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Saturday, January 11, 2003
A happy ending story

New Haven Register

Fifteen years after Diane Kurtz lost her engagement ring, it was returned to her by a Hartford sewage treatment plant worker who found it at the bottom of a wastewater drainage pool. He also found her onyx ring that disappeared at the same time.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:06 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Trust me on this one: Financial Times (UK) has a very interesting story on a bank in Spain run by Catholic priests.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:03 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tri-Valley Herald reports Pope John Paul II has appointed Aux. Bishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit to replace Bishop John Cummins of Oakland who is retiring.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:57 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Chicago Sun-Times reports that all 150 death sentences in the state of Illinois will be commuted by Governor George Ryan. Ryan leaves office on Monday.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:07 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Friday, January 10, 2003
islam We have community access television here in New York City. Channel 56 has a program I watched for the first time: Islam/Misunderstood Religion. It was four traditionally dressed women answering questions that were mailed in.

Question: How are we to see Allah?

Answer: We see Allah in these aspects:

  • Allah is Creator of all the Universe.
  • Allah revealed himself thru his prophet Mohammed in the Koran.
  • Allah sustains the world today.
Upon hearing that I made the Sign of the Cross. Credo in Unum Deo

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:54 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Many U.S. Catholic Bishops Set to Retire (AP: Newsday, Rachel Zoll)
bishop By December, 32 of the 283 bishops active in the United States will be 75 -- the church's retirement age -- or older.

It is the largest number of U.S. bishops eligible to resign in one year since Pope Paul VI set a retirement age in 1966, according to Catholic News Service.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:22 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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concentration-camp Two excellent sites -- and a response to Daniel Jonah Goldhagen

Catholic World News is a site with plenty of links on current news. Here it linked to Crisis Magazine where author Ronald Rychlak has an excellent critique of Goldlhagen's new book: A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair Here's 2 sentences from the review:

Goldhagen says that the book grew out of a request he received to review several recent books on the Catholic Church and Pope Pius XII. It looks as though he read the books but did not bother to verify their contents. He just culled the worst accusations from Garry Wills, Susan Zuccotti, James Carroll, John Cornwell, and others without giving any consideration to the serious flaws that have been noted in their books.

Goldhagen seems not even to have consulted the eleven-volume official publication of original documents related to the Church’s activities during World War II. In other words, he did none of his own research. Moreover, he ignored information given to him that he could have used to correct many of the problems that render this book so untrustworthy.

Moral Reckoning is full of errors in fact and reasoning. Yet because it targets the Catholic Church -- there will be no critical analysis of it -- as it follows the line of calling Pope Pius XII Hitler's Pope.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:22 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Direct attack on the Seal of the Confessional

Bellville-News Democrat (AP)

Kentucky already requires members of the public, including clergy, to notify civil authorities about child abuse if they learn about the wrongdoing outside of the confessional.

But Democratic Rep. Susan Westrom, a former therapist who worked with abused children, felt the law should go further. She said "horror stories" of sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church and Jehovah's Witnesses led her to introduce the legislation.

"That just made my skin crawl," Westrom said Friday.

Under her proposal, the "clergy-penitent privilege" would be eliminated only in cases of child abuse or neglect.

As the article suggests, this is a first amendment issue.

Also although I have not read everything about the sexual abuse scandal, I have read a lot, and have never heard of a case where the sexual abuse of children actually prevented by a disclosure made in violation of the clergy-penitent right (or privilege).

This law attacks all religions and will not help end sexual abuse.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Flipping Criminal Priests - A New National Trend

It looks to me like a trend. What do you think?

"Flipping" refers to the practice in prosecutions of organized crime figures (like the late John Gotti) and financial frauds (like Martha Stewart's sale of ImClone) where you take a small fish and give that small fish a reduced sentence now or later -- for information that helps in the prosecution of a big fish.

I mentioned Fr. Hands of Long Island as having done this, and now we have the case of ex-priest John Giandelone who has agreed to assist in the investigation of Thomas O'Brien, Bishop of Phoenix. I assume the charge will be accessory before or after the fact to criminal sexual abuse. Associated Press via Los Angeles Times

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:41 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Matt Drudge tells of this Times (UK) report:

Vatican issues warning on dangers of 'online confession'

As a matter for the sacrament of Reconcilation, I thought this was a settled matter long ago: the recitation of sins and act of contrition had to be face-to-face and in person. Confession by writing, telephone, TV, radio, online, etc. was and remains invalid.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:51 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Stop me before I blog again!

