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Saturday, September 18, 2004
 
Guest Bible Commentary
It seems to only sort of implicate the Jews in the Crucifixion, and instead suggests by way of self-deprecating irony that humanity as a whole is to blame.
more at (no relation) McSweeney's


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:04 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Varifrank has a great summary of the outcome of the CBS/Rather/Killian Memo story
Is it really news that CBS is biased? Hardly.

Is it really news that Dan Rather will only look at information that fits his 'template' for the interpetation of news? Hardly.

So what's the story here?

The story is that everyone, everywhere has noticed an egregious case of political advocacy by a major media outlet covering a Presidential election. It's not that it happened that's news, It's that everyone noticed and everyone noticed that everyone noticed. Thats news.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:52 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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More on Understanding President Bush and the teaching of the Catholic Church on Abortion
Intellectual Consevative: Limiting the Harm Using Proportionate Reasons. Barbara Kralis

According to the Catholic doctrine of proportionate reasons, civil law must often tolerate a lesser evil in order to avoid a greater one. On abortion, it is clear that President Bush would "limit the harm" more than his opponent, John Kerry.

Many points of agreement between the author and me, which is why I link to this article.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:50 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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New York. Vice President Richard Nixon, left, with Francis Cardinal Spellman, and Senator John Kennedy before 16th Annual Alfred E. Smith memorial dinner, October 19, 1960. Bettmann/CORBIS
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Republican presidential candidate Texas Governor George W. Bush (L) shakes hands with Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore (R) as New York Archbishop Edward Michael Egan (C) looks on at the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York, October 19, 2000. Both candidates spoke at the event. REUTERS/Khue Bui

I predicted this

New York Post: No Al Smith invite for Prez or Kerry

Neither President Bush nor Democratic challenger John Kerry has been invited to the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner this year because issues in the presidential campaign could detract from the "spirit" of the event, said its sponsor, the Archdiocese of New York.

"The tradition of the Smith dinner is to bring people together," archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling said yesterday. "Given that issues in this year's campaign could provoke divisiveness and disagreement and could detract from that spirit, it was felt best to proceed in a different direction while maintaining all of the ideals and values of the dinner."

The 59th annual dinner, scheduled for next month at The Waldorf-Astoria hotel, will feature the president's father, former President George H.W. Bush, and former Democratic New York Gov. Hugh Carey as speakers, Zwilling said. Four years ago, Al Gore and George W. Bush spoke at the dinner, which has become a highly anticipated political tradition a few weeks before election day.

The last time neither presidential candidate spoke at the dinner was 1996, when Gore and Jack Kemp attended instead of President Clinton and his Republican challenger, Sen. Robert Dole.

The Smith dinner has traditionally been a lighthearted political affair in which dignitaries dress in white ties, give lighthearted speeches and raise money for Catholic health-care services. AP

It would have taken some courage to invite Bush, a Protestant, and not to invite Kerry, a Catholic-in-name-only.

Another missed opportunity to teach.

Notes on the above photographs: (1) John Kennedy should have been wearing a white tie. (2) The title is correct: Archbishop Egan was elevated to Cardinal on February 21, 2001. (3) Standing behind Governor Bush is former Mayor of New York, Ed Koch.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:15 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Finding the Rosary in New York City

Reuters A model wears a bridal swimsuit with a veil, by Brazilian designer Amir Slama, at the Rosa Cha show during Fashion Week in New York on September 10, 2004. REUTERS/Seth Wenig

I hope that the model might have said a prayer to the Blessed Mother in the midst of all this.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:01 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Friday, September 17, 2004
 
Reuters: "Slutwear" is so last year
Now you see it. Soon you won't. In a trend sure to be a relief to some and a disappointment to others, women will cover up instead of baring it all next season as the "slutwear" look comes to an end.

Demure designs have replaced scanty navel-baring looks on the catwalks of this week's semi-annual run of fashion shows, a reliable sign of what shoppers can expect to find in stores next spring.

"The slut is out now. She's dead," said Godfrey Deeny, senior fashion critic at Fashion Wire Daily.

A return to modesty? No more plumber's crack?


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:00 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Thursday, September 16, 2004
 
rick james

Toxicology revealed the presence of the following drugs:

  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Digoxin
  • Chlorpheniramine
  • methamphetamine
  • cocaine
in funk singer and Catholic, Rick James.

Earlier reports stated that the cause of death was unknown.

