extreme Catholic  warning cross jesus carrying cross chi rho madonna of the streets saint peter repentant el greco pope john paul ii

Patrick Sweeney 19711971
Patrick Sweeney 20032003
In lieu of a tip jar: Donations to
National Review
Irish Echo

The Catholic Evidence Guild is on WVOX 1460 AM in New Rochelle
Catholic World News: The Catholic News Leader
12/15/2002 - 12/22/2002 12/22/2002 - 12/29/2002 12/29/2002 - 01/05/2003 01/05/2003 - 01/12/2003 01/12/2003 - 01/19/2003 01/19/2003 - 01/26/2003 01/26/2003 - 02/02/2003 02/02/2003 - 02/09/2003 02/09/2003 - 02/16/2003 02/16/2003 - 02/23/2003 02/23/2003 - 03/02/2003 03/02/2003 - 03/09/2003 03/09/2003 - 03/16/2003 03/16/2003 - 03/23/2003 03/23/2003 - 03/30/2003 03/30/2003 - 04/06/2003 04/06/2003 - 04/13/2003 04/13/2003 - 04/20/2003 04/20/2003 - 04/27/2003 04/27/2003 - 05/04/2003 05/04/2003 - 05/11/2003 05/11/2003 - 05/18/2003 05/18/2003 - 05/25/2003 05/25/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 06/08/2003 06/08/2003 - 06/15/2003 06/15/2003 - 06/22/2003 06/22/2003 - 06/29/2003 06/29/2003 - 07/06/2003 07/06/2003 - 07/13/2003 07/13/2003 - 07/20/2003 07/20/2003 - 07/27/2003 07/27/2003 - 08/03/2003 08/03/2003 - 08/10/2003 08/10/2003 - 08/17/2003 08/17/2003 - 08/24/2003 08/24/2003 - 08/31/2003 08/31/2003 - 09/07/2003 09/07/2003 - 09/14/2003 09/14/2003 - 09/21/2003 09/21/2003 - 09/28/2003 09/28/2003 - 10/05/2003 10/05/2003 - 10/12/2003 10/12/2003 - 10/19/2003 10/19/2003 - 10/26/2003 10/26/2003 - 11/02/2003 11/02/2003 - 11/09/2003 11/09/2003 - 11/16/2003 11/16/2003 - 11/23/2003 11/23/2003 - 11/30/2003 11/30/2003 - 12/07/2003 12/07/2003 - 12/14/2003 12/14/2003 - 12/21/2003 12/21/2003 - 12/28/2003 12/28/2003 - 01/04/2004 01/04/2004 - 01/11/2004 01/11/2004 - 01/18/2004 01/18/2004 - 01/25/2004 01/25/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 02/08/2004 02/08/2004 - 02/15/2004 02/15/2004 - 02/22/2004 02/22/2004 - 02/29/2004 02/29/2004 - 03/07/2004 03/07/2004 - 03/14/2004 03/14/2004 - 03/21/2004 03/21/2004 - 03/28/2004 03/28/2004 - 04/04/2004 04/04/2004 - 04/11/2004 04/11/2004 - 04/18/2004 04/18/2004 - 04/25/2004 04/25/2004 - 05/02/2004 05/02/2004 - 05/09/2004 05/09/2004 - 05/16/2004 05/16/2004 - 05/23/2004 05/23/2004 - 05/30/2004 05/30/2004 - 06/06/2004 06/06/2004 - 06/13/2004 06/13/2004 - 06/20/2004 06/20/2004 - 06/27/2004 06/27/2004 - 07/04/2004 07/04/2004 - 07/11/2004 07/11/2004 - 07/18/2004 07/18/2004 - 07/25/2004 07/25/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/01/2004 - 08/08/2004 08/08/2004 - 08/15/2004 08/15/2004 - 08/22/2004 08/22/2004 - 08/29/2004 08/29/2004 - 09/05/2004 09/05/2004 - 09/12/2004 09/12/2004 - 09/19/2004 09/19/2004 - 09/26/2004 09/26/2004 - 10/03/2004 10/03/2004 - 10/10/2004 10/10/2004 - 10/17/2004 10/17/2004 - 10/24/2004 10/24/2004 - 10/31/2004 10/31/2004 - 11/07/2004 11/07/2004 - 11/14/2004 11/14/2004 - 11/21/2004 11/21/2004 - 11/28/2004 11/28/2004 - 12/05/2004 12/05/2004 - 12/12/2004 12/12/2004 - 12/19/2004 12/19/2004 - 12/26/2004 12/26/2004 - 01/02/2005 01/02/2005 - 01/09/2005 01/09/2005 - 01/16/2005 01/16/2005 - 01/23/2005 01/23/2005 - 01/30/2005 01/30/2005 - 02/06/2005 02/06/2005 - 02/13/2005 02/13/2005 - 02/20/2005 02/20/2005 - 02/27/2005 02/27/2005 - 03/06/2005 03/06/2005 - 03/13/2005 03/13/2005 - 03/20/2005 03/20/2005 - 03/27/2005 03/27/2005 - 04/03/2005 04/03/2005 - 04/10/2005 04/10/2005 - 04/17/2005 04/17/2005 - 04/24/2005 04/24/2005 - 05/01/2005 05/01/2005 - 05/08/2005 05/08/2005 - 05/15/2005 05/15/2005 - 05/22/2005 05/22/2005 - 05/29/2005 05/29/2005 - 06/05/2005 06/05/2005 - 06/12/2005 06/12/2005 - 06/19/2005 06/19/2005 - 06/26/2005 06/26/2005 - 07/03/2005 07/03/2005 - 07/10/2005 07/10/2005 - 07/17/2005 07/17/2005 - 07/24/2005 07/24/2005 - 07/31/2005 07/31/2005 - 08/07/2005 08/07/2005 - 08/14/2005 08/14/2005 - 08/21/2005 08/21/2005 - 08/28/2005 08/28/2005 - 09/04/2005 09/04/2005 - 09/11/2005 09/11/2005 - 09/18/2005 09/18/2005 - 09/25/2005 09/25/2005 - 10/02/2005 10/02/2005 - 10/09/2005 10/09/2005 - 10/16/2005 10/16/2005 - 10/23/2005 10/23/2005 - 10/30/2005 10/30/2005 - 11/06/2005 11/06/2005 - 11/13/2005 11/13/2005 - 11/20/2005 11/20/2005 - 11/27/2005 11/27/2005 - 12/04/2005 12/04/2005 - 12/11/2005 12/11/2005 - 12/18/2005 12/18/2005 - 12/25/2005 12/25/2005 - 01/01/2006 01/01/2006 - 01/08/2006 01/08/2006 - 01/15/2006 01/15/2006 - 01/22/2006 01/29/2006 - 02/05/2006 02/05/2006 - 02/12/2006 02/12/2006 - 02/19/2006 02/19/2006 - 02/26/2006 02/26/2006 - 03/05/2006 03/05/2006 - 03/12/2006 03/12/2006 - 03/19/2006 03/19/2006 - 03/26/2006 04/23/2006 - 04/30/2006 04/30/2006 - 05/07/2006 05/07/2006 - 05/14/2006 05/14/2006 - 05/21/2006 06/18/2006 - 06/25/2006 07/02/2006 - 07/09/2006 07/16/2006 - 07/23/2006 07/23/2006 - 07/30/2006 07/30/2006 - 08/06/2006 08/27/2006 - 09/03/2006 09/10/2006 - 09/17/2006 10/01/2006 - 10/08/2006 12/10/2006 - 12/17/2006 10/07/2007 - 10/14/2007 11/25/2007 - 12/02/2007 12/02/2007 - 12/09/2007 12/09/2007 - 12/16/2007 12/16/2007 - 12/23/2007 12/23/2007 - 12/30/2007 01/06/2008 - 01/13/2008 01/13/2008 - 01/20/2008 01/20/2008 - 01/27/2008 01/27/2008 - 02/03/2008 02/03/2008 - 02/10/2008 02/10/2008 - 02/17/2008 02/17/2008 - 02/24/2008 02/24/2008 - 03/02/2008 03/02/2008 - 03/09/2008 03/30/2008 - 04/06/2008 04/06/2008 - 04/13/2008 04/13/2008 - 04/20/2008 10/05/2008 - 10/12/2008 11/09/2008 - 11/16/2008 11/16/2008 - 11/23/2008 11/30/2008 - 12/07/2008 12/07/2008 - 12/14/2008 12/28/2008 - 01/04/2009 01/04/2009 - 01/11/2009 01/11/2009 - 01/18/2009 01/18/2009 - 01/25/2009 01/25/2009 - 02/01/2009 02/01/2009 - 02/08/2009 02/08/2009 - 02/15/2009 02/15/2009 - 02/22/2009 02/22/2009 - 03/01/2009 03/01/2009 - 03/08/2009 03/08/2009 - 03/15/2009 03/15/2009 - 03/22/2009 03/22/2009 - 03/29/2009 03/29/2009 - 04/05/2009 04/05/2009 - 04/12/2009 04/12/2009 - 04/19/2009 04/19/2009 - 04/26/2009 05/03/2009 - 05/10/2009 05/10/2009 - 05/17/2009 05/17/2009 - 05/24/2009 05/24/2009 - 05/31/2009 05/31/2009 - 06/07/2009 06/21/2009 - 06/28/2009 06/28/2009 - 07/05/2009 07/05/2009 - 07/12/2009 07/19/2009 - 07/26/2009 07/26/2009 - 08/02/2009 08/02/2009 - 08/09/2009 08/09/2009 - 08/16/2009 08/16/2009 - 08/23/2009 08/23/2009 - 08/30/2009 09/06/2009 - 09/13/2009 09/13/2009 - 09/20/2009 09/20/2009 - 09/27/2009 09/27/2009 - 10/04/2009 10/04/2009 - 10/11/2009 10/25/2009 - 11/01/2009 11/01/2009 - 11/08/2009 11/08/2009 - 11/15/2009 11/22/2009 - 11/29/2009 01/10/2010 - 01/17/2010 01/17/2010 - 01/24/2010 01/24/2010 - 01/31/2010 03/21/2010 - 03/28/2010 03/28/2010 - 04/04/2010 04/18/2010 - 04/25/2010 05/02/2010 - 05/09/2010 05/23/2010 - 05/30/2010 05/30/2010 - 06/06/2010 06/06/2010 - 06/13/2010 06/27/2010 - 07/04/2010 07/04/2010 - 07/11/2010 07/11/2010 - 07/18/2010 07/18/2010 - 07/25/2010 08/01/2010 - 08/08/2010 08/08/2010 - 08/15/2010 09/26/2010 - 10/03/2010 03/27/2011 - 04/03/2011 10/23/2011 - 10/30/2011 01/08/2012 - 01/15/2012 01/15/2012 - 01/22/2012 01/22/2012 - 01/29/2012 11/19/2017 - 11/26/2017 05/14/2023 - 05/21/2023
This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? blogrolling Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com extremetracking www.blogwise.com
You're the 123! NYC Bloggers
Subscribe with myFeedster

