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Saturday, November 22, 2003
 
kennedy-page 40 years ago today...

I was nine years old, looking forward to Thanksgiving. I was in 4th grade (one year younger than my youngest son today). I heard the announcement in the school. The entire school went to Church to pray. When I got home I was glued to the television, although little new information was revealed for months.

Coincindentally, today I gave a friend of my daughter my oral history of the war in Vietnam which I lived through as a high school and college student.

Talking to some one today about the 60's (that's forty years ago) -- was like hearing someone in the 60's talk about the 20's and the Depression: Ancient History.

The photo of Jackie reminds me of how young and full of life they were. It's an image frozen in time from 1963. He was only 46 and she was only 34. This picture of Jackie as far as I can determine is the last one of her before her husband was killed. I cropped out the face of Lyndon Johnson.

It changed America. It focused people on television sets as a source of immediate news like nothing before this event.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:28 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Pagan Watch:

Portales News-Tribune: Pagan group out to dispel false myths

...And many group members come from Christian backgrounds, while some members grew up Mormon, or practicing progressive Middle Eastern-based religions.

Senior group member Monica Macias grew up Catholic, but isn’t sure what she believes now. “I communicate better with this group than I do with the Catholic religion in terms of my spiritual understanding,” she said.

“I communicate better with this group than I do with the Catholic religion in terms of my spiritual understanding,” she said. Macias said she is searching for a spiritual meaning in life. She said she is neither Christian nor Wiccan, a polytheist nor a monotheist.

A majority of the group are Eastern theater students and female. They get together about once a week, and on Thursday evening seven members had a social meeting at ENMU’s Ground Zero, where they explained that their beliefs are rooted in positive energy — hexes and wicked spells are strictly prohibited.

Whew... that's a real relief.

It's a sort of non-judgmental sympathetic piece: they're pagan -- cut them some slack.

Can you imagine a writer ending a piece about Catholicism or Christianity ending with: “We’re not about hostility"?

The point is that I suspect that somehow other Catholics along the way failed Monica Macias and thereby Monica came to see the Church as something other than what it is.

In my own life I try to reach out Catholics who are on the way out of the Church and try to help them discover what they find lacking in the Catholic Church or their experience in the Catholic Church and find a way to let them stay home.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:46 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Catholic confession has evolved over time
Fewer attend, and emphasis now is on spiritual guidance

In the late '60s, when the Rev. Jan Larson was a new Roman Catholic priest, he would sit in a dark confessional for hours and listen to people rattle off a "grocery list" of sins. They had impure thoughts, said "damn" three times or chewed gum during a fast.

Today, he's lucky if two people show up for confession at his Snoqualmie parish, and the sins he absolves are more complex. Yet, he sometimes hears about the small stuff, especially from older people who might say they skipped Mass.

Interesting point of view from the author: She takes on that anthropological distance: these Amazon rainforest dwellers once painstakingly wove leaves together for clothing but now most wear modern clothing. Catholics confessing sins to a priest? How utterly alien that is to us!

What Vatican II document abolished confession anyway?


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:10 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Friday, November 21, 2003
 
Pact of Silence

I saw this on the shelf at Blockbuster. It's the usual priest falls in love in with a nun movie. Gérard Depardieu. He played Columbus and an immigrant in Green Card.

Has anyone had the misfortune of seeing Le Pacte du Silence?


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:44 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Slate: Did Jackie O's Priest Betray Her?
How private Catholic confessions really are.

In The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings, released last month, journalist Thomas Maier reports that the recently widowed Jacqueline Kennedy told the Rev. Richard McSorley she had contemplated suicide. Maier's book draws on interviews with the late McSorley, excerpts from his diary, and letters from her. Did McSorley violate the storied seal of the confessional by allowing the content of his conversations with Jackie Kennedy to become public?

Interesting reading. It's not conclusive.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:38 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Reuters: Cardinal Sin to leave Manila pulpit

Sentences 7,8,9,10 from the story.

