Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Friday, 6 May 2016

Some People Have Objections to Women Being Used As Brood Mares?

Apparently there is still common sense and decency in the world, and surprise, surprise - it doesn't break down across the left/right, conservative/liberal divide.
The Feminist Party of Spain has filed a complaint in court over an upcoming surrogate motherhood “fair” as constituting an illegal practice in the country by promoting human trafficking.
The Surrofair will take place in Madrid May 7-8. The fair will provide information and the different ways to contract with a surrogate mother.
The Feminist Party has condemned the fair, which it considers to be promoting human trafficking.
“The state of necessity of women who turn to renting their womb, for a price, is not unlike sexual exploitation,” the party said in its complaint.

I would have done it for three...

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Have We?

From an Evangelical blogger:
Of course, we in the church have been given the responsibility to judge one another, and the privilege of stirring each other in community to act in love and do good works. 
Hmmm.
Not disagreeing, just wondering.

"Holy" Cards

Image result for holy card "sorrowful mother" sepia
I am next thing to a hoarder, never can bear to give anything away if I think I might want it later, never can bear to throw anything away if I think someone else might have use of it, and if the right person or charity does not occur to me at the moment - well, there that item will sit. And sit. And sit.
That old faux shearling coat, that I hope never again to be cold enough to wear? It would make a swell pillow.
I hate vertical blinds, took them down immediately - but don't the long cream colored strips look like candles? Add yellow construction paper flames and let each child in Sunday school write the names of people they would like to remember in prayer during the month of All Souls,
I can't throw out scrap metal, I know there are people around who will take it,

I understand there are people who buy expensive garments they've never worn, or replace electronics with newer, faster devices - but then find that they can't bear to pitch that for which they spent so much money. But that's never been my problem - I spend very little on clothes, (I won't even go to the thrift store usually except on sale days,) and technology keeps its place in our household until it completely gives up the ghost, (sometimes after spending a long time on life-support.)

But I do find it difficult to divest myself of books and scores and scripts -- and all those photocopies.
Not so much for what they cost in monetary terms, but in effort. Out of print chant books, and reference works that were the result of hours combing, first, of used book stores, and old libraries, and later the internet - so many hard won volumes or articles or scores are freely available online now.
But I'm getting a bit better at that.

Which leaves us with the matter of holy objects.
I have disintegrating and dilapidated Latin prayerbooks, French antiphonals, a Polish Missal, broken Rosaries, crucifixes rescued from bins at Goodwill, a stack of "pew cards" for the new Holy Week changes, (when did that happen? that's right, before any of us were born.)

I will have a bonfire at some point, soon, I will.

But there are other things that whoever is stuck with clearing out my house will have to find and sort and dispose of, (don't worry, I'll do my best to make certain it won't be the hired henchman of some atheist nephew.)

I am fascinated by the Holy Cards.
They are such a a part of my family and religious history.
I see cards reminding me to offer prayers for the soul of someone I never knew, never met, dead before I was born, who lived half a world away in some cases - I think that's beautiful.
The changing styles fascinate me as well - the mawkish Edwardian lithos of the Virgin Mary no worse nor better than the saccharine pastel-colored saints and angels from between "the" wars.
And both are a damned blessed sight better than the garish '70s asymmetry of graphic artists in thrall to the concept of negative space, or the Kincaidesque landscapes with carefully worded "spiritual" messages, guaranteed not to offend adherents of any religion, or even of none at all.

I had brought some in to the last Sunday school class, curious if these children had encountered such things - I loved them when I was little, to be given something so grown-up, so jewel like, (the print shop at the Rosary Shrine was special,) that so connected me to history, (which, as far as I could imagine, stretched back months and months!)
One of them was an emblem of my very first memory - the dead body of an elderly man lying peacefully in a big box, in a charming little stone house attached to our church. Ah, that must have been the wake of this priest.
Another was for an aunt I remember very well, but strangely couldn't remember dying -I realize now it was because my Mother was in the hospital at the time being delivered of a younger sibling of mine, of course that would have occupied all my attention.

