Posts Tagged ‘excommunication’

Imagine: You are not one of those hypocritical nutbags who picket abortion clinic and fancies the occasional bombing, all under the guise of God’s love.

Instead, you are a nun… who is the administrator at a hospital… and one of your patients is 27-years-old, pregnant and about to die. The catch? The delivery of the fetus will kill her.

As children of God, we are taught to value life. Now, you either value the one dying on a hospital bed or the one said fainting soul is about to deliver.

Confused? Watch the tape from CNN:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Nevermind WWJD for now. What would you do?

The local Catholic diocese knew what they would do – they excommunicated the nun “automatically.” There’s the love of God for you. Keeping it classy, Phoenix Catholic guy:

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, head of the Phoenix Diocese, indicated in a statement that the Roman Catholic involved was “automatically excommunicated” because of the action. The Catholic Church allows the termination of a pregnancy only as a secondary effect of other treatments, such as radiation of a cancerous uterus.

Listen, I despise abortion and I think most girls and women who get them flippantly do so without considering the grave consequences, the impending guilt and the fact that they are just using a doctor’s tool as after-the-fact birth control for a casual night of having fun in most cases.

Exception? Meet the golden rule. At least where narrow-minded Catholic bishops are concerned.

The battle for human life isn't always an easy one to explain

Sometimes, you just want to run head first into the sign, right?

Here lies a woman with her entire life in front of her, and with a cancerous uterus that is choking that precious life out of her. She is pregnant and if that baby is born, it will do so without her mother from day one.

Did Sister McBride make the right decision? Did she pay little regard for one life to save another? Do you even care because all you hear is “Blah blah blah… abortion… blah blah blah.”

On one hand, you have the hospital – a Catholic hospital – backing Sister McBride’s decision:

“In this tragic case, the treatment necessary to save the mother’s life required the termination of an 11-week pregnancy,” hospital vice president Susan Pfister said in an e-mail to the newspaper [USA Today].

Then, we have head of the local diocese who could care less:

“I am gravely concerned by the fact that an abortion was performed several months ago in a Catholic hospital in this diocese,” Olmsted said in a statement sent to The Arizona Republic. “I am further concerned by the hospital’s statement that the termination of a human life was necessary to treat the mother’s underlying medical condition.”

Sister McBride had to make a split-second decision despite the scowl of her boss upstate. She didn’t have time to consult her Monsignor in a time of despair. She couldn’t say 18 rosaries before the baby time of gestation was up. The clock was ticking and two lives were in jeopardy.

She made a choice, and for that moment of sheer anguish, she was given her walking papers and kicked clean out of the Catholic Church. Nice.

Never mind the theological impunity Catholics believe they have to kick a child of God out of his or her home. It’s wrong, but blame anathema I suppose?

Would God ever disown a child who has accepted the blood of Jesus? No.

Believing this stance was probably too wussified, the Pontiff’s bible architects of the Middle Ages believed the Papacy should exercise the right to oust someone from the graces of the church because of a grievous slip-up. And the rest is history.

So, um, who is excommunicating all the predators inside the Catholic Church? No one, you say? Moving on…

Father Kevin O’Rourke, a canon lawyer at Loyola University in Chicago, is familiar with McBride’s case and say it is “very unusual” for a nun to be excommunicated. He says, “In order to have an excommunication be valid, the person has to act out of deliberate desire to violate the law…there has to be malice involved.” O’Rourke says there doesn’t appear to be malice involved in Sister McBride’s decision.

If you are so hell-bent on bashing this woman, then show me the malice in this story.

She’s not one of those twisted counselors who guide a 16-year-old girl away from parental reason just to have a “simple procedure.” This is a nun caught in a metaphysical tug-of-war and I don’t think you will hear any arguments from the woman whose live she saved as a result.

Yes, the agony of losing a child is beyond something to bare. Tell that to the girl’s parents who would have lost their daughter if the baby was delivered. No one wins.

The moral of the story is: there are no moral absolutes here. As Christians, we have to accept shades of gray, don’t we? Because if you can color this story in only black and white, I would like to introduce you to a spiritual box of 64 crayons and abruptly stick your head in the sharpener.

There is no right or wrong in situations like this. 50% of the people affected will be hurt and offended. And only one person gets blamed for it.

However, instead of cloaking the nun in the arms of a loving Savior, for whom she has dedicated her entire adult life; the Catholic Diocese would rather use said arms, wax WWE and clothesline the hell out of her.

Now that was a wrong decision. Think anyone is going to hold the Bishop accountable? Meh?

