Monday, May 31, 2010

Preefrooding is a Dying Art

Here are Samples of Proofreading Gone Awry at Newspapers

H/t a friend of My Dear Wife
Man Kills Self Before Shooting Wife and Daughter 
This one I caught in the SGV Tribune the other day and called the Editorial Room and asked who wrote this. It took two or three readings before the editor realized that what he was reading was impossible!!! They put in a correction the next day.   

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says  

      No crap, really? Ya think?  

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

Now that's taking things a bit far!   Sorta overkill.

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over 
What a guy! No Pictures Please!   

Miners Refuse to Work after Death  
 No-good-for-nothing' lazy so-and-so's! You just can't get good help. 

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant 
See if that works any better than a fair trial! What happened to innocent until proven guilty? 

War Dims Hope for Peace
 I can see where it might have that effect!  

 If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile  
 Ya think?!  

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures 
  Who would have thought! 

Enfield (  London  ) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide     
They may be on to something! And the first clue was? 

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges     
    You mean there's something stronger than duct tape?   

Man Struck By Lightning: Faces  Battery  Charge       
He probably IS the battery charge! 

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group   
Weren't they fat enough?! 

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft   
That's what he gets for eating those beans! 

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks   
       Do they taste like chicken?

  Local   High School Dropouts Cut in Half  
 Chainsaw Massacre all over again! 

Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors    
Boy, are they tall!    

And the winner is....   

Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead  
         Did I read that right? 

The Holy Trinity

An Interesting Revelation

As a Catholic Christian, I have not been too concerned about trying to "get" the Holy Trinity, of God the Father, God the Son in Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.  I have just accepted it as given, and as a mystery.

So, yesterday at mass for the celebration of the Trinity, I was not prepared for what I learned during the homily.  The homilist was Deacon Bob Hartman, and I am sure that he gave a good homily.  He always does.  But, I only heard and remember one word.

While he was speaking, something was happening inside of me, and I was coming to understand, as well as I can, as a mere mortal, one of the great mysteries of our faith.

I started to realise that I am, as a man, both a father and a son.  To my deceased parents, I was always their son, distinctly so.  You all probably know how mothers can treat their adult children like they are still young children in need of their parental love.  But, to my own children, I am their father, distinctly so again.  They do not think of me as a son, but as their father, hopefully the one who loves them no matter what they do or say.

Then, I heard the one word from the homily that pulled it all together for me.  Deacon Bob spoke of the Holy Spirit as Spouse.  Well, I was sitting beside my spouse at the moment, as I am hers, and realised that she sees me as her spouse.  She does understand that I am a father, and a son, but to her on a day to day basis I am her spouse.

Suddenly, I saw that I am father, son, and spouse; in other words made in the image of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  Each of my three natures is distinct to those who need it, see it, or think about it.  Yet, I am one person in those three natures.

So, why can't God have similar distinct natures wrapped into one person?

More Beautiful You

Jonny Diaz

Good song.  Good message.  I dedicate this posting to my own three beautiful daughters, who could never be more beautiful in my eyes. 

Visit his web site here.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Interview: The Church's Strict Patrol Against Pedophilia

From Zenit and EWTN

This is an interview with the senior official at the Vatican, responsible for sexual abuse cases.  It is now 2 1/2 months old, but very current.
VATICAN CITY, MARCH 14, 2010 ( Here is a Vatican translation of an interview with Monsignor Charles Scicluna, who handles cases brought against abusive priests for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which was published Saturday by Avvenire.

* * *


Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna is the "promoter of justice" of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He is effectively the prosecutor of the tribunal of the former Holy Office, whose job it is to investigate what are known as delicta graviora; i.e., the crimes which the Catholic Church considers as being the most serious of all: crimes against the Eucharist and against the sanctity of the Sacrament of Penance, and crimes against the sixth Commandment ("thou shall not commit impure acts") committed by a cleric against a person under the age of eighteen. These crimes, in a motu proprio of 2001, Sacramentum sanctitatis tutela, come under the competency of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In effect, it is the "promoter of justice" who deals with, among other things, the terrible question of priests accused of paedophilia, which are periodically highlighted in the mass media. Msgr. Scicluna, an affable and polite Maltese, has the reputation of scrupulously carrying out the tasks entrusted to him without deferring to anyone.

