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Saturday, July 26, 2003
 
Newsday: Group Seeks Murphy Resignation
Leaders of the local Voice of the Faithful chapter yesterday overwhelming supported a proposal calling for the resignation of Bishop William Murphy and other bishops who once served in the Archdiocese of Boston.

Newsday: Catholic League supports Bishop Murphy of Rockville Center (Long Island) Diocese.

No one has ever charged Bishop Murphy with moving molesting priests from parish to parish or anything like that. That is why the report has nothing incriminating to say about him. If, in fact, he were guilty, the Catholic League would not defend him.

"It is tempting for activist organizations that are angry at the Church to steamroll their way to justice. But justice demands that innocent people not be run over. This is what is happening to Bishop Murphy. Just because he served in Boston he is considered, ipso facto, guilty. This represents a collapse of discernment that is despicable.

"Voice of the Faithful will not succeed in its demagogic attempt to silence Bishop Murphy. They are in over their heads on this one."

On this one, I'm with the Catholic League. I don't believe that Murphy has reassigned sexual predators. For me that's the bottom line.

The VOTF position appears to be a neo-McCarthyism:

Are you now or have you ever been a bishop in Boston Archdiocese?

The news that I hear regarding Bishop Murphy is rather positive: he is reversing the heterodoxy and abuses that were tolerated for 24 years under Bishop McGann and by his immediate predecessor (who was bishop for only 10 months in 2000).

Also, the District Attorneys of his diocese don't have any further investigations and certainly none since his December 2000 apppointment.

So, if VOTF has a problem with Murphy, it must have been his six years as auxiliary in Boston, yet Boston's concluding report doesn't find fault in his actions there.

Therefore, I don't support their accusations -- it is guilt by association.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:04 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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USA Today: "Hunting Bambi" safari was a hoax
A promoter who offered to take men on "Hunting for Bambi" safaris in which they could hunt down naked young women with paintball guns admits that it was a hoax and now faces misdemeanor charges, the mayor said Friday.

As if you didn't know, or at least suspect that that was the case. I found this threat from the mayor remarkable:

"I'll do everything I can to see this man is punished for trying to embarrass Las Vegas," [Mayor Oscar] Goodman said.
I think there's a bigger issue here: what city is the biggest embarrassment to the United States?

If you're getting married in Sin City, why not make it a wild and crazy experience? Las Vegas wedding chapels offer weird weddings galore. You can get married in a drive-thru chapel, get married by Elvis, have a Harley Davidson-themed wedding, get married at the Las Vegas Hilton's Star Trek Experience, or even have a nude ceremony. Only in Vegas. Go Vegas

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:15 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Friday, July 25, 2003
 
About.com: New York Times Under More Fire

It looks like someone's prayer for God's wrath to smite the New York Times was recently answered.

So shall it be written, so shall it be done!


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:33 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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(Chesterfield) Progress-Index: Judge to decide 'witch' prayers are allowed in Chesterfield
I say I am a witch. I claim that word," Cynthia Simpson, 47, of Chesterfield, told reporters outside the U.S. District Court building in Richmond yesterday, following oral arguments in the civil suit she filed against the county in December 2002.

I think I have a fan at WABC Radio, or someone there coincidentally finds some of the same stories I do.

Cynthia Simpson, self-proclaimed "witch", was on the Curtis-Kuby show as a guest and exposed her real agenda.

As you might guess, her agenda is explicitly anti-Christian.

She said that the remedy she was seeking was her inclusion in the list of people who offer a prayer at the legislative sessions by eliminating any criteria whatsoever for a religion. She was asked what criteria she would apply which would include her "religion" and exclude a white supremacy "religion". She said that would be impossible.

A little shock from the two hosts (Curtis describes himself as ultra-conservative and Kuby describes himself as a Communuist)

They reply: "OK, you know that's not going to happen as there would be chaos if there's no criteria. What happens next?"

Simpson: Well, Americans United for Separation of Church and State will go to court for me to prohibit any prayer before legislative sessions

Kuby replies: "I'm an atheist, but as far as I know there are no Jews in Chesterfield County".