I am well aware that the devotions, the sacramentals, the little, (even from time to time kitschy,) uniquely Catholic practices and items are no all that important in and of themselves - but properly understood, I believe we should think of them as "gateways" to the Sacraments and to an entire right conception of the Faith - to its breadth and its homeyness and corporeality and personalizability, ('zat a word?) to its diversity and mystery and, yes, fun, and perhaps most especially, to our praiseworhty individuality within our praiseworthy interconnectedness.
They are all part of the "Catholic identity" that so many fear our failure to transmit.

Well, some, perhaps most of the 10 year olds knew what they were, one actually owned some, and every single child was fascinated with the very idea. and wanted to have them.
Some had a vague idea of to whom the face on my most recent acquisition belonged.
So we made our own Holy Cards. I gave them a number of psalm verse and prayers as suggestions, and they chose one, unanimously.
O Lord God of hosts! let Your face shine on us, that we may be saved!
(Oh, and this really threw me for a loop - if we had time and supplies for a second card, (after they each made one from themselves and we made 2 dozen for "the kids in juvie," as they like to say,)?

I love that "glory" prayer at the beginning of Mass, can we do that?.... and they all agreed.

Ohm and I believe I may have discovered the secret to engaging them - lamination.
(Dollar Tree, a true dollar store? five sets of the sheets, enough for ten or even 15 cards depending on size and shape. Bookmarks, maybe.)

Yes, laminating is an adventure.
I'm going to use that knowledge next year for enchanting the learning of a chant, and perhaps for memorizing the Works of Mercy, or an Act of Contrition, or the Latin and Greek names of the parts of the Ordinary.

One last thing, I loved this from the memorial card from an uncle who died when I was a young, from St Ephrem (a patron saint of mine.)
I call for the prayers of all those who have known me, of all those who have loved me.
(Isn't that better than, "do not weep for me, I'm in a better place and I'll see you at the other end of the rainbow? I know which one I would rather people read as they cart me off to the boneyard.)

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

A Pentacostalist makes the Case for Authentic Liturgy

Very worth your while read.

Preach, Brother:
In my experience contemporary church service styles rarely yield the same results as those I've experienced in more formal liturgically-based settings. Why? For three reasons.
1. Most contemporary church gatherings rarely incorporate formal liturgical mechanisms into their order of service
2. Most contemporary church gatherings simply do not create space for reflection
3. Most contemporary church gatherings are more concerned about creating a performance-based program that seeks to keep people entertained, not liturgically engaged.
Need I say, he expounds on these reasons.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

And God Said, "Let There Be...."

And there was light. But darkness, too.

Image result for let there be light
Remarkable bit of news in science when sperm meets ovum, and life begins, zinc radiates out in a "breathtaking" burst of light!

When.  Life.  Begins.

(The knowledge, alas, will almost certainly be used to grade the lives deliberated created to be ranked, and to off those of our brothers and sisters who shine less brightly.)
The discovery could help fertility doctors decide the best fertilised eggs to transfer during in vitro fertilisation.
Well, no, not "off them" outright, just consign them to the attic* as we used to do with other children who didn't make the grade, at least in horror films and gothic novels.
You know.
Cripples. Idiots. Bastards. Monsters.
Fine old custom, with a long pedigree.....
Oh, they were so cruel in the olden days! How could parents do that? Why didn't they just kill him before they had to look at him, like we do nowadays?
(*Nowadays our more advanced civilization uses refrigerator tanks.)
Image result for "embryos are kept frozen" "in a" tank

"The Church Needs a Theology of Manhood"

