Reasonable Words

“She had a pretty gift for quotation, which is a serviceable substitute for wit.” — W. Somerset Maughan

“…[U]nto dust you shall return.”

“Ritual is the way you carry the presence of the sacred. Ritual is the spark that must not go out.”
— Christina Baldwin


Appreciating Ash Wednesday–Without Bursting into Flames


Filed under: God & Co., IRL

Help a girl out.

Filed under: God & Co., IRL, You Boss Me

Indulge me

NYT: Indulgences Return, and Heaven Moves a Step Closer for Catholics

MICKEY FITZPATRICK:  Why are you so upset, Dad? You don’t even believe in God.
MR. FITZPATRICK: That doesn’t mean I stopped being a good Catholic.

Edward Burns, “She’s the One”

Filed under: God & Co.

In which the Pope gets totally pwned, man

benedictBBC: ‘Holocaust Bishop’ told to recant

First, let’s dispense with the obvious: The holocaust was an event of such unspeakable suffering that the scope of language itself struggles to comprehend it.  It did indeed happen, and people who deny that it happened, like this Williamson, scare the shit out of me.  Nevertheless, I’ll admit that at first the words “forced to recant” did not go down very easily. If  Richard Williamson is indeed a) clinically sane and b) in factual denial about the holocaust–as repugnant and unlikely as I find that combination to be–and is yet c) ‘forced’ to recant his views, just where does the liberty of one’s own thoughts end? Then I got my head out of the clouds and realized that that liberty ends at door to the vestry. It’s not as though this is the 15th century and Williamson is being forced to ‘recant’ his ideas upon pain of death. At worst he’s looking at re-excommunication from a church in which he willingly accepted a leadership role, yet whose doctrines he has rejected. So BFD; my conscience is salved.

Secondly, and more intriguingly: If this article is indeed accurate–and I have no reason to think it isn’t–the Pope has reversed an ex cathedra decision. And as any good catechee will tell you, that’s not possible. Yet here it is (with my emphasis):

The Vatican also said that the Pope had not been aware of the bishop’s views when he lifted excommunications on him and three other bishops last month.

Earlier, a senior cardinal acknowledged the Vatican had mishandled the issue.

Holy shit. I’m sure some cardinal somewhere will argue that God didn’t get the memo either and He let Benedict go off the reservation without all the facts. You know, for kicks. Or maybe someone will (correctly) point out that under this doctrine a pope can in fact be personally wrong about decisions not pertaining to the Church. But I think it’s safe to assume that the imposition and lifting of excommunications is, at best, a spirit-led decision. No. No, he’s fucked. He single-handedly disproved a principal doctrine held by millions of believers worldwide.  And the best part? A girl made him do it.

cf. HJS’s Friday Random Ten+5 of 01/30/09, where the controversy is handled with more humor than I can muster. It’s also written by a  Catholic, but it looks like he’s working a good program of recovery.

Filed under: Get Your Hate On, God & Co., International

“And let me be clear: ‘Captain’ outranks ‘Homophobe Laureate!'”

via Sweet Homo Alabama

Filed under: Get Your Hate On, God & Co., Things that tickle me


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