Monday, October 31, 2005

The Circle of Life Of Halloween

My response to a discussion on Penni's blog:

"Actually, we just heard an apologetics speaker talk about Halloween and how very Catholic it is. He talked about how, yes, it was originally a harvest festival for the Celtic crowd who celebrated the dead and such, but that in a move to establish somewhat of another Triduum, the Catholic Church moved All Saints Day and All Souls Day to the beginning of November, and hence we have Halloween, All Hallows Eve, before the feast of all Saints. He said, of course it is all about how you go about it. Ghouls and monsters and murderers? Maybe not. But if you think about it, ghosts and skeletons are very appropriate to celebrate the dead- it all depends on how you do it. Death is not something we as Catholics should avoid celebrating...afterall, how else can we get to Heaven? In Mexico, the day of the dead is still a roaring tradition and it is not uncommon to find celebrations at cemeteries.

However, he did say that since our Protestant brohters and sisters do not see All Saints and All Souls day in the same fashion and, in fact, do not celebrate it, then we should not get bothered that they choose to have Harvest festivals or not celebrate Halloween at all- it actually would be inappropriate to do so unless they were planning on exploring their Catholic roots.

I will say, in the spirit of irony and humor (I emphasize humor), that it is interesting how the circle of life for Halloween evolved: first Harvest festivals that celebratd the fall season with some spirits and scare by our Celtic ancestors, followed by a supplanting of the Celtic tradition with the "All Hallow's Eve" celebration by the Church in an effort to Christianize the holiday, turning then into a day of pumpkins, candy and costumes as the holiday was secularized, and therefore being rejected by Christian people wanting to distance themselves from the horror, scare, and gore of the secular celebration, and hence evolving once again into a celebration of the season with...Harvest festivals."

Thursday, October 27, 2005


This post was supposed to have pictures, but everytime I would go through the steps of uploading it shows up with nothing!

Last weekend was so good, especially Saturday where I was the recipient of some special love and kindness by my California friends at CMOMC. My husband lured me to the coast to go see his brother play football (he plays for a junior college out there), to which I was NOT looking forward to. Handling my three year old while pregnant and sitting in bleacers was not my idea of a good time. But I said I'd suck it up and go.

Of course we got lost on our way there, and G.R. was irritated about it as usual. We finally get to his moms house (she was going to the game as well) and he went into her place to get her. I waited in the car and he came back saying she "wants us to meet a 'friend' of hers" before we go to the game". So yeah, kind of weird. But then, a lightbulb came on in my head....

"Honey, do you think it's a man?!"

My mother-in-law has been a widow for 15 years. She is 67 and works full time as a nurse. She has gone out on maybe 1 date since my father-in-law (whom I never got to meet) died. So, this turn of events was highly intriguing.

G.R.: "What?!"

P.R.: "Maybe she wants us to meet a manfriend!" I said manfriend because boyfriend doesn't seem appropriate for a 67 year old woman.

G.R.: "Come on, she's too old for that!" I conveniently left this part out of the story I later reiterated to my mother-in-law just in case she would've been offended.

P.R.: "Oh, come on, maybe she's lonely!" My brother-in-law lives with her now but will be transferring to a school,in Southern California next semester. Maybe she wanted some company?

So on we went like this for about 5 minutes, G.R. getting very exasperated with me. We pull in to a nice neighborhood where I say, "Well, at least she'll be well taken care of!" I am anxiously looking at all the homes hoping to catch a glimpse of this new friend we are to meet. We park and get out of the car, me wondering whether or not to put make-up on to impress my MIL's new beau. As we are walking up the walk, I see some kids playing in the garage, one looking very much like the daughter of one of my friends at CMOMC.

Backing up, CMOMC is a Catholic Mom's message board I have been a part of since 2003. Many of us have met each other around the country, and I have been fortunate enough to meet many of the Northern CA moms. The last time I've seen any of them was summer 2004 where we had a fabulous weekend together.

Anyways, I stop and say hello to this young girl, who I still wasn't quite sure of at that moment. I think, "either Beth is here for some really strange reason, or this girl is Beth's daughter's long-lost twin!"

That's when it hit me,

One of the moms at CMOMC lives in the same town as my mother-in-law. It was coming together bit by bit, but I still wasn't sure...

...until we walked in and surrounding me in the living room was none other than my internet friends from CMOMC- 6 of them. They were all there to throw me a baby shower!

