Friday, June 06, 2003
Arizona Republic: Supervisor Wilcox defending bishop to Latinos
Bishop Thomas O'Brien is sending county Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, an influential Latina and loyal supporter, on a mission to smooth over Hispanic Catholics and those clamoring for him to quit.
What we have here is an interesting inversion of your classic Henry II / Thomas Becket entanglement of Church and State.
For Bishop O'Brien to want this to happen is understandable. He wants someone or something to speak to the peasants storming the castle with pitchforks and torches. What I can't understand is why a politician would want to support Bishop O'Brien in this way. or why someone like a Hispanic deacon would be a better envoy.
Again, I ask What are the Quid Pro Quo's for this sort of arrangement between O'Brien and Wilcox?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:01 PM Permalink
Here's a story to make you sing "Sanctus! Sanctus! Sanctus!"
Reuters: Contract sanctity challenged in NRG bankruptcy
The FERC [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] has talked about the sanctity of contracts throughout the California crisis," said Paul Sotkiewicz at the Public Utility Research Center at the University of Florida in Gainesville. "To allow something like that to be overturned would definitely be precedent-breaking." This could trigger other claims, he said.
I think I'll go to my temple of the worship of wealth and trade some crude oil futures. Y'know the government not only enforces them but now they are sanctified. I'll light and candle and burn some incense.
As for a definition human life and human marriage, that's a violation of the sanctified wall of separation of church and State.
So what's holy to you?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:07 PM Permalink
Life imitates Baseball
I took my son to a ballgame New York Mets vs. Milwaukee Brewers and saw the Mets lose. This year, I guess, it is their turn to lose.
You would think that what happened at the game would have nothing to do with the crisis in the Catholic Church but it does.
The pitcher, Tom Glavine, gave up 5 runs and 5 walks. In a game that would not be such a terrible statistic but in one inning, it is. The telling incident is that with first and second occupied, he intentionally walks a good hitter to throw to the pitcher, and then un-intentionally walks the pitcher.
He doesn't take himself out of the game even though later he admits that he had been no longer able to throw strikes because he elbow was hurting.
This is a $35 million "ace" as that New York Post in the above link calls him.
Do the fans want him to stay in to clean up his own mess?
Does management, do owners, do the sportswriters?
There's a bullpen full of men ready to taken over for Tom Glavine. Maybe he in inwardly relieved that he no longer has responsibility for pitching. It's time for his elbow to heal.
It's fundamental to any organization where imperfect humans have roles to play: there comes a time when it's time to give up the ball. In some cases it's injury, others it's you're just too old to handle the job, it some rare cases you become corrupted by the access to the fame, the drugs, the money.
I know that bishops are supposed to be life-tenure, but even a US Supreme Court justice can be removed for cause or forced to resign.
To outsiders, the Catholic Church's lack of accountability and inability to deal with this hapless bench of bishops is its own implosion.
For all the psycho-babble that is being flung around in the crisis, you need to get out and see a baseball game to understand the role of vanity and reluctance to admit to one's own inadequacies to see what it is doing to the bigger picture.
Or maybe the big picture is monarchial preogatives of the bishop and I don't get it.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:43 AM Permalink
Thursday, June 05, 2003
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Nun accused of sexual misconduct
A nun who has been accused of sexual misconduct at an all-girls high school in Connecticut was once an instructor at Cor Jesu Academy in Affton.
Now if the Catholic Church only had female priests, things like this would never happen.
The phrase "join me in the convent" takes on a new meaning now. The article continues and contains the denial from the school, and the fact that Sister Linda Cusano is no longer teaching.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:19 PM Permalink
New York Times Press Release: Raines and Boyd Resign
The New York Times announced today that Joseph Lelyveld, former executive editor of The Times, has been named interim executive editor, assuming the responsibilities held by Howell Raines, who has resigned as executive editor. Gerald M. Boyd has also resigned as managing editor. No one will be named interim managing editor.Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher, is to be commended for this decision. It took guts. Now if we could only get more people to take responsibility in this way...
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:11 PM Permalink
Mark Belnick: the complete Wall Street Journal Article
I obtained permission from the Wall Street Journal to do this. Normally, I just quote a sentence or two and provide a link. And to get a local site to have that Wall Street Journal look takes a bit more than a simple cut and paste.
