Saturday, May 31, 2003
New York Post: Police Commisssioner: It's Our Fault
An "unfortunate" string of NYPD communication and supervisory failures led to the botched grenade raid that left a churchgoing Harlem woman dead of a heart attack, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said yesterday.
You won't find a better example of candor and regret from a public official.
He also demanded accountability: he demoted the head of Emergency Services (NYC's name for SWAT). That took guts because he was young, popular with the rank and file, and a 9/11 hero. Other responsible officers were transferred as well.
These are errors of negligence, not a crime however. The city is also negotiating with the family for an out of court settlement.
Commissioner Ray Kelly also introduced real reforms like requiring a department chief to sign off on the use of the flash grenade -- but for some people it's not enough.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:36 PM Permalink
Eric Robert Rudolph has been captured.
A condition-one read alert has gone out to pro-abortion/anti-Catholic spinners to get online and on the air to attack the pro-life movement.
Like Kopp, Rudolph was accused of accused of violence against abortion clinics -- but Rudolph is accused of other crimes -- notably, the Atlanta Olympics bombing which was initially blamed on Richard Jewell. That 1996 accusation was another Janet Reno Justice Department failure. Then having failed to locate Rudolph. His capture today seems to have been quite a lucky break for everyone but Rudolph.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:15 PM Permalink
Friday, May 30, 2003
You are Morpheus, from "The Matrix." You
have strong faith in yourself and those around
you. A true leader, you are relentless in your
What Matrix Persona Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:32 PM Permalink
Take a moment to praise the One True God - we're in His universe and His rules
"At first, players started speculating that there was a really bad bug in the game code," player Tim Wheating said. "Then we realized that somehow an insane god had taken control of our world and was out to kill us all."
From the Tower of Babel to Frankenstein to MMORPGS (massively-multiplayer online role-playing games), the lesson is the same: Man must not tamper in God's domain!
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:22 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:08 PM Permalink
The Boston Globe has a profile of National Review's Victor Davis Hanson, farmer and military historian.
Reading Hanson and Bernard Lewis, both historians, is the key to understanding how we got to 9/11.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:20 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:19 AM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:09 AM Permalink
Proof a blogger in New York City can have more fun than a reporter with credentials in a town that doesn't make a lot of news, apparently ever.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:12 AM Permalink
Canterbury Archbishop Regrets Blessings
LONDON (AP) -- The archbishop of Canterbury expressed ``sadness'' Thursday over a Canadian diocese's decision to permit blessing ceremonies for homosexual couples.
I rarely criticize non-Catholic religions here because I belive that I don't have a full picture -- but this is not one of the cases. Welcome to the slippery slope of the abolition of Christian Marriage This looks like a marriage in all but name, eh? They equivocate -- it's blessing a covenant between two people but not a marriage. If I want a business partnership to open a McDonald's in the Vancouver area, will the Anglican Church in Canada bless my business partners and me?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:01 AM Permalink
New York Times: Auditors to Aid Catholics' Abuse Inquiry
Some bishops are balking at the lengthy survey they were recently sent by the John Jay research team to determine the incidence rate of sexual abuse and how cases were handled by the bishops, The Associated Press reported yesterday. Several bishops said that the survey questions were too unclear or that revealing the information could expose their dioceses to lawsuits.Ouch! Revealing the truth is going to hurt. And yes, the contents of these surveys will almost immediately be disclosed through discovery motions made by the victims of clerical sexual abuse, and then almost immediately be available on the SNAP web site. So What? Though the heavens fall, let justice be done!
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:46 AM Permalink
Thursday, May 29, 2003
DNA evidence apparently has led to a suspect in the Louisiana serial killer case, but it also created a problem for Shannon Kohler. Kohler, 45, of Baton Rouge, is one of more than 600 men in south Louisiana who voluntarily gave DNA samples to police in an attempt to identify the serial killer of five women from September 2001 through March. It was part of a "DNA dragnet" police conducted, one of nearly a dozen such sweeps performed by American police since the early 1990s. (Related story: Questions linger about police handling of case)
Perhaps it is not the embedded identification transponder that is The Mark of the Beast but giving up DNA. How long before this sort of DNA collection will be routine at birth and required for work in a critical job which currently requires fingerprinting.
Privacy in the sense of control over your personal information simply doesn't exist in the United States.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:37 AM Permalink
Wednesday, May 28, 2003
WABC: Reservist Who Refused Vaccine Found Guilty of Disobeying Order
Fort Drum-AP, May 28, 2003) — A military panel on Wednesday found an Army reservist guilty of disobeying an order for refusing to take an anthrax vaccine.
I know of no religious reason for a Catholic to refuse the order to be vaccinated. Her own judgment that the long-term effects of the anthrax vaccine are unknown doesn't ring true either -- it's been basically the same vaccine since the time of Louis Pasteur.
