Tried and true works better than ‘let’s try this and see what happens . . . ‘
Did some research and our current papal/cardinal scandals are truly bad but, in some respects, the grand prize for having been a really awful pope goes to Rodrigo Borgia. Just the Borgia name clues one into the thought that all might not have been well with this person in charge of anything.
Ridrigo Borgia had a ‘leg up’ on climbing the papal ladder as his uncle was Pope Calixtus III. Most likely, given his papal connection, getting through the various church ranks to his highest title in the church was made easier with the nepotism involved. As he made his way through the ranks, he managed to accumulate a great deal of wealth, too. No tithing for him! In 1492 whilst Columbus was sailing the ocean blue, he greased a few palms, called in some favors and purchased his place in the papacy. Bribery came in handy for getting the better of two other ‘claims’ to the throne.
The crowned Pope Alexander was pretty rotten to the core. He provided the world with seven illegitimate children by way of his mistresses. The church paid for their expenses and he endowed them with funding at the church’s expense. Living a rather plush life at the expense of the Church was, well expensive. When he needed to replenish the cash flow, he established new cardinals in return for money. Another ‘successful’ ploy was to arrest and jail rich people on imagined charges or murder them and abscond with their wealth.
It seems that Alexander VI was never considered godly (Go figure, right?) or in line with the Church and all things lawful. The only ‘virtues’ that can be said about him was his greedy ambition and lust for money and power. The orderly government of the City of Rome he bribed his way into, was left in complete shambles and disrepair.
“Now we are in the power of a wolf, the most rapacious perhaps that this world has ever seen. And if we do not flee, he will inevitably devour us all.” By Giovanni de Medici (Pope Leo X)
Top 10 Quotes on the Tragedy of Abortion
10. “Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women.” Alice Paul, drafter of original Equal Rights Amendment
9. “Abortion is advocated only by persons who have themselves been born.” Ronald Reagan
8. “America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. Mother Teresa of Calcutta
7. “When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.” Elizabeth Cady Stanton
6. “It will burden her conscience in life, it will burden her soul in death; but oh, thrice guilty is he who.drove her to the desperation which impelled her to the crime.” Susan B. Anthony
5. “To earlier feminists who had fought for the vote and for fair treatment in the workplace, it had seemed obvious that the ready availability of abortion would facilitate the sexual exploitation of women.” Mary Ann Glendon, Harvard Law Professor
4. “Every 36 seconds in America a woman lays her body down forced to choose abortion out of a lack of practical resources and emotional support. Abortion is a reflection that society has failed women.” Patricia Heaton, Emmy Award Winner
3. “Life becomes harder for us when we live for others, but it also becomes richer and happier.” Dr. Albert Schweitzer
2. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Jesus of Nazareth, Socrates, Confucius
1. “Thou shall not kill.” God the Creator
I spent a few years chairing a parish’s annual fair and had to make determinations about what booths would work and what would not. One evening, being rather tired from working on a current one, my husband and I came up with a (totally fictional) list of prospective booths.
1. The Body Piercing Booth. Someone offered to donate an old hole punch which would have made this booth a real money maker – very low overhead. When we inquired whether they planned to use alcohol for disinfection purposes, they exclaimed, “Of course! 150-proof!”
2. The Tattoo Booth. The person interested in sponsoring this booth was very sincere but, sadly, untalented. We didn’t feel there would be much call for stick figure tattoos. He assured us that they were of the saints but his samples all looked alike to us.
3. The Healing Booth. This booth became obsolete as soon as we turned down the body piercing and tattoo booth.
4. Foods from the Earth Booth. We understand some people feel earthworms are edible but we decided to go with beef hamburgers this time around.
5. Madam Zablonghini’s Booth. Madame offered us a discount on her crystal ball service. Unfortunately, the huge radio tower on the church premises interfered with her reception.
6. Mud Wrestling Booth. This booth was canceled due to lack of interest. Go figure.
7. Tofu on a Stick Booth. The sponsors for this booth canceled out when we suggested for sales appeal they either dip them in chocolate or deep fry them.
8. Martin Luther Discount Indulgence Booth. The booth was banned in this diocese. The sponsors were a bit dismayed as they planned to give a free 60-day indulgence with every purchase.