It's about time," said political commentator Nelson Navarro. "He was at the centre of our political life since 1986. It has been 17 years of social backwardness and political interference."

Navarro criticised the Catholic Church's fierce opposition to divorce, abortion and artificial birth control, which he said had contributed to misery, poverty and corruption in this nation of 82 million people.

There's no nuance there.

Reuters doesn't disappoint: no opportunity to slam the Catholic Church is ever missed.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:32 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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A too obvious comment on Iraq.

I think we're see a new wave of "shock and awe" but we are on the receiving end.

Bali, Jakarta, Casablanca, Mombassa, Najaf, Jerusalem, Riyadh, Baghdad, and Istanbul

These are cities which have been the site of a major bombing by terrorists since 9/11/2001.

The terrorists have the initiative, meaning they choose the time and place of the next action and the next set of headlines, and the rest of us react.

Another effective weapon of mass communication is fear and it is being used in majority Islamic countries or places where there is a concentration of Muslims.

This is counter-intuitive. You would be expecting terrorists to go strike at America, but I think we haven't seen attacks because some of the improvements in security have been effective. I would have believed that attacks on translators and policemen in Iraq would turn the sympathy away from the Baathist-holdovers and al Queda but fear is the emotion which dominates.

The Washington Post has a story of the son of a translator who was killed by terrorists to send a message to Iraqis not to cooperate with the restoration of Iraq.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:13 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Thursday, November 20, 2003
 
Villiage Voice Nat Hentoff: Was Terri Schiavo Beaten in 1990?
Will There Be an Investigation in Time?

There is a new dimension in the fierce battle over whether Terri Schiavo's life is worth saving. A federally funded investigation has begun into certain medical judgments made by her husband and guardian, Michael Schiavo, including decisions in recent months. But more important is whether the inquiry will discover what actually caused Terri Schiavo's alleged cardiac arrest in 1990, which is said to be the reason her brain was deprived of oxygen, resulting in her condition for the past 13 years.

Required reading for people following Terri's case.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:51 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Dr. Laura is the target of the Muslim group CAIR

I lost track of Dr. Laura after the disclosures regarding her mother and her cancellation from WABC.

This is a new blow-up that I belive shows more of that hyper-sensitivity that we now expect from American Muslim groups. Reported in WorldNetDaily

The comments, on Monday's program, came in response to a mother who asked whether her 16-year-old daughter should take part in a Catholic high school class's field trip to a local mosque.

I don't agree with Dr. Laura's advice to prohibit her daughter from going to a local mosque, but her assertion that the 9-11 hijackers were all Muslim is true. Furthermore, the organization that's doing the complaining, CAIR, is advocating the supremacy of Islam over the entire world, that is the jihadist agenda.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:55 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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New York Post: City Council Fights Its Own Mideast War
November 20, 2003 -- A resolution denouncing former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed for anti-Semitic remarks prompted a furious war of words yesterday in the City Council.

The measure passed, but Councilman Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn) drew criticism by voting against it and accusing his fellow lawmakers of always being pro-Israel.

"I will be voting against any resolution pro-Israel in this council until this council has the heart to be fair with the Palestinian cause and come up with a [similar] resolution," Barron said.

The council resolution was in response to last month's much-criticized speech by Mahathir, who told a large Muslim conference that "Jews rule the world by proxy" and Muslims must unite and build more weapons to achieve a "final victory" over them.

Council Speaker Gifford Miller (D-Manhattan) said the resolution was anti-bigotry, and called Mohamed's remarks offensive.

My take on this is that Charles Barron wants to give some political cover to worse anti-Semitic statements and push the envelope as far as publicly expressing support for anti-Semitism while permitting him to deny that he is anti-Semitic.

There's been silence from the folks who condemn Mel Gibson's Passion regarding the statements of Mahathir and Barron. Perhaps they believe "it goes without saying...".


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:15 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Presumption of Innocence

The presumption of innocence is not an obligation of a citizen. We are free to jump to a conclusion without evidence if we want to. We can make up our minds with a great deal of deliberation or none at all. I can't help myself when I read a story in the paper or hear it on the radio, I am forming opinions at the end of the first sentence.

