Saturday, April 12, 2003
CWNews: To Be a Church Requires the Eucharist, Jesuit Journal Says
Vatican, Apr. 04 (CWNews.com) - The authoritative Jesuit journal Civilta Cattolica has drawn a careful distinction between the Catholic Church and other religious bodies, observing that only a community that celebrates the Eucharist can be accurately described as a "church."
Since I thought it was always like this, I'm surpised to see it make the news.
Gee, isn't it swell that Cardinal Ratzinger says the we should not offend anyone. But that's a triple negative in that last sentence, and I am struggling to figure it out. I guess silence on the whole subject is the best way to insure that I do not give offense.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:49 PM Permalink
CWNews: Archbishop Orders Pastor to Fly US Flag
San Antonio, Texas, Apr. 11 (CWNews.com) - The archbishop of San Antonio, Texas, has ordered one of his pastors who removed a US flag from his parish to protest the war in Iraq to return the flag to its place immediately.Archbishop Flores is correct. The removal of the flag was an affront to the parishioners. There may be parishes where no one would object or no one cares, but evidently this parish is not one of them.
I'm afraid that the American Church's bureaucracy is full of Frank Fromherz's who believe that their agenda -is- the Church's agenda or it -ought-to-be.
Yes, it is the same Mr. Fromherz who is mentioned two items below.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:37 PM Permalink
San Antonio Express-News: Debating the changes to San Fernando Cathedral
"We don't worship the tabernacle," [Father Jake Empereur, associate rector of the Cathedral] said. "And the primary function of the church is congregational worship, not private devotions."
An insulting remark. No one worships the tabernacle. We worship Jesus Christ who is really and truly present in the Blessed Sacrament.
Congregational worship? We call it the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
The article is quite balanced, the critics of the rennovation have been given a voice.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:09 PM Permalink
Your Contribution Envelopes at Work Dept.
The director of a U.S. Catholic archdiocese ministry wants to put President George W. Bush on trial for war crimes because of his Iraq policy.Well, what does the Archbishop think?
Maybe I could open a "Not In My Name" Department" for pastors and bishops.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:46 PM Permalink
Silent killers: Vatican wants equal time for world's simmering wars
By John Thavis Catholic News Service 4.11.2003
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Unprecedented news coverage has brought the war in Iraq into living rooms around the globe. Now the Vatican wants equal time for many of the "off-screen" wars simmering in more than 30 other countries.
The Vatican wants? That sounds a bit arrogrant. If the Vatican wanted to bring these off-screen wars into "living rooms around the globe", then it ought to buy a few satellites and transmitters.
It's not that the Vatican thinks the Iraqi hostilities are being overcovered, but that many Third World conflicts are being ignored.I'm not ignoring them. There are many people not ignoring them. I'm praying for an end to violence especially in West Africa where I used to live.
Since the Iraqi war began, Pope John Paul II has made numerous appeals for peace. But on each occasion, he's also made a point of praying for an end to bloodshed in other parts of the world.Again a criticism of the media. What is worth reporting? What is worth protesting? We might want to ask what mission of the Church would be served by showing a hour or two of the aftermatch of massacres in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa) on CNN, Fox, or MSNBC? Or having a bit of the A.N.S.W.E.R. men and women return to the corner of First Avenue and East 48th Street. -- but who would they protest? the Kinshasa govenment or the Rebels, and if the rebels, then which ones? Adolphe Onusumba, of the Congolese Rally for Democracy or Jean-Pierre Bemba, of the Congolese Liberation Movement or Thomas Lubanga Union of Congolese Patriots.
"They don't even merit a few lines in a newspaper," it said.Not even in L'Osservatore Romano?
The pope has reminded people that as Baghdad, Iraq, burns, the Holy Land is still being devastated by continual violence between Palestinians and Israeli occupation troops.Did the pope use the phase "Palestinians and Israeli occupation troops" -- no, you will only find this phrase in media that has a political agenda of denial of Palestinian terrorism.
Since Rosh Hashanah 2000, Palestinian terrorists and militants have killed more than 600 people in Israel. The victims have ranged in age from less than a year to more than 80.
They have been Israeli, American, Arab, Chinese, Thai and more. They have included soldiers, tourists, students, grandmothers, and members of the same family. The Israelis ranged from new immigrants to fifth-generation Jerusalemites.