Simpson: Yes.

Kuby: "No Muslims?"

Simpson: No.

Kuby: "So this remedy would only affect the Christians in Chesterfield County".

Simpson: Yes, but that's not the point...

Well done, Ron! We see the hidden agenda.

As the questioning progressed, it appeared that she expected but wasn't being given questions that went to whether wicca has characteristics of a religion, as opposed to personal beliefs which Simpson herself holds.

Curtis's questions were on target on this point:

Curtis: Your religion has many followers in Chesterfield County?

Simpson: Yes.

Curtis: Have they flooded the phones at the legislature or local TV?

Simpson: No.

Curtis: Have they had a letter-writing campaign.

Simpson: No.

Curtis: Have they turned out en masse for a demonstration?

Simpson: No.

Curtis: Isn't it the American way, to get masses of people out to get attention to your cause?

Simpson: That would be inappropriate.

The followup I would have had would have been "What would be an appropriate manner to demonstrate that wicca really has followers in Chesterfield County and this is not a private fantasy of yours."

The interview left one with the impression that Simpson is a harmless crank. I don't think she's so harmless.

The agenda of Americans United for Separation of Church and State is to insist on a prohibition of public prayer where there needs to be a practical limitation on access (time and place considerations) because, in their logic, the state can't have criteria that screens out people with private fantasies that they describe as a religion and one that allows bona-fide religions. All or none.

My guess is that they picked Chesterfield Country because they think that the County Attorney is a "hick" and will blow the case and created a important federal precedent.

I know that places like New York City look at non-profit corporation and tax records to establish that a religious group is acting in good faith in their application. It is a not "establishing" a religion to see some documentation that a religious group has engaged in some other religious activity than declaring oneself to be a witch. Hundreds of Chesterfield County wiccans to demonstrate for their rights? Don't hold your breath.

Chesterfield County is immediately south of Richmond, Virginia.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:14 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Thursday, July 24, 2003
 
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Dayton Daily News: A mother’s gift of life costs her her own

[Jennifer "Jenny" Hayes, a] young New Lebanon mother is being praised by her family, friends and medical caregivers for sacrificing her own chances of continuing life so that her baby boy could live.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:07 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Background: Why the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal were formed

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I want to clear the air on how the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal were formed in 1987. There's some repetition in the stories I link to below, but only to show that there is a consistency to the "origin" story. There's no scandal, no bitterness, and no accusation in it.

Catholic New York: Franciscans of Renewal blend evangelization and work with the poor

One recent Friday afternoon in front of the old St. Adalbert's Church in the South Bronx, two young men wearing bushy beards and gray religious robes greeted anyone who happened to be walking down the quiet stretch of East 156th Street. They switched easily between English and Spanish.

"How ya doing today? The church is open, if you'd like to stop in for a few minutes and say a prayer," they'd say. "Jesus is inside."

There was a feeling among some of us that we would want to live our Capuchin commitment in a way we could imitate the work of St. Francis a little more closely, by working with the poor, living more simply, carrying out evangelization in a more direct way," Father Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R., superior of the Renewal Friars, told CNY. "We wanted to do more extensive preaching on a more consistent basis."

Explaining that they would follow the example of the Capuchin stigmatist Padre Pio of daily repentance and reform, they were dispensed from their vows in 1987 and formed a new community. They chose the name Community of Franciscans of the Renewal because they felt called to concentrate on their own personal renewal in Christ and the conversion of others.

Catholic World Report: Death Or Rebirth In The New Decade: A Watershed Looms For Religious Life

Perhaps I also made the mistake of mentioning that I am the only old man in the group; the mean age is about 32, and would drop to 28 if I managed to drop dead.

These remarks were reportedly seen by one woman in my audience, herself a religious, as triumphalistic. I hope they were not. But I wanted to make a very pointed demonstration of the fact that religious life does not have to die in the English-speaking world.

(Westchester) Journal-News: Roman Catholic friar community growing

Flouting convention was the basic idea in 1987, when eight Capuchin friars broke away to start a new community rededicated to poverty, chastity and obedience. The late Cardinal John O'Connor gave the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal approval to grow from within the Archdiocese of New York, even though he faced resistance from established communities with shrinking memberships.

