Norwegian Terrorist, Anders Breivik, ridiculed Pope Benedict XVI’s “silly Christian” treatment of Islamic threat

July 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

New details are emerging about the socio-politico-religious ideology that motivated mass-murderer Anders Breivik to slaughter upwards of 80 people, most of them teenagers, in last week’s attacks in Oslo and on nearby Utøya Island. Among them are the fact that he had denounced Pope Benedict for his peaceful approach to Islam’s restive and growing presence in the heart of Europe. EWTN reports that:

An extensive online book written by Anders Behring Breivik criticizes Pope Benedict XVI for defending the rights of immigrants, especially Muslims.

In his manifesto, “2083—European Declaration of Independence,” Breivik calls Benedict XVI “God’s Rottweiler,” and accuses him of “embodying elements of the sensible and the silly Christian ways of treating the Islamic threat.

“Although Benedict has stressed the need for ‘reciprocity’ in Christian-Muslim relations and urged Islamic countries to ensure religious rights for Christian migrants, he has also said that Christians should continue welcoming Muslim immigrants with open arms,” Brievik wrote. . . . (continue reading)

Michael O’Brien responds to his critics regarding Harry Potter

July 27, 2011 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

Among the odd things I’ve seen in the Catholic world, one of the oddest is the capacity of some Catholic Harry Potter fans to go zero-to-60 on the manic meter instantaneously at the mere suggestion that there might be something spiritually deleterious about HP. Someone who’s done more than suggest this is Canadian Catholic author and artist, Michael O’Brien, earning himself some, at times raucous, push-back from those who disagree with him.

I’ve known Michael personally for about 16 years now and know him to be astute, prudent, humble, deeply intellectual and, to be frank, a sage in the area of Catholic spirituality. In my estimation, his critique of HP, while unpopular with most HP-lovers, is bang-on-the-bullseye accurate. (Some years ago, he and I recorded a two-hour discussion of the problems involved with the HP phenomenon that showcases his lucid and compelling reasoning on this issue.)

My guess is that because Michael’s critique of HP is more sophisticated and substantive than many of the arguments I have seen mounted in defense of it, he gets under some people’s skin when they realize they can’t invalidate his analysis. One also notices at times a sharp contrast between the calm restraint which characterizes Michael’s presentation and the asperity of some who attempt to rebut him.  In any case, as reported the other day by, Michael O’Brien has recently taken the occasion to rebut the rebutters.

The July 18 LifeSiteNews story, Harry Potter expert criticizes Vatican newspaper’s glowing review of Deathly Hallows 2, was widely read and elicited many comments both pro and con, especially regarding the statements of Potter critic Michael O’Brien. In response to this, LifeSiteNews conducted an additional, in-depth interview with O’Brien to allow him to expand on his views and respond to some of the many comments readers posted beneath the story.

In the interview O’Brien explains why he became involved in critiquing the Harry Potter series, his views on why the series has become so popular and the astonishing and at times hateful criticism that Potter critics have received, such as O’Brien himself being called “the anti-Christ” by a Potter fan. O’Brien also answers the question of what he means by “the evil means” used by Harry to defeat Voldemort, why Harry Potter is not just “entertainment”, why it is appropriate for LifeSiteNews to cover the Harry Potter issue, how Rowling’s pro-homosexual views may be reflected in the novels, and more . . . (continue reading)

UPDATE: See also’s July, 2005, article: Pope Opposes Harry Potter Novels – Signed Letters from Cardinal Ratzinger Now Online


Poor, poor Jimmy Eggkin

July 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

Alas, poor Jimmy! I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times, and now how abhorr’d in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it.

Sometimes, getting your own way isn’t a good thing

July 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

I can think of more than a few times in my own life when I pushed to get my own way in some situation or other. Sometimes, if it’s for a good and necessary cause, doing so can be legitimate. But sometimes, as you’ll see in this bizarre video, forcing things to get your way can be a really bad idea — especially when having just a little patience will get you what you want anyway. (Memo to self: Have patience.)

World Youth Day Madrid 2011 officially disavows any connection with Michael Voris

July 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

This is quite unusual, perhaps even unprecedented, in the 27-year history of the Vatican-sponsored World Youth Day (WYD) events held every three years in a major city around the world. The official WYD website contains the following announcement in which it takes the remarkable step of publicly spurning American Catholic Internet commentator Michael Voris

It has come to our attention that Michael Voris, a US based media producer, is scheduled to offer independent catechesis sessions out of a hotel in Madrid during World Youth Day 2011. There has been some confusion regarding his affiliation with World Youth Day. Michael Voris, the clergy and the laity associated with him, and their media efforts “Real Catholic TV” and “No Bull in Madrid” are not in any way recognized or approved by World Youth Day 2011.