Review extreme Catholic on blogarama
Listed on BlogShares

[Valid Atom]

Who Links Here

Saturday, March 22, 2003
Slate: Tipping Encouraged, Warfare is changing. So should the anti-war movement
9 a.m.: Pause for a moment to contemplate the wonderful transformation of warfare that seems to be unfolding before our eyes.

Excellent comments on the peace movement.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:52 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Slate: Why Do Surrendering Soldiers Wave White Flags?
Hundreds of Iraqi soldiers are surrendering by waving white flags, the international symbol of capitulation. How did this tradition originate?
for history buffs.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:48 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

James Lileks blog is a must read warblog.

2:05 PM Radio reporting that Basra has fallen. I don’t think so. Umm Qasr has been taken as well. Sci-fi town names. Mos Ai-Zhley will be the next to fall.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:33 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

How Could I have missed this item from a month ago?

Agence France Presse - Singapore - Yahoo

This AFP story covers a lot regarding the Pope's comments today. Let's look at how it gets edited around the world.

Hi Pakistan: Pope Paul upbraided UK, Italian PMs: paper -- Detail Story

Pope John Paul II lost his temper with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi in recent discussions at the Vatican on a possible war in Iraq , [Europa] a Catholic leaning newspaper reported on Wednesday.

"John Paul II used words and gestures bordering on a diplomatic incident," in his audience with Blair on Feb 22, the daily said.

In fairness to Hi Pakistan they do show some skepticism about this item. This is so not the case in the Arab News:
The pope lost his temper with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi in recent discussions at the Vatican on a possible war in Iraq, a newspaper reported.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:05 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Jamaica Observer: Churches divided on meaning of Gulf War

This is interesting, how a country not involved in the war sees the war through the eyes of Christ:

On the other end of the religious spectrum, others like Archbishop Edgerton Clarke say they'd rather not use the scriptures that way.

"I know that there are certain groups of Christians that believe in war in the name of God," says Clarke. "I don't want to be judgmental of these groups, but in the Catholic Church we don't use the scriptures that way, not with the new covenant God has made with his people."

Archbishop Clarke, who described war as "the evidence of man's injustice to man", says it is not the instrument to bring healing. "It's something we are against, except in cases of self-defence. Jesus teaches forgiveness and reconciliation and as far as I'm concerned, peace is what we need to pursue."

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:54 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Bishops' Spokesman calls for break between Catholic Church and Celtic Football Club

I can imagine this preamble to the linked story:

I am speaking to you solely as your official spokesman of the Catholic bishops of Scotland with the authority and responsibility I, though a sinner, have been given as a press relations representative to the successors to the apostles on their behalf. I am speaking to you from the deepest chambers of my conscience as your official spokesman appointed by the bishops, appointed by Jesus Christ in his Body, the Church, to help shepherd you to sanctity and to heaven.

Here's the real quote

Peter Kearney, the official spokesman for Scottish Bishops, has told the Sunday Herald he is 'sick and tired' of priests offering prayers for Celtic victories at the end of Mass and the team's players visiting Catholic schools.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:41 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

New York Times: Latest Comments from Pope John Paul II

When war, like the one now in Iraq, threatens the fate of humanity, it is even more urgent for us to proclaim, with a firm and decisive voice, that only peace is the way of building a more just and caring society," he said in a speech to employees of Telepace, a Roman Catholic television station.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:28 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

North Korea

I think this is a situation that is going to get worse as time passes. North Korea's government is illegitimate, criminal, and allowing its people to starve. North Korea seized the initiative by removing the UN monitoring devices which they agreed to in order to obtain aid from the United States and other countries. That was an act of war, calling for an ultimatum. North Korea can't be allowed to continue to accumulate nuclear weapons. The leader of that country like Iraq's leader has declared his intention to wage war on America.

