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It seems Pope Francis needs to brush up on his Tertullian!

It has been reported (in The ChristLast Media, I must note) that the current Pope does not like the phrase "lead us not into temptation...

"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Friday, March 17, 2006

Minneapolis Region - Second Round

At Salt Lake City, UT on Saturday 3/18

12 Montana vs. 4 Boston College
I'll take BC, but they better be careful.
FINAL: BC 69 Montana 56 - Fyodor wins!

At Jacksonville, FL on Saturday 3/18

11 Wisconsin-Milwaukee vs. 3 Florida
The Panthers' run continues. Florida goes down hard.
FINAL: Florida 82 Wisconsin-Milwaukee 60 - Fyodor loses! (Can Billy Donovan's team be for real this time?)

At Philadelphia, PA on Sunday 3/19

1 Villanova vs. 8 Arizona
Nova's my championship pick, they have to win.
FINAL: Villanova 82 Arizona 78 - Fyodor wins! (Good game from Arizona, but Villanova has talent.)

At Dayton, OH on Sunday 3/19

7 Georgetown vs. 2 Ohio St.
Buckeyes stop the Hoyas here.
FINAL: Georgetown 70 OSU 52 - Fyodor loses! (WOW. Hoyas play a great game and the Big 11 comes up small once again.)

Washington, D.C. Region - Second Round

At San Diego, CA on Saturday 3/18

5 Washington vs. 4 Illinois
Illinois wins easily.
FINAL: Washington 67 Illinois 64 - Fyodor loses! (I forgot. The Big 11 stinks.)

At Greensboro, NC on Saturday 3/18

7 Wichita St vs. 2 Tennessee
The Shockers looked good and the Vols got lucky in the first round. I'll take Wichita here.
FINAL: Wichita St. 80 Tennessee 73 - Fyodor wins! (Was that Phil Fullmer coaching the Vols?)

At Philadelphia, PA on Sunday 3/19

1 Connecticut vs. 8 Kentucky
Huskies bounce back from the scare at the hands of Albany. Sorry, Tubby.
FINAL: Connecticut 87 Kentucky 83 - Fyodor wins! (If Connecticut could play up to their potential for a full game...)

At Dayton, OH on Sunday 3/19

11 George Mason vs. 3 North Carolina
Heels have much more talent. I have to pick 'em, but I would love to see Mason win.
FINAL: George Mason 65 UNC 60 - Fyodor loses! (WOW. Plus a Roy Williams meltdown.)

Oakland Region - Second Round

At Salt Lake City, UT on Saturday 3/18

6 Indiana vs. 3 Gonzaga
I'm hoping the Bulldogs get it together. Pick Gonzaga.
FINAL: Gonzaga 90 Indiana 80 - Fyodor wins! (Bulldogs prove they are not a one-man team.)

At San Diego, CA on Saturday 3/18

10 Alabama vs. 2 UCLA
The Bruins can play defense. Pick UCLA.
FINAL: UCLA 62 Alabama 59 - Fyodor wins! ( I hate to say it, but beware the Bruins.)

At Dallas, TX on Sunday 3/19

1 Memphis vs. 9 Bucknell
I would love to see Bucknell win, but they won't.
FINAL: Memphis 72 Bucknell 56 - Fyodor wins! (Not enough athletes for the Bisons. Somebody has to stop Calipari soon.)

At Auburn Hills, MI on Sunday 3/19

5 Pitt vs. 13 Bradley
Panthers pound the pride of Peoria.
FINAL: Bradley 72 Pitt 66 - Fyodor loses! (So much for that fantasy. Coach Dixon must recruit some scorers. And he must teach Mr. Gray what to do when the ball hits his hands.)

Atlanta Region - Second Round

At Greensboro, NC on Saturday 3/18

1 Duke vs. 8 GW
I'll take the obvious choice: Duke.
FINAL: Duke 74 George Washington 61 - Fyodor wins!

At Jacksonville, FL on Saturday 3/18

12 Texas A&M vs. 4 LSU
I doubt A&M can handle LSU's big men. I'll take the Tigers.
FINAL: LSU 58 Texas A&M 57 - Fyodor wins!

At Auburn Hills, MI on Sunday 3/19

6 West Virginia vs. 14 Northwestern St.
WVU is too good to let Cinderella knock 'em off.
FINAL: WVU 67 NW State 54 - Fyodor wins! (Could this be the Hoopies year?)

At Dallas, TX on Sunday 3/19

10 NC State vs. 2 Texas
Texas gets its act together and wins comfortably.
FINAL: Texas 75 NC State 54 - Fyodor wins! (Longhorns look tough.)


Souter won’t get taste of his own medicine
Justice wins symbolic protest vote aimed at eminent domain ruling

Surprise! Freedom loses another round, kiddies. A noble effort at waking the fat, the lazy, and the ignorant has failed.

May God have mercy on all souls.

In a largely symbolic gesture, voters in Supreme Court Justice David Souter’s hometown on Tuesday rejected a proposal to seize his 200-year-old farmhouse as payback for a ruling that expanded government’s authority to take property.

Even though voters overwhelmingly agreed to leave Souter’s home alone, it would have been safe whatever the outcome.

The vote was prompted by activists angered by the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision last year in a property rights case from Connecticut. Souter sided with the majority in holding that governments can take property and turn it over to private developers.

Voters decided 1,167 to 493 in favor of the reworded measure that asked the Board of Selectmen not to use their power of eminent domain to take the farmhouse, and instead urged New Hampshire to adopt a law that forbids seizures of the sort sanctioned by the Supreme Court.

“It makes Souter the only person in the United States that would be given special protection against his own ruling,” said Logan Darrow Clements of Los Angeles, a businessman who led the campaign to evict Souter.

Whither black Catholics?

From OpinionJournal:

After World War II, though, everything changed. Bishops led the way by integrating parish schools, and blacks who migrated to northern cities found in Catholic charities and schools welcome entry points to their new world. "For blacks, it was looked on as a step up if you became Catholic," says Bishop William N. Perry, an auxiliary in Chicago who heads the U.S. hierarchy's secretariat for African American Catholics.

But the black consciousness movement of the 1960s, with its emphasis on African roots and traditions, helped to pull blacks away from the Catholic Church. By the time the Catholic hierarchy responded, a lot of religious alienation had set in. There are probably fewer black Catholics today than there were 50 years ago.

The church's efforts to play catch up now are being hampered by other developments. Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, for instance, are reaching out to black Americans as part of their proselytizing mission. And the vast network of inner-city parochial schools--once the principal gateway to the church for black Americans--is shrinking. Black students remain overrepresented in Catholic schools relative to the black Catholic population. But the schools themselves are shutting down as Catholics migrate to the suburbs. Meanwhile, in the church's leadership, just 1% of priests are black, and only 300 of the 70,000 women religious are.

But there are reasons for hope. There has been a rise in the number of black seminarians, to about 5% of all priests-in-training. And after years of dashed hopes, several African-American bishops are emerging as national leaders, even though there are still only 13 black bishops among some 400 active and retired American prelates. Most prominent among them is Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory, whose election in 2001 as the first African-American president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was heralded as a breakthrough.

Also encouraging is the fact that lay African-Americans are taking the lead in ministerial and other church roles, replicating the experience of black Catholics in centuries past. "We never had the luxury of our own priests, like other Catholic communities did," says Beverly Carroll, executive director of the secretariat for African American Catholics.

