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Saturday, April 30, 2005

posted by infraternam meam @ 10:50 PM   5 comments

posted by infraternam meam @ 10:50 PM   0 comments

posted by infraternam meam @ 10:48 PM   0 comments
BERLIN -- More than 1,000 toads have puffed up and exploded in a Hamburg pond in recent weeks, and scientists have no explanation.

The pond's water and body parts of the toads have been tested, but scientists have been unable to find bacteria or a virus that would cause the toads to swell up and pop, said Janne Kloepper of the Hamburg based Institute for Hygiene and the Environment.

"It's absolutely strange," she said Wednesday. "We have a really unique story here in Hamburg. This phenomenon really does'nt seem to have appeared anywhere before".

The toads at a pond in the upscale neighborhood of Altona have been blowing up since the beginning of the month, filling up like balloons until their stomach burst.

"It looks like a scene from a science fiction movie," Werner Schmolnik, the head of a local enviroment group, told the Hamburg Abendblatt daily. "The bloated animals suffer for several minutes before they finally die".

Biologists have come up with several theories, but Kloepper said most have been ruled out.

She said test will continue. In the meantime, city residents have been warned to stay away from the pond.

(Asoociated Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 2:19 AM   0 comments
Friday, April 29, 2005
APPLETON, Wis.--The high school teacher who lost her Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin title after she was seen standing in a newspaper photo has been given a new honor -- Miss disAbility International.

Janeal Lee is the charter title holder of a new competition heing launched by the World Association of Persons With Disabilities in response to the furor over the Ms. Wheelchair dispute, said George Kerford, the group's chairman emeritus.

"We are focusing on abilities", he said Wednesday.

Lee, who has progressive muscular dystrophy, says she can walk for short period of time.

(Associated Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 10:00 AM   0 comments










(from the makers of TYLENOL PM)
posted by infraternam meam @ 2:09 AM   0 comments
MADISON, Wis. --An elderly woman police found in the freezer of a man claiming to be her son appears to have died of natural causes, just as he claims according to preliminary autopsy reports released Wednesday.

Investigators found the body in a chest style freezer in the basement of the house 52 year old Philip Schuth, who shared with his mother, Edith ,in the town of Campbell after an all night standoff that ended there Saturday. Police surrounded the house, located on French Island near La Crosse after Schuth allegedly shot a man.

Body not positively identified.

Schuth told investigators his mother died naturally nearly five years ago, but put her in the freezer because he was afraid he'd be blamed for her death anbd he wanted to keep collecting her Social Security, according to documents filed in court this week.

The woman appears to have died from kidney and heart failure brought on by high blood pressure.

Investigators have not positively identified the body. Weissenberger said, but are working under the assumption it is Edith Schuth.

"We're going on ...what the son is telling us," Weissenberger said.

(Associated Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 2:01 AM   0 comments
BOSTON -- A man whose truck was stolen with his 11 week old puppy inside said the thief threatened to kill his pet unless he paid a $500 ransom. Instead, the dog owner brought the police along to the planned rendesvous and a suspect was arrested.

Timothy Connors, 30, left the keys in his pickup truck, with the dog inside, when he stepped into a convenience store Monday. That's when Michael Cyr allegedly stole the truck and Dakota, a two pound Pomeranian Maltese mix.

After discovering the trusk was gone, Connors called his cell phone, which he had left inside the vehicle. He said Cyr answered and demanded $500, threatening to kill the dog if police got involved.

Made $43 look $500

Connors eventually agreed to meet the suspect at Boston's Downtown crossing shopping district. He put $43 in an envelope -- padding it with napkins to make it look like $500.

Cyr did not count the money before handing over the keys to the truck and fleeing, authorities said. Police, who had staked out the area, arrested him nearby after a struggle.

(Associared Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:52 AM   0 comments
Radar showed what appeared to be a plane near White House.

WASHINGTON -- President Bush was rushed to a secure underground White House bunker and Vice President Dick Chenney was whisked outside the compound Wednesday because of a "radar anomaly" -- perhaps a flock of birds or pocket of rain -- that was mistaken for a plane flying in restricted airspace.

The late-morning scare, apparently the first time Bush had been taken to the secure area since Sept. 11, 2001, was determined within minutes to be a false alarm, and business qucikly returned to normal.

Bush was in the Oval Office when the radar picked up something. Helicopters were sent to check it out and found there was no errant aircraft, said Brian Roehrkasse, a Homeland Security Department spokesman.

Tourists hustled away--Before that could be confirmed though, the Secret Service leapt into action.

They moved the president and vice president out of danger, Officers toting shotguns raced around the compound taking up positions. A surface to air missle battery recently installed on the roof of a nearby building was raised to fire position. Some White House staff members were evacuated from the West Wing.Tour group were hustled out of the executive mansion and a park across the street from the White House was cleared.

Some parts of the compound, such as the area where the press is housed, were not notified of the threat or moved.

(Associated Press by: Jennifer Loven)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:41 AM   0 comments
Thursday, April 28, 2005
If you think video games are dangerous, consider the saga of Bobby Fischer.

Fischer put Iceland on the map for the first time since the Vikings happened by. And Iceland put Fischer on the map, providing the venue for the greatest triumph, the 1972 world chess championship. That was before he fell off a psychic cliff.

Three decades later, the figutive ex-champion, sought by U.S. authorities for violating U.N. sanctions on Yugoslavia (in 1992 he played a high profile rematch with Boris Spassky in Belgrade), is whisked out of a Japanese jail where he was awaiting extradition and offered shelter in Reykjavik. No one is too upset about this arrangmeent because he's clearly a sick man. His insane rants about Jews and America, his choice of a squalid, furtive life by man who could have lived in princely admiration, his paranoia -- he had the fillings in his teeth removed because "if somebody took a filing out and put in an electronic device, he could influence your thinking" -- evoke pity and puzzlement.

Fischer is the poster boy for the mad chess genius, a species with a pedigree going back at least to Paul Morphy, who after his triumphal 1858-59 tour of Europe returned to the U.S. abruptly quit the game and is said to have wandered the streets of New Orleans talking to himself. Others have verged more on the edge of eccentricity. The great Wilhelm Steintz claimed to have played against God, given him an extra pawn and won. Neither player left a record of the game.

Why such proximity between genius and madness in chess? There are three possible explanations. ONE, is that chess is a monomania. You study it intensively day and night from childhpd if you are goin to rise to the ranks of the greats, and that kind of singular focus constricts your reality and makes you more vulnerable to distortions of it. "A chess genius", wrote George Steiner, "is a human being who focus vast, little understood mental gifts and labors on an ultimately trivial human enterprise. Almost inevitably, this focus produces pathological symptoms of nervous stress and unreality". Plausible, perhaps, but there are lots of folks who are monomaniacal in other "trivial" spheres and who come out psychologically intact. Tiger woods was raised from infancy to be a great golfer and is not just intact but graceful and charming. The ranks of great golfers, swimmers and Dominican shortstops are not more noticeably skewed ot the deranged that the general population.

Well, then, this must be monomania of a certains sat. Chess is a particularly enclosed, self-referential activity. It's not just that it lacks the fresh air of sport, but that it lacks connections to the real world outside -- a tether to reality enjoyed by the monomaniacal students of other things, say volcanic ash or the mating habits of the tsetse fly. As Stefan Zweig put it in his classic novella The Royal Game, chess is "thought that leads nowhere, mathemactics that add up to nothing, art without an end product, architecture without substances".

But chess has a third -- and unique-- characteristics that is particularly fatal. It is not just monomaniacal and abstract, but its arena is a playing field on which the other guy really is after you. The struggle of the game is constant struggle against an adversary who, by whatever means of deception and disguise, is entirely, relentlessly, unfailingly dedicated to your destruction. It is only a board, but it is a field of dreams for paranoia.

Now I'm not sure I like this line of reasoning because it means that I, who have spent countless hours in public parks, chess clubs and my library at home fighting for my (king's) life, would be stark raving mad by now. I suspect that I am not. I like to tell myself that I am in pretty sane company. The game certainly has its pantheon of upstading citizens., While ambassador to France, Benjamin Franklin preferred to eschew the Paris opera for chess at the Cafe de la Regence. (Napoleon played, although to judge by one of his games, a diagrammed and illustraded copy of which was a fine player and renmowned composer or chess problems. And the sanest man I know, Natan Shararansky, is a chess master who once played Garry Kasparove to draw and defeats me with distressing ease.

But then there is Fischer,the fearsome counterexample, now pathetically sheltered in Iceland, the only place that appreciates his genius enough to take pity on his madness. So, Mama, should you let your baby grow up to be a chess champion? tough question. In his novel The Defense, Nabokov, who loved the game as much as I do, has the hero, the chess master Luzhin, go mad when he is struck by the realization of the "full horror and abyssmal depths of chess".

A melodramatic, perhaps. It won't happen to your boy playing blitz in Washington Square Park.

I think.

(ESSAY by: Charles Krauthammer from TIMEMAG)
posted by infraternam meam @ 12:10 PM   0 comments
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
The Pope's dogma is a circular system that's immune to reasoned query.

HE IS INTELLECTUAL OPPOSED TO QUESTIONING DOCTRINE. He is a shepherd with scant pastoral experience. He is a creature of the 20th century deeply opposed to the modern world. In these seeming contradictions, you can begin to see the contous of one of the most unusual,gifted men to become pope.