The presumption of innocence is the obligation of the citizen who is a sworn member of a jury as a I was on Tuesday.

I think this is very, very difficult in cases where the facts and assertions have been disclosed in the media -- if everyone on a jury panel in those trials were really honest -- you'd have a very uninformed jury.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:27 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Michael Jackson's Defenders on Talk Radio

I've heard two bizarre things about Michael Jackson on Curtis & Kuby (WABC 770):

  • This is so unfair, this is a crucifixion of Michael Jackson. (Comment from hosts: we're only starting the process)
  • The bed is not a sexual place. (Reaction from hosts: laughter)

Along with the hosts, I'm wondering why the parents would let children sleep overnight at Neverland

The Make a Wish Foundation may have been sponsoring visits of children to Neverland:

Fox News:

The Oneness Foundation is run by one of Jackson's record producers, who also produced the Spanish language version of the single. Ironically, Oneness -- a boutique operation -- was supposed to benefit from the sales of tickets to Neverland last month, as was the Make a Wish Foundation. Neither of those groups has yet to see any money from the Neverland open house event.

and here is the Press Release


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:13 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
 
Ensoulment

Human life exists from the moment of conception. The human body is alive when the soul is present and dead when the soul is not present.

Previous theories of delayed ensoulment had defective scientific knowledge. Some of them held we passed from vegtable to animal to human forms in the womb. That final transition was the point of human ensoulment.

Since we know these transitions do not exist: from the moment of conception we are human.

I'm happy to be reminded that there's no magisterial teaching on the moment of ensoulment. It's bothered me because I believe the magesterial teaching is something like this:

  • 2 + 2 is a whole number.
  • 2 + 2 is greater than 3
  • 2 + 2 is less than 5
  • but we're not asserting that 2+2 is 4, we've still got an open mind about it.

I've collected some text on the topic:

CDF: Donum Vitae, quoted in Evangelium Vitae

Certainly no experimental datum can be in itself sufficient to bring us to the recognition of a spiritual soul; nevertheless, the conclusions of science regarding the human embryo provide a valuable indication for discerning by the use of reason a personal presence at the moment of this first appearance of a human life:

how could a human individual not be a human person?

The Magisterium has not expressly committed itself to an affirmation of a philosophical nature, but it constantly reaffirms the moral condemnation of any kind of procured abortion. This teaching has not been changed and is unchangeable.

"Ensoulment" from Roe v. Wade

3. The common law. It is undisputed that at common law, abortion performed before ''quickening''—the first recognizable movement of the fetus in utero, appearing usually from the 16th to the 18th week of pregnancy—was not an indictable offense. The absence of a common-law crime for pre-quickening abortion appears to have developed from a confluence of earlier philosophical, theological, and civil and canon law concepts of when life begins. These disciplines variously approached the question in terms of the point at which the embryo or fetus became ''formed'' or recognizably human, or in terms of when a ''person'' came into being, that is, infused with a ''soul'' or ''animated.'' A loose concensus evolved in early English law that these events occurred at some point between conception and live birth. This was ''mediate animation.'' Although Christian theology and the canon law came to fix the point of animation at 40 days for a male and 80 days for a female, a view that persisted until the 19th century, there was otherwise little agreement about the precise time of formation or animation. There was agreement however, that prior to this point the fetus was to be regarded as part of the mother, and its destruction, therefore, was not homicide. Due to continued uncertainty about the precise time when animation occurred, to the lack of any empirical basis for the 40-80-day view, and perhaps to Aquinas' definition of movement as one of the two first principles of life, Bracton focused upon quickening as the critical point. The significance of quickening was echoed by later common-law scholars and found its way into the received common law in this country.

