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Saturday, May 17, 2003
What 9/11 Means

  • We are vulnerable. The vast oceans that separated us from our enemies are no protection from terrorists.
  • The next attack will also come with no warning. There won't be a air raid sirens to tell us of an "imminent" attack. It will just happen.
  • Terrorism is going to be a long war. There may be years of peace and then another attack. We're the target, not because we're evil, but because we are powerful, wealthy, technologically advanced, and free -- the enemy who hates this will rationalize any attack.
  • The United States can only count on the United States. The United Nations has become morally bankrupt and ineffective.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:31 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    Not a CEO

    I think I cracked the code on why bishops claim they are not CEO's. I don't like what I've concluded. The Boyd/Blair relationship at the New York Times clarified it for me. It's not merely that the bishops identify with the priests and not the children-victims and parents-victims. Us/Them clericalism.

    Each priest that a bishop has is someone the bishop values as member of his team. There's emotional investment there that isn't with the victims.

    An CEO coolly looks at employees as means to achieve profit -- and sometimes even if you have 100 or 10,000 employees -- you've got to put the survival of the company first. As a information technology professional, I've experienced this four times in ten years. But the CEO doesn't have the heart to fire the protege -- I've never seen it done. It's a closer relationship than CEO/employee.

    Bishops lack the self-discipline and clarity of vision to put the protege relationship aside and and see the priests who commit these sexual sins and crimes as the wolves they are.

    I predicted that the exception given to the bishops (for reasons of advanced age or infirmity) would be stretched to nearly all the cases. The typical case is now a priest removed from ministry rather than laicization and in some cases, there's even a rationalization for giving a priest a parish assignment.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:01 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    Friday, May 16, 2003
    1010 WINS: Brooklyn Bishop Seeks Records In Abuse Case
    Boston Attorneys for Brooklyn Bishop Thomas V. Daily want Newton police to turn over records on the family of a plaintiff in one of the clergy sex abuse lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Boston.

    Daily is also seeking to force a mental health counselor to turn over records about Ford, arguing that Ford has ''abandoned any expectation of privacy with respect to communications on this subject.''

    It's easy to let something like this pass. After all, there's over 500 lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Boston alone. The priest in question is Rev. Paul Shanley. His status is a priest who's been removed from ministry. My understanding of that that status is that he is under all the obligations of a priest and the diocese is still obligated to him financially.

    But the brass knuckles are out for the family of the accuser and the mental health professionals involved. Let this be a example to those who would dare to sue the Archdiocese of Boston.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:15 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    Thursday, May 15, 2003
    MSNBC: WMD's in Iraq for the Taking
    TWO VERY SUSPICIOUS trailer rigs turned up last week in Mosul. The Pentagon called them mobile bio-labs. Maybe, but although they “looked like a duck and walked like a duck,” as one U.S. officer put it, they didn’t quack. The first of the huge, truck-drawn labs, intercepted at a roadblock, had been swabbed clean. The other, discovered Friday, was stripped by looters before U.S. troops found it. So far there’s a lot more belli than casus. Looters outran the WMD hunters almost every time. “Once a site has been hit with a 2,000-pound bomb, then looted, there’s not a lot left,” says Maj. Paul Haldeman, the 101st Airborne Division’s top NBC officer. In the rush to Baghdad, Coalition forces raced past most suspected WMD sites, and looters took over. After Saddam’s fall, there were too few U.S. troops to secure the facilities. Roughly 900 possible WMD sites appeared on the initial target lists. So far, V Corps officers say, fewer than 150 have been searched. “There aren’t enough troops in the whole Army,” says Col. Tim Madere, the overseer of V Corps’s sensitive-site teams. “There just aren’t enough experts to do everything.”

    This is the WMD's were lost in the chaos of the war and aftermath theory. I like it because at least the debris of where the WMD's were is accessible and tangible.

    Another WMD story is the Iraqis scammed Saddam theory James Lacey in NRO outlines this today. I don't think this is credible in the slightest.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:24 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    Rod Dreher: Like Catholic Church, Times had failure of leadership
    There's a world of difference between Times Square and St. Peter's Square, but they are alike in one way: Both are headquarters to institutions of enormous reach, influence and – it goes with the territory – arrogance. Now that The New York Times finds itself in a mess as humiliating and destructive to its own mission as the Roman Catholic Church's scandal, it's instructive to compare the two situations to see what they tell us about the hubris of leadership.

