Friday, July 16, 2004
Update on Msgr. Woolsey
He appeared today to give his side of the story. From what I saw on TV, he claims that the money was properly given to the Church and he did not directly take funds from Miss Cale for his personal use. If there's a good paper trail to back those claims up, I think Msgr. Woolsey will have a good defense.
But the news is not good at all, he's been ordered to step down as pastor.
The good religion reporter at the New York Times, Daniel Wakin, filed this story in tomorrow's (Friday's editon):
The Archdiocese of New York ordered a prominent monsignor to resign as pastor of an Upper East Side parish in Manhattan after it discovered evidence that he may have misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars in parish funds, a spokesman said yesterday.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:44 AM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:35 AM Permalink
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Canada East: Fugitive Catholic brother in United States faces charges but not extradition
ST. JOHN'S, Nfld. (CP) - A Roman Catholic brother living in the United States who faces child sex charges in Newfoundland will be arrested immediately should he ever return to Canada.Fort Frances Times: Fugitive friar finds refuge in California
A Franciscan friar who is an accused child molester is being housed by the Catholic order in California—even though officials know he is a fugitive from Canadian justice.
The Franciscans should expel him. Cardinal Mahony should direct that the Franciscans expel him. In fact, he could be compelled under obedience to surrender to authorities in Canada.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:10 PM Permalink
My Amazon Associates Report
Amount Balance 07/06/2004 2004 Quarter 2 Referral Fees $28.31 $29.07
So I will be sending Good Counsel Homes a check for $30.
Thank you for making amazon.com purchases through this web site.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:42 PM Permalink
Oswald Sorbino for Bush
The saner one of a pair of people who started Catholic blogs in December 2002 has a item on his support for President Bush.
The political calculation that the important undecideds want to see McCain, Pataki, etc. speak at the convention and not Rick Santorum or Peter King can backfire and turn off the cultural conservatives.
Maybe it's to preempt the Democrats from using a culturally conservative speech from the Republican Convention as a campaign prop.
Frankly I'd like to see all the Senate RINOs get pushed out by genuine Republican House members -- but the whole Toomey/Specter content demonstrates this is very, very difficult.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:41 AM Permalink
The train wreck called the Sentate vote on the Federal Marriage Amendment
Howard Fineman has the best explanation of what went wrong in the Senate this week on the FMA:
Republicans think they have an advantage in the "mainstream" war on the issue of gay marriage. But they may have tossed it away this week. In proposing a constitutional amendment to define marriage only as "the union of a man and a woman," the GOP's goal was to put Democrats on the cultural defensive and to inspire religious conservatives who form the core of the modern party today. Instead, the White House and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist have exposed divisions among Republicans and, through a well-meaning procedural mistake, allowed the Democratic ticket to wriggle free of the need to cast a potentially harmful vote on the matter.
I doubt this was serious. I saw no party discipline, no arm-twisting. The Republicans expected to lose but to have a decent campaign issue. In the end they looked clueless -- with the exception of Rick Santorum.
I hope that after the election and a few more Republican votes, there can be a coherent effort to get the FMA sent to the states for ratification.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:06 AM Permalink
Angelo de la Cruz: an unfinished story
Wednesday (July 7) de la Cruz is kidnapped. His armed security escort Hafidh H. Amer is killed. The demand is made by terrorists that he will be killed on Saturday if their demands are not met.
Thursday (July 8) Gloria Arroyo agrees with the terrorists demands publicly. The victim is identified. Blogs (including mine) discuss this surrender to terrorists.
Friday (July 9) Celebrations in the streets in the Phillipines. In Iraq, nothing happens.
Saturday (July 10) The original deadline passes -- new demands, new negotiations, etc.
Thursday (July 15) de la Cruz is still being threatened with death. Since Arroyo conceded everything that's been demanded, there's puzzelment.
Add the flag of the Philippines to the International Hall of Appeasers. Sign this pitiful nation up for a lifetime membership to the Axis of Weasels. And remind me never again to brag about the proud fighting spirit of my ancestors...
It's official. The Philippines has capitulated to international terror. A spokesman for its Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed the terms. Bloomberg reports:Foreign Secretary Delia Albert issued a statement confirming an al-Jazeera report on the plan to win the release of Angelo de la Cruz. The Qatar-based network today televised a video, dubbed in Arabic, in which Philippine Deputy Foreign Minister Rafael Seguis announced the withdrawal. "We are responding to your request and are to withdraw our humanitarian contingent in Iraq as soon as possible,'' Seguis said, according to al-Jazeera's English-language Web site. Seguis spoke with "foreknowledge and full authority of the Philippine government,'' Albert said in the statement. Philippine President Gloria Arroyo has to weigh the life of de la Cruz, a father of eight and one of about 7 million Filipinos working abroad to support families at home, against her support for U.S. President George W. Bush's campaign against terrorism, which has won her increased American military aid.[the remainder of the Belmont Club article discusses American combat deaths fighting terrorism in the Philippines.