TooGoodReports has this wonderful political commentary:

Who Can Say "Commander-In-Chief" In Klingon? By Lowell Phillips

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:43 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, January 09, 2003
Ann Rice, call your office
This UPI story tells us:

Vampire saliva could help treat stroke

VICTORIA, Australia, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- The saliva from vampire bats might be effective in improving the treatment for stroke, a new study released Thursday concludes.

I wonder if there will be protests against using bats for this research.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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bishop Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany is taking on friendly fire from his natual ally New York State Senator and ACT-UP member Tom Duane.

The bishop has established Gay and Lesbian Ministries whose leaders are on the record denying the Catholic teaching on homosexuality (and mocking those who uphold it). The state senator is on the record as being gay and HIV-positive (and still healthy after 20 years).

NY Post Kenneth Lovett 1/9/2003

The state Senate’s only openly gay member yesterday took on the Catholic Church.

Sen. Tom Duane (D-Manhattan) was upset that Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard delivered the legislative session’s opening prayer and then sat in the podium during the brief Senate Session.

Duane, a Catholic, fired off an angry letter to Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno asking that priests not be allowed to pray in the Senate in light of the ongoing Catholic Church sex scandal.

A spokesman for Bruno said Duane’s letter doesn’t dignify a response.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:06 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Poynter Institute quotes National Catholic Reporter


A group of church activists and a law firm have independently compiled databases that each contains the names of some 2,000 priests accused of abuse. Both groups have undertaken the project with the same basic premise that before the crisis of clergy sexual abuse of children can be resolved it must first be understood.

One database is being prepared by Dallas law firm Demarest, Smith, Giunta & Howell. That list, said lawyer Sylvia Demarest, was started in 1993 after she first saw signs that led her to think the church was involved in a conspiracy to protect abusers. She said she thinks her database is the most exhaustive list of abusers yet created. Of the 2,000 cases she has recorded, all have been reported in the U.S. media.

Paul Baier, founder of victims’ rights group Survivors First, told NCR his group has found only about 500 of the priests accused through media reports. He said the other 1,500 names in his database come from other victims’ advocates groups. These victims have chosen thus far not to tell their stories to reporters or, in many cases, to church officials, saying they don’t want their lives turned upside down by the pressures such accusations bring, he said.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:20 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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WMUR Radio New Hampshire reports on the mysterious death of a priest accused of sexual abuse. Fr. Richard Lower of the Diocese of Manchester NH.
...said in a letter sent to a friend in April that priests are suspended the instant they are accused. He said the result is that they are presumed guilty until proven innocent.

I wish I could have told him that any person in a position of honor or special responsibility is suspended when an accusation is made.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:06 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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NY Times: Court rules that non-profit group cannot be sued for sexual abuse only the individual abusers

I don't see how this can stand as a precedent in New Jersey. The standard legal doctrine is that employers are partly liable for acts committed by their employees, and even organizations like the Boy Scouts get sucessfully sued for the crimes committed by volunteers.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:49 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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This is my own opinion piece, not tied to any particular new story. As I live in New York City we've always been comfortable with the wide and generous availability of the Mass of Pope St. Pius V offerred in Latin in the parish of St. Agnes, and seen the extremes of the schismatic traditional movements such as Bayside -- so I'm not confronting radical traditionalists everyday.

However, I see a trend of "shooting the wounded" at work here -- to take delight in their obstinate errors.

I pray for them and for all the wounded unity of the Catholic Church and all Christians.

I can think of only one reason to engage them and that would be to make sure that Catholics in communion with the Pope and the Bishops appointed by him are not persuaded to leave the Church.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:34 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, January 08, 2003
Updating my earlier blog on the two jurors in the terrorism trial who consulted their pastors during deliberations, the NY Times reports on the religions of the two: born-again Christian and Catholic.