    Well, only 3 stories into his new home, and Rod writes about New York.

    My brothers in the Order of St. Blog's: Domenico Bettinelli and Mark Shea conflate Rod's criticism of the leadership of the Catholic Church to the Church itself.

    The column is mostly about the Times because it is the new news.

    To the point that Mark makes about the "institutions... of arrogance". I think the Catholic hierarchy in the United States is out of touch and clericalism is entrenched. I want that to change -- but I'm not optimistic that it will.

    Everyone knows that Dallas 2002 refused to confront the moral failures of bishops as they felt they lacked the authority. Where's the authority? The Holy See, of course. The Pope, personally, and the Curia. They allowed themselves to be distracted by Tariq Aziz and Saddam Hussein and all his pomp.

    Leadership accountability within the Church doesn't exist yet for bishops who failed to protect children from sexual predators.

    Only relentless pressures from the media and the secular legal system are prompting any sort of reluctant action on the part of the bishops.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:21 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    AP: Judge OKs Oregon Diocese to Transfer Assets
    A judge Wednesday allowed a Roman Catholic diocese to transfer assets to its parishes and missions after plaintiffs in a sex abuse lawsuit failed to prove the transfers were illegal.

    The judge had previously issued a temporary restraining order at the request of David Slader, a lawyer representing 18 men who said they were abused years ago as children by the Rev. David Hazen, who died in 1986.

    Their suit against the Diocese of Baker and Archdiocese of Portland seeks some $69 million. They contended the Baker diocese, in eastern Oregon, was illegally shifting assets to avoid paying potential damages.

    Slader said Wednesday that the ruling means the plaintiffs will sue individual parishes, probably within 30 days.

    "The real property hasn't gone anywhere, we know where it is," Slader said. "The message we have is that we have no choice but to name each parish as a coconspirator."

    Huge Implications Here

    The law that applies here is mostly state law, so the ruling in Oregon doesn't apply everywhere. However, it does mean that other dioceses will consider it as a way of protecting assets from these civil claims.

    Of course, there are implications outside Oregon, especially if title and legal control passes to a pastor as corporation sole, or to parish councils as non-profit corporations, and they act in defiance of the bishop.

    Of course, this is exactly the source of great conflicts in the 19th and early 20th centuries -- in books about the Catholic Church in the United States you can look it up under "Trustee" (National Catholic Reporter has an article on it.

    The sad story of Bishop Henry Conwell is instructive -- with a dramatic Vatican intervention in the (then) diocese of Philadelphia.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:30 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    Miami Herald: Guardian sought for unborn child [by Governor Jeb Bush]
    Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday that he would ask an Orlando judge to appoint a guardian for the unborn child of a severely disabled rape victim receiving care from the state, a move likely to spark another round of debate over abortion rights.

    ''This is a question of protecting an innocent life,'' not an abortion issue, Bush told a Herald reporter. ``And it will be the policy of our government in the case of a woman who is incapacitated or cannot make decisions for her child, that there should be a guardian.''

    You will have to click on the link to see the pro-death argument.

    This is a pro-life story that bears watching. We can't do anything now for Connor Peterson, but we can do something for this unborn child.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:57 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    Wednesday, May 14, 2003
    Zenit: not to fall into the quagmire of unrestrained capitalism
    "Latin America should say 'enough' to the litany of useless complaints, it must stop regarding itself as the 'victim' that leads it to blame others for its failures," he insisted.

    "At the same time, it must be careful not to deny its Ibero-Indo-American and Christian roots, so as not to fall into the quagmire of unrestrained capitalism," he cautioned.

    From about a month ago (April 2, 2003), a typical economists rhetoric: one one hand, but on the other hand...

    The speaker is Guzmán Carriquiry Lecour, undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity. He is a lay person.

    What's remarkable about Lecour is that he's all over Google slamming the United States in every language but English. The only English text I can find written by him is a note on the canonization of St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer.

    Another entrant into the Vatican Euro-Whiners Club (not winers, by the way)

    ... that gives me an idea for a new page.

    Oh, yeah, the quaqmire of unrestrained capitalism. What a slogan, put it up there with the heartbreak of psoriasis (Whatever happened to the "running dogs of capitalism", anyway?) and the burning itch of hemmoroids.

