Saturday, December 31, 2005

Welcome, Crisis Readers!

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If you found your way to via the January issue of Crisis Magazine, welcome to the blog! It looks like my news articles (under the banner "The Catholic Enquirer") are going to be featured in the magazine for the next few months.

So, take a look around the place. And, if you have any questions on Catholicism, ask away, because I have professional credentials (i.e., RCIA instructor and advent wreath maker.) You can trust me.

God bless, Maureen


Thursday, December 29, 2005

Jane Fonda To Celebrate 50th Year Wedding Anniversary

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Jane Fonda (left) is being supported in her latest form of activism by actress and "Monster-in-Law" co-star Jennifer Lopez.


special to

, FLA.
-- Jane Fonda will celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary on March 1 at the Sempre Aurum resort in Boca Raton, Florida. Accompanying her will be her three husbands, Roger Vadim, Tom Hayden, and Ted Turner.

"Though I have not been married for 50 years, if you add it all up, it is like a 50 year anniversary," said Fonda. " So, we decided to celebrate our years of love together.” The planning continues for the event, and others, who like Fonda, will never be able to celebrate a traditional 50 year wedding anniversary, are invited to attend what will be a weeklong gala. Events are scheduled to take place during the first week of March, 2006.

The celebration has raised concerns with the Center for Traditional Marriage. Mary McEvan, the spokeswoman for the Center stated, “I just don’t think that those who have had three marriages can celebrate a 50th anniversary. These celebrations have traditionally been for being married to the same person for 50 years.” Other groups have promised to protest the event.

However, Fonda, known for her activism in movies and against the Vietnam War, is not backing down. In fact, she sees this event as a natural outgrowth of her other forms of activism. Fonda said, “Many, many people cannot celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary because of the cards they have been dealt. This celebration is for the widows and widowers whose spouse was taken from them by circumstances. It is for those who were unable to stay married because of circumstances. It is for those who chose not to stay married because of circumstances. Really, it is about celebrating the diversity of lives that each of us has lived” Besides her former husbands, Fonda has invited a long list of Hollywood stars and politicians to celebrate with her. In addition, her children, stepchildren and others will be part of the celebration.

All three of her former husbands intend on coming to celebrate this wonderful event. Fonda has planned a weeklong wedding anniversary celebration. Roger Vadim said, “I am coming to celebrate what Jane and I had. Jane and I will spend the first 2 days of the event together in memory of our 8 years of life and loving.” Following up those 2 days will be Tom Hayden who was married to Fonda for 17 years. “It was an exciting part of my life and I look back on it and want to celebrate with Jane,” Hayden said. Hayden will spend three days with Fonda.

Finally, Turner, her latest husband (nine years) will have two days to spend with Jane. “I look forward to squeezing as much celebration into those two days as possible,” Turner said. Special events are being planned for each day to be capped by a dinner dance every night. The last night will be a gala celebration.

Fonda invites people from across America and the world to join her. She has started a Foundation, Golden Years for Everyone, as a vehicle for promoting the idea. Said Fonda, “Our parents and grandparents had such stifling ideas about these things. It is important to reach out to everyone for important events like these. Studies show that those who have celebrated 50 year anniversaries are the happiest people and have the most stable families. Everyone should be happy and have stable families.”

Besides her Foundation, Fonda hopes that her message resonates with those, who because of circumstances, miss out on many other important events. She said she hopes that kids who never went to college or finished high school can attend class reunions, and that workers and even those who have never worked can celebrate 25 and 50 years with the company. In addition she said she wants everyone to be able to celebrate birthdays of 50 and 75 and 100, even if they never reach such milestones. "This is not about commitment and achievement, this is about circumstances, this is about celebration," she said.

[On a serious note, THE TRUE MARRIAGE project is working to have civil courts recognize a couple's constitutional right to have a serious religious marriage, and no-fault divorce can't be forced on these couples if it is against their religion. An appeal of a no-fault divorce is in underway in Ohio.� ]

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

St. John the Baptist, Prophets Killed for Calumny, Rash Judgment, Say Catholic Scholars

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JERUSALEM -- Although he has been seen for centuries as a wise man and prophet, St. John the Baptist may have in reality been guilty of calumny, detraction and rash judgment when he called King Herod "a sinner," according to two Catholic scholars.

"According to my research, St. John the Baptist was beheaded because of the shame and scandal he brought King Herrod and his family," said Fr. Peter Drucker, an analyst for the Catholic Historical Alliance (CHA), a non-profit organization committed to researching and preserving Church history. "He didn't know for sure what King Herrod was doing behind closed doors. Then, he told so many people about the account that it got back to the gospel writers, and Herrod's reputation was smeared forever. Calumny is a serious sin. Check your catechism."

According to historical accounts and Biblical accounts, St. John the Baptist told King Herrod he was sinning by involving himself in an adulterous relationship. King Herrod, who was already married, supposedly began an affair with his niece, Herodias. Biblical narratives show that, later, when Herodias' daughter, Salome, danced for King Herrod, he was so pleased, he vowed to give her anything she wanted. Salome consulted her mother, who said she should ask for John the Baptist's head.

"He definitely sealed his own fate by calling Herrod a sinner," said Fr. Allan Swinton, of the CHA. "Plus, Herrod married his wife strictly for political reasons. So, the marriage probably wasn't valid anyway, and when he fell in love withHerodias that was probably God's way of saying 'she's the one.' The marriage doesn't look valid to me, and if there was no valid marriage, there was no adultery, right? As priests, one of our jobs is to prove a marriage is invalid until proven otherwise."

Critics are now considering what effect these new discoveries may have on various causes for canonization. Swinton points out that Dorothy Day once wrote that birth control and abortion were "genocide" and Mother Theresa accused Americans of aborting babies because they are incompatible with materialistic lifestyles. "Surely they had certain people in mind when they said this," said Fr. Swinton."They may even have addressed individual people with these statements. You've got to admit that is not giving people the benefit of the doubt, and they are pretty rash judgments to boot."

According to Frs. Drucker and Swinton, many Old Testament Prophets were most likely killed for being judgmental.

"It's a shame," said Drucker. "If many of these men had just given others the benefit of the doubt, they may have lived a little bit longer."

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