Excellent piece in First Things, very thoughful, and saying very much the same thing as the Holy Father has been lately, about prioitizing the laity fulfilling the role preper to them, instead of attempts at marthaing us all with new "jobs" in Church.
Almost fifty years ago, when the Catholic Church unveiled its new rite of Mass in the Sistine Chapel, Cardinal John Heenan, then Archbishop of Westminster, remarked that if the Church used the new liturgy in ordinary parishes it would “soon be left with a congregation mostly of women and children.”
(Also, some shocking statistics)
study of Swiss churchgoers [insert snark here, something like, "there a re church-goers in Europe???!??] commissioned by the Council of Europe found that if a mother attends church regularly but the father is non-practicing, only 2 percent of their children will attend church regularly in adult life. If the roles are reversed, with the father attending regularly and the mother non-practicing, the figure for regular attendance shoots up to 44 percent (higher even than the figure when both parents attend regularly). Another study found that when an American mother converts to the faith, there is a 17 percent chance that the rest of her family will follow. When the father alone converts, this figure rises to 93 percent.
It is praiseworthy that despite falling attendance rates among men, many women have steadfastly kept the faith and have often made valiant (if sadly ineffective) efforts to pass it on to their children. But the way to ensure that future generations of women continue to discover the joy of life in Christ is not by making token appointments. It is by ensuring that the Church has an adequate theology of maleness and of fatherhood, by ensuring that daughters see their fathers going to church and living lives of faith—which, incidentally, is also the way to ensure that future generations of boys might find their way back to the churches that current generations of men are leaving in droves.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Austin Ivereigh on "The Letter"

The arguments for allowing abortion under very limited circumstances are precisely the same as for allowing abortion under broad circumstances. Legalising abortion out of compassion for the mother’s pain — which is what motivates Professor Beattie — implies, at once, rendering the unborn life a lesser being. First the law strips it of rights, then it is able to be killed.
Once the law declares that the baby of a woman who has been raped, or a disabled baby, is not a life worth defending or saving, it crosses that threshold.If the law does not declare that life worth living under those circumstances, it cannot logically declare it worth living under other circumstances. A life is recognised as such in law, or it is not.Even without religion to teach us that every life, however conceived, is a reflection of the divine, legally and philosophically this has always been an either-or question.
Nails it.
But Eccles still has the best line.

Herod was pro-life, since he only killed people under 2 years of age.

Bellissimo Canto?

I was thrilled, when my dear Mother was failing, to discover what an extraordinary amount of opera is to be seen on the Tube of You.
Even sitting in a movie theater for very long became impossible, so shortly after she was introduced to them, the Met's HD broadcast's were no longer an option - but I was so, so grateful for them while they worked, and for the chance to share performances with her.
And then, there was Youtube, sometimes singers I never saw or had the opportuinty to hear live much less in person, but whose recordings were the best sort of  "blast from the past", in the case of, say, Birgit Nilsson, almost literally so! ("literally", refers to the "blast" part.)
E'en now, I think when she tires of bending the Blessed Virgin's ear, my Mother chats with Magda Olivero and the latter's English has become perfect, and my Mother's Italian is flawless.
(Or perhaps, I should say, everyone there speaks "heaven.")

I was reminded of all that delightful scouring of the Tube of Yous, while repeating the exercise for some examples and inspiration for Himself's next gig.
And since the Tube is one of the worst offenders of the ThoseInterwebsAreATimesuck variety, I ended up listning to various too many In Questa Reggias, and hearing Nina Stemme, and being sorry that the Met's most recent Turandot HD broadcast was not available to us when I heard her shattering Elektra on the radio this past weekend.
Hopefully it will find its way to a PBS station or library shelf near us.
But THAT reminded me of another Saturday afternoon broadcast - I only listen to the "radio", (ask your parents, little ones,) from the Met, (thank you, Towle Bros, Toll Bros?)

Not an enormous Donizetti fan, not wildly familiar with Roberto Devereaux, (though IIRC, I saw the entire "Tudor Trilogy" in my remote youth,) and only heard snatches in between errands, (I only think to listen to the radio in the car.)

