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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
Patrick Sweeney 20032003
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Saturday, May 28, 2005
 
Catholic-bashers and Pius' defenders : Pat Buchanan
Leave it to the New York Times. On the eve of Pentecost, the birthday of the church, this Catholic-baiting newspaper opened its op-ed page to a venomous anti-Catholic rant by Arthur Hertzberg, "a visiting professor of the humanities" at New York University.

Hertzberg slandered no fewer than three popes. Not only did the church of Pius XII remain "silent while Europe's Jews were murdered," he alleges, the church of John Paul II taught Catholics that the "sin of letting the Holocaust happen at its doorstep need not haunt the church ..."

The original op-ed is online at the International Herald Tribune

My own opinion is expressed in this Letter to the Editor : IHT

Despite the peaceful overtures of Pope Benedict XVI, I am disappointed that Arthur Hertzberg ("The Vatican's sin of omission," Views, May 16) would write an article that essentially serves to cast a dark shadow over the Vatican's renewed commitment to Catholic-Jewish dialogue.

Hertzberg is not satisfied with the church's view of the Holocaust - that the murder of six million Jews was an unspeakable crime "but a crime by some Catholics, not by the church." Hertzberg denies the "Catholic position that though individual Catholics can err, the church and the pope cannot."

Hertzberg thus implicates the Catholic Church as a kind of co-conspirator with the Nazis because in his mind it did not "denounce and forbid the murder of the Jews."

On the contrary, there have been many credible reports suggesting that at the time of the Nazi oppression, Pope Pius XII was a friend of the Jews. The Catholic Church was in no more a position to "forbid" the Holocaust than Jewish authorities are today in a position to forbid the atrocities in Iraq and Sudan.

Paul Kokoski, Hamilton, Ontario

The term of art here with respect to the Church is indefectibility - that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. This applies to the Church committing error or changing itself from the true Church into a false Church. It's discussed in the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia but only implied in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Infaillibility is mentioned in the Cathechism.

890 The mission of the Magisterium is linked to the definitive nature of the covenant established by God with his people in Christ. It is this Magisterium's task to preserve God's people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates. To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church's shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals. The exercise of this charism takes several forms:

891 "The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful - who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. . . . The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium," above all in an Ecumenical Council. When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine "for belief as being divinely revealed," and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions "must be adhered to with the obedience of faith." This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.

Pope Pius XII assisted many Jews to escape the death camps and provided much assistance immediately after the war.

My Amazon book list mentions all the books I have been able to find on the topic of the defense of Pope Pius XII.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:13 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Wednesday, May 25, 2005
 
Pop Culture Is ... Nourishing : NRO

The article starts off with a nice thing to say about Age of Empires.

Over the years both my sons have played this world-building or historical strategy games on the computer.

There's also Rise of Nations, Empire Earth, and the great series of Civilization. I love them all.

I've also given them books and many hours in front of the History Channel as well as EWTN.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:05 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Tuesday, May 24, 2005
 
Senate Republicans Surrender on Filibuster : AP

I think this is a betrayal of the Republican core -- the people who supported these people before election and elected them. The winners from this are McCain, Byrd, and Reid.

Here are the 7 turncoat Republicans:

  • John McCain of Arizona
  • Mike DeWine of Ohio *
  • Susan Collins of Maine
  • Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
  • Lincoln Chaffee of Rhode Island *
  • John W. Warner of Virginia
  • Olympia J. Snowe of Maine *

* marks the Senators up for reelection in 2006.

I got to hear Sean Hannity pick apart Lindsey Graham this afternoon. On one hand we have a very specific promise not vote to end a judicial filibuster and a very, very vague promise not to filibuster except for "extraordinary circumstances", and already the signatories are disagreeing on its definition.

Bill Frist couldn't have been any more of a marshmallow is discussing what the next steps are. He can kiss any dream of becoming President goodbye.

Which, of course, raises McCain's stature. For denying the president his jusidical nominations, the Republican base will never forgive McCain. If he runs for President I think it will be as a Democrat.

The Republicans have been rolled. Winning elections ought to matter. A majority leader should be able to keep some policy discipline.

There should be good conservatives to run against all seven when this come up for reelection.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:50 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Monday, May 23, 2005
 
The kids game of "Telephone"

starts with a little story that starts at one corner of the classroom and is told by one person to the next person.

The hilarity is that the story which the last person hears is often different from the story that was supposed to be passed around.

By being on both extremes of the story, you can detect the changes.

