May 11, 2007

Pope in Sao Paulo Stadium

I watched part of the Pope's visit to Brazil last night on EWTN and concluded the youth were there to be entertained. Lively songs, dancing, and a festive atmosphere prevailed in the Sao Paulo stadium. I watched the TV broadcast for only about 40 min, and the program organizers believed they needed to attract young people with candy. Personally, I believe sweets are not good or necessary, as witness the attraction of young Muslims to the difficult work of militant Islam.

Partly I was concerned because of the music. Art is powerful, and music and dancing stir up our emotions. All of the arts are powerful shapers of character. A long time ago, I bought a large book that described how music was used to influence societies. I did not hear the kind of music last night in Sao Paulo that called people to higher things. Did the Pope call Brazilian youth to holy things? Yes, he used words--but the music and other arts did not reinforce his message.

May 8, 2007

Favors of the AntiChrist

Staying abreast of news on important Catholic blogs is easier with Google Reader that presents brief snippets of new posts. Once you scan each snippet (and are offered the opportunity to link to the complete post), you won't see it again on Google's Reader. It saves time, but it means Google keeps detailed track of your blog reading.

One of the Rorate Coeli posts that I had missed from March 30 discussed the Papally invited Lenten retreat by Cardinal Biffi to Pope Benedict XVI and the top members of the Vatican. The post is based on a LifeSiteNews article that states:
Cardinal Biffi is most well known, at least in the secular media, for his preaching on the Antichrist. In fact, the Times of London reported in 2004 that the Cardinal described the Antichrist as "walking among us."
In particular, the Rorate Coeli post states AntiChrist will promote pacifism, ecology, and ecumenism. I've already written of Google and their charitable foundation. Please read this post again to see my concerns. Google's power continues to grow. Some of their increasing suite of new applications can be reviewed here, including free replacement software for virtually everything that Microsoft (and every other major software developer) sells!

I noted to a friend that I was concerned about Google because my parents used to warn me that nothing is really free--everything has a cost. My friend responded with this very insightful comment about Google Apps:
Try this one- 'A penny for your thoughts'. Since there's no software or apps to download (and for you to use, OFFLINE), it makes all your actions and communications rather transparent to 'them', doesn't it? If I was a cynic (and I may well be), I wouldn't feel that they were doing me any real favors.
Can the devil read your mind? The Church says 'no'. But Google can--to a significant degree if you use their Apps or their lobbying software. Maybe Cardinal Biffi is on to something. BTW, the word 'google'--there's nothing similar to it in the English language, except googol (which is the name for the large number 10100 that Google is named for). I'm also reminded of the words "Barney Google" and "gargoyle." You might want to read the Wikipedia articles on googol and gargoyles.

I've just tried to delete my Google Reader. Guess what? The only option is to delete all Google Account services--including this blog. I mustn't forget to look at changing my blog to WordPress, like the Cornell Society for a Good Time has done. That is, until Google decides to buy WordPress.