Perhaps, the biggest boost to black Catholics in America recalls the traditional immigrant path of other Catholics groups. The recent influx of African and Afro-Caribbeans--from places like Nigeria and Haiti--means an increase in black Catholics overall, but these are black Catholics who bring their faith with them, along with their devotions, customs and clergy. "They are missionaries to us," says Ms. Carroll. "If it weren't for them, there wouldn't be anybody black up on the altar."

Meanwhile, at the Happiness Through Technology rally...

Two More Women Die After Using Abortion Pill...

Scientology über alles update.

Oh no! They brainwashed Kenny!

Parker and Stone vow to fight on against the minions of the late and unlamented Old Mother Hubbard:

The battle between "South Park""South Park" creators Trey ParkerTrey Parker and Matt StoneMatt Stone and Scientology is escalating.

The dust-up gained steam last week when Isaac Hayes, a practicing Scientologist who has long been the voice of the character Chef, quit after objecting to a "South Park" episode called "Trapped in the Closet," which lampooned both the religion and Tom Cruise.

The skirmish continued this week, when Comedy Central abruptly pulled a repeat of that episode that was scheduled to air Wednesday evening. Showing instead was another memorable seg which featured Hayes's character, called "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls."

Blog reports pegged the mysterious episode switch to objections raised by Cruise, who, the reports stated, threatened to not promote "Mission: Impossible 3," the summer tentpole for Viacom-owned Paramount.

A spokesman for Cruise denied that Cruise had ever made such a threat. "He never said any such thing about 'Mission: Impossible 3," the spokesman said.

Yeah, right. And Katie Holmes hasn't been turned into a lobotomized sex toy.

While the "South Park" creators didn't directly comment on Comedy Central's decision to pull the episode, they issued an unusual statement to Daily Variety indicating the battle is not over.

"So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!"

The duo signed the statement "Trey Parker and Matt Stone, servants of the dark lord Xenu."

Heehee! (Thanks to Variety for the heads up.)

Another logical conclusion from a woman in open rebellion against Reality.

From Newhouse News (via Drudge) comes a chilling tale of the banal and common way the wholesale slaughter of innocents is accepted, condoned, encouraged, and even celebrated.

A feminist blogger has posted explicit directions online for a surgical abortion, in reaction to the new South Dakota law all but banning the procedure.

Her action troubles activists on both sides of the issue: Is it a harbinger of a return to the era of secret, illegal abortions?

At her "Molly Saves the Day" weblog, the 21-year-old Florida resident uses the pseudonym Molly Blythe. Given the volatility of the abortion debate, she requested that her real name and city of residence not be used in this story.

In an interview, the blogger said South Dakota's recent ban on abortion -- even in cases of rape and incest -- prompted her post, "For the Women of South Dakota: An Abortion Manual." The blogger, who has no medical background, said she has been compiling instructions for several years. She observed an actual abortion, interviewed providers and read medical texts, she said.

She posted directions for a dilation and curettage -- or D and C -- abortion, and plans to next place online the steps for a vacuum aspiration abortion.

"If anyone has a problem with this and they don't think non-doctors should perform medical procedures, there's a simple way to guarantee that won't happen: Make sure Roe v. Wade is not overturned," she said, referring to the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide.

The blogger -- whose home page describes "Molly Saves the Day" as "feminist issues, liberal talk and news analysis from a former journalist turned phone sex operator" -- said she has received nearly 700 e-mails since the Feb. 23 post, "a lot from people who say I'm going to hell and they'd do their best to put me there." Others thank her.

Her posting troubles anti-abortion and abortion-rights activists alike.

Olivia Gans, an opponent who now regrets her own 1981 abortion, said she finds it "terrifying that anyone could advocate creating a subculture in which this dangerous, potentially deadly practice would be performed."

Gans, director of American Victims of Abortion, an outreach program of the National Right to Life Committee, added that such "scare tactics" are used by "pro-abortion groups whose agenda is more important than women's lives."

Jim Sedlak, vice president of the American Life League, said, "Anyone who engages in this should be prosecuted for what it is -- murder."

"Scientifically, human life begins at conception and any effort to end that life either by yourself or with a friend following directions on the Internet is the killing of a human being," said Sedlak, whose group is the nation's largest anti-abortion education organization.

Vicki Saporta heads the National Abortion Federation, an industry group for practitioners.

"Women want to be treated by a medical professional, not by a friend," Saporta said. "I don't see Roe falling. And if it were to fall, there'd be enough states where abortion was still legal that women could get on a bus."

The blogger disagrees.

"Worst-case scenario, a woman needs an abortion but doesn't have a job, or one that lets her leave the state," she said.

She and several friends began to worry when President Bush made two appointments to the Supreme Court, presumably tilting it further right.

"We didn't want there to be a services gap if Roe is overturned," she said.

The gap would occur, the blogger said, immediately following such a ruling, before a network could be arranged to carry women to states with legal clinics.

"I'm not advocating back alley abortions," she said. "But we need to make this information available. I firmly believe that abortion is something that can be done by someone who is not an M.D."

For years, it was. Before 1973, abortion was largely illegal, but hardly rare.

"Every town in America had someone who did these things," said Rickie Solinger of New Paltz, N.Y., author of several books on abortion history.

In "The Abortionist: A Woman Against the Law," Solinger profiled Ruth Barnett in Portland, Ore., who did some 40,000 abortions from 1918 until 1968. "Everyone knew where her office was," Solinger said.

Before Roe, rural women especially faced difficulties of access, said David P. Cline, a Durham, N.C., historian and author of the new book "Creating Choice: A Community Responds to the Need for Abortion and Birth Control, 1961-1973."

Cline focused on the small towns of the Pioneer Valley around Springfield, Mass., typical of communities across the country with secret networks.

"The underground abortion movement there was not just activists and feminists, but was composed of the backbone families of these small, very conservative Massachusetts towns," Cline said.

Clergy -- of many (PROTESTANT - F.G.) denominations -- were instrumental in guiding women to abortion providers, he said.

"There was a nationwide organization called the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion; in western Massachusetts there were two chapters," Cline said.

Cline interviewed former members of these networks. "People said should Roe be overturned, they'd be ready to go again. And I want to stress this -- it wasn't just the feminist activists who said this, but also the clergy."

Golly. Maybe Pete Seeger could write a song about these brave freedom fighters.

Another group was the Jane movement of the Chicago Women's Liberation Union. From 1969 to 1973, about 125 members counseled and educated women on abortion, learned to perform the procedure and ran surgical clinics in clandestine apartments.

Workers went by the name Jane. One was Laura Kaplan, who wrote the 1996 book, "The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service."

"In the pre-Roe era there was massive, massive, massive civil disobedience," said Kaplan, who now lives in New York's Hudson Valley. "Breaking this law was something people did regularly, all the time."

Yeah, that makes it ok. Everyone wants to kill inconvenient folks, so that makes it a good thing. Democracy über alles.

However, Kaplan cautioned, "I don't think you can learn to do abortions in a correspondence course. Our process in Jane was a very long and careful apprenticeship. It's a fairly straightforward procedure, but there are all kinds of caveats."

How very sweet of her.

(The "Molly Blythe" blog may be found at www.mollysavestheday.blogspot.com/2006/02/for-women-of-south-dakota-abortion.html)

The Theology of the Body: 63. Ethical Responsibilities in Art

In his General Audience of 6 May 1981, the Holy Father concluded his reflections on the Sermon on the Mount, concerning adultery in the heart, with respect to artistic depictions of the human body.

