Friday, April 18, 2003

Greetings on Good Friday, traditional Roman Catholics.

Image from

Crucified today: In the Philippines today, 13 people and their followers observed their extreme version of the Spanish penitente tradition imported there centuries ago - the volunteers were nailed to crosses (and tied onto them - the nails can't support a person) and crucified for something like 15 minutes (the limit of how long a normal person can endure this and stay alive or not be permanently harmed) as a form of prayer and penance. Part of the same kind of devotion as Oberammergau, but much more graphic. The Catholic Church there discourages it and one can see how and why this ritual understandably scares Protestants (hey, that sounds kind of fun) - it looks as though the people believe they are adding to Christ's sacrifice or trying to earn their own way into paradise. And perhaps the badly catechized people do think that. My take? It can be a beautiful thing, very sacramental, and mortification is part of ascetic prayer East and West - a way of psychological and spiritual healing that makes you a participant in Christ's once-for-all sacrifice, not a blasphemous addition to it. (Just like fasting: Jesus did it, and said some demons can only be purged through it, and the Russian Orthodox St Seraphim of Sarov said if you don't fast, you're not a Christian!) In my opinion, this Filipino custom can be construed as orthodox but only with a lot of explaining.

‘If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.’ - Matthew 16:24

Tomorrow, Eastern Orthodox celebrate Lazarus Saturday.

On the Raising of Lazarus

From A conservative blog for peace correspondent Lee Penn
More New World Order news ...
Bush supports Blair bid for European Union super-presidency

From A conservative blog for peace correspondent Samer al-Batal
Exposed: Are These US Marines Looting Liberating Or Fixing Saddam’s Door?
Samer al-Batal: Suspicious photo of suspicious behaviour: the Three Stooges perhaps?

With a bit of photographic modification to create a more accurate likeness to
the comedic trio, this one could hit The Onion.

I indulged the writers at their request and contributed my own caption:

"Hurry it up, you knuckleheads. Move. Otherwise someone will catch us and take
our picture."

"We're really trying, Moe."

"Quit with the whining excuses and finish scraping."

"Oooh, our pictcha? I can't say 'no' to that in these flashy uniforms. Nyuk nyuk

"Think that's funny, eh?...Well laugh this off. < smack! > Now get back to work or
we'll find ourselves hitting the front pages of The Onion before we know it. "

So much spin, so much more boldness

More on why reunion talk with Anglicanism is a waste of time
Making something an option in a religious smorgasbord isn't the same as positively believing in it and amounts to the same thing as rejecting it. This may be one reason why Catholic-Anglican and Orthodox-Anglican talks are a dead end.

Catholic/Orthodox: Do you believe in the change of the elements wholly into the Body and Blood of Christ? (Thinking: Do you, as a whole church, require belief that this really and truly happens - like we do - or not?)

Anglican: Yes. (Thinking: We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against requiring belief in this. However, if in your own journey you have found that this belief works for you - if it makes you feel good, like belief in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny - that is fine. We're sure such a belief is very comforting for wogs like you, but we enlightened Anglo-Americans are beyond all that - it just doesn't work for us anymore. Belief and nonbelief in this are equally valid paths.)

Truth in advertising: Daschle excommunicated

Film clichés from A to Z

It’s official: Bodies on California coast ID’d as Laci Peterson, baby son Connor
Philandering husband arrested
I don’t want to believe what has happened: somebody (perhaps even her husband) murdered this beautiful woman and her son (whom the media kept calling a 'full-term fœtus'). Requiescant in pace/вечная память.

From Steve Ray’s Catholic message board:
Dan Lauffer, ex-Methodist minister (27 years), now Byzantine Catholic: The word is that Scott Peterson will be charged with two murders. This has made me think again how incongruous our laws are. If a doctor murders a baby with the woman's consent it is protected by law. If anyone else does the very same thing it is murder. If Scott P murdered his wife and baby then he should be charged with two murders...but abortionists and mothers seem equally guilty of murder when abortions occur.

Ann Lewis: It's simple, Dan.

If the baby is wanted, it's murder. If it's not... it's just a piece of meat to be thrown away.

That's how it works - don't you know that?

God have mercy on us.

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