Sister McBride is taking her exile in stride by taking the high road – no comment, no post thoughts. Although she is no longer considered “Catholic”, she is still very much “Christian.”

And isn’t that what really matters?

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I said it once, and now I get to say again… anyone remember excommunicated Mormon Chad Hardy?

Hardy is an entrepreneur from Las Vegas who had an epiphany that, if directed to a niche audience, would cause him a winfall of cash money. The idea was a Missionary Beefcake calendar of all those hottie LDS door-to-door salesmen.

And it worked. So much that he was excommunicated from Utah. Yeah, he was a 6th-generation Mormon. Nice.

RNS BYU CALENDAR

Meet Miss May and Cover Girl. I'm sure she's a great cook.

Well, sad for the Mormons, it seems sex really does sell because Hardy is baaaack with something a little Oedipus complex-ish.

TheHot Mormon Muffins: A Taste of Motherhood calendar features 12 mothers who claim membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in vintage pinup picture poses. Each month also has a muffin recipe.

Genius. “Also has a muffin recipe.”

That’s like finding a dirty old man at the magazine rack in a truck stop. Of course, he reads that magazine just for the articles. And by the way, yes, he is just happy to see me.

This “muffin” calendar is the latest in the series of Mormon in print. The problem is that Hardy got the boot from the church, so you know Missus January through December could be next? Was it worth it? It is to Hardy. Just ask him.

“For Mormons, the most holy calling next to missionary work is motherhood,” said Hardy. “But they’re not all the subservient housewives that people think they are.

What? Did someone hurl a Ron Jeremy movie in the DVD player? What’s that mean?

The “Men on a Mission” calendar may have been done with tongue firmly planted in cheek, but this is done with a motive… and a bent. Dude is on a mission to make Mormons look foolish, but this could backfire because how many Atheists will consider flying to Utah just to get a calendar?

The funny thing about this imbroglio is considering the questionable marriage practices in the LDS church, does each month contain the multiple mothers of the same household?

Tami Roberts (seen pictured above) has three girls and is raising them to be devout Mormons.

“I also want them to be open, accepting of other people, know that everybody is not the same and that it’s OK to make your own choices,” said Roberts, who works as a restaurant server and confessed to having a few tattoos, generally considered taboo among Mormons.

Yeah, because having a tramp stamp in the middle of a baptism for some dead guy could be a skosh distracting.

No word from LDS central but something tells me you won’t see Hardy’s calendar on sale in Salt Lake anytime soon at Borders.

 

Yeah. It's been awhile since they walked with God.

Yeah. It's been awhile since they walked with God.

Recently, WOW News’ The Pew Forum released a gripping study entitled “Faith in Flux” that is certain to make you scratch your head and wonder just what people have been doing while “walking with God.”

And don’t worry, this is equal-opportunity sequestering. So, first, I would like to get all those who consider themselves “Catholic” to huddle up close to the warmth of your monitor as you see what has been uncovered of your ilk.

Of those surveyed raised Catholic and are now unaffiliated, why?

  • 71% just “gradually drifted away”. Hrm. If only all that Latin and liturgy was more entertaining. It’s not a movie people, it’s God!
  • 56% were not happy with the church’s abortion teachings. Liberalism in the church? Anyone? So the news and Hollywood has more sway than God. Nice.
  • 43% said their spiritual needs were not met. Yeah, that happens when the youth group goes suddenly vacant. (Giggle).
  • 27% advised it was the clergy sexual abuse scandal. And who could blame them?!

What about those Catholics who decided to flip and go Protestant?

  • 70% found a “religion” they liked more. Well, unless they went to Buddha or Mohammed, they didn’t find a religion people. It was more like a denomination shift change during study hall. Oy! Oh, there’s another one!
  • 32% were dissatisfied with the atmosphere at worship services. Um, were you expecting the Pope to break out with the “Top 10 Feng Shui tips to attract more parishioners”?
  • 21% were unhappy with the rule that priests couldn’t marry. Yeah, 100 percent of those results were from priests.

Protestants. Yeah, I’m talking to you, heathens. So, why are you now unaffiliated with the Church?

  • 71% just drifted away from religion. Anyone seeing a trend here? More on that in a minute.
  • 50% stopped believing in the religion’s teachings. And I’ll bet 100% of my rent that it was because of WHO was doing the teaching.
  • 25% were dissatisfied with the clergy over the congregation. So, I guess the other half were asked the question within hearing range of their former pastor. Just a thought.

What about the reasons you joined another faith within the Protestant Reformation… er, another church?