I can't tell you how special and loved I felt, and how much I really needed a day like that. I had been so overwhelmed with the knowledge that in 5 weeks time I was going to officially have 5 children and be going back to the days of nursing every two hours, lugging diaper bags and carseats everywhere, having minimal-to-no sleep, and having a completely helpless human being depending on me. I have been wanting to get so much done and haven't had the time or energy to do it all and had been feeling very stressed and down. This surprise lifted my spirits up greatly, not that these moms would've known that I needed it. You know how we women can be; never letting anyone know how much we are struggling for fear of sounding like big babies or being melodramatic.

Well, we had a great time together. I would have been happy chatting and hanging out with the ladies even if it wasn't a baby shower. The extra pleasure was that two of the ladies were friends I hadn't met before, so it was nice to now have two more faces to put with the names I see on my screen everyday.

It just really goes to show that the connections we make on the internet can in fact be very enriching and fulfilling, and very real. I know many of my friends here in my town don't understand how I could spend time on the internet doing anything other than researching recipes, housekeeping tips, or medical conditions, and see the internet as a waste of time. But I am the type of person who loves to interact with people (well, at least most of the time), and I love making new friends. I am so glad I took that chance 2 years ago with the Catholic moms who blessed me abundantly last weekend.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

My Book List

Here's my reading plans for the near future. Hopefully I can finish all these before the new year, because I'd love to start a new list for 2006 and see how much I can get through by the end of the year.

Christmas Reads
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I can't believe I have never actually read the book!

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci (a MOMS Club book club selection)

The #1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

Pithed: An Andy Farmer Mystery by Kathryn Lively

Over Her Dead Body by Kate White. This and my next selection are pure guilty pleasures. But we all need some of those every so often.

Til Death Do Us Part by Kate White

Books I Should Have Read a Long Time Ago
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

An Old Fave I Want to Revisit
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

Currently Popular
The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio by Terry Ryan

Given to Me by a Friend
The Taking by Dean Koontz. I used to read all his books a long time ago, but haven't been keeping up with him. I think I may have wanted to get away from the dark and scary. It'll be interesting to see what I think of him at this point in my life.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Philothea Rose and Gorgeous Redhead

I only have about 15 minutes to spend here today, but I wanted to make my first attempt at blogging with a picture and hopefully getting a picture of me in my profile. This isn't the best picture of me and G.R., but it's the most recent one I have. I wanted to get going on pictures because I had a fabulous weekend (a surprise baby shower from my CA friends at CMOMC) and wanted to share about it with some pictures. Hopefully, that will come early tomorrow. But for now, do you all see why I call him "Gorgeous Redhead?"

Thursday, October 20, 2005

My letter to Victoria's Secret

Here's my response to Victoria's Secret's new test marketing campaign. Jordan is doing a great job keeping us updated on the situation.

To Whom It May Concern:

I have recently been made aware of your "test marketing" in a few stores around the country that tend toward a more erotic, pornographic nature. I must say that while I thought I would be a faithful customer due to the quality of your product, I will no longer shop at your stores as long as ANY of your stores continue to merchandise your products through these inappropriate means. Your displays are completely repulsive and degrading to women and sex, and the fact you don't seem to realize this is appalling. To think that a woman's clothing company could be so crude, crass, and insulting shows what a sad day our society is living in. And I am esepcially disgusted at your choice to test market this idea in malls and stores that are so easily accessibly to children. It shows a complete insensitivity to your target audience- women, who also tend to have children with them while they shop!

Your bras and underwear aren't that important to me- the nearest JC Penny suits my needs just fine.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Abortion Debate Nobody Wants to Have: a commentary everyone should read

Thanks to Peony for this article.

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- If it's unacceptable for William Bennett to link abortion even conversationally with a whole class of people (and, of course, it is), why then do we as a society view abortion as justified and unremarkable in the case of another class of people: children with disabilities?

I have struggled with this question almost since our daughter Margaret was born, since she opened her big blue eyes and we got our first inkling that there was a full-fledged person behind them.

Whenever I am out with Margaret, I'm conscious that she represents a group whose ranks are shrinking because of the wide availability of prenatal testing and abortion. I don't know how many pregnancies are terminated because of prenatal diagnoses of Down syndrome, but some studies estimate 80 to 90 percent.

Imagine. As Margaret bounces through life, especially out here in the land of the perfect body, I see the way people look at her: curious, surprised, sometimes wary, occasionally disapproving or alarmed. I know that most women of childbearing age that we may encounter have judged her and her cohort, and have found their lives to be not worth living.