The American policy is to involve the diplomatic leverage of the neighbors of North Korea (South Korea, China, Japan, Russia) to make certain that North Korea understands the importance of dismantling its nuclear weapons program. The President has used the phrase "all the options are on the table". That I understand is code for "a diplomatic solution or else".

There's a science-fiction-like technology that can be used to destroy plutonium-creating reactors. GPS-guided smart spears of depleted uranium which can minimize the damage outside of the immediate area.

A lot of stuff I don't know here: how common are the interests of 4 neighbors with the United States. Since the current North Korea doesn't seem to willing to keep the agreements it enters into, it's hard to believe that they will keep the next agreement that will end this impasse. I'll worry more when Colin Powell starts to call it a "crisis".


I think there will be new assessments of the progress of Iran's ability to develop nuclear weapons and their assistance to terrorists. Now, after the experience of Iraq, I think the government of Iran, entirely on its own, might accept the results of diplomacy.

I visited both South Korea and pre-Islamic Republic Iran in the 1970's by the way.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:02 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

crusades The original decapitation strategy

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:27 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Friday, March 21, 2003
What would Bishop Wilton D. Gregory say?

"The task now is to work and pray and hope that war's deadly consequences will be limited, that civilian life will be protected, that weapons of mass destruction will be eliminated, and that the people of Iraq will soon enjoy a peace with freedom and justice."

That's the part I like. It's clear that negotiations with Saddam were never going to get us there.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:19 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

The Church Pathetic

I've been sent another excellent guest submission for the blog:

Why is it that our American president is more in tune with the practicing Catholic than the bishops of my Catholic faith? How has it come to this that I find myself easily taking the position of supporting my President over the confused prelates who lead the people of God? Why am I at a lost to explain this disconnect between the Successor to Saint Peter and the Successor to George Washington?

The rest is here

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:07 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Our Lady of Victory and Lepanto

Our Lady of Victory Trophies of War

The Blue Army: ...In the Doges’ Palace in Venice, Italy, one can witness a giant Islamic flag that is now a trophy from a vanquished Turkish ship from the Victory. At Saint Mary Major Basilica in Rome, close to the tomb of the great St. Pope Pius V, one was once able to view yet another Islamic flag from the Battle, until 1965, when it was returned to Istanbul in an intended friendly token of concord.

Perhaps a good Catholic member of the armed forces can return from the war with a replacement for Saint Mary Major Basilica.

The Battle of Lepanto was at first celebrated liturgically as “Our Lady of Victory.” Later, the feast of October 7th was renamed “Our Lady of the Rosary” and extended throughout the Universal Church by Pope Clement XI in 1716 (who canonized Pope Pius V in 1712).

From The Mary Page at the University of Dayton

Q: What about Our Lady of Victory?

A: To commemorate the victory of the Christian Armada over the Turks on October 7, 1571, Pope Pius V introduced in 1572 the "festem BMV de victoria" (Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mother of Victory). In 1573 his successor, Pope Gregory XIII, changed this title to "Feast of the Holy Rosary" to be celebrated on the first Sunday of October. The privilege to celebrate this feast was granted to all those churches which had a Rosary altar. Clemens XI extended it to the whole Church. Under Pius X the feast was again scheduled for October 7; it changed name in 1960 and became "Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary."

This appellation was changed again in 1969 to "Our Lady of the Rosary" and it is now a mandatory memorial. The reference to victory or Our Lady of Victory was maintained in titles and for sanctuaries the world over, in particular in Spain, Italy, France and Germany. The title frequently commemorates, even before Lepanto, the victory over heresy and paganism. Already Gregory Pisides (ca 600-650) sees in Mary the only and unique victor over nature (miraculous birth of Christ and unarmed victory over the Avares in 626).

One of the most famous sanctuaries dedicated to Our Lady of Victories is in Paris (Notre Dame des Victoires, 2eme arrondissement). The sanctuary is intimately connected with the Miraculous Medal and the Archconfraternity devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This devotion had its origin at the church of Notre Dame des Victoires in Paris and expanded during the latter half of last century over much of the Catholic world.

One of the Catholic Churches of the Wall Street area is Our Lady of Victory at 60 William Street at Pine Street.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:28 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Iraqi Christians Consecrate Country to Mary, "Queen of Peace"

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 21, 2003 (Zenit.org).- This afternoon, different Christian Churches in Iraq will consecrate the country to the Virgin Mary.

The solemn act will take place at 6:00 p.m. in the Chaldean-rite Cathedral of St. Joseph in Baghdad, before a statue of the pilgrim Virgin, Queen of Peace, Vatican Radio confirmed.

For the past few days, the Christians of Baghdad have gathered to pray around the statue of the pilgrim Virgin, in many churches of the city. The statue has been on pilgrimage in Iraq since 1998. The announcement of the consecration was made on Sunday, March 16, in all the churches of the capital.

The act of consecration will be attended by representatives of the Catholic Church and of other Christian confessions.

The Chaldean Patriarchate will be represented by Bishop Shlemon Warduni and Bishop Emmanuel-Karim Delly; the Latin Catholic Church by Archbishop Jean Benjamin Sleiman; the Syrian Catholic Church by Archbishop Athanasius Matti Shaba Matoka; the Armenian Catholic Church by Archbishop Paul Coussa; the Syrian Orthodox Church by Archbishop Saverius Jamil Hawa; and the Assyrian Church by Archbishop Ghevargese Warda Daniel Sliwa.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:17 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Tech Central Station: Our World-Historical Gamble
"The war with Iraq will constitute one of those momentous turning points of history."

To see the truth of this remark, one need only reflect back to any previous world-historical transformation. How could one hope to explain nineteenth century nationalism to Voltaire? Or the French Revolution to St. Thomas Aquinas? You could try explaining by analogy, but any analogy would be apt to mislead as much, if not more, than to illuminate. But this is no less true in dealing with the world-historical changes that have not yet given birth to the new order of possibilities.

Credit: Kevin Miller - HMS

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:14 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Here's a new reason to hate Saddam Hussein

By having an incompetent defense against superior American and British forces, he hands a big win to George Bush, and for his strategic vision of the world. The anti-Bush coalition hates to see Bush win, and hates people who enable Bush to win.

The world is getting a little bit of shock and awe itself watching a bigger victory than last year's Afghan campaign.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:50 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Kumbya Watch Contd.

The Weekly Standard this morning

In Washington, a few hundred protestors marched through downtown around rush hour last night. The group was surprisingly young, so maybe they should be forgiven. One of them was carrying a placard saying "President Bush, choke on this pretzel!" as the crowd chanted, "What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? Now!" Wishing death to your commander in chief while he's sending troops to protect your freedom is one thing, but deciding that your personal desire for "peace" outweighs 24 million Iraqis' desire for freedom from torture and oppression seems cruel and ungenerous in the extreme.
and some vandalism at Chiriaco Summit, CA today
Employees at the General Patton Memorial Museum arrived at work Thursday morning to find anti-American, anti-war and pro-Iraqi graffiti on military tanks, a Christian altar and a memorial plaque.

and this 9/11 memorial destroyed by peace activists 10 days ago, described in Chronwatch.