Ethical Responsibilities in Art

On Wednesday, 6 May, at the General Audience held in St Peter's Square, the Holy Father concluded his reflections on the theology of the body based on the words of the Sermon on the Mount. The next chapter of his reflections will be based on Christ's words concerning future resurrection.

1. In the Sermon on the Mount Christ spoke the words to which we have devoted a series of reflections for almost a year. Explaining to his listeners the specific meaning of the commandment, "You shall not commit adultery," Christ expressed himself as follows: "But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Mt 5:28). The above-mentioned words seem to refer also to the vast spheres of human culture, especially those of artistic activity, which we have recently dealt with in the course of some of the Wednesday meetings. Today it is opportune for us to dedicate the final part of these reflections to the problem of the relationship between the ethos of the image—or of the description—and the ethos of the viewing and listening, reading or other forms of cognitive reception with which one meets the content of the work of art or of audio-vision understood in the broad sense.

Here we return once more to the problem already mentioned: whether and to what extent can the human body, in the whole visible truth of its masculinity and femininity, be a subject of works of art and thereby a subject of that specific social communication for which these works are intended? This question referred even more to modern mass culture, connected with the audiovisual media. Can the human body be such a model-subject, since we know that with this is connected that objectivity "without choice" which we first called anonymity, and which seems to bring with it a serious potential threat to the whole sphere of meanings, peculiar to the body of man and woman because of the personal character of the human subject and the character of communion of interpersonal relations?

One can add at this point that the expressions pornography and pornovision—despite their ancient etymology—appeared in language relatively late. The traditional Latin terminology used the word obscaena, indicating in this way everything that should not appear before the eyes of spectators, what should be surrounded with opportune discretion, what cannot be presented to human view without any choice.

Body a model-subject

3. Asking the preceding question, we realize that, de facto, during whole periods of human culture and artistic activity, the human body has been and is such a model-subject of visual works of art. Similarly, the whole sphere of love between man and woman, and, connected with it, also the mutual donation of masculinity and femininity in their corporeal expression, has been, is and will be a subject of literary narrative. Such narration found its place even in the Bible, especially in the text of the Song of Songs, which it will be opportune to take up again on another occasion. It should be noted that in the history of literature or art, in the history of human culture, this subject seems quite frequent and is especially important. In fact, it concerns a problem which in itself is great and important. We showed this right from the beginning of our reflections, following the scriptural texts. These reveal to us the proper dimension of this problem, that is, the dignity of man in his masculine and feminine corporeity, and the nuptial meaning of femininity and masculinity, inscribed in the whole interior—and at the same time visible—structure of the human person.

Special ethical responsibility

4. Our preceding reflections did not intend to question the right to this subject. They aim merely at proving that its treatment is connected with a special responsibility which is not only artistic, but also ethical in nature. The artist who undertakes that theme in any sphere of art or through audiovisual media, must be aware of the full truth of the object, of the whole scale of values connected with it. He must not only take them into account in abstracto, but also live them correctly himself. This corresponds also to that principle of purity of heart, which in determined cases must be transferred from the existential sphere of attitudes and ways of behavior to the intentional sphere of creation or artistic reproduction.

It seems that the process of this creation aims not only at making the model concrete (and in a way at a new "materializing"), but at the same time, at expressing in such concretizing what can be called the creative idea of the artist. This manifests his interior world of values, and so also his living the truth of his object. In this process a characteristic transfiguration of the model or of the material takes place and, in particular, of what is man, the human body in the whole truth of its masculinity or femininity. (From this point of view, as we have already mentioned, there is a very important difference, for example, between the painting or sculpture and the photograph or film.) Invited by the artist to look at his work, the viewer communicates not only with the concretizing, and so, in a sense, with a new "materializing" of the model or of the material. But at the same time he communicates with the truth of the object which the author, in his artistic "materializing," has succeeded in expressing with his own specific media.

Element of sublimation in true art

5. In the course of the various eras, beginning from antiquity—and above all in the great period of Greek classical art—there are works of art whose subject is the human body in its nakedness. The contemplation of this makes it possible to concentrate, in a way, on the whole truth of man, on the dignity and the beauty—also the "suprasensual" beauty—of his masculinity and femininity. These works bear within them, almost hidden, an element of sublimation. This leads the viewer, through the body, to the whole personal mystery of man. In contact with these works, where we do not feel drawn by their content to "looking lustfully," which the Sermon on the Mount speaks about, we learn in a way that nuptial meaning of the body which corresponds to, and is the measure of, "purity of heart." But there are also works of art, and perhaps even more often reproductions, which arouse objection in the sphere of man's personal sensitivity—not because of their object, since the human body in itself always has its inalienable dignity—but because of the quality or way of its reproduction, portrayal or artistic representation. The various coefficients of the work or the reproduction can be decisive with regard to that way and that quality, as well as multiple circumstances, often more of a technical nature than an artistic one.

It is well known that through all these elements the fundamental intentionality of the work of art or of the product of the respective media becomes, in a way, accessible to the viewer, as to the listener or the reader. If our personal sensitivity reacts with objection and disapproval, it is because in that fundamental intentionality, together with the concretizing of man and his body, we discover as indispensable for the work of art or its reproduction, his simultaneous reduction to the level of an object. He becomes an object of "enjoyment," intended for the satisfaction of concupiscence itself. This is contrary to the dignity of man also in the intentional order of art and reproduction. By analogy, the same thing must be applied to the various fields of artistic activity—according to the respective specific character—as also to the various audiovisual media.

Creating an atmosphere

6. Paul VI's Encyclical Humanae Vitae emphasizes the "need to create an atmosphere favorable to education in chastity" (n. 22). With this he intends to affirm that the way of living the human body in the whole truth of its masculinity and femininity must correspond to the dignity of this body and to its significance in building the communion of persons. It can be said that this is one of the fundamental dimensions of human culture, understood as an affirmation which ennobles everything that is human. Therefore we have dedicated this brief sketch to the problem which, in synthesis, could be called that of the ethos of the image. It is a question of the image which serves as an extraordinary "visualization" of man, and which must be understood more or less directly. The sculpted or painted image expresses man visually; the play or the ballet expresses him visually in another way, and the film in another way. Even literary work, in its own way, aims at arousing interior images, using the riches of the imagination or of human memory. So what we have called the ethos of the image cannot be considered apart from the correlative element, which we would have to call the ethos of seeing. Between the two elements the whole process of communication is contained, independently of the vastness of the circles described by this communication, which, in this case, is always social.

7. The creation of the atmosphere favorable to education in chastity contains these two elements. It concerns a reciprocal circuit which takes place between the image and the seeing, between the ethos of the image and the ethos of seeing. The creation of the image, in the broad and differentiated sense of the term, imposes on the author, artist or reproducer, obligations not only of an aesthetic, but also of an ethical nature. In the same way, "looking," understood according to the same broad analogy, imposes obligations on the one who is the recipient of the work.

True and responsible artistic activity aims at overcoming the anonymity of the human body as an object "without choice." As has already been said, it seeks through creative effort such an artistic expression of the truth about man in his feminine and masculine corporeity, which is, so to speak, assigned as a task to the viewer and, in the wider range, to every recipient of the work. It depends on him, in his turn, to decide whether to make his own effort to approach this truth, or to remain merely a superficial consumer of impressions, that is, one who exploits the meeting with the anonymous body-subject only at the level of sensuality which, by itself, reacts to its object precisely without choice.

We conclude here this important chapter of our reflections on the theology of the body, whose starting point was the words Christ spoke in the Sermon on the Mount. These words are valid for the man of all times, for the historical man, and for each one of us.