For the young Joseph Ratzinger, struggling out of the moral abyss of Nazi, Bavaria, St. Augustine was guiding light. "Augustine has kept me company for more than 20 years", Pope Benedict XVI once wrote. One of Augustine's key arguments was that human beings were so profoundly flawed they could'nt begin to figure out the meaning of life on their own. They needed something transcendent to bring them up from their knees. That was the message of the New Testament, the promise of Christ. It was, in Ratzinger's words, "a matter of announcing to man the unthinkable, novel, free Act of God, something which cannot be drawn up out of the mental depths of man, because it announces God's unreckoning, gracious decision". What decision? To save humankind from itself.

For the new Pope, faith is a gift, not an acquisition. In Christianity, he once wrote, mankind comes to itself "not through what he does but through what he accepts." The Christian identity is not made or debated or thought through. It is "received". Because it is received, it cannot be altered. "Christianity is not 'our'work". Benedict told Italian journalist Vittorio Messori in the 1980's. "It is revelation; it is a message that has been consigned to us, and we have no right to reconstruct it as we like or chose."

Alas, the Gospels donot tell us everything. Jesus never mentions, say, abortion, homosexuality, reproductive technologies or a celibate priesthood, to name just a few of the issues confronting the Roman Catholic Church. How do we know what is "revealed" about them? According to Benedict XVI, only the church hierarchy decides that, with the Pope as the ultimate authority. Because these truths are simply received from God and are therefore non negotiable, don't bother asking any questions. Faith, Benedict once wrote, comes "not from reflecting (as in Philosophy). Faith's essence consists in the re-thinking of what has been heard". No wonder Benedict, in his former role as guardian of Church orthodoxy, silenced so many theologians who had the temerity to reflect.

Benedict has thus been emboldened to make several claims. Take the question of women's role in the church. Their exclusion from the priesthood is not within his power to change, he claims. Women in society? A woman has "roles inscribed in her own biology", he says. And what would those be? Motherhood and virginity, "the two loftest values in less a woman if she is a scientist or journalist or Prime Minsiter? That's what "nature" seems to tell us. What happens when nature suggests that some women are not cut out for motherhood or virginity? Then those women are rebelling against their full potential. What if they live in a free market society that rewards their skills? Then that society undermines the true meaning of being human. What if biology gives us, say, a child with indeterminate gender or a homosexual? Then nature is somehow awry. Gay people are often born homosexual, Benedict has argued. But they are best by an inherent tendency toward an "intrinsic moral evil" and are thus by nature "objectively disordered". A whole class of human beings naturally more disposed to evil than others? Don't ask the obvious questions. Just accept the answers. And if the result is enormous human suffering, as women and gays labor under discrimination, condescension and prejudice? Suffering brings them closer to Christ.

Reading Benedict for a struggling gay Catholic like me is like reading a completely circular, self-enclosed system that is as beautiful at times as it is maddeningly immune to reasoned query. The dogmatism is astonishing. If your conscience demands that you dissent from some teachings, then it is really your conscience. It is sin. And if this cicular dogmatism forces many to leave the church they once thought as a home? So be it. Benedict once wrote of the 18th century church, roiled by the Enlightenment, that it "was a church reduced in size and diminised in social prestige, yet become fruitful from a new interior power, a power that released new formative forces for the individual and for society". That is his vision. If the church withers to a mere shadow of its former self, then that is not failure. It is success. And even in a short papacy, Benecit migth manage it.

(VIEWPOINT by Andrew Sullivan/TimeMag)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:33 AM   0 comments
PHILADELPHIA -- a black man shot a white former co-worker to death on Easter, claiming he did it because he overheard the victim telling a racist joke seven years ago, authorities said MOnday.

Standofrd A. Douglas Jr, 29, was arrested Sunday after a two hour standoff with police. He was charged with murder and jailed without bail.

Douglas allegedly shot William Berkeysheiser, 62, three times in the chest and shoulders on March 27 after he opened the door of his home.

Douglas told investigators he had thought about killing Berkeyheiser ever since he overheard Berkeyheiser tell a joke with racial overtones in 1998, Buck County District Attorney Diane Gibbons said. Douglas refused to recount for detectives the joke that angeredhim, according to court papers.

(Associated Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:27 AM   0 comments
A South African zoo wants a chimpanzee to quit smoking cold turkey.

Keepers say Charlie the chimpanzee picked up the habit from visitors at the Bloemfontein Zoo who sometimes toss him lit cigarettes.

"It looks funny to see a chimp smoking", a zoo spokesman said, but Charlie's trick could cost him his health.

The zoo is asking people to stop tossing cigarettes and contributing to the chimp's habit.

A zoo official says Charlie "acts like a naughty schoolboy" and hides his cigarettes when workers are around.

(Associated Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:21 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Qt said:" Habemus Papam Blogus Updatum:

*** The Pope Blog.. www.thepopeblog.blogspot.com ---- explains why the name Benedict was chosen instead of others from the past.

*** The Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club.. www.ratzingerfanclub.com --- wants you to know it already has Pope Benedict XVI buttons available on its merchandise page, along with its Cardinal Ratzinger T-shirts.

*** People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals... www.peta2.com --- sent a letter within hours asking the new pope to join the campain against "foie gras".

*** Rogers Cadenhead of St. Augustine, Fla., who registered the internet name .. www.benedictxvi.com --- on a hunch, is now running a blog there while seeking abuyer.

*** Anne at blog.org --- offers a recipe for "Eggs Benedict".

(abstracted from QT on the BLOGS E-mail:qt@suntimes.com)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:50 AM   0 comments
Monday, April 25, 2005
*** Abu Sayyaf Group:
A small, brutally violent Muslim separatists group operating in the southern Philippines. It claims responsibility for the bombing of a Manila ferry last year which killed more than 100 people. In 2001, its members are believed to have kidnapped a group of terrorists and Filipinos from the western island of Palawan, including three Americans. An American missionary couple was held for a year before the husband was killed in a rescue attempt. A third American was beheaded. A leader of the kidnappers and the man accused of beheading the American were killed in a failed March jailbreak in metro Manila in which 22 mostly Abu Sayyaf prisoners were killed. On St. Valentine's Day, Abu Sayyaf claims to have set off cell phone triggered bombs in the three cities, killing seven people and injuring more than 100 Philippine officials believe the Abu Sayyaf and the Jemaah Islamiya are jointly training and fund raising.

Estimated strength, 200 to 500.

*** Alex Boncayao Brigade:

A breakaway urban hit squad of the Communist party responsible for more than 100 murders, including the murder in 1989 of U.S. Army Col. James Rowe in Manila, according to U.S. officials.

Approximate strength about 500.

*** Jemaah Islamiya

A southeast Asian based terrorist network with links to al-Qaida. Philippine government believes it may be training on Mindanao. Its stated goal is a state comprising Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Southern Philippines and Southern Thailand. Judged by U.S. governamnet responsible for the August 2003 Bali bombings killimg more than 200 and the October 2002 attack on the Philippine ambassador to Indonesia.

Membership estiamtes vary from the hundreds to thousands.

*** New People's Army:

A Maoist group formed in 1969 whose aim is overthrowing the government through protracted guerilla warfare, according to the U.S. state department. It primarily targets government officials. It killed several U.S. personnel before military bases closures in 1992, according to the U.S. Stae department. Its leadership has since said it is willing to kill U.S. personnel again. Its strength is in the rural areas.

Estimated to be more thatn 10,000 strong.

(Sources: U.S. Department of State, U.S. Army and Central Intelligence Agency)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:00 PM   0 comments
Pope Benedict XVI had his investiture this Sunday 24April infront of St. Peters Basicilica, attended by many people and dignitaries, including the converted to Catholic brother of Pres. Bush, Gov. Geb Bush of Florida.

Papal Ceremony during the Investiture.

Before the Mass inside St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Benedict blessed the Pallium at the Altar of the Confession, then descended there to pray to the tomb of St. Peter.

About the Pallium:
** This is a two-inch-wide, white wool stole embroidered with six black silk crosses.

** Fastened with three jeweled gold pins across his chest, at the back and left shoulder- symbolizing Christ's wounds.

** Two pendants, one in front and one in back, symbolize active and contemplative life.

Investiture Garments:

** Miter: The liturgical headdress worn only by the pope, cardinals and bishops.

** Pastoral staff: Symbol of jurisdiction and power, made of silver.

** Pectoral Cross: Dates to Middle Ages; attached to a chain or silken cord; made of a precious metal and decorated with gems.

** Chasuble: Major outer mass garment, requires blessing before use; a symbol of charity.

** Fisherman's ring: Large gold signet ring with relief of St. Peter casting a net from a boat.

Among the Mass/Investiture Events:
A). Pope receives the wool Pallium, a symbol of his pastoral authority and communion with the church.

B). In order of seniority, the cardinals pledge their loyalty and recieve the ceremonial "kiss of Peace" from the Pope.

C). Cardinals recite the Lord's Prayer.

D). From the foot of the steps of St. Peters, the choir chants "Tu es Petrus" (Thou aret Peter), a reference to the first head of the church.

E). Pope Benedict delivers his homily.

F). Ceremony ends with the Pope giving the apostolic blessing to Rome and the world from Peter's Square.

Source: Catholic Bishops conference of USA
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:57 AM   0 comments
Friday, April 22, 2005
(a Short Disclaimer)

Before I start naming some of the Bad Popes, I wish to advise some of the readers, that I have no intention of discrediting or smearing the good name of the Chair of St. Peter, and the authority it has over the Catholic faith and the Papacy. Since there is a Papal hype with the death of a Good Man and Good Pope, Pope John Paul II, and the election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, I got so interested in creating a blog about the "Bad Popes" that sat on the throne of St. Peter.Of course, there's lots of Good Popes also, outnumbering the bad ones.Likewsie, one of the bloggers is so interested in this topic-subject, and so it challenge me to do so. She has blog of her own, a CAT, who is always curious in many things.

