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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
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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.

Outlining a list of snafus surrounding the reliance on a bad tip from a shaky drug informant, Kelly said "mistakes were made" in the May 16 execution of a "no knock" search warrant at the West 142nd Street apartment of Alberta Spruill, a 56-year-old veteran city employee with a cardiac condition.

"A citizen lost her life as a result of actions on the part of the Police Department," he added.

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   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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Friday, May 30, 2003
You are Morpheus-
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   HaloScan

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Take a moment to praise the One True God - we're in His universe and His rules

Wired News: Hackers Put 'Bane' in Shadowbane

"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."

Mike Gontelli, a late arrival to the game that evening, said that when he arrived in Shadowbane "there were hundreds of tombstones. New players were being beaten and tortured. Newbie blood was flowing like a river. I knew it wasn't real, but it was oddly terrifying."

"Hallelujah, I was dead and now I'm not," said player Brian Buttoloer. "This is way better than real life. Let the games begin … again."

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   HaloScan

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Yes, I'm Richard and I'm Gay.
May 30, 2003 -- FORMER matinee idol Richard Chamberlain, who's now 69, feels the time is right to come out of the closet. "I'm not a romantic leading man anymore so I don't need to nurture that public image anymore," he says on Sunday's "Dateline
Ralph de Bricassart from the Thorn Birds! From priest to cardinal, and getting the very hot 26-year-old Rachel Ward when Richard was 49 (and old enough to be her father)

There's no doubt now in my mind who should play Cardinal Law in that miniseries to come on the scadal of sexual abuse. I'm thinking Brian Dennehy for Bishop Daily, Helen Mirren for Judge Constance Sweeney...

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:08 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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AP: Books Discovered in Iraq

As you can see -- a success in Iraq -- the recovery of looted (and overdue) books. Now let's go and find some WMD's.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:19 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Whitney Houston New York Post: Whitney Houston gets a bath in the Jordan. No one heard a voice call down from heaven, hoewever.

With a group called the Black Hebrews she is touring Israel.

This National Equirer story might jog your memory on how far Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown have come.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:09 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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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.

On Wednesday night, Rev. Margaret Marquardt blessed the union of Michael Kalmuk and Kelly Montfort at St. Margaret's Cedar Cottage Church in Vancouver, British Columbia, in the first such ceremony under authorization from the diocese of New Westminster.

On May 23, Bishop Michael Ingham authorized six parishes in the Vancouver area to administer the blessing. Ingham emphasized then that the service, called ``a rite for the celebration of gay and lesbian covenants,'' was not a marriage. The synod of his diocese approved the practice last year.

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   HaloScan

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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.

But Kathleen L. McChesney, executive director of the bishops' Office for Child and Youth Protection, said in a recent interview: "The bishops are very committed to both the process of the audits and the study. I talk to bishops on a daily basis, and I'm very optimistic that the things they put forth in the charter that my office and the review board are helping to implement are going to be successful."

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   HaloScan

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Thursday, May 29, 2003
Apocalypse Watch

Battle over Voluntary DNA samples

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)

Now, with suspect Derrick Todd Lee in custody, Kohler wants his DNA sample back. Police aren't willing to return it.

Kohler and privacy advocates worry about police keeping blood and saliva samples that can identify criminals but also contain personal genetic information. At issue is how that information will be used.

"There's just too much you can learn about a person."

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   HaloScan

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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.

Iwanowska, who is Polish and became an American citizen last year, told her superiors that she considered the shot medically dangerous to children she might have in the future, saying the long-term effects of the anthrax vaccine are unknown. As a Roman Catholic, she also cited religious reasons for refusing it.

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   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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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.

Excavation in the grottoes under St. Peter's Basilica started in 1940. The work uncovered a tomb that was declared to be that of St. Peter. Later, bones found at the site were declared to be those of Peter, although Ferrua doubted they were.

Another paper described Ferrua as a "scholar of great rigor, who has never been touched by any ideological interference."

He finds and tomb and dies 63 years later. It must be a curse!

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:38 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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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:

  • The Church
  • Those preparing for Baptism
  • The unity of all Christians (formerly called the schismatics)
  • Those who do not believe in Christ (this would include Jews, Muslims, and pagans)
  • Those who do not believe in God.

