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Saturday, January 03, 2004
 
I could have titled this "No Dogs or Catholics Allowed"

UK Telegraph: Windsors in the doghouse

As the New Year begins, the Fabian Society is seeking to build on the recommendations of its monarchy commission. In a modest step, there are plans for a private members' Bill, introduced in the Lords with cross-party support, for abolishing male primogeniture, removing the religious bar on the heir marrying a Catholic and repeal of the Royal Marriages Act, under which the monarch must approve all unions.

Cabinet papers released last week revealed that Lord Kilmuir, the then Lord Chancellor, wished to abolish the Act in 1955, on the grounds that it was 'out of harmony with modern conditions'.

The Windsors, and the Government, are not yet for budging. Sex and butler scandals have done the royals no obvious harm, while the dog furore has enhanced the image of a bereaved queen.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:18 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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topo-gigio The Nation of Islam's Chief of Staff invokes the hierarchy of the Catholic Church

Scotman: The cult "taking control" of Michael Jackson's life

[Leonard] Muhammad also dismissed "absurd" rumours that Farrakhan is looking into ways to gain control of The Beatles’ back catalogue by bailing out Jackson, who owns it, financially. He added that whatever friendship he had with Jackson did not necessarily extend to Farrakhan. "If someone’s a Catholic, that doesn’t mean he knows the Pope," Muhammad said.

On the other hand, if Cardinal Sodano were released from his other duties to advise Topo Gigio, the Pope would know about it -- which is exactly the analogy here.

I want to add that there is no scandal involving Topo Gigio, I only wanted to provide an example of celebrity with similar gravitas.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:58 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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On the Air

Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the USCCB on ABC: This Week Epiphany Sunday.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:42 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Friday, January 02, 2004
 
Another Example of the Western Disease

Maryknoll.org: Yearning for a world that is peaceful

This point was the stand-out for me:

U.S. response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 – a response that does not address the root causes

The 9/11 highjackers were Saudi middle class children of privilege.

As Wahabbist doctrine of resentment and envy informed them: the Christians and Jews hold the wealth and power of the world. It belongs to us, so kill them.

The root causes, Maryknollers, are the achievements of Western Civilization, and the disaster that is Islamic civilization.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:13 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Thursday, January 01, 2004
 
National Review; Victor Davis Hanson: The Western Disease
In liberating 50 million people from both the Taliban and Saddam Hussein it has lost so far less than 500 soldiers — some of whom were killed precisely because they waged a war that sought to minimalize not just civilian casualties but even the killing of their enemies. Contrary to the invective of Western intellectuals, the American military’s sins until recently have been of omission — preferring not to shoot looters or hunt down and kill insurgents — rather than brutal commission. While the United States has conducted these successive wars some 7,000 miles beyond its borders, it also avoided another terrorist attack of the scale of September 11 — and all the while crafting a policy of containment of North Korea and soon-to-be nuclear Iran.

Thus by any comparative standard of military history, the last two difficult years, despite setbacks and disappointments, represent a remarkable military achievement .

In the National Review Corner Rod Dreher comments on the New York Times interview with David Macaulay who creates a moral equivalence between a fictional right-wing church in Texas and the real threat from al Qaeda.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:28 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Ending the year, starting the new year.

I went to Mass on 12/31. It was a funeral Mass. I said goodbye to my last uncle, my namesake as well. As I look back I saw what an influence he was on me. He was what you'd call a white collar worker, a reader, and a history buff, and very devoted to the Catholic Church -- all of which in time I became. So I won't put him in heaven now, but I will do the Catholic thing and pray for the repose of his soul.

12/31 is the feast of St. Sylvester, Pope -- we recall him as the first pope not to die a death of violence. He had lived through the last (and greatest) persecution by Diocletian -- then Constantine issued the edict of toleration for Christians in 312. What hapenned next? The Arian heresy -- denial of the Trinity and we live with this heresy to this day.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:40 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Tuesday, December 30, 2003
 
In honor of the Solemnity of Mary and suggested by comments to the item on Peggy Noonan below. I love this book as well as Jesus through the Centuries

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:02 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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USA Today: How wider use of [emergency contraception drugs] could quiet abortion fights

Some traditional abortion foes are sitting out this debate.

