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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Respectable People

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Request (Not Parody this Time)

Dear Friend,

I have been mulling over writing this email for quite some time. I am pretty sure God wants me to write it, but am not sure just what form it should take. I have periodically tried to make my financial needs known to the wider community in one form or another, and many of you have been just so generous.

That you have received this is a result of one of more different factors. It should not be taken as a sign that I have placed any expectations on you whatsoever. If you feel it does, please simply press ‘delete,’ and get on with your day knowing of my profound affection and respect for you.

This email may have come to you in the hope that you will send it on to someone else who might be able to do something concrete about it.

As you know, I have been working hard, trying to get the Catholic Review of Books running, profitable and doing good things for about two years now. I enjoy it so much and many people have told me how much they like it or have benefitted from it. The Review is just one part of the stuff I do, trying to put my theological education and other talents to good use for sake of the Kingdom.

I write. That’s what I am good at, and what I feel God is calling me to do. More than twenty years ago when I became Catholic I was convinced that I could do things for God that mattered. I could write a book about the disappointments I have encountered along the way – but that’s life: young people are too idealistic and I was the worst case of that!

I want to write to bring people to Christ. To convince them that Christ is the Saviour of the Universe and that Catholic life is the path to happiness and to console and guide them as they journey closer to God. Someone should do this, and since I have the PhD and the other requisite skills, why not me?

I have been working very hard to write some books. Some are nearing completion. But I am in serious debt and have no income. I have always spread my time between this apostolic writing work and work that pays the bills. I have no work that pays the bills right now and the little I had has not been enough to keep us out of very grave credit card debt, etc.

Anyway, I wanted to pass this on to you to let you know what’s going on with me. Honestly, common sense says let the Review go, stop all my writing work and get a job in road construction. Common sense says that, and there is nothing wrong with that per se. And yet, why take someone with my skills and zeal out of commission in this way? People want to learn their Faith so as to be better evangelists. Well, I know it better than most and I have the skills to teach it. You know how bad the economy is for people like me, though.

If you believe, as I do, that I should be spreading the Faith rather than anything else, I would ask you to consider whether you or somebody else you know would be able to help support me as I try to move toward economic stability – whether that includes books that pay the bills and/or a teaching position, in addition to my work publishing the Review.

I know that some people in my position ask for monthly commitments to support their apostolic work. Obviously, it doesn’t matter to me in what form your financial support might come. My family and I are able to live very inexpensively in Barry’s Bay, and so that’s great. But right now we are in a very bad way. I hope some day soon this will change and I will no longer need to rely on others’ help.

So, thanks for considering my request. I know that God will greatly bless your kindness, whether that comes by prayer and/or by your financial support. Please pray that I will always be useful for the Kingdom.

I love the Catholic Review of Books. I am happy with it the way it is, but I also want it to become so much more than it is. I want to provide more and more good information to Catholic families about the world of books. This would mean more time to research and read, more time to run the website – more money to fund the website, more money to advertise and pay writers (at this point no writers are paid!).

I am just about to finish up one of the books I have been working on, but writing takes time and time is money, as you know! Please pray that I write something truly good...

I am considering opening up a Go Fund Me initiative. But since friends of ours have been soliciting for financial support for a very important and expensive surgery, I have waited for that to end – which it has recently, and successfully, I am happy to say! But as things are, you can make a donation through the Catholic Review of Books PayPal service. Or you can send a cheque either to me or to the Review.

And please pass this email on to anyone you might think able to help us at this time,

You have no idea how grateful I am to all of my friends and benefactors and how much I pray for you,

In Christ,

Colin Kerr
The Catholic Review of Books

Box 207
Barry’s Bay, Ontario
K0J 1B0


Friday, October 16, 2015

Kasper Wins Bet

By: SCCB Roman Correspondent, Ashley Aaronson

Vatican City - Church-insiders were surprised to find out that two cardinals who sit on the opposite ends of the ideological spectrum had a secret bet going.

Cardinals Burke and Kasper had entered into a wager the day Pope Francis announced that he was going to hold a synod on the family, adding that "no opinion was off the table."

Kasper said, "When I heard that I looked over at Burke and I am sure he saw me smirking. Burke just kind of rolled his eyes and looked away. Then later, in the Vatican lunch room, where I was sitting with my buddies in the cool section, Burke walked by, and I stepped on his cappa magna. He looked at me with irritation and then I said to him, 'So free and open, eh? No opinion off the table, eh?'"

"It was a figure of speech. I believe the Holy Father used the phrase 'in God' too," Burke replied, "Now would you mind getting off my cappa? My gazpacho is getting warm."

"Then I said to Burke, 'How long before he regrets having said that?' Truth be told, I know exactly how Burke thinks. Openly he is all high-churchy, but inside he is even more cynical than I am."

