Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Pope Partial to Catholics, Say Most Americans in New Poll

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Does Pope Benedict Play Favorites?

ALLENTOWN, PA. -- Could the Holy Father have a soft spot for Catholics? That is the belief of the majority of Americans surveyed in a new TIME Magazine/CNN poll released today.

In the poll, of 3,058 people surveyed, 95 percent of respondents said they believed Pope Benedict XVI is "partial to those of the Catholic faith", and 83 percent of those surveyed said they believe the Pope "spends too much time thinking about, praying for, and dealing with Catholics."

"The poll results are pretty stunning," said Dan Wright, senior religion editor at TIME magazine. "According to most Americans, he comes across as being pretty obsessed with Catholics. People want to know what the deal is."

According to the poll, some are upset about the favoritism. "He always seems to be interested in their issues,"said Peter Knight, a Boise, Idaho, Mormon apologist and writer. "He could write an encyclical to us if he wanted. I mean, we had that whole polygamy episode and everything. That was pretty newsworthy. I haven't heard any rumblings of that, though. What do I have to do, become a Catholic?"

"I'm pretty offended," said Roger McNelty, senior art director for Hoffman/Turner Advertising Agency in Allentown, PA. "I'm a lapsed Episcopalian bisexual with Attention Deficit Disorder, and I have yet to hear the Pope mention anything about my specific needs in any of his speeches."

George Fitzpatrick, a religious analyst in Wichita, Kansas, has been tracking data on Pope Benedict since he was elected to the papacy. "If this trend continues the Pope may find his following restricted primarily to Roman Catholics."

Labels: ,

Monday, November 14, 2005

Lemonade Stand Audited After Youth Makes Political Statement

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

MEMPHIS, TENN. -- According to Patrick Davis, his lemonade stand was audited by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) today, as the result of an anti-war statement he made last week.

Davis, 8, said that as he made change to a customer last week, he said mentioned that he "misses his dad a lot," and "hates this stupid war." A few days later, IRS agents raided the lemonade stand, and demanded to see receipts.

Davis' father, Stanley, is currently serving in Baghdad with the Tennessee National Guard.

Anthony Mallett, a field agent with the IRS, said the reason for the audit has nothing to do with Davis' "anti-war tirade, but everything to do with the fact that his business expenses clearly exceed his income."

Davis was visited by Mallet today and asked to submit receipts for sugar, lemons, plastic cups, ice,and other materials involved in running the stand with his brother, Alex, 10. After two weeks in business, the lemonade stand has generated $10 in revenue.

Several neighbors who frequented the lemonade stand said they will be happy when the controversy dies down. "He really needs to watch it," said Martin Cooper, a civil engineer who lives three houses down from Davis. "He is sending a mixed-message to the enemy, and really bringing down the morale of the troops when he makes over-the-top statements like he did."

Rita Morrison, who lives across the street from Davis, agreed. "Next thing you know, Patrick is going to start sending chocolate chip cookies to Saddam Hussein. Haven't our boys in uniform been through enough? I don't care if Patrick is donating the proceeds to the Humane Society. They ought to take away his tax exempt status over this one, or at least put him in time out."

Patrick's brother, Alex, said the audit has probably destroyed their business. "We were really excited, because Mom had agreed to give us $8 this week to buy Splenda so we could start selling diet lemonade, too. But, selling lemonade just isn't that much fun now."

Karen Davenport, a regular customer at the stand who overheard the anti-war rhetoric, said she is probably in the minority, but feels sympathy for the Davis boys. "They do miss their dad," she said. "Plus, when it comes right down to it, doesn't everybody hate war?"

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

News Briefs

Dowd's Technorati Ranking Soars as Bloggers Discuss Her Irrelevance

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Dowd: A rise in irrelevance

NEW YORK -- Maureen Dowd's Technorati search ranking soared to No. 4 this week as bloggers feverishly posted reviews of her new book, Are Men Necessary?, searched for and read others' reviews, and discussed her irrelevance.

