Saturday, January 11, 2003
A happy ending story
Fifteen years after Diane Kurtz lost her engagement ring, it was returned to her by a Hartford sewage treatment plant worker who found it at the bottom of a wastewater drainage pool. He also found her onyx ring that disappeared at the same time.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:06 PM Permalink
Trust me on this one: Financial Times (UK) has a very interesting story on a bank in Spain run by Catholic priests.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:03 PM Permalink
Tri-Valley Herald reports Pope John Paul II has appointed Aux. Bishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit to replace Bishop John Cummins of Oakland who is retiring.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:57 PM Permalink
Chicago Sun-Times reports that all 150 death sentences in the state of Illinois will be commuted by Governor George Ryan. Ryan leaves office on Monday.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:07 AM Permalink
Friday, January 10, 2003
We have community access television here in New York City. Channel 56 has a program I watched for the first time: Islam/Misunderstood Religion. It was four traditionally dressed women answering questions that were mailed in.
Question: How are we to see Allah?
Answer: We see Allah in these aspects:
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:54 PM Permalink
Many U.S. Catholic Bishops Set to Retire (AP: Newsday, Rachel Zoll)
By December, 32 of the 283 bishops active in the United States will be 75 -- the church's retirement age -- or older.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:22 PM Permalink
Two excellent sites -- and a response to Daniel Jonah Goldhagen
Catholic World News is a site with plenty of links on current news. Here it linked to Crisis Magazine where author Ronald Rychlak has an excellent critique of Goldlhagen's new book: A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair Here's 2 sentences from the review:
Goldhagen says that the book grew out of a request he received to review several recent books on the Catholic Church and Pope Pius XII. It looks as though he read the books but did not bother to verify their contents. He just culled the worst accusations from Garry Wills, Susan Zuccotti, James Carroll, John Cornwell, and others without giving any consideration to the serious flaws that have been noted in their books.
Moral Reckoning is full of errors in fact and reasoning. Yet because it targets the Catholic Church -- there will be no critical analysis of it -- as it follows the line of calling Pope Pius XII Hitler's Pope.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:22 PM Permalink
Direct attack on the Seal of the Confessional
Kentucky already requires members of the public, including clergy, to notify civil authorities about child abuse if they learn about the wrongdoing outside of the confessional.
As the article suggests, this is a first amendment issue.
Also although I have not read everything about the sexual abuse scandal, I have read a lot, and have never heard of a case where the sexual abuse of children actually prevented by a disclosure made in violation of the clergy-penitent right (or privilege).
This law attacks all religions and will not help end sexual abuse.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:56 PM Permalink
Flipping Criminal Priests - A New National Trend
It looks to me like a trend. What do you think?
"Flipping" refers to the practice in prosecutions of organized crime figures (like the late John Gotti) and financial frauds (like Martha Stewart's sale of ImClone) where you take a small fish and give that small fish a reduced sentence now or later -- for information that helps in the prosecution of a big fish.
I mentioned Fr. Hands of Long Island as having done this, and now we have the case of ex-priest John Giandelone who has agreed to assist in the investigation of Thomas O'Brien, Bishop of Phoenix. I assume the charge will be accessory before or after the fact to criminal sexual abuse. Associated Press via Los Angeles Times
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:41 PM Permalink
Matt Drudge tells of this Times (UK) report:
Vatican issues warning on dangers of 'online confession'
As a matter for the sacrament of Reconcilation, I thought this was a settled matter long ago: the recitation of sins and act of contrition had to be face-to-face and in person. Confession by writing, telephone, TV, radio, online, etc. was and remains invalid.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:51 PM Permalink
Stop me before I blog again!
TooGoodReports has this wonderful political commentary:
Who Can Say "Commander-In-Chief" In Klingon? By Lowell Phillips
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:43 AM Permalink
Thursday, January 09, 2003
Ann Rice, call your office
This UPI story tells us:
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:56 PM Permalink
Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany is taking on friendly fire from his natual ally New York State Senator and ACT-UP member Tom Duane.
The bishop has established Gay and Lesbian Ministries whose leaders are on the record denying the Catholic teaching on homosexuality (and mocking those who uphold it). The state senator is on the record as being gay and HIV-positive (and still healthy after 20 years).
NY Post Kenneth Lovett 1/9/2003
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:06 PM Permalink
Poynter Institute quotes National Catholic Reporter
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:20 PM Permalink
WMUR Radio New Hampshire reports on the mysterious death of a priest accused of sexual abuse. Fr. Richard Lower of the Diocese of Manchester NH.
...said in a letter sent to a friend in April that priests are suspended the instant they are accused. He said the result is that they are presumed guilty until proven innocent.
I wish I could have told him that any person in a position of honor or special responsibility is suspended when an accusation is made.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:06 PM Permalink
NY Times: Court rules that non-profit group cannot be sued for sexual abuse only the individual abusers
I don't see how this can stand as a precedent in New Jersey. The standard legal doctrine is that employers are partly liable for acts committed by their employees, and even organizations like the Boy Scouts get sucessfully sued for the crimes committed by volunteers.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:49 PM Permalink
This is my own opinion piece, not tied to any particular new story. As I live in New York City we've always been comfortable with the wide and generous availability of the Mass of Pope St. Pius V offerred in Latin in the parish of St. Agnes, and seen the extremes of the schismatic traditional movements such as Bayside -- so I'm not confronting radical traditionalists everyday.