"Well, if you have anything to do with it, I am sure it will be very soon."

"I bet that he will regret it during the Synod itself."

"I think it will be earlier than that."

"It's a wager then. If he states unequivocally that he regrets having said that before the synod you win, and I will publicly admit that I am a phony-bologna cardinal. If it is not until the synod, then you have to stop wearing this bridal veil."

"What if he doesn't say it at all?"

"At this point Cardinal Marx chimed in. 'If he doesn't say it at all, both of you have to come to my birthday party,' he said."

"Of course, I was right. The Holy Father was heard to mutter to Parolin, "Do these cardinals have to say everything they think! Frankly, I too am amazed he held out this long."

It was said that the real loser of the bet was Cardinal Marx.

Thursday, October 8, 2015



Scholar: Grandson's First Homily 'Cute'

By: SCCB Staff
New priest, Jeff Gilligan (left).
Goderich, Canada - Twenty-five year old newly-ordained priest, Jeff Gilligan, celebrated his first 'solo' mass last Saturday for a group of well-wishers, including several members of his family.

The mass was held at Fr. Jeff's childhood parish, St. Dymphna, in the Borough, which is also the parish of his grandfather, Prof. Reginald Impressivo, world-renowned theologian.

Dr. Impressivo is the author of the highly acclaimed Encyclopedia of the History of the Catholic Church, which he wrote single-handedly, a nearly seven-thousand page tome, referred to as the definitive source on the subject, which has been quoted endlessly by scholars, and which Pope Benedict XVI himself called "an intellectual marvel that renders all of my work utterly obsolete. Oh well!"

When asked about his grandson's homily and how it stacked up in light of another bench-mark work of his, his three-volume, Theories of Homiletics: From the 9th century BC to Yesterday Afternoon, Impressivo said, "Cute."

"No, no, really, it's great how I get to sit here and listen to a guy who wouldn't qualify to get into my graduate courses talk for ten minutes about these things that I have never, ever thought about before."

"I especially like the part when he said that togetherness is better than apart-ness - he said that right? Or, maybe my favorite part was when he said that everything you need to learn about life you can learn in the seminary. Or, when he contrasted the stern views he had when he was young with the more mature views he has now."
Prof. Impressivo correcting errors in a colleague's  Dead
Sea Scroll translation, from 1956. (SCCB file photo)

At this point his wife added, "Oh, that's just professor talk for saying how proud he is of his grandson - Father Jeff! My husband can be a bit cranky at times, ever since that bout of torture for confessing Christ before those Islamic terrorist all those years ago. And, you know, he is kept up most nights fighting Satan - it makes a horrible din, you know. But you can be sure that both my husband and I were deeply moved by our grandson's, Jeffey's, homily."

When asked if this happy event would have any lasting impact for him, Impressivo said that while listening to the homily he had "actually been inspired to write a new book. I am thinking the title will be something like, Meritocracy: When Evangelization Worked in the History of the Church."

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Old Married Guy Punches Newly Married Guy

By: Marleen Tuffly, SCCB Criminal Reporter Division

Jim Douglas
Stuebenville, United States - A local man is up on charges after assaulting newly married and self-described Theology of the Body enthusiast.

Jordan Meek was treated for minor injuries by the Franciscan University nursing staff after the scuffle, police reported. The man who assaulted him, Jim Douglas, has confessed to punching Mr. Meek and is determined to do whatever it takes to make up for his mistake, which he said, "Just came out of nowhere, like some kind of primal rage."

Meeks was known to Douglas as "the guy who walks by his house every morning, singing Salve Regina at the top of his lungs."

Meeks was on his way to the university where he is doing a Masters degree in theology.

"I usually just nod to him when I see him," said Douglas, "but that day he just kept going on and on about the beauty of the Theology of the Body."

Assault victim, Jordan Meeks, hugs
SCCB journalist, Marleen Tuffly
"I just asked him how he was! I was trying to get into my car to go to work when he started in on it. A twenty-minute long barrage about the importance of spouses affirming each other's uniqueness. Listen, I have been married for twenty-three years. I am a devout Catholic. I have seven children. I was not in the mood to hear all about the 'glories of the Domestic Church' from a pimply-faced teenager who has literally been married for three months! He was just launching into a discussion of the 'feminine genius' when I lost it."

SCCB asked Mr. Meeks if he had any hard feelings towards his assaulter. "No, not at all! I think in time he will learn all that life has in store for him, as spelled out by St. John Paul the Great. I am sending him a copy of the Theology of the Body, so that should help him. And now I am sending him some prayer-hugs: zapp, zapp! Maybe I should send him some Christopher West CDs and Patrick Coffin's book, Sex Au Naturel? Or is that too much for a beginner to take in?"

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

NFP Thug Life 1

Just once more?

