Saturday, May 10, 2003
Essay Questions for my Class:
1. A person says: If God is everywhere then I can pray to God anywhere and anytime. As Catholics we should go to Mass each Sunday and pray to God there. Give three reasons why: (for extra credit, give more than three reasons)
2. A person says that the Bible was written thousands of years ago what can be in the Bible that is worth reading about today? Give three reasons: (for extra credit, give more than three reasons)
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:35 AM Permalink
Washington Times: Judicial filibuster rule change faces high hurdle in Senate
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist yesterday proposed changing Senate rules for filibusters of presidential nominees before the chamber to allow a simple majority to override such obstructions.
Rodger Hedgecock subbing for Rush Limbaugh called the next steps in the Estrada nomination process "Domestic Shock and Awe".
The Democrats now have 2 filibusters going on judicial nominations, and more threatened. The consent of the Senate is constitutionally a majority and not 60% or 66% or 100%. (Article 2 Section 2)
The Senate unlimited rule applies to legislative debates (and not other matters). The rule can be changed by a majority. The strategies proposed by Frist, if successful, pave the way for the Supreme Court nominations.
I'm still looking for a reason why they don't end this by making it a real 24 x 7 filibuster with tag-team speeches and cots on the Senate floor.
It's a phony filibuster.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:29 AM Permalink
Friday, May 09, 2003
Arizona Republic: Ex-Vatican powerbroker living in Sun City
The most powerful and controversial American priest ever to work in the Vatican now plays golf and celebrates Mass in the Phoenix Diocese.
Marcinkus is titual archbishop of Orta. The only Orta I know of a is an Xbox game Panzer Dragoon Orta
If you are saying now: "Who is Archbishop Marcinkus?" -- you ought to click on the link and find out. It's a fascinating story.
This is a perfect extremeCatholic story -- obscure enough to be ignored by the mainstream Catholic News sources -- but interesting to the people whose interest in the Catholic Church is, well, extreme.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:49 PM Permalink
NY1: Four Queens High School Students May Be Cleared Of Rape Charges
Rape charges may be dismissed against four former Christ the King High School students. The four are accused of forcing a 15-year-old former classmate to have sex at a party last Halloween. Defense lawyers have insisted the sex was voluntary. A deal was reached Thursday calling for the charges to be dismissed in six months if the four stay out of trouble. However, they must perform community service. The girl has an order of protection against the boys in place until the case is dismissed. The teens were kicked out of Christ the King after the incident. There is no word yet on whether or not they'll be allowed to return to school.
This story doesn't get the same press as the Massapequa High School baseball players who went to a strip club. The above link connects to a video report.
I suppose it is the nightmare of every principal of a school to have crimes like that associated with the name of the school. Christ the King High School is about 3 miles from me in Queens.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:35 PM Permalink
AP: Killer of New York abortion doctor gets maximum 25 years to life sentence
James Kopp, the sniper who shot and killed an abortion doctor in his home five years ago, refused to apologize Friday as he was sentenced to the maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
For those of you outside of New York, a 25-to-life sentence at a jury trial is rare here. Much more common is a 20-25 year sentence. In real terms -- parole happens in as little at 10 years but given the publicity of Kopp's case - I suspect he will serve a full sentence with only the earned "good behavior" time diminishing his sentence.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:17 PM Permalink
Catholic World News: Orthodox Leader Backs Moscow against Vatican
The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has taken the side of Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexei II in his dispute with the Holy See.
The reasons for the division no longer exist. These men are old, newer men will come to see that this is an opportune time to restore the unity of the Church.
There seems to be come confusion among the Orthodox regarding what we Catholics are guilty of:
Choose one, choose them all.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:31 AM Permalink
Thursday, May 08, 2003
AP: Court Rules Fetus is Body Part
May 8, 2003 -- HARTFORD - Angering both sides of the abortion debate, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a fetus is a body part, akin to teeth or skin.
Yeah, I'm angry. Is this body part legally like a strand of hair or like the heart?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:46 AM Permalink
Boston Globe: Personal records barred in church abuse case
A state Superior Court judge has rejected as ''intrusive'' a motion by the Archdiocese of Boston to obtain the medical, psychological, and employment records of Paula and Rodney Ford, the parents of a Newton man who says he was sexually abused as a boy by the Rev. Paul R. Shanley, court documents show.And I bet you thought that the Archdiocese's legal tactics had softened a bit.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:19 AM Permalink
Boston Globe: Priest group official pans abuse policy
Guilty priests should never be allowed to return to public ministry, but neither should they be removed from the priesthood [said Fr. Bob Silva of Stockton CA]
Imagine that, dioceses where 40 or 50 percent of the priests are still drawing salary, benefits, food and housing allowances, and are not in public ministry because of a sexual abuse conviction.
If child rape isn't something the Fr. Silva thinks should be a reason to return a man to the status of laity, I wonder what would be.
