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Bishop Requires Lay People to Affirm Church Teachings
KATU TV News (AP) ^ | July 29, 2004 | Aviva L. Brandt

Posted on 07/30/2004 12:31:48 PM PDT by Convert from ECUSA

PORTLAND, Ore. - As a lay liturgical minister and a cantor, Wilma Hens was a leader at her Roman Catholic church in Bend for years.

But then Bishop Robert F. Vasa of the Diocese of Baker, headquartered in Bend, issued a two-page "affirmation of faith" that he requires all lay ministers and cantors to agree to.

Hens said she couldn't accept the document, which repeatedly states "I affirm and believe" the church's teachings opposing abortion, contraception, homosexuality and other issues. So she quit. Publicly.

She stood at a microphone at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Bend last month and told the congregation she was quitting her roles in the church because she could not accept the bishop's requirement.

"I could no longer pretend that I could ascend to some of those articles of faith any more than others can," she said Thursday.

The affirmation singled out issues that many American Catholics have struggled with, such as the sinfulness of contraception and "the church's teaching that any extramarital sexual relationships are gravely evil and that these include premarital relations, masturbation, fornication, the viewing of pornography and homosexual relations."

"I happen to believe that many of the teachings on human sexuality are just plain faulty," said Hens, one of at least six lay ministers to quit because of the affirmation. "I don't want to be held to those teachings. I cannot give my full assent. I don't want to pretend to do so in order to be a lay minister."

The Rev. James Logan, spokesman for Vasa, said the bishop was simply making his expectations for the lay ministers clear.

He said they would be expected to have read and agreed with the affirmations before resuming their jobs when it goes into effect next spring.

"What he's asked for is not a public proclamation but an internal checklist they would read through," Logan said.

The Baker Diocese is not the only one putting a new emphasis on making sure that lay ministers are following church teachings.

In Chicago, Cardinal Francis George sent a letter to Chicago-area pastors reminding them that a policy on fitness for lay ministry established in 1994 is still in effect, Catholic News Service reported this week.

James Dwyer, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Chicago, wasn't surprised by the Baker Diocese's new policy.

"I don't understand why the secular press is so surprised the leader of a church would expect a lay minister to support church teachings," he said.

But Tom Dolezal of Bend said it's not a matter of supporting church teachings, it's the blind adherence to dogma.

"If he (the bishop) is going to exclude any one who has any doubt about a church teaching, he's going to exclude 100 percent of the membership of the church, including himself. He has to be a human being, the same as me, and I have doubts about some of the church teachings," Dolezal said.

Dolezal, a communion minister and lector, has not resigned from his positions. He said he plans to confront the bishop and see if the bishop forces him out of his job.

The Rev. Thomas Reese, editor of the Jesuit magazine America, said it was normal to expect lay ministers to follow church teachings. But he said the affirmation was unusual.

"Typically what occurs is it's general policy that people involved in ministry to the church are to be loyal and faithful members of the church.

If they find someone who's communion minister who's leader of Planned Parenthood and running an abortion clinic, they tend to get fired. But this is unusual," Reese said.

The policy wasn't controversial for at least some priests in the Baker Diocese.

The Rev. Rogatian Urassa of Sacred Heart Church in Klamath Falls said it was too soon to tell how the policy would affect the people of his church because it doesn't go into effect until next spring.

"It's only in specified ministries. It will not be mandated to everyone who works in the church; people working in non-faith activities will not have to sign," Urassa said.

"But you cannot have a lay minister who is not vested in the faith and think that person will be able to direct the religious education programs. I think it's just an affirmation of what we're doing."

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


TOPICS: Catholic; Theology
KEYWORDS: affirmation; faithfulness; teachings
Bishop Vasa seems to mean business! I'll say this, at least this lay minister admitted she could not affirm the affirmation of faith resigned. Too many stay in these positions who don't believe; they prefer to remain as termites and undermine things.
1 posted on 07/30/2004 12:31:51 PM PDT by Convert from ECUSA
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To: Convert from ECUSA
Hens said she couldn't accept the document, which repeatedly states "I affirm and believe" the church's teachings opposing abortion, contraception, homosexuality and other issues. So she quit. Publicly.