  • 85% enjoy the newer services and style of worship. Anyone still going to argue with Joel, Bill, Ed and the boys? Bueller?
  • 50% were called by God. Hrm. Wonder what happened with the other 50% who didn’t answer the phone?
  • 36% were attracted by a particular minister. See above at 85%.

Now time for the rant:

1. What is with all this “just drifting away”? Do you mean to tell me Jesus went to the cross for people to wake up one day and tell the Lord, “We can just be friends”?! Um, not so much. Regardless if I am one of those once-saved, always-saved folk (and I am… NOTE: John 3:15-18, John 10:28-30 and Jude 24), but I question whether those drifters were ever serious about their relationship with God in the first place.

Scrub your heavenly flubs. Amen.

Scrub your heavenly flubs. Amen.

If you personally discover what it means to be saved, to be redeemed, why on earth would you try something else? Are chill bumps that addictive? Does God really bless you in the club? Wherever they find themselves, the most miserable person in the world is a truly backslidden Christian.

Drifted. That’s a load. The only thing these wayfaring, lukewarm toadstools drifted from is the regimen of being a Christian. Yes, Jesus welcomes you just as you are. But it’s his house now.

Brother… Sister… you gonna’ take a bath to wash off that muck and mire before you step foot in his crib. (NOTE: The slick advertisement in the picture). Think you won’t? Well, um, there’s another place that is a bit more balmy where you can get your ashy feet anywhere you want. But don’t say you weren’t warned.

2. Who are we walking with anyway? Last I checked the noted poem in small churches across the country, “Footprints in the Sand,” the only time we aren’t walking with God is when he is carrying us! Jesus isn’t that interested in people who can’t commit. With all that “spew you out of my mouth” stuff, I figure massaging his tonsils is not where I would be crazy about hanging. Perhaps these knobby-kneed folk didn’t get that far in their personal journey through the Bible?

Whatever the case, if you want to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, look up… not down. Keep your eyes on the ground and you could bump into something that will slam your face hard. You know, like an Episcopal church that says it embraces everyone, only to discover that embrace is a skosh more intense among same-sex groups. Now, now, Jesus loves all people. And there is nothing wrong with a person who says he or she is swinging that way… except for the way you are heading if no one has the temerity to tell you what is really up.

Aside from the analogy, if you are walking with the King of Kings, ask a brother for his sandals. If your feet are hurting that bad and you don’t feel like walking any more, maybe you just need to walk a mile in his shoes.

3. There’s something afoot among Protestants. Now, this is purely subjective because I am one, but what up with those statistics. It’s almost trendy to shop for churches like clothes. “Well, that preacher just doesn’t fit what I need.” Or, “The youth group wasn’t as exciting as an arcade. Let’s go to Dave N’ Busters.” How about, “How come everyone is in these fancy suits? I like my jeans. I’m out.” And then there’s, “Gurl. Look at that heifer in the choir. You know they just keep her in the middle to make the choir look bigger.”

Where are the people? The A/C was too cold.

Where are the people? The A/C was too cold.

Whatever the case, people are transient with their theology more and more every day. Whatever happened with all the biblical analogies comparing us as trees?! If you are going to make a difference in any church, you must set your roots deep. Because lets be honest, churches would be perfect if it weren’t for all those people who walk in there and set down their blessed assurance wherever they feel.

Stay awhile. You will get offended. And if you do… so what? Who are you there to worship? God Almighty or some huckster in a fancy suit?

Listen, here’s where all this walking leads us:

God doesn’t tempt us to sin (James 1:13). He doesn’t even lead us into temptation (Matthew 6:9-13). He leads us through love and grace. If you end up somewhere you shouldn’t be, guess whose brillance you have to blame?

Your apathy brought you there. Your discontent kept you there. Your billigerence prevents you from being welcomed anywhere else.

All that is outside of God. Remember him? Your walking buddy?

Deuteronomy 8:6 tells us to “observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and revering him.”

People can observe. You know, if it’s from the cheap seats. They can even walk, providing they are permitting potty breaks every 10 minutes. But the “reverence” thing. Tsk. Folk have issues with that. Why? We let them.

So I’ll end not with a verse but with a maxim:

Walking with a friend in the dark is far better than walking alone in the light. ~Helen Keller

I… well… you know, I got nothing. That says it all. Happy walking, Church.

Lent is among us… and for the orthodox Catholic Christians in the house, it will get on them in the form of Ash Wednesday.

In case you don’t know, or don’t work with any liturgical Catholics and ask them, “Dude, what’s up with your forehead,” this hallowed day is the first day of Lent.