In A.D. 328, Constantine transferred the capital of the Roman empire to his new city of Constantinople, thereby inevitably altering the center of gravity of the Roman World.Gradually, the imperial throne was occupied exclusively by Greeks, Latin gave place to Greek as the official language, and subtle changes of manners evolved an Oriental Civilization that was Byzantine from the older name of the city.

The Christian emperor in Constantinople had inherited the dual role of priest and king that the pagan emperors in Rome had enjoyed.

When the seat of the empire had moved to the East, the Bishop of Rome naturally enjoyed rather more freedom than his opposite number, the Patriach of Constantinople, but both in the eyes of the emperor, they were just subordinate to him in spiritual as well as temporal matters.

In Rome, Gregory II was in the eleventh year of his pontificate, the first Roman pope to occupy the Chair of St. Peter, after a long successiuon of Greek creatures--a fact that has a profound effect in Italy.


About a generation after the Papacy had divorced itself from the empire,a certain papal official, Christophorous by name, completed a task of forgery which neatly transferred the temporal crown from the emperor to the Pope.

Christophorous based his work upon the legendary life of St. Sylvester, the blameless,if mediocre Bishop of Rome who ruled over his little flock at the time of Constantine. According to legend, Constantine was energetically persecuting Christians when he was afflicted with leprosy and, despite the efforts of doctors and magicians, despaired of a cure. Saints Peter and Paul appeared to him in a vision and told him that St. Sylvester alone could cure him. The old man was brought to the Lateran Palace, where Constantine resided, and there told the emperor that baptism alone would cleanse him of the disease.

Constantine, agreed to baptism, and as a result--the leprosy immediately vanished. In gratitude, he immediatelyu ordained that Christ should be worshipped throughout the empire and that tithes should be instituted for the building of churches. The Lateran Palace was given to St. Sylvester and his successors for all time; Constantine himself dug and carried away the first twelve baskets of earth on the Vatican Hill, and so began the Basilica of St.Peter.

These are all forgeries, done by Christophorous, anxious to maintain the little priviledges and honors of his office and Constantine was therefore made to grant to the clergy a dignity similar to that which the senate enjoyed. He also went to make the point abundantly clear by skillfully twisting the true reason for Constantine's decision to establish his capital in the East.

The decline of the Byzantine power in Italy had been matched by the rise of the Lombards, the latest and most powerful of the barbarian invaders. They flourish and their kingdoms were established throughout Italy. Besieged by the Lombards, the reigning Pope Stephen, sought a champion. He found him beyond the Alps when Pepin, king fo the Franks offered Frankish aid.

In the winter of 755, Stephen began the long and perilous journey to the Frankish court. It was a measure of desperation that not only did he, an old man, decided to make the journey in person, but he undertook the passage of the Alps in the depths of winter. He was received with heartening respect, not merely as a suppliant, not merely as Pope, but as the defrauded heir of Constantine, for the papal propagandists had done their work well. The "Donation of Constantine" put out its first root, successfully transplanted from the world of fiction into fact.

With Pepin's help, he curbed the Lombards and drew a treaty which at length and in law made over to the Pope those territories outlined in the "Donation of Constantine". Within a decade of Pepin's generous action, Rome learned the full implications of the new splendor of the Papacy. The creation of the Papal states, and the so called "Patrimony of St. Peter", made the pope a feudal lord, giving a real financial value to his office.

The Chair of St. Peter, became a prize for the great families of Rome and its neighborhood, creating a more insidious danger for the Papacy than that which Byzantines and Lombard had threatened.

The Houses where the Bad Popes came from:

*** The House of Theophylact
Octavian "Pope John XII" (955 - 963)
Octavian, the Pope-King, son of the prince of Rome was born about the year 937, for his mother had been the passive instrument of a peace concluded between the Alberic and Hugh of Provence the previous year.The childhood of Octavian is wrapped in almost total obscurity. His father probably raised him as a soldier, rather than future priest, for while he later displayed some militatry proficiency, it was obvious that his book learning had been scant.In his maturity, as a young pope called to preside over the councils of learned men, he was derided for his elementary ignorance of Latin.

Octavian, became a young pope, when his father Alberic, seeing death is coming for him, he ordered himself be carried to the most sacred spot in Christendom, the altar above the tomb of St. Peter, and there called upon the nobles to swear upon the bones of the apostle that they would elect his son prince upon his death, and pope upon the death of the reigning pope. The noble loved hims and so swore-- and ensured the destruction of all that he had create.

When Alberic died, Octavian took his place as prince. A year later the reigning pope also died and the Romans, obedient to Alberic's last command, elected his sixteen year old son as Pope. Thus, both offices were again combined in one person, causing a critical mass that must in time explode.

The return of the temporal power to the Papacy had again thrown the tiara to the mob. The factions, dormant for twenty years, rose gain, and murder, arson and rape returned to the strees as casual incidents of everyday life. Pope John XII encouraged faction as enthusiastically as his fatehr had suppressed it.Pope John XII seems to have been urged toward a course of deliberate sacrilege that went far beyond the casual enjoyment of sensual pleasures. It was as though the dark element in his nature goaded him on to test the utmost extent of his power, a "Christian Caligula", whose crimes were rendered peculiarly horrific by the office he held. His gang violated female pilgrims in the very basilica of St. Peter; that the offerings of the humble laid upon the altar were snatched up as casual booty. He is very fond of gambling and his intimate mistress in bed, instead of rewarding lands, he gave her the gold cross and chalice of St. Peter.

Pope John XII was deposed by a Council in Rome on December 4,963.

(abstracted from the work of E.R. Chamberlain / Barnes and Nobles Book)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:27 AM   2 comments
Thursday, April 21, 2005
"Tu es Petrus, et super hanc Petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et tibi dabo claves Regni Coelorum"

(Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church and I will give to thee the keys of the Kingdon of Heaven)


The new Pope was elected Tuesday after four ballots over two days -- one of the quickest recent elections. A look at the last century:

July 31 - Aug. 4, 1903:
Italian Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto (Pius X) elected on seven ballots cast over four days.

Aug. 31 - Sept. 3,1914:
Italian Cardinal Giacomo della Chiesa (Benedict XV) elected on 10th ballot on third day.

Feb.2-6, 1922:
Italian Cardinal Achille Ratti (Pius XI) elected on 14th ballot on fifth day.

March 1-2, 1939:
Italian Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (Pius XII) elected on the third ballot on second day.

Oct. 25-28, 1958:
Italian Cardinal Angelo Roncalli (John XXIII) elected on the 11th ballot on fourth day.

June 19-21,1963:
Italian Giovanni Battista Montini (Paul VI) elected on sixth ballot on the third day.

Aug. 25-26,1978:
Italian Cardinal Albino Luciano (John Paul I) elected on fourth ballot on second day.

Oct. 14-16,1978:
Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (John Paul II) elected on eight ballot on third day.

(from the Associated Press)

Pope Benedict XVI has no history of chronic health problems.

VATICAN CITY-- The new Pope Benedict XVI has no history of chronic health problems, but the 78-year old German has been hospitalized at least twice since the early 1990s.

In September 1991, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage that temporarily affected his left field of vision, according to the veteran Vatican journalist JOhn Allen. There is no indication that it left any lingering health difficulties.

In August 1992, he cut his head after slipping in the bathroom during his vacation in the Italian Alps, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Thomas Frauenlob, director of St. Michael's semianry in Traunstein where the pope visits annually, said he had never heard of any major ailments.

"He seems healthy", said Frauenlob, who last saw him over the New Years holiday. "He comes and eats and drinks whatever he wants."

But the Rev. Donald Senior, president of Chicago's Catholic Theological Union and a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, of which Ratzinger was president, met the cardinal in Rome this month and saw signs of trouble.

Ratzinger said, "My health has not been strong", Senior recalled.

(Associated Press/Staff Reported Cathleen Falsani)


The name Benedict, which comes from the Latin for "Blessing" is one of the more frequent choices made by pontiffs. A look at some previous Benedicts:

** Benedict XV
(reigned 1914 - 1922)
He was chosen as a contrast to his predecesor, Pius X, whose theological crackdown againt "modernism" had rolled the church. His accession coincided with the start of World War II. If Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was paying tribute to him, it could be interpreted as a bid to soften his image. Benedict XV was credited with settling animosity between the traidionalist and the modernists.

** Benedict XIV
(1740 - 1758)
He was compromise choice after an ardous six month conclave. Like former professor Ratzinger, he was considered a scholar.

** Benedict XIII
(1724 - 1730)
A rare pope from a religious order, the Dominicans, he remained head of his former Italian diocese as well as the bishop of Rome.

** Benedict XII
(1335 - 1342)
He was one of the French popes wjho reigned from Avignon instead of Rome, considered a bleak era for the papacy.

** Benedict XI
(1303 - 1304)
Also a Dominican, he was considered scholarly and a peacemaker among church factions.


* Ratzinger is the fist Germanic pope in nearly 1,000 years.

* There were at least three German popes in the 11th century. The last pope from a German speaking land was Victor II, Bishop of Eichstatt, who reigned from 1055-57.