If you are not familiar with Phillipine politics and the role of the Catholic Church in shaping all important decisions including military ones, you can read the Phillipine sources directly:
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:11 AM Permalink
New York Post. Pal: Priest 'Stupid' but no thief
By JOE McGURK and BILL SANDERSON
This appears on page 7 which is pretty good placement in the New York Post.
When you see the rest of the article I think you will agree that it was imprudent. If Rose Cale and Woolsey became close at the article describes, it strikes me as odd that no one picked up on the situation regarding the estate (i.e. the relatives). It appears that that Rose Cale didn't anticipate the problems that these gifts would present after her death to Monsignor Woolsey.
From what I know about estate planning, this problem could have been avoided.
The New York Times finally discovered this story taking place a few blocks from their own New York Times building. They gave it a paragraph on page B6 of their pathetic 8 page Metro section. The story kicked off on with a press release from the law firm that the estate retained. Why the Times didn't sniff this out as a big story is no mystery to readers who constantly see the Times miss local stories or cover them using the Associated Press 60-word summary.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:36 AM Permalink
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
My sorry attempt at making light of a serious subject
In the debate on whether or not, the use of a condom by a married couple where one is has HIV infection, I'm struck by how the desire for sexual relations is presented not merely as a strong human urge, but one that is irresistable.
What's even stranger is that the new voices proclaiming that sexual continence is beyond the power of human will are priests and bishops who have freely chosen this for life as gift to the Church.
There's certainly involuntary absence of sexual relations in marriage: age, disease, accident, an overseas work or military obligation, and I imagine others as well. Certainly the love that one has for their spouse should make them do all in their power to make the risk of transmission of HIV zero point zero zero zero.
Here's the answer key: object = HIV, frogurt = condom, and well, you can make up the rest as Homer struggles with this moral dillemma.
Wierd Guy- "Take this object, but beware, it carries a terrible curse"
So when making a compromise with evil comes up, think of Homer Simpson, if thinking of St. Paul doesn't register with you or your friends.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:26 PM Permalink
All gifts are not created equal
The Catholic League has press release on the lawsuit against Msgr. Woolsey and Archdiocese of New York.
In my job, I’m not permitted to accept any gifts from anyone with whom I have a professional relationship in excess of $5.
The reason for this should be obvious. Accepting large gifts makes it unclear if I’m working only for the interests of my employer or in the interests of my gift-giver.
Likewise, if the gift-giver is responsible to others as an employee or to shareholders, this casts ethical doubt as well on the responsible use of that money.
When a priest starts to receive such gifts without disclosure to his bishop, so large that this one woman is essentially funding his retirement and excluding her own family from inheriting, it raises questions and the estate is only making a claim now - they haven’t won in court yet - but I think the estate is entitled to some answers.
The principle that William Donohue cites is that a priest can accept a gift of any size at any time from anyone is not a principle that is ethically defensible—simply because some gifts if disclosed will make the cover of 3 newspapers in one day because of appearances and suspicions.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:30 PM Permalink
Debate not permitted here. Your position is bigoted.
I'm picking up Laura Ingraham's point here: It's not the definition of marriage debate, it's not the judicial tyranny debate, it's the debate debate.
The idea is that if you define a position as bigoted, you don't have to debate the other side.
Teddy Kennedy added the label "radical" to the idea that marriage should be the union of one man and one woman.
If we're bigoted, intolerant, and radical, we're not on the road to social marginalia, we're on the way to the cross.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:43 AM Permalink
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Monsignor John Woolsey and Archdiocese sued for raiding estate of elderly woman
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 12, 2004--The Estate of Rose Cale has filed a formal complaint in the Supreme Court of the State of New York against the Archdiocese of New York and Monsignor John G. Woolsey, pastor of Saint John the Martyr Church in Manhattan. The complaint alleges that Monsignor Woolsey used undue influence in his capacity as a trusted and respected spiritual leader, to induce Miss Cale, then in her eighties, to give him over $490,000 in cash and stock. In addition, the complaint alleges that Monsignor Woolsey misappropriated charitable contributions that Miss Cale made directly to the Church.
An odd legal corporate governance site that offers some sarcastic criticism.
Monsignor Woolsey is a familiar name to many because he was a frequent speaker at Family and Pro-Life conferences. He was a protege of Cardinal O'Connor.