Keywords: Tyco, Mark Belnick, Catholic, Conversion, Opus Dei, EWTN, Thomas Aquinas College, Culture of Life Foundation, Father C. John McCloskey III Lawrence Kudlow Sen. Sam Brownback Robert Novak. Bernard Nathanson, Arthur Liman, Warren Rudman, Maureen Hartman, David Hartman, ABC, Good Morning America, Bowie Kuhn, Mary Cunningham Agee, Thomas Monaghan
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:07 AM Permalink
It's always interesting to see if mainstream blogger Oswald Sobrino with the non-nosense name of Catholic Analysis has to say and if there's any overlap with the blogs that are on the unstable edge of Catholicism like this one. We have such an intersection in Hillary Clinton.
Living History is the title of Hillary's yet-to-be-published book.
The Clinton Wars is now published. It is written by a former White House aide in defense of the Clintons.
The problem with such close publication dates is that the texts could not be cross-checked. The AP promoting the book thinks the most notable new disclosure in the book is that Hillary and Bill were not on speaking terms at the time when Bill made his limited admission on television in the Lewinsky matter.
Sidney Blumenthal on that point says that they were on speaking terms on that date and thereafter. The details are in NewsMax. It's not a big deal but for the very first real hint of what the book is about has been contradicted before it's published, this can't be a good sign.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:32 AM Permalink
Wednesday, June 04, 2003
NEWS.com.au: Priest suspended: 'No God'
From correspondents in Copenhagen, Denmark June 3, 2003
I'll post an update when he's burned at the stake for heresy.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:41 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:45 PM Permalink
1010 WINS: NJ Priest Criticizes Church's Handling of Abuse
A New Jersey priest on Wednesday criticized the handling of the sexual abuse crisis by the Roman Catholic church in his state and said he had been a victim of retaliation for speaking out about it.
I'm suspicious of stuff like this -- I especially don't like the statement Hoatson "appears to be a troubled man" as a way to reduce his credibility. The timing stinks.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:40 PM Permalink
WSJ: Martha Stewart indicted (obstruction of justice, securities fraud, making false statements and perjury)
NEW YORK -- Martha Stewart, who built a media empire as an icon of tasteful living, was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in connection with an insider-trading scandal, said a spokesman for U.S. Attorney James Comey.
This was announced at 12:52 ET and I'm writing this in between bites at 1:20, how cool is that?
Steward was undone by haughtiness and arrogance, everyone else in the ImClone stock scandal has taken a plea deal. The New York office of the Justice Department thought they were negotiating in good faith. As the deal was being finalized, Stewart went to Washington to get an improvement in the deal without getting permission from or giving notice to the U.S. Attorney in New York. This is a very dumb thing to do. She is seeing the result today.
Around here ("a major metropolitan investment company") 4000 shares is like a brewry where a keg is tipped over, spillage. We call these things rounding errors. Some wonder why go after a fish with such an inconsequential amount of money at stake. Indeed, even to Martha Stewart it's a small amount compared to her stake in her own company.
My co-workers are wrong. $100,000 is a big deal to people who never heard of Tyco, WorldCom, Adelphia, Global Crossing, etc. but have heard of Marth Stewart. A high-profile case I belive will shock the greedy into thinking twice about acting on a stock tip from an insider that will drive a $60 stock to $40.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:43 PM Permalink
Wall Street Journal: How a Tyco Lawyer Channeled Windfall Into an Unlikely Cause (subscription reqd.)
Indicted Counsel Mark Belnick Gave Catholics Millions After Converting By LAURIE P. COHEN
An awesome article -- for me it's a grand slam -- it's Wall Street, it's high profile lay Catholics, it's a conspiracy, it's a perp walk. Details on the process of how the big money flows into these Catholic institutions. The cover price of the Wall Street Journal is $1.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:56 PM Permalink
Tuscon Citizen: Bishop denies immunity deal reduces his authority
O'Brien seemed to invoke careful semantics in discussing the key part of his immunity agreement. In an 82-word statement, he acknowledged allowing priests accused of sexual misconduct to work with minors and admitted transferring priests facing sexual allegations without notifying their superiors or the community. "I did not intentionally assign a priest to a parish where I knew, believed or thought he would offend," O'Brien said yesterday. "That's in my heart. That's what I believe to be true."
Can't this guy just shut and say "The letter speaks for itself". He's bursting with pride that he's able to spin his admission letter as:
The Country Attorney, I suspect, is going to announce that these oral declarations void the agreement contained in the admission letter, and it's back to the Grand Jury we go.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:05 PM Permalink
William F Buckley: Who Screwed Up?