Whether abortion of a quick fetus was a felony at common law, or even a lesser crime, is still disputed. Bracton, writing early in the 13th century, thought it homicide. But the later and predominant view, following the great common-law scholars, has been that it was, at most, a lesser offense. In a frequently cited passage, Coke took the position that abortion of a woman ''quick with child'' is ''a great misprision, and no murder.'' Blackstone followed, saying that while abortion after quickening had once been considered manslaughter (though not murder), ''modern law'' took a less severe view. A recent review of the common-law precedents argues, however, that those precedents contradict Coke and that even post-quickening abortion was never established as a common-law crime. This is of some importance because while most American courts ruled, in holding or dictum, that abortion of an unquickened fetus was not criminal under their received common law, others followed Coke in stating that abortion of a quick fetus was a ''misprision,'' a term they translated to mean ''misdemeanor.'' That their reliance on Coke on this aspect of the law was uncritical and, apparently in all the reported cases, dictum (due probably to the paucity of common-law prosecutions for post-quickening abortion), makes it now appear doubtful that abortion was ever firmly established as a common-law crime even with respect to the destruction of a quick fetus.

It should be sufficient to note briefly the wide divergence of thinking on this most sensitive and difficult question. There has always been strong support for the view that life does not begin until live birth. This was the belief of the Stoics. It appears to be the predominant, though not the unanimous, attitude of the Jewish faith. It may be taken to represent also the position of a large segment of the Protestant community, insofar at that can be ascertained; organized groups that have taken a formal position on the abortion issue have generally regarded abortion as a matter for the conscience of the individual and her family. As we have noted, the common law found greater significance in quickening. Physicians and their scientific colleagues have regarded that event with less interest and have tended to focus either upon conception, upon live birth, or upon the interim point at which the fetus becomes ''viable,'' that is, potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid. Viability is usually placed at about seven months (28 weeks) but may occur earlier, even at 24 weeks. The Aristotelian theory of ''mediate animation,'' that held sway throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in Europe, continued to be official Roman Catholic dogma until the 19th century, despite opposition to this ''ensoulment'' theory from those in the Church who would recognize the existence of life from the moment of conception. The latter is now, of course, the official belief of the Catholic Church. As one brief amicus discloses, this is a view strongly held by many non- Catholics as well, and by many physicians. Substantial problems for precise definition of this view are posed, however, by new embryological data that purport to indicate that conception is a ''process'' over time, rather than an event, and by new medical techniques such as menstrual extraction, the ''morning-after'' pill, implantation of embryos, artificial insemination, and even artificial wombs

NRO, Ramesh Ponnuru: Do Blastocysts Go to Heaven?

Bartley's column reflects a widespread misconception of what pro-lifers believe. On his characterization, Catholic (and evangelical) pro-lifers "believe that the soul enters at conception." Actually, the Catholic church does not teach that ensoulment occurs at conception. It has not made up its mind about when ensoulment occurs, or even whether ensoulment is the right way to think about the matter. The Catholic case against abortion does not and has never turned on when ensoulment happens. It is not just that the church does not rely on that premise in making its case in public. Ensoulment has never had anything to do with the church's internal deliberations about what position it should take.

The church's position is that all members of the human species — all living human beings — have an inviolable right to life. That position depends on no theological understanding, and it can therefore be accepted and defended by those of us who are not Catholics. For the same reason, it can in theory be refuted by reasoned arguments. To be sure, to grasp the full import of another being's humanity requires theological knowledge: We may be informed by revelation that human beings that perish in the blastocyst stage go to Heaven, or that we have to love all human beings, even the neighbor's bratty kids. But we do not need revelation to know not to kill.

It is true that common law centuries ago punished abortion only after quickening. But this was for evidentiary, not moral, reasons. In an age without ultrasound or sophisticated home pregnancy tests, quickening was the way pregnancies were known to exist. Abortion was a crime that could be proved only if quickening had been known to occur. No educated person thought that life began at quickening.

This is the one that took a some effort to track down

I recalled that Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma was the place where I read it asserted: (bottom of page 100)

Modern Christian philosophy generally holds that the creation and infusion of the spiritual soul coincides with the moment of conception. Cf. D. 1185.