But, you guys.... Matthew Polenzani.
Because, MATTHEW POLENZANI.

Omiwerd, I don't think I've ever been bought to tears by Donizetti, and unless it was a super-familiar, filled-with-associations opera or singer, ever wept at such over the radio, of all things.

Pearl Fishers was another one I would have dearly liked to have seen, but the Met is no longer available at any theaters near us.

So, just once more, I need to type - MATTHEW POLENZANI.


Friday, 29 April 2016

New Web Browser? I Wanna See You Use "Brave"

Brendan Eich, martyr to free speech thought and victim of the PC Police of Vicimistan, is offering a wb with ad-blocking built-in, that blocks ads -- BY DEFAULT!!!!!!!

It will replace them with other ads, essentially, but as the brave Brendan says, "We need to clean the swimming pool."

Look, I don't expect something for nothing, I don't mind giving information out to enhance an advertiser's chances of showing me something that will capture my attention when I use free content, but he correctly says the internets a mess.
(Well, I guess if he's talking chlorine, to continue the metaphor, it's a cesspool.)

Looking forward to trying it out?

Crabby Appleton Letter Writer Would Probably Object to High-Fiving, Too....

 What a puritanical old meanie, huh?
There are a few ushers in our parish who shake hands with people in line to receive Communion. Often there is some laughter and small talk that accompany that greeting.
This has now evolved into a situation where some of these same parishioners, while walking up the aisle, tap friends on the shoulder who are kneeling and praying and greet them, too.
I have thought about speaking to our pastor in private about this...What do you think? Am I just being a grouch?
I guess his guy'd object to confetti guns for the Paschal Vigil, as well.

Image result for buddy Christ
(Just to let you know, yes, I've experienced the high fives, no, never saw confetti canons at Mass.)

'When the people read it, they were delighted with the exhortation.'

"It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage."
People have been complaining lately about the lectionary, whose fabricators seem, calculatedly, to have omitted "hard sayings."

Well, what about the Canon of the Bible itself having omitted the next couple verses in Acts, huh? What about that?
But that "abstain from unlawful marriage" thingy? Don't worry, Silas and Judas will look to the reality of the family today in all its complexity.
Some of our members, (those judgy ones who went out to you without any mandate,) find it hard to make room for the consciences of the faithful, who are capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations. We are called to form consciences, not to replace them.
Marital problems often give rise to new relationships, new couples, new civil unions, and new marriages, creating family situations which are complex and problematic for the Christian life Therefore, while clearly stating the Church’s teaching, the prebyters are to avoid judgements that do not take into account the complexity of various situations. Some of the brethern lack the training needed to deal with the complex problems currently facing families, and issues involving  marriages with pagans require particular attention which contain numerous elements that could well be made good use of and developed, both for their intrinsic alue and for the contribution that they can make to the ecumenical movement.
For those in unlawful marraiges, consider - because of forms of conditioning and mitigating factors, it is possible that in an objective situation of sin – which may not be subjectively culpable, or fully such – such persons can be living in God’s grace, can love and can also grow in the life of grace and charity, while receiving the Church’s help to this end. In certain cases, this can include the help of the sacraments. 
Someone leave out those words to the Antiocheans, (Antiochites? Antiochers?) deliberately?
Maybe St Luke decided Olden Days People didn't need them.
Our problems, of course, are very different from Olden Days People.
Because... complexity.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The Way We Live Now

(No, not Trollope.)
This is not a criticism of this charming house, but nor is it a denial of my own predilections and atrocious tv addiction..
Cabin in the woods in Ireland

Can you imagine an American "great room" with the seating oriented to the hearth and the flat screen off-center, in an alcove?
Me neither.
(One question -when you open ceilings to the joists and rafters, is there any insulation? That's me all over, profligate with useless media, tight-fisted with the heating and cooling bills.)
..................
Edit - should have read further.
“The building didn’t have any insulation at all, so when we took the ceilings back to the beams, we also took the roof tiles off and added a layer of insulation at the same time, which was a fairly large job!”