Not in Our Name sounds a bit ironic now.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:49 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

19th Annual Spirituality Convocation of the Center for Spiritual Developer and School of Spirituality, Archdiocese of New York

This will be taking place of Mt. St. Michael Academy, 4300 Murdock Ave., Bronx, NY 10466, this Saturday March 22, 2003 9AM to 4PM for information call 914-967-7238 ($30 registration fee).

The theme is Called By Name, Called To Holiness. The principal speaker is Ralph Martin.

I will be there in my role as president of the Catholic Evidence Guild. With other members of the Guild we will be holding a workshop on Everyday Apologetics: Giving an Account of the Joy that is Within Us.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:06 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Thursday, March 20, 2003
A Conspiracy of the Right to Undermine the Holy Father (1/20/2003)
President Bush's Ambassador to the Holy See has asked Michael Novak to develop even further his theological theory of justification for preventive war to support Bush. Novak will present his ideas in February at a conference on the just war organized by the Ambadssador. In the past several months Novak, along with fellow neo-conservative writers George Weigel and Robert Royal have been publishing their own just war theories in favor of an attack on Iraq in direct opposition to the Vatican. Their cleverly written arguments make it sound as if the important thing is simply to use the term just war, be talking about the theory, rather than follow the conditions of the theory taught in Catholic tradition.

Sorry about the late posting of this but it's worth a read, if you are obsessed with reading everything that can be found on the topic of the application of Catholic just war doctrine to the Iraq War.

Update: I've corrected the link. Source: Houston Catholic Worker.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:37 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Catholic bishops in the Netherlands condemn the United States

The bishops, newspaper De Telegraaf reported, said they were very concerned for the Iraqi population and for stability in the region.

The statement said there was no doubt Saddam Hussein's regime posed a real and serious threat for his own people and to peace. "But that does not give any moral legitimacy for one-sided military action, particularly because Iraq civilians would suffer most".

Perhaps something is being lost in the translation but stability is the codeword for keeping Saddam in power.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:29 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

small red cross

Catholic News Service: a curial cardinal blames Saddam

Vatican newspaper calls start of war 'sad and painful day' for world

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican newspaper carried reports about the first U.S. strikes on Iraq under the banner headline, "The folly of war." The newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, offered no editorial comment March 20, but reflected Vatican disappointment at Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the U.S.-led coalition. The articles came under headlines such as: "A sad and painful day for the international community." Vatican Radio, on the other hand, featured a long, tough commentary by retired Cardinal Roberto Tucci, a frequent commentator on current affairs. One must, he said, make clear "the enormous responsibility of Saddam Hussein" for the violent situation, not only because of his refusal to leave Iraq but also because of his refusal for 12 years to obey U.N. resolutions. "At the same time, however, I am convinced that everything possible was not done to avoid this war," Cardinal Tucci told the radio's One-O-Five Live program.

Rub your eyes in disbelief. A cardinal blames Saddam. Of course, it is only a partial return to common sense, he's part of the perpetual negotiations party.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:29 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Chuck Colson: Review of William Bennett's "Why We Fight"
The attacks on September 11 were scarcely over before Christians began weighing in on how America should respond. For many, going to war was simply not an option. How could it be? After all, they said, didn't Jesus Himself say, "Blessed are the peacemakers," and, "Turn the other cheek"? Remember, warned a letter-writer to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Christ was an absolute pacifist."

But as Bill Bennett reminds us in his new book, Why We Fight, Jesus was nothing of the kind. As America wages war on terror, confusion over the morality of war itself is an issue the Church must address.

William Bennett is now an honorary member of the Lepanto Group

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:15 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Robert Royal: Just War Principles and Counterterrorism

This is from the Faith and Reason Institute, September 24, 2001

We cannot entirely predict what the United States is going to be faced with or what we are planning to do at this point. We want to get as much on the table as possible for consideration, militarily, theologically, and ethically. Among the many things that we can see coming down the line are actions such as military strikes against nations harboring terrorists, which fall clearly within the intrastate kind of definitions of just war.
and something more recent
  • The global expansion of terrorism in the approach to 9/11 and since have made all previous assessments obsolete. The wrong weapons in the wrong hands can threaten people from Moscow to New York, from Capitol Hill offices to Tunisia and Bali. And we have to ask ourselves where in the contemporary world the most worrisome weapons of mass destruction are likely to come from. Baghdad is one such source.
  • I take as axiomatic that the classic conditions of jus in bello can be reasonably achieved by American military planners. And the traditional jus ad bellum principles—just cause, right intention, right authority, reasonable hope of success, and proportionality of good achieved over harm—can be met as well.
  • We might turn the usual questions the other way around: "If not Iraq, who?" and "If not now, when?" The international community can replace the use of force with the rule of law only if it is itself willing to use force when called for.

Robert Royal, President of the Faith and Reason Institute is now an honorary member of the Lepanto Group.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:02 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

CNS: Vatican: Deep Pain

Vatican says both sides to blame for failure to achieve disarmament

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Expressing "deep pain" at the start of U.S. military strikes on Iraq, the Vatican said both sides were to blame for failing to achieve Iraq's peaceful disarmament under international law. In a statement March 20, just hours after U.S. missiles began striking the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the Vatican lamented Iraq's failure to comply with U.N. disarmament resolutions and other countries' abandonment of international diplomacy to peacefully resolve the crisis. "The Holy See noted with deep pain the evolution of the latest events in Iraq," Navarro-Valls said. "On one hand, it laments that the Iraqi government did not accept the resolutions of the United Nations -- and an appeal from the pope himself -- that asked for a disarmament of the country," he said. "On the other hand, it deplores that the path of negotiations under international law for a peaceful solution to the Iraqi drama was interrupted," he said.

I'm disappointed that they didn't announce that in order to minimize the loss of innocent lives, that the Iraqi goverment immediately and unconditionally surrender. There may not even be an Iraqi government to send this message to in a few hours.

And what's this about evolution?! I thought that the Church didn't believe in that.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:43 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Spectator: Rome v. Washington Gerald Warner believes that the Pope is against the war for cultural as well as humanitarian reasons

The core issue dividing Rome and Washington may be moral — the Pope opposes the war on humanitarian and theological grounds — but the root of the present misunderstanding is cultural.

This is an interesting article. After you read it you can see my comments on it in Amy Welborn's blog or comment here.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:30 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Mark Brumley: Participating in War Against Iraq A "Mortal Sin"?
In taking that stand, Bishop Botean has gone far beyond what the U.S. bishops and representatives of the Holy See have said, both groups of which have opposed war with Iraq. In effect, he claims that the facts are so obviously contrary to how many faithful, informed Catholics and others see them that traditional Catholic teaching about the right and duty of civil authority to make the determination of whether war is justified can be set aside (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2309) and that he, as bishop, can bind his people to follow his personal assessment of the geopolitical situation.

Mark is the author of How Not to Share Your Faith and on target here, if a little verbose.

Bishops are monarchs. Only the Holy See oversees them on a matter where they invoke the apostolic authority. (Credit: Catholic Just War)

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:11 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Dr. Edward N. Peters: In Light of the Law A Canon Lawyer's Blog: Current Issues
While the statement has, I believe, many substantive flaws and errors in it (see below), it is not my purpose to critique the statement itself, but rather to highlight some important canonical issues it raises.

I believe Dr. Peters has only scratched the surface of this. I think the outlook for a resolution of this is not good. It's too small of a problem and too messy for anyone to deal with. I also doubt that any members of the armed forces have resigned or deserted on account of this.