Not everyone has Denzinger handy, but this is it:

(1185) 35. It seems probable that every foetus (as long as it is in the womb) lacks a rational soul and begins to have the same at the time that it is born; and consequently it will have to be said that no homicide is committed in any abortion. (Various Errors on Moral Subject Condemned by the Holy Office, March 4, 1679)

You will sometimes see this referenced, often by stupid people who fail to realize that in those days it was common to list what was prohibited rather than what was asserted.

As you can see it doesn't quite go as far as Ott would have his reader believe.

Maybe just to assert anything about ensoulment is seen as problematical. So it really moves the debate to the question of the whether it would be prudent for the Church to assert that a human soul is present and animating a human life from the moment of conception.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:02 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Tuesday, November 18, 2003
 
Massachusetts Supreme Judical Court Rules in Favor of Gay Marriage

  • This decision is not limited to Massachusetts, but because of "full faith and credit" clause of the Constitution, this applies everywhere. Gay couples being married in Mass. would return to their respective states and expect the state to recognize their marriage.
  • I don't know if this is even enough to wake people who are now asleep.
  • This decision is "Exhibit A" in the evidence of judicial tyranny.
  • The Democratic party's decision to control the judicial branch of government is a gift that keeps on giving.
  • To stop this the machinery of state or federal constitutional amendment is going to need to be started immediately.
  • Catholics will have to let groups the Alliance for Marriage and the the American Family Association take the lead. I doubt the bishops have anything to say that will move opinions on this issue and, in fact, I suspect that many welcome the decision.
  • Senator Rick Santorum is correct: if the Massachusetts Court declares that it can define marriage as other than one man, one woman, then laws on group marriage, incest, etc. are all suspect.
  • NRO's Stanley Kurtz predicted this.
  • Never forget, the goal is not merely legal recognition of gay marriage, or even the equality of homosexual relationships to heterosexual relationships but the assertion of their superiority (because they don't breed and have better fashion sense) and the supression of anything that calls such relationships sinful or contrary to natural law: marginalization of Christianity.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:36 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Update: This would-be abortion clinic bomber was denied bail

Minnesota native accused in abortion bombing plot

The Florida man accused of plotting firebomb attacks on abortion clinics grew up along the quiet streets of Ham Lake, Minn.

Stephen John Jordi is described by authorities as a fanatical abortion opponent and religious activist in south Florida. He listened to gospel music, had fire-and-brimstone tattoos and even had a bumper sticker on his vehicle saying Jordi and his family "eat and sleep Jesus."

On Tuesday, the 35-year-old was arrested in Miami's South Beach area and accused of planning to embark on a firebombing campaign targeting abortion clinics, gay bars and churches that do not take anti-abortion stances to his liking. Family and friends in Florida described an odd life of religious fervor and violence that escalated over the past few years.

Jordi's childhood in Minnesota was unremarkable, according to neighbors and those who remember him at Blaine High School. He did not graduate with the rest of his class of 1987, but does have a diploma. He was apparently not a part of any sports or other extracurricular activities, either.

And few neighbors remember anything about him other than that he would occasionally be seen around the area. The Jordi family has pretty much kept to itself over the years, say neighbors who preferred not to be identified.

His family refused to comment.

Jordi went into the Army and is a former Army Ranger. Raised a Catholic, he was attending Baptist churches while living in Florida the past few years. He met his wife, Charlotte, about five years ago at a fundamentalist Baptist church in Pensacola, Fla., the same city where a former minister shot and killed an abortion doctor and a bodyguard in 1994. The minister, Paul Hill, was convicted and executed this year...

I wonder if Jordi will argue that he was entrapped.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:57 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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My friends at Gawker are profiled in The New York Times

Gawker is an excellent site on the intersection of New York and popular culture.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:02 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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So, who are these guys?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:56 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Pravda discusses the conspiracy to kill President Kennedy.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:08 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Monday, November 17, 2003
 
UK Sun: Conrad Black, publisher of the UK Telegraph in a scandal.
Conrad Black, the millionaire publisher of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, could be facing prison over a £19million financial scandal.