Q: Monsignor, you have the reputation of being "tough", yet the Catholic Church is systematically accused of being accommodating towards "paedophile priests"

Monsignor Scicluna: It may be that in the past -- perhaps also out of a misdirected desire to protect the good name of the institution -- some bishops were, in practice, too indulgent towards this sad phenomenon. And I say in practice because, in principle, the condemnation of this kind of crime has always been firm and unequivocal. Suffice it to recall, to limit ourselves just to last century, the famous Instruction Crimen Sollicitationis of 1922.

Q: Wasn't that from 1962?

Monsignor Scicluna: No, the first edition dates back to the pontificate of Pius XI. Then, with Blessed John XXIII, the Holy Office issued a new edition for the Council Fathers, but only two thousand copies were printed, which were not enough, and so distribution was postponed sine die. In any case, these were procedural norms to be followed in cases of solicitation during confession, and of other more serious sexually-motivated crimes such as the sexual abuse of minors.

Q: Norms which, however, recommended secrecy...

Monsignor Scicluna: A poor English translation of that text has led people to think that the Holy See imposed secrecy in order to hide the facts. But this was not so. Secrecy during the investigative phase served to protect the good name of all the people involved; first and foremost, the victims themselves, then the accused priests who have the right - as everyone does - to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The Church does not like showcase justice. Norms on sexual abuse have never been understood as a ban on denouncing the crimes to the civil authorities.

Q: Nonetheless, that document is periodically cited to accuse the current Pontiff of having been -- when he was prefect of the former Holy Office -- objectively responsible for a Holy See policy of covering up the facts...

Monsignor Scicluna: That accusation is false and calumnious. On this subject I would like to highlight a number of facts. Between 1975 and 1985 I do not believe that any cases of paedophilia committed by priests were brought to the attention of our Congregation. Moreover, following the promulgation of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, there was a period of uncertainty as to which of the delicta graviora were reserved to the competency of this dicastery. Only with the 2001 motu proprio did the crime of paedophilia again become our exclusive remit. From that moment Cardinal Ratzinger displayed great wisdom and firmness in handling those cases, also demonstrating great courage in facing some of the most difficult and thorny cases, sine acceptione personarum. Therefore, to accuse the current Pontiff of a cover-up is, I repeat, false and calumnious.

Q: What happens when a priest is accused of a delictum gravius?

Monsignor Scicluna: If the accusation is well-founded the bishop has the obligation to investigate both the soundness and the subject of the accusation. If the outcome of this initial investigation is consistent, he no longer has any power to act in the matter and must refer the case to our Congregation where it is dealt with by the disciplinary office.

Q: How is that office composed?

Monsignor Scicluna: Apart from myself who, being one of the superiors of the dicastery, also concern myself with other matters, there are the bureau chief Fr. Pedro Miguel Funes Diaz, seven priests and a lay lawyer who follow these cases. Other officials of the Congregation also make their own vital contribution depending upon the language and specific requirements of each case.

Q: That office has been accused of working little and slowly...

Monsignor Scicluna: Those are unjustified comments. In 2003 and 2004 a great wave of cases flooded over our desks. Many of them came from the United States and concerned the past. Over recent years, thanks to God, the phenomenon has become greatly reduced, and we now seek to deal with new cases as they arise.

Q: How many have you dealt with so far?

Monsignor Scicluna: Overall in the last nine years (2001-2010) we have considered accusations concerning around three thousand cases of diocesan and religious priests, which refer to crimes committed over the last fifty years.

Q: That is, then, three thousand cases of paedophile priests?

Monsignor Scicluna: No, it is not correct to say that. We can say that about sixty percent of the cases chiefly involved sexual attraction towards adolescents of the same sex, another thirty percent involved heterosexual relations, and the remaining ten percent were cases of paedophilia in the true sense of the term; that is, based on sexual attraction towards prepubescent children. The cases of priests accused of paedophilia in the true sense have been about three hundred in nine years. Please don't misunderstand me, these are of course too many, but it must be recognised that the phenomenon is not as widespread as has been believed.

Q: The accused, then, are three thousand. How many have been tried and condemned?