"She's just a well-trained, albeit, clever monkey," wrote Dennis Wright, the writer behind Poliblogger. "Does anyone read her books anymore?" Wright asked in his 18-paragraph review of Dowd's new book. Of Wright's 23 posters, 21 said they had read the book, but didn't think other people would.

"Nobody cares what she thinks," wrote Robert Oakley, responding to Wright on his blog, Rightdude. "I don't care what she thinks. She writes these crappy books and behaves as if we are going to talk about them or even care. I mean, do I seem like I care to you?"

New Study: Priest Abuse Scandal Caused By Sin

PHILADELPHIA -- Although various theories have been bandied about for years, a new study reveals the root cause of the Catholic priest abuse scandal is actually sin.

During the course of the 12-year study, various causes were examined, including priestly celibacy, poor catechesis, Vatican II, and inadequate formation on the part of seminaries, but in the end, the cause was much older than most of those participating in the study said they expected.

"I just remember thinking, 'sin? I was looking for something a little neater," said Msgr. Edwin Darby, a priest and clinical psychologist, who worked on the committee that oversaw the study. "We've done a lot of navel gazing, but the cause of all this apparently comes down to the sins of the perpetrators and the sins of the people who didn't punish the perpetrators."

Msgr. Peter Stubin, another priest serving on the committee, said knowing the results doesn't make solving the problem any easier. "God has already died once over this," he said. "There aren't any plans to be created or sacrifices left to make."

Catholic Convert Accidentally Rewrites de Sales' Introduction to the Devout Life

ATLANTA -- John Stalworth has had a busy week. On Monday, he converted to Catholicism, and on Tuesday, he penned a book to help the average Catholic learn to live a devout life, no matter what his state in life.

"It's a practical guide on how to live a holy, Catholic life," said Stalworth. "I have a lot of references to saints, the Church Fathers and Aristotle, as well as plenty of analogies to things you find in nature."

Stalworth says he shrugs off comparisons to de Sales' masterpiece. "Mine has fewer pages, and isn't a translation."

Welcome, Curt Jester readers!

Email of the Day

From: "Charles de Marcini" nbc_fr_charlie@hotmail.com
To: maureenscoolblog@yahoo.com
Subject: Now you have my email address
Date: Nov 9, 2005

Dear Maureen,

Thank you for plugging my new reality show on your blog. Since your CatholicNews Org post went up, the show's ratings have soared and my email volume also increased so I've had to upgrade from a free hotmale, er hotmail, account to a Hotmale Plus.

Anyhow, I thought it only fitting that you have my email address since you mentioned that having it would be helpful. I'm expanding my reality TV into an caring and sharing Apostolate and thought maybe you could tell their readers that I will give free pastorish advice if they want to contact me.

Anyhow, if CatholicNews.org readers need advice or spiriual direction, I'm available although my new job at Target keeps me pretty busy so I'd appreciate it if your readers would send only very critical stuff. I will even give absolution by email in a pinch.

I have some bad news - my fiancee and I broke up. The good news is I hope to set up a spiritual blog and pay pal account soon. If your readers would like to include a small donation my way, I could expand my apostolate and maybe get away fromTarget long enough to find a babe with real class. A cute little Eucharistic minister wearing a mini skirt and tight sweater caught my attention recently but she doesn't seem the type who would pay attention to a retail worker (although we are talking abou Target) even though he has a double life as a TV star.

Always ready to help,
Fr. Charlie

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Priest Offers Communion to Unrepentant Faithful

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Father Ryan consecrates the bread and wine on this light and easy-to-transport card table.

HOUSTON -- As a priest, Father Sean Ryan gives hope to the hurting, comfort to the suffering, and the sacraments to the Catholic Church's unrepentant faithful.