It would be interesting to see if Bishop Botean digs in his heels and starts naming names of the participants in this war who become known to him and imposes a canonical penalty on them. (Credit: Catholic Just War)

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:58 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Phases of the War and the Peace

Today's Lesson:

  • Decapitation
  • Shock and Awe
  • Surrender and Liberation
  • Construction of a democratic self-government in Iraq

If Saddam wasn't killed in one of the first attacks, he's got to wonder who is tipping the Americans as to his location during those attacks.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:10 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

War of the Bills

Catholic League blasts Bill O'Reilly (Catholic League president William Donohue)

O’Reilly’s ramblings about the pope do not make him an anti-Catholic. But it does make him an ignoramus.
O'Reilly responds to the Catholic League
As a lawyer Catholic, my conscience will not allow me to watch innocent people be brutalized, while good people stand on the sidelines. That, in opinion, is simply wrong.

Excuse me, Bill, that should be "loyal". Let's see how long it takes Fox News to change it.

I thought I could be neutral on this one, but after reading both pieces carefully, I think the Mr. Donohue is engaged in an ad hominem bluster. He never engages the reasoning for O'Reilly's statement, it's yet another version of "Shut up and listen to the Pope".

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:24 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Wednesday, March 19, 2003
NRO Joseph Loconte: The Exhausting Pursuit of Peace
Can America respond with force only when an Iraqi missile carrying a chemical weapon is seconds from liftoff? Or only after Saddam has slipped a few liters of anthrax into the hands of al Qaeda allies? If there ever was a time when theology must be "updated" to reflect contemporary facts, this is it.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:40 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Michael Moore contributes this silliness
4. The Pope has said this war is wrong, that it is a SIN. The Pope! But even worse, the Dixie Chicks have now come out against you! How bad does it have to get before you realize that you are an army of one on this war? Of course, this is a war you personally won't have to fight. Just like when you went AWOL while the poor were shipped to Vietnam in your place.
Memo to Mr. Moore: the President is not Catholic.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:23 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Zenit: Colin Powell called the Vatican's "foreign minister" Archbishop Tauran
"We understand the Holy Father's concern," Powell told the archbishop. "But sometimes issues come before us that cannot be avoided, but because we are peace-loving, we hope they'll go away, and we believe firmly this is one such issue."

According to the U.S. official, Saddam Hussein "is the one who has brought this upon the world, not the United States."

To me, that strikes the right tone.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:13 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

I blogged it already but...

Finally, a Rapid Response is in a free part of the Wall Street Journal opinionjournal.com

This is the article which the following two letters discuss.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:31 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Wall Street Journal: Priests Received Warning Not to Criticize Bishop (subs. reqd.)

In his letter to the editor Monday 1, Bishop Joseph Adamec of Altoona-Johnstown, Pa., accused me of making two untrue accusations in my March 7 "Houses of Worship2" column. It is indisputably true that, as I said in the column, the local newspaper has reported allegations that Bishop Adamec has covered up abuse accusations against four local priests. According to the Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown, Bishop Adamec has in four extant cases of alleged priest sex abuse not followed the national guidelines adopted by the country's Catholic bishops last summer. The county district attorney called the bishop's conduct in the matter "disappointing." Catholic lay leaders have declared publicly that they went to the media with this information after being rebuffed by the bishop -- the same bishop who refused to answer questions about the apparent cover-up until the Tribune-Democrat's revelations forced him to. About Bishop Adamec, abuse victims' leader David Clohessy has said, "Almost no bishop in the country so steadfastly refuses to acknowledge even a single mistake." That's some achievement.

Secondly, Bishop Adamec puts a preposterous spin on a verbal presentation he gave to his priests last fall. I've personally spoken with Altoona-Johnstown priests who said the bishop warned that priests could face canonical sanction, including excommunication, if they criticized him publicly. Now Bishop Adamec is claiming that he was merely warning them against "publicly inciting public dissent against the church." This is rich.

For one thing, Bishop Adamec has never been known as a staunch defender of Catholic orthodoxy (indeed, quite the opposite). For another, as difficult as it is for many bishops to believe, the bishop is not the same thing as the church. Besides, Bishop Adamec has done this before to a priest he found troublesome. Monsignor Philip Saylor, a respected priest who was intimately aware of the diocese's atrocious record of handling priest pederasty cases, received a decree signed by Bishop Adamec on Sept. 9, 1999, in which he was threatened with possible suspension and excommunication if he ever made a public statement that, among other things, caused the faithful to think poorly of their bishop. (The decree can be viewed at: http://www.dioceseaj.com/docs/saylor.html3).

Is there any wonder why Altoona-Johnstown priests are afraid? Tell the truth about ecclesial corruption, and you could not only be defrocked, but thrown out of the church forever. Those poor priests can lose everything if they cross Bishop Adamec -- all the more reason for faithful laymen to rise to defend them and our church from bishops who seem to be doing their best to sully it.

Rod Dreher Brooklyn, N.Y.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:18 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Wall Street Journal: I Did Not Conceal Abuse Accusations (subs. reqd.)

Rod Dreher , in his Houses of Worship column (Taste page, Weekend Journal, March 7), accused me of "concealing abuse accusations against four priests" and "threatening to excommunicate any priest who publicly disagrees" with me. Both statements are untrue.

Since I became bishop of Altoona-Johnstown in the Spring of 1987, I have had to deal with a number of allegations involving the abuse of minors, all of them occurring years earlier. I have suspended priests who were known threats to children and investigated other allegations, some of which were not able to be substantiated. A lengthy statement about the handling of these matters can be accessed on our diocesan Web site: www.diocesealtjtn.org/news.

I am supposed to have placed our priests under some sort of gag order. What that refers to, I presume, is not a gag order but a verbal presentation that was made last fall at a clergy conference. That presentation explained the laws of the church relative to a person publicly inciting public dissent against the church. The law is not mine but that of the universal church as found in the code of canon law, and it applies particularly to the priests and deacons who are an extension of the bishop's teaching authority. Neither that presentation nor the case of the reported precept against a certain priest had anything to do with the abuse of minors on the part of priests or the reporting thereof. I am fully aware that we as clergy are mandatory reporters.

(Most Rev.) Joseph V. Adamec Bishop of Altoona-Johnstown Hollidaysburg, Pa.

Updated March 17, 2003

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:14 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Bishop Michael Botean of St. Joseph's Byzantine Rite (Romanaian) Catholic Mission of Canton, Ohio.
Therefore I, by the grace of God and the favor of the Apostolic See Bishop of the Eparchy of St. George in Canton, must declare to you, my people, for the sake of your salvation as well as my own, that any direct participation and support of this war against the people of Iraq is objectively grave evil, a matter of mortal sin. Beyond a reasonable doubt this war is morally incompatible with the Person and Way of Jesus Christ. With moral certainty I say to you it does not meet even the minimal standards of the Catholic just war theory.

My reply

Your excellency, you lack this authority yourself. I'm not going to assign motives to this abuse of authority.

Is there any exericse of the authority of state which is given by God (qv Mt 22:21 and Rm 13) over which you are not claiming (or reserve) to have a final Apostolic authority to supercede?

Are you releasing "your people" from all oaths, alliegances, duties, and obligations to the government of the United States which demands participation in this war?