Monsignor Scicluna: Currently we can say that a full trial, penal or administrative, has taken place in twenty percent of cases, normally celebrated in the diocese of origin - always under our supervision - and only very rarely here in Rome. We do this also in order to speed up the process. In sixty percent of cases there has been no trial, above all because of the advanced age of the accused, but administrative and disciplinary provisions have been issued against them, such as the obligation not to celebrate Mass with the faithful, not to hear confession, and to live a retired life of prayer. It must be made absolutely clear that in these cases, some of which are particularly sensational and have caught the attention of the media, no absolution has taken place. It's true that there has been no formal condemnation, but if a person is obliged to a life of silence and prayer, then there must be a reason.

Q: That still leaves twenty percent of cases...

Monsignor Scicluna: We can say that in ten percent of cases, the particularly serious ones in which the proof is overwhelming, the Holy Father has assumed the painful responsibility of authorising a decree of dismissal from the clerical state. This is a very serious but inevitable provision, taken though administrative channels. In the remaining ten percent of cases, it was the accused priests themselves who requested dispensation from the obligations deriving from the priesthood, requests which were promptly accepted. Those involved in these latter cases were priests found in possession of paedophile pornographic material and, for this reason, condemned by the civil authorities.

Q: Where do these three thousand cases come from?

Monsignor Scicluna: Mostly from the United States which, in the years 2003-2004, represented around eighty percent of total cases. In 2009 the United States "share" had dropped to around twenty-five percent of the 223 cases reported from all over the world. Over recent years (2007-2009), the annual average of cases reported to the Congregation from around the world has been two hundred and fifty. Many countries report only one or two cases. There is, then, a growing diversity and number of countries of origin of cases, but the phenomenon itself is much reduced. It must, in fact, be borne in mind that the overall number of diocesan and religious priests in the world is four hundred thousand, although this statistic does not correspond to the perception that is created when these sad cases occupy the front pages of the newspapers.

Q: And in Italy?

Monsignor Scicluna: Thus far the phenomenon does not seem to have dramatic proportions, although what worries me is a certain culture of silence which I feel is still too widespread in the country. The Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI) offers an excellent technical-juridical consultancy service for bishops who have to deal with these cases. And I am very pleased to observe the ever greater commitment being shown by Italian bishops to throw light on the cases reported to them.

Q: You said that a full trial has taken place in around twenty percent of the three thousand cases you have examined over the last nine years. Did they all end with the condemnation of the accused?

Monsignor Scicluna: Many of the past trials did end with the condemnation of the accused. But there have also been cases in which the priest was declared innocent, or where the accusations were not considered to have sufficient proof. In all cases, however, not only is there an examination of the guilt or innocence of the accused priest, but also a discernment as to his fitness for public ministry.

Q: A recurring accusation made against the ecclesiastical hierarchy is that of not reporting to the civil authorities when crimes of paedophilia come to their attention.

Monsignor Scicluna: In some English-speaking countries, but also in France, if bishops become aware of crimes committed by their priests outside the sacramental seal of Confession, they are obliged to report them to the judicial authorities. This is an onerous duty because the bishops are forced to make a gesture comparable to that of a father denouncing his own son. Nonetheless, our guidance in these cases is to respect the law.

Q: And what about countries where bishops do not have this legal obligation?

Monsignor Scicluna: In these cases we do not force bishops to denounce their own priests, but encourage them to contact the victims and invite them to denounce the priests by whom they have been abused. Furthermore, we invite the bishops to give all spiritual - and not only spiritual - assistance to those victims. In a recent case concerning a priest condemned by a civil tribunal in Italy, it was precisely this Congregation that suggested to the plaintiffs, who had turned to us for a canonical trial, that they involve the civil authorities in the interests of victims and to avoid other crimes.

Q: A final question: is there any statue of limitation for delicta graviora?

Monsignor Scicluna: Here you touch upon what, in my view, is a sensitive point. In the past, that is before 1898, the statue of limitations was something unknown in canon law. For the most serious crimes, it was only with the 2001 motu proprio that a statute of limitations of ten years was introduced. In accordance with these norms in cases of sexual abuse, the ten years begin from the day on which the minor reaches the age of eighteen.

Q: Is that enough?

Monsignor Scicluna: Practice has shown that the limit of ten years is not enough in this kind of case, in which it would be better to return to the earlier system of delicta graviora not being subject to the statue of limitations. On 7 November 2002, Venerable Servant of God John Paul II granted this dicastery the power to revoke that statue of limitations, case by case following a reasoned request from individual bishops. And this revocation is normally granted.