But the article text only cites organizations which oppose the use of emergency contraception drugs because they believe life begins at conception.

Question for the readers: What traditional abortion foes support the use of emergency contraception drugs as an alternative to abortion?


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:35 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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More under-reported stories
  • Utilization of the regular armed forces, national guard, and reserves in the war on terror and its disruption of everyday life in the United States.
  • The isolation of France, Germany, and Russia is opposing the United States and its allies.
  • The progress in the reconstruction of Iraq's infrastructure.
  • Progress in pro-life: partial birth abortion ban, local boycotts and prayer vigils, and Terri's case.
  • The nuisances and social impact of cellphones.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:39 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Wraping up Christmas

Since we are now in the Christmas season by the reckoning of the Church and in the post-Christmas season by the retailers (who had a "Holiday Season", not a Christmas season.)

I wanted to post a bit more on how Christmas came to be December 25. I had in mind a long post to mention that the conventional wisdom that Christmas was chosen to replace Sol Invictus -- the feast of the unconquered sun was wrong.

The date was chosen more or less to compete with Sol Invictus as the older Saturnalia was fading out and other influences were reaching into the Empire from Celts and Germans. But others did a far better job than I could have, I point you to them:

Lane Core: The Blog from the Core "Why did we celebrate Christmas yesterday?"

Touchstone: Calculating Christmas

Journal of Social History: Battle for Christmas

We're moving towards a forced sort of cultural uniformity of the "Holiday Season" -- with its wacky diversity from the reality of the December 25 - the birth of Christ to Ron Karenga's 1966 creation of Kwanzaa.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:28 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Peggy Noonan: The Banners
Why are rich people afraid of the Virgin Mary?

We have all seen the stories this Christmas season--they are not new, they are only more so--of the local struggles between what I suppose might be called the forces of modernity versus the forces of faith. Tussles in schools and townships over the Christmas display, the prayer, the T-shirt, the cross, the statue of Mary. It's all a continuation of what Michael Kinsley once sardonically referred to as the crèche menace. But it has moved beyond the crèche: It is increasingly a movement to ban on all public property--and pretty much in public, period--the signs and symbols of a religious holiday that roughly 90% of Americans celebrate. It doesn't even have to be Christmas-related. Last week there was the story of the Florida housing group that banned a statue of the Virgin Mary from the front of a house in the community.

An excellent and courageous opinion piece from fellow New Yorker Peggy Noonan. It's very good, so please read the whole thing and pass it on to your friends.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:25 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Who Knew?

Wild about Jen [Jenniefer Lopez]

"It's important for Jen that the kids be raised Catholic," says the actor [Ben Afffleck], who describes himself as a "lapsed Protestant" from a mostly Episcopalian family. "But the most important thing for kids is that they know they're loved."

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:52 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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New York Post: Fetus is ripped out after slay
A woman who convinced her husband she was pregnant - and was even thrown a baby shower - killed a pregnant acquaintance and carved the fetus from her womb, authorities said yesterday.

Effie Goodson, 37, faces two first-degree murder charges and a kidnapping count in the slaying of six-months-pregnant Carolyn Simpson, 21, and her inborn child.

A hunter found Simpson's body in a field near Lamar, about 100 miles from Oklahoma City, on Friday. She had been shot in the head, authorities said.

In a crude way, I suppose, Effie Goodson was doing something pro-choice.

She chose to have a baby, just not her baby. This is the great evil: to believe that we have the power of life and death. The story is as old as Cain and Able.

Media watchdog: the New York Post and Newsday carried the story. the New York Daily News and the New York Times did not at least as of 8:47ET 12/30/03.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:46 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Monday, December 29, 2003
 
KFMB: New Californian Gold Rush
Californians are rushing to file hundreds of lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Church before the year-end deadline established under a state law that opened a window for old molestation claims.