(from the Associated Press)
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:34 AM   0 comments
Monday, April 18, 2005
Who Did What, When, From Age 1 to 100

At the Age of 16.....

..... Romeo falls for Juliet.

..... Henry Ford quits school and takes a job as an engineer.

..... Angelo Siciliano, a scrawny teen, sees a statue of Hercules at the Brooklyn museum, joins the local TMCA, begins lifting weights, and starts developing the physique that will make him world famous alng with his new title, CHARLES ATLAS.

..... Arthur de Lulli compopses "The Classical Chop Waltz" better know as the "Chopsticks".

..... J.P. Getty III is kidnapped, and when his grandfather, then the world's richest man, refuses to pay ransom, the boy also loses an ear, which the kidnappers cut off and send to his family to show they mean business. The ransom is paid, the boy returned.

..... Buddha marries Yasodhara, his 16 year old princess cousin.

At the age of 17.....

..... Judy Garland appears in "The Wizard of Oz".

..... Joan of Arc, French army captain, leads her troops against the English, forcing their widrawal from Orleans, a crucial victory during the Hundred Years War.

..... Joseph (in the Bible) is robbed of his coat of many colors, then thrown into a pit.

..... Leslie Hornby, better know as "Twiggy" becomes the world's first supermodel.

..... Harry Houdini becomes a professional magician.

..... Marco Polo begins his legendary 24 year expedition through Asia.

..... Aristotle joins Plato's Academy to study Philosophy and science.

..... Howard Hughes inherits his father's machine tool company.

At the Age of 18.....

..... Ottaviano is elected Pope John XII.

..... Mick Jagger debuts with is new group, the Rollin' Stones.

..... Jessie James commits his first known bank robbery.

..... Cleopatra becomes Queen of Egypt.

..... Emiliano Zapata, Mexican revolutionary, is arrested for leading protests agains testate owners.

..... Victoria becomes Queen of England, a 64-year reign that will make her one of the most beloved monarchs in British History.

..... Tommy Hilfiger opens his first clothing store, which sells bell-bottoms and other trendy apparel.

At the Age of 19.....

..... Bill Gates co-founds Microsoft.

..... Gavrilo Princip assisasinates Austrian Archduke Ferdinand, the act that ignites World War I.

..... Tarzan meets Jane, who is also 19.

..... William Hanna and Joseph Barbera creates cartoon characters Tom and Jerry.

..... Adolf Hitler fails to gain entry, for the second time, to Vienna's Imperial Academy of Fine Arts.

At the Age of 20.....

..... David slays Goliath.

..... Lady Diana Spencer marries Prince Charles of England.

..... Earvin "Magic" Johnson leads his Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA title and wins the finals MVP award, though the rookie is not legally old enough to drink chapagne in thw victorius locker room.

..... Alexander the Great becomes King Of Macedonia and leads the Greeks in war against Persia.

..... Norma Jean Mortensen is interviewed at 20th Century-Fox Studios, is offered a contract, and is given the name Marilyn Monroe.

..... Levi Strauss, father of blue jeans, introduces bibless canvass overalls, precursor to his denim version.

..... Plato becomes a student of Socrates.

..... Tom Cruise stars in "Risky Business".

At the Age of 21.....

..... Steve Jobs introduces the Apple computer that he and Steve Woznak created.

..... Elvis Presley records "Heatbreak Hotel".

..... Nathaniel Palmer discovers Antartica.

..... Bonnie Parker, accompanied by Clyde Barrow, begins a two year string of bank robberies during which 12 people are murdered. Later became know as "Bonnie and Clyde".

At the Age of 22.....

..... Francis of Assisi falls sick and decides his life would be best spent helping the poor and the infirm. Later became known as "St. Francis".

..... Brigitte Bardot stars in the movie "And God Created Woman" and becomes and international sex symbol.

..... Dick Clark premieres hsi TV show "American Bandstand".

..... Ernest Hemingway moves to Paris, where he will write fiction and hang out with the Lost Generation.

At the Age of 23.....

..... Isaac Newton watches an apple fall from a tree, and is drawn to the subject of gravitation.

..... George Fox founds the Quakers, in England.

..... Marlon Brando takes Broadway by storm, as Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Names Desire.

..... Jerry Garcia founds the Greatful Dead band.

..... Daniel Rutherford discovers nitrogen.

..... Tom Monaghan starts the Domino's Pizza chain.

..... Jane Taylor writes the nursery rhyme, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."

..... John Travolta portrays disco king Tony Manero in "Saturday Night Fever".

At the Age of 24.....

..... Lee Harvey Oswald assasinates President John F. Kennedy.

..... James Dean stars in "East of Eden", one of only three films he will make.

..... Lorena Bobbitt cuts off most of her husband John's penis.

..... Chuck Yeager, piloting the Bell XS-I experimental rocket plane, breaks the sound barrier, the first person to do so.

At the Age of 25.....

..... Charles Linbergh flies solo across the Atlantic, the first to do so, guiding hisplane, "Spirit of St. Louis", from Roosevelt Field, New York, to Le Bourget Airfiled, Paris.

..... Orson Welles writes, directs, produces, and stars in "Citizen Kane", revolutionizing film technique.

..... Pablo Picasso paints "Les Demiselles d'Avignon", the work generally regarde as singnaling the birth of "modern art."

..... Vivian Leigh plays "Scarlet O'Hara" in the movie, "Gone With the Wind".


(abstracted from the book, "What's In An Age", by Andrew Postman.(
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:52 PM   0 comments
Sunday, April 17, 2005
Who Did What When, from Age 1 to 100.

At the Age of 0 - 1.....

..... Mary, of the House of Stuart, becomes Queen if Scotland.

..... Hercules, strangles two serpents placed in his cradle.

..... Mickey Rooney debuts in the family vaudeville act.

..... Jesus is visited in a manger.

..... Brooke Shields is selected the Ivory Snow baby.

At the Age of 2.....

..... Tenzin Gyatso is declared the 14th (and present) Dalai Lama.

..... Judy Garland launches her stage career.

..... Hsuan-t'ung become Emperor of China (the final one).

..... Isabella II ascends to the Spanish throne.

..... Isaac Asimov rips outs each page of a book as he turns it, then grows very sad to see the book empty. (He will go on to write roughly 500 books).

At the Age of 3 .....

..... Tiger Woods shoots 48 for 9 holes on his hometown golf course in Cypress, California.

..... Albert Einstein speaks for the first time.

..... Ernest Hemingway receives his first fishing rod.

..... Ivan the Terrible becomes Grand Prince of Moscow.

At the Ager of 4 .....

..... Kim Ung-Yong, with an estimated IQ of 200, speaks fluent Korean, Japanese and German.

..... Andre Agassi hists tennis balls for 15 minutes wuth Jimmy Connors, then the world's top player.

..... Louis XIV becomes King of France, upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.

..... Bob Hope emigrates from England to the United States.

..... Natasha Richardson appears in the film "The Charge of the Light Brigade", starring her mother, Vanessa Redgrave and directed by his father Tony Richardson.

At the Age of 5 .....

..... Beatrice d'Este has her hand offered in marriage by her father to the Duke of Bari, age 29. (Which they will marry 11 years later).

..... Charlie Chaplin appears with his mother on the vaudeville stage.

..... Christina becomes Queen-elect of Sweden.

At the Age of 6 .....

..... Wolfgang Amadeus Mozaart gives keyboard concerts across Europe.

..... Pepi II becomes Pharoah of Egypt, a reign that lasts 94 years.

..... Marie Grosholts -- known later as Madame Tussaud -- first works with wax.

..... Clara Hirschfield, called "Tootsie" by her father, a confectioner, is honored to have his new candy, the Tootsie Roll, named for her.

..... Ron Howard stars as Opien in TV's "The Andy Griffith Show".

At the Age of 7 .....

..... Stephen King writes his first story.

..... Michael Tan begins studying for a bachelor's degree in mathematics at Canterbury University, New Zealand.

..... Jackie Coogan becomes a millionaire, after appearing in the title role of Charles Chaplin's in The Kind.

..... Yehudi Menuhin, violin virtuoso, solos with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.

At the Age of 8 .....

..... Louis Antonio de Bourbon is elected a cardinal in the Catholic Church.

..... Julie Andrews masters an astounding four-octave singing range.

..... Evel Knievel witnesses his first motorcycle daredevil jump.

..... Beatrice Pontinari is spotted by Danter Alighieri (age 9), who is so smitten he will immortalize her later in his "Divine Comedy" as Beatrice, one of literature's great romantic figures.

At the Age of 9.....

..... Genghis Khan becomes chief of his Mongol Tribe.

..... Tutankhamen -- King Tut -- becomes Pharoah of Egypt.

..... Natalie Wood stars in "Miracle on 34th Street".

..... Kirsen Wilhelm bikes across America, in 66 days.

..... Maria Agnesi, 18th-century mathematician and philosopher, delivers a one-hour lecture, in Latin, on a woman's right to vote.

At the Age of 10 .....

..... Gloria Vabderbilt endures a bitter, tabloid fodder court battle between her mother and step mother and aunt to determine custody of the girl and her multimillion dollar trust fund.

..... Napoleon Bonaparte enters in a military school.

..... Tatum O'Neal wins the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, for her performance in "Paper Moon".

..... George Gordon inherits his great-uncle's estate and acquires the title of Lord Byron.

..... Thomas Edison sets up a laboratory in the basement.

..... Leonardo DiCarpio is rejected by a talent agent because of bad haircut.

At the Age of 11 .....

..... Michael Jackson, leads singer of the Jackson Fiver, records their bhuge hit "ABC".