Do you acknowledge that obedience to this decree for an member of the armed forces would be desertion in time of war?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:25 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

History Channel: Nazi plans in 1944 for a radiological bomb in New York

Last night on the History Channel they had a program on the attempts of Hitler to bomb New York with a "dirty" radiation bomb. The material for the bomb was not a problem, it was how to deliver it. Basically, three science teams, one led by Werner von Braun were attempting to compress decades of air and space technology advances into a few months.

Today, I'm looking down Fifth Ave from 53rd Street towards St. Patrick's Cathedral. This location, or Grand Central or Penn Station would be the ideal places to disperse radioactive dust with a small bomb. Sometimes I feel like I'm on the front lines of a war.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:51 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

small red cross

Yahoo News: 61 photos of Rachel Corrie

I'm sorry that she is dead. I think it was an unnecessary loss of life. She died as a result of injuries from contact with a bulldozer or debris the bulldozer was pushing. The story behind how she died is growing ever larger. Some are convinced by some of these photographs that accounts of her being crushed by being run over twice cannot possibly be accurate. So there are accusations that this is a Palestinian conspiracy (to distort the circumstances of her death) or an Israeli conspiracy (to coverup that it was deliberate murder).

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:25 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Voice of America: Archbishop Marino's fears
Meanwhile, the president of the Vatican's justice and peace department, Archbishop Renato Marino told the Italian daily La Republica Wednesday that war against Iraq could spark terrorism and regional strife throughout the Middle East and sow hatred against Western society.

Yes, one could even imagine four passenger jets being hijacked and flown into buildings killing thousands at once. Let's not sow the hatred that would lead to that.

Your excellency, have you been asleep since 9/10/2001? Terrorism is already sparked and the use of power to achieve victory and crush terrorism is our goal.

Your Western society and your Church are the enemies of the terrorists and the coalition that is about to bring peace and freedom to Iraq is part of the defense against terrorism. It is time for them to know fear.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:53 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Touchstone David Mills: on the unjust war bishops

...I wonder if these men, speaking as they do, realize what they are doing not only to their own authority but to the authority of the Church herself. (I write as a Catholic, but anyone in the mainline and Orthodox churches will have the same problem.) They are staking their authority — their practical authority, I mean, their power to influence and guide their people and the trust their people have in them — on political judgments the Catechism itself gives to the state.

And not only that, but they are staking their authority using arguments and claims that are just not . . . terribly . . . bright, that make specific judgments with the cloudiest of arguments and the least bit of evidence, that show almost no real engagement with the questions to be answered, and that often come with slanderous and mean-spirited descriptions of Americans and American interests (but rarely with equally critical descriptions of Hussein and his interests). They are simply begging their own people to blow them off...

A magnificent analysis of the problem. Click and read the whole thing. (note: Touchstone's blogmaster didn't heed me about correcting the pemanent links, so scroll down)

The items that David Mills refers to were all blogged by me earlier, so I know I'm on the right track. Rod Dreher of NRO blogged this Touchstone item as well.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:39 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

I verified the links in my blogroll. I've added a similar facility called bloglinker. I updated the Lepanto Group and sent out more invitations to join. The list is simply for weblogs written by faithful Catholic who believe the coming war with Iraq is just.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:08 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross


I expect the armed forces to enter Iraq with all kinds of goodies for the good girls and boys. I suggest candy (just like Rome, Berlin, and Tokyo in 1945) and CD players and CD's.

Good for the photo ops. 22 hours to go.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:57 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

small red cross

Catholic Just War has a great interview with Archbishop O'Brien, Archdiocese of the Military Services

This is a web site, not a weblog, with resources on Catholic Just War doctrine.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:45 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

This is a great warblog on www.nj.com. Blogger credit: Relapsed Catholic

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:42 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

The Solution to the problem of the Oscar ® broadcast

Pre-record the whole thing -- no limit whatsoever on the political speeches.

Then show only the stuff that actually pertains to Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:35 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

UPI: James Kopp Guilty of Intentional Murder of Bernard Slepian

Kopp did incalcuable harm to the pro-life movement. He's created a martyr for the pro-abortion groups. During the time he was a fugitive he fabricated a web of lies and deceit maintaining his total innocence -- drawing in a few good pro-life groups and people into his defense.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:35 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Washington Post: First Comment from the Vatican:

"Those who decide that all peaceful means that international law makes available are exhausted assume a grave responsibility before God, their conscience and history," said Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls.

Rather than an inspirational message looking to the peace that will shortly follow the war, to me this just looks like pique or is it contempt

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:55 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross


The Pontiff of Pundits Rod Dreher has blogged this statement of Bishop Botean

Therefore I, by the grace of God and the favor of the Apostolic See Bishop of the Eparchy of St. George in Canton, must declare to you, my people, for the sake of your salvation as well as my own, that any direct participation and support of this war against the people of Iraq is objectively grave evil, a matter of mortal sin. Beyond a reasonable doubt this war is morally incompatible with the Person and Way of Jesus Christ. With moral certainty I say to you it does not meet even the minimal standards of the Catholic just war theory.

His people would be the St. Joseph's Byzantine Rite (Romanaian) Catholic Mission of Canton, Ohio.

ROMANIA itself supports the United States: Airspace and a base open to U.S. warplanes; sent non-combat specialists in chemical decontamination, medics, engineers and military police in response to a U.S. request.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:06 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Washington Post: Left by her husband, hurt by the Church

Ordained. Leaves the Priesthood. Marries. Children. Divorced. Reinstated as a priest. Efrain Lopez. Frances Lopez. She's bankrupt. He's an assistant pastor in Puerto Rico.

An incredible story, but it's there with facts to back it up. On Sunday I wrote that things like the assignment of priests were a prudential decision of the Church where assent is part of cooperation with the mission of the Church. This makes me doubt my own claim.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:41 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Oh! That Explains It Dept.

Newsday: Priest says former bishop ignored reports of abuse

When he spoke with the bishop, Seagriff said he was surprised because McGann seemed more angry at him than at Fitzgerald. "What do you expect me to do with these men?" McGann snapped at him in a conversation Seagriff described as "heated."

"Throw them out," Seagriff said he answered.

"Well," he said McGann replied, "that's why I am the bishop and you are not".

Even today, I fear there are more Bishop McGann's out there than Fr. Seagriff's. Demanding the resignations of bishops like Bishop McGann before they reach the Throne of Mercy would be a start.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:22 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

FindLaw's Writ: Congress v. Supreme Court on Partial Birth Abortion

An advocate of this form of infanticide has a cool rational reason why the Supreme Court could (and is perhaps obligated) to declare the new partial birth abortion prohibition unconstitutional:

The law contains a finding that a partial birth abortion is never required to save the mother's life. Since the Court included a contrary finding in its overturing the prior law, the Court needs to overturn this new law for that reason alone. To the author of this article its a separation of powers issue.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:53 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

The Village Voice: Full Metal Bonnet

Here in New York, and I assume elsewhere, Easter baskets are appearing with soliders in a military-theme. There's still a choice if you want the Easter bunny.

Here's what I would like to see: action figures of the Bible story of Holy Week. I'd take my kids to the store, and they'd say:

Daddy, not Jesus. Give us Barabbas!