She stood at a microphone at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Bend last month and told the congregation she was quitting her roles in the church because she could not accept the bishop's requirement.

This just goes to show how selfish the modernists are.

2 posted on 07/30/2004 12:36:21 PM PDT by Pyro7480 (Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, sancta Dei Genitrix.... sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper...)
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To: Pyro7480; Convert from ECUSA
She stood at a microphone at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Bend last month and told the congregation she was quitting her roles in the church because she could not accept the bishop's requirement.

Why was the apostate even given a microphone in a Catholic church?

3 posted on 07/30/2004 12:43:00 PM PDT by Land of the Irish
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To: Land of the Irish; Pyro7480

One wonders. Shoot, in this day and age it's a "victory" when even one termite admits they cannot affirm the Faith and resigns. Dragging them kicking and screaming while applying Lysol and a large mop! I guess there is still that thing of being "fair" and letting people "have their say."


4 posted on 07/30/2004 12:49:17 PM PDT by Convert from ECUSA (tired of shucking and jiving)
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To: Convert from ECUSA
"Dragging them kicking and screaming while applying Lysol and a large mop!"

"What he's (Bishop Robert F. Vasa) asked for is not a public proclamation but an internal checklist they would read through," Logan said.

Let her do her kicking and screaming out on the street, not in a Catholic sanctuary.

5 posted on 07/30/2004 1:03:16 PM PDT by Land of the Irish
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To: Convert from ECUSA

The Church is not a democracy nor is she a public institution to which the First Amendment applies -- she is a private association whose whole raison d'etre is what she considers to be divinely-revealed truth. As such, the Church has every right to expect those who participate in her activities to accept what the Church teaches. In a free society, the Church has every right to do this. No one is forced to be Catholic and if they don't support Catholic teaching, they are free to go elsewhere.


6 posted on 07/30/2004 1:11:18 PM PDT by Unam Sanctam
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To: Convert from ECUSA

"these include ..., masturbation,"

Confessionals would be overflowing if everyone guilty of this "sin" stepped forward...


7 posted on 07/30/2004 1:32:35 PM PDT by Blzbba (John Kerry - Dawn of a New Error.)
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To: Blzbba
Confessionals should be overflowing ... for a wide variety of reasons. Some parishes have fairly long lines, a good sign that at least some of the parishoners have a reasonably well developed conscience.
8 posted on 07/30/2004 1:37:19 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is aborting, buggering, and contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Blzbba

Would priests have to be first in line?
:-)

I do believe some are able to resist, and still more "abuse" themselves less frequently.
Still it is funny.


9 posted on 07/30/2004 1:39:03 PM PDT by Mark in the Old South
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To: Mark in the Old South

"Would priests have to be first in line?
:-) "


While I appreciate the humor, I personally see nothing wrong with a priest choosing this form of 'release' over the type of behavior that's brought so much negative attention to the Church lately. Face it - it's biologically unhealthy for a male to have no form of release whatsoever.

What's the Church's position on nocturnal emissions? Are those 'grave sins' too?


10 posted on 07/30/2004 1:45:23 PM PDT by Blzbba (John Kerry - Dawn of a New Error.)
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To: Blzbba

I am going to let you be unhappy all by yourself.


11 posted on 07/30/2004 1:56:10 PM PDT by Mark in the Old South
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To: Blzbba
What's the Church's position on nocturnal emissions? Are those 'grave sins' too?

One of the nice things about the Catholic Church is that it's easy to find what they teach.

What do you think? Can an involuntary action be a sin? Look up what they have to say about sin if you aren't sure what to think.

2352 By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. "Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action."138 "The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose." For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of "the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved."139

To form an equitable judgment about the subjects' moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety, or other psychological or social factors that can lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.

12 posted on 07/30/2004 3:17:14 PM PDT by siunevada
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To: Blzbba
I know I said I was going to leave you alone but I am having these urges. I can resist anything but temptation. I need to "release" this question on you.
Just lay there for a minute.

So do you think it might be possible that masturbation is the gateway sex?
:-D
13 posted on 07/30/2004 3:33:23 PM PDT by Mark in the Old South
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To: Mark in the Old South

"I am going to let you be unhappy all by yourself."