We do need to have a much better explanation than any we have had. Going to war to abort Husseinism is justified. But we are nevertheless entitled to know: How was intelligence information, presented as conclusive, so apparently illusory? Who was it, on the assembly line between the first man who spotted what he took to be WMD activity in Iraq, and the Defense Intelligence Agency and the President of the United States who beamed out to the world, not suspicions of WMD activity, but affirmations of it, who screwed up? Who deceived, or was carried away? And what vaccines have our leaders taken to guard against other deceptions of like character?These are reasonable questions to ask and WFB is not calling Bush a "liar" for not yet having the answers. Elsewhere WFB outlines nicely the chain of reasons why the United States was correct to go to war on what was certain -- that Saddam had not complied with the UN resolutions and terms of the 1991 cease fire.
I think that now is as good a time as any to be candid about the intelligence errors. Get the bad news out now so it's history around the time of the election.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:08 AM Permalink
Tuesday, June 03, 2003
Hartford Courant: Church Fights Subpoena Power
The Catholic Church in Connecticut, still reeling from charges that it concealed evidence of child sexual abuse, is mounting a last-minute campaign at the state Capitol to kill legislation that would give state prosecutors a powerful new tool to investigate complicated crimes.
Maybe the Catholic laity need their own advocacy office. (My! That sounds almost like a VOTF position)
Seriously, I readly doubt that the Catholic bishops have any clout left in the area of privacy or secrecy except when it comes to the seal of the confessional.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:07 PM Permalink
Arizona Republic: What the Bishop Signed
Below is the text of the agreement Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien signed in the presence of his attorneys on May 3, as part of an deal that grants him immunity from prosecution for obstruction of justice. The text was released Monday morning:
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:59 PM Permalink
Chris Ruddy in NewsMax explains the WMD Search by analogy
This situation could be compared to evidence of a man illegally building a bomb in his own home.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:57 AM Permalink
We can't find Saddam's body - dead or alive, does that mean he never existed?
Stuff which the Blix inspectors saw and photographed in January 2003 hasn't been found yet either.
The old UN inspections teams from 1998 documented Saddam had large stocks of anthrax and nerve gas.
The 2003 declaration by Iraq didn't explain what happened to these stocks. Iraq said, in effect, the 1998 inspectors were lying then and Iraq is telling the truth now.
Iraq's explanation lacked credibility and the debate at the UN, in Congress, and around the world was: do we let the UN inspectors work or do we force compliance by military action?
What has actually been found to date is more consistent with a rogue state trying to conceal WMD stockpiles, than a country in compliance with a UN mandate to permit the verification and inspection of WMD stockpiles:
One thing that has not been found is incinerators, neutralizing agents, notebooks, videotapes, or anything to prove Iraq's claim that verified stockpiles of WMD's in 1998 were destroyed in compliance with agreements that go back to 1991.
The burden of proof was on Iraq according to the United Nations to show the WMD stockpiles was destroyed and Iraq did not comply. The war was justified.
Full disclosure: some ideas for this item come from Daniel Pipes: Iraq's Weapons and the Road to War, New York Post 6/3/2003
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:12 AM Permalink
ABC TV: Body Bag -- Looking for Money -- Woman finds corpse in Suitcase
A Harlem woman [Yolanda Anderson] who saw a suitcase left on the street was hoping it would be full of clothes or maybe money, but when she opened it she found it stuffed with the body of a young woman.
Police investigators were searching for clues today, trying to determine who the woman in the suitcase was and why anyone would want to brutally kill her, put her body in suitcase and leave it in between two parked cars.
Other accounts mention the head was removed.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:15 AM Permalink
The Good Samaritan lives in New York
New York Times: Appointment for Return of Art Left in the Subway
The man on the telephone called himself Paul and said to meet him this afternoon at 80th Street and Broadway.
A happy ending -- but how could William H. Bailey leave it behind on the subway?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:12 AM Permalink
Monday, June 02, 2003
Catholic Webmasters -- renew the domain registrations -- or you will be hijacked
The web site is licatholic.com -- so you'd think this is a Catholic web site for Long Island -- well, you'd be wrong.
Diocese of Brooklyn Evangelization and Religious Education -- this one hijacked as well.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:44 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:26 PM Permalink
Catholic News Service: More than 2,000 participate in joint Communion service in Berlin
BERLIN (CNS) -- A Catholic Mass outside Berlin in which non-Catholics received Communion drew an overflow crowd of more than 2,000. The crowd was more than organizers expected; they ran out of bread and wine before all members of the congregation were served. Several hundred people gathered outside the Lutheran Gethsemane Church in the Berlin suburb of Prenzlauer Berg, listening to the service over loudspeakers. The service was not an official component of the ecumenical Kirchentag, or church assembly, held in Berlin May 28-June 1. It was promoted as an official Catholic Mass in which all Christians were permitted to take part in Communion.