As a matter of writing style I thought we label a person who is an American citizen simply "American". She could be called formerly Polish or Polish-American, but to call her Polish now is inaccurate.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:30 PM Permalink
Netscape Hollywood Exclusive CELEB INSIDER: Sorbo Says Priest Roles Dicey
Kevin Sorbo believes that playing a Catholic priest is dicey business in the world of entertainment these days. The Herculean actor ought to know, as he played a hip Catholic priest in the independent drama "Clipping Adam," which was shot last year while Sorbo was on hiatus from his syndicated sci-fi series, "Andromeda." Declares Sorbo, "The film hasn't gotten distribution yet and maybe one of the reasons is because people aren't really high on seeing a movie about a priest who helps out a troubled kid.There it is -- a microcosm of what's wrong with the popular culture -- a rejection of the image of a good, helpful priest.
Kevin Sorbo is a very handsome, very masculine actor who played Hercules for five years on televsion. He's now 45.
I hope that Clipping Adam gets some distribution.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:03 PM Permalink
New York Post - AP: The Curse of St. Peter's Tomb
VATICAN CITY - Antonio Ferrua, a Jesuit archaeologist who headed the excavation that uncovered what the Vatican declared to be the tomb and bones of St. Peter, the first pope, has died. He was 102. Ferrua died Sunday in Rome, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano said yesterday.He finds and tomb and dies 63 years later. It must be a curse!
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:38 PM Permalink
How the Church sees the world
I believe in Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi -- the law of prayer is the law of belief.
An example of this is how the General Intercessions/Prayer of the Faithful is structured at the Easter Vigil.
We pray for:
Among those who are called Christians, there's a precedence given to the Churches who maintain the sacraments and Apostolic Succession. This is commonly generalized to the Orthodox Churches.
Among the non-Christians, a special status is given to the Jews for their Covenant with God made with Abraham and Moses. Another special status is given to Muslims for the honor they give to Sacred Scripture and the recognition of Jesus as prophet.
For those who don't believe in God -- the only distinction that I've been able to find is among those who still looking for God and those who aren't.
This is from the Good Friday liturgy:
1954 version: We pray for the perfidious Jews: that Our Lord and God may lift the covering off their hearts, so that they may acknowledge Jesus Christ Our Lord. Let us pray. Almighty, eternal God, who does not reject the Jews in Your own mercy: hear our prayers which we offer for the blindness of this people, that acknowledging the truth of Your light which is Christ, they may be pulled out of their darkness. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
I can recall some debates a while back on Catholic mailing lists about the ambiguity around exactly how the Jews will arrive at the fullness of redemption. Or rather, some denied that there was ambiguity there at all -- that the Old Covenant was a means, for the Jews, to the fullness of redemption. While we Christians see the Old Covenant as fulfilled in Jesus -- the Jews see the Old Covenant as eternal, unending, and unbroken. And some Catholics have argued with me that for us to share the faith with Jews -- to proclaim the New Covenant, to have campaigns that target Jews for conversion to Christianity are no longer theologically acceptable in the Catholic Church.
I wrote the position that we should respect the people waiting for the first coming of the Messiah makes about as much sense as respecting people lining up to buy tickets for a rock concert that ended last week.
That position from Bishops Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs set some sort of record for back-pedalling -- No, we really didn't mean that. Once again, it's safe to share the Gospel with Jews without incurring the wrath of a bishop.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:00 AM Permalink
One of the great hypocrisies of the sexual abuse crisis has been the retaliation of bishops against priests who speak out.
A Catholic priest said Tuesday that he was fired from his job running a parochial school because he had publicly criticized the church's response to the sexual abuse crisis.
A priest who actually abuses children can make threats to reveal more, to show the complicity of the diocese -- this was quite a sucessful strategy for a Long Island priest who got a reduced sentence for this sort of cooperation.
But a priest who is only a priest lacks leverage and as a consequence cannot prevail against a bishop who wants to make an example of him.
The Roman Catholic Faithful has done a great deal of homework in this regard and has documentation to back it up.
Predatory homosexual and disgraced former Springfield BISHOP DANIEL RYAN has moved into his new home in Springfield, IL. The home was purchased by BISHOP GEORGE LUCAS and the DIOCESE OF SPRINGFIELD. While priests who refused Ryan's sexual advances and refused to cooperate in Ryan's perversion were cast out of the diocese or forcibly retired with nothing more than a small pension check, Ryan - who had engaged in sexual relationships with teenaged boys and priests - has been provided a new home for his exclusive use
When good priests who speak out and are punished for doing so by bishops what sort of message does that send to all priests and to the public.
Archbishop Myers was last in the blog for his criticism of Dr. Kathleen McChesney who is the head of the USCCB office to investigate the scandal.
I passed over a story in early May of two Newark Archdiocese priests convicted of soliciting sex from a 16-year old boy prostitute. The scandal is far from over.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:28 AM Permalink
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Cacciaguida is Italian for Crusader
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:14 PM Permalink
New York Times Laurie Goodstein: Seeing Islam as 'Evil' Faith, Evangelicals Seek Converts
GROVE CITY, Ohio — On a recent Saturday in a church fellowship hall here, evangelical Christians from several states gathered for an all-day seminar on how to woo Muslims away from Islam.
Yup, another hit piece on Evangelicals from Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times. Catholics are interested in dialog and not in turning Muslims into Catholics according to this article. That may be true in a sense that most of the Catholic discussion that makes it to the media these days is about making sure Catholics do not condemn all Muslims as terrorists and very little beyond that.