Ummm...huh?


14 posted on 07/30/2004 3:55:48 PM PDT by Blzbba (John Kerry - Dawn of a New Error.)
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To: siunevada

"which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation"


So...if my wife is post-menopause and thus unable to procreate, is sex no longer an option for us as a married couple?

Or if she is of child-birthing age, but unable to conceive (or vice versa for male fertility issues), are we not permitted to have sex, since we're just doing it for pure enjoyment?


15 posted on 07/30/2004 3:58:17 PM PDT by Blzbba (John Kerry - Dawn of a New Error.)
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To: siunevada
To form an equitable judgment about the subjects' moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety, or other psychological or social factors that can lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability

IOW, there are likely very few acts of masturbation that can be considered mortal sins.

16 posted on 07/30/2004 3:59:11 PM PDT by sinkspur (There's no problem on the inside of a kid that the outside of a dog can't cure.)
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To: Mark in the Old South

"I know I said I was going to leave you alone but I am having these urges."


Sorry, but I agree with the Church re:homosexuality.


17 posted on 07/30/2004 3:59:13 PM PDT by Blzbba (John Kerry - Dawn of a New Error.)
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To: Blzbba

You can, and should, make love to your wife.


18 posted on 07/30/2004 4:00:02 PM PDT by sinkspur (There's no problem on the inside of a kid that the outside of a dog can't cure.)
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To: sinkspur

"You can, and should, make love to your wife."

Thanks - I'll take that advice tonight!

Personally, I find it difficult to believe that a loving God would be too upset about the sexual activity of a loving, married couple, as long as it stays within the confines of their marriage (i.e. no 'swinging' or 'swapping'). I know that my belief does not equal moral truth, but this is my opinion and like every other faith-based opinion on Earth, there's no way to accurately disprove/prove it short of dying.

We'll all find out the Truth eventually and I bet we'll all be in for a surprise on many levels.


19 posted on 07/30/2004 4:07:17 PM PDT by Blzbba (John Kerry - Dawn of a New Error.)
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To: Blzbba
Personally, I find it difficult to believe that a loving God would be too upset about the sexual activity of a loving, married couple, as long as it stays within the confines of their marriage

Me either.

20 posted on 07/30/2004 4:11:04 PM PDT by sinkspur (There's no problem on the inside of a kid that the outside of a dog can't cure.)
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To: Convert from ECUSA

"But then Bishop Robert F. Vasa of the Diocese of Baker, headquartered in Bend, issued a two-page "affirmation of faith" that he requires all lay ministers and cantors to agree to."

Another case of too little, too late?
It seems some well-meaning bishops are now slowly starting to close the stable-door 40 years after the horse has bolted. Archbishop Lefebvre, on the other hand, clearly saw the writing on the wall decades back - but was "excommunicated" so the revolution could continue, and continue it certainly has. The liberals of yesteryear are now billed as "arch-conservatives", heretics are considered "compassionate progressives", and traditionalists are branded "schismatic".


21 posted on 07/30/2004 4:11:47 PM PDT by AskStPhilomena
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To: Blzbba

Yes and the 3 I see on line every week surely represents a good percentage of the 200 hundred who recieve the next day. Of course the young woman who brings up the Gifts to the altar in her mini skirt cut below the cheeks really helps the young guys stay in the State of Grace for the Euchrist.

On one hand you say be careful of the door on the way out but on the other, we will pray for you.


22 posted on 07/30/2004 4:44:14 PM PDT by franky (Pray for the souls of the faithful departed. Pray for our own souls to receive the grace of a happy)
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To: Convert from ECUSA

Now here this! This is God! All Catholic Bishops must do likewise ASAP. I would rather have a few believing Catholics than Millions who pick and choose what they want to believe and spread scandal every where. Either you are for me or against me. A maybe or a somewhat is the same as a NO!


23 posted on 07/30/2004 4:51:40 PM PDT by mistercolins
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To: Convert from ECUSA

1 down, 10,000,000 to go.