However, I see a trend of "shooting the wounded" at work here -- to take delight in their obstinate errors.
I pray for them and for all the wounded unity of the Catholic Church and all Christians.
I can think of only one reason to engage them and that would be to make sure that Catholics in communion with the Pope and the Bishops appointed by him are not persuaded to leave the Church.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:34 AM Permalink
Wednesday, January 08, 2003
Updating my earlier blog on the two jurors in the terrorism trial who consulted their pastors during deliberations, the NY Times reports on the religions of the two: born-again Christian and Catholic.
Since they violated the court's instructions to discuss the case with no one, this could lead to the release of the terrorists or a new trial.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:56 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:19 PM Permalink
My Google angels have led me to Sports Section of the UK Guardian
This is a particularly extreme example of the anti-Catholic atmosphere that infects the UK -- and the author has found an American Jesuit who teaches what the Church teaches on the personhood of clones:
And geneticist and Jesuit priest Reverend Kevin FitzGerald was also quick to jump on the That-Keegan-Twat-Is-Talking-Total-Cak bandwagon. "Humans are more than the sum of their genes; they're also the products of their environment," said the Godbothering boffin from the Loyola Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois. "The clone of a human being would have a different environment than the person whose DNA it carried and would be a different person."
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:43 PM Permalink
Yahoo - Reuters shows us this photo
Hindu monks and pilgrims are making an annual trip to Sagar island, 150 km (95 miles) south of Calcutta, for a holy dip at the confluence of the Ganges river and the Bay of Bengal for a one-day festival of 'Makar Sankranti' on January 14.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:14 PM Permalink
Religion of Peace file: State of Kuwait via Reuters
Here's a reminder for all of who weren't clear on the question:
Yes, it is contrary to Islamic Law to kill a non-Muslim. (At least in Kuwait)
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:13 PM Permalink
This is a parody site Biz-O-Rama. It is poking fun at Yahoo Finance and CBS Marketwatch
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:55 PM Permalink
When I read this BBC review of the Catholic scandal, I thought this is goofy.
It's rather clueless -- it's like reading an Arab anaysis of Islamofascism confronting the United States that comes up with the obvious solution let everyone in the United States convert to Islam.
A lot of people have concluded that radical reform of Catholicism is the big three: an end to celibacy, the ordination of women, and making abortion a morally neutral act, if not righteous in itself.
The Catholic Church in the United States requires a radical reform but it is one of fidelity, holiness, and humility.
(And yes, I'm aware that celibacy is a discipline of the Roman Church and subject to reform by decree of the Roman Pontiff, and the latter two are contraventions of God-given law.)
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:37 PM Permalink
Required Reading for fans of Lord of the Rings -- Return of the King
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:55 PM Permalink
Tuesday, January 07, 2003
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:29 PM Permalink
Fox News: Turkish Group Wants 'Santa's Bones'
Only if we get back the True Cross which was captured at the Battle of Hattin at the end of the First Crusade
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:47 PM Permalink
Ananova reports: Bishop not to sanction Mexican priest shown having sex in video
I wish I could add an audio clip of my screaming here.
Since he's forgiven, there will be no punishment.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:34 PM Permalink
Religion of Peace File
Bangkok Post: Muslim's arrest sparks fury
Australian authorities denied yesterday the country's leading Muslim cleric was singled out by overzealous police on charges of assault over an altercation arising from a traffic offence.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:24 PM Permalink
AP reports: Daschle isn't running for president in 2004
Why am I blogging this? -- Here's why:
Daschle grew up a former Catholic altar boy in Aberdeen, S.D., the oldest of four sons of an auto parts distributor...
Who would have guessed it?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:19 PM Permalink
The Irish Examiner reports: [Archbishop of Dublin] Connell has no jurisdiction over fugitive priest
This one is a bit of a puzzle to me:
The AP reported in December 2002 that extradition would not take place as the crime of which O'Keeffe is accused is not a crime in Ireland (age of consent, statute of limitations, etc.).
I can't believe that's the whole story, but it's what there is now on the web.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:42 PM Permalink
New York Sun: Laura Ingraham writes in "Throwing Christians to the P.C. Lions" that University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and Rutgers threw Christian student groups off ther campus for their intolerance in requiring members of their groups to be Christians. (there is no link for this article yet).
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:30 AM Permalink
Insight Magazine: No need to add anything here. A radio talk show host remarks on the double standard: the lack of outrage in the media for the planned ridicule of the Catholic Church in the city's largest parade, the Mummers Parade. (As I blogged earlier, swift action by Cardinal Bevilaqua got the parody cancelled.)
