After due consideration (and finding enough time on our hands this week), we here at man with black hat have decided to continue what we started with the pilot edition (which explains everything) of this heretofore potential weekly series. But we wanted to begin with hope, in the form of these young ladies at the annual March For Life yesterday. (Thanks, EWTN.) They were among the more than 600,000 demonstrators that the mainstream media did such a fantastic job of pretending were never there.* And on that promising note, we go on with the aforementioned potential.
Here's what's bouncing around the bandwidth of True Believers lately:
• Pope Francis baptized the child of a couple married outside the Church, and Cardinal O'Malley received a blessing from a Protestant minister. Canonist Edward Peters defends the licitness of these actions, and tries to allay any confusion caused by their defenders. Exit question: Does he succeed in ending the confusion over just how confusing this is? We report. You decide. [In the Light of the Law]
• The word on the street is that the apparitions of Medjugorje are "no hoax." Well, not quite. What the starry-eyed promoters won't tell you is that "it is proving difficult for the Church to form a definitive verdict on the supernatural nature of a phenomenon that is ongoing." Duh. So, the burden of proof remains, not with the skeptics (as according to the consistent teaching of the Church, it never is), but with the promoters. [Vatican Insider/La Stampa]
• After taking them to task in an earlier piece, Father Dwight Longnecker now explains why he loves those self-absorbed, promethean, neo-Pelagians otherwise known as "trad Catholics." But take heart, ye faithful remnant, as those stalwart defenders of Truth and Anal Retention will not be fooled so easily. [Standing On My Head]
• Deacon Greg Kendra describes how to organize a parish altar server program that is "awesome" in ten easy steps. He left out one, however, which even the Holy See has acknowledged to be a venerable practice: make it an altar BOY program. (The pictures are awesome, too, by the way.) [The Deacon's Bench]
• Kathy Schiffer is drawing a line in the sand, people. She will no longer be singing two particular hymns at Mass, no matter how hard the cantor waves his/her hands (which looks really ridiculous, by the way). One of them is an overly ideological diatribe entitled “Sing a New Church Into Being,” a composition of Benedictine Sister Delores Dufner, distributed by the McDonald's of Catholic hymnody (who else?), Oregon Catholic Press. Some of us prefer the old Church we already have, the one established by ... uh, you know. [Seasons of Grace]
• Meanwhile, in a venue normally devoted to sacred music, Kathleen Pluth and Ben Yanke offer differing views on the wearing of casual clothing at Mass. One cannot help but notice that, in virtually every other area of our lives, the proper form of dress for a particular occasion is rarely if ever a bone of contention. There's a message there somewhere. [The Chant Café]
• Finally, the head of the Commission of Cardinals appointed to advise Pope Francis has told the German daily newspaper Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger, that they are recommending the creation of a new high-level Vatican dicastery, the Congregation for the Laity. After all, the best way to reform any bureaucracy is always ... more bureaucracy. Then again, even Cardinal Newman once said that “the Church would look foolish” without the laity. We'll see who looks foolish when this is settled. [CatholicCulture.org]
Well, that's our story and we're stickin' to it. Remember to attend Holy Mass this Sunday. Until the next chattel of church chat, stay tuned, and stay in touch.
* FOOTNOTE: In the interest of fairness, both ABC and NBC gave the event a brief mention on their evening news programs. ABC, usually the least biased of the "Big Three," mentioned how the President said (in effect) that a woman had a right to kill her children as part of "reproductive health," but NBC simply reported on what happened. No attempt on the part of either was made to show pro-abortion advocates. We don't know what they did on CBS. Who cares?