“I feel God has got me here for a reason,” he said. “I give myself another year, and then I'm gonna retire from the music business and do something else I have in mind that's more spiritual. God has saved me from so much, - overdoses and [the wrong] people - now He's lining me up with just the right people. I gotta do what I gotta do, then I gotta do His will.”

Let not my will but thy will be done.

We're on God's schedule, not our own.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:06 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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I wonder if...

the CBS News employee who suggested that it would be a good idea to put the images of the “authentic” memos on the web site where everyone with knowledge of typography and military procedures and common sense would be able to review them still has a job.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:55 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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A good article making points about Old Media/New Media

History News Network: Liberty, Power, and Knowledge: The Tale of the CBS Memos

...With that said, it seems to me that this incident is a triumph of liberty over power. For years, we've heard from both Right and Left that the "Big Media" are a problem. Each group thinks they are the handmaiden of the other group. What both appear to agree on is that they are near-all powerful entities who are growing unchecked like some electromagnetic cancer upon the land.

The Left has long had the small alternative press, which tried to counter the power of the Big Guys, but with limited success, and it had academia. The Right, since the 80s anyway, has had the think-tank world (which I've always viewed as the alternative university for libertarians and conservatives who perceived themselves, perhaps wrongly, as being closed out of academic by what they saw as leftist power). However it had no real media of its own (Jim and Tammy Faye don't count) until the advent of the Internet. There's a reason the earliest and most well-known blogs lean conservative or libertarian: there was a latent demand for their services.

The net finally reduced the cost of publishing to near zero, at least on the margin, and radically democratized the knowledge production industry, especially investigative reporting.

By eliminating both political (think broadcast licenses) barriers to entry and the huge start up costs of publishing, the Internet widened the sphere of liberty for those who wished to be producers of information. The result, as we've seen so clearly the last 48 hours, is that the strength of Big Media power has been radically reduced.

Average Americans, with their knowledge of typewriters, military procedure, or fairly obscure terms like "kerning," were able to compete with, and effectively neutralize, one of the most powerful organizations on the planet. The Internet has demonstrated itself to be one of the most powerful (yes, powerful), power-checking institutions ever.

By opening up the lines of communication to nearly everyone, it has forced us to rely on actual arguments, facts, history, and evidence precisely because the intensity of competition and the value of reputation is so high.

The work that was done in demonstrating, at least to my satisfaction, the forging of those documents is a tribute to the power of truth that comes from liberty. There's no "trust me, I'm ", rather you're only as good as your arguments and evidence and your experts (and the persuasiveness of the latter can also be determined with a quick Google search).


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:36 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Wednesday, September 15, 2004
 
What Rathergate means to the Catholic Faithful

One of the important things about the forgeries presented to the public as smoking gun evidence of some failure on the part of George Bush to fulfill his duty to the United States is what it says about media: It is the end of a era.

It was an accident of the technologies: network radio, newsreels, and network television that the concentration of listeners and viewers were going to limited to a three outlets in the United States for television, and four for radio.

An economist would call this a scarcity. A reformer would call it a monopoly. A term of art evolved: if you could get the three networks to not run a story, you could "spike" it. This was always harder to do in slower media: newspapers, magazines, and books, but it was always possible.

A myth evolved of objectivity -- it had too since the public airwaves were operated both then and now in the public interest. The networks had to present both (or all) sides of a story. Many good books on media bias exist. Bernard Goldberg's two books Bias and Arrogance are at the top of that list.

Another idea developed based on the arrogance that because millions of Americans have no other choice besides the big three networks, they could decide what the news is.

What is the source of this power? They believed that is was a consequence of their superior intelligence. I think it was the good fortune of the founders of the early radio networks. Later, of course, journalism schools that specialized in television gave credentials to the sort of people that a network would hire -- reinforcing the idea that the little people could not "report" a story the way the professionals could.

In stories I've read in the past week, a word keeps popping up: priesthood. "They" want to keep the truth from us.

It's a mischaracterization to stretch this negative view to the Catholic Church and a teacher of the Catholic faith I think it deserves a defense.

In the broadest terms, a priest is a/the intermediary between you and God. The priest is in this sense a agent: He's acting on behalf of you before God. In the Catholic Church he is God's agent as well, acting in the person of Jesus Christ.

In my other world, Wall Street, the word of the decade is disintermediation. The idea that certain functions or even whole corporations are no longer needed because they were not adding any value. People could deal directly with each other: "We eliminate the middleman". You've heard that before. The existence of retail chains like Wal-Mart is such an example. The company that I worked for from 1975 to 1993, Digital Equipment was a victim, of among other things the then outrageous idea that computers could be sold over the phone or in stores.