So let's play the game:

First, start with the denial of an official of the Vatican press office in Dom's blog

And it comes out here: as a closed investigation.

Vatican, religious order say sex abuse investigation is closed : Stamford Record via AP

The Vatican said Monday there was no investigation under way of allegations that the Mexican founder of a conservative religious order sexually abused seminarians more than 30 years ago, and the Holy See had no plans to bring a church trial against the priest.

My comments over in Dom's blog:

Entirely reprehensible and irresponsible of the LC’s to use Fr. Ciro Benedettini statement "I don't know" to confirm "there is no investigation".

It's misleading because Fr. Ciro Benedettini would not be a position to know of an investigation prior to the CDF wishing to make it public, yet that's the impression given.

Frankly, for me, tactics like this make me even more suspicious.

Also in Amy's blog

Update: I've added a link to Jason Berry's book which details the charges and the evasions.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:10 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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I guess The New Republic has a problem

Pope Benedict XVI

Church and State by Kal Raustiala & Lara Stemple

Post date 04.29.05

Benedict XVI isn't just a spiritual leader. He's also a head of state. And that's a problem.

Central Command by Maurice Timothy Reidy

Post date 04.20.05

Joseph Ratzinger's election is a victory for Vatican centralization. And that's a problem.

And also

Pope on the Ropes by Robert Wright

Post date 04.04.05

From the October 3, 1994 issue: The problem with the Pope's views on population growth.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:48 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Taking back Pro-Life Viennese Life Ball attracts the Outrageous to fight AIDS
Some 4,000 privileged guests -- chosen out of 48,000 requests for tickets from 22 countries -- paid 130 euros each to go inside city hall which was transformed into a discotheque, with a welcome at the door from Vienna's mayor, Michael Haupl.

Clubbers in costume, glamorous drag queens and outlandish couples, such as a sailor in a swimsuit escorting his partner in a garter belt and fishnet stockings, paraded through the night.

"The Life Ball is about unbridled imagination, celebrating life," said one guest, Cyril, as he hitched up his black latex bra.

"Some people have been preparing for three or four months for this evening," said Mathias Lippitsch, owner of a costume rental shop in Vienna.

So decadence is life. I wonder if anyone dressed up as Satan to give some of these people a look at their future host.

Outrageous? What they would find a genuine outrage would be a counter-party by a Viennese version of Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church.

If a dime of this money ever gets a dispensary for Combivir or Ziagen in Africa, I'd be amazed. Nonetheless I hope that God can take all the glamour of sin and direct it to something good even if I can't see it.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:14 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Sunday, May 22, 2005
 
Revenge of the Sith : An extremecatholic review

It turns out that Darth Vader is an ignoramus. He's got the gullibility of a Jack, as in Jack and the Beanstalk.

Revenge of the Sith isn't so much about revenge as it is about stupidity.

I love this movie and I love the people who love the movie, but, hey, since when does anxiety over a problematic pregancy form the motivation for reenacting Herod's slaughter or the innocents of Bethlehem?

And if killing hundreds of children who trust you doesn't convince you you are evil, then nothing will.

But Lucas doesn't believe in villains: "There were heroes on both sides." -- only if you consider Adolph Eichmann to be a German hero.

The greater the evil, the stupider you become: Jesus had his Judas, Caesar his Brutus, and Washington his Arnold.

In the end, the Sith have their revenge, and Anakin doesn't even get a beanstalk out of the deal.

Worst dialog: Oh, Padme, I love you. -- Oh, Anakin, I love you.

It's a shame there's only a Yoda and not an Augustine in this universe. Our own Bishop of Hippo understood the Manicheans, and Supreme Chancellor Palpatine follows not only the Darkside, but the Manichean playbook.

Lucas pulls out all the stops: it's a buddy movie, it's a road movie, it's got cute babies, talking bear-gorilla hybrids called wookies.

But I loved "He who is not with me is against me." - hints of Christian symbols and ideas sneak in -- as well as the commentary on the current political scene.

More loves: the space battles, many of the minor characters, the alien landscapes and scenery, the light sabre battles were exciting without becoming tedious.

And as the ending rushes towards us, we see it with a total sense of deja vu. We've see it all before. In my mind, I heard the opening dialog of Episode IV: "Help me Obi Wan. You're my only hope." There's no redemption in Ep III, that will come in Ep. VI.

So George, bring on Episodes VII, VIII, IX.

And may God bless, excuse me, the Force be with you.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:44 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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