Why limit it to Christians? Aren't we all children of God?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:05 PM Permalink
Bishop O'Brien admits cover-up in sexual abuse cases
Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien has acknowledged that he covered up allegations of sexual abuse by priests for decades and will relinquish some of his power as head of the Phoenix Diocese to avoid possible criminal indictment, The Arizona Republic has learned
My bottom line is that it's a shame to the Church that it could not internally bring about this result -- it took the secular government with its threat to merely imprison the bishop and and not an ecclesial threat to damn him.
About a year ago, Rod Dreher (then of the Wall Street Journal, now of the Dallas Morning News) made a plea to the Pope to take action. As far as I can tell no action, was taken and the result is likely be that the O'Brien letter will be xeroxed all over the United States and wherever this scandal was tolerated. It looks like the Holy Spirit gave the curia a chance and now is prompting district attorneys and judges.
Most reports are calling this unprecedented, I call it precedent-setting. It's a moment of moral clarity in a crisis that has very few.
Some Catholic pundits are going to call this a tragic end, I think getting to the truth by real coercive power applied on those bishops who bear responsibility is the beginning of the end.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:52 PM Permalink
Los Angeles Times: Sex Abuse Protesters Bring Cross, Photos to Cathedral
A week after Cardinal Roger M. Mahony dedicated a chapel at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels for victims of sexual abuse by priests, protesters Sunday defiantly entered the church with a wooden cross covered with photographs of abuse victims.
I predicted this sort of outrage would happen. This shrine to sin is going to be Ground Zero of anti-Catholic protest until someone has the sense to move the shrine to the private residence of the archbishop.
What a day for outrages on the Catholic Church: The protest in Boston's Cathedral, this nonsense in Los Angeles, and the admission letter signed by Phoenix's Bishop O'Brien.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:22 PM Permalink
WINS: Bronx Woman Shot While Reading Bible
A 23-year-old Bronx woman who was shot while sitting in her bedroom, reading her Bible is recovering at Jacobi Medical Center.
A New York Story: No place is safe.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:40 PM Permalink
AP: In Boston, Homosexual Activitsts Disrupt Mass
Gay and lesbian activists walked out of Mass in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Sunday in protest of Massachusetts bishops reminding parishioners that the Catholic church opposes same-sex marriages.
If demonstations like this become common -- the fear of violence will drive many Catholics away. It's also likely to draw a group of Catholics and non-Catholics that believes a disruption of the gay's disruption is called for -- and don't expect that to be non-violent.
It's a no-brainer for the gay fascists after all -- if there's no violence they get a free pass to disrupt the Mass -- if there's violence, then they will claim it's Catholic gay-bashing.
Could one imagine what the media reaction would be if this were anti-semites at a Jewish synagogue or white supremicists at a church mostly attended by blacks?
No sympathy for, No solidarity with the Catholic Church may be a theme here.
The Associated Press headlined it as Gay groups protest church's opposition to same-sex marriage as if there nothing special to the time and place of the protest. It's bizarre that the article contains no comment from the bishop, only a Catholic layman.
It will be interesting to see the reaction and comments from the city, from the chancery, and from self-described gay Catholic commentators and webloggers.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:32 PM Permalink
Life in Religious Orders Goes On, Despite the Popular Culture
We had the collection for the Elderly Religious last Sunday (June 1). I remarked to a priest that I saw some confused faces, the many, many immigrants and 20-somethings and 30-somethings in the church. There are many people hearing about "religious" and it probably resonates like "frontiersman" or "doughboy".
While many orders became the beneficiary of gifts through the years -- the property and other assets which were intended to be long-term are being sold off to pay for the retirement of the remaining members of the orders.
But there's no guarantee that the assets of the orders will be able to cover the costs, therefore there's a need to obtain more money from donations. And we need to pray for vocations for the orders which are growing and not becoming dissolved
Popular culture presents a sort of anti-vocation to the religious life. The list of offenders with respect to the religious women's orders is long:
There are lists with dozens of examples. But to that list we add another offense -- the depiction of the current decade's Charlie's Angels in the film and in Playboy magazine decpicted as nuns. Details in the San Francisco Bay Guardian and the Catholic League If I can find a picture somewhere, I'll post it.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:15 PM Permalink