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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

South American Says Stuff

By: SCCB Staff

A head shot Menendez handed out at the start of his talk.

Toronto, Canada - The Toronto School of Theology is all abuzz after a talk about 'things' was given yesterday by someone representing the poor in South America.

Jorge Menendez has no academic degrees, nor is he a politician or business leader. But he wears an interesting hat and has an interesting accent and makes use of dramatic gestures and pregnant pauses.

The diverse academic crowd was thrilled when he mentioned words like 'liberation' and 'option.' When he employed them in the same sentence his audience gave him a three-minute standing ovation.

No one was quite sure how Menendez was chosen for the talk nor really what it was about. One attendee even said that it was mostly anecdotes about growing up on his father's huge cattle ranch.

Nevertheless, the comment of one of Wycliffe College's seven professors of Womynist Theology, Anne Heffrey, seemed to sum up well the talk's effect: "Ah, the poor," she said to the emphatic head-nodding of her colleagues. "And other miscellaneous marginalized people."

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Convert-Convert Converts

By: SCCB Staff

McGilvery looking somewhat sheepish
after making the sign of the cross in front of
Beth Israel Synagogue.

Oxford, England - Clive Staples McGilvery gained a great deal of attention a few years ago around the Oxford campus when he converted from atheism to Anglicanism, changing his name from Darwin to that of the writer whose books inspired his conversion.

A few years later he converted to Catholicism. A few years after that he converted to Orthodoxy. Now he has his sights on Judaism, because, as he says, "It seems even more ad fonte," meaning even closer to 'the source.'

McGilvery is a PhD student who first fell in love with the writings of C. S. Lewis while working on his undergrad in medieval literature. It was when he began his Master's Degree in philosophy that he fell in love with the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas and G. K. Chesterton. Soon after, he converted to Catholicism and got himself a pipe.

At the beginning of his PhD in theology he was introduced to the thought of St. Gregory Palamas. Conversion and a beard were eventually to follow.

But the years were long and his reading deep. He would eventually discover that Jesus spoke Aramaic, not Latin or Greek, as he had previously supposed.

"I now see my life as unified whole, as a journey to YHWH. Sure, some days on my way to synagogue I find myself pulling into the parking lot of Sacred Heart or of St. George's, but despite these minor things, it all makes sense to me now."

It has been said that the Druids are anticipating hearing from McGilvery any day now.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Parents Confident about Daughter's Choices

By: SCCB Staff

Sally Daugherty trying on dresses.
Victoria, Canada - Betty and Wilfred Daugherty are pretty excited about their daughter's upcoming nuptials.

Sally, age twenty-three, recently announced that she was going to marry her "nice atheist boyfriend" in June on the beach in Hawaii.

"No, they are not getting married in a church, as we had hoped, but still, she will have a wonderful, God-centred marriage anyway. She intends to raise their children in the Faith, she told us," said the dad, a thirty-year member of the Knights of Columbus.

When asked about the grounds of their confidence for this in an overwhelmingly secular age, the Daugherties stated that "She went to catechism every year, and, up until she made her confirmation, would come to mass every Sunday," said Mrs. Daughterty, herself a Third Order Franciscan.

"No, she didn't go to a Catholic college, like OLSWA or Christendom or Steubenville, but we are quite certain that she kept up going to mass while she was working on her degree in Women's Studies with a minor in Sociology."

The Daugherties indicated that their daughter did not meet her boyfriend at her college, but at an anti-Keystone rally.

"She's always cared about her fellow-man - that's very Catholic. And she has been so passionate about the environment. We are certain that she will raise her children with those values. When she was a little girl she told us that the wanted to have ten kids!"

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Salt and Light Makes Innocuous Statement

By: SCCB Staff       January 22, 2015

Salt and Light supporters respond to situation normal with courage.

Toronto, Canada - Jaws were not dropping after Salt and Light Media CEO, Fr. Tommy Rose, made an innocuous statement about Catholicism after an ordinary event that happened. The bishops of Canada are said to be decidedly nonplussed.

When asked what drove the priest to make such a statement, Rose stated that "he felt moved by the Spirit to say it."

"These times call for statements like this," said a bishop somewhere, who thought that his brother bishops would be feeling just as equanimous about it.

"We really don't know where this same perspective will lead us, ultimately," said another figurehead in Canadian Catholic media. "It really settles the boat, doesn't it?"

"I fear that we can expect more equally ordinary platitudes from him and his media outlet in the future. This certainly does not bode well for those who seek things."