Of course, when it comes to the career, comfort, and financial security of a priest, nothing should stand in the way, not even a conviction for child rape.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:04 AM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:22 AM Permalink
Newsday: High School Players Visit Strip Club, Get Suspended
A late-night journey to a Florida strip club during a spring break trip has cost 15 varsity baseball players at Massapequa High School the remainder of their season and the school suspended two coaches yesterday because of the incident, officials said.
The allegation is a parent did it, and the coaches knew. In a local television news segment on this, some of the parents wanted "no punishment" for anyone involved because it would mar the record of the students involved.
I think the parent who organized this trip should face abuse charges. Local geography note: Massapequa is an affluent town.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:07 AM Permalink
Wednesday, May 07, 2003
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Suspended teacher's aide sues employer over wearing cross on necklace
Blogger credit to Kevin Miller
I think this is be a slam-dunk for the religious freedom legal foundations. (St. Thomas More is the one I contribute to). I recall a similar story about a suspension of a teacher for merely keeping a bible somewhere in her classroom.
Around these parts (New York City) the wearing of a cross is more of a fashion statement than a statement of faith. Certainly I see more crosses worn by the local Goths (fans of Gothic/vampire themed fiction) than I do Christians.
The hostility to religion represented by this is sort of a canary in a coal mine -- waning of support for any visibility of religion in public.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:07 PM Permalink
Diogenes: Pilot Error
Boston's archdiocesan newspaper, the Pilot, has been a staunch defender of the bishops' conduct in the sex-abuse scandal, and a vociferous critic of the bishops' critics. Fair enough. But when a Pilot editorial suggests that other American institutions need to learn from the bishops' example, things are getting ridiculous.Diogenes is very much on-target here. Sorry if sounds like it's "beat up on bishops" day here at XC.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:49 PM Permalink
Beliefnet: America's Worst [Catholic] Bishops
The very solid and good work that has been accomplished by the majority of bishops in their dioceses has been completely overshadowed by the imprudent decisions of a number of bishops during the past ten years," said Bishop Wilton Gregory, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops during their historic meeting in Dallas earlier this month.
This is from Summer 2002 and my pre-blog-writing days, so all you folks might have already discovered it and read it, but it's new to me and maybe new to you.
In the past, I've found Beliefnet rather superficial on its coverage of Catholicism, but this article pulls in a lot of facts into one place, as well as responses by the bishops named as "bad". I just may go back to Beliefnet.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:01 PM Permalink
John Leo: Taking it off the streets
If you are worried about the state of free speech in America, consider the case of longtime protester Brett Bursey. Last October the 54-year-old Bursey, carrying an antiwar sign, was arrested at Columbia Metropolitan Airport in South Carolina during a visit by President Bush. He was on public property at the time but was charged with trespassing because he was outside the zone established for demonstrators that day. The zone was on the edge of a highway, a half-mile away from the president, where neither Bush nor the media were likely to noticeJohn Leo misses the point-slash-irony. The radical left has no one but themselves to blame.
The radical-left in the days of the Vietnam War believed that protest could take place in any public place. But as peaceful protests arose at abortion clinics the idea became fashionable among the radical left that this was a conflict with the privacy rights of the employees and victims - excuse me - "consumers" of their deadly services.
You've made this dung pile of the Constitutions right of the people peaceably to assemble. Now we share the misery.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:45 PM Permalink
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
Dallas Morning News: Lay woman runs parishes
KOSCIUSKO, Miss. - [Barbara] Sturbaum visits the sick, teaches the faith and prepares couples for marriage. She provides counseling and spiritual guidance. She advises each congregation's parish council and oversees the parishes' finances.A lot to ponder here. The resident part I get. The "pastoral" part and the "minister" part I don't. The article leaves so much out: what is her background to take on this role? Her formation? How does she see herself as an employee of the bishop, or as a parish priest without the formal status of being a priest?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:59 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:26 PM Permalink
CNN has put the story of Dominican Sister Maryanne Pierre on its home page
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:13 PM Permalink
Reuters: Saint's Town Up in Arms Over Vatican Move
ROME (Reuters) - The small Italian town where the world famous mystic monk Padre Pio is buried was up in arms on Monday after the Vatican (news - web sites) named a commissioner to oversee his shrine that generates hundreds of millions of dollars.
I wonder if this sort of thing happens in Linz
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:02 PM Permalink
Family Research Council: Gambling is not a virtue
Mr. Bennett has simply shown himself to have feet of clay. We are, after all, made of dust. Christians are called upon to be good stewards of God's blessings. Mr. Bennett has apparently reflected on the quality of his stewardship and issued the following statement late today: "I have done too much gambling, and this is not an example I wish to set...Therefore, my gambling days are over." Good for Mr. Bennett. It's what a man of virtue would do.
Best comment I've seen so far on the matter. For the record, I don't gamble.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:34 AM Permalink
Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?
Oh, how I love that Groucho Marx line. It got me to thinking how in spiritual matters our eyes, and, in fact, all our senses lie to us.
I remember a nun telling me that if you could really see a human soul in mortal sin, you'd die of fright and terror, If you could really see a human soul in the state of grace, you'd be knocked unconcious in shock and awe of it.
