Monday, January 20

Spain encouraging a million Latin Americans to emigrate

From Buenos Aires to Bogota, the daily queues outside Spanish consulates have begun to stretch around the block as up to a million Latin Americans exploit a new law allowing them to become Spaniards. The law, which came into effect 10 days ago, opens the doors of Spain and, by extension, of the European Union, to children and grandchildren of Spanish exiles and emigrants in the Americas. The Spanish foreign minister, Ana Palacio, expects a million applications, equivalent to a 2.5% rise in the population. Ms Palacio, from the ruling conservative People's party, said the law would help right the wrongs suffered by those forced into exile by General Franco. But it has also been seen as a way of ensuring that the next wave of immigrants are people who share its language and religion.

From the Christian Science Monitor:

California's one-year lifting of the statute of limitations for some molestations suits might not affect only the Church - Hollywood might be vulnerable as well.

Today, lawyers who are preparing dozens of cases against Catholic priests say there's the potential for even more sex-abuse cases to come forward within the film, modeling, music, and television industries. "Because of this new law, I anticipate that the number of cases coming forward in California by victims of the entertainment industry will be larger than that of the Catholic church," says Larry Drivon, a Stockton-based lawyer who helped draft the California law.

His firm just named John Casablancas, the founder of top modeling agency, Elite, in a sexual-abuse lawsuit filed under the new law by a former model. The woman, now a housewife, claims that Casablancas impregnated her when she was 15 in the late 1980s, and then arranged for her to have an abortion.

Child, family, and sexual-abuse groups say they are preparing for the onslaught of similar cases, which could snowball as revelations are made - much like the church scandal.


The famous Sister Fran Ferder talks to the editors of US Catholic sex without ever mentioning marriage.

NCRegister features editor David Pearson has a great-sounding new book out called No Wonder They Call It The Real Presence:Lives Changed by Christ in Eucharistic Adoration.
Paul Thigpen is looking for rosary stories:

The Holy Father recently declared a Year of the Rosary, and he is asking us to rediscover this wonderful prayer. In response to his request, I am collecting stories about the Rosary to publish in a book: true stories, brief or not-so-brief, from people who have had their lives changed by the Rosary, or who have experienced a powerful intervention of Our Lady through the Rosary--the more specific, the better. (References pointing me to such stories already in print, or to historical testimonies, would also be welcome.)

I don't need for people to write the stories; I simply want them to tell me in an email what happened, and I will write them up. There would be no financial remuneration for submitting a story, but if it were used in the book, folks would have the pleasure of sharing it, reading about it in print (I already have the contract), and knowing they were helping others to rediscover this Catholic treasure.

Readers who have stories to share can email them to me at

Yay. I have work this year. Just signed a contract to do a book for Loyola (on a top-secret topic...I'll tell you that it's for grown-ups, and not, thank goodness, for kids) and I'm on track to do another 6 Weeks with the Bible volume for them, this one on the Passion narratives in the Gospel of Matthew.

Time looks at the "Passion of Mel Gibson"

Inspired by the divine retribution lowered on the priest who declares "Go Eagles!" at the end of Mass (blogged below), and in honor of the upcoming Super Bowl, let's do a survey of lamest sports-related liturgical moments. I have a couple to start us off:

*While I was a student at the University of Tennessee, we got an associate at our campus parish who apparently embraced the totems of whatever school at which he was assigned (I believe he'd been a rabid Longhorn before he came to us.) At homily time he was known to pull out orange and white pom-poms, but I have to say my most vivid memory isn't football-related. I remember one Sunday evening Mass, he came in breathlessly, a little late, and after the opening hymn, breathlessly announced something about a golfer catching up in the match that was currently being televised - I want to say it was Mark Calcavecchia - but I'm not sure.

And there's "Father Gator" - which is what he license plate reads -or used to when I was around. Sure, his office was decorated with scads of football stuff,but that's his right. It didn't stay in the office, obviously. Two homilies come to mind.

You might remember that around a decade ago, Gainesville was terrorized one fall by a serial killer. The Gospel, that Sunday, was the parable of the laborers in the vineyard - you know, no matter when they show up they're paid equally? Well, Fr. Gator started off by speaking about the apparent "injustice" of this situation, and various examples of injustice we encounter in our world today...(which is not the point of the parable, anyway, but that wasn't ever the point, even then..)I immediately assumed he was going to touch on the inuustice of what was weighing on everyone's minds - young lives being snuffed out, and so on. But no, that wasn't it. UF had recently been put on probation by the NCAA. Now that's injustice...

Either that year or the next, the first Sunday of Advent rolled around. Good readings, important season, rich material. Plus, a preacher from Food for the Poor was there to make an appeal. Mass begins. Greeting offered. Fr. Gator looks at us and wonders if we, like him, had found ourselves unable to sleep the previous night as we contemplated the Gator's loss in football the day before and instead of sleeping, "ran those plays over and over in my head."

Can you top that?


You're too modest, comment #1. IMHO, that does top this.

Speaking of the Reds, when I was in high school in Knoxville, the Reds were the local team - it was before WTBS and better records made the Braves "America's team." Our math teacher Sister of Mercy who was one of the scariest people I've ever met, was passionate for the Reds. They gave her a cake when the Reds won the World Series while I was in high school (I think? Or maybe it was just division. I dunno). Anyway, this nun didn't ignore our high school teams, either. At the end of prayer on every game day, she closed with, "Our Lady of Victory, pray for us."

She also had a roulette wheel in the back that she'd haul out on ocassion so that we could gamble for pieces of this wretched fudge she made - proceeds to the missions of course. Fudge pieces for handy grenades.

A look at Oakland's new bishop

At the Weekly Standard, David Tell takes a look at some abortion-related books

Peggy Noonan says the Democratic party is being killed by its attachment to abortion


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