    For fast, fast economic relief the citizens of the world (especially Latin America) want to immigrate to this quagmire. But I'm afraid that some people in the world are not merely content to criticize it but want to destroy it -- the unifying theme of Islamic terrorism is jealousy that we have a measure of freedom and material prosperity, and the frustration that they don't have it.

    blog credit to Running Off At the Keyboard

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:47 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    AP Photo: Sandals Scandal

    It's blurry but that might be an image of St. Jude and not Jesus as the story indicates. Elements of the traditional depiction of St. Jude: (a) a strong staff or club (the means of his traditional martyrdom) (b) green tunic (c) medallion or image of Christ.

    UPDATE: It is St. Jude.

    Not exactly a Matt Drudge exclusive. But among Catholics, this is worth noting.

    St. Jude

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:47 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    Washington Times: Contempt for the Christian supporters of President Bush
    Speaking to a group of Palestinians and left-wing Israelis in Israel last week, a high-ranking State Department official took the time to disparage the "conservative" and "Christian" supporters of President Bush, his ultimate superior. The incident is revealing, not just in showing the contempt members of the Foreign Service have for Mr. Bush, but how urgent the need is for the White House to finally address systemic problems at Foggy Bottom.
    Another culture of dissent.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:22 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    Barbie's dead. Did Ken do it? How miniature death-scene dioramas are used to teach modern CSI techniques.

    This reminds me of my daughter and me a few years back -- we created a Barbie church with Ken wearing liturgical vestments.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:10 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    Tuesday, May 13, 2003
    Sodom and Gomorrah Watch

    UK Guardian: Ticket To Ride

    A radical new proposal from the Green party in the southern city of Granada would see the introduction of a controversial new youth sex voucher, the so-called "bonosex", to give amorous young couples aged 25 or under a 50% discount in the city's hotels.

    The vouchers would allow young people to initiate their sex lives in "dignified" surroundings, rather than in the cramped, uncomfortable and clandestine places they were normally forced to use, according to a party spokesman.

    Although the proposal has been greeted with a mixture of incredulity and outrage, the Green party candidate for mayor at the May 25 elections, Francisco Garrido, insisted he was serious about the vouchers.

    "Happiness, well-being and autonomy are very important," he explained. "It's about emotional democracy."

    With most young people unable to move out of their parents' homes due to the cost of local housing and the difficulty of finding a job, many couples were obliged to find somewhere else to give free reign to their sexual impulses, Mr Garrido said.

    The word abomination applies. If you want to be crude about it, one gets married to initiate a sex life.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:45 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    Get that Ass Outta Here

    AFP Photo

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:27 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    Reuters UK
    Inflatable "church": So phony, so tacky -- it's a self-parody.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:10 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    AP: Man charged in LI church shooting found competent to stand trial
    (Mineola, Long Island-AP) -- A man charged with shooting and killing a priest and parishioner in a Long Island church last year has been found competent to stand trial.

    A psychiatric examination had been ordered for defendant Peter Troy was ordered, and in March a psychologist testified he believed Troy was competent to take part in his own defense.

    Police say Troy walked into Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Lynbrook last March and fired six shots, killing Reverend Lawrence Penzes and parishioner Eileen Tosner.

    Troy's trial is expected to begin next month.

    I remember this, do you? There's no connection between Troy and Fr. Penzes or the other victim, Eileen Tosner. It was a totally random killing. A brave unarmed man heroically fought and disarmed Peter Troy before he could kill anyone else at Mass.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:04 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    So you believe that Saddam destroyed his WMD's.

    If you believe that Saddam --had-- complied and destroyed the WMD's, then you have to believe he had some sort of death wish: He trashed rather than turn over any documentation, any witnesses, any recordings, any locations, etc. of the process whereby the WMD's were destroyed. He destroyed them -- but wouldn't KOWTOW and provide verification of it. His formal report to UNSC was full of lies, contradictions, and omissions.

    He was not only required to destroy the WMD's but to allow the UNMOVIC to verify that destruction.

    He complied? That is utter nonsense.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:14 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    Monday, May 12, 2003
    Islam is a religion of peace, and if you dare suggest otherwise, Muslims will kill some of your coreligionists to make the point.

    Comment by James Taranto of OpinionJournal.com

    He applied to to Franklin Graham, but we can apply to to Catholics who repeat it because they fear a violent anti-Christian backlash.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:42 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    Quick Correction... Andrew Sullivan made observation I made below earlier today.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:24 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    Casting the first stone...