Basically, it gets their mind right with the fasting (of whatever) has to occur until Easter. It’s about the simple things, the human things, the Godly things. However, according to the Washington Post, D.C. Bishops are getting all techie with it on this sacrosanct celebration.

In preparation for the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday, the Washington Archdiocese is launching a campaign that will use new technologies such as YouTube as well as old-fashioned printed invitations to try to draw lapsed Catholics back to church. The archdiocese has an estimated 580,000 Catholics, according to spokeswoman Susan Gibbs, but only about one-quarter attend Mass every Sunday. The $75,000 marketing blitz, with the slogan “Longing for something? Maybe it’s God?” is designed to increase that percentage.

ash-wednesdayYeah, because nothing quite says, “Come back to Jesus” like “Put some of this soot on your forehead, you big fat sinner.”

But you know, I actually applaud this effort. At least they aren’t doing another bake sale or community theater to get folk walking in the door. There are many, many people who used to warm a pew who are, you know, living in the real world. So they are divorced, shacking up or whatever else keeps them out of the sanctuary and in the bars.

Good thing the Bishops in D.C. recognize excommunicated doesn’t mean dead. Not taking a Eucharist doesn’t mean… well, Satanic.

“We wanted people to be able to ask questions,” [Archdiocese spokeswoman Susan] Gibbs said. “Sometimes they’re not ready to walk in a church door . . . or they might be embarrassed to ask a question, or they might be worried that they won’t be welcome. People who are divorced believe that they might not be welcome, and that’s not true. . . . We wanted to give people a way to . . . get in a dialogue about their faith.”

Dialogue is grand, as long as you don’t ask them about what kept them out of church or the confessional. Otherwise, that will become a monologue with the quickness. Which, by the way, makes sense since that is what most Catholics I know consider prayer to be in the first place.

MEMO to the frozen chosen: Jesus can talk back. Just listen carefully during mass. No, not to that cat with cold hands placing the sign of the cross on your forehead. But rather, when you are trying to rock it old school, chanting…

Memento homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris (Genesis 3:19 for those of you scoring at home).

…to take note you are not dust yet. Nor is the God you serve. Enjoy the day, and um, use soap.

As a Zionist, a child of God and – oh, I don’t know – someone with a pulse, I have been fuming on this one for a while. Buckle up, Wall Watchers. Here’s the lede, thanks to HuffPo.

Pope Benedict XVI has lifted the excommunications of four traditionalist bishops, including that of a Holocaust denier whose rehabilitation sparked outrage among Jewish groups.

Um, I’m sorry?! These four tools… er, bishops are well known in Catholic and seminarian circles as the “Lefebvrite Bishopric.”

Basically, this title is Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre – a legalist, an orthodox, a traditionalist and founder of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). All of that essentially means dude wasn’t a fan of Vatican II, and if you remember all the stories of the “Passion of the Christ,” that makes he and Mel Gibson’s dad BFFs.

Back to the story: So Lefebvre had some clout back in the 60s and sent these four bishops packing, largely because of the mouth on this big mouth bass. All, meet Bishop Richard Williamson.

This is a tool who believes historical evidence is hugely against 6 million Jews having been deliberately gassed. Yeah, I would find something a bit more intimidating than those Birkenstocks folk wear around the Vatican and stick my size 12s directly in his blessed assurance. Anyone feel me?

A picture is worth 1000 words. So why am I still speechless?

A picture is worth 1000 words. So why am I still speechless?

In review, let me get this right:

  • We have a German kid who hung out in the Hitler youth rally for kicks
  • He grew up loving Jesus and all, and ultimately joined a monastery
  • He’s now Pope and knows there is this whole schism that exists between the Papacy and these highfalutent Bishops back in half-baked 60s
  • And then, he lifts the excommunication of a complete waste of clerics who denied the holocaust
  • Which is something Germans back in the 40s were rumored to not have been big fans

Don’t you love it when life deduces logic for you? So, where’s the spin control from the Vatican to make it look like this was just a president issuing harmless pardons:

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Williamson’s views were “absolutely indefensible.” But he denied that rehabilitating Williamson implied that the Vatican shared them… They are his personal ideas … that we certainly don’t share but they have nothing to do with the issue of the excommunication and the removal of the excommunication,” Lombardi told AP Television News.

Sure they don’t. The holocaust was real. His erroneous statements about it were real. Priests have been shunned from the friendly Papal confines for less. I understand God forgives, but his people just don’t forget. Funny how it seems the Pope did.