Archive for February, 2012

And a New One Begun

I can hardly believe that it was a year ago, at the beginning of Great Lent, that I told you that I was beginning an icon of the Mother of God of the Sign. I explained that while this may appear an unlikely image for Lenten icon writing, that it in fact was appropriate: the task at hand in the season of fasting is to renew the image of Christ within, and what better icon than the icon of the Incarnation?

But I never completed that icon; I tried several times but my then-undetected cataracts confounded my attempts. I went on to other images, hoping that a fresh start would help, but I even when I returned to it I never finished it. I felt bad, as this was a commission, and I thank my patron for her patience, but what could I do?

After finally finishing the icon above, I decided that rather than return to the half-completed Sign icon I had begun last summer I would start afresh, so I completely redrew the pattern, using a ruler to make sure everything was symmetrical, which is pretty essential for this particular icon.

And I decided to post my progress, which I have never done before. Here is the first step, with the pattern transferred and outlined on the panel:

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Left to right: Scott Hahn, Kimberly Hahn, Senator Santorum

I’m sure Senator Rick Santorum has never heard of me or read my blog. But it appears that in spite of this he is eager to make the point I made the other day: that his candidacy poses the greatest threat of any to the integrity of the Catholic faith in this country.

First, the day after I wrote of the danger that his candidacy poses, of how it would confirm right wing Catholics in their selective dissent, he spoke of the “theological” dispute between himself and Mr Obama, thus injecting a whole new kind of rhetoric into the campaign.

And a couple of days after that, he spoke in Steubenville, itself a center of Republicatholicsm.

According to the news reports:

“Santorum almost immediately acknowledged the strong Franciscan University of Steubenville presence at the campaign rally.

‘Its great to be here. Thank you Steubenville Franciscan. We love you. It’s good to be back here. You have a gem in the university here in the Ohio Valley. You are a beacon of light for the country and the Catholic church,’ Santorum told the audience….

The speech resonated with Kimberly Hahn, president of the Jefferson County Federated Republican Women, who brought her son to the rally.

‘I thought it was an outstanding speech from someone who understands the roots of our area and who is faithful to those who went before us. This is a momentous election. He inspired everyone in the room, especially the high school and college age students. What comes through so clearly is Rick Santorum has a principled approach to our nation’s complex problems,’ explained Hahn (wife of Catholic apologist Scott Hahn -ed.)“.

Afterwards, he attended Mass at the campus chapel.

Meanwhile, also confirming my point, over at CatholicVote.com, which says it is “a lay movement, foremost, of committed Catholics who are passionate about living out the truths proclaimed by Christ and His Church in the modern world”, there is a blog entry by Thomas Peters (“American Papist”) called “Rick Santorum, Catholic hero”.

Is there any doubt that Senator Santorum seeks the mantle of “the Catholic candidate”? This in spite of his selective adaptation of Catholic social teaching, which I remind you is simply applied moral doctrine? This is a man who said that the assassination of an Iranian scientist was “wonderful”, who endorses waterboarding and other torture, who implies that he will launch yet another preemptive war, who is hostile to immigrants, who supports the death penalty, who does not criticize the Empire, who, in spite of his repeated references to his blue collar grandfather, proposes policies that are hostile to labor (see: http://unionreview.com/blue-collar-baloney)

Granted, he speaks eloquently of the life of the unborn. But that is but one part of Catholic teaching regarding the sanctity of life and of justice. As important as that is, we should not ignore it when someone dismisses wide areas of  the tradition that apply to other lives.

I reiterate: it would be a tragedy for the Church if this man assumes the Republican candidacy. And it is tragic that so many Catholics seem eager to overlook the man’s inconsistencies.

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Son House:

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American Exceptionalism

Thanks to Patrick Vandapool for this gem:

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From One magazine, a fine overview of the OCA:

“North America is a mosaic of ethnic groups and religions. Orthodox Christians are a tiny minority — about 0.65 percent — and include no more than three million of an estimated 459 million people living in Canada, Mexico and the United States. What they may lack in volume, however, North American Orthodox Christians make up in variety. They comprise immigrants and their descendants from Asia Minor, the Balkans, Europe and the Middle East, as well as Alaska Natives and recent converts, especially from the reformed churches.

The ancient rites of the church of Byzantium unite these Orthodox Christians. Rooted in the New World for more than a century, these North American churches retain strong bonds with the Old World, are divided into a number of ethnic jurisdictions — Albanian, Arab, Belarussian, Bulgarian, Greek, Romanian, Russian, Rusyn, Serbian and Ukrainian — and typically celebrate the divine mysteries in their respective liturgical languages.

One body has attempted to transcend these cultural differences. Originally a jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Orthodox Church in America was established in 1970 and is led by a primate with the title of archbishop of Washington, metropolitan of all America and Canada.

More: http://www.cnewa.org/default.aspx?ID=3595&pagetypeID=4&sitecode=HQ&pageno=1

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HT: Mark Shea.

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It Was Only A Matter Of Time

Satirists sue GOP for being too ridiculous to satirize:


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The Vatted Calf


“The world’s first hamburger made with a synthetic meat protein derived from bovine stem cells will be publicly consumed this October after being prepared by a celebrity chef, according to the inventor of the artificial mince.

Heston Blumenthal is the favourite to be asked to cook the €250,000 (£207,000) hamburger, which will be made from 3,000 strips of synthetic meat protein grown in fermentation vats.”

More: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/would-you-eat-a-burger-grown-in-a-laboratory-7216674.html#

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St Ephraim of Syria

For Byzantine Catholics, Great Lent begins on Monday. For Roman Catholics, of course, it begins a few days later on Ash Wednesday. For Orthodox Christians it begins a week later, after two years of having the same date for Pascha. Here is the great Lenten prayer, which Eastern Christians pray daily during the Fast:

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Capitalism, East and West

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