    Let me be the first to say there's a parallel between the scandal of truth at the New York Times and the scandal of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

    • it's not a scandal of individuals but an institutional scandal.
    • the people at the top have a self-serving view of their accountability.
    • the scandal's discovery was facilitated by people outside the institution.
    • red flags raised inside the instituion were ignored.
    • the impulse is to put the scandal behind us as quickly as possible.

    In fairness to the Times, this appears to be an isolated case rather than a pattern. And financially, this is insignificant to the Times.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:17 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    Newsmax: David Bloom's Last E-mail Talked of Jesus (4/17/2003)
    On the night before he died of a pulmonary embolism, David Bloom sent his beloved wife, Melanie, an e-mail that eerily foreshadowed his death.

    At his funeral Wednesday in St. Patrick's Cathedral, his brother John read that prophetic message, one that defined David Bloom and showed clearly what values propelled him in his brief life.

    "I hope and pray all my guys get out of this in one piece," Bloom wrote.

    "But I'll tell you, Mel, I am at peace. Here I am, supposedly at the peak of professional success, but I could, frankly, care less. It's nothing compared to my relationship with you and the girls and Jesus."

    David Bloom who died in Iraq was an adult convert to the Catholic faith. I only discovered this over the weekend.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:28 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    National Catholic Register: Is the Vatican Afraid of Muslims?
    As a devout Catholic, he was trying to understand what principles tied together the recent "foreign policy" positions of the Holy See. He correctly observed the Holy See was against the 1991 Gulf War, as it is now against the current Iraq war, but favored the military interventions in Somalia, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

    He also correctly dismissed the possibility that U.N. approval means anything important to the Holy See - current protestations to the contrary - given that the United Nations approved Gulf War I and was bypassed entirely in Kosovo and Afghanistan.

    He suspected the one issue that united all the positions was that it mostly corresponded to the feeling on the fabled "Islamic Street"; namely, that the Holy See's position was calculated with a view to putting the Church on the side of the mass of Islamic opinion.

    Well, I agree with that devout Catholic. If it were me, I'd allow the Register to use my name. This is a theme of my blog although I'd put it differently: The Vatican knows how to dialog with Muslims, it doesn't know how to engage, and it doesn't know how to confront the evil done in the name of this religion. "Afraid" speaks more to motives than what one can observe.

    Is the Vatican afraid of Muslims. Fr. De Souza: The answer is obviously Yes.
    This is kind of gutsy for the Register as I have found that the Register is usually uncritical of the Vatican. Maybe some subscribers will cancel based on this kind of reporting.

    Don't hold your breath waiting for a smiling Cardinal to shake hands with the leader of a Catholic movement or militia in a Muslim majority country as a global photo op. (quo vide Cardinal Etchegaray with Yasir Arafat)

    Many thanks to Relapsed Catholic for discovering this

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:14 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    Pope John Paul II USA Today: Pope John Paul II at 83: 'Ministry of presence'

    As his 83rd birthday approaches on Sunday, as his 25th anniversary as pope approaches in October, the Holy Father's ultimate homily may be his life itself.

    Big coverage, here and elsewhere in anticipation of the Holy Father's birthday. I expect that here and elsewhere the focus will be the scandal of sexual abuse.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:04 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    Sunday, May 11, 2003
    Newsday: Negative Exposure Coach suspended after kids find, watch adult video
    Nassau County police are investigating an incident at St. Dominic High School in Oyster Bay involving an adult videotape that students found and viewed in the basketball coach's office last month.

    Rob Pavinelli, who is a prominent coach and also a physical education teacher, was suspended on April 10 after other students heard about the tape episode and told school administrators.

    After an internal investigation by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre was completed, Pavinelli, 40, returned to his job on Monday. The investigation found that he had not shown the sexually explicit tape to students, spokeswoman Joanne Novarro said.

    Novarro said Pavinelli "showed poor judgment" by having the tape at school but said he was not present when the students played it. Novarro said the boys found the video, which was labeled with an adult content warning, in Pavinelli's desk.

    The students who got into Pavinelli's office and found the tape "were disciplined," Novarro said. A 17-page internal report about the incident said that the door to the office was knocked open during horseplay, that three students were involved, and that Pavinelli got the tape from another faculty member, according to a parish source familiar with the incident.