What's Right with the Catholic Church Today (1997)

The experience of the Franciscans of the Renewal is probably typical of new communities. Despite the advantage of starting with eight finally professed religious and the support of Cardinal O'Connor, we had our ups and downs. At this present writing we have more than fifty friars including a large number of novices. Several priests have joined our community, swelling the ranks of those who can participate in the formation program needed for such a large number of recruits. A smaller community of our sisters makes its way along despite the effects that radical forms of feminism has had on women's vocations.

The best piece of advice our community received was given to us by Mother Teresa the day we began: "Decide what it is that God wants you to do and stick to it." We decided that we should do evangelical preaching and live and work with the poor as the early Capuchins had done, since our goal has always been to follow the spirit of the early Capuchin reform. The real observance of religious poverty and all the vows was made of paramount importance, a life of Christian prayer focused on the Mass as sacrifice and presence was made the Foundation of our community. A loving devotion to Our Lady and the saints was spontaneously observable in all those joining the community. A comprehensive psychological screening process was used. In fact, the community would be larger if this had not been done. The wearing of the religious habit at all times is assumed. It is not surprising now to meet people from the huge city of New York who tell you that they saw friars walking the streets of this very secular city. The appearance of religious garb by men is almost universally met with a pleasant response and even enthusiasm. We have proved that it is not what is on your back that frightens people but what's on your face. The friars are encouraged to smile and be friendly according to the advice of St. Francis. Even though distinctly attired we are met by a large number of people with friendliness and enthusiasm, especially non-Catholics.

Inside the Vatican: We found God's Will

All eight of the brothers who came together in 1987 to form what became the Congregation formerly had been Capuchins. The order took much from the original Capuchin charism.

The Friars of the Renewal formed to rediscover the original flavor of St. Francis and incorporate it into the Franciscan apostolates of evangelization and direct work with the poor.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:32 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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What does the United States owe Liberia?

This question was just asked on NPR from a representative of the Liberian govenment ("Secretary Ortuna", sorry I don't have a full attribution)

The answer I expected was a denial of obligation and an expression of gratitude for the current and future military presence of the United States.

I was stunned. He claimed there was a special obligation for the United States to stop Liberians from killing Liberians.

It's been 156 years since Liberia was founded: Grow Up Already! You're not "our squabbling children".

Frontpage: What we owe Liberia


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:27 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Wiccan Watch

AP/Washington Times: Wiccan sues for prayer inclusion

RICHMOND — The Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors is violating the U.S. Constitution by refusing to allow a self-proclaimed witch [Cynthia Simpson] to open meetings with a prayer, the woman's attorney told a federal magistrate yesterday. A lawyer for the county disagreed, arguing that a 1983 U.S. Supreme Court ruling gives the government wide latitude in offering legislative invocations that reflect the traditional values of a majority of its citizens.
I have sympathy with the people who have to deal with Cynthia Simpson and her ilk. I've only encountered two types of self-proclaimed witches: One type is a fraud and a phony who just wants attention. She knows that all the texts of "wicca" are recycled Aleister Crowley and Gerald B. Gardner materials.

On the other hand, you've got to pity the sincere people who got hoaxed into it.

Why Wiccans Suck is probably the best Wiccan-debunking site.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:25 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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BBC: The slamdunk monks of Canning Town

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The Gray Friars, six Franciscan monks from the Bronx, have set up a mission in one of the poorest areas of London's East End

Telegraph (UK) with a similar story which mentions the formal name of the order, the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:18 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Wednesday, July 23, 2003
 
Washington Post: Robert Bork has converted to the Catholic faith
Republican judicial martyr Robert Bork has converted to Catholicism, according to U.S. News & World Report's Paul Bedard. The foiled Supreme Court nominee, now 76 and a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, was baptized a Catholic by a conservative priest and Opus Dei member, C. John McCloskey, at the Catholic Information Center chapel on K Street. The former Protestant's sponsors were National Review pundit Kate O'Beirne and United Press International chief John O'Sullivan. "If you get baptized at my age, all of your sins are forgiven. And that's very helpful," Bork said.

