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August 20, 2012 | Volume 87, Number 21


Priest thanks many for prayerful support

Not long ago, my family and I experienced the “shadow of death” as our mother, Mary Ellen Perkins, died after a five-year struggle with dementia and its medical complications.

In that shadow, the “light of the Easter mystery” became ever more present to our family. Hundreds and hundreds of people of faith from all over our Diocese helped reflect the light of the risen Lord.

To all who sent cards and emails, wrote words of faith and compassion and remembered Mom and our family in personal prayer and at numerous eucharists, our family was blessed abundantly. I cannot adequately express our thankfulness to members of the Diocesan staff, clergy and parish staffs and members of numerous parishes where I have served and ministered.

Thank you! Please, never underestimate your acts of kindness as reflections of our God’s divine love. With heart-filled appreciation,


Visit to Tabb parish found most rewarding

In June I had the privilege of traveling to Tabb to work with the Middle School Youth of Blessed Kateri Tekawitha for their first Summer Service Week.

The MRE and Middle School Minister for the parish, Debbie Gausmann, had asked me to plan the prayer, educational sessions, and group building for the week and we used Blessed Kateri’s as our home base. I was excited to have the opportunity to work with our young people on a summer service project again, but not sure how it would work with middle school youth.

To my surprise I found my experience to be a journey into my own faith. The people of the parish are very kind and welcoming.

The youth were cheerful about whatever work that they were asked to do and the experience of prayer with them was an experience I will never forget.

A big part of the success of the week is the quality of the parish itself. Blessed Kateri’s is an extraordinary parish. The people have a wonderful, well-formed, sense of church. The pastoral leadership of their pastor, Father Charlie Faul, is a gift. He is a warm and gentle man with a tremendous knowledge of the scriptures and liturgy. He has surrounded himself with a very talented staff and empowered each of them to do the job that they do without micro-managing that work. The spirit of trust and appreciation among them is evident and a gift for one to see.

I went to do a week’s work and thought I would probably enjoy myself and left with many new friends who have a piece of my heart forever.


Tony Magliano thanked for speaking for the poor

I was very pleasantly surprised by the wise and insightful commentary by Tony Magliano in your July 9 edition. Tony spoke out against abortions as indeed he should have, but he also spoke out for the poor, the immigrants, and against the war industry, the wars in which we are now engaged, and pollution.

He had me shouting: “Right on!” with every paragraph.

I remember way back in the early 1950s a group was formed called the Fighting 69th (Named after a WWI outfit by the same name). This group’s objective was to fight against the violations of the 6th and 9th commandments seemingly oblivious to the fact that there are 10 commandments. All of which are worthy of our obedience.


Reader disappointed in CV column

I am extremely disappointed in The Catholic Virginian for including commentaries by Tony Magliano. After reviewing his work over the last couple of years, it is clear that he has a liberal bias in his writings.

Giving him a platform to spew his left-leaning/progressive opinions is disturbing. I expect this from the National Catholic Reporter, not the CV. Liberalism has slowly infiltrated the Church since Vatican II. It must be fought at every turn.

I pray that traditional Catholics remain strong.

read “Mature Patriotism on the Fourth of July” »

read “Climate Change: It’s real and it’s dangerous!” »


Young people urged to study science

I must comment on Mr. Magliano’s article in the recent issue of the CV. First let me state that it is my impression that Mr. Magliano is saying that global warming is a fact and human induced.

But careful reading of his piece reveals that the most recent studies he cites state that it is “most likely” the cause of human activity. This sounds more like a theory than a proven fact.

True science is based on observable facts; not speculation or feel good theories.

Now let me address the wildfire issue which Mr. Magliano relates to global warming. Wildfires are not new, they have been around since creation. In fact they perform a valued function in nature. They return nutrients to the soil by burning off dead and decaying debris. They disinfect the land by removing diseased plants and harmful insects.

Finally they remove thick canopies and underbrush allowing sunlight to reach the forest floor which encourages new plant growth.

The energy issue; nuclear power is clean energy that does not contribute to atmospheric pollution. A properly designed, built and operated nuclear power plant is safe and reliable. One has no further to look than the U. S. Navy which has been operating them without incident for some 60 years. Wind power is inefficient and expensive to build and maintain.

My solution is to encourage our young folks to study more science, mathematics, engineering and technology. Become the engineers and scientists who will find solutions to our energy and environmental problems. The solutions are out there, it just takes an educated population find them and develop the technology to create useful, clean and inexpensive energy.

read “Climate Change: It’s real and it’s dangerous!” »


Global warming theory challenged by scientists

I have just finished reading the latest Catholic Virginian (August 6, 2012 issue) and read the article “Climate Change: It’s real and it’s dangerous!” By Mr. Tony Magliano.

In the article Mr. Magliano writes:” that raging fires, gigantic wind and thunderstorm system and boiling record breaking temperatures have helped to convince millions of us — including the vast majority of climatologists — that the earth’s climate is dangerously changing, and human-induced global warming is at the heart of it.”

