Thursday, May 21, 2015

Three Eggs In a Peppermint Patch

All the animals of the Bear's small freehold of Zoar are quite friendly. (Except for the rooster.) In fact one of our goats is so friendly we re-named him to The People's Goat. But for sheer enthusiasm none can compare with The Friendliest Hen In the World. (Yes, that's her name.) When she spies anyone with her bright chicken eye she runs straight to them, her fluffy golden wings outstretched like a child who wants to be picked up.

Of course even The Friendliest Hen In the World has to pull her weight around the farm. She is a layer. Last week it was apparent that egg production was a bit off. A pall of suspicion fell over the hen house. Who was the slacker?

It turned out The Friendliest Hen In the World had gone rogue. She had a nice little clutch of three eggs in a peppermint patch. Poor thing. She was just trying to become a mother. But on a farm, rules are rules and eggs are for breakfast. No exception, even for The Friendliest Hen In the World.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Germans: Now Screwing Up 21st Century, Too

This is the problem: beer-fueled, lascivious folk dancing.

Cardinal Marx is waving the results of that mischievous survey on the family at the Pope, while threatening that Germany is "not a branch of Rome." Cardinal Marx may speak closer to the truth than he knows. What the Germans want, apparently, is the blessing of mutual sodomy pacts, remarriage in the Church after divorce, and communion for non-Catholic spouses.

Meanwhile Germany isn't competent to decide these issues since only 54% of priests bother to go to confession even once a year, only 58% pray daily, 60% of their parishioners don't believe in life after death, and 66% don't believe in the resurrection of Christ! Yep, just the kind of mature Catholics who can be trusted to reset Catholic moral teaching.

St. Corbinian had similar troubles with the Germans in Cardinal Marx's very own see, Munich-Freising. Only he was a saint. And he had a pet Bear. Ironically, St. Corbinian condemned the wicked marriage of the local warlord and had to flee for his life. Cardinal Marx would probably be fine with blessing it.

Can anyone connect the dots from Pope Francis' support of Cardinal Kasper on these same issues to Cardinal Marx thinking now is the moment to move?

Read the full story here at Rorate Caeli .

A Strange Experience

The Bear and his mate were in the St. Louis area, and stopped to eat on the east side of the Mississippi at a Thai restaurant. As the Bear made his way to the restroom to wash his paws, he passed a man sitting at a booth with a little girl. If you had to pick a celebrity to describe him you might pick Kenny Rogers, although you wouldn't be real close. He had a blue shirt on.

We were still waiting for someone to take our order when the man stepped up and asked to have a word with the Bear. Being the obliging sort, the Bear started to get up, but no, he said, that wasn't necessary. He put his hand on the Bear's shoulder and first announced he (the man) had been cured of cancer. Then he prayed for the Bear. It started something like this:

"Heavenly Father, I don't know what's ailing this Bear, but You do."

Really that's all the Bear remembers, but the gist of it was that the Bear gets to feeling better.

Then he just left, without saying goodbye, as least so far as the Bear can remember.

The Bear pondered the sincerity, spontaneity, and courage of the act, not to mention the kindness. He also considered how accurate the prayer was. Without going into non-blog territory, you may have noticed SCB hasn't been tended as diligently as it has been in the past.

The Bear doesn't have any more to say about it; res ipsa loquitur, as lawyers say.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

New Survey Shows U.S. Church in Decline

A new survey by the Pew Research Center shows Christianity in decline in America. The news is especially bad for mainline Protestant churches and the Roman Catholic Church. These have dropped about 3 percentage points since 2007. The median age of adult Catholics rose from from 45 to 49. That means the Church is getting older.

There are also roughly 3 million fewer American Catholics than in 2007. When you account for margins of error and other factors, though, the loss may have been "just" 1 million. In general, Catholic numbers have been more stable over the long term as compared to the steady decline of mainline Protestants, but that appears to have changed.

Evangelical Protestants fared the best, dropping only a point.

One-third of American adults say they were raised Catholic. Among that group, fully 41% no longer identify with Catholicism. So 12.9% of adult Americans are former Catholics, whereas only 2% have converted to Catholicism from another religion. Pew says "no other religious group in the survey has such a lopsided ration of losses to gains."

Evangelical Protestants, on the other hand, have picked up more than they have lost, the only group to do so.

The West has the greatest non-affiliated (i.e. no declared belief) population, at 25%.

What the Bear finds most interesting is that Catholic Church and the mainline Protestant churches -- which the Catholic Church has tried to model itself after -- show an almost identical rate of decline at approximately 3 percent.

It isn't sundown on the Church in America, but it is later in the day than you think.