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:31 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

On Friday, the Washington Post compiled a list of blogs supporting President Bush here.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:12 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

A comment box reply

This is my reply to the position that we shouldn't expect the Pope to intervene in the scandal. Against the Grain is the blog of the Ratzinger Fan Club

We agree that the Pope has a big job. However, part of the job is choosing and discipling bishops. While some action has been taken to address the scandal of sexual abuse at the level of priests, nothing has been done by the bishops themselves as a group or by the Pope. This is tragic and I believe that people who use terminology like "barges ahead" just don't get it -- how grave the problem is and how unique the authority of the Holy Father is to take on the scandal of bishops who have contributed to the crimes and sins of priests.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:40 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

An edit of Isaiah 1 from today's Mass readings (RSV trans.):

Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! For the LORD has spoken:

Your country is desolate,
your cities burned with fire;
your fields are being stripped by foreigners right before you,
laid waste as when overthrown by strangers

Hear the word of the LORD , you rulers of Sodom;
listen to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah!
"The multitude of your sacrifices- what are they to me?" says the LORD .
"I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts?

If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land;
but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword."
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken

Your rulers are rebels, companions of thieves;
they all love bribes and chase after gifts.
They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow's case does not come before them.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:18 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Monday, March 17, 2003
CNN: Washington lines up behind U.S. troops

Matt Drudge headlined Daschles' slap at Bush that he had "failed so miserably" at diplomacy. Daschle changed his tune and CNN has it now - he is united now with the president.

My post is still relevant: diplomacy is not an end in itself. The security of the United States and the world is the end, and diplomacy is just one means to achieving it.

In this round, diplomacy failed to deliver the solution.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:40 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

What would Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran Do?

(Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran is identified by AP, UPI, Reuters, and Google as the Vatican's Foreign Minister)

This is a war that Saddam cannot hope to win. He should surrender.

  • He is not a legitimate ruler, he is a dictator.
  • He does not have the soldiers or the weapons to win - there is no serious prospect of success.
  • He is using civilians as human shields.
  • He has chemical and biological weapons ready.
  • He is mining the oil fields which, if destroyed, will economically cripple Iraq

Saddam is morally obligated to surrender or accept exile. That's what Cardinal Tauran would say.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:20 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

small red cross

New York Times: Happy St. Patrick's Day, Shaquille O'Neal!
So many African-Americans have Irish-sounding last names — Eddie Murphy, Isaac Hayes, Mariah Carey, Dizzy Gillespie, Toni Morrison, H. Carl McCall — that you would think that the long story of blacks and Irish coming together would be well documented. You would be wrong.

As a person who has lived in New York and met dozens of Irish-surnaned African-Americans, I found this article quite original and interesting.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:54 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

The defintion of a "crime against peace" has changed at 8:15 ET this evening

Zenit reports

The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said that a military intervention in Iraq would be a "crime against peace."

Archbishop Renato Martino quoted Jesus' words on Vatican Radio: "If a son asks you for bread, you do not give him a stone," and added: "To a people who for 12 years have been begging for bread, preparations are being made to drop 3,000 bombs on them!"

"It is a crime against peace that cries out vengeance before God," the archbishop said. "Let us pray so that the Pharaoh's heart will not be hardened and the biblical plagues of a terrible war will not fall on humanity."

"But, what will the Church do now? And the Pope?" he was asked on a Vatican Radio program.

"He will insist even more on the need and urgency for peace," said the archbishop, who for 16 years was the Vatican permanent observer to the United Nations. "As always, he will be the Good Samaritan who will kneel to dress the sores of a wounded and weakened people."

It will be a "crime against peace" not to surrender to the armed forces of the United States, United Kingdom, and its allies

The time for diplomacy passed after 12 years. This is the time for surrender.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:38 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

AP: Three Israeli Arabs did in room they sealed against chemical attack

Police said the three died because a coal-fueled heater in an adjacent room sucked oxygen from the room they were sleeping in, which was designed to stop air entering, but allowed air to escape.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:05 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Envoy Encore: US vs. UN

My comment box reply on the alleged diplomatic failure of the United States at the United Nations

Donald Rumsfeld has the confidence of the President and the military leadership. He's the right man at the right time for the job.

The United States (as I go into detail in my blog) was a victim of France's sabotage. France which was a small population, small economy, and insignificant military seeks to compensate for this in using the only place where it can hinder the United States -- that is the United Nations.

Colin Powell personally spent weeks crafting 1441 only to find it was a delaying tactic on the part of the perfidious French.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:49 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

VRWAY Virtual Reality photographs of the Vatican. These will require a Quicktime download if you don't have it loaded already.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:48 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

The United States is Right, The Vatican is Wrong, and the Fate of the World and the Church Depends On It

When you read anything at all, one ought to pay particular attention to the first and last sentences written. The Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 2309 concludes

The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.
In statements from the Vatican what has been left over for our political leaders to evaluate? It looks like the teaching has not only been given, in its timeless form, developed through the centuries, but applied in all its details, evaluated, and then declared that this is not just: the policy of the United States to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction, if necessary.

To review the disputed points of the application of the “just war” doctrine to the current status of Iraq:

Lasting Grave Certain

The nature of Iraq’s regime is clear: the have used, are accumulating, and will continue to buy or build more weapons of mass destruction. Among the states that possess WMD’s, Iraq is open about its support of terrorists in Israel and the evidence of their activity against United States is being reported as well. The loss of life whether 1 innocent person or 3000 innocent people is lasting and grave. This is not a war in the sense that wars were fought from the time of Pharaohs to the Kaiser Wilhelm II to secure territory or economic resources. The terrorists’ war is like Hitler’s war to exterminate the inferior people.

Another direct indication of Iraqi aggression is their so far unsuccessful attempts to shoot down aircraft which patrol the UN “no fly” zone. The reason we know that Saddam’s efforts are certain is from his own aggressive rhetoric and his self-identification with the ruler Saladin. This is full of irony as Saladin was a Kurd and not an Arab. Saddam has the clear intention to attack the United States, Israel, and even his Arab neighbors. His capability to follow up on that intention grows each day – that much is certain.

Impractical or Ineffective

The fundamental mistake made by the people who argue that “inspections are working” is that the obligation to find the WMD’s falls upon Hans Blix’s UNMOVIC teams. That’s like saying the obligation for obeying laws falls only on the police and not on the citizens. UNMOVIC is in place to monitor the disarmament of Iraq. This is not a negotiation. As President Bush said much of the WMD’s could just be collected in a big open area, photographed, and blown up. It’s an event and not a process.

Inspections are finding the weapons the Saddam wants UNMOVIC to find. Production facilities are being kept secret. No weapons built or imported since 1998 have been found, even though we know that production continued.

Why can’t we wait forever, or at least until, Saddam dies naturally or by an internal coup? Because while we wait for that to happen, his stocks of WMD’s increase, he may acquire the capability to construct a nuclear weapon, and he may arm or otherwise aid terrorists.

12 years have passed since Saddam Hussein first broke the terms of the cease fire after his withdrawal from Kuwait. 17 resolutions threatening Iraq have been passed in the United Nations.

The last attack on Iraq was on December 18, 1998. It was done without the authorization of the UN or the Vatican. It was ineffective.

If diplomacy was practical or effective it should have disarmed Saddam by now. Enough time has passed to conclude that Saddam will never give the voluntary cooperation with the current inspectors to disarm.

Prudential Judgment

St. Thomas teaches that where a principle does not vary by circumstances, the moral law can speak with great clarity. For instance, the Ten Commandments can be applied without variation. It is never just to take innocent life, or steal another’s goods or knowingly speak falsehood.