The deaths have occurred at a bat mitzvah party, a Pesach seder, a pizzeria, a college campus, a discotheque, a café, a home, an Army outpost and on the street. Their deaths have occurred in virtually all parts of Israel, from big cities to lonely rural areas, from bus stops to the buses themselves.
Why do I focus on the deaths of Israelis? Because Arafat refused to make peace and he is indisputably behind the terrorism. When offered exactly the terms he asked for, including giving East Jersusalem to the Palestinian Authority by Barak and Clinton, he turned it down. Why do I focus on the death of Israelis? It is because Palestinian terrorists deliberately target non-combatants.
Does the Vatican see itself as a promoter of "media attention" to these wars? To what purpose then? What does the awareness of a crucifixion in Sudan do to a person sitting in their living room in Peoria or Genoa or Strasbourg? (Amnestry International documented the crucifixion, not me)
Call for help at the United Nations?
The United Nations is corrupt. While voting for sanctions and a "Oil for Food" program for Iraq, France, Germany, Russia, and China shipped weapons to Iraq that allowed the regime to kill Iraqis as well as American and British troops.
In a sign of the times, even as the Iraqi war was in full swing, the U.S. government was proposing steps that would open the door for new weapons sales to Iraq by U.S. defense firms once the current fighting was over, according to a report by The Boston Globe."In a sign of the times" is a sneer at the United States. The new Iraq will have hostile neighbors in the form of Syria and Iran. The new Iraq will not be abandoned and so arm sales for its own defense as part of the reconstruction. It will not be immoral to arm Iraq. In fact, today the people of Iraq asked for a new police force to be formed to restore order in the country. Defense, law, and order require weapons.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:37 PM Permalink
National Review, Victor Davis Hanson: The Ironies of War What we have witnessed is unprecedented in military history.
The Marines just rolled by the battlefield of Cunaxa, where in 401 B.C. 10,000 Greek mercenaries suffered one wounded in their collision with the imperial troops of Artaxerxes. On the northern front Americans passed near Gaugamela where Alexander the Great’s shock troops destroyed the enormous army of Darius III at a loss of a hundred or so dead before descending on Babylon. Ours may be the richest and most educated generation in history, but some things never seem to change: The West still fights — and wins — in the East, in the same old places.
This is a wonderful perspective of what's just happenned.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:55 AM Permalink
Friday, April 11, 2003
New York Post: FIREMAN'S SON BUSTED IN DESECRATION
April 11, 2003 -- The 21-year-old son of a city firefighter was arrested in Brooklyn yesterday for spray-painting a Catholic Church with a slew of sickening sexual images, swastikas and obscenities on a Jewish holiday last year, the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force said. Michael Kirk, who lives with his grandfather on Avenue R in Marine Park, was picked up at home and charged with the Sept. 16 desecration of the Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church.
Good police work.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:14 PM Permalink
Seattle Catholic: The "War of Liberation": An Unmitigated Catholic Defeat by Dr. John C. Rao
How does the fallout from the latest of the modern world's innumerable "wars of liberation" make itself felt? One would be better advised to ask the question how it does not show its effects. With the most recent carnage of Catholic Christendom lying all around us, let me limit myself here to a ten-point Syllabus of Collateral Damage. This, admittedly, will need further elaboration to put the full horror of the present debacle into proper focus. I have no doubt that occasions for doing so will offer themselves unceasingly in the years to come. Nevertheless, an initially rather spartan statement of the perimeters of the problem serves a useful purpose as an introduction to a nightmare which is really just beginning.
I thought I'd post this now because I may not get a chance to completely comment on it. After reading the article, I'm led to believe that some sort of very good Constantine-Charlmagne who would impose the Catholic faith on his world imperium is the only form of government that Dr. Rao would not consider a Catholic defeat.
Blogger Credit: Andrew Sullivan
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:11 PM Permalink
Wall Street Journal: What Moral Legitimacy?
The United Nations lost its chance on Iraq. (April 11, 2003)
As the Vatican was ceaselss in its criticism of the United States and in its support of the UN since 1441 was passed, some of this accusation, I'm afraid rubs off on the Vatican.
At least the talk of equal moral standing of the American and Iraqi positions has ceased.
I would be greatly relieved to see an acknowledge, not that the Vatican was wrong, but at least that the United States wasn't: wrong, immoral, criminal, etc., and the United Nations failed.