“They Treated Me in Such an Un-Christlike Way, Like I Was Some Sinner”

Like I was some sinner....
"Like," we are all sinners?
Like, there's such a thing as sin.
A very sad state of affairs at a Mormon school with a strict code of conduct. Women who are raped often find their transgressions come to light when they report their rapist's transgressions.
Before she could ... sign up for freshman classes, Brooke had to sign [BYU's] Honor Code.
Part moral compass and part contract, ...it points students, faculty and staff members toward “moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ,” prizing chastity, honesty and virtue. It requires modest dress on campus, discourages consensual sex outside marriage and, among other things, prohibits drinking, drug use, same-sex intimacy and indecency, as well as sexual misconduct.
But after Brooke, 20, told the university that a fellow student had raped her at his apartment in February 2014, she said the Honor Code became a tool to punish her. She had taken LSD that night, and also told the university about an earlier sexual encounter with the same student that she said had been coerced. Four months after reporting the assault, she received a letter from the associate dean of students.
“You are being suspended from Brigham Young University because of your violation of the Honor Code including continued illegal drug use and consensual sex, effective immediately,” the letter read.
In the past few weeks, Brooke and a handful of other female students have come forward... to say that after they made complaints of sexual abuse they had faced Honor Code investigations into whether they drank alcohol, took drugs or had consensual sex.
“They treated me in such an un-Christlike way, like I was some sinner,” said Brooke, who agreed to be identified by her first name. “There was no forgiveness and mercy.”
Their accounts have brought a national debate over colleges’ disparate treatment of women who have reported sexual assaults crashing onto this faith-driven campus
Is rape a worse sin than getting drunk or fornicating? Undoubtedly.
(In fact, as a non-Mormon, a Catholic, I am very open to the pleasures of alcohol. There is nothing innately sinful in enjoying the fruit of the vine or of the barley mash.)
And later examples in the Times article demonstrate a clumsy, invasive way of implementing and enforcing this honor code.
But at the heart of the article is, I think, an assumption that the reader will share the objection the paper and the students quoted have to the mere fact of the college daring to tell its charges that there is such a thing as sin and it is not to be countenanced.
A student who dropped LSD and, so, was impaired enough to go with a man who had already assaulted her once, was surprised to learn that her having willingly taken an illegal hallucinogen was a violation of a code she had signed and she might therefore be subject to the stated consequences of such a violation of the code?
But say that one does agree with their premise, drinking is not a sin, fornication is not a sin.

IS THERE NO NETWORK TELEVISION IN UTAH???

My only knowledge of this comes from police procedurals and movies like Winter's Bone, but it's a pretty common plot point the petty criminals are robbed or beaten by less petty criminals but are naturally afraid to go to the authorities, so there is no redress.
(There's a variation on this trope, in which the petty criminals are so wacked they report that someone stole their meth and are shocked when the LEOs arrest them, but that's usually a comic episode.)
Another problem in play here is the same one that calls warning young women off drinking too much is "victim blaming."
“All schools, including B.Y.U., know that alcohol and drugs are often involved in sexual violence,” said Adele P. Kimmel, a senior lawyer at Public Justice, a nonprofit that advocates social-justice issues. “If you’re a school that wants to send a message to students that you’re serious about preventing sexual violence, you should have an amnesty policy.”
Probably so.
But if a senior lawyer at a nonprofit that advocates social-justice issues also knows that alcohol and drugs are often involved in sexual violence, shouldn't she want to send a message that she's serious about curtailing illegal drug and irresponsible alcohol use? 

"Theology needs to 'catch up' with gestures"?

I do not pretend for a moment to have any special insight into the relationship between the Church and the Anglican communion, or what the schism caused by Henry VIII's desire for a male heir and a woman who was not his wife entailed, or how any of this confirms or confuses the Ordinariate.

