Mar 232014
 

The drug haul was unremarkable, but the destination raised eyebrows.

German weekly Bild am Sonntag reported Sunday that customs officials intercepted a cocaine shipment destined for the Vatican in January.

Officers at Leipzig airport found 340 grams — about 12 ounces — of the drug packed into 14 condoms inside a shipment of cushions coming from South America.

The paper says the package was simply addressed to the Vatican postal office, meaning any of the Catholic mini-state’s 800 residents could have picked it up.

Citing a German customs report, the paper adds that a sting operation arranged with Vatican police didn’t lure a possible recipient. The drugs would have a street value of several tens of thousands of euros (dollars).

Neither German customs nor the Vatican could be immediately reached for comment.

[Source]

An anonymous Vatican official did comment that obviously the recipient was not a faithful Catholic due to the drugs being wrapped in condoms.

Feb 262014
 

So what does the non-photogenic book lover do to have their own fad? Well I suggest they post a #shelfie. This really should be a thing and the world would be a better place.

shelfie

Feb 052014
 

In a story by Eric J. Lyman for the Religion News Service and published in The Washington Post.

ROME — Did you hear that Pope Francis plans to call a Third Vatican Council? Or that he uncovered previously unknown Bible verses? Or that he sees the story of Adam and Eve as just a fable?

Here’s the problem: None of it is true.

Still, that didn’t stop these and other stories from ricocheting around the Internet and, in some cases, even in traditional news sources. Among the dozens of other fake pope stories are claims that he called hell a literary device and that he believes all religions are equally true.

The article mentions a warning from the Pontifical Council for Culture.

“Check the official Vatican media sources for confirmation of Pope Francis’ statements.” Remarks should be considered untrue if they do not appear on the pope’s Twitter feed, the Vatican Information Service, the Holy See press office, the Vatican website, Vatican radio, the L’Osservatore Romano newspaper or another official information source, the council said.

“If the statements attributed to the pope by any media agency do not appear in the official media sources of the Vatican, it means that the information they report is not true,” said the statement, which was written in all caps as if to underscore the point.

So far a decent enough article, but they couldn’t let that stand.

The Rev. Thomas Reese, a senior analyst with National Catholic Reporter, said only some fake comments are worth worrying about.

“There are basically three kinds of inaccurate comments,” Reese said. “There are the pranksters, and there are people who simply make mistakes because they don’t understand the issues being discussed. It’s hard to get worked up over those things.

“But then there are people who want to spin the pope’s point of view to further a particular agenda, and that’s very problematic and reprehensible.”

I almost fell out of my chair reading that last line. Fr. Reese thinks that people spinning what the Pope said or by extension spinning what the Church teaches as “very problematic and reprehensible.” Another example of somebody with an irony deficit. He has spun so much of what the Church teaches that I think one day he hopes to be named Spin Doctor of the Church.

Getting back to all the papal misinformation and disinformation you almost wish there was a source similar to Snopes which debunked urban legends or in this case I guess Pope Urban legends.

The problem is that it would be a full time job for a team of people to counter all of “the pope said what?” stories or false stories involving the Church. So it will continue to be crowd-sourced to Catholic bloggers and others in Catholic media not to mention individuals in their daily life.

By the way yes I am well aware of the fact that snopes.com like any fact checking site is not totally reliable.

Feb 042014
 

I was thumbing through one of those catalogs targeted towards Catholics that has everything from books to furniture for parishes.

These catalogs can be fun to look through depending on just how much kitsch they contain. This catalog had a little bit of everything and I ran across this item.

So is the message “I Thank God For You” intended for the phone?

Besides making Steve Jobs cry by using a stylus on an iPhone it made me think of something. About the fact that there is hardly any Catholic tech kitsch. For example I can’t think I ever have seen a specific Catholic themed case for a phone or a tablet. Looking for something in this category I did find items at cafepress.com and zazzle.com. These services provides items such as t-shirts, cups, and some phone/tablet accessories where people can setup a store with their own designs that get imprinted.

Now I wouldn’t mind having a super-pious case for my phone or iPad. The lock screen on my iPad has an image of Saint Isidore of Seville. Some lists describe one of his patronages as being for programmers. So I wouldn’t mind having a case with his image at all. Having holy images is a nice reminder and for us moderns obsessed with tech a good place is on the very devices we are so often looking at.

Still there is a difference between holy reminders and more badly designed junk.

The Divine Mercy image where Jesus is holding your camera lens.

This Galaxy S4 cover is even more unfortunate unless the new iconography for the The Eye of Providence is a camera lens. The LED flash as a semi-Hindu touch.

First off not exactly the best depiction of St. Therese along with the missing corpus. In this case the camera and flash make for an interesting attachment for a veil, but the Trinitarian aspect is heretical.

cute_catholic_priest_case_for_the_ipad_mini-r4702d4b4240d4e2f8b795f84199e4645_w9jws_8byvr_512

This one is at least kind of interesting with its anime styling.

