Posts Tagged ‘Vatican’

There’s an axiom in Latin that makes the unlearned think of taking a night out to the club:

Audio. Video. Disco.

Compliments to the Australian Herald

Compliments to the Australian Herald

Believe it or not, that’s not about some multimedia experience. It means, “I hear. I see. I learn.”

Well, in today’s fast-paced society hungry for a theological fix, most folk aren’t as concerned about church as they are viewing Jesus on TBN or Daystar, hearing him on a Hillsong CD or their sacred iPod or clicking a God clip on YouTube.

(Because, it seems most folk ain’t going to Tangle… just sayin’.)

Needless to say, there is a lot of hearing and seeing going on, but perhaps the learning could improve just a skosh.

Evidently, that report got back to the Holy See because Pope Benedict XVI it’s presumed the only dumb ones are the young ones… and where are they hanging out these days? Online.

First, it was their own search engine. And now, the Papacy has gone buck wild by creating its own Facebook page,

And since there are about one billion Catholics on earth, Il Papa figured it would be a great idea if they could all come to him for a change, including a holy YouTube page, sacred iPhone apps and a WikiCath page.

So, why all the tech geek in the Vatican? Ask the Catholic News Service:

It’s an effort to allow younger generations find a “simple, fresh site to work as a hub from which users can find some new ways the universal church is present in the digital world.”

Seeing how things have been iffy for priests to get online in the past years, it’s commendable that the Pope is cool with this effort.

But hey, as long as there’s a massive firewall, some beefed-up Norton antivirus or, at the very least, has hired Robert Langdon to help out with the new symbols Pope B16 will encounter.

You know, items not in his lexicon like “LOL,” “411,” “WTF” and of course “MSG” (and no, that’s not Chinese take out).

Huzzah. Hope this works because form what I have heard, seen and learned about the propensity for old dogs to attain new tricks is um, “2G2BT.”

Any Catholics sitting on the wall, having lunch and enjoying the sunrise? Well, hold on to your lunchables.

Here’s a news flash for you: Did you know when your priest chants Dominus Vobiscum, et cum spirito tuo,” it really does not mean “The Lord be with you and with thy spirit”?

Dominos DemotivatorNo, really. According to this odd story from USA Today, it actually means, “Jesus, please bring a brother a Domino’s Pizza.”

The recession has a stranglehold on much of southwest Florida, but billionaire Thomas Monaghan’s [founder of Domino’s] vision for the 1,100-seat church and the Roman Catholic school he created continues to take shape, even if construction isn’t progressing as quickly as he had hoped.

Billionaires are a quirky bunch. Some become philanthropists like Gates and Buffett. Others own sports teams like Cuban and Jones. A few more are named Walton and just own half the world’s retail. No biggie.

And then there is this 72-year-old guy who wants to import Italian white marble to build his own church – the Ave Maria Oratory – and a 35-foot-tall sculpture of The Annunciation and place it smack dab in the middle of the Florida Everglades.

Um, wow?!

Don’t even bother asking how many pizzas he had to sell to do that. Suffice to say, there ain’t enough 30-minute deliveries this year to pay for a block of that cheese.

In acres of fields that were just tomatoes and prayer three years ago, how apropos is it that Pizza Guy here has made nothing but sauce… and gave it all to God? It’s more than a church. It’s a whole city he is building with tip money!

Monaghan, who holds the title of university chancellor, figures he’s put more than $400 million of his pizza fortune into developing what he likes to call a “spiritual military academy” amid a new town steeped in conservative Catholic teaching and symbolism.

Well, with the economy not so hot, it’s not like God will take a bunch of pepperoni for this project. So, uh, what does this Catholic church – and whole town – do to promote fiscal responsibility? Avoid the Noid or just… wait for it… Grab that dough?


Something weird happened on the way to the Vatican the other day… the Pope has decided to become a PR professional and a film critic.

If anyone remembers, Il Papa despised Ron Howard’s first foray into the Dan Brown fictional chronicles of Catholicism known as “The Da Vinci Code”. I mean, especially since it almost cost the Vatican billions thanks to a ridiculous law suit over branding rights.

But evidently, after a Rome premiere, B16 has mad love for Tom Hanks, his acting ability and considers the movie… wait for it… archangels singing from on high… “harmless.” Huh?!

I know! The Pope was illuminated by the Illuminati. Who’da thunk it?

L’Osservatore Romano ran a review and an editorial in Wednesday’s edition, critiquing the movie based on the Dan Brown best-selling novel of the same name. The newspaper wrote that the movie was “a gigantic and smart commercial operation” filled with “stereotyped characters.” The paper suggested moviegoers could make a game out of finding the many historical inaccuracies in the plot.