National Evangelization Commission Perplexed

By: SCCB Staff

CCCB Evangelization Commission Opening Ceremony for AGM
Ottawa, Canada - "Failing to reach our goals is not something we are used to at the CCCB, that's for sure." - That was the sentiment shared during the lunch break of the Annual General Meeting of the National Evangelization Commission of the CCCB.

"We spent the morning going over what we might have missed," said Eastern Sector-English-Native representative, Joe Howard, who is also co-co-chair of the Commission for a two-month term.

"Although we tried to be as thorough as possible, we still failed to make as big an impact as we had hoped," said Howard. "Our impression is that not everyone in Canada has yet embraced our message."

"We tried to set up the committee to be as effected as possible, by fairly representing Canadian Catholics: the English/French thing, the native thing, the Chinese thing, the Filipino thing... who did we miss? Our membership was exactly 50-50 on the genders. We had 10% homosexual representation, which reflects our culture perfectly, by the way. We had divorced and remarried Catholics, as well as single people and those who prefer to sleep around. We had young and old, university graduates and high school graduates. 30% of our membership was senior citizens. We had those who worked with same-sex attracted youth. We had AIDS sufferers. We even had a homeless person. We had thirteen refugees on the Commission. One of members was a same-sex attracted, divorced aboriginal socialist in a wheelchair, who worked with AIDS-suffering homeless under-privileged Middle Eastern autoworkers. (We were able to tick off a lot of boxes with him!) I ask again, who did we miss?"

"To be honest," offered one of the other of the thirty-six revolving co-co-chairs, Samantha Sniggles, "I don't think all of our problems had to do with our membership. I think we did a good job of getting an accurate cross-section of Catholics. Rather, I think it has to do with our message. I think we can do better at appearing more open. Take our 2015 motto, for example, which is "Together No One is Judged for Anything Ever." I wonder, does it leave out people with Split-Personality Disorder. Sorry, that's its old name. What I mean is, people blessed with Multi-Personality Enhancement Giftedness. Did we exclude those people by using the word 'one'?"
Cardinal Collins: "I just... I just..."

Gerty Durkheim, past-co-co-chair from the May-June term, the German-Croatian English-speaking non-Native Goose Bay, Labrador Region representative, said, "We spent two hours discussing the ways in which our differences make us special. I think if we just spend a little more time doing that, we will get to where Mother Gaia wants us to be."

When SCCB asked what he thought about the meeting so far and what hope he thought there was for the CCCB Commission to make some real headway in evengelizing Canada, special episcopal representative to the Commission, Cardinal Thomas Collins, was clearly deeply moved. "Please, I just... I just... Please give me a few minutes to clear my head and drink this coffee before I have to go back in there. O dear Lord!"

Monday, October 5, 2015

People Tired of Bishops Griping

By: SCCB Staff

"People are so annoying," Bishop Lefleuf told SCCB.

Bracebridge, Canada - Quebec bishops say they are tired of being described as overly negative and completely resistant to the spirit of the mainstream culture. They are meeting to discuss how to do something about this.

"Sunday after Sunday the faithful are hit with depressing homilies decrying the 'evils' of abortion and contraception," said Quebec City church-goer, Etienne Rubarb. "Like, just last Sunday, our pastor had to read a letter by the bishop, talking about the heresies besetting the Church today. It must have quoted Pius X like fourteen times."

"I don't know," opined Suzette Oderifique, "I seem to remember our priest talking about the environment the other week. Oh, no, that's not right - he was talking about the disgusting environment of sexual depravity that pervades our godless culture."

"It would be nice to hear something about mercy, God's love, and being 'open' once in a while, you know," said a recent convert to the Faith, Richard Visine. "I mean, sure, I am a convert to Catholicism, but that doesn't mean that I don't want to hear about other religions on Sunday, or about how you don't need God to be good. I want to hear those things at mass."

Quebec priest, Pere Richard Mumberline, said, "Honestly, I try not to just preach about the necessity of confession, that the Church is the sole means of salvation and that any sexual sin will condemn one to the pain of hell for eternity, but I do seem to end up there quite often in my homilies. I mean, the people are just so utterly dead inside. What else should I say to them?"

Msgr. LeFleuf agreed with Mumberline's assessment of the Quebec people. "Yes, quite dead inside. All the French bishops say so."

SCCB asked Ms. Oderifique if she thought the Quebec bishops would be able to cast off their negative reputation. "Probably not any time soon," she said. "It is election time, you know. Imagine a Federal election without the bishops telling us not to vote for the satanic, pro-abortion NDP! Can you even imagine it! Can you imagine them not giving us hard-and-fast advice about how to vote as a Catholic? Can you imagine them ever letting us think that abortion and nationally-funded daycare were morally equivalent issues? Can you imagine them leaving us to drift in a sea of ambiguity? Now that's laughable!"