From the looks of it, his posts are longer than mine: and that's saying something.
- "Brought Back to Life By God"
(March 31, 2012)
"In Revolution Square, Pope praises religious freedom""Religious freedom" does not mean 'free to agree with me.' It means freedom: to practice one's religion. Or not practice any faith. Again, I've been over this before:
CNA/EWTN News (March 28, 2012)
"Cuba has made progress towards full religious freedom and the government should continue these advances to strengthen society and to allow the Catholic Church to pursue her mission, Pope Benedict XVI said at a huge public Mass in Havana, Cuba.
" 'It must be said with joy that in Cuba steps have been taken to enable the Church to carry out her essential mission of expressing her faith openly and publicly,' the Pope said in his homily on March 28.
" 'Nonetheless, this must continue forwards, and I wish to encourage the country's government authorities to strengthen what has already been achieved and advance along this path of genuine service to the true good of Cuban society as a whole.'
"Religious freedom shows 'the unity of the human person, who is at once a citizen and a believer,' he explained. This freedom legitimizes believers' contributions to building up society...."
"Tens of thousands rally for religious freedom in 143 US cities"The "president's contraception coverage rule" includes the sort of "contraception" that involves killing someone who can't run away or fight back. The Catholic Church says we shouldn't kill innocent people. Even if our rulers say it's okay. Which isn't the same as supporting strict pacifism. (Catechism, 2263-2283, 2296, 2302-2317)
Benjamin Mann, CNA/EWTN News (March 27, 2012)
(Sarah Webb, The Catholic Standard and Times, via CNA/EWTN News, used w/o permission)
"Catherine Moran from St. Joseph Parish in Warrington, Pa. holds a sign during the March 23 Philadelphia rally. Credit: Sarah Webb-The Catholic Standard and Times."
"After drawing 54,000 people to 143 nationwide protests, leaders of the Stand Up For Religious Freedom campaign are more determined than ever to end the federal contraception mandate.
" 'From coast to coast, the response of the crowds at these rallies was a tremendous optimism that we can change the HHS mandate,' said Pro-Life Action League Executive Director Eric Scheidler, who planned the March 23 'Rally for Religious Freedom' with Citizens for a Pro-Life Society.
" 'People came out for the very first time in their lives, to any sort of grassroots protest activity,' Scheidler said of Stand Up For Religious Freedom's first effort.
" 'That happened in Chicago. It happened in San Francisco, in Washington, D.C., in New York, Philadelphia, and other large cities.'
"Each of those cities drew between 900 and 2,500 people, united in their desire to restore religious freedom by ending the president's contraception coverage rule. ..."
"Church: Vietnam revokes visas of church officials"The Vatican has a very short bio of the former President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace on their website:
Victor L. Simpson, Associated Press, via The Jakarta Post (March 27, 2012)
"Vietnam has revoked the visas of three representatives of the Roman Catholic church seeking to hold talks about the possible beatification of a late cardinal who was forced into exile, church officials said Tuesday.
"The delegation was set to arrive Friday and planned to discuss the late Cardinal Francois Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, who was appointed deputy archbishop of Saigon days before the South Vietnamese capital fell to the communist North in 1975.
"The delegation was sent by the diocese of Rome, which is considering pushing ahead with a cause for the beatification of the cardinal, a controversial issue in the communist-run country. Beatification is the last official step before possible sainthood.
"A Vatican official, who has followed the case but spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity, said the three were traveling on tourist visas. He said he had no additional information.
"Thuan was a nephew of Ngo Dinh Diem, president of US-backed South Vietnam who was assassinated in 1963 during the Vietnam War...."
"JetBlue pilot charged with interfering with crew""Trying to correlate completely unrelated numbers" reminded me of some of radio preachers of my youth. One of them threw Revelation, numerology, and some of the Soviet Union's military inventory into a blender and came up with yet another 'Bible prophecy' of the coming 'End Times.' So far, he's off by almost a half-century. Considering what happened in 1991-1992, I think it's safe to say that wannabe prophet was flat-out wrong. Still more topics.