The reflections on the theology of the body would not be complete, however, if we did not consider other words of Christ, namely, those when he referred to the future resurrection. So we propose to devote the next cycle of our considerations to them.

The Theology of the Body: 62. Art Must Not Violate the Right to Privacy

In his General Audience of 29 April 1981, the Holy Father continued his catechesis on Theology of the Body by examining the limits beyond which art must not go in depicting masculinity or femininity.

Art Must Not Violate the Right to Privacy

Thousands gathered in St Peter's Square in the afternoon of Wednesday, 29 April, for the weekly General Audience. Continuing his treatment of the theology of the human body, the Holy Father delivered the following address.

1. We have already dedicated a series of reflections to the meaning of the words spoken by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount, in which he exhorts to purity of heart, calling attention even to the "lustful look." We cannot forget these words of Christ even when it is a question of the vast sphere of artistic culture, particularly that of a visual and spectacular character, as also when it is a question of the sphere of "mass" culture—so significant for our times—connected with the use of the audiovisual communications media. We said recently that the above-mentioned sphere of activity is sometimes accused of pornovision, just as the accusation of pornography is made with regard to literature. Both facts take place by going beyond the limit of shame, that is, of personal sensitivity with regard to what is connected with the human body and its nakedness. It happens when in the artistic work by means of the media of audiovisual production the right to the privacy of the body in its masculinity or femininity is violated, and—in the last analysis—when that intimate and constant destination to the gift and to mutual donation, which is inscribed in that femininity and masculinity through the whole structure of the being-man, is violated. That deep inscription, or rather incision, decides the nuptial meaning of the body, that is, the fundamental call it receives to form a communion of persons and to participate in it.

The human body and model or subject

2. It is obvious that in works of art, or in the products of audiovisual artistic reproduction, the above-mentioned constant destination to the gift, that is, that deep inscription of the meaning of the human body, can be violated only in the intentional order of the reproduction and the representation: it is a question, in fact—as has already been previously said—of the human body as model or subject. However, if the sense of shame and personal sensitivity is offended in these cases, that happens because of their transfer to the dimension of social communication, therefore owing to the fact that what, in man's rightful feeling, belongs and must belong strictly to the interpersonal relationship—which is linked, as has already been pointed out, with the communion of persons itself, and in its sphere corresponds to the interior truth of man, and so also to the complete truth about man—becomes, so to speak, public property.

At this point it is not possible to agree with the representatives of so-called naturalism. They demand the right to "everything that is human" in works of art and in the products of artistic reproduction. They affirm that they act in this way in the name of the realistic truth about man. It is precisely this truth about man—the whole truth about man—that makes it necessary to consider both the sense of the privacy of the body and the consistency of the gift connected with the masculinity and femininity of the body itself, in which the mystery of man, peculiar to the interior structure of the person, is reflected. This truth about man must also be considered in the artistic order, if we want to speak of a full realism.

Value of body in interpersonal communion

3. In this case, it is evident that the deep governing rule related to the communion of persons is in profound agreement with the vast and differentiated area of communication. The human body in its nakedness—as we stated in the preceding analyses (in which we referred to Genesis 2:25)—understood as a manifestation of the person and as his gift, that is, a sign of trust and donation to the other person, who is conscious of the gift, and who is chosen and resolved to respond to it in an equally personal way, becomes the source of a particular interpersonal communication.

As has already been said, this is a particular communication in humanity itself. That interpersonal communication penetrates deeply into the system of communion (communio personarum), and at the same time it grows from it and develops correctly within it. Precisely because of the great value of the body in this system of interpersonal communion, to make the body in its nakedness—which expresses precisely "the element" of the gift—the object-subject of the work of art or of the audiovisual reproduction, is a problem which is not only aesthetic, but also ethical. That "element of the gift" is, so to speak, suspended in the dimension of an unknown reception and an unforeseen response. Thereby it is in a way threatened in the order of intention, in the sense that it may become an anonymous object of appropriation, an object of abuse. Precisely for this reason the integral truth about man constitutes in this case the foundation of the norm according to which the good or evil of determined actions, of behavior, of morals and situations, is modeled. The truth about man, about what is particularly personal and interior in him—precisely because of his body and his sex (femininity-masculinity)—creates here precise limits which it is unlawful to exceed.

Recognizing limits

4. These limits must be recognized and observed by the artist who makes the human body the object, model or subject of the work of art or of the audiovisual reproduction. Neither he nor others who are responsible in this field have the right to demand, propose or bring it about that other people, invited, exhorted or admitted to see, to contemplate the image, should violate those limits together with them, or because of them. It is a question of the image, in which that which in itself constitutes the content and the deeply personal value, that which belongs to the order of the gift and of the mutual donation of person to person, is, as a subject, uprooted from its own authentic substratum. It becomes, through social communication, an object and what is more, in a way, an anonymous object.

As can be seen from what is said above, the whole problem of pornovision and pornography is not the effect of a puritanical mentality or of a narrow moralism, just as it is not the product of a thought imbued with Manichaeism. It is a question of an extremely important, fundamental sphere of values. Before it, man cannot remain indifferent because of the dignity of humanity, the personal character and the eloquence of the human body. By means of works of art and the activity of the audiovisual media, all those contents and values can be modeled and studied. But they can also be distorted and destroyed in the heart of man. As can be seen, we find ourselves continually within the orbit of the words Christ spoke in the Sermon on the Mount. Also the problems which we are dealing with here must be examined in the light of those words, which consider a look that springs from lust as "adultery committed in the heart."

It seems, therefore, that reflection on these problems, which is important to create a climate favorable to education to chastity, constitutes an indispensable appendage to all the preceding analyses which we have dedicated to this subject in the course of numerous Wednesday meetings.

Today is the third Friday in Lent, a Day of Abstinence.

The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl. Also forbidden are soups or gravies made from them. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted, as are animal derived products such as margarine and gelatin which do not have any meat taste.

On the Fridays outside of Lent the U.S. bishops conference obtained the permission of the Holy See for Catholics in the US to substitute a penitential, or even a charitable, practice of their own choosing. They must do some penitential/charitable practice on these Fridays. For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere.

Those who are excused from fast or abstinence
Besides those outside the age limits, those of unsound mind, the sick, the frail, pregnant or nursing women according to need for meat or nourishment, manual laborers according to need, guests at a meal who cannot excuse themselves without giving great offense or causing enmity and other situations of moral or physical impossibility to observe the penitential discipline.

Aside from these minimum penitential requirements Catholics are encouraged to impose some personal penance on themselves at other times. It could be modeled after abstinence and fasting. A person could, for example, multiply the number of days they abstain. Some people give up meat entirely for religious motives (as opposed to those who give it up for health or other motives). Some religious orders, as a penance, never eat meat. Similarly, one could multiply the number of days that one fasted. The early Church had a practice of a Wednesday and Saturday fast. This fast could be the same as the Church's law (one main meal and two smaller ones) or stricter, even bread and water. Such freely chosen fasting could also consist in giving up something one enjoys - candy, soft drinks, smoking, that cocktail before supper, and so on. This is left to the individual.

One final consideration. Before all else we are obliged to perform the duties of our state in life. Any deprivation that would seriously hinder us in carrying out our work, as students, employees or parents would be contrary to the will of God.---- Colin B. Donovan, STL

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Jan Sarkander, who defended Catholicism against the Hussites.

Yes, it is also the Feast of St. Patrick, the Patron of Ireland, who was born in Scotland of Roman parents.