Christianity Today has a wonderful analysis:
Goodstein uses this training session to demonstrate her thesis: "At the grass roots of evangelical Christianity, many are now absorbing the antipathy for Islam that emerged last year with the incendiary comments of ministers . . . Evangelicals have always believed that all other religions are wrong, but what is notable now is the vituperation." As proof, the Times pulls out all the old quotes about Islam from Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, Jerry Vines, and Jerry Falwell. (Oddly, none of the vituperation from Islamic clerics—such as the fatwa that declared Falwell "must be killed"—was quoted.)
The Cathechism of the Catholic Church states:
841. "The Church's relationship with the Muslims. 'The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day.
Left unsaid is that Islam denies the Christian faith's mysteries: the Trinity and the Incarnation, and therefore is a false religion. As the Christianity Today reply to the New York Times mentions, it is at God's command that we preach salvation in Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and not in the prophecies of Mohammed.
The means and methods to bring this about are a matter of prudence as well as zeal.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:57 PM Permalink
AP: Wanted ex-priest commits suicide
Crime: Siegfried Widera, sought in Orange County on sex charges, jumps off hotel balcony in Mexico. By Isaac Guzman, Associated Press
There's another account here: Ocean Country Register
In a statement read by his brother John, of Costa Mesa, the Widera family said Siegfried Widera "was not a threat to society as various government agencies have reported to the news media. With his death, he will now be judged by our almighty creator and not by manipulative public opinion or self-serving lawyers."
Hey, John, my condolences, but you are wrong on the point of who was going to judge him -- it would be an impartial jury. Your statement seems a little self-serving on its own.
Blog credit: Bettnet
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:55 PM Permalink
Monday, May 26, 2003
Catholic World News: "Marist is no longer a Catholic college"
New York, May. 13 (LifesiteNews.com/CWN) - The Cardinal Newman Society, an organization which attempts to ensure Catholic colleges are faithful to their Catholic identity, objected in a letter to the Archdiocese of New York against Marist College's selection of pro-abortion New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to give this year's commencement address on May 17. The archdiocese has responded to Cardinal Newman Society's protest by declaring the college "is no longer a Catholic institution," and therefore not under the Church's jurisdiction.In the "sound off" section of the Catholic World News I wrote: It might be easier for Cardinal Egan just to declare which colleges are Catholic than to declare which ones in the Catholic Directory are no longer Catholic.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:40 PM Permalink
New York Post: VILE VANDALS MAR PATRIOTIC HOLIDAY SPIRIT
By JENNIFER FERMINO, ERIN CALABRESE and LARRY CELONA
There -- you know that I don't make this stuff up. I did the google-thing on Susan Clarkson and Joan Gregory. I was not able to identify which religious community they belong to, although I did see that Clarkson does self-identify as a "Sr." elsewhere.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:08 PM Permalink
CNN: Ruling spurs debate on role of Bible in sentencing
For people of faith, the Bible can serve as a compass to help navigate life's dilemmas, from questions about spirituality to everyday problems with relationships or work.
Two Bibles were brought into the deliberation room. Why is the presumption that using the Bible means a bias towards the prosecution?
If this ruling stands, what's next -- as soon as someone utters "Bible" that means there's a mistrial?
What about American leaders such as Washington and Lincoln who considered all their decisions in light of their understanding of the Bible?
The Bible, if not now, was America's instruction book on matters which touch on morality and justice.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:07 PM Permalink
News and the Three Day Weekend
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:42 PM Permalink
Vatican's Objection to Turkey into the EU is based on Geography
Vatican, May. 26 (CWNews.com) - The Vatican's chief foreign-policy official has expressed opposition to the entry of Turkey into the European Union.
Why not just call it "Post-Christian Europe?". Look at the map and see how far away on the map Finland is.
Besides a map, the Archbishop needs to re-read the Treaty of Maasricht -- it's three pillars are: monetary, security, and cooperation in criminal justice.
It's not a matter of religious patrimony or geographical accidents.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:32 PM Permalink
Zenit: The Catholic Church has no rights in Turkey
ROME, MAY 11, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Turkey's lack of respect for religious liberty is one of the major obstacles for its admission to the European Union, says the commissioner for EU enlargement.Hypocrisy! The Vatican wanted weapons of mass destruction negotiated, but on the matter of rights for the Catholic Church -- the answer is "No" with nothing to negotiate.
Turkey is not going to become religiously pluralistic and have genuine religious freedom with rights for the Catholic Church without the consent of the people of Turkey, and it's not going to get it.
The Vatican might as well demand restoration of all Christian property going back to the battle of Manzikert 1071, including the Church of Holy Wisdom, in its day the largest man-made structure on earth, which is now a mosque.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:32 PM Permalink
AP: Cardinal Mahony dedicates chapel to priests' victims
Cardinal Roger M. Mahony dedicated a chapel Sunday in remembrance of victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, believed to be the first such sanctuary of its kind, church officials said.
This is wrong on so many levels.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:16 PM Permalink