Blogger credit: Mark Shea

Specifically, Episcopalian and, of course, he was received into the Catholic Church and not re-baptized.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:17 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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A link to the "PASSION" trailer (requires Quicktime)

This film is special. Not what Hollywood calls special, but really special.

There's no anti-Semitism in the trailer, just the most accurate depicition of the Passion as recorded in the Gospels that I know of. As more people see the trailer to get an idea of the reality and detail the movie is showing, the nonsense of this anti-Semitism will fade out.

I think theaters will have to install kneelers for devout Christians who will want to pray as they see Our Savior suffer and die for our sins.

I will even predict that it will be a commericlal success.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:41 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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NetCent Communications: Friars Let Auction Winners Name Monastery
POCONOS, Pa. (Wireless Flash) -- Benedictine monks in Poconos, Pennsylvania, aren't monkeying around: They're auctioning off the naming rights to their new monastery.

The brothers from the Order of St. John The Beloved are turning to unorthodox methods to fund their new headquarters by holding three eBay auctions.

Blogger Credit: fark.com

My bs-detector went off on this one. Who is Archbishop Bruce Simpson? Here is his profile. If you don't care to click, Archbishop Simpson is not in communion with the Holy See.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:02 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Tuesday, July 22, 2003
 
New York Post, Andrea Peyser: DON'T BE SO FAST TO FORGIVE HIS ADULTERY
July 22, 2003 -- WHILE any third- grader knows Kobe Bryant is innocent of a crime until proven guilty, the man is racking up a stunning list of offenses against common decency and taste, not to mention that principle of which few dare speak: morality.

By his actions, he told [the public] that cheating on your wife is cool - provided that you do the deed on the road, and the woman in question doesn't put up a fight. Oh, and then you say you're sorry. And so, the moral fabric is frayed further.

I finally found an opinion piece that matches my own feelings on the Kobe Bryant admission of adultery and denial of sexual assault.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:51 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Defending the Faith As promised, an image with more to follow of the Defending the Faith Conference at the Franciscan University of Steubenbville (Ohio) July 18-20, 2003.

Depicted here are Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR and Fr. Terence Henry TOR at the start of Mass on Sunday.

Fr. Groeschel spoke of the need for personal holiness and the need for reform in the Church. He mentioned that the Church at the first blast of Luther the clergy were demoralized and despaired. It was lay movements and in particular the first lay prayer groups of St. Catherine Adorno which gave renewed clergy with a commitment to reform which became the reality of the Council of Trent. Of course, timing is everything -- the abuses condemned by Luther were declared abuses by Trent too late to stop the schismatic momentum.

It was a wonderful homily full of love of Jesus, history, humor, and admonitions.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:38 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Another foolish priest embarasses all priests and Catholics, and risks killing many besides himself
Horan Horan

Silverstone joker an ex-Bexley priest

THE man who nearly brought the British Grand Prix at Silverstone to a disastrous end by running onto the racetrack during the race, is a former Bexley priest.

Father Neil Horan, now 56, came to St John Fisher Church in Thanet Road, Bexley Village in 1973, after being ordained a Catholic priest in Ireland, the same year. He stayed there until 1975.

Although still technically a priest, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese said the archbishop’s permission for Father Horan to perform the functions of a priest, such as preaching, saying mass and administering the other sacraments of the Church, was formally withdrawn in writing in April last year.

“He holds no appointments in the archdiocese,” he added.

Evening Standard (UK) DC: I just missed nutter

Catholic World News: Priest protests on Grand Prix track


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:35 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Monday, July 21, 2003
 
john the baptist John the Baptist in the News

Yahoo: Sabaean Mandeans in Iraq call John the Baptist "Savior".

Newsday: Iraqi Minority Looks Towards Future

and another tomb

Associated Press: Ancient tomb names father of John the Baptist


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:16 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Back from Steubenville and back at work

Met many devout Catholics at "Defending the Faith". I'll post some photos and my observations over the week.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:13 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com