24 posted on 07/30/2004 4:56:20 PM PDT by AlbionGirl
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To: Blzbba
###"Face it - it's biologically unhealthy for a male to have no form of release whatsoever."###

From what secular textbook did you read this.

As a personal question that you do not have to answer:

How many hours per day do you spend praying for the Holy Spirit to make you pure.

If a person and that includes priests spent the time in prayer for purity they would not have to worry about wet dreams.

Prayer and the Holy Spirit does wonders. You might be surprised.
25 posted on 07/30/2004 4:58:34 PM PDT by franky (Pray for the souls of the faithful departed. Pray for our own souls to receive the grace of a happy)
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To: Convert from ECUSA; GatorGirl; maryz; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; Askel5; ...
"I happen to believe that many of the teachings on human sexuality are just plain faulty," said Hens, one of at least six lay ministers to quit because of the affirmation. "I don't want to be held to those teachings. I cannot give my full assent. I don't want to pretend to do so in order to be a lay minister."

The Catholic Church has NO "lay ministers", none. This Bishop is doing the right thing. He needs our prayers, as I assure you, he will be attacked by the vicious coven of feminazis that had been used to running the Diocese.

26 posted on 07/30/2004 5:14:28 PM PDT by narses (If you want ON or OFF my Catholic Ping List email me. +)
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To: narses
The Catholic Church has NO "lay ministers", none.

Ding ding ding ding! You have won the daily double!

This Bishop is doing the right thing. He needs our prayers, as I assure you, he will be attacked by the vicious coven of feminazis that had been used to running the Diocese.

Yep already on the way, long before this post!
27 posted on 07/30/2004 5:16:35 PM PDT by Dominick ("Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought." - JP II)
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To: Dominick

Today is my lucky day. For the Trifecta, let's pray for more Bishops with spines, more holy priests and more holy religous vocations.


28 posted on 07/30/2004 5:18:42 PM PDT by narses (If you want ON or OFF my Catholic Ping List email me. +)
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To: franky

"How many hours per day do you spend praying for the Holy Spirit to make you pure."


About as many as I spend praying to not have to go to the bathroom, i.e. zero.

The difference between us here, I think, is that you see idea of thinking about sex as somehow impure, whereas I see it as a natural bodily function.


29 posted on 07/30/2004 5:24:25 PM PDT by Blzbba (John Kerry - Dawn of a New Error.)
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To: franky

"The difference between us here, I think, is that you see idea of thinking about sex as somehow impure, whereas I see it as a natural bodily function."


I would add that I am not in support of ACTING upon every sexual impulse, nor am I in support of extramarital sex, but I can't be convinced that masturbation, esp. by a priest (since a priest has no other outlet given his Vows) is an evil, impure act, nor a grave sin.


30 posted on 07/30/2004 5:27:07 PM PDT by Blzbba (John Kerry - Dawn of a New Error.)
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To: narses; Dominick
For the Trifecta, let's pray for more Bishops with spines, more holy priests and more holy religous vocations.

Win, place, and show!  AMEN
31 posted on 07/30/2004 5:30:00 PM PDT by GirlShortstop ( O sublime humility! That the Lord... should humble Himself like this... )
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To: GirlShortstop

I should buy a lotto ticket. :)


32 posted on 07/30/2004 5:45:35 PM PDT by narses (If you want ON or OFF my Catholic Ping List email me. +)
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To: Blzbba

So you think St. Paul is an unhelthy, bad role model? As well as Jesus?


33 posted on 07/30/2004 5:48:15 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Blzbba
Face it - it's biologically unhealthy for a male to have no form of release whatsoever.

So if a man was yunable to find a willing partner, then rape would be okay?

34 posted on 07/30/2004 5:49:06 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Blzbba; franky; GatorGirl; maryz; afraidfortherepublic; Antoninus; Aquinasfan; Askel5; livius; ...
Blzbba said to franky:
The difference between us here, I think, is that you see idea of thinking about sex as somehow impure, whereas I see it as a natural bodily function.