To them, Margaret falls into the category of avoidable human suffering. At best, a tragic mistake. At worst, a living embodiment of the pro-life movement. Less than human. A drain on society. That someone I love is regarded this way is unspeakably painful to me.

This view is probably particularly pronounced here in blue-state California, but I keep finding it everywhere, from academia on down. At a dinner party not long ago, I was seated next to the director of an Ivy League ethics program. In answer to another guest's question, he said he believes that prospective parents have a moral obligation to undergo prenatal testing and to terminate their pregnancy to avoid bringing forth a child with a disability, because it was immoral to subject a child to the kind of suffering he or she would have to endure. (When I started to pipe up about our family's experience, he smiled politely and turned to the lady on his left.)

Margaret does not view her life as unremitting human suffering (although she is angry that I haven't bought her an iPod). She's consumed with more important things, like the performance of the Boston Red Sox in the playoffs and the dance she's going to this weekend. Oh sure, she wishes she could learn faster and had better math skills. So do I. But it doesn't ruin our day, much less our lives. It's the negative social attitudes that cause us to suffer.

Many young women, upon meeting us, have asked whether I had "the test." I interpret the question as a get-home-free card. If I say no, they figure, that means I'm a victim of circumstance, and therefore not implicitly repudiating the decision they may make to abort if they think there are disabilities involved. If yes, then it means I'm a right-wing antiabortion nut whose choices aren't relevant to their lives.

Either way, they win.

In ancient Greece, babies with disabilities were left out in the elements to die. We in America rely on prenatal genetic testing to make our selections in private, but the effect on society is the same.

Margaret's old pediatrician tells me that years ago he used to have a steady stream of patients with Down syndrome. Not anymore. Where did they go, I wonder. On the west side of L.A., they aren't being born anymore, he says.

The irony is that we live in a time when medical advances are profoundly changing what it means to live with disabilities. Years ago, people with Down syndrome often were housed in institutions. Many were in poor health, had limited self-care and social skills, couldn't read, and died young. It was thought that all their problems were unavoidable, caused by their genetic anomaly.

Now it seems clear that these people were limited at least as much by institutionalization, low expectations, lack of education and poor health care as by their DNA. Today people with Down syndrome are living much longer and healthier lives than they did even 20 years ago. Buoyed by the educational reforms of the past quarter-century, they are increasingly finishing high school, living more independently and holding jobs.

That's the rational pitch; here's the emotional one. Margaret is a person and a member of our family. She has my husband's eyes, my hair and my mother-in-law's sense of humor. We love and admire her because of who she is -- feisty and zesty and full of life -- not in spite of it. She enriches our lives. If we might not have chosen to welcome her into our family, given the choice, then that is a statement more about our ignorance than about her inherent worth.

What I don't understand is how we as a society can tacitly write off a whole group of people as having no value. I'd like to think that it's time to put that particular piece of baggage on the table and talk about it, but I'm not optimistic. People want what they want: a perfect baby, a perfect life. To which I say: Good luck. Or maybe, dream on.

And here's one more piece of un-discussable baggage: This question is a small but nonetheless significant part of what's driving the abortion discussion in this country. I have to think that there are many pro-choicers who, while paying obeisance to the rights of people with disabilities, want at the same time to preserve their right to ensure that no one with disabilities will be born into their own families. The abortion debate is not just about a woman's right to choose whether to have a baby; it's also about a woman's right to choose which baby she wants to have.

I am so glad Bauer decided to write this piece and call not just pro-choicers, but our entire society on a severe flaw in its character. And yes, the inclination to abort "undesirables" in our society is a character flaw, no matter how many out there want to justify it.

You know, so many times when those fighting against immorality in this world warn of the dangers our choices could lead to in our society, they get accused of exaggerating the slippery slope. Yet, when abortion was first made legal, I bet many out there said that there was no way women would begin picking and choosing what babies they wanted; "oh, that'll never happen" is probably what they said. Abortion would only be used in dire circumstances for the well-being of women. Yet as time goes by, we see more and more that slippery slopes are beginning to invade our way of life.

Monday, October 17, 2005

From now on, count me out!

You know, maybe I am just missing something, but I have decided that I just can't read or participate in liturgy discussions anymore. It totally takes away from the Mass for me.