I wonder what the tipping point is going to be. So far we have:
The United States has moral legitimacy because it acted to end this tyranny. It doesn't need to be given it by the Vatican.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:31 PM Permalink
AP: Head of U.S. bishops' office says extent of child abuse unknown
(New York-AP) -- The extent of sex abuse cases among Roman Catholic clergy in America is still unknown, according to a top aide to the U.S. bishops.More details in the linked article.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:06 AM Permalink
You Don't Say: The war could have gone differently.
(AGI) - Vatican City, April 10 - "The war could have gone differently. Today's arms can destroy many people, as has already happened", said Cardinal Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. On one side, the cardinal expressed "relief because the outcome was better than one might have imagined", therefore "we thank God it ended up this way". On the other hand, Ratzinger said that to "protest the war and the threat of destruction was that right thing to do".Cardinal Ratzinger thanks God the for American-British-Australian victory in Iraq (i.e. "this way")
I know it's a translation from the Italian, but if the protest of the war was "right" and the coalition victory was "better than one might have imagined", you've might think about having some regret for the protest -- and thinking twice about when similiar circumstances arise in the future to protest a just war, or at least a just war in the view of Novak, Weigel, Schall, Neuhaus.
What role beyond humanitarian would the Catholic Church seek in Iraq?
If the Vatican believes "mending the gap" means apologizing for war -- I think that's more than I can imagine.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:12 AM Permalink
Thursday, April 10, 2003
Judge To Church: Reinstate Principal
A Queens judge [State Supreme Court Justice Duane Alphonse Hart] Wednesday ordered the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn to reinstate the parochial-school principal placed on leave last year after she reported her pastor's [Fr. John Thompson] misdeeds.This was a particularly bad case for the diocese to persue for a lot of reasons:
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:32 PM Permalink
Cardinal Lehmann tells us who the real enemy is
(Friday, April 4, 2003; 9:12 AM)
"I believe George Bush's religious views are genuine," Cardinal Karl Lehmann, head of the German Bishop's Conference, told the Catholic weekly Rheinischer Merkur in an interview on Thursday. "But this careless way of using religious language is not acceptable anymore in today's world."Sorry I didn't pick up on this six days ago. My only comment now is "God Bless America".
Blogger Credit: Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:54 PM Permalink
AP: Scuffles Break Out for Vatican Euro Coins
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Scuffles broke out Thursday as coin enthusiasts lined up at dawn to buy a special series of Vatican euro coins marking the 25th year of Pope John Paul II's papacy.The anti-Catholic Catholic-Whore-of-Babylon crowd will have a field day with this:
Matthew 22:18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?"
"Have they made the Pope Caesar" they will be asking.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:48 AM Permalink
Religious Toleration Watch
By MICHAEL NORTON ASSOCIATED PRESS PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -
President Aristide is a former priest of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), the Salesians.
Haiti is pretty much a single party banana republic now, and Aristide just another in a long line of dictators.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:23 AM Permalink
Reuters: Wanted: Four Nuns on the Run After Car Crash
ROME (Reuters) - Italian police said on Wednesday they were scouring the countryside for four nuns after a hit-and-run accident near the northern city of Bergamo.How could he tell they were nuns? In the United States, most people wearing the traditional habit in big cities are non-nuns wearing it as some sort of costume.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:11 AM Permalink
Wednesday, April 09, 2003
Sex, God And Writing: Four Catholic thinkers who sinned their way to faith
They are: Walker Percy, Flannery O'Connor, Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day.
The book is Paul Elie's The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 555 pages), and it is reviewed in Time Magazine.
I've read works written by Merton and Percy. I've had trouble finding O'Connor in the library and I didn't know that Day wrote more than essays for the Catholic Worker.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:11 PM Permalink
CNS: Conventual Franciscans sue Los Angeles Archdiocese
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The church's sexual abuse scandal took a new twist in early April when the Los Angeles Times reported that a Midwest province of Conventual Franciscans has filed a cross-complaint against the Los Angeles Archdiocese in a clergy sexual abuse case. The complaint says that former Conventual Franciscan Father Bertrand W. Horvath, accused of having sexually abused an altar boy in the early 1970s, was on loan to the Los Angeles Archdiocese at the time, making the archdiocese responsible for his actions. It says any damages that may be awarded in a lawsuit against the order and the archdiocese should be the responsibility of the archdiocese alone.