Since they violated the court's instructions to discuss the case with no one, this could lead to the release of the terrorists or a new trial.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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WorldNetDaily informs us that Pamela Aderson is teaching Sunday School

PAM ANDERSON AND CHILD This link comes from Between Heaven and Hell - Roger Ho. Pamela Anderson is quoted:

"I'm having fun hanging out with my kids and teaching Sunday school," she mentioned backstage at a recent awards show.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:19 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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My Google angels have led me to Sports Section of the UK Guardian

This is a particularly extreme example of the anti-Catholic atmosphere that infects the UK -- and the author has found an American Jesuit who teaches what the Church teaches on the personhood of clones:

And geneticist and Jesuit priest Reverend Kevin FitzGerald was also quick to jump on the That-Keegan-Twat-Is-Talking-Total-Cak bandwagon. "Humans are more than the sum of their genes; they're also the products of their environment," said the Godbothering boffin from the Loyola Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois. "The clone of a human being would have a different environment than the person whose DNA it carried and would be a different person."

To which we reply - rubbish! What sort of Jesuit are ya, doc? What ever happened to the old "give the child and I will give you the man?" Eh? Come on, let's face it, the Catholic Church has been ruthlessly efficient over the last couple of millennium in churning out millions of alleged "individuals" who ALL shared a fanatical belief in the literal truth of such things as virgin birth, life after death and wine'n'crackers turning into flesh and blood. And you're telling us that you'd have a problem training a couple of dozen Michael Jordan clones to stick a ball through a hoop?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:43 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Yahoo - Reuters shows us this photo

Hindu monks and pilgrims are making an annual trip to Sagar island, 150 km (95 miles) south of Calcutta, for a holy dip at the confluence of the Ganges river and the Bay of Bengal for a one-day festival of 'Makar Sankranti' on January 14.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:14 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Religion of Peace file: State of Kuwait via Reuters

Here's a reminder for all of who weren't clear on the question:

Yes, it is contrary to Islamic Law to kill a non-Muslim. (At least in Kuwait)

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:13 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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This is a parody site Biz-O-Rama. It is poking fun at Yahoo Finance and CBS Marketwatch

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:55 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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When I read this BBC review of the Catholic scandal, I thought this is goofy.

It's rather clueless -- it's like reading an Arab anaysis of Islamofascism confronting the United States that comes up with the obvious solution let everyone in the United States convert to Islam.

A lot of people have concluded that radical reform of Catholicism is the big three: an end to celibacy, the ordination of women, and making abortion a morally neutral act, if not righteous in itself.

The Catholic Church in the United States requires a radical reform but it is one of fidelity, holiness, and humility.

(And yes, I'm aware that celibacy is a discipline of the Roman Church and subject to reform by decree of the Roman Pontiff, and the latter two are contraventions of God-given law.)

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:37 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Required Reading for fans of Lord of the Rings -- Return of the King

Ghost in the Machine - Kevin Murphy discovered a new character for the 3rd movie of Lord of the Rings. He links to bbspot of which I have no other information.

It's Jar-Jaromir.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:55 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, January 07, 2003
No punishment for Fr. Salomon Palma

kissing priest You can use AltaVista Babelfish to translate these pages. Digital Diary of Juarez 1/6/2003
Digital Diary of Juarez 1/7/2003

This unpunished, forgiven priest is now missing. The secretary is over 18, but the priest is 30 years older than her. This isn't a crime in Mexico -- it might be a soap opera.

Please contact Bishop Juan Guillermo Lopez if you find Fr. Salomon Palma.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:29 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Fox News: Turkish Group Wants 'Santa's Bones'

Only if we get back the True Cross which was captured at the Battle of Hattin at the end of the First Crusade

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:47 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Ananova reports: Bishop not to sanction Mexican priest shown having sex in video

bishop I wish I could add an audio clip of my screaming here.

Since he's forgiven, there will be no punishment.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:34 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Religion of Peace File

Bangkok Post: Muslim's arrest sparks fury

Australian authorities denied yesterday the country's leading Muslim cleric was singled out by overzealous police on charges of assault over an altercation arising from a traffic offence.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:24 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP reports: Daschle isn't running for president in 2004

Why am I blogging this? -- Here's why:

Daschle grew up a former Catholic altar boy in Aberdeen, S.D., the oldest of four sons of an auto parts distributor...