Associated Press, via FoxNews.com (March 28, 2012)
"A JetBlue Airways captain who sprinted through the cabin of a Las Vegas-bound flight screaming about terrorists, Jesus and Sept. 11 was charged Wednesday with interfering with a flight crew, federal authorities said.
"Captain Clayton Osbon told his co-pilot that 'things just don't matter' shortly after JetBlue Flight 191 from New York departed Tuesday, according to an affidavit. Osbon, who was ultimately tackled by passengers while the plane made an emergency landing in Texas, told his co-pilot that 'we're not going to Vegas' and began what was described as a sermon, the court documents said.
" 'The (first officer) became really worried when Osbon said "we need to take a leap of faith," ' according to the sworn affidavit given by an FBI agent. 'Osbon started trying to correlate completely unrelated numbers like different radio frequencies, and he talked about sins in Las Vegas.'
"Osbon left the cockpit soon after and tensions on the plane began to escalate...."
"...From inside the locked cockpit, which Osbon tried to re-enter by banging on the door, the first officer gave an order through the intercom to restrain Osbon....Seeing the captain act like a lunatic, and hearing the first officer give orders that confirm that impression, isn't the worst air travel experience possible:
"...The charges against Osbon, 49, were filed in Texas. He was being held Wednesday at Northwest Texas Healthcare System in Amarillo and remains under a medical evaluation....
"...JetBlue spokeswoman Allison Steinberg said earlier Wednesday that Osbon had been suspended pending a review of the flight.
"Osbon has been a pilot for JetBlue since 2000. The company's CEO and president Dave Barger told NBC's 'Today' show that Osbon is a 'consummate professional' whom he has 'personally known' for years...."
(Associated Press, via FoxNews.com)
"JetBlue pilot's unraveling baffles friends"If I looked in enough places, I'd probably find a letter to the editor, op-ed, or maybe even a lead story, about the folly of letting religious people be pilots. The notion that folks who have religious beliefs, and take them seriously, are a bit nuts isn't as rare as I'd like.
Paul J. Weber and Russ Bynum, Associated Press, Press-Telegram (Long Beach, Florida) (March 29, 2012)
"No one recalls JetBlue Airways captain Clayton Osbon coming unhinged before. Not the airline that let him fly for 12 years, the neighbors in his secluded waterfront community or the friends he tried selling weight-loss shakes to on the side.
"Now federal prosecutors have charged Osbon following his bizarre unraveling aboard Flight 191 to Las Vegas, describing in court records a midair breakdown they say began with cockpit ramblings about religion and ended with passengers wrestling him to the cabin floor.
"Witness accounts of Osbon telling his co-pilot 'things just don't matter' and sprinting down the center aisle - yelling jumbled remarks about Sept. 11 and Iran - baffled longtime friends and fellow pilots who said they couldn't remember previous health or mental problems.....
"...A pilot with JetBlue since 2000, Osbon acted oddly and became increasingly erratic on the flight, worrying his fellow crew members so much that they locked him out of cockpit after he abruptly left for the cabin, according to a federal affidavit. He then started yelling about Jesus, al-Qaida and a possible bomb on board, forcing passengers to tackle him and tie him up with seat belt extenders for about 20 minutes...."
"JetBlue CEO on pilot's mid-air meltdown: 'It started medical-but clearly more than that' "I realize that reporters have to make a living, like most folks: but I'd appreciate seeing less of phrases like "but the CEO admitted...." It's better than the classic "have you stopped beating your wife," but writing that someone "admitted" a fact has different connotations from writing that someone "stated" the same fact. I loved language long before I became a recovering English teacher, which may explain the definitions I drop into these posts:
Dylan Stableford, The Lookout, via Yahoo! News (March 28, 2012)
"JetBlue CEO Dave Barger spoke out on Wednesday, a day after one of the airline's captains had a mid-air meltdown, causing a flight from New York to Las Vegas to be diverted to Amarillo, Texas....