Catechesis at World Youth Day is offered by Bishops of the Catholic Church in union with Pope Benedict XVI, who has invited the young people of the world to join him in Madrid for this celebration of faith and life. The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Laity selects and invites Bishops, and only Bishops, from around the world to conduct Catechesis sessions at WYD in various languages. 

Participants in the World Youth Day 2011 Cultural Program must be recognized and endorsed by the Bishops and Episcopal Conferences of their respective countries. Participants were selected for Cultural program by the World Youth Day organization in close collaboration with the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Those groups participating in the World Youth Day 2011 Cultural Festival have been selected because, through their various activities, they promote the authentic teaching and unity of the Roman Catholic Church and have been endorsed by their local Bishop and Espiscopal conference. Michael Voris, “Real Catholic TV” and “No Bull in Madrid” did not receive such endorsement from their Bishop or Episcopal Conference.

Michael Voris, “Real Catholic TV” and the program “No Bull in Madrid” are not accredited to or recognized by World Youth Day 2011. . . . (continue reading)

How to bring your friends into (or back into) the Catholic Church

July 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

I had an opportunity this spring to go into the studio with my dear friend Martha Fernández-Sardina (the director of evangelization for the Archdiocese of San Antonio) to discuss a series of apologetics subjects. In this first of four half-hour discussions Martha and I discuss some of the key aspects of what’s necessary to help bring fallen-away Catholics back to the Church. I hope you find it helpful.

Dude on a flaming scooter

July 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

What’s your read on this? For example, what’s going through the scooter guy’s mind as he burns rubber and peels out of the parking lot, leaving everyone in his dust? What do you think his spectators are thinking and saying as they watch him? Personally, I’d say that the expression on the guy with the black jacket  answers the second question pretty well.

Death by heat: here’s how it happens

July 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

As you know, those of us in the Mid-West and on the East Coast have been enduring some sweltering, record-setting high temperatures the last few days. Not surprisingly, the phenomenon of brutally hot weather has been on my mind today because I’m seeing headlines about how all this heat has been killing people. The death toll thus far stands at 13, but if the scorching weather continues (please, Lord, no), that number will rise a good deal. But how exactly, you may have asked yourself (as I have) does heat actually kill someone? Well, it’s quick but not painless.

The University of Maryland Medical Center’s website explains the process and also lists symptoms and the recommended treatment:

Heat exhaustion occurs when your body gets too hot. The hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls thirst and hunger, also controls the body’s core temperature. Normally, the body cools itself by sweating. But if you are exposed to high temperatures for a long time (working outdoors in the summer, for example) and don’t replace the fluids you lose, the body systems that regulate temperature become overwhelmed. As a result, your body produces more heat than it can release. Heat exhaustion requires immediate attention because it can progress to heat stroke, a life threatening illness.

A 1999 CNN report reminds that “Heatstroke Can Sneak Up and Kill”:

If the symptoms are ignored, the victim can develop potentially lethal heat stroke. The warning signs include an extremely high body temperature 103 degrees or higher hot and dry skin; a rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea or vomiting; confusion and unconsciousness. Heat stroke can happen within 10 to 15 minutes of the first symptoms. If victims don’t get emergency treatment immediately to bring down their body temperature, they can suffer permanent damage to their internal organs or even die.

And the CDC website offers a comprehensive overview of not only the mechanics of death by heat and how to avoid such a fate, but it also breaks out the data showing how many people succumbed to heatstroke (during weather just like what we have right now) between 1999 and 2003.

The number? 3,442.

That’s not a club you want to join. So, stay cool. And if you can’t stay cool, if you detect any of the symptoms mentioned in these articles, get thee to a doctor immediately. Your life might well depend on it.


Among the many things on my to-do list

July 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

… is trying to find a way to get this lunch wagon to stop by my place of work very, very often. Daily, if possible. Oh wait. I work at home. No matter. I want that.

Here’s one of the more unusual calls to my “Open Line” radio show

July 18, 2011 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

Hosting the Thursday edition of EWTN’s “Open Line” broadcast (3-5 pm ET) is truly a highlight of my week. For two hours, I get to converse with callers from all over the world who call in with their questions and comments about the Catholic Faith. Virtually all the calls are interesting and stimulating though, occasionally, some can be rather peculiar, like this one you’re about hear from a man going by the pseudonym “Judas.” The bottom line is, he disapproves of the “fancy” clothing worn by the pope. Our conversation about that subject was . . . interesting. Take a listen and kindly let me know what you think.

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