"I get a bit embarrassed when people try to deify me," said Ryan. "The folks I minister to are depressed because the Church - or their own consciences - have told them they can't take communion. I am merely being true to my calling, and my calling is to ease their guilt and give them Christ's Body and Blood."

Elinor Banks, a speech teacher at Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows in Houston, said Father Ryan brought healing to her after she began an affair with her principal, Dan Skelnik, and divorced her husband. She later married Skelnik in a civil ceremony downtown. "The Church wouldn't honor my divorce, or the love between me and Dan. I was well-known in my parish, and my priest wouldn't give me communion. Yeah, I could have slinked over to another church and anonymously taken communion, but I didn't want to do that. I wanted a priest to accept me for what I am. Father Ryan did that."

Banks' husband, Wayne, began a relationship with his secretary, Tina, and the two were married at the Flames of Holy Glory Christian Church off of I-10. He, too, has started receiving communion from Father Ryan.

"When Elinor left, it was really painful," he said. "My spiritual director told me to pray for Elinor, and wait for her to come back. I waited for a couple of weeks but, you know, I have needs."

According to Wayne, Fr. Ryan is a Godsend. "When I see that Range Rover pull up in my driveway, I know Fr. Ryan has come by to give me some of the Church's love."

John Warner, of Sugarland, TX, who owns and operates an abortion and family planning clinic, said he is grateful for Fr. Ryan's compassion, along with the bread and wine he delivers to him every Sunday. "He understands me," said Warner. "We are both trying to help people. The Church tells me what I am doing is wrong, but Fr. Ryan and I see it as a ministry of compassion."

"It is not my place to say whether or not any of these people will go to Hell," said Father Ryan. "However, it is my place to give them communion for the journey."

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Citizen Journalist Roll Updates

OK, I have finally broken away from my chorus practice to bring you my updated citizen journalist list. I have added blogs of some frequent visitors to this blog: Maggie, Amy, Rick and Penni. In addition, I have added links to bloggers who have been very generous in linking to my breaking news stories. Anyway, I need to make back like a ninja to the music makin.'

God bless, Maureen

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Homeschooler Pans Cheney's Chief-of-Staff Pick

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

RALEIGH, NC -- Things went from bad to worse for Vice President Dick Cheney today when a North Carolina homeschooler scoffed at his decision to replace indicted chief-of-staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby with David Addington, the vice president's legal counsel.

"I can't believe he went for one of his cronies," said Jonathan Carter, a 10-year-old homeschooler, who posted a scathing indictment of the vice president on his blog, Middle-earth Mania, Yeah! "He should have tapped someone like Ralph Reed, who would have given him the ethical gravitas his office sorely needed."

Carter and his sisters, Sarah, 11; Leah, 7; and Rebecca, 6; currently study Latin, mathematics, and Bible.

Carter, who reads both the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post every morning, said the Veep needs to make a fast turnaround if he expects any positive coverage from "Middle-earth." "I may not be able to drive or vote, and I may not even have much of an education yet, but he better stop taking me for granted,"Carter said.

Johnathan's blog is getting rave reviews from others in the Blogosphere. "My mom and I just finished reading "The Federalist Papers," said Caleb Winford, a frequent poster and member of Jonathan's homeschool group. "From what I have read so far, I can tell you that Jonathan is right and his opinions and writing style are on par with the writings of Publius," said Winford.

Kyle Allen, who at 9 is the youngest person ever to attend a Morton Blackwell "Leadership Institute"workshop, agreed. "He is a talented writer, and a very good fencer, as well. We are also on the same debate team, and he shows a lot of talent there, too."

Many are hoping that there might be a staff shakeup in the vice president's office as a result of Jonathan's post. "If there isn't a positive response from the White House to Jonathan's post, I am going to be really upset," said his mom, Vivian. "He worked really hard on that and I proofread it, so there were no errors. If his writing doesn't change some hearts and minds, it will just show bad government really has become."

Striving to be a Higher Being