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:22 AM Permalink
Monday, January 06, 2003
So call me a George Weigel Groupie
EPPC Just War and Preemption - Ethics and Public Policy Center
The full treatment of the topic is EPPC Lecture Moral Clarity in a Time of War (William E. Simon Lecture) I believe this article is very close to the First Things text itself -- which is here.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:43 PM Permalink
Catholic Church Must Lose the Psychobabble
George Weigel, Los Angeles Times, December 17, 2002
VATICAN CITY -- Let the healing begin.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:26 PM Permalink
Ghost in the Machine
The San Francisco Examiner proves my point that when you have a scientist with something wacky to prove -- just compare him to Galileo and compare skeptical scientists of today to the 17th century Catholic Church.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:12 PM Permalink
Presenting the perfect blend of Christianity and Paganism
The Annapolis Capital reports the satisfaction and elevation of priestess-to-be Dolores Ford.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:54 PM Permalink
The New York Times reports that drug abusers are being offerred $200 in cash if they accept sterilization.
It's so wacky that it has the ACLU and Catholic Church on the same page.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:27 PM Permalink
The Republican party has chosen New York as the host city for the 2004 national convention. (The Democrats have already chosen Boston).
I worked in Two Penn Plaza (aka WABC Radio aka Excellence in Broadcasting Bldg.) in 1980 and 1992 when the Democrats had their convention directly below me in Madison Square Garden. In 1980 I got to meet and shake hands with Ted Kennedy and Ralph Nader.
I work across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral now. I wonder what politicians and media types I will see at weekday Mass there.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:20 PM Permalink
WBRZ New Orleans reports that a former-computer teacher at a Catholic school in the Archdiocese of New Orleans claims he was fired for complaining about pornography on the school's computer.
Let me tell you -- I'm not posting every story today (1/6/03) that is coming across the AP Wire that scandalizes the Catholic Church -- I'm overwhelmed.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:45 PM Permalink
The Catholic Church is Fighting an Extension of the Statute of Limitations
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Catholic Church in California opposes the law which went into effect at the start of the year.
But church officials say the law violates a fundamental fairness. They say it forces dioceses to defend themselves in cases where evidence has gone stale memories have faded and alleged abusers have died.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:35 PM Permalink
But will Court TV televise the canonical trial?
The Suburban Chicago News updates the story of Fr. Raymond Skriba.
It's a rather lengthy report, so I will not quote it here. What makes it interesting is that Fr. Skriba adamantly denies the accusation and it is beyond the statute of limitations in civil and criminal law.
It, therefore, will be a full test of the Dallas process. to reduce to the lay state this priest.
Another interesting aspect of this article is it summarizes the process from the time of the alledged molestation to the present and what the future events are. So many verbs are used, I think the author has the thesaurus open:
For those of you, like myself, compiling a 21st century Catholic dictionary, the ephemism for the review boards on sexual abuse was formerly called the review board for the protection of children and it now called the Fitness Review Board
This board has no connection to the more famous President's Council on Physical Fitness
But given the priest shortage perhaps we need one in order to help these good priests live to be 100.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:10 PM Permalink
What would Judas, er... Jesus do?
This Lux-Log blog item: 1 Jan 2003 links to an official Lutheran site where people are getting high fives and pats on the back for deceiving immigrants from Catholic countries into thinking that the Luteran Church is really their own Church because it is small-c catholic.
If deception is being celebrated and they are taking delight in the pain that the Catholic faithful have with this crisis of sexual abuse by priests, then I pity them.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:39 PM Permalink
Render to Caesar what is Caesar's
Demanding Payment from 8th Century Saint
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:59 AM Permalink
As penance, Bishop O'Connell should perform this task himself
WBIR Knoxville TN reports that the name of Rev. Anthony O'Connell will be removed from the family life center of St. Mary's in Oak Ridge.
Bishop O'Connell admitted to sexual contact with a teenage seminary student in Missouri.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:47 AM Permalink
Sunday, January 05, 2003
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:18 PM Permalink
1996 Study: Nuns abused by priests in US
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the a 1996 study by St. Louis Univ. was intentionally never publicized. The report uses the number 34,000 for the number of victimized nuns. That's 40 percent.
No official Catholic body had a response to the disclosure of this study. I don't either. We'll look at this later.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:37 PM Permalink
They hate lettuce and the devil
The New York Times reports on the Yazidis. Their religion of 300,000 people has collected beliefs and practices form other religions in the areea of Iraq.
You can put this into the Nostra Aetate file on non-Christian religions:
[The Catholic Church] regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:53 PM Permalink
A new bio one of my heroes Cardinal Newman
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:09 PM Permalink
Comedian Eli Yatzpan's antics spark angry response
Israeli Insider reports this. This comment comes from Italian diplomatic sources.
"We're talking about cynical abuse of religion. If the Jewish religion was the target of ridicule in a similar way, Jewish groups would be claiming racism and anti-Semitism - and rightfully so."
What is remarkable about this story is the fact that it secular people making the comment and not Italy's equivalent of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
Our Government leaders can be heard to speak out on attacks (either by violence or ridicule) when the religion attacked is Judaism, Islam, Bhuddism, or anything but Christianity.
In fairness to the political leadership in New York City, let me mention that when there was several incidents of vandalism of statues outside of Catholic Churches a year ago, there was a condemnation of this and an effective police investigation that resulted in an arrest.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:27 PM Permalink