He's Got a Point

This was written by a black gentleman in Texas. What a great sense of humor  And creativity!!!

When U Black, U Black

When I was born, I was BLACK ,

When I grew up, I was

When I went in the sun, I
stayed BLACK,

When I got cold, I was

When I was scared, I was

When I was sick, I was

And when I die, I'll still be

              NOW, You 'white' folks....

When you're born, you're

When you grow-up, you're

When you go in the sun, you get

When you're cold, you turn

When you're scared, you're

When you get sick, you're

When you bruise, you turn

And when you die, you look

So who y'all be callin'


Revelation Song

Kari Jobe

Wonderful Song of Worship.  This young Christian Woman from Southlake Texas is a worhsip leader, singer and songwriter.  You can visit her website here.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Wear Your Seatbelt

Great Online Ad for Seatbelts

Psalm 23

A Little Child Shall Recite It

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Finger of God for Healing

Faith Healing Priest Draws Thousands

This article appeared in Catholic Online today, and is a testimony to God working through His beloved children.
One is inexorably drawn to the mysterious intensity of God's compassion and love in Fr. McAlear as his lips move in silent groanings and he cradles the stricken faces of those for whom he prays. Shunning sensationalism or hysteria, he facilitates healing with a whisper, using very few, if any, words. "Once you really understand the pain in the people's hearts and the power of Christ to heal, there is nothing to say," says McAlear.

NASHVILLE, TN (Catholic Online) - "The Spirit of God is on me. He anointed me to bring Good News to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted and to free the oppressed" (Is. 61:1).

Although he is often referred to affectionately as "the healing priest," it is a title that Father Richard McAlear shuns. A priest of the Oblate of Mary Immaculate Order, he is one of the few priests in the Catholic Church who call themselves faith healers.

The Catholic Charismatic Renewal began in 1967 after a retreat held at Duquense University in Pittsburgh. The movement grew and gained recognition in the Church among the leadership and laity.

Fr. McAlear received permission from the Oblates, in accordance to Church guidelines, to enter full time charismatic ministry in 1975 after doing retreats and prayer services and witnessing the healing power of God through his prayers in the previous three years.

It began for Fr. McAlear in 1972 at a prayer meeting with a woman in attendance who was in severe back pain. An elderly Pentecostal revert to Catholicism approached Fr. McAlear and told him he needed to pray over the woman. The young priest had no idea what she meant. His only experience with "praying over people," was a Pentecostal televangelist he had once seen on TV whose healing theatrics included jumping up and down and ecstatic speaking.

Finally, after an awkward, pregnant silence, Fr. McAlear blessed her. And she was healed. Visibly. Publicly. Word spread quickly and, inundated with requests from the gravely ill, he made "healing ministry" his life's work, traveling the globe, celebrating Masses, and speaking at retreats and conferences.

Contemporary faith healing often provokes images of "Pentecostal faith healing" and other "charismatic" mumbo-jumbo, in which healing is said to be a visible sign and product of one's faith, and some evangelists in tent revivals or on TV sometimes defraud the desperately ill with staged "healings" in order to draw donations.

Rather than faith in what is NOT seen (2 Cor. 5:7) miraculous, visible healing can actually impede growing in faith when it is pursued in the wrong way, for its own sake or out of sensationalism: "Jesus therefore said to him, 'Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe'" (Jn. 4:48).

Despite that real danger, healing is a pillar of Christian dogma and has always been a part of the lived experience of the Church. Although corrupted by some who would attempt to make a dollar through what the Scriptures call "Balaam's error" (Jude 1:11), true faith healing, like exorcism, is sanctioned by the Church. It is to be done in the proper forum and in fidelity to the Church. The USCCB issued a statement in 1969 stating that the charismatic movement "has legitimate reasons of existence. It has a strong Biblical basis."

In the Scriptures, Jesus Christ is said to have cured the sick, sometimes with the laying on of hands. The gospels encourage priests to go out and anoint the sick with oil. St. Paul lists healing as a spiritual gift. Faith healing has been practiced quietly and faithfully by Catholic priests throughout her history. In fact, every Sacramental Annointing of the Sick is a Prayer for Healing, including the possibility of physical healing.

The Vatican has not only endorsed faith healing, but Pope Benedict actually called on those who have the gift of healing to share it in the Instruction on Prayers for Healing released by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. As Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, he offered guidance on administering the gift: "Anything resembling hysteria, artificiality, theatricality or sensationalism, above all on the part of those who are in charge of such gatherings, must not take place (Instruction on Prayers for Healing).