    From what I'm reading here, suspension seems to be the right punishment for this - along with a warning that he will be fired if an incident like this happens again.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:52 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    In the mail... A appeal to give money to Randall Terry. Nothing unusual about that I'm on the mailing list of all the pro-life groups. What's interesting is the 37 cent stamp on the letter: a cute kitten with the words Neuter Spay

    That's species-ist isn't it?

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:19 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    Village justice in Ecuador
    Paola Tuz, 27, is whipped in the village of Guamanloma in the Tungurahua province of Ecuador, Thursday May 8, 2003. Tuz and Maria Elena Guanga, both from Quito, who were caught selling villagers a lottery ticket they said was a winning ticket in exchange for money and household items, were publicly whipped, dipped in freezing water and imprisoned, in accordance with this Andean village's laws, a practice which is legal in Ecuador.(AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

    (Warning the supplied photograph is PG-13)

    I think the reason the Yahoo/AP have this one at the top of the list of pictures only because it's a young woman who was "caught stealing".

    I am ashamed for this to have hapenned in a Catholic country. After being the principal religion of Ecuador for 500 years, one would hope the the gospel would be understood, at least by the elites who set this system of justice up.

    I can imagaine an "extremeMuslim" out there who's going to get this into ArabNews or his or her blog to demonstrate the hypocrisy of Christians criticizing Islam.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:53 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    New York Magazine: New York's Power Siblings
    Sure, New York's a good place to flee one's folks, but it's also a city where family ties run deep -- and strange. The same parents produced Donald Trump and a judge? Diana Ross and a doctor? Paris and Nicky Hilton? (Well, maybe not that strange.) A look at New York's most dynamic brother-and-sister acts: They fight, they trade favors, they want to kill each other, they love each other to death -- and they keep the rest of us deeply entertained.

    A story about New Yorker's that non-New Yorker's might find interesting (I hope.)

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:51 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    New York Post: A priest regularly visited a brothel and hired hookers to dress up like nuns, cops in Italy say.
    The cat house, in the town of Verona, charged the kinky priest as much as $450 an hour to have its girls don nun's habits and use whips and handcuffs. Cops wouldn't name the man of the cloth, saying only that he was from the nearby town of Parma.
    Ananova: Priest 'asked prostitutes to dress as nuns'
    Police say an Italian priest who asked prostitutes to dress as nuns was among the clients of a brothel raided by the vice squad. Officers refuse to name the priest, but say he was a regular customer of the high-class brothel which had dozens of women, including students and housewives, on its books. Police say Anna Maria Passarotto, 59, who ran the business, told officers the priest was a client after they found a nun's habit in the third floor flat. They also recovered hundreds of hard core videos and photographs as well as whips, masks and handcuffs during the raid in Verona. Marco Odoriso, the head of Verona's Flying Squad, said: "We have been told that a priest from Parma was a regular client of the brothel, and he liked the women to wear the nun's habit. "It would not be fair to name him at this moment, but we will be speaking to him as part of the investigation." He added that clients of the brothel were charged between £120 and £300 a time, depending on the service they required.

    They made fun of this on Saturday Night Live: the Vatican calls it "progress".

    I wonder if this item will get into any of the diocesan newspapers.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:27 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    Ananova: Astronomers 'pinpoint time and date of crucifixion and resurrection'
    Two Romanian astronomers say their research shows Christ died at 3pm on a Friday, and rose again at 4am on a Sunday.

    Liviu Mircea and Tiberiu Oproiu claim to have pinpointed the exact time and date of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. The pair, from the Astronomic Observatory Institute in Cluj, Romania, say Jesus died at 3pm on Friday, April 3, 33 AD, and rose again at 4am on Sunday, April 5.

    Archbishop Ussher, call you office!

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:21 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    The obligation of a bishop to assign a priest to the care of a parish

    I wrote earlier this week about a lay woman who has been given the title resident pastoral minister by the bishop. Something didn't see right about that. I recalled that bishops were obligated to entrust a parish to a priest, and that these parish managers were not to report directly to the bishop but to a priest with authority over the parish. But I didn't write it because I didn't a have reference. I now have it:

    Canon 517.2

    If, because of a shortage of priests, the diocesan Bishop has judged that a deacon, or some other person who is not a priest, or a community of persons, should be entrusted with a share in the exercise of the pastoral care of a parish, he is to appoint some priest who, with the powers and faculties of a parish priest, will direct the pastoral care.

    The pastoral care of a parish can't be rotated through a list of "on call" priests from other parishes casually.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:00 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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    link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com