"...The captain, Clayton Osbon, became incoherent and the co-pilot locked him out of the cockpit. Osbon began shouting about threats from al-Qaida, Iran, Iraq and bombs aboard flight, and was subdued by several passengers, including an off-duty police officer. He was strapped down and later transported to a local medical facility....
"...On Tuesday, JetBlue's stated that Osbon had a 'medical situation,' but the CEO admitted it was more than that.
" 'What happened at altitude and the call into the FAA is that we had a medical situation and that's how we responded,' Barger said. 'Clearly, especially in today's [real-time] media, we know that it also became a security situation. I think as we know less than 24 hours later, it started medical but—clearly more than that.' "
"Why Does a Person Suddenly Lose It? Possible Causes Abound"My guess is that JetBlue's CEO - and folks running other airlines - are having someone take a long, hard, look at how they handle medical exams for their pilots. There's an awful lot that can go wrong with a human being: and some problems aren't as easy to check as booze on the breath.
Andrea Petersen, Health Blog, The Wall Street Journal (March 28, 2012)
"What causes a seemingly healthy person to suddenly lose it?
It's a question likely on many minds in light of a series of recent episodes, such as when a JetBlue pilot had to be subdued yesterday by passengers after behaving erratically during a flight.
We don't know exactly what caused the pilot's disruptive actions, or why the co-founder of a group behind the 'Kony 2012' viral video had a public meltdown, or why an American Airlines flight attendant began speaking erratically on a taxiing flight's intercom.
"There's a long list of medical and psychiatric conditions that can trigger a psychotic episode, when a person seems to lose touch with reality. Among the possibilities: a brain tumor, head injury, thyroid condition, fever, infection, recreational drug use or a prescription-drug reaction. Several causes can lie behind incidences of what used to be called a nervous breakdown, too, as WSJ reported last month...."
"...Agitated and delusional behavior can also accompany several mental disorders. People with bipolar disorder and major depression can have psychotic symptoms, especially when under major stress, David Hellerstein, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, tells the Health Blog...."After our youngest child died, I had a persistent auditory hallucination, so I'm in the "anybody could have that" category. Besides, I've got major depression, and have been on medication for a few years now. This sort of depression isn't the same as being pessimistic, by the way:
"...Symptoms include hallucinations and disorganized speech. 'I've seen people who have a brief psychotic reaction in response to some major stress and then it would resolve,' Dr. Hellerstein says. 'Probably given enough stress, anybody could have that.'..."
" 'Non-biased' is part of the picture. I think some of the apparent 'bias' is more of a complete lack of understanding.Fulton Sheen said it better:
"There are times when I suspect that if football games were covered with the same expertise as 'religious' stories, we'd hear announcers discussing the hole-in-one made by the goalie."
(Comment on a post by Lisa Hendey (March 28, 2012))
"There are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church - which is, of course, quite a different thing."Related posts:
(Bishop Fulton Sheen, Foreword to Radio Replies Vol. 1, (1938) page ix, via Wikiquote)
"The hierarchy of creatures is expressed by the order of the 'six days,' from the less perfect to the more perfect. God loves all his creatures209 and takes care of each one, even the sparrow. Nevertheless, Jesus said: 'You are of more value than many sparrows,' or again: 'Of how much more value is a man than a sheep!'210"That "hierarchy of creatures" has at least two other names in my language. "Hierarchy of being" (Dictionary, CatholicCulture.org) is a fairly common, if ambiguous, name for the idea that creatures can be sorted into a ordered list. "Being" can be either a noun or a verb, depending on context, and that's another topic.
"...Each level in this hierarchy is complete in its own perfection, and there is no transition from one to the other...."Here's what the hierarchy of being looks like, when I separate the created beings into those that are pure spirit, and everything else:
("Hierarchy of being," Dictionary, CatholicCulture.org)
"God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them.But "dominion over" doesn't mean "ownership of." That, I think, is where 19th century Western culture got it wrong.