..... Thomas Gregory, of England, swims across the English Channel.

..... Marion Morrison inherits the nickname "Duke", which he later change his given name to JOHN WAYNE.

At the Age of 12 .....

..... Pocahontas saves the life of Captain John Smith, shielding his head with her body so that he wll not be out to death.

..... Tom Sawyer gets his friends to whitewash a fence for him.

..... Carl Witte earns a Ph.D in mathematics from the University of Giessen, Germany.

..... Charles Dickes quits school to work in a factory, pasting labels in bottles of shoe polish, because his father has been imprisoned for debt.

..... Cleopatra takes her first lover.

..... Macauly Caulkin earns $5 million and a percentage of the box office for starring in "Home Alone, Part 2".

..... Jesus, with Mary and Joseph, visits Jerusalem for Passover.

..... Steven Spielberg, makes short movies, using his father's 8 mm Kodak camera.

At the Age of 13 .....

..... Bill Gates writes his first computer program.

..... Jodie Foster appears in the movie "Taxi Driver".

..... Doris Duke inherits more than $30 million when her tobacco magnate father dies.

..... Stevie Wonder records the sone "Fingertips", his first no. 1 hit.

..... Joan of Arc hears voices telling her to help liberate France from English rule.

At the Age of 14 .....

..... Nadia Commanecci earns the first perfect "10"-- in fact, in the first seven of them -- ever awarded in Olympic gymnastic competition.

..... Linda Blair makes head tuirns, including her own, in her memorable role in the movie "The Exorcist."

..... Akbar the Great becomes Mogul Emperor of India.

..... Bernadette Soubirous, an asthmatic girl from Lourdes, France, experience visions, is cured of her asthma, tells priest that the Virgin Mary has told her that a chapel should be built there, and inspires pilgrimage to Lourdes.

..... Charles III the Simple, son of Louis the Stammerer, succeeds Charles as King of France.

..... Ralphn Waldo Emerson enrolls at Harvard.

At the Age of 15 .....

..... Paul McCartney is invited by John Lennon to join his skiffle group, the Quarrymen.

..... Giacomo Cassanova, perhaps history's most famous lover, loses his virginity to two sisters.

..... Hanson Gregory, a baker's apprentice, pushes the soggy center of a fried bun and creates the Doughnut.

..... Pulcheria, daughter of Arcadius, assumes the rule over the eastern half of the Roman Empire.

..... Brigitte Bardot appears on the cover of French magazine "Elle".

..... Joseph Armand Bombardier, of Quebec, Canada, attaches a Model T engine t his family's sleigh, adds a wood propeller,a nd invents the snowmobile.


(abstrcted from the book "What's In An Age", by: Andrew Postman)
posted by infraternam meam @ 9:49 PM   0 comments
Friday, April 15, 2005

Most people who grew up under the papacy of John Paul II cannot appreciate the magnitude of his accent to the Chair of St. Peter.

Imagine the first non-Italian pope in more than 450 years.

A cardinal from behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War.A youngest man. Vibrant. A man with a secular past. A pope schussing down the slopes in a ski suit.

A Polish Pope in an era of ridicule aimed at Poles.

To give some indication of the shock of his selection, I recall that day, I was executive director of the City Club of Chicago. We were hosting Mayor Michael Bilandic as our luncheon speaker.

Within moments of the start of his reamrks, I received a call.

A new pope had been elected.

He was Polish.

Confident that the mayor would want to announce such a significant event immediately, I told the mayor's security officer that a new pope had been named.

I had his interest. I proceeded to tell him the pontiff was Polish.

With utter disdain, the security guard glared at me, then, with gritted teeth said:"I happen to be Polish, and I dont like Polish jokes, OK"?.

I assured him that I was not kidding.... and since my mother was a Sikorski, I could relate to his feeling. He still refused to believe me.

The idea that a Pole was elected pope was beyond all comprehension.

After my most earnest efforts, he phoned his supervisor. Receiving the confirmation he needed, he slipped a note to Bilandic. The mayor paused, read the note silently and ten looked back at the security officer in a quizzical fashion.

He obviously was trying to assure himself that the information was true. The security guard nodded confirmation.

Only then did the mayor, with an air of surprise, announce the news to the 200 people who gathered to hear his State of Chicago speech.

The unlikely pontiff has now completed the mostly unlikely of tenures. The third longest papacy in 2,000 years. Upending communism with any military. Wounded by a would be assasin. Apologizing for centuries of anti-Semintism. Traveling the world to spread his sense of the word of God.

Addressing all issues with a firmness of faith, softened by a divine love.

The world is his beneficiary.

God Bless Him.

(Larry P. Horst/Chicago)



I am not a religious man. As a non-practicing Catholic and a student of a university level social justice course, the pope's declining health and ultimate death were, at most, peripherally evident to me.

In the ensuing moments since his passing, I've come to learn of an immensely intelligent overwhelmingly compassionate man who committed his life to the betterment of humanity, to each and every human being, regardless of color, status or religious affiliation.

He was a man who exuded genuine goodness and unprecedented sincerity.

All through my course in social justice, I've searched for a hero to mankind to revere and, perhaps, to one day implore my children to emulate.

My search is over, the hero found.

(Mike Stickman/Highland, Indiana)



More than two years ago, I experienced a serious stroke that left me with many limitations.

At about that time, it was apparent that Pope John Paul II was suffering with Parkinson's disease. If I ever became discouraged, I would consider Pope John Paul II and how he did not stop struggling to do God's work.

His example helped me to realize that what had happened to me was also a great opportunity to be faithful to God's will. Before all of this, I had read many of his encyclicals and letters dealing with such topics as marriage, family life, the value of suffering, the importance of truth and the sanctity of human life.

So I have been under his fatherly guidance for many years. In fact all of our children have been to Rome or have attended World Youth Days and have been deeply affected just being in his presence and hearing his message.

Yes the pope has done a lot for my husband, my family and me in all aspects of life in reinforcing our Catholic faith.

And now he will continue his influence even in death. We will remember the encouraging word of Pope John Paul II:

"Be not afraid".

(Nancy McCormack/ Valparaiso, Indianna)



On the day it was announced to the world that a Polish priest, Karol Wojtyla, had been elected as the new pope of the Roman Catholic Church, my mother, who was in her mid-80's and suffering from the first stage of Alzeihmers' sat on our couch and started to cry.

She was not a woman prone to crying, having sucessfully raised five children and having always been there for her daughters to lend a helping hand with one or more of her 13 grandchildren. I sat down next to her, put my arms around her and asked her why the sad tears on such a joyous occasion.

She looked up at me and, to my amazement, she was smiling. They had been tears of joy, not sadness. My mother's parents arrived in the United States from Poland as immigrants at the turn of the 20th Century. They moved to Chicago's South Side, where jobs for laborers were plentiful, and remained there for their entire lives, as did four of their five children.

Polish jokes abounded in those days and for many years to come. This plethora of insults however, gradually subsided when it became obvius to even the most ignorant that the Polish pope was an extraordinary leader of the faith, and may someday go down in the history books as one of the greatest and most respected popes in 2,000 years.

This I know for sure. When Pope John Paul II entered into the kingdom of heaven, my dear mother was right up front with the faithful minions, cheering and welcoming this remarkable soul to his reserved seat at the right hand of God.

(Joan O'Keefe Driscoll/ Ft. Lauderdale)

(abstracted from CHICAGOTRIBUNE)
posted by infraternam meam @ 9:11 PM   0 comments
President Bush is an iPod person. The president's daughters apparently gave him the trendy music player as a birthday present last year and he reportedly uses it during his mountain bike workouts. According to The New York Times, Bush's playlist is relatively short and contains pop tunes and country hits.

What the Times did'nt report, however; were songs that are worthy of being downloaded on the players of Bush and other notable iPod people.

President Bush
** "Magical Mystery Tour", by the Beatles.
** "My Way", by Frank Sinatra.
** "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right", by Bob Dylan.
** "Dazed and Confused", by Led Zeppelin.

Bill Clinton
** "Candy Shop", by 50 Cent.
** "Hound Dog," by Elvis Presley.
** "Lay, Lady Lay", by Bob Dylan.
** "Your Cheatin' Heart", by Hank William.

Hillary Rodham Clinton
** "Stand by Your Man", by Tammy Wynette.
** "I Will Follow Him", by Little Peggy March.
** "It's My Party", by Lesley Gore.
** "Let It Be", by the Everly Brothers.

John Kerry
** "It's Only Make Believe", by Conway Twitty.
** "Nowhere Man", by the Beatles.
** "It's Over", by Roy Orbison.

Donald Rumsfeld
** "Eve of Destruction", by Barry McGuire.
** "End of the World", by Skeeter Davis.
** "You're Da Bomb", by Imajin.
** "The End", by the Doors.

(CHICTRIB by"David Martin (a lawyer who lives in Ottawa, Canada)
posted by infraternam meam @ 2:46 AM   0 comments

France's Supreme Court on Wednesday partially overturned the acquittAls of three photographers tried for invasion of privacy after they snapped pictures of Princess Diana and boyfriend DOdi Fayed at the scene of their fatal 1997 car crash, a lawyer said.

The case will now be retried by a Paris appeals court.

Jacques Langevin, Christian Martinez and Fabrice Chassery were acquitted in November 2003 -- a ruling upheld in September. The courts concurred that a crashed vehicle on a public highway is not a private area.