Everything from the controversy over which bishops say which postures are appropriate for what parts of the Mass to whether or not one should wear jeans to Mass or not. I'm just tired of it.

I'm tired of going to Mass and looking around, taking a mental tally of who wears jeans, t-shirts, or flip flops to Mass because of some internet debate I read the previous day.

Tired of peeking up while bowing during the Nicene Creed to see who is doing it as well.

Tired of watch other people receive Communion and mentally noting who is bowing, crossing themselves, genuflecting, or crossing their eyes. Meanwhile, I'm totally forgetting that I myself have just received the greatest gift of the entire universe and of all time 2 minutes ago.

I'm tired of walking up to Communion and instead of thinking about the BODY OF CHRIST I am thinking "Hand or tongue, hand or tongue? OK hand, no tongue..." and then accidentally doing both to the confusion of the priest who almost drops it on the ground

Tired of wondering whether or not to hold hands this week during the Our Father or not, and then holding one neighbor's hand and not the other's who then thinks I am snubbing him.

Its frustrating for me that the more I learn about the Mass, the less I seem to be able to concentrate it.

You know, I don't know what is right or wrong anymore, what are matters of the upmost importance or what could easily be changed tomorrow by a synod, encyclical, or letter from the bishop.

All I know, is that I don't want to know anymore.

Maybe that makes me apathetic, or a bad Catholic, or whatever. But when I see my friends, family, or strangers at Church, I don't want to chalk up another judgment on the board based on how many inches above their knees their skirts are or how casual/uncasual/too casual/appropriately casual they are.

I just want to be glad they are there.

And I don't want to be getting mad at my friends, Church acquaintances, or internet companions anymore because I think they are right/wrong, too judgmental/too lenient, lax/hypocritical. Just like we have filters for violence, obscenity, and sexual content, could I have a filter for liturgical debates that do nothing to draw me closer to God, my faith, or the Church?

I know following the GIRM and Rubrics are important. And of course I don't want to go to an invalid Mass. But all these debates I come across don't seem to do anything other than give one person an avenue for feeling superior to or holier than the neighbor they disagree with. If these discussions actually seemed to edify me and the other participants in some way, then I would indulge. But all I end up coming away with is confusion, bitterness, anger, resentment, and sometimes pride.

Not once have I participated in any of these discussions and have come away with a greater love for the Mass.

I mean, if we truly think about it, shouldn't we all be receiving Communion sitting on the ground in the attic of a neighbor's house if we REALLY want to get technical as to how it is supposed to be done? Because as far as I know, that is how Jesus and the Apostles did it.

So until we go back to that, I am just doing what my bishop tells me and enjoying, celebrating, WORSHIPPING JESUS in the Mass from now on.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A good laugh that makes a good point

from The Curt Jester.

Married Priests Petition

Monday, October 10, 2005

Preach always...?

I have many, many friends who are not Catholic, or even Christian. I have encountered many Catholics (and Christians) who find it difficult to maintain relationships with "those from the secular world", and I've always tried to understand and respect their needs, but I am just not one of those people. I dearly love my "secular" friends, and while I disagree with many of their choices and/or lifestyles, the warmth I feel for them never cools.

However, I will say that there is somewhat of a barrier between they and I. I can never share my NFP struggles with them, my efforts in maintaining a regular prayer-life, or the reasons behind why I give my children the names I have (mainly religious reasons). I can't make the jokes I do about the need to go to Confession, the lack of meat on Fridays, and I can't say my silly graces/prayers when I go out to lunch with them ("Jesus was a cool dude, 40 days with out food..." is the one my kids love the most). Well, its not that I can't, but that I don't in order to keep the relationship comfortable.

And here is where my dilemma lies. I have never been one to try and convert my friends, and unfortunately, none of my non-believing friends have therefore been converted. I often wonder about that, whether or not I am culpable in any way for their lack of belief? I have always been one to follow that famous saying of St. Francis...the one where he says something along the lines of "preach always; when necessary, use words". And I really do believe in that. But do I use it as an excuse not to go to a place that makes my heart beat fast and my palms sweat? Do I use it as a crutch in order to justify my inaction?

I will concede that speaking about my faith is not my strong point. If I could write all my friends letters as to why I believe what I do, then that would be much better for me. I don't express myself well verbally. I tend to ramble, repeat myself, and mix things up with my words. And if someone disagrees with me in a verbal argument, I am much more likely to get angry, and show it.