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So that’s a complement, right? Underhanded and convoluted. But a complement, nonetheless.

One question though, Holy Father: What happened to the paternal vitriol extolled about the first movie? You did hate it, so what gives?

“The theme is always the same in both novels: a sect versus the church, even though the parts of the good and the bad are distributed differently,” L’Osservatore wrote Wednesday. “This time, with ‘Angels & Demons,’ the church is on the side of the good guys.”

Who knows. Maybe Ron Howard’s PR campaign worked? Talk about a total turnaround. At first, Rome was caught up in a tornadic storm of anger, whizz and vinegar. And now, they are strolling down the Yellow Brick Road of ration and reason?

Man, what a difference a summer blockbuster makes. Angels and demons and Catholics… oh my!

People make too much, way too much out of movies.

It’s Hollywood, which I believe is slang for “complete and utter dystopian fiction.” That said, when these fudged storylines come out, some factions make believe this makebelieve is made real, if only people would believe it. (Anyone follow that?)

“The Exorcist” made me people scared not to go to church. “The Blair Witch Project” took the Internet by storm. And “1984” has some convinced it was not a movie, but a prophecy.

angels-and-demonsAnd then there was the “Da Vinci Code,” a book made into a movie that continued a global kerfuffle that Mary Magdalene somehow got her Messianic groove on. It was sacrilege. It was impious. And, it was hilarious. At least to most comfortable Christians, it should have been.

But to those who believe culture is as sacred as Christ, they lost their minds… and their salvation. Catholics were acting the fool and for good reason. The great thing is most protestants were driving the car most Catholic picketers were traveling in.

From the sanctuary to the monastery, angst was flooding the gates of the Vatican because of a decent movie and a book that was not-so-much.

Fast forward to the prequel sequel, “Angels & Demons.” See, Dan Brown wrote it after “Da Vinci Code” but Ron Howard decided to make it before Tom Hanks saves the world from the Knights Templar and moves on to the surreptitious, infamous and ubiqutious Illuminati.

Thanks to this byline article in HuffPo, which includes an open letter from William Donohue from the Catholic League and a certain director of “Angels & Demons,” Ron Howard stands up for his film… and himself:

Let me be clear: neither I nor Angels & Demons are anti-Catholic. And let me be a little controversial: I believe Catholics, including most in the hierarchy of the Church, will enjoy the movie for what it is: an exciting mystery, set in the awe-inspiring beauty of Rome. After all, in Angels & Demons, Professor Robert Langdon teams up with the Catholic Church to thwart a vicious attack against the Vatican. What, exactly, is anti-Catholic about that?

In other words (if you’ll allow me to paraphrase):

“It’s a movie, people! I’m Ron Howard… and you’re not. So enjoy your 15 minutes, because when this flick opens, I’ll be in Puerto Vallarta collecting a tan… and a check. Peace.”

There have been rumors of the Vatican blocking Howard filming this movie in Rome (no, really). There are already critics claiming this sequel prequel is more convoluted than the first. Regardless, there’s a lot out there that will outweigh the naysayers and cause this movie to rocket to #1 in movie billings.

That is, until Michael Bay sets religion on its ear and brings “Transformers 2” to town. And that make believe is very real.

A Vatican cheese basket from the Monks

A Vatican cheese basket from the Monks


When you consider the robe-trodden people of humble beginnings, you typically consider open-toed Birkenstocks, little oral hygiene and climbing the charts with that ethereal monotone moaning they do.

These are guys of limited resources and don’t ask for much, so when the economy tanked and donations came to a screeching halt, you knew these boys had to mix in a job application or something outside of their six hours of daily prayer.

But according to this story from USA Today, members of the Teresian Carmalites monastery in Worcester, Mass. have cornered the market to help ressurect their philanthropic pitfalls – wrinkle cream?!

First, it was make some brew from their Trappist order in Belgium. No go. Next, they thought to make windmills and sell power, but an ill wind was blowing and that didn’t work.

That’s when one of what Brother Dennis Wyrzykowski calls “God-incidences” connected them with a medical school professor, whose work included patented research into a compound in the human heart that has been found to also fight wrinkles. With the professor’s blessing, the religious community recently started selling a high-end skin cream online based on the compound.

No more homemade jam, cheese and wine, these fellas have broken into the world of Avon, Mary Kay and Maybelline.

For $65, you too can purchase a bottle of Easeamine (online no less) and wash those crows feet away. And if they sell 32,000 tubes of this celestial cream, they break even. Heavenly, ain’t it?

You know, now that I think about it – and stare at myself in the mirror – who needs the cream. How about some Duran Duran. Hit it boys.