March 1, 2014 – Can We Please Calm Down?

Well frequent readers of the blog know that I am not too proud to take someone else’s creative idea and use it as my own.  Sportswriter Bernie Miklacz of the Post-Dispatch occasionally pens a column in which he names certain figures in sports world who need to “calm down.”  It may be someone who was in a big argument, or a coach who ripped a player, etc.  In thinking about what to write this week, it seemed that I could take a similar approach.  So here’s a list of people or figures who need to calm down:

Mother Nature needs to calm down:  Here we are again on edge about an upcoming winter storm.  The meteorologists are taking their coats off and digging in for “Storm Mode,” and we, along with our planned events, are once again at the mercy of the weather.  So Mother Nature, we get it.  We believe all of the stories our grandparents told about waking 5 miles to school in 3 feet of snow.  It’s time to turn the page and get on with some spring-like weather.

The media and everyone who went gaga over a married deacon being allowed to be ordained a priest need to calm down:  This item got a lot of play on the news, and it gave folks the impression that this was some earth-shattering, Curia changing event.  Here is the real story: The vast portion of the Catholic Church follows the Latin rites (us included).  We use the Latin liturgies and we have our own distinctive Canon Law.  The gentleman, Wissam Akiki, who was granted permission to be ordained a priest, is of the Maronite faith.  Maronites are among more than a dozen Eastern Catholic church groups in the U.S. that accept the authority of the pope but have many of their own rituals and liturgy.  Eastern Catholic churches in the Middle East and Europe ordain married men. But the Vatican banned the practice in America in the 1920s, after Latin-rite bishops complained it was confusing for parishioners.  Pope John Paul II called for greater acceptance of Eastern Catholic traditions, and over the years popes have made exceptions on a case-by-case basis for married men to become Eastern Catholic priests in America. Pope Francis gave permission for Akiki to be ordained.

According to a Maronite church spokesman, “Almost half of our priests in Lebanon are married, so it’s not an unusual event in the life of the Maronite church, though in the United States it is.”  So the pope’s action does not lift the ban on married priests in the U.S. – it’s simply an exception.  So again, for those who thought that this represented a major turnover in Canon Law, you may calm down now.

Chris Cuomo of CNN needs to calm down: On Thursday the President of the Catholic League, Bill Donahue, was interviewed by Chris Cuomo of CNN in what turned into a siege on the anti-gay marriage stance of the Catholic Church.  Cuomo hammered Donahue for his opposition to same-sex “marriage” and his support of the now-vetoed SB 1062 in Arizona. Cuomo mouthed the talking points of the social left on LGBT issues: “Why do you want to discriminate against gays? You say, we don’t…only the marriages bother us. But that’s the same thing, because their right as an individual is to marry.”  Cuomo even questioned Donohue’s Catholicism, for supposedly standing with “these Christians who are more of the extreme…[who] have their own rigid beliefs,” and against Pope Francis (or, more specifically, the liberal media’s spin about him).

Cuomo also came off with this: “You have a leader in your church, the Pope, and his message that is drawing so much acclaim; that is bringing so many people back to your church; is so different from the one you’re offering up. And I know you have your op-ed coming up that says that when the Pope said, who’s it for me to judge gays, he was making an assumption that there are gays who are seeking God – by the way, you can be gay and be seeking God – and he’s saying love; he’s saying forgive; he’s saying include. And that is not what that law was about, and that’s not what you’re saying.”

OHEY!  Once again, the Pope’s message was that we should not judge those who have a sexual orientation different than ours, and they should still be welcomed into our churches.  However, the fact remains that the Sacrament of Marriage is a gift from God which was established as a gift of commitment between a man and woman.  Pope Francis has said nothing contrary to this.


The child in the above photo needs to calm down:  Don’t worry kid, it will be a few years before you will be eligible to actually be the Pope.  Of course, you will be constantly be reminded that millions of people have seen this picture, and you will probably be humiliated multiple times when people recognize you as the kid in the picture.  On second thought, go ahead and scream!

Finally, my appetite needs to calm down:  Maybe its just me, but doesn’t it seem like just before the start of Lent that all kinds of new snack foods hit the store shelves?  Recently I have noticed Rold Gold pretzel thins (Garlic Parmesan and 3-cheese flavors), Cheddar/Bacon potato chips, and Birthday Cake flavored Pop-Tarts.  And, Wal-Mart has the super-sized bag of Doritos on sale for like $2.98.  So, as it’s meant to be, Lent will be a test of willpower (and hunger pangs).

Finally, speaking of Lent, I wanted to share this link with you which gives a few ideas for Lenten resources and where you can find them on your devices.  Here is the link:

Ah, the Cardinals spring training game is on – a brief respite from our harsh winter reality.  Be careful, and have a blessed first week of Lent.  Peace.




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