OLV: the landmark

September 23, 2010

Rochester’s  Landmark Society is focusing on the “St. Paul Quarter” for its “Inside Downtown” tour this year.  One of the landmarks is … (drum roll) … Our Lady of Victory church.  The tour guidebook includes a wonderful description of Our Lady of Victory.  The tour cost $18, but you can always see the church during Mass 🙂


Pope Benedict XVI: Don’t Silence Religion

September 18, 2010

Here is a link to the Daily Mail’s article on Pope Benedict call to not silence religion.


Signs of Hope in Russia

September 18, 2010

(I thought this posted earlier this week.  Dratted computers.)

How the Catholic Church in Russia is doing is not mainstrem news, so it was fascinating to read about a recent trip of several members of Madonna House staff to Moscow and their field house in Krasnoyarsk (central Siberia).

In his piece Signs of Hope in Russia, Fr. David May describes the 24/7 prayer in a small chapel at Red Square, the many churches at the Kremlin, and attending the Divine Liturgy at the parish of a contemporary martyr.

It sounds like there are signs of hope indeed.


Who’s doing the misconstruing?

September 9, 2010

One of the rare occasions when I’ve seriously considered walking out of Mass occurred on August 29 when the homily was used to call the proposed Ground Zero mosque “the equivalent of a YMCA” and omitting the name of Cordoba House, which would have alerted people to the current Islamic demand that Muslims worship in the current Catholic Cordoba cathedral and that Cordoba was initially a Catholic worship site.

This past Sunday, the same view was not only reiterated but hammered in homily, intentions, and bulletin. This post will focus on the bulletin blurb written by the parish’s Social Justice Community.   Perhaps next week, I’ll come back and link the various reference sites (and clean up any writing mistakes), but for now I’ll trust that people know how to do a search.

What was said:
“As we commemorate the tragedy of 9/11/01, let us remember in our prayers our fellow American Americans who are Muslim.”

The next two sentences are about Ramadan and that “many peaceful, mainstream Muslims fear their feast this year will be misconstrued as a celebration of the September 11, 2001 attacks.”

Then:
“Hate-mongering against Muslims has been spreading through the country since the announcement of the plans to build a community center with a Muslim prayer space in the neighborhood of Ground Zero,” which is then likened to a YMCA.
(“Hate-mongering” – this is so pathetic that I don’t want to dignify it with a response. For a group dedicated to justice and (one would suppose) peace, that’s not a peaceful way to characterize others. Mabybe it’s best to just leave it as “saying so does not make it so.”)

“But critics are misconstruing the goal as an attempt to boast of Islamic triumphalism.”
(Yet it’s a safe bet these same folks have spoken of “Catholic triumphalism.”)

A Georgetown professor (a school not known for Catholic orthodoxy) is then quoted: (he)  “likens the current harassment of Muslims to the experience of Catholic immigrants in the 19th century” followed by quoting Archbishop Dolan “that Catholics can identify with Muslims ‘because in the past we have been discriminated against.”

This is what was not said:
Not a single word about the nearly 3000 fellow Americans killed  at Ground Zero.  Not a single word.

Not a single word about the fellow Americans killed on 9/11 at the Pentagon and Flight 93.

Not a single word about the three coordinated attacks on this country on September 11, 2001.

Speaking of words, as a writer, I pay attention to word counts. Of the approximately 238 words, 8% were let’s think about the Muslims.  Not in itself a large percentage, but notable given the zero percentage about Americans fellow killed, their families, or St. Nicholas, the Greek Orthodox church destroyed when the South Tower fell and still has not been given permission to rebuild.

Nearly 20% of the 238 words were devoted to the Muslim observance Ramadan and the concern that others would see the end of Ramadan celebration as celebrating the 9/11 attacks. First of all, the only place I’ve heard that concern is from those pushing Islamic talking points. I haven’t a single comment from anyone else even close to that.  Look at the spin of “Ramadan ending around Sept 11.” Quiet, peaceful celebration of a religious nature would not be a concern. No mention is made that if people are concerned, it may be because for several years, there’s been violence by Muslims during Ramadan, such as thousands of vehicles were torched by Muslim youths in Paris during Ramadan. One disabled woman died from not being able to get out of the bus. 

No mention is made that peaceful Muslims don’t support the proposed mosque near Ground Zero. On a recent World Over telecast, a woman identifying herself as Muslim and originally from Pakistan said that Muslims don’t want the proposed mosque near
Ground Zero. She said that Muslims think it will reinforce the association of Muslims with the horrific events of 9/11. She also said that Muslims don’t like that so much money is going toward a mosque near Ground Zero when there’s so little relief going to the flood victims in Pakistan.

Also not mentioned is Archbishop Dolan’s other comment that (to be fair not quoted in the slanted CNS story) that he hoped the Muslims would follow the example of the Carmelite nuns who, out of an abundance of courtesy and sensitivity, moved their convent from Auschwitz. Not that the two are equivalent. Catholics did not hijack planes of innocent Americans to kill other Americans in a way that horrified the world.    Historical evidence – not some work of fiction, but historical evidence – shows that Pope Pius XII not only spoke out against Nazi Germany, but helped thousands of Jews to escape. 

Not mentioned is the name of this “equivalent to the YMCA.”  The name of the proposed mosque two blocks from where nearly 3000 fellow Americans lost their lives is Cordoba House.  Today, Cordoba is where Muslims wanted the bishop allow them to pray in the Catholic Cathedral.  Notice there’s no reciprocity. When you do a search, you’ll notice references that the Cordoba Cathedral is built on the site of a mosque, but far less likely to find reference that before the mosque, it was the site of a Catholic church.

Here’s a social justice issue for the Social Justice Community to consider: the violent killing of defenseless infants and the parents’ suffering for years as aftermath.  If the harm of abortion was hammered the same way this inaccurate portrayal of the Cordoba Initiative has been, the world would be a far better place.

Postscripts
Since I’ve started writng this, there’s been the report of a small church in Florida planning a “Burn the Koran” day. But the Vatican and numerous others have criticized such an idiotic idea.

Sounds like it would be good to add an extra prayer through the end of this week.


Mother Teresa stamp

September 1, 2010

Stamps honoring Mother Teresa will go on sale September 5 (I’m assuming that in reality means Tuesday the 7th).  It’s hard to believe it’s been 13 years since she died.  (just thought I’d slip this in today. lots of updating and new posts to write, but this was quick and important.)