Saturday, May 29, 2004
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:30 PM Permalink
Friday, May 28, 2004
Cardinal Keeler Washes His Hands
Addressing a national controversy for the first time, Baltimore's Cardinal William H. Keeler said he opposes an attempt by some bishops to politicize Communion and deny the sacrament to Catholic politicians who support abortion rights.
I wrote the following on Amy Welborn's Open Book right after I checked my business email.
The Cardinal is wrong.Some more observations:
Who was given the power to bind and to loose? Who was given the power to forgive sins in the name of Jesus Lord and Savior? The bishops.
This is a de facto abdication of a grave responsibility to publicly address the unrepentant sinner who boldly announces My conscience is clear.
At this point, Keeler seems unwilling to hold the public political conviction that the there is a legal right to abortion is a sin.
As Canon 915 states: [those] who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion
The Action Plan:
I truly believe that it is a scandal in itself to agree with these politicians that a person's conscience has integrity regardless of defect or contradiction to the clear teaching of the Church. A malformed conscience is a dangerous thing to have. This is the essence of moral relativism. The bishop's apparent acquiescence to this is regrettable.
CCC 1783. Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:29 PM Permalink
AP: Pope Worries About 'Soulless' U.S. Life
Pope John Paul II warned several U.S. bishops Friday that American society is in danger of turning against spirituality in favor of materialistic desires, giving way to a "soulless vision of life."
I'm trying to meet the challenge with my own kids, my students, my blog readers.
I wonder if the Pope needed to say this because of his observation of the United States per se or moreover because he believes the bishops need to told that they have neglected this.
Also, I'm a bit of a broken record on this point: Today, the problem isn't moral relativism. We're so beyond that. It's really an indifference to matters spiritual and moral -- in favor of the material and expedient.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:13 PM Permalink
New York Times: Cardinal Law Given Post at Vatican
Cardinal Bernard F. Law, who was forced to resign as leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston after a long and painful sexual abuse scandal involving clergy members, was chosen by Pope John Paul II on Thursday to head a basilica in Rome.I neglected to get this story in my own blog yesterday as the story grew and grew in Amy Welborn's Open Book. I'll enter my first comment from there here:
"Respect" is a code word here for avoidance of condemnation. Law deserves to be condemned not honored for what he has done.
Law did evil. By his own admission he knew what the the world didn't know -- these priests had molested children and he placed them in a position to molest others.
Whatever disrespect or dishonor is given to him he has brought upon himself by his own actions.
Law is the victim of nothing except his own arrogance. Law is the perpertrator-enabler par excellance.
If Law has any human decency left he should decline the assignment as an undeserved honor.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:22 PM Permalink
NY1: Dead Fetus Found Behind Manhattan Elementary School
The remains of a fetus were found behind a Manhattan elementary school Thursday morning.Please pray for this child, the parents, the person who found the child, the police and emergency workers. We hope that in death this child receives the dignity which he was not given in life and trust in God's mercy.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:43 AM Permalink
Thursday, May 27, 2004
When voting, think of the big picture
In 1986 pro-choice Ed Zschau defeated pro-life Bruce Hershensohn in the Republican primary US Senate in California. Many of the pro-lifers stayed home on election day to give Senator Alan Cranston his last Senate term in a 51-49 victory, the smallest margin of victory since then by the way. Cranston went on to architect the rejection of Regan's nominee to the Supreme Court Robert Bork in 1987 and then retire in disgrace in 1991. Anthony Kennedy was appointed in Bork's place. Look at the big picture: We need every vote in the Senate to get the a pro-life majority on the Court. Bush reversed every pro-abortion executive order from the Clinton era. Bush signed the partial birth abortion bill into law. Bush is committed to appoint to the Supreme Court nominees with the the temperment of Scalia and Thomas.
Vote for the candidates who will give Bush the votes to get a prolife majority on the court.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:17 PM Permalink
Turner Classic Movies:
Debbie Reynolds in a story inspired by the Belgian nun who turned "Dominique" into a hit record. Greer Garson, Chad Everett, Agnes Moorehead, Ricardo Montalban. Nicole: Katharine Ross. Sister Mary: Juanita Moore. Dominic: Ricky Cordell. Arlien: Michael Pate. Fitzpatrick: Tom Drake. Marauder: Charles Robinson. Henry Koster directed.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:50 PM Permalink
Perhaps this is material for a great new coming-of-age-in-Galway autobiography or novel.
What must Frank, Malachy, Michael and Alphie McCourt be thinking if they hear of this.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:18 PM Permalink
My understanding of Communion
My understanding of Communion is that we believe the same things about essentials. What we disagree with is not essential.
If someone claims to be Catholic and denies the dignity of the unborn, I'm not in communion with him or her.
If someone claims to be Catholic and asserts that a marriage is possible between persons of the same sex then I am not in communion with him or her.
Furthermore, if a person is in communion with them then they might agree with me on the above points, but don't agree with me that it is essential to the Catholic faith that we agree on the dignity of the unborn and the nature of marriage.
Denying that these are essential to being Catholic and believing as a Catholic breaks Communion.
Looking around the United States with the Rainbow Sash people (RSM press release)-- symbolic of dissent from Church teaching -- I think that some bishops will declare their Communion with heretics this Pentecost by permitting them to receive Holy Communion and break communion with the people who assert the Church's teaching on the nature of marriage to be essential.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:12 AM Permalink
The Big Picture
I think it all started with the failure of the economic system in 1929 and the 30's to provide for the people. The social contract basically failed.