Some people have to be asking now how can the Church be a source of reconciliation when it seems that everyone is suing everyone now to avoid paying damages to the victims of priests who are sexual abusers.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:53 PM Permalink
For "military force" and against "war"
The Pope is not reflexively anti-use-of-military-force. I blogged earlier his call to arms and condemnation of inaction when it came to the massacres in Kosovo of mostly Muslims by mostly Orthodox Serbians. The Pope changed from pro-military-force to "anti-war" when Clinton's domestic political agenda required bombing Belgrade. However, that step did bring about a quicker peace in Kosovo.
The problem I see for the Pope and his multitude of prelates and clergy who speak for the Vatican is the equivocation of support of something good called "military action" when it has the effect of "ending massacres and summary executions" and condemnation of something bad called "war" when it has the effect of "ending massacres and summary executions". Whether it's Kosovo, Iraq, or the Congo, sometimes the evil people need to be killed to stop the evil.
On Iraq, having painted itself into a corner on the immorality of the war, the Vatican cannot immediately admit it was a great success in terms of liberation and shows the utter failure of the appeasement programs of the last 12 years: huge stores of medical supplies and food hidden in tunnels for example.
"I address a heartfelt appeal to political leaders as well as to all people of good will so that they commit themselves to stopping the violence and abuses."Nothing else says "Stop the Violence" quite like M1-A2 Abrams Tanks, A-10 Warhogs, and Special Ops Teams.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:49 PM Permalink
AP: Hong Kong Catholic Church Wants Less Contact Due To SARS
HONG KONG (AP)--The Roman Catholic Church in Hong Kong has ordered priests to wear masks when they give Holy Communion and to stop serving wine or place wafers in the mouths of the faithful as the territory fights to contain a deadly mystery disease.
Wafers? Wine? Aren't there any knowledgeable Catholic editors over at the AP?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:55 PM Permalink
General Absolution for Singapore!
SINGAPORE (AP)--The Catholic Church in Singapore has temporarily banned priests from hearing confessions to help stem the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, local media reported Wednesday.
Of course, holding hands is not part of the Mass, but something that people do during the Our Father. I assume that sharing the Precious Blood is out of the question.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:48 PM Permalink
Ananova: Russian denies Saddam in Embassy
Russia has denied reports that Saddam Hussein has been given refuge at the Russian Embassy in Baghdad. A spokesman said the report "absolutely does not correspond with reality". "Such statements absolutely do not and cannot correspond with reality," Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said. "This is an attempt yet another time to place the Russian Embassy in Baghdad under threat."
General Manuel Noriega surrendered to the United States military on January 3, 1990 after leaving the Nunciature in Panama. A Nunciature is the residence of a nuncio who is the representative of the Holy See to a country with which the Vatican has full diplomatic relations. In international law it has the same status as an embassy.
For three days and three nights, the military played loud rock music at the nunciature to the delight of 15,000 angry Panamanians who surrounded it.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:50 AM Permalink
Wired: Warblogger admits to plagarism
The only problem: Much of his material was plagiarized -- lifted word-for-word from a paid news service put out by Austin, Texas, commercial intelligence company Stratfor.
I think if he linked to Stratfor they might not have objected if some percentage of the readers weho followed the link became paid subscribers of Stratfor.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:39 AM Permalink
Tales of My City
As Fr. Benedict Groeschel CFR says, if you don't believe in Hell, please come to New York.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:44 AM Permalink
Fox News-AP: Esther Mok - A super-spreader of SARS - 100 cases
SINGAPORE — Esther Mok went to Hong Kong to shop but came home carrying a deadly flu-like virus that has since spread to more than 100 people in Singapore and killed both of her parents and her pastor. Miraculously, she has survived.This is what I feared. A person who is able to move around and infect many, many others without being isolated first.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:06 AM Permalink
Tuesday, April 08, 2003
The Pope should speak to the people who brought both war and peace to Iraq:
Italian Press Agency: The message of the Pope now is "the need to shorten the Iraqi population's suffering"I understand the message -- but why on earth discuss it with the backers of Saddam Hussein, the French? It should be clear that the French were part of the problem and not part of the solution.
Not one blogger made note of the Pope's appeal on April 6 is already answered, courtesy of the British and American armed forces, that is to bring a swift end to the conflict. No one is quite prepared to schedule V-I day but that day can not be far off.