But I am having great difficulty wrapping my mind around the idea of theology - that is, received and discerned truths about God, His wishes, and mankind's relationship to Him and to those wishes - conforming itself to the gestures made by churchmen, rather than the other way 'round.
Fr Tony recalls that the documents of the Second Vatican Council recognized those elements of the Church which exist beyond the boundaries of the Catholic Church, adding that recent ecumenical efforts have been looking at the implications of that statement in the search for reciprocal recognition of ministry.
While he notes that such recognition is still not fully possible, he cites many gestures to show a growing respect and recognition of the ministry exercised by Anglican bishops. In particular he recalls the gesture of Pope Paul VI, 50 years ago, of giving his own episcopal ring to the Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey. Theology, Fr Tony says, “needs to catch up” and find the “theological underpinnings to these gestures”.
He adds “I think it’s true to say we don’t use the language of ‘null and void’ any more” as that’s “clearly not what is spoken by the gestures, generosity, and warmth which we see time and time again”.
Just because one does not use certain language because it will not advance ones cause does not make that language inaccurate, does it?
I suppose "imaginary" and "non-existent" are equally injudicious.... 

"Leave Me the Hell Out of Your Out of Your Hellish Abomination"

I've been imagining conversation the Blessed Mother might be having lately.
It may be a touch irreverent, though not, i believe, as irreverent of invoking Mary in support of the killing of the preborn.
I can't believe she wouldn't have something to say about  this.
I know there are "seers' out there who profess to be delivering messages from the Virgin, have any of them weighed in?
when God chose Mary to become the mother of His Son, He did so not by force or compulsion but by invitation and request. Mary was free in deciding whether or not to conceive a child. Many women and girls do not enjoy such freedom.
"Leave me the Hell Out of Your Out of Your Hellish Abominations"

What Kind of Politician Should a Disabled Person Favor?

I'm very, very fortunate.
God has blessed me more than I deserve, but specifically, I'm thinking about the fact that I have no physical disabilities at all.
None. (Overweight and out of shape, but that's my own will.)

So I have no opinion on this, and I am entitled to no opinion on this.

I am curious, as various "rights" are being debated in other nations, and recognizing that there is no more a monolithic "disabled community" than there is a Catholic one, whether the physically handicapped are more inclined to support politicians who fight for their right to an access ramp to public buildings, or their right not to be killed in the womb?
Is securing public financing for the education of the disabled whose schools will require more than ordinary help the piority? or is securing public financing for the bringing to term of the disabled whose mothers will require more than ordinary help?

"Christians Do Not, Like Some, Proclaim Themselves the Advocates of Any Merely Human Doctrines"

Flailing in the morass that is US politics as we Americans find oursleves, in a year when questions such as, Can a Catholic really vote for....? and, Is by statute or civil legislation the best way to accomplish....? and, Doesn't Catholic social doctrine require the position that....? and of course, the ever-popular, Is your head up your....? the second reading from this mornings Office of Readings was a tonic.

From Mathetes' Epistle to Diognetus:
The Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language, nor the customs which they observe. For they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life which is marked out by any singularity. The course of conduct which they follow has not been devised by any speculation or deliberation of inquisitive men; nor do they, like some, proclaim themselves the advocates of any merely human doctrines. ...
They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. They marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. 
Father, Thy will be done.

Oh, that silly St. John Fisher......

Image result for henry VIII

Bishop, you simply don't understand "the need to avoid judgments which do not take into account the complexity of various situations."

Good Morning, and Welcome to the Eucharistic Celebration Here In Our Parish Family Community of Saint...