"God blessed them, saying: 'Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth.' "
"Man is the summit of the Creator's work, as the inspired account expresses by clearly distinguishing the creation of man from that of the other creatures.211"
"In creation God laid a foundation and established laws that remain firm, on which the believer can rely with confidence, for they are the sign and pledge of the unshakeable faithfulness of God's covenant.214 For his part man must remain faithful to this foundation and respect the laws which the Creator has written into it."Like it says in the comic book: "with great power comes great responsibility." Human beings are the "summit of creation," but we're not God. Not even close.
"2 'You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out grain. "About a half-dozen centuries later, someone said that this principle applies to workers' wages: and about two millennia after that, labor-management issues are still a work in progress. (1 Timothy 5:18; "Rerum Navarum;" "Caritas in Veritate;" (March 19, 2012' February 27, 2012))
"...At that time cultures were relatively well defined and had greater opportunity to defend themselves against attempts to merge them into one. Today the possibilities of interaction between cultures have increased significantly, giving rise to new openings for intercultural dialogue: a dialogue that, if it is to be effective, has to set out from a deep-seated knowledge of the specific identity of the various dialogue partners...."I think it's important to note that Benedict XVI isn't saying that interaction between cultures is wrong. What he says is "...that, if it is to be effective, has to set out from a deep-seated knowledge of the specific identity of the various dialogue partners...." ("Caritas in Veritate," 26) [emphasis mine]
("Caritas in Veritate," 26)
"...What eclecticism and cultural levelling have in common is the separation of culture from human nature. Thus, cultures can no longer define themselves within a nature that transcends them, and man ends up being reduced to a mere cultural statistic. When this happens, humanity runs new risks of enslavement and manipulation."I do not see this as the sort of isolationist stuff that crops up around election time here in America. The problem isn't, as far as I can see, that we've got different cultures around the world: or that we're communicating with each other. The problem seems to be that we run the risk of losing sight of people in the process.March 20, 2012) I think assuming that change is always bad is as silly as feeling that change is always good.
("Caritas in Veritate," 26)
"Superstition is the deviation of religious feeling and of the practices this feeling imposes. It can even affect the worship we offer the true God, e.g., when one attributes an importance in some way magical to certain practices otherwise lawful or necessary. To attribute the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart from the interior dispositions that they demand, is to fall into superstition.41"Bottom line, as a practicing Catholic, I'm not allowed to be superstitious. It's against the rules.
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2111)
"By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will to God.2 With his whole being man gives his assent to God the revealer. Sacred Scripture calls this human response to God, the author of revelation, 'the obedience of faith.'3"'Submit my intellect and my will to God?' Why should I give up my whims and preferences? That sounds so - restrictive.
"Jesus then said to the Twelve, 'Do you also want to leave?'At the end of all things, I've got two options: to be with my Lord, or not. On the whole, I'll take "the words of eternal life" over the alternative.
"Simon Peter answered him, 'Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
"We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.' "(John 6:67-69)
"FAITH: Both a gift of God and a human act by which the believer gives personal adherence to God who invites his response, and freely assents to the whole truth that God has revealed. It is this revelation of God which the Church proposes for our belief, and which we profess in the Creed, celebrate in the sacraments, live by right conduct that fulfills the twofold commandment of charity (as specified in the ten commandments), and respond to in our prayer of faith. Faith is both a theological virtue given by God as grace, and an obligation which flows from the first commandment of God (26, 142, 150, 1814, 2087)."More:
"OBEDIENCE: (1) The submission to the authority of God which requires everyone to obey the divine law. Obedience to the Church is required in those things which pertain to our salvation; and obedience is due to legitimate civil authority, which has its origin in God for the sake of the common good and the order of society (1897). The fourth commandment obliges children to obey their parents (2216). (2) Obedience of faith: The first obedience is that of faith: to listen and freely submit to the word of God (144). (3) Obedience of Christ: Jesus Christ substituted his obedience to the will of his Father, even unto death, for the disobedience of sin, in order to bring us the grace of justification and to satisfy for our sins (615). (4) Vow of obedience: In imitation of this obedience of Jesus, as an evangelical counsel, the faithful may profess a vow of obedience; a public vow of obedience, accepted by Church authority, is one element that characterizes the consecrated life (915)."
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