But the part that becomes really disheartening is what has lead me to write about this subject today; how can I evangelize by example when my secular friends have seen me behave so badly? Now, not only am I doing them an injustice by not telling of God's glory in words, but what do I do when I fail to do so in action as well?

I have a friend whom I have grown close with in recent months who is not religious at all, and in the course of our friendship she has heard me gossip on numerous occasions, swear, talk inappropriately about certain things, and she has yet to hear me tell my true feelings on matters of a religious nature out of my fear and a so-called "respect" for those around me. She knows I'm Catholic, that my husband was formerly the youth minister at our parish. She knows I'm religious, and still has seen some very bad sides of me. How can I possibly even begin to show her God's glory? How would I even be justified in uttering God's name in front of her now?

I've hear some use the term "loving people into the faith". I have to admit that I'm not quite sure if I am doing that. oh, I think I am surely loving people, but am I doing so enough that their hearts are changed? Am I loving them in a way where they see Jesus in me and are therefore drawn to Him? If I am following the sayings of St. Franics, do I really have the courage to "if necessary, use words"? Am I even implementing his call to "Preach always" in my relationships?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Serenity Now!

I saw Serenity last night. I loved it! Everything from the series was wrapped up so nicely, there was a great amount of humor, the action was exciting, and I was totally satisfied with the answers to the questions all us Firefly fans were asking. There is so much I want to discuss about it, but I would be giving key parts of the movie away if I did. But also, there were great things to ponder when it comes to man, belief, free will, choice, and "meddling".

I think this movie will still be highly enjoyable (especially to sci-fi or action buffs) even if you haven't seen the TV series, however, if you rent/borrow/buy the TV series first, then the movie will be so much more enjoyable. Then again, I really want this movie to continue to do well at the box office and I don't want you all to wait for it to come out on dvd. So, it's your call.

Favorite line (you all will know what I mean!):

mal: "did you hear us fight once...?"

crew: "no"

mal: "trap."

Friday, October 07, 2005

Cardinals discuss Communion on the hand

Communion on the hand versus on the tongue gets attention at synod

I personally receive Communion in the hand because that is how I was taught. I never even knew that some considered it irreverant until a few years ago. I tried to make the transition to the tongue, but found myself so distracted about actually making the change while standing in line and receiving the host, that I was no longer paying attention the the meaning of the Sacrament. So I switched back to the hand.

I admit that it really, really bothers me when people act like receiving Communion in the hand is sinful, especially since the Church has given us permission to do so and therefore no sin is actually being committed. I can totally understand people having preferences, because we all have those. However, some just think that anyone who receives in the hand is desecrating Our Lord. Many site the quote (sorry, no source for this) from Mother Teresa who said the saddest thing she sees in modern times is people receiving Communion on the hand. My husband has also always been bothered by this judgment and retorts with St. Cyril's quote about how we make our hand like a throne for our Lord when receiving on the hand. I was, admittedly, a bit satisfied to also see this brought up in the Cardinals' discussion.

A different perspective was offered by Melkite Patriarch Gregoire III Laham of Damascus, Syria. He quoted the fourth-century writings of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, who described how Communion should be received in the hand as if the hand were a throne for the Lord. Communion in the hand was the common practice in the early centuries of the church.

I did notice that there was reference made to the man who took Communion from a Papal Mass and tried to sell it on eBay. However, I always thought that at the Vatican, Communion in the hand was not allowed, so the argument that he was able to take the host that way seems to not hold here, right? Maybe I am mistaken. However, I do feel that if someone is going to steal the Eucharist, they will do so either by hand or mouth. They will just keep the host in their mouth until out of sight. I think more catechesis needs to be done all-around to stop people from trying to take hosts home for their own private worship or as memorabilia. For those taking hosts for hostile purposes, I think more prayer is certainly needed.

I honestly wish a world-wide policy would be made to stop the debate and confusion among the faithful. I would have no problem receiving Communion on the tongue and changing my habits out of obedience. However, I do not think this will happen anytime soon and that the statement Cardinal Arinze made will be the final word on the matter, and that the debate will continue for years to come.

Cardinal Francis Arinze, who heads the Vatican's worship congregation, responded by saying that arguments could be made for both Communion practices, in the hand and on the tongue, according to information released by the Vatican. Ultimately, he said, it's up to bishops' conferences to decide what is best in each country, but he added that Communion in the hand needs better catechesis.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Slow going with "Julie"

For those who pay attention to my sidebar, on my current reading list is Julie of the Wolves. This is the latest selection of the book club my sister-in-law and I began for ourselves and our children (well, mine are still a few years too young, ,but we are two of three adults in the club; the other members are ranging from age 7-13). By the way, our official name for our book-club is "Story Seekers".