Today's reading for the Feast of St. Patrick is 1 Peter 4:7-11.
Today's Responsorial Psalm is Psalms 96:1-2, 2-3, 7-8, 10.
Today's Gospel reading is
Luke 5:1-11.

[Links to the readings will be from the NAB until I can find another chapter and verse searchable Douay-Rheims Bible on-line.]

Everyday links:

The Blessed Virgin Mary
The Rosary
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Prayers from EWTN
National Coalition of Clergy and Laity (dedicated to action for a genuine Catholic Restoration)
The Catholic Calendar Page for Today

Just in case you are wondering what exactly Catholics believe, here is

The Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.


Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession,was left unaided.Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency hear and answer me. Amen.

St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse, pray for us.

Prayer to St. Anthony, Martyr of Desire

Dear St. Anthony, you became a Franciscan with the hope of shedding your blood for Christ. In God's plan for you, your thirst for martyrdom was never to be satisfied. St. Anthony, Martyr of Desire, pray that I may become less afraid to stand up and be counted as a follower of the Lord Jesus. Intercede also for my other intentions. (Name them.)


St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the divine power, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Gratuitous Zardoz Photo of the Day.

Yep. That's Sean Connery. Obviously, Edith Head didn't work on Zardoz.

Ahhhh...March Madness!

For those of you who still think the NBA is watchable...

Never mind. There is little hope for you.

That BC/Pacific game was great. Thanks to The Man for letting me watch for free.

The Theology of the Body: 61. Reflections on the Ethos of the Human Body in Works of Artistic Culture

In his General Audience of 22 April 1981, the Holy Father continued his catechesis on Theology of the Body, examining the implications of exposure of the human body in artistic culture for the mutual donation of husband and wife.

Reflections on the Ethos of the Human Body in Works of Artistic Culture

On Wednesday, 22 April, an estimated 25,000 people were present in St Peter's Square for the General Audience at 5:00 p.m. The Holy Father delivered the following address.

A problem with very deep roots

Let us now reflect—with regard to Christ's words in the Sermon on the Mount—on the problem of the ethos of the human body in works of artistic culture. This problem has very deep roots. It is opportune to recall here the series of analyses carried out in connection with Christ's reference to the beginning, and subsequently to the reference he made to the human heart, in the Sermon on the Mount. The human body—the naked human body in the whole truth of its masculinity and femininity—has the meaning of a gift of the person to the person. The ethos of the body, that is, the ethical norms that govern its nakedness, because of the dignity of the personal subject, is closely connected with that system of reference. This is understood as the nuptial system, in which the giving of one party meets the appropriate and adequate response of the other party to the gift. This response decides the reciprocity of the gift.

The artistic objectivation [sic] of the human body in its male and female nakedness, in order to make it first of all a model and then the subject of the work of art, is always to a certain extent a going outside of this original and, for the body, its specific configuration of interpersonal donation. In a way, that constitutes an uprooting of the human body from this configuration and its transfer to the dimension of artistic objectivation—the specific dimension of the work of art or of the reproduction typical of the film and photographic techniques of our time.

In each of these dimensions—and in a different way in each one—the human body loses that deeply subjective meaning of the gift. It becomes an object destined for the knowledge of many. This happens in such a way that those who look at the body, assimilate or even, in a way, take possession of what evidently exists, of what in fact should exist essentially at the level of a gift, made by the person to the person, not just in the image but in the living man. Actually, that "taking possession" already happens at another level—that is, at the level of the object of the transfiguration or artistic reproduction. However it is impossible not to perceive that from the point of view of the ethos of the body, deeply understood, a problem arises here. This is a very delicate problem, which has its levels of intensity according to various motives and circumstances both as regards artistic activity and as regards knowledge of the work of art or of its reproduction. The fact that this problem is raised does not mean that the human body, in its nakedness, cannot become a subject of works of art—but only that this problem is not purely aesthetic, nor morally indifferent.

Original shame a permanent element

2. In our preceding analyses (especially with regard to Christ's reference to the "beginning"), we devoted a great deal of space to the meaning of shame. We tried to understand the difference between the situation—and the state—of original innocence, in which "they were both naked, and were not ashamed" (Gn 2:25), and, subsequently, between the situation—and the state—of sinfulness. In that state there arose between man and woman, together with shame, the specific necessity of privacy with regard to their own bodies.

In the heart of man, subject to lust, this necessity serves, even indirectly, to ensure the gift and the possibility of mutual donation. This necessity also forms man's way of acting as "an object of culture," in the widest meaning of the term. If culture shows an explicit tendency to cover the nakedness of the human body, it certainly does so not only for climatic reasons, but also in relation to the process of growth of man's personal sensitivity. The anonymous nakedness of the man-object contrasts with the progress of the truly human culture of morals. It is probably possible to confirm this also in the life of so-called primitive populations. The process of refining personal human sensitivity is certainly a factor and fruit of culture.

Beyond the need of shame, that is, of the privacy of one's own body (on which the biblical sources give such precise information in Genesis 3), there is a deeper norm. This norm is the gift, directed toward the very depths of the personal subject or toward the other person—especially in the man-woman relationship according to the perennial norms regulating the mutual donation. In this way, in the processes of human culture understood in the wide sense, we note—even in man's state of hereditary sinfulness—quite an explicit continuity of the nuptial meaning of the body in its masculinity and femininity. That original shame, known already from the first chapters of the Bible, is a permanent element of culture and morals. It belongs to the genesis of the ethos of the human body.

Personal sensitivity

3. The person of developed sensitivity overcomes the limit of that shame with difficulty and interior resistance. This is seen clearly even in situations which justify the necessity of undressing the body, such as in the case of medical examinations or operations. Mention should also be made especially of other circumstances, such as those of concentration camps or places of extermination, where the violation of bodily shame is a method used deliberately to destroy personal sensitivity and the sense of human dignity.

The same rule is confirmed everywhere—though in different ways. Following personal sensitivity, man does not wish to become an object for others through his own anonymous nakedness. Nor does he wish the other to become an object for him in a similar way. Evidently he does not wish this to the extent to which he lets himself be guided by the sense of the dignity of the human body. Various motives can induce, incite and even press man to act in a way contrary to the requirements of the dignity of the human body, a dignity connected with personal sensitivity. It cannot be forgotten that the fundamental interior situation of historical man is the state of threefold lust (cf. 1 Jn 2:16). This state—and, in particular, the lust of the flesh—makes itself felt in various ways, both in the interior impulses of the human heart and in the whole climate of interhuman relations and social morals.

When deep governing rules are violated

4. We cannot forget this, not even when it is a question of the broad sphere of artistic culture, particularly that of visual and spectacular character, as also when it is a question of mass culture. This is so significant for our times and connected with the use of the media of audiovisual communication. A question arises: when and in what case is this sphere of man's activity—from the point of view of the ethos of the body—regarded as pornovision, just as in literature some writings were and are often regarded as pornography (this second term is an older one).

Both take place when the limit of shame is overstepped, that is, of personal sensitivity with regard to what is connected with the human body with its nakedness. They take place when in the work of art or by means of the media of audiovisual reproduction the right to the privacy of the body in its masculinity or femininity is violated—and in the last analysis—when those deep governing rules of the gift and of mutual donation, which are inscribed in this femininity and masculinity through the whole structure of the human being, are violated. This deep inscription—or rather incision—decides the nuptial meaning of the human body, that is, of the fundamental call it receives to form the "communion of persons" and take part in it.