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.

1964 version: The only difference is that the word 'perfidious' has been removed, the remaining text being unchanged.

1974 version: [current as far as I know] Let us pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear the word of God, that they may continue to grow in the love of His Name and in faithfulness to His covenant. Almighty and eternal God, long ago You gave Your promise to Abraham and his posterity. Listen to Your Church as we pray that the people You first made Your own may arrive at the fullness of redemption. We ask this through 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   HaloScan

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Episcopal Retaliation

One of the great hypocrisies of the sexual abuse crisis has been the retaliation of bishops against priests who speak out.

North Jersey.com: Priest loses post after criticizing sex-abuse policy

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 spokesman for the Newark Archdiocese denied the accusation, saying the priest was "troubled."

The Rev. Robert Hoatson, who celebrates weekend Masses at parishes in Glen Rock and Midland Park, was removed Friday from his school job in Newark. The dismissal came three days after a forum on abuse held by the New York Legislature in Albany at which Hoatson excoriated church leaders and lobbied for bills that would help victims of abuse.

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   HaloScan

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Cacciaguida is Italian for Crusader

Another addition to the Lepanto Group and to the blogroll: http://cacciaguida.blogspot.com/

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:14 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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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.

The teacher urged a kindly approach: always show Muslims love, charity and hospitality, he said, and carry copies of the New Testament to give as gifts. The students, scribbling notes, included two pastors, a school secretary and college students who said they hoped to convert Muslims in the United States, or on mission trips abroad.

But although the teacher, an evangelical preacher from Beirut, stressed the need to avoid offending Muslims, he projected a snappy PowerPoint presentation showing passages from the Koran that he said proved Islam was regressive, fraudulent and violent.

"Here in the Koran, it says slay them, slay the infidels!" said the teacher, who said he did not want to be identified because being a missionary to Muslims put his life at risk. "In the Bible there are no words from Jesus saying we should kill innocent people."

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. The sharp language, from religious leaders like Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and Jerry Vines, the former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, has drawn rebukes from Muslims and Christian groups alike. Mr. Graham called Islam "a very evil and wicked religion, and Mr. Vines called Muhammad, Islam's founder and prophet, a "demon-possessed pedophile."

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   HaloScan

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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

MAZATLAN, Mexico A former U.S. Roman Catholic priest who crossed into Mexico to escape child molestation charges in Anaheim, Yorba Linda, and Wisconsin died after leaping from a second- story balcony as law enforcement officers surrounded the hotel, authorities said Monday.

Federal and state agents surrounded the Vista Dorada Hotel just off one of the resort city's most-popular beaches Sunday and planned to arrest 62-year-old Siegfried F. Widera, who was accused of 42 felony counts of child molestation in the United States.

As authorities closed in, Widera ran to the balcony of his room and jumped. He died of severe cranial trauma as members of the Mazatlan Red Cross were taking him to a hospital, said Marta Gutierrez, a state attorney general's spokeswoman in Sinaloa state.

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   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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May 26, 2003 -- Two pre-holiday acts of desecration marred the city's Memorial Day celebrations. In The Bronx, a vandal scrawled an incoherent poem over a mural honoring Vietnam veterans that shows three soldiers standing in front of an American flag and the words "Gone but not forgotten. Always in our hearts and prayers."

"It looks terrible," said resident Patricia Gonzalez, 34. "I just think the timing is nuts."

The mural, painted on the elevated structure of the No. 4 subway line at the Woodlawn station, was sponsored by the Catholic War Veterans, the Transit Authority and a labor union. Neighbors said it's been there about 14 years.

Bobby Lindo, a bartender and Army veteran, was particularly upset that the vandalism came on the eve of the first Memorial Day after the Iraqi war. "It hasn't been touched in 10 years," Lindo said. "I'd hit the guy who did this."

In Manhattan, four people - two of whom told cops they were nuns - were arrested after throwing blood on the gun turrets of a Navy warship docked on a West Side pier for Fleet Week, sources said.

Federal agents immediately nabbed the anti-war demonstrators, who boarded the USS Philippine Sea on Pier 88 at 3:30 p.m.