Another bishop from another place said that the whole thing reminded him of the recent report on the US Leadership Conference of Women Religious, entitled, "Nothing to See Here. What Culture of Dissent?"

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pope Francis: Hire an Ugly Person

By: Carlo Guidowendo, SCCB Italy      January 21, 2015

Upon receiving word of the Holy Father's latest statement, 
Archbishop George Ganswein appeared deeply reflective.
Vatican City - Once again, the Holy Pontiff has made some remarkable comments during an interview on an airplane.

"Hire an ugly person!" he said to assembled journalists during his flight back from Manila. The journalists initially assumed he was joking.

"I look around the Vatican and beauty surrounds me - the painting, the sculptures, the buildings, but, you know, also the people. That was not the way of Jesus. He went out to the poor, the shamed, the outcast, and yet we, His followers, surround ourselves with all the right people."

"No, we don't always do this on a conscious level. But we still do it. Our leaders in business and politics, the people we look to for advice and leadership in our everyday lives, these are the beautiful people, but are they the ones we should be looking to?"

The Holy Pontiff then illustrated his point with some examples and statistics: "For every inch taller a man is his salary will be around two percent higher. Ninety percent of CEOs are above average height. Maybe the cardinals are not as bad as some, then: I am only five foot nine, and my predecessor, the Pope Emeritus, is only five foot seven."

"Even our Catholic celebrities are on the whole good looking people. We must search our hearts and see if we would even recognize the one of whom the Prophet Isaiah spoke: "He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him."

"To follow the Lord, you must hire an ugly person. There was this one time when someone would not hire my mother. Was it because she was ugly? I punched him just in case."

"The good looking people come to the fore, while the rest are left behind their computer screens blogging, no matter their gifts."

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Parish Council: Advent Success, 10% More Penitential

By: SCCB Staff                                    January 20, 2015

Sweets seized by St. John the Divine ushers during Advent penitential service. 

Eganville, Canada - Ever since a visiting Polish priest reminded St. John the Divine's congregation that Advent was traditionally considered a penitential season, like Lent, parish staff and committees have been hard at work trying to make Advent less joyful, like Lent.

"Though it's hard to measure such things," said St. John's new pastor, Fr. Mark Gray, "Clearly, there were fewer smiling facing around here, saying things like 'Merry Christmas' during Advent. I think it was a real success."

"We were very clear about what should be done," said parish council chairperson, Sandy Weeks. "During the announcements before mass we reminded people: no 'Merry Christmases' until the 25th, no Christmas carols, no gifts or celebrations..."

"Particularly successful was the 'Smiles of Shame' collection drive where parishioners could put a Loonie in the big bottle for every time they had let a 'Merry Christmas' slip out during the week, or were acting too festive. The money was donated to the most cheerless place we could think of, Iraq - but only after the 25th - we wouldn't want the Iraqi children being un-penitential during Advent," added Mrs. Weeks.

However, the town's shopkeepers who had finally made the crossover from 'Happy Holidays' to 'Merry Christmas,' were somewhat dismayed to hear about this new focus.

"Sure it took some getting used to," said sacristan Helen Waddell. "But, all in all, we were very blessed to find out about the penitential character of Advent in the Early Church."

When asked about the Polish priest who started the drive to make Advent more penitential, Fr. Gray said, "We don't know where he is precisely, but I am sure that wherever he is, he is spreading less Christmas joy there too."

Monday, January 19, 2015

Distinction for Local Church

By: SCCB Staff              January 19, 2015
A congratulatory hug is exchanged after St. Martha's hug award was announced.
There were no survivors.

Toronto, Canada - St. Martha's in Oshawa has received the distinction of being the 'hugging-est church' in the Archdiocese at the annual awards ceremony. The predominantly young, middle class, white parish was said to take the 'ministry of hospitality very seriously.'

"Sometimes the sign of peace can last fifteen minutes," said one parishioner. "It is really the heart of who we are as the people of God."

"We are a very youth- and spirit-centred church," said another.

"When the hugging goes on unusually long we sometimes cut out the Eucharist all together. We can't keep people longer than an hour, obviously."

The pastor of St. Martha's was glad for the accolade and expects that "that is why he was asked to go see the Cardinal first thing on Monday in his office."

Honourable mention for the hugging award was last year's winner, York University Catholic Chaplaincy, which gave up mass altogether for a time last year, putting in its place its famous two hour hug-a-thons .