Thursday, April 22, 2010


Some might argue that this is offensive inasmuch as it makes light of an important Catholic dogma. Indeed, The Onion does go too far at times — but I don't think this is one of them. As is typical of my reaction to most of the content therein, I couldn't help but laugh.

Regardless, it illustrates the widespread popular misunderstanding of what the Church really teaches about papal infallibility.

The American Papist comments, "Of course, no one besides Catholics ever seems to understand what infallibility really means when it is applied to the pope."

I disagree. While it is, of course, very common for non-Catholics to misunderstand of the doctrine of papal infallibility, I would say that many Catholics themselves — due primarily to poor catechesis, and to no fault of their own — don't understand it either.

For them that don't know, here's a concise explanation of what it means (and what it doesn't mean).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Prediction Fail

When the predictions of "experts" are confounded...'ve gotta wonder: what other predictions that so-called experts are making now, or have made in the recent past, will likewise be proven horribly wrong in 20 or 30 years?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

Only Three More Days

Until outdoor baseball returns to Minnesota.

Being 400 miles away, I'm not sure when I'll see the new stadium in person, but I'm glad to see the old logo -- which they never should have gotten rid of -- figures prominently therein:

For them that don't know, here's the backstory on the logo:

The name "Twins" was derived from the popular name of the region, the Twin Cities. The NBA's Minneapolis Lakers had re-located to Los Angeles in 1960 due to poor attendance which was believed to have been caused in part by the reluctance of fans in St. Paul to support the team. [Team owner Calvin] Griffith was determined not to alienate fans in either city by naming the team after one city or the other, so the team became known as the Minnesota Twins. However, the original "Twin Cities Twins" TC logo was kept, and the team logo showed two men, one in a Minneapolis Millers uniform and one in a St. Paul Saints uniform, shaking hands across the Mississippi River. This remained the team's primary logo until 1987, when the team felt it was established enough to put an "M" on its cap without having St. Paul fans think it stood for Minneapolis.

And here's the backstory's backstory on the bitter, longstanding Millers-Saints rivalry:

“EVEN DURING THE DEPRESSION we could always count on a good crowd when the Saints and Millers played each other," recalled Oscar Roettger, a pitcher and first baseman for St. Paul during the 1920s and 1930s. "Pay days - that's what those games were."

The diamond rivalry between Minneapolis and St. Paul was in its golden years during Roettger's playing days, but its roots were part of the post-Civil War baseball boom in America. Minnesota veterans returning home from Bull Run, Shiloh and Gettysburg began waging their own War Between the Cities, a battle fought with less lethal weapons - bats and balls - but one that lacked a cease-fire for nearly a hundred years.

From the town teams of the 1860s and 1870s, the professional nines of the latter 1800s and finally the great Saints and Millers clubs of the twentieth century, they fought - player vs. player, fan vs. fan, sometimes player vs. fan.

The newspapers even fired their artillery at enemy camps across the river. In the 1890s, when both cities were represented in the Western League, the Minneapolis Tribune leveled a charge of "dirty ball" against its neighbors to the east, then owned and managed by Charles Comiskey. "Manager Comiskey," reported the Tribune, "will be served with a formal notice that the Minneapolis club will not play today's game unless guaranteed that there will be no spiking of Minneapolis players, no interference on the part of the crowd, no throwing of rocks, no throwing of dust and dirt in the eyes of the Minneapolis players, and a few other tricks which the game yesterday was featurized by."

Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

This Will Be Interesting

The next Archbishop of Los Angeles is an albino assassin monk a member of Opus Dei!

What's more, Archbishop José Gomez was born in Mexico. I wonder how that will sit with the nativist fringe that stupidly speaks about the "danger" of the "Hispanic invasion".

His Excellency will have his share of doltish critics. We would do well to pray for him.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Surrexit Dominus Vere!

It's interesting, I think, that on the first day of Easter, in lieu of professing the Nicene Creed, each of us is cross-examined (pardon the pun) about its contents, and we are asked to affirm whether we believe what the Church believes.

We might ask ourselves, when we say the Creed on any other given Sunday, how much thought do we give it when we say, "On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures?"

Do we really believe this? Do our thoughts, words, and actions convey that we really believe this?

The Resurrection of Jesus is the central belief of our faith. It isn't just a nice story that only credulous bumpkins believe in. It is a story, yes, but it also happens to be a true story.

Because, you know, it really happened.

I had planned to write today about how hopelessly and laughably implausible all of the alternative explanations to The Empty Tomb are, but I don't have time. That, and there are already many wiser than I who have written articles debunking the would-be debunkers, so I'll just link to one of those instead.

And I'll say this:

Christ is risen! Indeed He is Risen!

And yea, our faith is true:

If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then empty (too) is our preaching; empty, too, your faith. Then we are also false witnesses to God, because we testified against God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if in fact the dead are not raised.

For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins.

Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Cor. 15: 13-20)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Only True Revolution

On this day, when Jesus first changed bread and wine into his very Body and Blood and ordained the first priests and gave them the ability to do the same, First Things has a brilliant reflection by Fr. Leonard Klein titled "Axis Mundi":

I recently read an article in which a Methodist minister referred to the Eucharist as “revolutionary.” It would be easy to dismiss her use of a term used to advertise a new shampoo or safety razor. But the claim that the Eucharist is revolutionary is a reminder we very much need to hear, for it is very much true. We can too easily get accustomed to what we do at the Eucharist and forget its meaning for us and for the world. We lose much, perhaps everything, if we forget it.

In the Eucharist we are joined to the sacrifice of Christ—offered and received—and the sacrifice of Christ is the only true revolution. All the other revolutions have turned out to be merely adjustments in the way things are done, for better and far too often for the worse.

The American Revolution was an event of great world historical significance, yet in many ways it was just an adjustment in well-established English ways of living and thinking. The French Revolution replaced the absolute monarchy of France with a government just as absolutist and more bloody, which became the ancestor of all the bloody tyrannies of our era.

Then there is the Scientific Revolution. It has brought much good, but it has also given us greater abilities than human moral capacity can easily manage. It has brought healing, conveniences, communications, and knowledge unimaginable in earlier times, but on the other hand it has brought advanced killing technology, pollution, and embryonic stem cell research. It has provided a convenient excuse for childish atheism and shattered many aspects of human community and family life.

Human revolutions are merely adjustments in human life, not human nature. They leave us unchanged and the real human problem of sin, death, and the devil unaddressed.

The Eucharist—celebrated constantly throughout the world and this night with a particular intensity—turns our world upside down. It announces that at the center of the universe is the crucified Jew, Jesus.

When he was crucified, everybody thought the real action and the real power and glory were in Rome. Jesus was just another small-time, backwoods nuisance to the emperor, easily disposed of.

But in the frail flesh of Jesus, in his death, God changed everything. This is in human terms a most unlikely form of revolution. More radically—if that is imaginable—God continues that work under the forms of bread and wine.

Read the whole thing.