Who would have guessed it?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:19 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The Irish Examiner reports: [Archbishop of Dublin] Connell has no jurisdiction over fugitive priest

bishop This one is a bit of a puzzle to me:

  • If Patrick O'Keeffe was dismissed from the priesthood in 1994 why is called a priest and a monsignor?
  • Why are the dioceses of San Bernardino and Dublin even trying to track this layperson -- except to help in his apprehension?
  • If the bishop of San Bernardino was aware of O'Keeffe's intent to flee the jurisdiction of California and the United States why didn't he (...or did he?) contact civil authorities?
  • I am going to assume that the letter from the bishop of San Bernardino to the archbishop of Dublin was more in the line of a warning and not a transfer of incardination
  • Why hasn't O'Keefe been arrested and extradited already?

The AP reported in December 2002 that extradition would not take place as the crime of which O'Keeffe is accused is not a crime in Ireland (age of consent, statute of limitations, etc.).

I can't believe that's the whole story, but it's what there is now on the web.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:42 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Sun: Laura Ingraham writes in "Throwing Christians to the P.C. Lions" that University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and Rutgers threw Christian student groups off ther campus for their intolerance in requiring members of their groups to be Christians. (there is no link for this article yet).

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:30 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Insight Magazine: No need to add anything here. A radio talk show host remarks on the double standard: the lack of outrage in the media for the planned ridicule of the Catholic Church in the city's largest parade, the Mummers Parade. (As I blogged earlier, swift action by Cardinal Bevilaqua got the parody cancelled.)

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:22 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, January 06, 2003
So call me a George Weigel Groupie

EPPC Just War and Preemption - Ethics and Public Policy Center
Zenit via ETWN Just War Principles
EPPC Reality of terrorism call for fresh look at just-war tradition
UK Telegraph Declaring War on Saddam would be a moral option
Christianity Today 10 Dec 2002 Charles Colson summarizes Weigel

The full treatment of the topic is EPPC Lecture Moral Clarity in a Time of War (William E. Simon Lecture) I believe this article is very close to the First Things text itself -- which is here.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:43 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Catholic Church Must Lose the Psychobabble

George Weigel, Los Angeles Times, December 17, 2002

VATICAN CITY -- Let the healing begin.

This seems to be the consensus Catholic response, ranging from victims groups to the church hierarchy to the Catholic press. It is an entirely appropriate sentiment if the question is reconciling the victims of clergy sexual abuse to the church.

But it is a hopelessly inadequate reaction if the question is fixing what is broken in the structures of Catholic belief and practice in the United States.

The jargon of the therapeutic culture in which "fixated ephebophilia" masks the reality of homosexual molestation and "observe the boundaries" replaces "don't commit grave sin" is part of the problem, not part of the solution, to a crisis caused by priests who broke their vows and bishops who failed to lead.

Stripped of secular-therapeutic euphemisms, here is what caused most cases of clergy sexual abuse and episcopal malfeasance: Unchaste priests weakened by poor theological instruction and defective spiritual formation met confused teenagers and young men weakened by a sex-saturated culture. Then bishops who had absorbed the managerial and bureaucratic ethos of modern American institutional life reacted to the sorry results of those encounters as managers rather than apostles.

Something is manifestly wrong in the Catholic Church when psychology constantly trumps moral theology in describing what is going on when a man seduces a teenage boy. And something is manifestly wrong when the forgiveness that is possible for all repentant sinners is confused with restoring the sinner to a public trust.

Very little of the recent commentary has gotten to the sources of today's Catholic crisis. This crisis did not come from nowhere. It is the result of a Catholic "ecology" damaged by a culture of dissent that has persistently promoted "Catholic Lite" views of core beliefs and institutions.

This culture of dissent views the priesthood as simply another form of "ministry" rather than a re-presentation of the priesthood of Christ himself. It misconstrues what it means to be a bishop -- in the Catholic understanding of things, a teacher, not a discussion-group moderator whose task is to keep everybody reasonably happy and "in the conversation." It has contempt for the church's sexual ethic; indeed, widespread dissent among theologians and priests from the church's settled teaching about the nobility of sexual love within marriage helped create a situation in which some priests gave themselves passes on sexual misbehavior and some bishops failed to recognize sin for what it was.

