Ten Things That Won’t Happen in 2008

(1) The presidential frontrunners on New Year’s will not ultimately receive their party’s nomination.

(2) America will not win a gold medal in diving, gymnastics, or synchronized swimming at the Beijing Olympics.

(3) Mother Assumpta Long will not have enough room in her motherhouse for all her new postulants (not an altogether bad thing).

(4) I will not get change back from my $50 bill when I fill the tank of the family minivan (now that is a bad thing!).

(5) Bishop Bruskewitz will not be named an Archbishop, despite several U.S. vacancies.

(6) The Church will not change her official teaching on contraception, homosexuality and “gay marriage,” women’s ordination, or other established, immutable doctrines–reports and/or wishful thinking notwithstanding.

(7) Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will not admit to knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs.

(8) The U.S. bishops will not speak with a unified voice in this year’s presidential election, and those who identify themselves as “Catholic” in the polls will mirror the general population in their vote for the next president.

(9) In a related prediction, whoever happens to be reviewing movies for the USCCB in 2008 will not publish a favorable review¬†of the next notorious, anti-Catholic Hollywood film–even if he happens to like it.

(10) No Boston sports team will win a championship. Not the 16-0 Patriots. Not the revitalized Celtics. Not Red Sox nation. Not even the Boston Bruins (is there still an NHL?). The rest of the country has had enough of this madness. It’s time to begin a new curse.

11 responses

  1. Leon…I wish writers like you were as vigilant concerning two eternal issues that were over thrown right before your eyes under the last papacy: wifely obedience (no where in the catechism and yet insisted on in section 74/ sentence one/ of Casti C. by Pius XI 1930 and insisted on by 6 NT passages) and the death penalty (Church tradition from Augustine to Pius XII in 1952 and sourced in Romans 13:3-4 by Aquinas). Where were you guys when John Paul pulled those reversals of eternal truths off. Don’t answer…it’s rhetorical. You can’t speak when faced with a Pope….you and most cardinals and bishops apparently.

    Yet according to Augustine in “Rebuke and Grace”, no one grows by grace alone…but by rebuke and grace. Since no one is rebuking Popes like St. Catherine of Sienna did in her day and as Paul did in Galatians, they..the Popes… are making mistakes like the wifely obedience one and the death penalty one and no one is saying boo. Adn that is partly financial. Catholicism inter alia is a matrix of publishing-dependency relationships which sometimes produce non growth through honest discussion. Write against the reversal of the death penalty tradition by John Paul II and good luck trying to get published by a Catholic publisher and a secular publisher will want to see figures as to whether anyone will buy such a book. And good luck trying to teach in a Catholic high school while believing in what Pius XII thought about the death penalty.

  2. Hey, what’s this about the Boston sports teams? :-) Boston deserves some victories after the years of misery she has put in!

    It’s all part of what “The Lion King” terms as “the circle of life.” Acceptance is the key, Leon, acceptance…oh what a sweet-sounding word…brings peace to the soul…(smile)

    (Not to claim “The Lion King” as a source of truth about life!)

    Let ‘em have their day in the sun! New England rarely gets on the map for anything else but the Boston Tea Party, the NH primaries, and Maine lobster. ‘Tis a fine day in olde New Englande…

  3. Bill, not that this has anything to do with the top ten list, but regarding capital punishment see CUF’s Faith Fact on the subject: http://www.cuf.org/Faithfacts/details_view.asp?ffID=29 It’s based on an article I wrote on the subject that I ran past Archbishops Chaput and Beltran before publishing (the latter, of course, was confronted with the issue because of the Oklahoma City bombings).

    As a former intern for a public defender’s office, I was happy to see the further development of the Church’s teaching in this area. But that’s all it is–a development, not a reversal. The Church has never taught that capital punishment is intrinsically evil, and she still maintains the possibility of its morally licit use in some circumstances. JPII has helped us understand what those circumstances must be, which in today’s world are much less likely to be present than in the past.

    I know that’s an oversimplification of a complex issue. Some Catholics have been resistant to any change regarding capital punishment, while others have grossly overstated the Church’s updated position in light of JPII and the Catechism.

    Casti Connubii has not been overturned. The Catechism is a summary of the faith and can’t be expected to contain every point made in every encyclical ever published. Even so, Casti Connubii is cited approvingly on the issue of the fecundity of marriage. I recognize that the “theology of the body” and more “personalist” terminology is used to present Church teaching on marriage and sexuality, but that’s a matter of presentation and emphasis, and not an outright reversal of a moral absolute.

  4. Leon
    Harmonization never really worked in scripture’s surface contradictions and it will not work forever even less so at this papal level for you.
    You can run it by your guardian angel but I’ve studied the matter with actual work and the two errors are linked to his attitude that led him to allow in his regime the appointment of Fr. Raymond Brown to the PBC…a man who did not believe that
    Mary ever said the Magnificat and did not believe there was ever any slaughter of the Innocents.
    And in section 40 of Evangelium Vitae, John Paul implies that much of the violence of the old testament was not from God as previously thought but from unrefined Jewish culture. That is why in section 39, he quotes Genesis 9:5-6 while withholding from the reader the very part of that couplet that enjoins the death penalty for murder not to Jews but to gentiles.
    Nor does he cite Romans 13:3-4 in all of Evangelium Vitae’s paragraphs on the matter of the death penalty…the classic passage for Aquinas.
    Likewise then….like Brown…John Paul was able to skip biblical passages he found offensive. On wifely obedience (Dignitatem Mulieris, sect.24, par.3&4 and and the Theology of the Body section 89.3-4) therefore he only cites explicitly Ephesians and never cites the other 5 passages explicitly that are only about wifely obedience in one direction which obtains especially in marriage when there is stress and a difference of opinion. Under John Paul’s theory of mutuality of submission as always present, conflict is avoided…but only in his imagination.
    I wonder if in fact as a child, he saw disputes between his parents that frightened him greatly and therefore he had to come up with a theory that made conflict impossible as to only one party causing it.

  5. “Bishop Bruskewitz will not be named an Archbishop, despite several U.S. vacancies.”

    In spite of myself, I am kind of OK with that…

    Why? For 15+ years in the back of my mind, I always knew, no matter how bad it got “here” (wherever “here” is) there will always be Lincoln – Where grade school tuition is $100 a year and there are plenty of priests, sisters and seminarians.

    Just knowing at least one diocese where sanity prevailed was out there always gave hope.

    Even if he isn’t named Archbishop of LA (like I would wish) we will always have Lincoln.

  6. If he could turn Los Angeles into anything like Lincoln, it would be a risk worth taking. Bishop Bruskewitz’ successor in Lincoln was also rock solid, and the priests who have been coming up through the ranks in Lincoln as bishops in their own right (e.g., Vasa, Jackels) are also outstanding. So, I think Lincoln would be fine even without Bishop Bruskewitz.

    That being said, I don’t think he’s going anywhere anytime soon.

  7. We’re more than a month into the New Year, and none of these things have happened. Most notably, I predicted that the Patriots would not win the Super Bowl (item 10). And while the presidential nominations are still up for grabs (item 1), Republican leader John McCain was either third or fourth in the polls on New Year’s.

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