Today I read an editorial in the Richmond Times Dispatch dated Thursday, August 9, 2012 about that very same subject — Climate Change. I would like to quote parts of this article.

It says in talking about global warming: “Both sides interpret specific weather events as proof that climate change is occurring — or that it isn’t. True believers see hot spells as portents of doom. Skeptics cite cold snaps as refutations of ideological arguments.”

It then goes on to say that: “Jerry Stenger, director of the University of Virginia’s climatology office, says it best. ‘Richmond just endured its second-hottest July ever. The hottest came in 2010. This year’s July heat followed a 2012 spring that was the warmest on record. The 2011-2012 winter ranked as the fourth-warmest winter on record as well’.”

Nevertheless, Stenger cautions against attributing the data to global warming. The Times-Dispatch’s Rex Springston reports: “Earth’s climate is indeed warming, but Richmond’s recent heat no more represents evidence than the snowy winter of 2009-10 representing proof against warming.

Stenger said, “Climate change is reflected in global average temperatures, not local warm or cold spells.”

With the above articles in mind, I think it is only fair to give the other side of global warming from a majority of climatologists that do not believe climate change is occurring.


Magliano writes like ‘a left-wing propagandist’

Another issue of the CV, another Magliano column. I suppose the man wants to be provocative, but mostly he writes like a left-wing propagandist.

The “climate change” column has no Christian content — this is just the usual inflated warning from the radical environmentalists. Many of them think there are too many people in the world, and this can be accomplished by denying the developing countries modern energy generation (consider the massive power outage in India).

If you must print articles about controversial topics in science then you should try for some balance.

Let me add a provocative remark of my own: I think the “social-justice” people find too many reasons for justifying a vote for a pro-abortion political candidate, in spite of the evil of abortion.

read “Mature Patriotism on the Fourth of July” »

read “Climate Change: It’s real and it’s dangerous!” »


Reader scolds Magliano’s critics

In response to the several letters in the July 23 Catholic Virginian regarding Tony Magliano’s article: To believe that the attack of 9/11 has somehow justified the killing of tens of thousands of people in other countries shows no semblance of a Christian conscience. It is more akin to the conscience of a brutal fanaticism, quite indistinguishable from the initial perpetration.

Elevating the socialistic concept of “patriotic war sacrifice” to the forefront of supreme human goodness while disparaging as “evil socialism” the daily and necessary sacrifices we are called to make for each other (and especially for the poor and less fortunate) is exactly what the Nazis did in Germany.

From a lifetime in the study of history as both a passion and profession, I can say that Mr. Magliano has it pretty much right — the truth is gruesome, upsetting and shaming when it comes to the actions of “nations” against their perceived foes, our own included.

The actual realities, reasons and repercussions never really fit the tidy, convenient, romanticized storybook forms the general public feeds on.

Justified by good intentions or the need to protect “a cherished way of life,” these pro-nationalist, pseudo-historians seek to dismiss, diminish or excuse behaviors of their favored “nation” while vehemently condemning others for the same deeds.

Reading such responses reminds me to pray more for Bishop DiLorenzo and our priests who have the daily, difficult task of confronting such pompous nationalistic, ideological fanaticisms as they labor to teach the love and peace in Christuniversal in a very confused world.


Reader disagrees with Inquisition remarks

I disagree with the letter written by Rose MacKenna in defense of The Inquisition (“Dark side of Church, theory said mistaken,” Aug. 6 issue). However, there are some facts impossible to deny:

The Spanish monarchs Isabel and Fernando created the Holy Office to pursue the following goals:

  1. Avoid all kinds of cultural diversity. In Spain and in American lands, only the Catholic religion was allowed, so local authorities of the kingdom and the Catholic Church had the responsibility to keep the people’s beliefs under control.
  2. Hold the Counter Reformation principles: No Jews, no Moriscos (Islam), no Lutherans, no superstitions, no native Indian and black people’s customs and languages, and not any kind of knowledge which would doubt the Bible
  3. Hold censorship about books, art, and social behavior among the Catholic population. The method was to stimulate a social fear, because each neighbor was able to accuse another of blasphemy.

Mrs. McKenna is right in one point: The Inquisition tribunals didn’t execute millions of people. She wrote: “Very few were executed, certainly not thousands.” Following that logic, should we cheer because the Holy Office “only” killed thousands instead of millions? Would Adolf Hitler be a “good guy” if he had executed “only” thousands of Jews instead six millions?

The inquisitors also used torture and penances to help heretics to change their minds. Defenders of this tribunal said “the torture was used, but it could not last more than 15 minutes and could never used twice on the same person.” Good news for current dictators around the world! According to this principle, torturing people for few minutes under medical supervision is not a bad thing. I recommend learning more about “soft” torture by visiting The Holy Office Museums in Lima (Perú) or in Santillana del Mar (Spain).

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