It’s wrong to be selfish, it’s right to give alms: how much? That’s a prudential judgment. I’ve got my financial assets and obligations and you’ve got yours. While my pastor or bishop might suggest an amount to give to the Church, they are not in possession of the circumstances – the knowledge, for example, of how likely is it for an employee in information technology in the financial industry in New York City to be laid off. I know the answer to that one: 30,000 since 9/11 and it takes an average of over six months for someone laid off to be rehired.

“Circumstances” are subjective. In other discussions of prudential decisions you might see the term “evidence”. It’s a legal term, evidence, at least, in a courtroom is supposed to be objective that is knowable, verifiable without regard to the circumstances of the observer. We can argue about the value of evidence, God knows that we have so much to look at in the case of Iraq and terrorism. Of course, only part of the evidence is public.

This distinction between ‘circumstances’ and ‘evidence’ is important because it’s natural for people of good will to find themselves in different circumstances, and based on those differences come to different conclusions and therefore different moral judgments in obedience to law and doctrine.

But if we confine ourselves only to evidence then, as anyone who’s been instructed by a judge will tell you, it’s important to arrive at one single conclusion apart from our subjective feelings, biases, or circumstances.

A prudential judgment is also based on the competence and experience of the person. In questions of how to organize the Church, assign priests and bishops, determine the liturgy, the Pope and bishops here have a great competency and the prudential judgments they make here should be regarded with great respect even if we think they are poor or motivated by insincere concerns. Assent with this is nothing less than cooperation with the work of the Church in the world. Dissent with judgments within the domain of the Church opposes the Church itself.

Competence to make prudential judgments on the military situation in Iraq or the political situation in the United States is beyond the bishops' competency, unless like Archbishop Hannan, they have experience as a military chaplain. In Moral Evaluation of Deterrence, for example the bishops made a judgment on “permissive action links”. A little more humility is called for here to acknowledge that many technical consideration of the judgment to go to war belong to individuals with other competencies, though informed by the teaching of the Church. My own acceptance of such statements is connected to how far the topic is from the charism that I understand bishops to have. I think it proper to pray that the bishops not become rash in making frivolous statements on topics far removed from the mission of the Church.

I trust that George Bush is praying for the Holy Spirit to give him the gift of prudence.

I respect bishops even when they offer opinions uninformed by knowledge of the facts or subject matter competence. I only wish that the curia and Vatican radio could reciprocate with respect and moderation in their criticism of the American government.

Responsibility (and Authority) for the Common Good

There’s no question that the Pope is offering to the world an opinion that the war, if it happens, would be a “crime against humanity”. Does this opinion carry the weight of practical authority?

In the case of practical as distinguished from theoretical authority, which refers, of course, to the ordinances of the Pope, the protection of the Holy Spirit is not promised in the same way. Ordinances can be unfortunate, ill conceived, even disastrous, and there have been many such in the history of the Church. Here Roma locuta, causa finita does not hold. The faithful are not obliged to regard all ordinances as good and desirable. They can regret them and pray that they be taken back; indeed, they can work, with all due respect for the Pope, for their elimination.” Dietrich von Hildebrand The Devastated Vineyard (1973) p.199
I think the Pope is exercising authority here of the type described here by von Hildebrand. He is not a commentator or pundit. He is acting in his role as teacher and pastor for the universal Church. The general principles are articulated and repeated. The next step is applying them to the situation that presents itself here and now. There are many opinions but only one person has responsibility for commanding the armed forces of the United States according to its constitution, that’s President Bush.

One can ask President Bush to “make the case” or “prove” that there is a just cause. But that’s not the way authority works. We’re not going to take a vote to go to war; the vote was the election 2000. Bush will face voters again in 2004 if he chooses to run for reelection. Giving good reasons is good politics but neither necessary nor sufficient. In fact, some are calling for the constitutional challenge to the President’s authority here, namely an impeachment for exercising war powers which he was not given by Congress.

United Nations: Void of Competency, Authority, and Seriousness

The week of March 9 2003 will go down in history as the beginning of the end of the UN as a relevant organization to promote world security. There were 17 resolutions of the Security Council and finally came an 18th resolution, the first with a deadline and it was rejected.

USA Today on Friday March 14 showed the sarcasm of the French and the Russian delegates mocking the idea of tangible measurements of Iraqi disarmament – the “benches”.

The last draft was simply a restatement of 1441 without benchmarks or a deadline – but the whole week was an empty artificial discussion – best exemplified by the French rejection of the British proposal before the Iraqi delegation could be given the opportunity to reject it, so great was their haste.

It was an artificial discussion with no connection to the serious concern of the world security to disarm Saddam.

The United Nations has voted to require the disarmament of Iraq but turns a blind eye to the defiance of its will. The United Nations will not be taken seriously and will not have moral standing, if and when, as I believe, evidence of France, Germany, China and Russia are shown to be providing military components to Iraq.

They have been using “cutouts” – that is companies in other countries that will transship the components. Another evasion of the resolutions is in “dual use” products. Products that have a limited civilian use and a military use such as hydroxy terminated polybutadiene for rocket fuel.

Of course, France, Germany, China, and Russia will be happy to see Saddam go and they expect to share all the benefits of the victory of the coalition which the US and UK are leading while risking nothing.

The UN is a good platform for turning world opinion against the United States, that’s about it. There’s some truth in the anti-war posters – the first challenge of the 21st century will be to identify Hitler’s profile: is it people like Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Il or people like George Bush and Tony Blair?

Is it more important for the UN to restrain American power in enforcing UN resolutions or to enforce the UN resolutions?

CCC 2308 speaks of an international authority with the necessary competence and power, it still doesn’t exist, and France in particular is impeding its progress.

Moral Actors

The critics of the United States and President Bush have written as if President Bush is the only moral actor in this confrontation. There is another: the Pope reminded Saddam Hussein through Tariq Aziz on Feb. 13 of “concrete commitments” which Iraq had made.

Again today, according to Zenit: Pope John Paul II called Saddam Hussein's attention to the grave duties of his regime and reminded the U.N. Security Council members that "there is still room for peace."

As the AP reported it as: Pope John Paul has implored Saddam Hussein to avoid giving the West any reason to attack.

Saddam, not being a Catholic or a Christian, is not subject to the Pope’s authority, but here the Pope is speaking common sense. There still is time to avoid a war. Saddam Hussein can stop this war by disarming.

A Hierarchy of Doctrines and Statements

I would order the doctrines and statements we are looking at here in this order:

  • The Gospel message of peace and justice
  • The experience of history in seeing the consequences of war
  • The development of the Just War doctrine
  • The specific messages given to the principals here: world leaders including Tony Blair, George Bush, and Saddam Hussein.
  • The application of the above given as a generic message that this war, if necessary will be a crime against humanity.

I believe that this will be a morally necessary war to disarm a regime which is a threat today. I have the certainty that on the current track this will be a far more deadly threat to world security tomorrow. I agree with the President that inaction in Iraq would be a greater crime against the future.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:38 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

Sunday, March 16, 2003
Two horseman today (war, pestilence), what will tomorrow bring?

NYC hospitals on alert for mysterious pneumonia striking Asia

This is big news here even though we don't have a single case yet. It's expected that it will arrive here in days. It's not a matter of "if" but "when".

quo vide Rev. 6 1-8

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:17 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com