The Cour de Cassation, France's Supreme Court, disagreed in its ruling Wednesday, said Arnaud Lyon-Caen, a lawyer for Dodi Fayed's father. Mohammed al-Fayed, who filed the invasion of privacy complaint. The decsion concerned only the three photos of the crash.

(Items compiled from TRIBUNENEWSSERVICE)
posted by infraternam meam @ 2:38 AM   0 comments
What is a Blog?

Dictionary is of little help: "a chronological log published on a Web Page...shortened form of Weblog...blog, blogged, blogging, blogger".

Michael Gorman of the American Library Association is of some help: " A blog is a species of interactive electronic diary by means of which the unpublishable, untrammeled by editors or the rules of grammar, can communicate their thoughts via the Web."

There are at least 8 million American bloggers. Blog readership is up 58 percent from last year. Almost one Internet user in four visits the blog.

One problem with taking a look at the World Wide Web: It is a tangled Web. Think of library where there has been an explosion. Piles of books everywhere, scattered at random. How do you look something up? Pick up one book. No, that's not the one. Pick up the next book. No, that's not the one.......

There are 197,000,000 Google hits for "blog". Blogs range from Sean Hannity Tuned into America (www.hanity.com) down to Carrieoke's Knitting Blog. http//carrie.prettyposies.com.

The Dullest Blog in the World is located at www.wibsite.com/wiblog/dull.

(abstracted from CHICTRIB/QT on the Blog by: Zay N. Smith email:qt@Suntimes.com)
posted by infraternam meam @ 2:24 AM   0 comments
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Politicians honor local survivor of Bataan Death March

After three days of marching in the Philippines sun without food and water, Jesus Groyon could barely trudge on, but he feared bayonets and swords carried by his Japanese captors who stabbed to death those who fell.

Although 10,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war died along the 63-mile route that started on April 9, 1942. Groyon and five other Chicago area Filipino veterans were among those who survived. But at 86 years old, Groyon, of Alsip, may not live long enough to see the United States restore Filipino soldiers status as active veterans, rescinded by Congress in 1946.

On Saturday -- the 63rd anniversary of the Bataan Death March-- Groyon and other march survivors were honored by Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn and city,county and state officials who hope to draw attention to their plight.

FDR Pledged Benefits

"These soldiers are not receiving their share of benefits," Quinn told a gathering of several hundred Filipino-Americans. "They are in their 70's and 80's and deserve what they were promised during the World War II".

On Thursday, the Illinois House passed a resolution urging Congress to award World War II Filipino veterans the benefits they were pledged by President Franklin Roosevelt. More than 200,000 Filipino soldiers were drafted to serve with U.S. soldiers in defending the Philippines.

For 60 years, Filipino veterans have been fighting to have those rights restored. In the last 15 years, some benefits have been reinstated.

About 8,000 Filipino verterans live in the United States but are not eligible for pensions and some disability from the Department of Veterans Affairs.Many survive on welfare and Social Security supplemntal income checks. Only last year were Filipino veterans allowed into the VA health care system.

Two bills in the U.S. House and Senate would restore veterans status and benefits to Filipino veterans, but similar bills have failed in the past and some are doubt this year's efforts, will be any different.

"There's no money", said George Mulvaney, the veterans coordinator for the Filipino-Americans of Illinois. "These men have survived the infamous Bataan Death March only to be met with Congress Debt March".

Mulvaney said that only when enough Filipino veterans die and Congress believes it is feasible will Filipinos receive their due.

"In five years, only half of them will be around. They are going to start dying at a rate of two and three a day," Mulvaney said.

After Saturday's honor ceremony, Groyon, who walks with a cane, and several other Filipino veterans and their families made their way to the Bataan Corregidor Bridge at State and Wacker. Although dedicated in 1949 to the memory of Chicagoans killed in the Bataan March, the bridge was rededicated in 1998 to Filipino soldiers who also lost their lives.

Several crowded around the two plaques commemorating the different dedications and remarked that, like the Filipino veterans bill, recognition of Filipino soldiers deaths at Bataan is long overdue.

(abstracted from CHICSUNTIMES/ Cheryl l. Reed/ Staff Reporter)
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:57 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
11 April '05

... on the last stretch of my shift at 0145hrs, I got this very weird call from a sobbing woman, asking me to check if her husband has already arrived at the airport.(i cannot tell which airport) She said she has been there for nearly 6 hrs, waiting for all the flts to come in, as was advised to her by her husband.

... "I am very sorry ma'am, I need to know what was the flt nos of your husband at least tell me the time he left this particular airport".

*** "I don't know the flt nos., he just said from this airport to this airport and I have to come to pick him up. I am now here, I even asked the airport security to page his name in the PA system, three hrs from the time he was page, he still did not respond. I am getting worried." (started crying on the fon)

... "Okey, I'll see what I can do to check if our reservation agent could at least pick up his itin from the last name." (i called reservation dept, still cannot find the itin of the pax)"Ma'am I am very sorry, we cannot seem to find your husband in any of the probable flts that we are trying to guess and figure out, I wish you can tell me at least one segment of his flt and time he departed."

*** "I really cannot tell you, because he just told me to be at the airport at this particular hour, so I did, and it is now more than 6 hrs, I still cannot find my husband in any flts that landed and none of the agent can find him in the system also. I am very worried something might have happened to him, he's been gone since sunday."

... "Believe me, I understand your frustration and your fear. Can you at least tell me if he checked in any bag, and if he did, do you know the tag nos? Maybe from there I could access his travel itinerary".

*** "I am not sure, but I think this is the tag nos on the bag as given to me by his office mate, that I called, when he dropped him off at the airport, last sunday". (gave me sets of bag tag nos)

... "Ma'am the sets of tag nos you gave me does not match the last name of your husband." (it's good I did not say the tag nos she gave me belongs to a woman's name. so I track the name of this woman, whose name is on the tag, and yes, this woman is travelling with another man and the name of the travelling companion is this woman's husband)"Ma'am, I think you gave me a wrong tag nos, 'cuz it still kept on showing a different name on it".

*** "Can you give me the name on the tag nos that I gave you? Maybe that person knows my husband or travelling companion from work of my husband".

... "Am sorry ma'am, but company policy... i cannot tell you who owns the tag and the name of the person, I am very sorry". (crying again on the fon)

The lady said goodbye, thank me for all I did and hang up the fon.
The woman whose name is on the tag is a travelling companion of the lady caller's husband, and I know where they are right there and then, but I cannot tell the man's wife the truth.

Such was the inequities and the unfairness in life, especially for a woman who is so worried about her husband, thinking that something might have happened, while this man is in a Ski resort, whose room is registered to another person's name AND I WILL NOT TELL YOU...NO MATTER WHAT!!!!
posted by infraternam meam @ 3:48 AM   0 comments
Sunday, April 10, 2005
09 April '05

I had been diagnozed to have severe bronchitis, when I saw my doctor this Friday. I had severe cold and so my doctor prescribed anti-biotics to ease the bronchitis problem 'cuz it is aggravating the Trigeminal Neuralgia, which I also have.

At around 9PM Saturday, I felt the pain immediately emanating from my left Achilles heel. I ignored it, thinking this will pass 'cuz I have never had a Gout attack for so many years. It became worst in the evening at 10pm. I cannot stand the pain anymore, I have to walk using my waling stick, not one but two of them and I have to call my doctor and asked thru his emergency vmail to contact the closest 24hrs drug store in my neighborhood the be able pick up INDOMETACIN to prevent the inflammation and extreme pain.

"Gout...Uric acid one of the body's waste products, normally passes out through the kidneys in one's urine. If there is more of it that the kidneys can process, Gout is likely the outcome.

In Gout, uric acid accumulate and forms crystals that my lodge in areas of the body where the blood supply is too meager or sluggish to carry them away. When Uric acid crystals are caught in the spaces between one's joints, the tissue surrounding it becomes inflamed. The inflammation irritates the nerve endings in the joint, which causes EXTREME PAIN. Sometimes the crystals also accumulate in the kidneys themselves which may cause kidney failure.

Since all human beings produces about as much Uric Acid as the kidneys can handle, everyone is to some extent susceptible to Gout. However, some people are more susceptible than the others, for no apparent reasons, other than an inborn predisposition. Sometimes, Gout develops because of an environmental factor that upsets the Uric Acid balance. Such factors can include overindulgence in food or alcohol, infections and treatment with some antibiotics and diuretics."

These are some of the food that can aggravate the Gout problem:
** Strawberry - the seed outside the berries is the number one carrier of Uric Acid granules.

** All leguminous plant - beans, nuts, long beans, including broccoli and tomatoes.

** All internal organs of animal - liver, and you know what are internal organs, which I will not describe in details.

** Red meat, including Soy sauce and food based in soya sauce and beans sprout and other products with Mung beans on it.

** In short, all the best food in life can trigger Gout.

What are the Symptoms?
"The main symptoms of gout is Severe Pain, sometimes in ones elbow or knee but more often in one's hands or foot, frequently at the base of one big toes. The pain usually comes without warning, though experiences sufferes may note some early twinges. Within a few hours, one's joint is so swollen and tender that you cannot endure even the weight of a sheet. There is over a fever to 101 degrees F. The inflamed skin over the joint is likely to be red and shiny and dry.

Gout is a common form of joint disease. It can affect males after puberty, but women get it generally after menopuase, some women are less likely to be affected than men."

What are the risks?
" Gout is one of the most controllable of the metabolic disorders. Left untreated, it cam lead to death from kidney disease, or from high blood pressure, a major risks factor in coronary artery disease and stroke."

