Thursday, July 15, 2004

From RISU 
False start in Catholic relations
Bishop Sofron Mudryi of the Ivano-Frankivsk eparchy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Metropolitan Andrii of Halych of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, and Archbishop Yoasaf of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyivan Patriarchate signed a joint request ... (seeking) permission for alternating religious services in a former church which now serves as a museum of art.

RISU is an RC-sponsored news service from the Ukraine.

That's nice but really does bubkes for RC-Eastern Orthodox relations and might hinder them because the UAOC and UOC-KP aren't Orthodox. They're vagantes who broke away from the actual Orthodox church in that land, the Church of Russia (metropolia of Kiev) - it seems they're just playing the Ukrainian nationalist card for power.

The mighty waters and the animal kingdom
Been 'enjoying' extreme weather the past few days, with flooding and even a few tornadoes a few dozen miles away. (Sun's back today so I rode the bicycle 12 miles to work - in only 90 mins.) All seemed well till I took out the week's rubbish... and found a dead squirrel in a water-filled barrel. It wasn't my fault and of course in the natural order he (maybe it was a she) well may have ended up as cat food but still, 20/20 hindsight - why didn't I get a lid for that one? - it seemed a pointless death. (Unlike ending up a meal.) I know some people, such as friend and commentator here Jennifer, think of squirrels as merely tree-rats (no different really but these brother rodents are treated differently because they're cute, she says) but they are endearing. Found a shovel and gave the poor fellow a proper burial in the garden next to the house, saying a little prayer thanking God for His creatures.

Of course the animals have souls like ours but not exactly, so IMO Mr Squirrel's 'life force' is either in reserve back with the Creator or climbing and scampering around happily in a kind of Elysian fields or limbo, a sort of car-free squirrel heaven (without the beatific vision of course). Maybe the 'bad' squirrels if there are such end up in a sector that's a kind of squirrel hell, also known as cat heaven. There is the passage in the New Testament, in the Apocalypse, about a new heaven and a new earth, all creation being restored at the end, so one can hold out the hope that in the end we'll see all our animals again — not only pets but even the cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks and geese who've given their lives to be our food. (The American Indians have the right idea — thanking the Great Spirit and the animal for the food.)

Once saw a squirrel trapped on a little bush (rather like the current president?) with a cat waiting below, in broad daylight enjoying his hunting skills to the max. That cat had what could be described as a broad smile...

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