Iraq is the textbook example: Peace is not the absence of war. Iraq before 3/19 was not at peace but in the midst of a brutal dictatorship denying truth and justice to its people.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:25 PM Permalink
Picking Bishops: Always a challenge
When covering the appointment of bishops, the focus is all on power-play, unholy rivalries and liberal versus conservative. Very little attention is given to faith, holiness, pastoral ability and the other characteristics a bishop needs in order to run his diocese well these aren't newsworthy.
My Irish brothers and sisters share the problem we have.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:58 PM Permalink
Two Young Women
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:21 AM Permalink
France seeing the Treaty of Versailles as a model for post-SH Iraq
No link for this but this is an interesting point made on WABC Batchelor and Alexander: the French after nearly losing World War I obtained the biggest concessions from the defeated Germany Empire. France was given the Saar -- an industrial region rich in coal and timber for 15 years.
The suspicion is that "peace talks" in Iraq will yield generous financial concessions to the French for zero investment and risk on the part of the France. What a triumph of diplomacy that would be for the French!
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:00 AM Permalink
Monday, April 07, 2003
National Review Online, Michael Novak: Tone Deaf
Our pacifist theologians are always speaking of "peace," but the tone in which they write, especially of those who disagree with them, is bombastic, fiery and murderously polemical. They are not content to disagree civilly. They describe their opponents as evil, venal, and brainless. They calumniate.
I'd go further, it seems that all the arguments from Vatican-connected sources that I've been able to find since 3/19 share the same conspiracy theory foundations.
I agree with Novak, President Bush is the most "Catholic" president to come along in a long time in supporting in both word and deed Catholic public policy positions.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:27 AM Permalink
Sunday, April 06, 2003
Women's Ordination Dept.
Running Off At The Keyboard, the weblog of Carrie Tomko is an excellent read.
This is the story from the Catholic Herald.
Fr. David Cooper is the pastor. Archbishop Timothy Dolan is the bishop.
Cooper said "I regret the issue seems to be so upsetting to some people and I regret if this causes any embarrassment to the archbishop because that was not my intention.".
The subtext is that people should not be upset and the archbishop should not be embarassed.
Coverage of this story in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel as well.
I wonder what Archbishop Timothy Dolan is going to do now that it happened. What he did before the "gathering" is not at all encouraging.
Barbara Anne Cusack, archdiocesan chancellor, said she contacted Cooper before the prayer service the day it took place. Dolan simply asked her to contact the pastor to find out how it had occurred that this event was scheduled at a Catholic parish. She said she did that.Hmm.. I guess from the chancellor's point of view -- it's only Code Blue at St. Matthaias.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:04 PM Permalink
American Conservative, Eric Margolis: The Greater Threat, Korea
In February, as North Korea was threatening to “burn” South Korea and its American defenders, Japan, and Okinawa with weapons of mass destruction, the Bush administration rushed Patriot anti-missile batteries manned by U.S. Army personnel to Israel, which already had operational its own U.S.-financed $2.4 billion Arrow anti-missile system.A good article, full of details and a context for the understanding Korea's threat.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:33 AM Permalink
National Review, Victor Davis Hanson: The Train is Leaving the Station.
Many Americans are now dead in part because a NATO ally Turkey not merely refused its support, but did so in such a long and drawn out fashion that it is impossible to believe that it was not preordained to hamper U.S. military operations. And, of course, Turkey’s last-minute refusals to allow transit of U.S. divisions did exactly that by delaying the critical rerouting of troops and supplies to the Gulf.
I see a pattern emerging among political observers now: one group believes that this war changes the post-World War II alliances fundamentally, another group believes the old order can be restored i.e. the United States ignores the last six months.
I count myself in the first group. The past is the past but what does it say about the future? I think it says that we cannot rely on the political or military support when it counts from anyone but the UK, Australia, "new" Europe, and Israel.
If the Vatican continues to broadcast a "foreign policy" then the United States will have to consider its relations with the Vatican on the merits of its proposed "foreign policy" and how it affects American interests.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:11 AM Permalink
Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis on C-SPAN.
Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis will be our In Depth guest on Sunday, April 6th, beginning at Noon ET. Mr. Lewis is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies Emeritus at Princeton University. His books include: list is too long to include here, my favorite is What Went Wrong? The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East
Lewis is an awesome writer. Blogger credit to Little Green Footballs
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:59 AM Permalink