I called the answering service of my doctor and when he returned the call, he was asking me if I can still endure the pain if not I have to go the emergency ward so that they can ease the extreme pain that I have now.

I hate the hospital, so I decided to ride the pain at home with the help of the medication that has been prescribed over the phone and the 24 hour pharmacy has been contacted and my wife has already picked up the medication. I have taken the first heavy dosage. I have to take it with food and one full glass of water to prevent the medicine from messing up my kidney.

It's now 3am and I am still up, in extreme pain because I cannot sleep under a blanket even under a soft bed cover, because this is just irritating my left Achilles heel where the Gout is attacking me. My left Achilles heel is already swollen.

I have told my wife, in case I won't be able ride the pain tonite, we have to go to the emergency of the hospital near my area so that they could could drain the crystals. I am in extreme pain, and if I will grow old with this pain, I'd rather be put to sleep. I have so much pain in my body that I have already at times given up.

God Help Me on this Pain!
posted by infraternam meam @ 2:03 AM   2 comments
Friday, April 08, 2005
This is a big task to undertake, being the next Pope. The "enigma" and the accomplishments that Pope John Paul II has done, Time magazine has called him ,"DEFENDER OF THE FAITH", "JOHN PAUL II, SUPERSTAR" and then he was declared by Time Magazine as "THE MAN OF THE YEAR" in 1994. He was Time Magazine front cover for 15 times in their issues, because the managing Editor of Time called him, "A POPE FOR ALL SEASONS".

And so he is and will always be.

Goodbye loving son of Poland, and loving son of mankind.

Who will be the next Pope? Will it be an Italian or from the third world? Here are some of the statistics that ABC news said, about the flock that the new Pope will be leading, in the ongoing Millineum of the church.

... in 1900 Latin America has 59 million Catholics, now there are 483 million Catholics.

... in 1900 Africa has 2 million Catholics, now there are 147 million Catholics.

... in 1900 Asia has 11 million Catholics, now there are 124 million Catholics.


*** St. Peter (Galilean) 64 AD.

*** St. Evaristus (Greek) 97 to 105.

*** St. Telesphorus (Greek) 136 to 140.

*** St. Hyginus (Greek) 136 to 140.

*** St. Anicetus (Syrian) 155 to 140.

*** St. Eleutherius (Greek) 175 to 189.

*** St. Victor I (African) 189 to 199.

*** St. Sixtus II (Greek) August 30, 257 to August 6, 258.

*** St. Caius (Dalmatian) December 17,283 to April 22, 296.

*** St. Eusebius (Greek) April 18,309 to August 17, 309.

*** St. Melchiades (African) July 12, 311 to January 11, 311.

*** St. Damasus (Spanish) October 1, 366 to December 11, 384.

*** St. Zosimus (Greek) March 18,417 to December 26, 417.

*** St. Gelasius (African) March 1, 492 to November 21, 496.

*** John IV (Dalmatian) December 24, 640 to October 12, 642.

*** Theodore I (Greek) November 24, 642 to May 14, 649.

*** John V (Syrian) July 23, 685 to August 2,686.

*** St. Sergius I (Syrian) December 15, 687 to September 8, 701.

*** John VI (Greek) October 30, 701 to January 11, 705.

*** John VII (Greek) March 1, 705 to October 18, 707.

*** Sisinius (Syrian) January 15, 708 to February 4, 708.

*** Constantine (Syrian) March 25, 708 to April 9, 715.

*** St. Gregory III (Syrian) March 18, 731 to November 741)

*** St. Zachary (Greek) December 10, 741 to March 22, 752.

*** Gregory V (Saxon) May 3, 996 to February 18, 999.

*** Clement II (Saxon) December 24, 1046 to October 9, 1047.

*** Damasus II (Bavarian) July 17, 1048 to August 9,1048.

*** St. Leo IX (Alsatian) February 12, 1049 to April 19, 1054.

*** Victor II (Swabian) April 16, 1055 to July 28, 1057.

*** Stephen IX (French) August 3, 1057 to March 29, 1058.

*** Nicholas II (French) January 24, 1059 to Juky 27, 1061.

*** Blessed Urban II (French) January 12, 1088 to July 29, 1099.

*** Calixtus II (French) February 3, 1119 to December 13,1124.

*** Urban IV (French) August 29, 1261 to October 2, 1264.

*** Clement IV (French) February 5, 1265 to November 29, 1268.

*** Blessed Innocent V (French) January 21, 1276 to June 22, 1276.

*** John XXI (Portugeuse) September 8, 1276 to May 20, 1277.

*** Martin IV (French) February 22, 1281 to March 28, 1285.

*** Clement V (French) June 5, 1305 to April 20, 1314.

*** John XXII (French) August 7, 1316 to December 1334.

*** Benedict XII (French) December 20, 1334 to April 25, 1342.

*** Clement VI (French) May 7, 1342 to December 6, 1352.

*** Innocent VI (French) December 18, 1352 to September 12, 1362.

*** Blessed Urban V (French) September 28, 1362 to December 19, 1370.

*** Gregory XI (French) December 30, 1370 to March 26, 1378.

*** Calixtus III (Spanish) April 8, 1455 to August 6, 1458.

*** Alexander VI (Spanish) August 11, 1492 to August 18, 1503.

*** Adrian VI (Dutch) January 9, 1522 to September 14, 1523.

*** JOHN PAUL II (POLISH) October 16,1978 to April 2005.

33 months, Duration of the longest Papal Conclave, from 1268 to 1271.

31 years Duration of the longest pontificate since St. Peter. Pius IX, ruled from 1846 to 1878. John Paul II was next, at 26 years, five months and two weeks.

12 days Length of the shortest pontificate, Urban VII (1590)

28 Largest number of Popes to be selected in a 100- year period, from 867 (Adrian II) to 965 (John XIII)

533 Year that Pontiffs began adopting reign names. A name Mercurius was elected POpe, and since itwould have been unseemly for the Vicar of Christ to bear the name of a pagan god, he chose to be called John II. Today a Pope's choice of name may be a clue to his philosophy.

3 Number of times Benedict IX became Pope, in 1032, 1045 and 1047. He was the nephew of his immediate predecessors and became notorious for selling the papacy and maneuvering to reclaim it.

Sources: Catholic Encyclopedia, TIMEMAG,and my personal notes when I was still a seminarian)
posted by infraternam meam @ 11:39 PM   2 comments
08 April 05
After I have watched for three hours the Farewell to the Pope on television, as early as 0230Hrs Central Time on television, I have to take some few hours of sleep because I have to go for an (MRI) Magnetic Resonance Imaging at Evanston/Northwestern Hospital.

It was the direct order of my Neurologist. To determine why am I getting so much pain on the right side of my face, from the jawbone which gives out electrifying pain all over the right side of my face that is going all the way to the frontal lobe and at the back of my head to the back of the brain that is connected to the spine.

Since this is my first time to undergo such experience, it scared me very much. In preparation, I was prep what to expect, what not to do and what will happen and the sounds that I will hear and then a dye will be injected into my vein to see further imaging of the brain. (Post FOSSA)

Wearing a hospital gown, I was asked to lie flat on my back, on this rail that is just enough to hold my body lying on my back, with my hands, on top of my stomach,on prayer stance position. Then a plug was inserted on both my ears, and hard foam pillows was placed on both sides of my ears and on the top of my head so that I won't be able to move. I was told not to cough, not to sneeze, not to fall asleep because if I have fallen asleep for this 35minutes procedure, I might twitch unconciously and the whole process will be repeated again.

I was then tested if I am claustrophobic, I guess I was not, but my heart kept on pounding and I can hear its beating or maybe it is just in my head, after all my brain has to be investigated upon. I went inside this tunnel, with a vibration and a contineuous Thudding sound and Hissing sound in full throttle.

For 35 mins, I was inside this tunnel, with strange sounds, while I have closed my eyes during the whole process.

As I lie inside this strange contraption, my mind was wondering...
... is this how it is to be buried alive?
... is this how it is to be placed inside a sarcophagus, alive?
... what If I cough or sneeze or move, what will happen?
... i cannot stand up, that is for sure cuz I am strap, and no space to move,what if?
... what if the Neurologist finds something wrong with my brain?
... what if in the middle of this procedure, I had an attack?
WHAT IF.....WHAT IF.....WHAT IF....??

As soon as I was taken out of that dreadful looking machine, I immediately asked for some tissue and blow my nose and sneeze. The technician was asking me if I was crying. I said no... I just sneezed. But the truth to the matter, I was in tears, for fear that there might be some problem that will be seen by the Neurologist regarding the problem causing such pain in the TRIGEMINAL NEURALGIA.

I immediately told my wife that we leave the basement hospital cuz I am becoming claustrophobic. I don't even want to use the elevator, I don't want to go inside an enclosed space.

I have to wait now for at least 7 days, before the Neurologist calls me and tell me the findings and his recommendations.

As soon as we arrived home, I told my wife to give me some privacy in my study room and I immediately read and revised my LIVING WILL and MY TESTAMENT.

Am I morbid?
posted by infraternam meam @ 5:25 PM   0 comments
Thursday, April 07, 2005
I have never argued or get into an argument when it comes to religion. this evening, there was this African American woman, who works with me at the call center and came to work for her 2130hrs start time shift. As soon as she sat down besides me in our cubicle (we are four in each cubicle)she bang the thick newspaper that she brought with her on top of her station and started cursing and uttering words that is so vulgar and mundane. I did not pay attention cuz I was on the phone with an irate pax.