There's a puritanical streak to sterile sex, and contraception both as a activity on the fringe of society and then on the mainstream in the NorthEast United States, fueled by a whipped-up fear of a population explosion.
More cars, less kids. Lots of kids is positively downmarket.
With only one or two kids to care for, Mom could out-source child care.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:31 AM Permalink
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Closing Parishes: Nationwide
One of the phenomenon that's not often mentioned in these closing parishes: some of them may have a huge number of Catholics who have the most tenuous connections to the Church. Let me explain: A Catholic is obligated to attend Mass on Sunday and contribute to the maintenance of the parish (and typically this is done by a weekly contribution made in an envelope).
There may be but a handful of those Catholics and the parish may have a school, a sports program, outreach to the poor, hundreds of kids in sacramental preparation (whose parents don't attend Mass), etc. In other words, a parish that's lost its way or has a minimal liturgical participation.
The usual reasons apply, of course: a shortage of priests, a Catholic population that's moved away and not replaced, and the need of the diocese to raise cash for the payment of the claims of clergy sexual abuse.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:40 PM Permalink
How the scandal touched my parish
Queens Chronicle: New Bishop Inducted As Diocese Faces Yet More Claims Of Abuse
I didn't want to mention this priests name because I couldn't find an online reference. This turned up when I was looking for something else.
I speculate the the pastor at the time of Fr. Frost's assignment was not told of the accusation and that much later he came to be aware of it, and it poisoned the relationship between the bishop and pastor. Considering our parish is the largest in Queens and perhaps the largest in the diocese, it seemed strange to me (in the 90's) that for several years the bishop visited often, and then we never saw him again in the parish, only one of the auxiliaries.
Now it appears that Fr. Frost is no longer in the diocese. Wherever he is, he should be suspended according to the Dallas norms. The pastor was reassigned and the bishop has retired. I have no other information than this article.
In January 2003, we had another sexual abuse scandal. Details are here in The Times NewsWeekly I don't know the disposition of the case.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:14 PM Permalink
Thomas More Law Center v. National Right to Life Committee
Pro-Life Leader's Blistering Attack on the National Right to Life Committee
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:08 PM Permalink
Stop the presses, I agree with Don Hewitt.
Jim Leher Newshour: Interview with Don Hewitt
I sit in front on the TV with the web site of a good news radio station in front of me, the New York Post, and maybe Neswday or the Daily News -- I can't believe they can't fill a 30 mins. or 60 mins. long news program with material from the news.
The lastest phony news from Survivor, The Apprentice, American Idol can take 15 minutes after the headlines and before the weather and sports.
Come on -- this is New York and there's always something happening here.
Let them buy commericals like everyone else.
I switch the channel or turn the TV off on the first segment they do to promote some reality TV show.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:52 PM Permalink
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
A blog devoted to taking pictures of people taking pictures of the Chrysler Building
This is worth a few clicks.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:09 PM Permalink
Monday, May 24, 2004
I think they all forgot how to fight
If it would help I would send biographies of some warrior bishops: Bishop Carroll, Archbishop "Dagger" John Hughes, Archbishop Sheen, and even Father Charles Coughlin or Father Daniel Berrigan S.J. to some of these weak bishops how it's done.
Leave aside the fact that you are bishops, and they are politicians. There's a a process called debate and you use debate to change the hearts and minds of people on moral questions.
Is it really enough to have a committee prepare of a kitchen sink statement like Faithful Citizenship and say Mission Accomplished?
With all the dicussion focused on the reception of Holy Communion, let's not lose sight of the millions of souls at risk.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:30 AM Permalink
Did you like Manhattan? Did you like Pac-man? Then you will love them together.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:02 AM Permalink
Sunday, May 23, 2004
Touchstone Magazine: Praying and Staying Together.
Many Christians despair at the prospect of raising children in a culture that seems hell-bent. Is there any realistic hope that we can build Christian families when so much in the popular culture undermines our faith? The messages about life, love, sex, “values,” and virtue promoted through television, film, advertisements, the weekly magazines and the daily newspaper, even teachers in our children’s classrooms, are not only powerful and pervasive—they tempt and seduce even Christians who want to resist them.
A got a direct mail piece from Touchstone Magazine and looked inside. It's a conference on October 21–23, 2004 at The Conference Center at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, Illinois.
Speakers include Thomas Howard whom I've heard speak several times. He's excellent. And Rod Dreher whom I corresponded with several times but have never met.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:36 PM Permalink
Sign of the Cross
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:32 PM Permalink
"What are you going to do, go down to every rectory at midnight and check to see if the priests are alone? Or if there are little boys around?"That would be a good start.
Albany Times-Union: Abuses hard to prevent, ex-bishop says
Broderick was originally a priest of the New York Archdiocese and at age 50, auxilliary bishop under Cardinal Spellman. Serving 7 years as bishop of Albany, he retired in 1976 at age 59. This is his 28th year in retirement.
Why do I think he's closer to 28th Street than 128th Street?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:01 PM Permalink
Tampering in God's Domain Dept.
AP: China Faces `Major Threat' From Gender Imbalance - Xinhua China faces a "major threat" from a growing gender imbalance that could leave millions of men without wives, state media said Monday, highlighting official concern about the impact of a one-child birth policy that has led to rampant female infanticide.When it comes to the abortion holocaust, China is the canary in the coalmine. Similar shifts in attitiudes towards children and the elderly are coming globally.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:21 PM Permalink
Now that the United States Army 1st AD and Iraqi police occupy Karbala. Does it still have status as a "holy city". Will it be a sacrilege to fire on our troops there as it was to fire on the al Sadr militia when it occupied the "holy city".
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:01 AM Permalink