I met him several times and considered him to be a dynamic and articulate speaker. I'm not gloating but note that many do when these stories appear. I really hope and pray that Monsignor Woolsey is able to show that he was authorized to use the money given to him by Miss Cale.
The financial scandal is the second scandal to infect the Church. Generally it's not done this way with one parishioner, it's done by skimming the cash off the parish collection or using kickbacks from contractors and know of priests personally who did this.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:35 AM Permalink
Monday, July 12, 2004
An excellent item in Not Quite Catholic But Still Enjoying It which is being edited now Elliot Bougis while Mark Shea is on sabbatical on something that's become a hot topic in the UK. The licit use of condoms.
Elliot links to this article in the UK Tablet. Martin Rhonheimer: The truth about condoms (free reg. reqd.)
Church leaders have caused a furore by suggesting that even the HIV-infected should avoid condoms. But this is not church teaching, says a leading moral philosopher
Here's an article with an accusing tone:
The Catholic church today finds itself in a curious position: while caring for a quarter of all Aids sufferers in sub-saharan Africa, it is accused of being a killer rather than a healer; by rejecting condoms in the battle against Aids, it stands charged with contributing to its spread.
I also found tbis in Brian's noetica blog
Since human weakness does not make evil things into good things, but can only lessen the subjective guilt of the person, it makes sense that the Church can not make condom use a universal policy for dealing with HIV. The Church doesn't condone immoral methods for dealing with problems as a matter of policy. When a person is or is not guilty for doing something, or when a person might be counseled to use a condom is a highly individual and unique situation that can only be dealt with on a particular basis, it's not suitable for being generalized as part of some universal policy.
Here are the remarks I entered into Elliot's comment box:
(1) Does a condom have any licit use? No, because every use of a condom is contraceptive in intent.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:18 PM Permalink
Opinion Journal. Dale Buss: Christian Teens? Not Very.
Many hold mushy beliefs antithetical to the creed.
After that positive blog item below I found this one. We need better religious education.
I wouldn't say that's the number one crisis but it's close. For me the number one crisis is the the basic failure to acknowledge that we are under God, from that simple fact so much evil flows.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:10 PM Permalink
New York Times: New York, Prime Conversion Ground
The Church of the Pentecost has been a hard sell for the Rev. Andrews Donkor.
The Catholic Church is mentioned at the end. Nice photo.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:01 PM Permalink
Hampton Roads Pilot: New bishop conforms to strict Catholic law
Six weeks after taking office, Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo is reshaping the Diocese of Richmond to bring it into close conformity with the policies of Pope John Paul II and orthodox Catholic teaching.
This is truly a sign that something new is happening. This is accountability over chaos.
A sign of the reporters bias is "strict" by the way.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:38 PM Permalink
Scotsman: Priest 'orgy films' found
Roman Catholic leaders in Austria called an emergency meeting today after officials discovered a vast cache of photos and videos allegedly depicting young priests having orgies at a seminary.
Roman Catholic leaders in Austria called an emergency meeting today after officials discovered a vast cache of photos and videos allegedly depicting young priests having sex at a seminary.
Many will be asking If the people involved are of legal age, what's the problem?
It's amazing that Krenn would not treat this immediately with the gravity it demands. What a lack of judgment.
Perhaps the comment I made about bishops speaking for themselves and not thru a "Communications Director" was hasty.
There should also be interviews with every student who left the seminary to determine if they communicated to anyone knowledge of this depravity, and if so, what was done with that information.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:55 PM Permalink
John Allen's Word from Rome
I presume that by now most "Word from Rome" readers will have seen the letter from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on the question of denying the Eucharist to Catholic politicians with a pro-choice stance on abortion. If not, it can be found here: The Kerry Affair: What Ratzinger Wanted from the American Bishops .John Allen has a lot of fans among Catholic bloggers. However, I think he lets too much of his own opinion and agenda slip into his reporting. Here we have his sin of ommission:
Allen fails to report that Cardinal McCarrick presented to the public an plainly false paraphrase of Cardinal Ratzinger's letter.
It would have a certain integrity to it if Cardinal McCarrick were to openly disagree with Cardinal Ratzinger, but he didn't do that he put his own words and attitudes into the mouth of Cardinal Ratzinger.
All that made the leak of Cardinal Ratzinger's letter a obligatory action.
We weren't entitled to see that letter in the first place, but the falsehood had to be exposed.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:38 PM Permalink
The cat got Edwards' tongue
Edwards had famously used his own voice to be the voice of an unborn child when a contingency fee for him was at stake.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:14 AM Permalink