Breaking off at this point our consideration, which we intend to continue next Wednesday, it should be noted that observance or non-observance of these norms, so deeply connected with man's personal sensitivity, cannot be a matter of indifference for the problem of creating a climate favorable to chastity in life and social education.

Lennart Meri, Requiescat in pace.

Heroes walk among us, kiddies. But their ranks are thinning.

The former Estonian president, Lennart Meri, whose relentless struggle against Communist oppression helped this Baltic nation break free from the Soviet Union in 1991, has died, the office of the president said Tuesday. He was 76.

A survivor of a Soviet labor camp in Siberia, Meri became Estonia's first president after the country regained independence, serving from 1992 to 2001. He died early Tuesday morning at a hospital in Tallinn after a long illness, the office said.

Among ordinary Estonians, Meri, also a writer and film director, was a beloved, charismatic father figure, whose dry humor and sharp wit only added to his charm. Government officials, however, were often wary of him because of his scathing attacks on unethical practices and corrupt civil servants.

Meri was widely credited for remaining tough on President Boris Yeltsin of Russia in negotiations on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Estonia in 1994.

Born in Tallinn on March 29, 1929, Meri and his family were deported to Siberia after Soviet troops invaded Estonia during World War II - a fate shared by tens of thousands of people in Estonia and in its Baltic neighbors, Latvia and Lithuania.

The family returned to Estonia, where Meri studied history at the University of Tartu and worked as a theater dramatist and a producer of radio plays and films.

They were fortunate. Tens of millions died.

Among his best-known films is the 1977 documentary "The Winds of the Milky Way," describing the lives of the Finno-Ugric people - a term used to describe the original inhabitants of the European and Eurasian north - which won a silver medal at the New York Film Festival but was banned in the Soviet Union for its culturally sensitive content.

Meri was one of the leaders of the Baltic country's independence movement, known as the "singing revolution."

Isn't it sad and amazing how quickly we put the Cold War behind us? Thank God we won, kiddies. Thank God.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Estonians protested against Soviet rule by singing nationalistic songs at music festivals. Meri often urged the crowds to peacefully resist Moscow's rule.

In March 1990, the Soviet republic of Estonia declared that it was on the path toward independence and held free elections, after which Meri was appointed foreign minister.

Following the failed Kremlin coup that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, Estonia declared independence in August 1991. (Thanks to the International Herald Tribune for this obituary.)

Indult Scorecard, Master List

Here is the list of US Catholic Sees in which eating meat tomorrow has been allowed. Check Whispers in the Loggia for updates.

In no particular order, The Corned Beef Indult has been granted in and for the following Sees in the United States:

Philadelphia, Boston, Lincoln, Lansing, Erie, Cincinnatti, the Military Services, St. Paul and Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Kansas City-St. Joseph, Kansas City in Kansas, Detroit, Providence, Madison, Fall River, Washington, Rockville Centre, Brooklyn, Fort Wayne-South Bend, New York, Omaha, San Francisco, Savannah, Peoria, Rochester, Los Angeles, Orange, Springfield in Illinois, Jefferson City, Nashville, Orlando, Portland in Oregon, Altoona-Johnstown, Wilmington, Chicago, Milwaukee, Arlington, Monterey in California, Metuchen, Newark, Seattle, Norwich, Oklahoma City, Honolulu, Columbus, Belleville, Fort Worth, LaCrosse, Superior, Bridgeport, Dallas, St. Augustine, Allentown, Portland in Maine, Kalamazoo, San Bernardino, Green Bay, St. Louis, Saginaw, Scranton, Des Moines, Davenport, Grand Rapids, Mobile, Atlanta, Tucson, Paterson, Palm Beach, Albany, Richmond, Phoenix, San Antonio, Toledo, Raleigh, Great Falls-Billings, Baltimore, Rockford, Hartford, Memphis, Galveston-Houston and -- last but not least -- Buffalo and Greensburg....

St. Patrick, pray for us.

So, you're Irish and you think you shouldn't have to abstain from eating meat tomorrow?

(CNSNews.com) Many U.S. Catholics will be allowed to partake in the St. Patrick's Day tradition of corned beef and cabbage Friday, in spite of the church's restrictions on eating meat on Fridays during the Lenten season.

The Lenten observance honors the biblical account of Jesus' 40-day fast in the desert. The season begins on Ash Wednesday, which was March 1 this year, and ends on Easter Sunday, which falls on April 16 this year. The Sundays in between Ash Wednesday and Easter are excluded from the 40-day count.

Traditionally, Catholics over the age of 14 must refrain from eating meat on Fridays during Lent under the law of abstinence.

But this year, St. Patrick's Day falls on a Friday, prompting almost half of the bishops in the United States to grant dispensations to allow their parishioners to eat corned beef. The dispensations allow members of the congregation to break the law of abstinence if they perform another act of penance.

According to the Catholic blogger Rocco Palma, who has followed this year's St. Patrick's Day dispensations closely on his blog -- Whispers in the Loggia -- at least 71 of the nation's 197 dioceses have granted dispensations for Friday.

Many dioceses suggest other forms of penance to make up for eating meat on Friday. Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted, in granting dispensation, suggested that those who partake in corned beef on Friday try "fasting from a television show [or] visiting someone who is sick or in prison."

Susan Gibb, a spokeswoman for the Washington Archdiocese, told Cybercast News Service that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick issued the dispensation because his predecessor, Cardinal James Hickey, granted one in 2000, the last time St. Patrick's Day fell on a Friday. McCarrick encouraged Catholics to "substitute another form of sacrifice on March 17."

Others, like Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz from Lincoln, Neb., and Bishop Carl Mengeling from Lansing, Mich., recommended that parishioners choose another day of the week to abstain from eating meat.

But a few bishops aren't granting dispensations. On his blog, Palma counts at least four dioceses - in Denver, Miami, Harrisburg, Penn., and Sioux City, Iowa - where Catholics are still expected to observe the Friday fast on March 17.

The website for the Denver archdiocese provides guidelines for the season of Lent, noting that "abstinence from meat is to be observed on all Fridays of Lent."

Jeanette DeMelo, spokeswoman for Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput, told Cybercast News Service that dispensations in Denver will be made on an individual basis but that she was "not aware of pastors having granted this to someone."

She said would-be meat eaters on Friday must ask their pastor for a dispensation and must present a "good cause" for needing to eat meat on Friday. She added that parishioners would be required to abstain from meat on another day if they were granted permission.

"They might not grant it to some college students ... who just want to go out and get drunk," she joked, acknowledging that St. Patrick's Day is known for high levels of alcohol consumption.

But she said a "very Irish family" that wants to eat corned beef with their St. Patrick's Day celebration would probably have good cause for dispensation.

Father James Lyons, vicar general for the Harrisburg, Pa., diocese, told Cybercast News Service that Bishop Kevin Rhoades did not grant a general dispensation because abstaining from meat is "a very important discipline in the church" and he wanted parishioners to remember the importance of St. Patrick, who according to Rhoades, was "himself rather austere in his own spiritual life."

The Theology of the Body: 60. The Human Body, Subject of Works of Art

In his General Audience of 15 April 1981, the Holy Father continued his catechesis on Theology of the Body, laying groundwork for a consideration of the human body in aesthetic experience, and how it relates to Our Lord's warning against looking with lust.

The Human Body, Subject of Works of Art

To the thousands of faithful gathered in St Peter's Square for the Wednesday General Audience of 15 April, Pope John Paul delivered the following discourse.