Lord Black, 59, yesterday sensationally quit as chief executive of his company Hollinger International.

He stepped down as the firm admitted he and several colleagues had received £19million in unauthorised payments.

...The couple are regulars on London’s cocktail party circuit and once famously dressed as a Catholic cardinal and Marie Antoinette at a party hosted by Princess Michael of Kent...

English Catholics know that Prince Michael lost his place in the succession to the English throne by marrying a Catholic. (The 1701 Act of Settlement is still in force). He is the highest noble in rank to have be so removed.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:57 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Detroit Local News 4: Police Describe Robbery At Church (video link)
Man, Girlfriend Accused Of Purse Snatching At Church Police Continue Search For Man

A local woman is taken into custody and police are searching for her boyfriend after the two apparently robbed a woman in church Sunday.

Police say Josh Lockman (pictured, left) had just been released from jail and told his girlfriend that he had found God and wanted to attend mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Trenton, Local 4 reported.

Lockman reportedly went to confessional [sic] and later asked a priest about baptizing the couple's child.

But, police say Lockman's good behavior apparently didn't last for long as he nabbed a purse from one of the parishioners inside the church.

The purse was reportedly in an area where priests get dressed -- just around a corner from where the woman was washing communion dishes [sic] -- when Lockman grabbed it, according to police.

Police say Lockman and his girlfriend then went to a local bar to spend the woman's money.

Lockman then asked his girlfriend to buy him a Sony PlayStation from Southland Mall in Taylor, according to police.

Lockman's girlfriend apparently made purchases at the mall on the woman's credit card and was taken in to custody by police, Local 4 reported.

Police are still searching for Lockman.

Lockman's girlfriend is expected to be arraigned on Tuesday.

You can guess why I posted this -- the Catholic illiteracy of the author.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:39 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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New York Post: A Jesuit Reviews The Passion
Mark Hallinan Priest, St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church Staff, New York Province of the Society of Jesus

One-word review: "Unhelpful"

Portrayal of Jews: "Very bad ... I don't think the intent was anti-Semitic, but Jews are unfairly portrayed."

Recommendation: "Don't go to see it."

Message to Gibson: "I'm disappointed that he didn't use the resources he had to do a balanced portrayal of the life and death of Jesus."

Mel Gibson's biblical epic "exaggerates the bloodiness of Christ's death, but doesn't tell you why he died," the Rev. Mark Hallinan said.

"It doesn't touch on the values that he represented and that continue to be a positive force in the world today."

Hallinan was especially disturbed at the film's portrayal of Jews "as a bloodthirsty rabble," and at how they were "so sharply contrasted to the Romans, who consistently came off as thoughtful and reflective, particularly Pontius Pilate."

He recalled one sequence at Golgotha, during the crucifixion, that "shows the Jewish high priest looking with contempt at Jesus and a Roman soldier looking at [the priest] and wondering, 'How could you do this?' "

Hallinan added, "Unsophisticated people viewing the film will see Jews as cold, heartless people."

Gibson "interspersed inane scenes" into the film - including a "nonsensical flashback" in which Jesus is shown building a table, and eerie recurring appearances by "an odd David Bowie-like figure," Hallinan said.

"If he could have those scenes, why not flash back to give the viewer a better sense of what Jesus was about?" he asked.

Hallinan also questioned the depiction, during the crucifixion, of Gestas, the bad thief, having his eyes plucked out by a crow after he questions Christ's divinity.

"It's contrary to the Gospels," said Hallinan, adding, "Jesus taught us not to persecute our enemies."

Follow the link to other reviews of The Passion


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:29 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Actor proves it's the size of talent that really matters
[Peter] Dinklage went to an all-boys Catholic school in Brooklyn, "which was so sports-oriented it had three gymnasiums," he recalled, adding that, at the same school, "we did plays in a room as big as this table." There, he was inspired by Matthew Dougherty, a teacher who ran the drama club.

"We did this play, 'Sharon's Grave.' It was the first time I played someone specific for my size," Dinklage said. "It was this crazy Irish melodrama about a guy carried on the back of his brother. This very angry character, who lost use of his legs. Matt Dougherty chose this play because of me."