Attorneys handling the cases predict that up to 750 people will sue statewide and that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the nation's largest, will pay a colossal sum to settle as many as 500 cases.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:40 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Taipei Times - Brazilians turn to cult rites at New Year's
Millions of worshippers carry out ritual sacrifices to Afro-Brazilian deities to ask for good fortune in the nation's tough times

At the turn of every year, millions of Brazilians literally pin their hopes on miniature boats that they launch into the ocean.

Loaded with flowers, soaps and bric-a-brac, the white and blue vessels are an offering to the goddess Iemanja, the queen of the sea, who receives their wish lists.

The tougher the times, the more boats that vanish into the waves in the first minutes of the new year.

While holiday sales this year were generally in a slump because of falling incomes and high unemployment, vendors of objects used in Afro-Brazilian cults say sales are booming. Cults such as Candomble and Umbanda worship deities called Orixas, including Iemanja, who have spiritual dominion over elements of nature such as fire and water

It couldn't hurt, could it?


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:29 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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More on under-reported stories

An anonymous reader contributed this one: the closing of Catholic parishes. Besides the immediate loss to the local Catholics, the spiritual loss of the presence of God in these communities is never given the prominence the story deserves and this is especially so when the parish closed is in an area with numerous Catholics.

I have another item, this one was in New Oxford Review: the second great scandal - theft by priests and staff from donations given to the Church.

This one you can read The Second Greatest Scandal in the Church by Michael Ryan.

Crux News is the web site of Michael Rose and other contributors.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:02 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Sunday, December 28, 2003
 
Explaining the Nativity Scene

The Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Renewal and the Catholic Evidence Guild explain the Nativity scene in St. Patrick's Cathedral, answer questions, welcome people, and distribute prayer cards.

I've been there the past three days from 1 to 4 PM.

My best story: a sister asked a six-year-old boy "Do you pray to Jesus?" He answered with vehemence: "I pray every night!".

Here's a bit of Cathedral trivia you won't see elsewhere on the net:

The red hat of the cardinal with the round brim, flat crown, and tassels is the galero. One of the reforms of the Church has been to eliminate the physical galero while retaining it in the coat of arms of the cardinal. A cardinal when installed by the Pope is now given a red biretta (this one has wings or horns) and zuchetto (the skullcap).

The Cardinals who received the galero are John McCloskey, John Farley, Patrick Hayes, and Francis Spellman. These four galero hang from the ceiling.

The legend is that their souls remain in purgatory until their hats fall down.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:58 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Readers are invited

to help me identify the top ten Catholic stories of the year. (that's the easy one) and the top ten under-reported stories of the year (here defined as significant events in the domain of extremecatholic (Catholic Church, media, politics, technology, etc.)

By reported I mean covered in mainstream print and broadcast media, not blogs or discussion boards.

The email address is extremecatholic at nyc.rr.com

An example of an under-reported story is the continuing conflict between parents and diocesan bureaucrats and even bishops on the content of sexual education programs in Catholic schools.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:47 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Jakob Nielsen: Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2003

No need to reproduce the list here. Jakob is the goto-guy for web design.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:44 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Newsday: Baby Jesus Statue Found in the Gutter and Now Back In His Manger
Baby Jesus was safely back in his manger Sunday morning after the small statue was mysteriously taken from the Nativity scene at St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church in Plainview the previous night, Nassau police said.

Msgr. Domenick Graziadio said he reported to police the stolen 15-inch fiberglass Jesus after the 5 p.m. Saturday Mass, when a parishioner noticed it was missing. "I had seen it at 3-ish when I passed by in front of the crib and it was there," Graziadio, the church's pastor, said. "The parish was heartbroken that it was gone."

At about 8:30 a.m.Sunday, a parishioner who regularly takes a bicycle ride along Washington Avenue saw the Baby Jesus in a gutter about a block from the church, Graziadio said.

The statue was in good condition, except for scrapes on its knee and head. Graziadio said another parishioner who works as a painter at an auto body shop can fix the scratches.

The Nativity scene figures were donated to the church three years ago and have been displayed on the front lawn every holiday season. "I'm just happy it's back," Graziadio said. "It was probably just a prank. We're not concerned about it."


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:13 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com