Control of the body "in holiness and honour"

1. In our preceding reflections—both in the analysis of Christ's words, in which he refers to the "beginning", and during the Sermon on the Mount, that is, when he refers to the human "heart"—we have tried systematically to show how the dimension of man's personal subjectivity is an indispensable element present in theological hermeneutics, which we must discover and presuppose at the basis of the problem of the human body. Therefore, not only the objective reality of the body, but far more, as it seems, subjective consciousness and also the subjective experience of the body, enter at every step into the structure of the biblical texts, and therefore require to be taken into consideration and find their reflection in theology. Consequently theological hermeneutics must always take these two aspects into account. We cannot consider the body an objective reality outside the personal subjectivity of man, of human beings, male and female. Nearly all the problems of the ethos of the body are bound up at the same time with its ontological identification as the body of the person. They are also bound up with the content and quality of the subjective experience, that is, of the "life" both of one's own body and in its interpersonal relations, especially in the perennial man-woman relationship. Without any doubt, the words of the First Letter to the Thessalonians, in which the author exhorts us to "control our own body in holiness and honor" (that is, the whole problem of "purity of heart") indicate these two dimensions.

Dimensions concerning attitudes of persons

2. They are dimensions which directly concern concrete, living men, their attitudes and behavior. Works of culture, especially of art, enable those dimensions of "being a body" and "experiencing the body" to extend, in a way, outside these living men. Man meets the "reality of the body" and "experiences the body" even when it becomes a subject of creative activity, a work of art, a content of culture. Although generally speaking, it must be recognized that this contact takes place on the plane of aesthetic experience, in which it is a question of viewing the work of art (in Greek aisthá nomai: I look, I observe)—and therefore that, in the given case, it is a question of the objectivized body, outside its ontological identity, in a different way and according to the criteria characteristic of artistic activity—yet the man who is admitted to viewing in this way is a priori too deeply bound up with the meaning of the prototype, or model, which in this case is himself:—the living man and the living human body—to be able to detach and separate completely that act, substantially an aesthetic one, of the work in itself and of its contemplation from those dynamisms or reactions of behavior and from the evaluations which direct that first experience and that first way of living. By its very nature, this looking is aesthetic. It cannot be completely isolated, in man's subjective conscience, from that looking of which Christ speaks in the Sermon on the Mount: warning against lust.

Creating climate favourable to purity

3. Therefore, in this way the whole sphere of aesthetic experiences is, at the same time, in the area of the ethos of the body. Rightly we must think here too of the necessity of creating a climate favorable to purity. This climate can be threatened not only in the way in which the relations and society of living men take place, but also in the area of the objectivizations characteristic of works of culture; in the area of social communications, when it is a question of the spoken or written word; in the area of the image, that is, of representation and vision, both in the traditional meaning of this term and in the modern one. In this way we reach the various fields and products of artistic, plastic and dramatic culture, as also that based on modern audio-visual techniques. In this field, a vast and very differentiated one, we must ask ourselves a question in the light of the ethos of the body, outlined in the analyses made so far on the human body as an object of culture.

Living human body creates object of art

4. First of all it must be noted that the human body is a perennial object of culture, in the widest meaning of the term. This is for the simple reason that man himself is a subject of culture, and in his cultural and creative activity he involves his humanity, including his body. In these reflections, however, we must restrict the concept of object of culture, limiting ourselves to the concept understood as the subject of works of culture and in particular of works of art. It is a question, in a word, of the thematic nature, that is, of the "objectivation" [sic] of the body in these works. However, some distinctions must be made here at once, even if by way of example. One thing is the living human body, of man and of woman, which creates in itself the object of art and the work of art (for example, in the theater, in the ballet and, to a certain point, also in the course of a concert). Another thing is the body as the model of the work of art, as in the plastic arts, sculpture or painting. Is it possible to also put films or the photographic art in a wide sense on the same level? It seems so, although from the point of view of the body as object-theme, a quite essential difference takes place in this case. In painting or sculpture the human body always remains a model, undergoing specific elaboration on the part of the artist. In the film, and even more in the photographic art, it is not the model that is transfigured, but the living man is reproduced. In this case man, the human body, is not a model for the work of art, but the object of a reproduction obtained by means of suitable techniques.

Important distinction

5. It should be pointed out right away that the above-mentioned distinction is important from the point of view of the ethos of the body in works of culture. It should be added at once that when artistic reproduction becomes the content of representation and transmission (on television or in films), it loses, in a way, its fundamental contact with the human body, of which it is a reproduction. It often becomes an anonymous object, just like an anonymous photographic document published in illustrated magazines, or an image diffused on the screens of the whole world. This anonymity is the effect of the "propagation" of the image-reproduction of the human body, objectivized first with the help of the techniques of reproduction, which—as has been recalled above—seems to be essentially differentiated from the transfiguration of the model typical of the work of art, especially in the plastic arts. This anonymity (which, moreover, is a way of veiling or hiding the identity of the person reproduced) also constitutes a specific problem from the point of view of the ethos of the human body in works of culture, especially in the modern works of mass culture, as it is called.

Let us confine ourselves today to these preliminary considerations, which have a fundamental meaning for the ethos of the human body in works of artistic culture. Subsequently these considerations will make us aware of how closely bound they are to the words which Christ spoke in the Sermon on the Mount, comparing "looking lustfully" with "adultery committed in the heart." The extension of these words to the area of artistic culture is especially important, insofar as it is a question of "creating an atmosphere favorable to chastity," which Paul VI spoke of in Humanae Vitae. Let us try to understand this subject in a deep and fundamental way.

Kiddies, never do dumbass stuff that will hurt your mother.

In an attempt to mitigate an unspeakable horror...

WCCO: 9/11 Mom Hugs Moussaoui's Mother

The mother of Zacarias Moussaoui was tearfully embraced by the mother of a World Trade Center victim at a church gathering.

Aicha el-Wafi appeared at the "welcoming gathering" on Sunday in White Plains, about 25 miles north of ground zero, before returning home to France. The event included peace workers, anti-death-penalty activists and mothers from Memorial United Methodist Church.

On Monday, a federal judge in Alexandria, Va., recessed Moussaoui's death penalty trial to consider whether government violations of her rules against coaching witnesses should remove the death penalty as an option. Moussaoui is an admitted al Qaeda conspirator.

At Sunday's gathering, Connie Taylor, who lost her 37-year-old son, Bradley, on Sept. 11, stepped toward el-Wafi and embraced her. Many of those who formed a circle around them also began to cry.

Taylor said she had concluded that el-Wafi's plight was greater than her own.

"She is blaming her son, in part," Taylor said. "That must be so horrible. I didn't experience that."

"The hardest suffering in the world today is that of parents who lose their children," el-Wafi said in French. "There will never be an explanation to justify this. The suffering will last forever."

El-Wafi, who raised four children alone while working as a cleaning woman, said that she lost her son to an Islamist movement just as another mother might lose hers to drugs or a cult.

Amen to that, Sister. "Cult" is right.

She said that her older son has also joined an Islamist movement, in Lebanon. "In these movements, they look for the little cracks to get into people's minds and control them," she said.

El-Wafi said her future might include work for peace and justice causes. In the fall of 2002, she arranged to meet in New York with six people who lost loved ones on Sept. 11.

But for now, her life is in a holding pattern."I am only a mother," she said.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Abraham Kidunaja, sixth century Mesopotamian hermit and apostle. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading is
Jeremias 17:5-10.
Today's Responsorial Psalm is
Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6.
Today's Gospel reading is
Luke 16:19:31.