A network news program is a "mediator". It is "old media". It was necessary. It is no longer necessary. People can get their news from local over-the-air programming, cable, radio, or the Internet in the quantity, depth, and immediacy of their own choosing. There's no need for a master news filter to be run out of West 53rd Street in Manhattan.

I can remember seeing a story in a newspaper and asking my fellow students or co-workers and recalling that if it wasn't on the television network news, it didn't happen. So this reliance of so many millions on those 30 minute programs at 6.30 or 7.00 led the producers of them to hubris.

With so many independent sources of news, anyone can become their own journalist. Matt Drudge and thousands of news-oriented bloggers are doing the job.

Let me turn to the matter of the "mediates" (I hope that's the plural of mediator and mediatrix) in the Catholic faith. Jesus is the one mediator to the Father. Jesus alone said I am the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus is the necessary and sufficient mediator.

We apply the term mediator (masc.) and mediatrix (fem.) to others: the first being the Blessed Virgin Mary and extending to the entire communion of saints.

What's being mediated? Grace. What is grace? Supernatural help from God.

Another form of mediation is what the Church does. Simply speaking, Jesus gave the sacraments to the Church, and the Church gives us the sacraments. There are seven of them. They are channels of grace: physically tangible with an invisible effect upon the soul.

I'm often asked "Can I go directly to the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit without a mediator?"

The answer is "yes" but that's not the end of the discussion. There are 20 centuries of descriptions of the Church but here the role of the Church and the clergy is to be a guide to get us from this world to the next. How that aligns with the three functions to teach, to rule, and to sanctify is another layer of the discussion.

The bottom line is that God's grace and mercy are infinite. The Church is God's gift to us to make grace and salvation more accessible -- not to restrict it.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:14 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Catholic World News: Fight terror by disarmament, cardinal suggests
Cardinal Renato Martino, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, has called for general disarmament as a response to terrorism.

In an interview with the Italian monthly Famiglia Cristiana , which will appear this week on Italian newsstands, Cardinal Martino argues: "To respond to terrorism and violence with another form of violence begins a perverse spiral."

Rather than responding with armed force to terrorists, Cardinal Martino said that world powers should promote disarmament. In fact, he said, "If we do not go ahead with disarmament, peace will be disarmed."

The Christian martyrs of the 21st century in Sudan, Indonesia, and North Korea were disarmed.

If their lack of arms is now ending the "perverse spiral", that's news to us.

Also, if I were a Cardinal, I'd be a bit more circumspect in using the word "perverse".


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:15 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a child, and you shall name her Deva

AFP: Actress Bellucci Has Baby Girl

Italian star Monica Bellucci and her husband, French actor Vincent Cassel, became parents over the weekend to their first child, a baby girl named Deva, Bellucci's agent said on Monday.

"Everybody's doing well," the agent, Laurent Gregoire, said. He added that the baby was born in Rome on Sunday, but gave no further details.

Bellucci, a 35-year-old former model, has carved out a healthy film career in her native Italy, in her adopted homeland of France and in Hollywood.

She recently starred in the last two Matrix films and as Mary Magdalene in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ , and is currently shooting a US action movie titled The Lord of War .

She met Cassel, 37, on the set of the 1996 French film The Apartment .

The two have since played opposite each other in other productions, notably a R-rated exploration of violence called Irreversible , the fantasy action picture The Brotherhood of the Wolf and a French espionage drama titled Secret Agents .

The name Deva is of Sanskrit origin and means divine.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:38 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Drivers Wanted (to borrow from the Volkswagen ad campaign)

BBC: Croatia clergy in drink curbs row

Croatia's Catholic priests are seeking compensation after the introduction of a new zero-tolerance drink driving law, a local newspaper says.

The priests want $12 million a year to hire chauffeurs as they can no longer drive between churches where they must sip wine, the Jutarnji List said.

"During holy mass we need to drink wine as a symbol of the blood of Christ," one of the priests told the newspaper.

"We want to obey the law... We would like to have private drivers," he said.

"Some priests have many services a day and these are often in different parishes, so they need to use a car to get around. If they can't drive themselves, someone else has to do it," the priest added.

Some 2,000 priests in the strongly Roman Catholic country said they each wanted a driver for five hours a day, the newspaper said.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:15 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Our Lady of Aparecdia

The following three images are ©Reuters. Photographer is Jose Patricio.

