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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
Patrick Sweeney 20032003
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Friday, November 25, 2005
 
Wondering what it means to be a Conservative

I was watching the film Amistad, and later reading up on the actual events that the conservatives were alarmed by the decision which freed the Africans.

In an excellent performance, John Qunicy Adams was portrayed by Anthony Hopkins. Adams was one of the founders of the Whig party -- advocates of states rights. Here Adams argued for the African's freedom that even under Spanish law they were illegally seized.

Later the Whigs were split by the question of slavery. But what does it mean to say that the conservatives of 1841 were pro-slavery?

Referring to the Politically incorrect guide, it seems that Thomas Woods calls pro-slavery John C. Calhoun, a conservative. So it might be correct to say that the conservatives prior to 1860 were the pro-slavery.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:27 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Play and Pray

Meadowlands sets aside prayer spaces for Muslims : AP (November 23, 2005)

The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority says it will provide a special area for anyone who wants a place to pray while at Giants Stadium or the Continental Airlines Arena — a reaction to Muslim groups' outcries after several fans who prayed at a New York Giants game were detained and questioned by the FBI in September.

One the plus side, if people suspiciously congregate in a restricted non-public area next to a nexus of air ducts as these men were, there will be a better justification to detain them.

I wonder how access to people of all faiths (or no faith) will be accomodated in the "special area".

The AP story isn't quite accurate in the lead above, according to the witnesses who I heard and read about the men were not merely praying but behaving like they were examining the area for concealment.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:06 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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A mixed verdict for Cardinal Egan

High court says newspapers can intervene in abuse settlement : AP

The state Supreme Court ruled Friday that newspapers can ask for documents related to the Bridgeport Diocese’s settlement of priest abuse cases but left it up to a lower court to decide whether to release them.

Attorneys for The Hartford Courant, The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Boston Globe argued that the public has a constitutional right under the First Amendment to see the records.

They say the sealing orders expired when the diocese settled the lawsuits in 2001.

Cardinal Egan was bishop of Bridgeport from 1988 to 2000. Disclosure of the details of these settlements can't be good news for him.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:47 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Happy Thanksgiving

We had a traditional Thanksgiving at home. A late invitee was a recent immigrant to the United States whose family doesn't have a traditional Thanksgiving and wanted to experience it firsthand.

I have so much to be thankful for, my family thought it was funny that I would thank God for the Internet. I hope that when I meet the Lord on judgment day, the I won't be called a worthless servant for writing this blog.

Holiness starts with the awareness of God. All thanks and praise be with Him, the source of our bounty.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Tuesday, November 22, 2005
 
Pregnant Teach Fighting Sin 'Ax' : New York Post
A pregnant and unmarried former pre-kindergarten teacher [Michelle McCusker] yesterday accused the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Queens elementary school [St. Rose of Lima (Rockaway Beach)] where she worked of wrongfully firing her for having sex out of wedlock and choosing to keep her baby.

There's a question of the prudence of the school doing this which I will get to but first: What was she thinking? She agreed in writing to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church which she must have known to have included the teaching favoring marriage and condeming fornication.

The response of the diocesen spokesman sounds a little flat:

The school and its parish church referred press inquiries to the diocese. Diocese spokesman Frank DeRosa said in a statement, "This is a difficult situation for every person involved, but the school had no choice but to follow the principles contained in the teachers personnel handbook."
Now to the question of the prudence of the school to fire her:
"I didn't think they could fire me," said McCusker, who informed the principal she was not planning to marry the father of her baby. "I held the Catholic religion to a higher standard."
Actually, to hold teachers to a higher standard, the school is probably doing the right thing. She was pregnant at the time she was hired and did not disclose that to the school. To me, that shows bad faith on her part -- she knew that she would not be able to complete the school year and in the later stages of her pregnancy be physically impaired from being a pre-kindergarten teacher.

The Post put "Catholic morality" in scare quotes.

But it seems that McCusker presented the school with two bad alternatives: The school should have allowed McCusker to teach the remainder of her contract and then not renew the contract -- simply because firing her for her pregnancy exposed them to this legal liability. They have made themselves too easy a target.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:50 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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The Three Year Rule

The lead on the radio and television news is a leak of the document from the Vatican on the ordination of homosexuals, or more precisely, their admission to seminary.

Vatican speaks against gay seminarians : AP

The Vatican is toughening its stand against gay candidates for the priesthood, specifying in a new document that even men with "transitory" homosexual tendencies must overcome their urges for at least three years before entering the clergy.

A long-awaited "Instruction," due to be released next week, was posted Tuesday on the Internet by the Italian Catholic news agency Adista. A church official who has read the document confirmed its authenticity; he asked that his name not be used because the piece has not been published by the Vatican.

I think the resistance and evasion of this instruction will be intense. I'm mostly a pessimist on this kind of action by the Vatican: no homosexuals are going to be excluded from the seminary unless the seminary staff desires it to be so.

Of course, we need to see what the final form of the rule is.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:31 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Monday, November 21, 2005
 
Monsignor in Phoenix is arrested : AP
The former vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was arrested Monday on charges he fondled boys and young men and asked them prying questions about their sex lives that he pretended were part of confession.

Monsignor Dale Fushek, 53, becomes one of the highest-ranking priests to be charged in the sex scandal that has engulfed the church. The vicar general is the highest-ranking administrator of a diocese next to the bishop.

Fushek was charged with three counts of assault, five of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and two of indecent exposure. All are misdemeanors, punishable by no more than three years and nine months in all.

Fushek "used a relationship of trust to perform criminal acts, including but not limited to sexual activities, improper sexual discussions and physical contact, upon vulnerable minor and adult victims," prosecutors said in court papers.

Prosecutors said Fushek committed the acts between 1984 and 1994 at St. Timothy's Catholic Church in Mesa or on property belonging to the church. The alleged victims were seven young men and boys.

Fushek resigned as pastor of St. Timothy's in April after someone claimed to have recovered a repressed memory involving sexual improprieties by Fushek in 1985. He has denied the allegations and remains on administrative leave.

Thomas O'Brien was bishop from 1981-2003. He resigned after hitting a pedestrian and leaving the scene of an accident. He was convicted and not given a prison term but probation.

Update: Arizona Republic article with a very detailed video link. The news reader without a trace of irony calls the former Vicar General, the mouthpiece of the diocese.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:15 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Sunday, November 20, 2005
 
The Pope was Jewish says Historian :Metro News (Manchester UK)
A Manchester historian has claimed that Pope John Paul II was Jewish.

Yaakov Wise says his study into the the maternal ancestry of Karol Josez Wojtyla (John Paul II's real name) has revealed startling conclusions.

Mr Wise, a researcher in orthodox Jewish history and philosophy, said the late Pope's mother, grandmother and great-grandmother were all probably Jewish and came from a small town not far from Krakow.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:41 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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