'd forgotten that a young man my Knights of Columbus council supported while he was in seminary had agreed to come say Mass at our parish, which he had attended while earning his bachelor's degree at UNT. Father Justin, 30, was ordained just three months ago at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Fort Worth and celebrated his first Eucharist at St. Mary's in Longview.  Incardinated in the Diocese of Tyler, he will be serving at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception there.  I was a little startled to see him  processing up the aisle ... but not as much as I was surprised by his vestments.

The new kid was completely old school.  His alb had lace; if it covered an actual cassock, I wouldn't be surprised.  Instead of the usual bell-style chasuble, Fr. Justin had gone with a Roman or "fiddleback" chasuble.  And on his left arm — wait, no, was that a maniple?  Oh, my dear boy, you will make Father Z so very happy ....

Sunday, August 26, 2012

From the "no such thing as a stupid question" department

where babies come from graphics Pictures, Images and Photos Just over two years ago, I wrote a long, rambling post titled "The fall of the Western Empire ... redux" on The Other Blog.  It was a rather futile attempt to articulate my concerns about the future, not by looking at just one aspect (the economy, population trends, education, etc.) but by looking at everything as interconnected.

Okay ... it was really a rant.

One of my concerns is "demographic winter".  Liberals, still vested in the "population bomb" meta-narrative, pooh-pooh the fears provoked by falling birthrates in much of the First and Second Worlds by engaging in rather fascinating exercises in point-missing.  

For instance, Antonia Zerbisias, writing for the Toronto Star, sneers, "Never mind that the human population expands by 78 million a year, with one in three doomed to live in slums without clean water, plumbing or electricity."  What do you mean the electric company's gonna shut off our power at midnight?  The air conditioner's still running!  (The point is that the demographic slide is going to begin sometime between 2030 and 2050; to object that the world's population is still expanding now is hardly a prima facia rebuttal.)

But wait! it gets better:

Screened by right-wing think tanks and pro-life organizations, [the documentary Demographic Winter, which I haven't seen yet] argues that the only way to combat the disappearance of homo sapiens — as if we aren't already killing ourselves by fouling our nest — is by bringing back "the intact married family," eliminating extramarital sex and banning contraception.
It always comes down to confining women, doesn't it?
It always comes down to reflexive second-wave feminist paranoid fantasies, doesn't it? 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Something New Atheist trolls should think about

Any resemblance to Marc Barnes is purely coincidental.
Here's something I'm sure every Catholic writer who's had some "freethinker" mindlessly parrot the "Catholicism is against science" canard in his/her combox has either screamed or wanted to scream:

"If I'm so anti-science and anti-technology because I'm Catholic, how is it you're posting this opinion ON MY FLIPPIN' WEBLOG!!!??? Don't you think that if I were such a blinkered Luddite I'd be printing my apologetics on parchment with wooden blocks, you arrogant dolt!?"

Sorry.  Had to get that out of my system.  Carry on.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Coming to an online journal near you!

Okay, so this guy pretty much goes away for two whole flippin' months without posting so much as a whistle, then almost as soon as he remembers he has a couple of blogs to attend to, he gets a THIRD soapbox?

Not quite.  Stacy Trasancos, besides writing her own blog Accepting Abundance, also edits Catholic Lane.  Last week, she asked if CL could reprint some of my posts from The Other Blog, especially from the Apologetics Toolbox.  And, with all due humility, I said, "What, are you kidding?  Of course! Reprint away!"

Of course, hopefully in the future I will be able to crank out new material for CL, just as I expect to add on to the Toolbox fairly soon.  Meanwhile, the first reprint is up: "Matthew 6:7: Vain repetition or babble?"  Read the rest of the journal while you're there; it's an honor to be posted alongside of writers like Louis Verrecchio, Patti Maguire Armstrong, J. Matt Barber and poetry from the mystical Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Again, thank you, Stacy, for all the support and encouragement you've given me over the last year and change!

And yes, my last name is pronounced just like that.  Like "Wayne", but with an "L".

Sunday, August 5, 2012

CEO censors free speech, fires CFO for being a jerk


So okay, this guy, Adam Smith (believe it or not), is a world-class jerk. Ordering a free water, then going on to berate and humiliate the employee at the window (who, to give her props from a man who spent far too much time in the QSR industry, never gave in or broke her composure). Then, when she determinedly wishes him a nice day, he says, “I will. I just did something really good. I feel purposeful.”

If that was the sum and glory of your life, Mr. Smith, yours must be a truly pathetic existence.

Nevertheless, I've spent the last week or so spouting off about the First Amendment. I've said distinctly and clearly that people do not lose the right of free speech by going into business. That, alas, pertains to Adam Smith as it does to Dan Cathy. As Evelyn Beatrice Hall put in the mouth of Voltaire, so I say of Adam Smith: I disapprove of what he says, but I will defend his right to say it.

For once Roger Vogel, the CEO of Vante, a Tucson medical manufacturing company, saw this video, he fired Smith, his CFO.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Them's fightin' words ....

I gotta admit ... the cow was a nice touch.
My buddy Brandon Vogt posted on FB, "Count in the Vogt's! We'll be fighting the dictatorship of moral relativism tonight by enjoying delicious fried chicken." To which someone replied,

"So not allowing certain individuals rights based on a religious viewpoint is not dictatorship?"

No. It isn't.

Dictatorship refers to autocracy, rule by a single individual, particularly if that rule is marked by caprice, malice and a police state. (Ironically, the only Roman dictatorship whose rule was so malevolent was Sulla's.) It's comprehensible in the phrase coined by Pope Benedict, "dictatorship of moral relativism", because moral relativism can give no rational grounds for preferring one moral principle over another without contradicting itself.

No, the usual term preferred for rule by religion is theocracy. A theocracy is not necessarily run by a single person, nor is it necessarily repressive — but that's an issue for another time.