I'm having a hard time getting though "Julie". I, for one, have a very hard time reading books where there is primarily only one character in the entire book (and no, I am not counting the wolves). I also have a hard time reading books with little-to-no dialogue (I also struggled through Hatchet, our last selection). I think the survival storyline is interesting, but I have to admit that it isn't high on my list of storylines I dive into (unlike my favorite genre: mystery).

However, I will finish, because I do recognize its value, and I don't want to be the aunt-who-never-finishes-a-book.

Why can't we be yard-people?

If I had my digital camera figured out, I'd show you my yard. That alone will tell you that our yard isn't a complete disaster, the fact I'd show it to you. But it isn't the perfectly trimmed and pruned yard I've always wanted.

Now, this is no fault of my Gorgeous Redhead's. I am not going to nag a man who works 40 hours plus, works every other weekend, goes to school full time, runs an RCIA program, and has 100 hours of practicum internship work to do by December to go out on his few days off that he gets and bust his rump pulling weeds and pruning bushes.

However, my attempts at being an understanding wife would be so much easier if we didn't live on the mow-the-lawn-once-a-week street.

Of course I don't feel too too guilty, beause there was literally a day when I was driving my kids to school and I counted (not exaggerating) SIX gardening trucks up and down the street at the same time. And, I know for a fact others on our street have guys come to do their yards on other days of the week than the day the 6 trucks were spotted. So I feel about the same way as I did when I found out that the two ladies with the cleanest, most beautiful houses I had ever seen had cleaning ladies come in once a week. We just don't have room in the budget to actually have people do the grunt work for us.

I say grunt work because really, my G.R. doesn't mind mowing lawns, raking leaves, pruning trees, etc. What he and I hate are weeds, and stray grass, and bugs, and stuff like that. The grunt work. I mean, anyone can push a lawnmower. I even did that a few weeks ago in my third trimester, which GR did NOT like because he says it makes him look bad when the pregnant lady has to go out there to push the big, bad lawnmower while the guy in the suit drives away to work.

But there are some people whose yards just look...immaculate. And not the gardener-for-hire immaculate. It's the "I've got up every morning at 6 a.m. and bought every spray known to man to protect my plants (and even my sidewalk cracks) and live at Home Depot looking for the latest way to make my yard look even more like heaven-on-earth" immaculate. I would LOVE to be like those people.

I really wish I wasn't the one who was laid up on Saturdays making big-breakfasts and coffee and lounging in my PJ's watching 80's movies (even when not pregnant). I want to be the one with the hat, gloves, and galoshes in my yard making it beautiful.


I guess I'd be asking for a total revamping of my personality though. And G.R.'s.

But as soon as I figure out my digital camera, I'll show you all a picture of my yard. Then you tell me if I'd be the neighbor whose house you'd drive by and groan, "Ugh, I wish they'd do something about that yard!"

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Don't call yourselves "Catholic" dissidents, please.

I am not a subscriber, so I didn't get to read this full story.

Oct. 04 ( - The international dissident movement "We Are Church" is issuing an appeal to the Catholic bishops, gathered in Rome for the Synod, to confront the "real" problems relating to the Eucharist.

At an October 4 press conference in Rome, the dissident group called for reconsideration of the key Catholic doctrine on the transubstantiation, an end to the "hierarchical monopoly" on the sacraments, and approval of shared communion with other Christian denominations.

My question to these "Catholic" dissidents: WHY ARE YOU CATHOLIC? If you don't believe the Eucharist is the source and summit of the faith, how in the world can you call yourselves Catholic? It is as if I claimed to be a Marxist but didn't believe in communism, or if I considered myself an athiest but believed in God! Come on people! Sheesh.

And I love that term, "hierarchical monopoly" on the sacraments.... I know, it's astounding that anyone would expect one to be CATHOLIC in order to receive Sacraments in the CATHOLIC Church. I don't go to France and then complain about the "hierarchical monopoly" on French citizenship, do I? And I just don't see many Protestants beating down our doors chanting, "Give us Confession! Give us Confession!" Or if I do, it is usually the parish's RCIA candidates.