9. Health Update Booth. This would have been the place to catch up on your children’s vaccines while they enjoyed the Fair. Seems a large group of children have threatened to block the entrance when the Shots on Wheels tried to get in the parking lot.
10. Night Cap Booth. This booth planned to serve free servings of Surge Soda, the pop with twice the sugar and 90 percent caffeine with all the refills you want for children ten and under. Seems parental disapproval was one hundred percent.
Church and Children
By Barbara Barthelette
I am of the opinion that, if at all possible, families should be together at Mass, even with toddlers! This is not without some pitfalls so parents should be forewarned of the possibility of storms they may have to weather in the pursuit of a shared family Faith.
Remember, the longer you can keep your toddler from realizing that his legs can work on church property, the more attention you can pay to Mass. A sore back is little enough to bear in comparison to the exercise you may get chasing down an inquisitive child. At two and a half, my son discovered his church legs. His first escape took place in the Children’s Chapel a.k.a. the cry room at church. Initially unnoticed by the occupants, he dived under a row of folding chairs. We watched in anguish as each person popped up in surprise as he crawled under them.
Nursing mothers should start moving gradually back in the church as the baby grows older. I was sitting in the front row one Sunday when my hungry one year old obviously wanted to hear the sermon better. He threw back our privacy blanket much to my embarrassment and the priest’s surprise.
If all efforts at calming a child fails, do stand to the side of the church or in the back. I learned from experience, however, that you should take heed of your surroundings. Always make sure there is not a Holy Water font in the vicinity. They hold a lot of water in spite of their small appearance and they are easy to dump. You may know your skirt is soaked with blessed water. Other people may not be as charitable.
Four and five year olds should be prepared for Mass. Sometimes though it is better not to tell them too much in special circumstances. Julianna knew we were going to a funeral and her sole interest throughout the Mass was the ‘box’ up front. She was audibly verbal about, “I want to see inside now! Maybe he’s not inside! Let’s open it up now!
Sitting in the front row of the Children’s Chapel isn’t always a good idea. In some churches you will find that the congregation in the main body has a fish bowl view. . . and you are the fish! One Sunday I reached down to pick up one child who inadvertently pulled opened the front of my blouse as he climbed up. I immediately turned around only to have the second child flip up the back of my skirt.
You have to learn to ignore small disturbances. A crying baby is often helpful in covering up the name your child is calling the other one. You can be hopeful that the people in your immediate area are staring at you because they are in total awe of your parental management capabilities.
The discovery of manual dexterity almost always occurs during Mass when your two year old wears sneakers with velcro fastenings. The bells at Mass never quite cover this sound as your toddler gleefully opens and closes his shoes.
Always frisk your children before Mass. In the event a contraband fistful of marbles hit the floor during a particularly quiet moment during Mass, just keep staring prayerfully ahead and pretend you didn’t hear it.
The most import fact of life is this. . . There are only two parents to a family. When you exceed the one-to-one ratio with the arrival of your third child, you are on your own. Figure out your own rules!
The priest stopped Mass when the cell phone went off, waiting for the person to turn it off. It kept beeping, buzzing, and ringing. The priest asked again. The noise continued. Finally, the priest narrowed it down to one woman in the congregation and said, “Would you please turn off your cell phone now?”! The woman calmly said, “My cell phone isn’t ringing . . . It’s my son’s Nintendo game.”!
We had a rat in our garage. We named him Willard and then went shopping for whatever it would take to close down Willard. A few days later, I was coming in the garage and there was Willard, passed on to his final reward. I called the children to view the body. My older daughter wanted to know why I wanted them to see a dead rat. Before I could say anything, she answered herself and said, “I guess it was to give us closure.”!
My ten-year old daughter was working on a novel for English class. I asked if she would be done by the deadline I had set. She said, “Don’t worry. Tell me the day before and I will just kill all the characters off and end the story.”
Morning Mass must be a bit early for many. At the end of one Mass, the priest said, “Our Lady, Queen of Vocations . . .” and the congregation replied, “Pray for us.” Father then said, “Immaculate Mary, page 109.” And the obviously sleepy congregation replied, “Pray for us.”!
And once when attending Mass, the celebrant looked at the congregation across and said, “The Lord be with you.” One dear old lady looked at the other and explained helpfully, “That means ‘Dominus vobiscum’.”