Public relations experts may have advised the U.S. bishops that using the language of "healing" and "respecting boundaries" will help get a psychobabble-saturated media off the church's case. That seems unlikely. Beyond tactics, however, it is a desperately wrongheaded approach to fixing the current fractures in the church, which are fractures of conviction, commitment and discipline.

Catholics believe the church's "form" was given to it by Christ. That form includes the leadership of bishops in local churches, so there can be no Catholic reform without strong, confident bishops, unafraid to be doctrinally and morally assertive.

Where could bishops who want to be such leaders look for recent models of effective, systemic institutional reform? How about the experience of the U.S. Army after Vietnam? The Army was a shambles in 1975, which had something to do with the general cultural implosion of the 1960s. But the men who rebuilt the Army didn't blame "the times" for their problems.

Rather, they had the courage to see that failures of leadership, institutional inertia and a breakdown of the Army's understanding of its unique mission had created the catastrophe of the early 1970s. Having gotten the analysis right, genuine reform could follow.

So Catholic bishops, priests and laity must begin talking about the crisis in their native language, the language of sin, grace and redemption; good and evil; fidelity and infidelity. Biblical and theological language must replace psychobabble.

The real issues in the Catholic crisis that now seems certain to spill over into 2003 are, have been and will continue to be issues of fidelity and infidelity. Those issues won't be successfully addressed until the church reclaims its own vocabulary.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:26 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Ghost in the Machine

The San Francisco Examiner proves my point that when you have a scientist with something wacky to prove -- just compare him to Galileo and compare skeptical scientists of today to the 17th century Catholic Church.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:12 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Presenting the perfect blend of Christianity and Paganism

The Annapolis Capital reports the satisfaction and elevation of priestess-to-be Dolores Ford.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:54 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The New York Times reports that drug abusers are being offerred $200 in cash if they accept sterilization.

It's so wacky that it has the ACLU and Catholic Church on the same page.

  • The ACLU because it interferes with individual liberty to copulate anytime anywhere with any species.
  • The Catholic Church because it is an affront to human dignity.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:27 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The Republican party has chosen New York as the host city for the 2004 national convention. (The Democrats have already chosen Boston).

I worked in Two Penn Plaza (aka WABC Radio aka Excellence in Broadcasting Bldg.) in 1980 and 1992 when the Democrats had their convention directly below me in Madison Square Garden. In 1980 I got to meet and shake hands with Ted Kennedy and Ralph Nader.

I work across the street from St. Patrick's Cathedral now. I wonder what politicians and media types I will see at weekday Mass there.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:20 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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WBRZ New Orleans reports that a former-computer teacher at a Catholic school in the Archdiocese of New Orleans claims he was fired for complaining about pornography on the school's computer.

Let me tell you -- I'm not posting every story today (1/6/03) that is coming across the AP Wire that scandalizes the Catholic Church -- I'm overwhelmed.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:45 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The Catholic Church is Fighting an Extension of the Statute of Limitations

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Catholic Church in California opposes the law which went into effect at the start of the year.

But church officials say the law violates a fundamental fairness. They say it forces dioceses to defend themselves in cases where evidence has gone stale memories have faded and alleged abusers have died.

"Under those circumstances, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to ascertain the truth," the California Catholic Conference of Bishops said in a statement released last month.

James Sweeney, general counsel for the California Catholic Conference, predicted that the law may be challenged in individual cases.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:35 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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But will Court TV televise the canonical trial?

The Suburban Chicago News updates the story of Fr. Raymond Skriba.

It's a rather lengthy report, so I will not quote it here. What makes it interesting is that Fr. Skriba adamantly denies the accusation and it is beyond the statute of limitations in civil and criminal law.

It, therefore, will be a full test of the Dallas process. to reduce to the lay state this priest.