My guess: Bishop Ford in Park Slope.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:26 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Sunday, November 16, 2003
 
Pro-life follow-up

NY1: NY1 Rejoices As Reporter Rebecca Spitz Awakens From Two-Month Coma

After eight weeks in a coma following a September 19 automobile accident, NY1 reporter Rebecca Spitz regained consciousness Saturday to the joyful tears of family members gathered around her.

Spitz, the newschannel's Manhattan reporter, suffered multiple skull fractures and brain swelling after being struck by a van at 120th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue. She was covering a story at the time.

I blogged on the accident.

First it is a pro-life victory, because her family and many others prayed for her recovery. As far as I've been able to find out there was no one, not even a bio-medical ethicist who wanted to pull the plug or otherwise interfere with her recovery.

Secondly, let's not forget what she was in Harlem to report on: the finding of a newborn baby girl who had been discarded with the garbage and found in a grabage truck.

I pray for that girl and her mother as well.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Countdown to the 40th Anniversary of the first Catholic President of the United States

The television retrospective are starting: Fox News and History Channel.

For someone who is close to my age, 49, this anniversary marks the first or second event that they have burned into their memory. (For me, the first was the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962).

This event starting on a Friday in 1963 (this year November 22 is a Saturday) was covered by a combination of talking heads in the studio like Walter Cronkite and Huntley and Brinkley and Howard Smith -- in those days, the three networks had a virtual monopoly on the news.

I was 9 and my brothers 8 and 5. Time stopped between the announcement of John Kennedy's death and his funeral. This is the first time I sat down to read everything in the newspapers about the assassination and watch news programming without caring if I was hearing the same thing over and over again.

In the 40 years since I've been reading whatever I can get my hands on about the assassination. The best single book on the assassination I think is the Gerald Posner book that I've linked to on the left.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:07 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Afternoon at the Church of the Holy Innocents

Fr. Benedict Groschel, CFR discussed the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Rosiland Moss of Catholic Answers was in the audience. We all got a chance to chat together. Fr. Benedict even mentioned my own group during the talk, the Catholic Evidence Guild.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:33 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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UK Telegraph: Sons I gave birth to are 'unrelated' to me
One human chimera [ki-mee-rah] came to light when a 52-year-old woman demanded an explanation from doctors after tests showed that two of her three grown-up sons were biologically unrelated to her.

Although the woman, "Jane", conceived them naturally with her husband, tests to see if she could donate a kidney suggested that somehow she had given birth to somebody else's children.

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine by Dr Margot Kruskall, of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston, Massachusetts, showed that Jane is a chimera, a mixture of two individuals - non-identical twin sisters - whose cells intermingled in the womb and grew into a single body.

Dr Kruskall believes the most likely explanation is that Jane's mother conceived non-identical twin girls, who fused at an early stage of the pregnancy to form a single embryo, according to a report published today in New Scientist.

For some reason, cells from only one twin dominate in Jane's blood - used for tissue-typing. In her other tissues, however, including her ovaries, cells of both twins live amicably alongside each other, hence the apparently impossible genetics of her three sons.

One son came from an egg derived from the twin whose cells dominate Jane's blood, while his brothers came from eggs derived from the other twin's cells.

Around 30 similar instances of chimerism have been reported, and there are probably many more who will never discover their unusual origins. Most chimeras probably go through life unaware of their unusual constitution.

NPR has an audio link on the topic. Karen reports on her children which are not genetically related. I know it is NPR but this piece is not infected with anti-Christian bias.

As a pro-life Catholic, the question that springs to mind is:

If we believe that the human soul is created at conception (and consequently a "soulless" human embryo cannot exist) what happened to the second soul? Even though there's no evidence of "death" in the form that we would be familiar with, the would be the teaching according to the Catholic Church.

Judie Brown on EWTN has a great explanation of the bogus concept of delayed personhood and another article on the possibility of chimerias


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:05 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com