All the senses fool us into think what's bad for us is really good. Eve, of course, stands at the head of the list The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom.
So I told my 6th grade class, When the devil comes, he or she won't be ugly. The devil will look like the best things your eyes have ever see. That's why tell call it temptation. You are drawn to it.
That's what we call a spiritual reality
Another spiritual reality is how common stuff like bread, water, and wine becomes the reality, the substance, of the Body and Blood of Our Lord. You see and taste bread but what do you believe?
It wasn't Groucho Marx but that other famous philosopher, St. Thomas who said that faith supplies all that the senses fail to deliver. With five senses, we are still incomplete humans. Faith completes us.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:58 AM Permalink
Monday, May 05, 2003
How? How could I possibly guess that, in the end, she would choose abortion over adoption?
The show (which I've never seen is called Everwood). This is from CNN description:
Brown advises the woman to wait three days and consider adoption or giving birth. After the wait, she chooses to end the pregnancy
I don't think there's ever been a TV or Hollywood movie that showed that giving birth to such a child would be the happy ending .
Sometimes I think the person who said that abortion is their sacrament, got it right.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:35 PM Permalink
Jonah Goldberg of National Review Online agrees with me on the case of William Bennett.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:03 PM Permalink
Boston Globe: Matthews puts Holy Cross in hot seat
A high-profile graduate of the College of the Holy Cross is protesting the college's decision to grant an honorary degree to its commencement speaker, television commentator Chris Matthews, because he says Matthews's prochoice views contradict the school's Catholic principles.While other Catholic blogs discuss the above -- here's the extreme critique of the Jesuits -- they are not human.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:39 AM Permalink
What's Going on with Mainline Protestant Religions?
Westchester Journal-News: Mainline Protestants being left behind
If you have an interest in the "big but getting smaller" five: Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Methodist, and United Church of Christ -- then these are articles you should read. Geographic references: Scarsdale is upper-middle class, the archtype of the New York City suburb. Yonkers is much more a combination of the underclass and working class.
The numbers are astounding: these demoninations as a group have an average of 330 members per church. Catholics on the other hand have 8,000 members per church. I know the participation rates are different but even given that, this means that many of these churches are basically abandoned.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:32 AM Permalink
Oregonian: Dioceses nationwide wait on Bend case
05/05/03 Carol McGraw
The point the article misses is that the corporation law that determines the legal form of the Catholic Church is determined by the state. I don't know how the judge will decide, but I do have predictions:
Actually, I tend to doubt that the assets are being transferred to parishes. What is a "parish"? Around these parts they (i.e. the bishop and his staff) open, merge, divide, move boundaries, close parishes all the time. To me a parish looks more like a "chattel" than it does an entity exercising independed judgment acting in its own self-interest.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:09 AM Permalink
Sunday, May 04, 2003
Catholic World News:A Church Musician's Lament, Michael Olbash
In a typical American parish, the selection of music betrays--and reinforces--an irreverent approach to the Mass.
Here's another item with a personal connection. Michael's first parish was my own: St. Sebastian, Woodside, Diocese of Brooklyn-Queens.
This is a very good article. He names names.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:44 PM Permalink
Captain Louis Renault of the Gendamerie in film Casablanca announces he is closing Rick's. I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here! and then he is handed his winnings.
I thought of that when I read these two stories today.
Catholic News Service: Pope says globalization must be regulated by international consensus
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- If globalization is to benefit all the world's inhabitants, it must be directed and regulated with international consensus, Pope John Paul II said.The pope seems to have picked up Democratic Party talking points by talking about special interests.
Suspicion of free markets and the desire to control them is quite common in history.
The whole idea of free markets is that they are "directed and regulated" by the people involved in making the buying and selling decisions. The market is directed and regulated by a third party whether it is a Communist central planning committee or "international consensus" is no longer a free market.
I'm shocked, shocked to find globalization in the retail food industry. Here, Holy Father, are the one million hamburgers you ordered. Thanks.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:41 PM Permalink
Catholic News Service: Bishop lifts ban on Voice of the Faithful meetings on church grounds
BROOKLYN, NY. (CNS) -- Bishop Thomas V. Daily of Brooklyn has lifted his ban on the use of church property for meetings of the Voice of the Faithful lay group. Bishop Daily said he made the decision based on the recommendations of a diocesan committee, headed by Auxiliary Bishop Ignatius A. Catanello, which met with Voice of the Faithful leaders.Bishop Thomas Daily turned 75 in September 2003. We have expected his replacement to be appointed any day now since then.
Blogger Credit: Dominico Bettinelli
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:41 PM Permalink
French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, faced with a rise in radical Islam in schools, has said his government could act to give teachers formal legal power to expel students who flaunt their religion.
Anti-headscarf legislation would never be constitutional in the United States. In my neighborhood in Queens / New York City, one can see the headscarfs on mothers. The unmarried women don't wear it.
I think the French will shortly go into a panic over losing their own country. It won't require a Muslim majority, it will only take an indifferent French majority.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:45 PM Permalink