Then the dead hours of the shift started to come (0100 to 0400 hrs) and so there's lots of us, just sitting down with our headset on and waiting for a call to come in.

This woman, (I cannot mention her name) started again cursing and complaining so many things about the death of the Pope.

woman...I cannot understand why this old man is creating lots of media hype on his death...look, even the newspaper carries all the pictorials of so many stupid people who comes to Rome to see this old man who is already dead.

I cannot take the heat from this woman anymore, so I answered her back.

me.... you know.... the Pope never asked anybody, nor did he asked the world, nor did he asked the media to cover his death and his sufferings. People came to pay a final respect to a great man.

woman... how do you know he's great? is it because he lives like a king in a Palace looking like building and the place called the Vatican, already makes him great?

me.... the reason I said he is a great man, because he was able to do things other man was not able to achieve and do. He was able to topple down communism by starting it in his own native land and was able to oust the Communist regime without any bloodshed and without any political outcry, except the preaching of sincere and non violent protest. then the Berlin wall followed. This is the reason he was also so admired by Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, the PLO leader Yasser Arafat and icluding the Prime Minister of Israel, who called the Pope "our Old Friend". Man's greatness is not where he lives, but he conducts his preachings and teachings as exemplified by him.

The Palace that you are talking about, is called the Apostolic Palace. Does the King lives inside the Palace...no. The Pope lives there and he represent a sovereign state within the heart of Italy, called the Vatican.

Let me tell you a brief history and listen first before you curse again.in 1377, the chief residence of the Pope is always the Vatican. In 1447 the reigning Pope started construction of the now Vatican, that you said you hate very much. The Vatican State is an independent sovereignty as recognized during the Lateran Treaty in 1929.

woman...don' shit with me Mel. I don't want you to tell lots of things that you think I don't know. I know where that shit is..and I will never go there for this stupid death of an old man. These people are all crazy coming to this place.

me....why will I shit with you, when you don't know what you're talking about.

woman.... I know what I am talking about. Why does this old man's funeral to be held in public and making it very spectacular and being magnified by the media.

me.... this old man that you are talking about, did not ask the people to come and did not ask the Media to be covering his funeral. The Pope's funeral wil go on, with or without the media and the people.It is just so happen, the media thinks this is a great event,and the media even calling it "Catholic Woodstock" that they dont want to miss. bitch!

woman...are all these people catholic? or are they jsut there to be part of the drama and the hype?

mel...are you not watching the news, lots of people that was interviewed in the street of Rome are not Catholics, there were people interviewed and said they are atheist, but they said they are there to be part of history. and since you are testing me, let me give you some numbers that I have taken from the show on TV, here is the tally of the Catholics, as posted on TV by the media. in 1900 there are only 59 million Catholics in Latin America, now there are 483 million Catholics, in 1900, there are 2 million Catholics in Africa, now there are 147 million and in Asia in 1900 there are only 11 million Catholics, now there are 124 million. These was posted by the media and not the church. and the media is saying also that there are 300 people a minute who passes infront of the body of the dead Pope, and 18,000 hourly and 4,000 daily. This was the posting of the Italian government.

woman...why do they have to say nine days of masses and all that shit??

me...that is the rule of the Cannon Law of the Catholic Church.

woman...what cannon are you talking about...Boy!

me....listen woman, let me lecture you since you are very dumb and ignorant on many things. The name Canon Law, was given to the official body of laws of the Catholic Church. The name is derived from the Greek work "Kanon", meaning to say "a measure of rule".

woman... your religion has so many shit and pageantry. I was watching TV this morning and there were all these men dressed up in red and red cap in their head and was called the Princess of the Church. Does it means to say the Pope is the King?

me.... I thought you hate the Pope and the Catholic Church, then why are you watching it on your TV? this shows only how dumb can you be. The Princess of the Church is the given name to the Cardinals. The church is like the military, they have ranking in their orders, and they are given a title and the Pope is not a KIng because the Cardinals are called Prince of the Church. The term "Pope" was derived from the Latin word "Father" or "Papa" and "Pappas" for Greek. All these men that you said dressed in Red are the Cardinals chosen by the Pope himself and was created in their office based on what they have done and what they are doing for faith and the faithful.

woman...well, how many Popes do you have? how come, the news is always saying that the first Pope is this and the Pope is going to be elected and all that crap.

me....well...the first Pope if you know this is St. Peter between 64 to 67 AD then St. Linus, St. Anacletus, St. Celement I, St. Evaristus, St. Alexander, St. Sixtus, St. Telesphorus, St. Hyginus, St. Pius I, St. Anicetus, St. Soter, St. Eleutherius, St. Vicor I, St. Zephyrinus, St. Calixtus I, St. Urban I, St. Pontian. These are some of the names we have to memorize when I was studying for the priesthood. So the Papacy started as early as 64 to 67 AD up to the present time. As you can see there's lots of Popes already and I cannot excatly tell you their numbers.

woman...then why did you not tell me that you studied for the priesthood. You made me look like a dumb bitch infront of them (pointing her fingers to all the agents listening and laughing at our conversation).

me.... i am sorry, you think yourself as a dumb bitch. but in some way ... you are really dumb, but not a Bitch.

Then 0300hrs came, I need to go home and rest for the next day job I have at the Law Firm.
posted by infraternam meam @ 1:55 AM   0 comments
Saturday, April 02, 2005
I hope I can still remember what we have studied when I was still in the seminary studying for the priesthood, regarding the death of the Pope.

*** When the Pope dies, the Camerlengo will be the one to announce the death of the Pope to the entire world. He,the Camerlengo will be the one to direct on the day to day administration of the Holy See during the period of the death, until a new one gets elected. The Camerlengo will also be the ones to call in for the cardinals from all over the world to come to Rome for the Conclave or the election of the new Pope.(These includes the Cardinals in the Philippines)

*** When the death has been announced, the huge bell at the Campo della Campanille will strike, in slow strike successions, then it will be followed by the other bells from the Campanille of the other churches in Rome, the whole Italy and then the whole world of the Christendom.

*** When the death has been announced, the Camerlengo will then hand over the Pope's death to the doctors and notaries, for them to give their formal signatures on the death certificiates.

*** The Pope's ring will then be defaced and will be destroyed by the Camerlengo at the Pontifical chambers, infront and witnessed by the Cardinals.

*** Then the body will be handed over to the Pontifical embalmers, and the body will be prepared for the viewing of the faithful.

*** The Pope's body will be clothed in full pontifical regalia, with a Mitre on his head.

*** The body will then be laid, for the faithfuls veneration, in between giant candelabra with white candles, while the Noble Guards standstill, watching the body, inside the Sistine Chapel, beneath the frescoes of Michaelangelos' the Last Judgement.

*** The Pope's body will lie in state for three days.

*** The Pontifical apartment will then be sealed by the Camerlengo and locked. A red ribbon will be placed, cross wise at the door of the Pontifical chamber, the ribbons sealed by red wax and could only be opened when the next Pope is elected.

*** The Noble guards will stand vigil at the door of the Papal apartment, until a new one gets elected.

*** On the third day, the Pope will be buried, in full Pontifical Regalia. HIS FACE WILL BE COVERED WITH A PURPLE VEIL,A MITRE ON HIS HEAD AND PURPLE BLANKET TO COVER HIM UP.


*** The Pope's death will be given Nine (9)days of Masses and nine (9) days of Absolutions.

(abstracted from my Personal Notes when I was still a seminarian studying for the priesthood)

The Election Porcess for a new Pope

*** The Camerlengo will call on all the cardinals from all over the world to come to the Sistine Chapel, so that they can convene a CONCLAVE.(To this date it is totalling to 117 cardinal electors, including the Philippines)

The CONCLAVE comes from the Latin word con meaning to say With and clavis, meaning to say Key. This CONCLAVE refers to enclosed meetings of cardinals for the purpose of electing a Pope.

The practise of having the election of the Pope, taking place behind closed and locked doors was initiated by Pope Gregory X in 1274 for the purposes of eliminating any outside interference and also to hasten the process, since a vacancy in the papacy had existed for nearly three years before his own election.

The method of electing a Pope was one that developed throughout the centuries. In 1059 Pope Nicholas II decreed that the cardinals would be the electors of the Pope, this was modified further by the Lateran Council in 1179, which ordered that an election would require a two thirds majority vote of the cardinals.

After the development of the actual CONCLAVE by Pope Gregory X the process remained essentially the same until 1975, when Pope Paul VI instituted several changes in the rules governing papal elections. These changes includes limiting the number of electors to one hundred twenty, excluding those cardinals over the age of eighty (80)and outlining the particular forms of election which are acceptable.

Strict rules has to be followed by the CONCLAVE, which dictate those who can be present, assure freedom from any undue influence or interference, and demands absolute secreacy from all those involved. (No cell fon, no fax, no wireless radios that could communicate outside, to be brought into the CONCLAVE by any Cardinal Electors. There will be surveillance and metal detector that will be checking and sweeping the entire Sistine Chapel prior the start of the CONCLAVE to insure secrecy)

CONCLAVES traditionally takes place in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel,and one of the best known customs is the burning of the ballots, producing the WHITE SMOKE which indicates that the a new Supreme Pontiff has been elected, when the ballots are burned,mixed with wet straw, there will be BLACK SMOKE coming outside the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, which indicates that there is no Pope elected yet.

(abstracted from the CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA)
posted by infraternam meam @ 12:14 AM   2 comments
About Me

Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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