Sex is a natural function with a natural purpose. Like all of life, it also has a supernatural function, reserved by God to the marital act. Sexual continence is not unhealthy, else we would provide all of us who travel with health release workers (prostitutes). The fact is, many of us are aware that "thinking about sex" can be moral or not moral depending on who we are thinking about and what we are thinking about. Our Lord was very clear, looking with lust upon a women not our wife is adultery, a mortal sin. Acting on that lustful look either in solitary abuse or in physical adultery is sinful. You may not be Christian, in which case you may disagree, but if you are Christian, you truly cannot disagree and be faithful to Our Lord.

35 posted on 07/30/2004 5:52:42 PM PDT by narses (If you want ON or OFF my Catholic Ping List email me. +)
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To: Blzbba

"I would add that I am not in support of ACTING upon every sexual impulse, nor am I in support of extramarital sex, but I can't be convinced that masturbation, esp. by a priest (since a priest has no other outlet given his Vows) is an evil, impure act, nor a grave sin."


I can't remember the exact chapter and verse, but Our Lord told us in Scripture "he whosoever looks upon a woman with lust in his heart commits adultery". I would take this to mean if a man looks at a woman to excite himself sexually, even without touching, he is committing a sin which God equates with breaking the 6th commandment (and 9th).

St. Paul also exhorts men to "control their vessel" and be chaste according to their state in life. I find it difficult to justify when masturbation would be ok based on these few Scripture passages. What would convince you it is a grave sin?

To me it seems most people have no control over their passions and/or let them run wild, which is the philosophy of our modern society. Look at how gluttony is afflicting our society! Don't most of your non-Catholic friends think it somewhat odd to have to fast and obstain on Fridays and during Lent? Why curb our passions?

Our intellect is supposed to lead us, not our lower appetites. We should be pure in thought, word, and deed. Pray to St. Joseph!


36 posted on 07/30/2004 6:11:55 PM PDT by corpus
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To: Convert from ECUSA; ultima ratio

From the article:

"I happen to believe that many of the teachings on human sexuality are just plain faulty," said Hens, one of at least six lay ministers to quit because of the affirmation. "I don't want to be held to those teachings. I cannot give my full assent. I don't want to pretend to do so in order to be a lay minister."


WOW!!! One wonders how many "Catholics" there are if this is what lay parish "leaders" believe - "to Hell with what the Church teaches, I want it MY way!" Sounds like the Modernist philosophy of all too many clergymen is coming back to haunt them.


37 posted on 07/30/2004 6:23:50 PM PDT by corpus
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To: sinkspur

You may get mad at this, but you are the one who brought it up: what a hypocrite.


38 posted on 07/30/2004 9:33:13 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: narses

narses,

Just a quick note to say thanks for being such a faithful son of our Lord and Lady. You are a trooper on these boards and we are better for your presence here.

Keep up the great work my brother.

Kevin


39 posted on 07/30/2004 10:30:49 PM PDT by cpforlife.org (The Missing Key of the Pro-Life Movement is at www.CpForLife.org)
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To: cpforlife.org

Thank you.


40 posted on 07/31/2004 2:51:46 AM PDT by narses (If you want ON or OFF my Catholic Ping List email me. +)
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To: Blzbba
So...if my wife is

You could look up what they have to say about your questions if your questions are actually serious.

I would suspect most of the answers would be rather common sense that you wouldn't quibble with too much.

41 posted on 07/31/2004 11:47:34 AM PDT by siunevada
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To: nickcarraway

"So if a man was yunable to find a willing partner, then rape would be okay?"


That stupid question is unworthy of an answer.


42 posted on 07/31/2004 2:25:00 PM PDT by Blzbba (John Kerry - Dawn of a New Error.)
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To: Unam Sanctam

Exactly! Problem is that the termites won't leave!


43 posted on 08/02/2004 5:44:52 AM PDT by Convert from ECUSA (tired of shucking and jiving)
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To: AlbionGirl

Yep. But it has to start somewhere.


44 posted on 08/02/2004 5:51:15 AM PDT by Convert from ECUSA (tired of shucking and jiving)
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To: corpus

Yep. What goes around, comes around. St. Paul had it on the money - what one sows, one reaps. Lots of Lysol, Chlorox, Comet, and mops needed.


45 posted on 08/02/2004 5:54:04 AM PDT by Convert from ECUSA (tired of shucking and jiving)
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