Brazil's Virgin of Aparecida wears new crown placed by Vatican envoy

Brazilian altar girl Rosilene Marques carries the statue of the Virgin of Aparecida, one of Brazil's most revered Catholic icons, after a new crown was placed on it by Vatican envoy Cardinal Eugenio Araujo Sales, in Aparecida some 160 kms north of Sao Paulo, September 8, 2004. Tens of thousands of Brazilians attended the 100th anniversary of the first coronation of the Virgin by Portugal's Princess Isabel, as a new crown was placed in honor.

Vatican envoy places new crown on Brazils most revered Virgin

Vatican envoy Cardinal Eugenio Araujo Sales (R) is assisted by Archbishop Raimundo Damasceno Assis as he places a new crown on the statue of the Virgin of Aparecida, one of Brazil's most important Catholic icons, 160 kms north of Sao Paulo, September 8, 2004. Tens of thousands of Brazilians attended the 100th anniversary of the first coronation of the Virgin by Portugal's Princess Isabel, as a new crown was placed in honor.

Brazilian girl prays for peace during new coronation of Brazils most revered Virgin

A Brazilian girl wears a shirt with the word "Peace" written on it after lighting a candle to the Virgin of Aparecida, one of Brazil's most important Catholic icons, 160 kms north of Sao Paulo, September 8, 2004. Vatican envoy Cardinal Eugenio Araujo Sales placed a new crown on the statue as tens of thousands of Brazilians attended the 100th anniversary of the first coronation of the Virgin by Portugal's Princess Isabel.

A popular image from this gallery. One of them looks rather new-age.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:35 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Tuesday, September 14, 2004
 
More of the New York scene.

What should I check out?
The Acrobats?
The Falun-Gong who are persecuted in China?
The wonderfully restored statues of George Washington?


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:22 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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9/11/2004 in Washington Square Park, New York City (2 mi. from the World Trade Center)

People picked up about a dozen rosaries and instructions, about 200 tracts, and about 50 of these Catholic Voters Guide from Catholic Answers

The group doing this is the Catholic Evidence Guild.

I've got a lot more pictures but I need some sleep.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:38 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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It's time for Theology-on-Tap-New York City!

(An extremeCatholic public service announcement)

Next Monday, September 20th, Theology-on-Tap-New York City presents:

The Catholic Politician/The Catholic Voter Featuring Father George Rutler

A priest of the Archdiocese of New York, Father Rutler was ordained to the Episcopalian priesthood in 1969, following studies at Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins, NY General Theological Seminary and Oxford. He was received into the Catholic Church in 1979 and began studies for the priesthood at the NA College in Rome, receiving his Doctorate from the Angelicum.

Terrence Cardinal Cooke ordained Fr. Rutler in 1981. His initial assignments included serving as a parochial vicar in Bronxville and Our Lady of Victory in NYC. He then spent a two-year term as university chaplain in the Archdiocese and as an Oxford post-doctoral fellow. Subsequently Fr. Rutler returned to pastoral work at St. Agnes Parish in NYC. He is now pastor at Church of Our Saviour in Manhattan. Fr. Rutler's books include The Impatience of Job, The Four Last Things, Beyond Modernity, The Seven Ages of Man, Christ and Reason, and A Crisis of Saints. He completed documentary films in Rome and London, and has authored and contributed to numerous essays, articles, and reviews.

Fr. Rutler hosts a weekly international program on EWTN and sits on the board of several schools and colleges.

All regularly scheduled talks are held at Metro 53, located at 307 East 53rd Street (at 2nd Avenue). Happy 1/2 Hour at 7:00pm, Speaker at 7:30, Q&A at 8:00, and Socializing at 8:30.

COMING UP NEXT: OCTOBER 4th Christ in the Hood: Catholic Ministry to Street Gang Members in the Bronx Mr. Michael Grogan

Please check the our website (www.totnyc.org) for more information!

I won't be able to attend, I will be at EPS New York for a class on Old Testament.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:04 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Monday, September 13, 2004
 
Recalling 9/11

I saw the memorial services and found them very moving, but I was disappointed that the news networks (broadcast and cable) with the exception of Fox avoided showing the the footage of the actual attacks.

The political calculation that airing the footage of the attacks hurts the chances of Kerry's election is another sign of their bias. Their partisan behavior during this election is going to end their ability to influence to public opinion.

The coverage of 9/11 shouldn't be limited to Fox and the History Channel.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:12 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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As a Catholic member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy

Fellow conspirators, check out kerrywrongforcatholics.com


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:16 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com