[Links to the readings will be from the NAB until I can find another chapter and verse searchable Douay-Rheims Bible on-line.]

Everyday links:

The Blessed Virgin Mary
The Rosary
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Prayers from EWTN
National Coalition of Clergy and Laity (dedicated to action for a genuine Catholic Restoration)
The Catholic Calendar Page for Today

Just in case you are wondering what exactly Catholics believe, here is

The Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.


Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession,was left unaided.Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency hear and answer me. Amen.

St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse, pray for us.

Prayer to St. Anthony, Martyr of Desire

Dear St. Anthony, you became a Franciscan with the hope of shedding your blood for Christ. In God's plan for you, your thirst for martyrdom was never to be satisfied. St. Anthony, Martyr of Desire, pray that I may become less afraid to stand up and be counted as a follower of the Lord Jesus. Intercede also for my other intentions. (Name them.)


St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the divine power, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sometimes, some people must be killed.

Carlie Brucia's killer is sentenced to death

A former mechanic convicted of raping and murdering 11-year-old Carlie Brucia, whose abduction was caught on a car wash security camera, was sentenced to death Wednesday for her murder.

Smith, 39, showed no emotion Wednesday as state Circuit Judge Andrew Owens read the official sentences — death for the murder count and life in prison for kidnapping and sexual battery.

Last month, Smith had tearfully apologized during a hearing, saying: "I take responsibility of my crimes. I don't understand how this could have happened. ... Every day I think about what I did and beg God for forgiveness."

He said he had taken heroin and cocaine in an attempt to kill himself before he abducted Carlie on Feb. 1, 2004. Smith said he didn't remember much about that day and asked Owens to spare him for the sake of his family. His attorney, Adam Tebrugge, argued that Smith could lead a productive life in prison and be a positive influence on his three daughters if he was spared.

Owens discounted those arguments Wednesday. He said Carlie suffered "unspeakable terror and physical suffering" at Smith's hands.

Carlie's body was found four days after her disappearance on the grounds of a Sarasota church. News of the crime shook the community, and hundreds turned out for memorial services.

Absent from the courtroom was Carlie's mother, Susan Schorpen, who is in jail in Pinellas County on drug and prostitution charges. She has said the pain of losing her daughter led her to institutionalize herself three times and take drugs to numb the pain.

I get mail from too-judgemental Canucks...

Responding to my post on Osama's niece

Deep said...

kinda has a horse face don't you think?

1) No, she is as pretty as she is brave.

2) Nothing personal, boyo, but have you taken a look at the photos on your own blog? There are different grades of sushi out there.

3) BTW, I could have told you that Kelly was a no-goodnik from the get-go. Any woman that cradles a bottle like a baby is going to bring you grief.

Keep the faith, baby.

"Eat asparagus when it's in season" or...

...appreciate your mom while you can.

No world-historical profundity here, kiddies.

I went to my parents for dinner last night and among other things, my mom prepared asparagus. I'm not a big asparagus guy and can't say I've ever cooked it myself. But Mom knows what's what. She also knows how to cook, which comes in handy when dealing with asparagus

And apparently asparagus is in season.

As Fyodor ALWAYS says: "It depends on whose Al is being Gored."

Memo To Mr. Parker (cc Mr. Stone): Don't kill off Chef. Replace Mr. Hayes with Richard Simmons or Harvey Fierstein. Or Bill Maher.

USA Today: Isaac Hayes quits 'South Park'

Isaac Hayes has quit South Park, where he voices Chef, saying he can no longer stomach its take on religion.

Hayes, who has played the ladies' man/school cook in the animated Comedy Central satire since 1997, said in a statement Monday that he feels a line has been crossed.

"There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins," the 63-year-old soul singer and outspoken Scientologist said.

"Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored," he continued. "As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices."

Hayes has voiced the role of Chef since 'South Park' went on the air.
South Park co-creator Matt Stone responded sharply in an interview with The Associated Press Monday, saying, "This is 100% having to do with his faith of Scientology... He has no problem — and he's cashed plenty of checks — with our show making fun of Christians."

Last November, South Park targeted the Church of Scientology and its celebrity followers, including actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta, in a top-rated episode called "Trapped in the Closet." In the episode, Stan, one of the show's four mischievous fourth graders, is hailed as a reluctant savior by Scientology leaders, while a cartoon Cruise locks himself in a closet and won't come out.

Stone told The AP he and co-creator Trey Parker "never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin."

If you think goat-raping moslem terrorists have a weird religion, just check out your friendly neighborhood Hollyweird celebrity.

Hoo-hoo! (The cry of guilttripis megacashem, the common celebrity rebel.

The Find The Hottest TV News Babe Contest is alive and as about as well as can be expected.

First up are the babes of KATV in Little Rock. Jessica Morkert (Above), Christina Munoz, Beth Hunt, and Anne Pressly. (Below)

The next four babes are from KLTV in Tyler, TX.

Katie O'Brien, Alison Struve, Angela Salscheider, and Wendy Neuberger (the next four babes below) are from WSAW in Wausau, Wisconsin.

The next two babes, Neely Tsoodle (major bonus points for the name) and Emily Jaster are from KSWO in southwest Oklahoma.

And finally, here is Cherish (!) Keatts from WSPA in South Carolina:

How many cowards does it take to let 2 murderers get away with shooting a ten year old boy in the head?

At least six...

Philadelphia Daily News: 6th witness changes tune in Faheem-murder trial

(Mar 14 ) And then there were six. Tory Reddick yesterday became the latest witness in the Faheem Thomas-Childs murder trial to retract previous incriminating statements.

Animal Flesh Recipe of the Day. (PEONWAP*)

*Piss 'Em Off Now With American Pork

My pro-pork jihad continues apace. All across the globe, Crusaders are sitting down to delicious and nutritious swine meals and there is nothing the goat rapists can do about it. So enjoy the latest paragon of pig preparation from the Food Network and Gourmet Magazine.

Roast Pork Loin with Beer Sauce
("Beer sauce" may be the two sweetest words in the English language.)

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 10 hours
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

For marinade:
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup honey
3 cups beer (not dark), preferably German
3 1/2 pound boneless pork loin, tied (3 to 3 1/2 inches wide)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Beurre manie made by rubbing together 1 tablespoon softened unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Make marinade:
In a large saucepan stir together marinade ingredients. Bring marinade just to a boil, stirring (marinade will rise and foam), and remove pan from the heat. In a blender puree marinade in 2 batches, transferring it as pureed to a bowl. Cool marinade to room temperature and spoon off any remaining foam.

In a large heavy resealable plastic bag combine pork and marinade and seal bag, pressing out any excess air. Put bag in a baking pan and marinate pork, chilled, turning bag once or twice, at least 8 hours and up to 24. Let pork in marinade come to room temperature, about 40 minutes. Transfer marinade to a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Pat pork dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. In a flameproof roasting pan heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown pork on all sides. Roast pork in middle of oven, basting frequently with some marinade, until a meat thermometer registers 155 degrees F. for slightly pink meat, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Transfer pork to a cutting board, reserving juices in roasting pan and discarding string, and let stand, covered loosely with foil, about 15 minutes.

While pork is standing, skim and discard fat from pan and add remaining marinade. Deglaze roasting pan over moderately high heat, scraping up brown bits. Bring sauce just to a boil and strain through a fine sieve into another saucepan, Bring sauce to a simmer and whisk in beurre manie, bit by bit, whisking until sauce is combined well and thickened slightly.

Serve pork, sliced, with sauce.

About Me

My photo
First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.


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