 I was at a funeral once where a ne'er-do-well son showed up last minute and insinuated himself as chief mourner to a father whom he had abused and abandoned; and to the deceased's deeply bereaved sister, (who had wept, organized and out of her poverty paid for everything,) had unctuously purred, Oh, thanks so much for coming, Aunt Eleanor. 
I thought for a minute she was going to strike him as his presumption stirred her momentarily out of her sorrow into righteous anger.
I knew a bit of what she was feeling.
I have always disliked being "welcomed" to Mass, as it seems to me a claim of ownership by one group of people, and a labelling of others as... well, "other." (It strikes me as particularly goofy when a visiting priest on holiday says it to the nailed-down weekday Mass-goers. No matter.)
Further, I think it privileges the parochial over the universal, and we are Catholics, not congregationalists.

Hence, I find this an excellent blog:
I would like to think that I am a good house guest. I clean up after myself, I graciously thank my host, I offer to help, and I respect the life and lifestyle of my hosts. I used to think that is how I should show up to church. ...
But God is not calling us to simply be a house guest, a temporary visitor, or an old friend who stops by on occasion.
He has called us to truly dwell in His house...ask questions, have tough conversations, kick up your feet (figuratively) and get comfortable because this is not a three-day weekend, this is your life and soul—for eternity.
I'd quibble with the use of the word "comfortable," but I get it - she means the kind of "comfort" with which St. Paul reluctantly endured the thorn in his side - become accustomed, even resigned, create a worn spot in the pew varnish in the shape of your hind quarters.
And so like here, we should all proclaim,
I am rolling up my sleeves and taking up space.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

"Personally Opposed, but"... The Rise of Open Source Catholicism

Catching up on a television series in which the villains are the "Neolutionists," those into "creating themselves," promoting "individual evolutionary choice."
And if that sounds familiar to those who follow the culture wars in Catholicism, it should. Yes, wacky ideas pursued by religious sisters end up being the stuff cartoonish sci-fi villains' creeds are made of.
Take warning, nuns on buses. And please, no tails!

But that's not my point. When a police detective complains to a leader of these Neolutionists about creepy/criminal/crazy doings by his followers, he takes no responsibilities for these outliers, but notes that they are welcomed by the movement.
"Neolution is open source."

And all I could think was, isn't that a perfect description of how some people seem to think the Faith works?
After all, it is undeniable that "All are welcome" so it as just a hop skip and a jump to "All are welcome to make up their own beliefs and call it Catholicism."
And the Patron Saint of Open Source Catholicism? At least in America, a good case could be made for Mario Cuomo, a good man who may have been responsible for a great deal more evil than most, (damage done to our immortal souls being exponentially worse than to mortal bodies.)
He has certainly provided cover, a sort of intellectual resepectability, for the pro-choice Catholic in government ever since 1984..

Not that such thinking is limited to this side of the Atlantic (though our Catholish colleges are delighted to offer a platform to those from the other)- there is a little fracas right now because a "prominent" "Catholic" "theologian" is shocked, shocked, I tell you, to discover that there is gambling at Rick's some bloggers consider the rationalization she offers for the pro-abortion stance amounts to supporting abortion.
Why, one might as well have called Thomas Jefferson anti-freedom! I remember a statement he released about it... 
Image result for thomas jefferson 
I have been called pro-slavery in some recent blogs, and I find that deeply offensive.
I am the father of several persons born slaves, and I am personally pro-freedom. I do not believe that there is any justification for the followers of [some of the things] Christ [might have said, with which I can agree] ever to endorse slave ownership as a good or commendable act.
However, there are serious issues that must be addressed with regard to how far the Church should use the law to defend positions which may not be defensible from the perspective of those who do not share the Christian faith. I have argued robustly against importation of new slaves, and I have written in detail about the serious abuses and violations which currently take place in the south with regard to slaves. Many ‘pro-salvery’ arguments put forward by states'-righters are morally repugnant and alienate those with a genuine concern for the sanctity and dignity of human life. It should be the aim of every Christian to work towards a world in which neither slavery nor abortion is necessary, while avoiding a dangerous utopianism which denies the complex and often tragic realities of human life.