Another interesting aspect of this article is it summarizes the process from the time of the alledged molestation to the present and what the future events are. So many verbs are used, I think the author has the thesaurus open:

  • banish
  • withdraw
  • remove
  • suspend
  • not return to

For those of you, like myself, compiling a 21st century Catholic dictionary, the ephemism for the review boards on sexual abuse was formerly called the review board for the protection of children and it now called the Fitness Review Board

This board has no connection to the more famous President's Council on Physical Fitness

But given the priest shortage perhaps we need one in order to help these good priests live to be 100.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:10 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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What would Judas, er... Jesus do?

This Lux-Log blog item: 1 Jan 2003 links to an official Lutheran site where people are getting high fives and pats on the back for deceiving immigrants from Catholic countries into thinking that the Luteran Church is really their own Church because it is small-c catholic.

If deception is being celebrated and they are taking delight in the pain that the Catholic faithful have with this crisis of sexual abuse by priests, then I pity them.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:39 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Render to Caesar what is Caesar's

Reuters has this story to share with us.

Demanding Payment from 8th Century Saint
Mon January 6, 2003 10:19 AM ET

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's television license fee agency apologized Monday for sending an angry letter demanding payment from an eighth century saint.

"This was quite embarrassing," said Eckhard Ohliger, an official at the Cologne-based GEZ fee collection headquarters, which collects 6.5 billion euros ($6.8 billion) per year from viewers. "But unfortunately mistakes happen."

Father Karl Terhorst said the agency had sent letters demanding payment of the monthly 16.15 euro fee to a woman named "Frau Walburga St." at the address of the Roman Catholic Church in Ramsdorf, 80 miles east of Cologne.

"At first I just ignored the letters," Terhorst said. "But after the last letter demanding payment threatened the saint with 'legal action' and a 1,000-euro fine, I figured it was time to write back."

Terhorst informed the GEZ that St. Walburga, born in 710 in England, was an abbess and missionary who played an important role in St. Boniface's organization of the Frankish church. She headed a monastery, and was later made a saint in 880.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:59 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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As penance, Bishop O'Connell should perform this task himself

bishop WBIR Knoxville TN reports that the name of Rev. Anthony O'Connell will be removed from the family life center of St. Mary's in Oak Ridge.

Bishop O'Connell admitted to sexual contact with a teenage seminary student in Missouri.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:47 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sunday, January 05, 2003
Vacation Nightmare

The Nashville Herald-Citizen has a story of a 'felony stop' that went horribly wrong for a family. This was blogged by Matt Drudge.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:18 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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1996 Study: Nuns abused by priests in US

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the a 1996 study by St. Louis Univ. was intentionally never publicized. The report uses the number 34,000 for the number of victimized nuns. That's 40 percent.

No official Catholic body had a response to the disclosure of this study. I don't either. We'll look at this later.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:37 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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They hate lettuce and the devil

devil The New York Times reports on the Yazidis. Their religion of 300,000 people has collected beliefs and practices form other religions in the areea of Iraq.

You can put this into the Nostra Aetate file on non-Christian religions:

[The Catholic Church] regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:53 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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A new bio one of my heroes Cardinal Newman

newman bio

A review of a new bio of Cardinal Newman is in the UK Guardian If you're interested in a new view of Newman's story, check it out.

What Turner leaves us with is Newman the theological street-brawler - less a detached, self-doubting searcher for truth than a spirited combatant desperately battling the influence of evangelicalism within the Church of England. By focusing on Newman's early life and contrasting it with his delicately crafted autobiographical narrative, Turner exposes a very different Cardinal Newman to that of Catholic lore or the artfully dissembling agenda of the Apologia.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:09 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Comedian Eli Yatzpan's antics spark angry response

israel italy Israeli Insider reports this. This comment comes from Italian diplomatic sources.

"We're talking about cynical abuse of religion. If the Jewish religion was the target of ridicule in a similar way, Jewish groups would be claiming racism and anti-Semitism - and rightfully so."

What is remarkable about this story is the fact that it secular people making the comment and not Italy's equivalent of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

Our Government leaders can be heard to speak out on attacks (either by violence or ridicule) when the religion attacked is Judaism, Islam, Bhuddism, or anything but Christianity.

In fairness to the political leadership in New York City, let me mention that when there was several incidents of vandalism of statues outside of Catholic Churches a year ago, there was a condemnation of this and an effective police investigation that resulted in an arrest.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:27 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com