The Catechism speaks of healing: "In the sacraments Christ continues to 'touch' us in order to heal us" (CCC, 1504). "The Holy Spirit gives to some a special charism of healing so as to make manifest the power of the grace of the risen Lord" (CCC 1508).

In adherence and faithfulness to Catholic Tradition, Fr. McAlear is not the kind of healer for whom people jump from their wheelchairs and throw away their medicines or crutches, although there have been more than a few physical healings through the years. Rather than faith in his own faith, Fr. McAlear surrenders to God.

Shunning sensationalism or hysteria, he facilitates healing with a whisper, using very few, if any, words. "Once you really understand the pain in the people's hearts and the power of Christ to heal, there is nothing to say," says McAlear.

"The Catholic tradition tends to be more sacramental, very earthly and human, gentle, quiet. We pray for healing in a quiet way. This is mostly inner healing for emotional burdens. And when people are healed of those, often physical stuff can go away, too.

"There is a fervor to this, a zeal that can be expressed in a different way. We have to separate style from substance," he told the New Orleans Clarion Herald in March of this year. It is this philosophy and the guidance of the Church that informs his healing Masses.

By all accounts, they are quiet and reverent, focused on the spiritual interior with a specific emphasis on reconciliation and forgiveness, and Eucharist-centered. They include Adoration and a blessing by Fr. McAlear, who speaks of healing as rooted in the spirit.

"It's what is going on inside - the inner pain, depression, sadness, grief, loss, loneliness," he explains. "A lot of times it's manifested in physical illness. The need is there to touch the heart and the inner spirit. That's where the healing Masses make their contribution," he says. "The spiritual need can only be touched spiritually. Then everything else follows. The hope is restored, the darkness is lifted."

Fr. McAlear does not support exclusive reliance on faith healing, however. He encourages the use of effective natural means for preserving and restoring health as well, saying "Do both," and quoting Sirach 38:

"The doctor eases pain and the druggist prepares his medicines; Thus God's creative work continues without cease in its efficacy on the surface of the earth. My son, when you are ill, delay not, but pray to God, who will heal you.Then give the doctor his place lest he leave; for you need him too" (1-15).

Fr. McAlear "always" feels the emotional pain of those he prays for, but occasionally he senses their physical pain in what he calls "an 'inner knowing.'" But rather than overwhelmed or discouraged by the suffering in the long lines of people waiting for his prayers at healing Masses, Fr. McAlear is more affected by their hope and longing for God's love.

"Sickness, like other forms of human suffering, is a privileged moment for prayer" (Instruction on Prayers for Healing). Keenly sensitive to the moment and the privilege, Fr. McAlear, like Jesus before Him, is drawn by the hope and faith in those who suffer. It sustains him night after night in churches all over the world, says McAlear, because "God wants very, very much to love them back and for them to be happy."

"The longing for happiness, deeply rooted in the human heart, has always been accompanied by a desire to be freed from illness and to be able to understand the meaning of sickness when it is experienced. This is a human phenomenon, which in some way concerns every person and finds particular resonance in the Church, where sickness is understood as a means of union with Christ and of spiritual purification (Instruction on Prayers for Healing).

Although in his 40th year of healing ministry, Fr. McAlear does not claim to have the gift of healing, only the gift of prayer: "We pray to God and things happen. I know it's not me; I know God is there, and I'm almost watching Him do things. It's Jesus' compassion, the love of God that is doing the healing."

One is inexorably drawn to the mysterious intensity of God's compassion and love in Fr. McAlear as his lips move in silent groanings and he cradles the stricken faces of those for whom he prays, marking them with the sign of the healing cross on their foreheads. Simply watching it through second hand video moves one deeply with an awareness of humanity's insatiable need for wholeness and union with God.

Fr. McAlear receives no fee for his visits and depends entirely on offerings for his travel expenses. Perhaps it is such demonstrations of love, more than any other evidence, that help prove he is a true finger of God in healing His broken, suffering humanity.
Sonja Corbitt is a Catholic speaker, Scripture teacher and study author and a contributing author for Catholic Online. She is available to speak on the New Feminism, current events and your preferred theme. Visit her at for information and sample videos, or
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