They said the blood they used was their own.

"We pour our blood on this ship to reveal the blood of the innocent already shed by the use of this weaponry," the group said in a statement faxed to The Post hours later.

The U.S. attorney has not yet determined which charges to file against Brian Buckley, 31, of Vermont; Mark Colville, 41, of Connecticut; Susan Clarkson, 56, of Washington, D.C.; and Joan Gregory, 70, of New York.

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   HaloScan

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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.

But one jury took that too far when they thumbed through the Bible during deliberations to find passages on the death penalty, a Colorado judge ruled.

Friday's decision to throw out the death sentence has left some experts wondering where to draw the line.

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   HaloScan

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News and the Three Day Weekend
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier There's a tradition of releasing really bad news on a three-day-weekend in the hope that no one is paying attention -- either in the media matrix or among the public. I'll be looking for what the bad news is being revealed this weekend.

I'll be thinking of all the soliders, sailors, airmen, and marines who died to preserve the freedom of this country. That part of the world which is democratic should remember them too as they kept the ideas freedom and democracy from being crushed by various totalitarians.

Guided Missile Cruiser New York City has had a tradition that I believe goes all the way back to 2000 called Fleet Week. Several active duty United States Navy ships dock at pier 86. I visited the USS Philipine Sea and USS Yorktown which are guided missile cruisers (CG-58 and CG-48) with my son.

Aboard the ship, there were several small groups of people being led around by proud, enthusiastic sailors. In the group after us, a protest group. Only three of them -- a guy in his 30's who was doing all the shouting and two women in their 60's or 70's -- they spread out a banner and were holding us photos of injured children. It seemed pathetic. There were no media there to witness this. They even started their protest on the stern -- so that when my group left there were no civilians to see what was going on.

We waited in line for about two hours and we were early! After that incident, the line to visit the cruisers shut down and those people on line had to get on the end of the line to visit the smaller ships.

After we left the ship I waited to see how the protesters would be removed. They were removed by unarmed Navy personnel who seemed sort of amused by the whole thing over to some very grim and determined looking police officers from Emergency Services (what the NYPD calls its SWAT team).

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:42 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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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.

In an interview with the Italian daily Correire della Sera, Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran said that there should be some boundaries to the European community. The French prelate also repeated a frequent theme of Vatican diplomacy, saying that the draft version of a new constitution for the European Union did not give adequate recognition to the role of religious faith in establishing the society and culture of the continent.

Although the Holy See has generally welcomed the addition of new countries to the European Union, Archbishop Tauran said that he saw a "problem" with the candidacy of Turkey. He did not immediately mention the Islamic culture of that country, but referred instead to its geographical setting, and asked whether some frontiers should be established to define the European community.

The archbishop did indirectly raise the question of religious affiliation, however, when he observed that in the current European Union, "all the countries share the same patrimony of values that are dear to Europe." Rather than adding Turkey, he suggested that it might be "more opportune" to consider membership for Ukraine and Moldavia, two countries with an Orthodox Christian heritage.

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   HaloScan

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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.

Günter Verheugen, who is also a former German Foreign Minister, made this statement Thursday after being received in the Vatican by Archbishop Jean- Louis Tauran, secretary for relations with states.

"The Catholic Church has no rights in Turkey," Verheugen told the press later. "I have discussed with the Vatican the ways to resolve this old, old problem."

The European commissioner acknowledged the Turkish government's willingness to comply "as soon as possible" with the conditions required to begin negotiations with the European Union. In 1999, Turkey was given the status of candidate for admission.

"However, among the problems that must be resolved are fundamental rights, and in particular religious liberty, which will be one of the most difficult," Verheugen said.

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   HaloScan

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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.

  • It's not the task for the victimizers to provide a memorial for the victims. Do veterans of the SS have a memorial for the victims of the holocaust?
  • Doesn't this make permanent the wound that this scandal represents.
  • Won't the enemies of the Church look upon this as a admission of guilt by the entire Church (as the People of God) as opposed to the Church's hierarchy. If such a memorial should exist maybe it should be adjacent to the living quarters of the bishop.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:16 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com