Feb 032014
 

Catholic Church leaders say a phony priest has been making the rounds in Northern California, going into people’s homes, celebrating mass and possibly asking for money.

The Sacramento Diocese says Javier Posada is pretending to be someone he’s not—a Roman Catholic priest or bishop. He invites himself into homes of the faithful under false pretenses and celebrates mass. Source

This fake priest must not be very smart. Hitting up Catholics for money will likely give you a nice collection of dollar bills.

Jan 272014
 

The Ironic Catholics as a series of It’s cold in the old Church tonight” jokes to which I add:

  • Multiple people chipped fingernails reaching into the frozen Holy Water font.
  • It is reported that in some parishes more people actually made it to the end of Mass as the church was warmer than braving the cold out in the parking lot.
  • Inculturation lead to statues being dressed in snow parkas to fit in including mittens for the Infant Jesus Of Prague statue.
  • Coffee and donuts were cancelled in the Parish Hall in favor of Hot Chocolate and donuts Flambé.
  • The sound of twigs snapping turns out to be people’s fronzen joints at they make the Sign of the Cross and kneel.
Nov 122013
 

Thomas L. McDonald posts about Stupid Things Christians Do: Tract Tips.

These are tracts left for tips in lieu of money.

tract tips come from various places, and they are like kryptonite for evagenlization. Anyone reading any of these would fly as fast as possible from the kind of diseased faith that would produce such a thing.

While these are not Chick tracts they are of the same rotten fruit.

Here is a tract from a parody I did back in 2004.

Oct 282013
 

How do you tell parody from reality. Some days it is really hard to tell such as the case of this actual product.

Whether you have trouble finding good, reliable organists (or other musicians), have no instrument or simply want good music available for outreach, the Hymnal Plus is the solution. As well as churches, the Hymnal Plus is widely used by Schools and Colleges, Chaplaincies in the Armed Forces, Prisons and Hospitals, Retirement Homes, Retreat Centres, Christian Holiday Centres, Cruise Liners, Crematoriums and private individuals – all of whom find the Hymnal Plus provides their complete worship music needs.

As well as providing a complete worship music solution, the Hymnal Plus can also be used to fill in when the regular musician(s) can’t make it. Use it for weddings, funerals and outreach. It’s ready to play any time, anywhere.

The HT–300 features an advanced, high quality sound generator, capable of reproducing up to 124 notes simultaneously. This processing power allows the HT–300 to create pipe organ sounds the right way, by layering individual pipe stops together – just like an expensive electronic church organ does. The end result is far more authentic than the usual simplistic approach found in other products and ordinary midi file players.

Hat tip Ironic Catholic

When they add a module for badly played folk music it will be a real hit in Catholic parishes. Getting the liturgical acoustic guitar sound down won’t take much effort. Plus considering it can hold 7400 hymns that is overkill for the small number of Haugen/Daas/Joncas hymns actually played each week at Mass.

Plus maybe they can get the robot musicians from the Vincent Price film The Abominable Dr. Phibes

I wonder about developing a Catholic hymnal jukebox app where people at Mass could select the hymns to be played? Or even better one that takes micro-transactions of 25¢ taken to prevent certain hymns from being played. Especially since I suspect that people would select the common fare because that is just what they are use to. We have such a rich tradition of sacred music and each week we get the Chinet equivalent.

Still I guess I prefer actual humans signing “Here I am Lord” for the millionth time than the HT–300 belting out an actual piece of sacred music written before 1970.

Oct 162013
 

From the Pope’s speech Meeting with the Clergy, Consecrated People and Members of the Diocesan Pastoral Councils – Pastoral Visit to Assisi.

It is not enough just to read the Sacred Scriptures, we need to listen to Jesus who speaks in them: it is Jesus himself who speaks in the Scriptures, it is Jesus who speaks in them. We need to be receiving antennas that are tuned into the Word of God, in order to become broadcasting antennas! One receives and transmits. It is the Spirit of God who makes the Scriptures come alive, who makes us understand them deeply and in accord with their authentic and full meaning!

vaticanradio009-1304028458_XL-resized

Vatican Antenna

As a past electronics technician I like the antenna imagery. In this case it would be a duplex antenna being able to receive and transmit. Plus it makes sense regarding the “transmission” of faith. Then efficiency of this Gospel antenna is measure by the ratio of what is faithfully transmitted to what is received from the Church. There can be loss of efficiency due to heat since not proclaiming the truth in a charitable way generates more heat than light. With the Gospel antenna you can expect polarization as Jesus amply warned in Matthew 10. If you are not living a life of faith and then try to transmit it to others, expect transmission line losses. Expect resistance and other impedance losses.