clerical haute couture

Here`s another one for the wacko extremely unique files! The link to The Cost of Looking Good in the Magic Kingdom  was devilishly sent by a friend who well knew the reaction it would elicit – a mixture of giggles at the absurdity, and a communal head-shaking and nausea at the vanity, hypocrisy and extravagance of these true dunderheads in our episcopal ranks.

The article, found on A.W.Richard Sipe`s blog Celibacy, Sex & Catholic Church, looks at the cost to outfit Raymond Burke in the splendor to which he has become accustomed. Be sure to scroll all the way to the end to get all the smashing photos and the final tally. (Burke is former Archbishop of St. Louis, MO and has now been elevated to Cardinal…sigh…)

It`s a shame we don`t have fashion police, à la Joan Rivers, on the Vatican red-carpets. Eminence, you look stunning today! Who are you wearing? Oh my, look at that poor bloke. He`s probably from the backwoods of Canada. Quick, someone send him to Gammarelli`s for a clerical make-over. It`s time to `Say Yes to the Dress!`

U2 in Winnipeg ‘A Toast to Freedom’

image from


U2 > News > ‘A Toast to Freedom’.

Strike one off my `bucket list!` On Sunday night, my husband and I attended the U2 concert in Winnipeg – the first Canadian stop on their 360 tour. The tickets were a Christmas presents from our kids. The gift was not only anticipated for these past five months, but the memories will live on for a very long time. Two daughters also attended the concert with their friends. Sharing the excitement with them added to the experience.

Bono began the concert by addressing the favorite topic of Winnipeggers – the weather!

People have been saying it’s cold? No, not at all!’ I don’t know what they’re talking about. You’re Canadian…we’re Irish… and we have some real men in the band, you know who you are…

Bono is one of the greats in the world of social conscious musicians. His poet`s soul cries at the injustices and violence present in the world. His voice incarnates the words into soaring, heart-wrenching wails of anger, grief and lament. The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr instrumentally layer each song with colour, depth, and emotion. In `Sunday, Bloody Sunday`, guitar and drums echo the haunting sounds of stomping feet and gun fire. In the concert video the story moved from the streets of Ireland to the fight for freedom in Libya, showing the heart-wrenching reality of civil war.

Half-way during the concert on Sunday, Bono spoke in tribute to Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leader of Burma.

Aung San Suu Kyi  is to Asia what Nelson Mandela is to Africa. She has lived without her freedom in Burma for most of the last twenty years, under house arrest.  Her crime was to believe the election result that made her leader of that country.  But she’s out  now and that is a very special thing for this band and for our audience who  have campaigned for her release for the past ten years or more. And Amnesty International  who campaigned for twenty years.

The band then played `Walk On.` As the song finished, Bono raised a pint of Guinness to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Amnesty International and led 50,000 in singing Happy Birthday. This was followed by a surprise video message from Aung San Suu Kyi herself.

What an honor it was to share this special moment with Bono and the lads in the Peg. I`ll happily raise a glass of Guinness to them any time. Sláinte!

Sex and money? It’s about power | National Catholic Reporter

Sex and money? It’s about power | National Catholic Reporter.

I often get inspiration for a blog post from photos or articles I`ve read. Today, the two blended together. The photo is from a fabulous group of statues at Parliament Hill in Ottawa. People were flocking to the statues, standing in line to have their pictures taken beside the women. They are a tribute to the Famous Five, Canadian women who fought to overturn the Supreme Court of Canada`s ruling that women were not persons. The artist beautifully captured  the ordinariness of the woman next door, with a passion and strength of character that you didn`t mess with. We`ve come a long way, baby! Or, have we?

According to Phyllis Zagano, we have a long way to go. Her article, Sex and Money? It`s about power doesn`t pull any punches. From IMF head Dominque Strauss-Kahn and his attempts to avoid rape charges by buying off his victim, to the still unanswered question of why so many Bishops enabled abusing priests to continue in ministry. She blames unbridled power – power that has little or no regard for the rights of women and children.

In society and governments, most positions of power are held by men. In the church, all positions of power are held by men. Of course, leaders come in all shapes and sizes – some saints, some sinners. Most are a combination of the two. Sadly, the head-lines are too full of the sinner class. (The Arnold Schwarzenegger scandal being the most recent.) What are women to do?

The suffragettes and women activists of old can be a model of inspiration and hope to us. Remaining quiet is not an option. Emperors have been parading around without their clothes for too long, and it`s not a pretty sight. It`s time to shout it out, for the good of all.