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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
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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.

The decision came after a group of Latino state lawmakers and other leaders demanded that O'Brien resign, something he has made clear he will not do.

Latino leaders charged that O'Brien only wants to hear from those sympathizing with him.

"It's a slap in the face," said Rosie Lopez of the Hispanic Forum.

Rep. Ben Miranda, a Phoenix Democrat, doubts that Wilcox will succeed.

"The resignation of the bishop is the only thing that can restore any kind of credibility in the diocese," Miranda said.

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   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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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.

But Catholic officials say an inquiry has not produced any concerns about the sister's tenure here.

Sister Linda Cusano, 43, taught at Cor Jesu from 1988 to 1990. She is accused in a lawsuit filed last month in Connecticut of having repeated sexual contact with a former student of the Sacred Heart Academy in Hamden, Conn.

According to news reports, the student, Landa Mauriello-Vernon, says the misconduct includes an incident during which the nun wrestled her to the floor, saying she should "submit herself to God," and "join me in the convent."

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   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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Wednesday, June 04, 2003
NEWS.com.au: Priest suspended: 'No God'
From correspondents in Copenhagen, Denmark June 3, 2003

A LUTHERAN priest was suspended today after his remarks that God doesn't exist and there is no eternal life rankled many of his peers in Denmark's state church.

Thorkild Grosboel, the pastor of Taarbaek, a town of 51,000 just north of Copenhagen, said in a recent interview "there is no heavenly God, there is no eternal life, there is no resurrection."

I'll post an update when he's burned at the stake for heresy.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:41 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Here's something that I haven't heard a bishop say in a long time

AP: Miss Dominican Republic [Amelia Vega] is Miss Universe

"God has been my strength all along," the brunette told a news conference immediately after her triumph at a U.S. military base-turned-convention center.

It beats saying "Next, I'm going to Disneyworld".

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:45 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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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 believe the church still hasn't confronted the scope of the issue," said the Rev. Robert Hoatson.

"I'm not sure we've been straightforward and honest with the victims, with the church and society, in general," Hoatson said at a news conference at the office of a lawyer who represents two men suing the church in Boston.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark said Hoatson "appears to be a troubled man" and defended the archdiocese's handling of the clergy sex abuse issue.

Jim Goodness, the archdiocesan spokesman, said a review board to look into charges of priest misconduct had been set up by the archdiocese 10 years ago and there was "not a single priest in this diocese who is in ministry today against whom an allegation has been lodged."

"What he's saying is ... not being supported by the actual facts," he said.

Hoatson was removed last month as director of schools at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Newark, N.J., a combined Catholic elementary and high school in Newark.

Goodness said Hoatson's removal was "solely related to performance and personality issues at the school."

But Hoatson said he felt he had been a victim of retaliation, noting that when he was terminated, he was told by Bishop Arthur Serratelli, the archdiocese's vicar general, that Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark "strongly urges you to tone down your language about this scandal."

Hoatson also produced a letter to him from Serratelli, dated a few days after his termination, that said he could officiate at his school's graduation, but "Archbishop Myers has requested that I ask you to refrain from making any comment or statement whatsoever, before, during or after the ceremony, concerning your change of assignment or concerning sexual abuse."

Hoatson remains a priest and continues to live in church housing. He said he was asking church superiors for four months off.

He said he would continue to speak out.

"We can't be silent on this issue," he said. "I have made a commitment to my God and to the kids ... to tell the truth."

Hoatson spoke at the offices of attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who is representing two men who said they were abused by Monsignor Frederick Ryan two decades ago at Catholic Memorial High School. Hoatson has been deposed as a potential witness in the case because he worked at the school at the time.

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   HaloScan

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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.

The nine-count indictment was returned against Stewart and broker Peter Bacanovic, said spokesman Michael Kulstad. Details of the indictment were to be given by Comey at a news conference later in the day.

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   HaloScan

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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

In July 2000, Mark Belnick, then the top in-house lawyer at Tyco International Ltd., received a $2 million payment toward a $12 million bonus. For Mr. Belnick, it was the latest reward in a meteoric legal career that ran from some of the highest-profile business cases of the 1980s and 1990s to Tyco, a hugely successful conglomerate and Wall Street darling.

Today prosecutors say that payment bought Mr. Belnick's silence about the looting of Tyco by its extravagant former chief executive, L. Dennis Kozlowski. Mr. Belnick, facing criminal charges, has become one of the most celebrated casualties of the recent wave of corporate wrongdoing.

But few people know just what he did with that $2 million. Almost immediately, he gave most of it to a small Catholic college in California [Thomas Aquinas] and to the Culture of Life Foundation, a Catholic pro-life group in Washington, according to e-mails to and from Mr. Belnick at the time and interviews with people involved with the donations.

Three months earlier, Mr. Belnick, formerly an observant Jew, had quietly converted to Catholicism and become an active supporter of Opus Dei, a conservative group within the church. While prosecutors accuse his boss, Mr. Kozlowski, of taking millions from Tyco to buy artwork and posh homes and to entertain friends in Sardinia, Mr. Belnick was using some of his allegedly unlawful Tyco haul for an entirely different purpose. In addition to his donations to the Catholic college and foundation, he gave money to a Catholic television network [EWTN], two parishes and an Opus Dei bookstore and information center. It was all part of a midlife transformation that Mr. Belnick, the former president of a suburban Westchester, N.Y., synagogue, long kept secret from most of his friends and even his own family.

For Mr. Belnick, two journeys intersected at Tyco: He became embroiled in one of the messiest corporate scandals ever, and simultaneously pursued a sudden conversion and devotion to Catholic philanthropy.

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   HaloScan

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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."

The bishop was asked whether he used the word "knowingly" to set that comment apart from the statement he signed in the immunity agreement. "I don't know, but I know what is in my heart," he said. "I don't know that I knowingly developed a scheme, had a cover-up or tried to transfer a priest when I knew this guy was going to offend again. I believe in my heart that he would not."

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:

  • I'm delegating, but I'm still in charge.
  • I'm sorry, but I didn't do it.
  • I assigned priests, but not knowingly.
  • I believed a priest was a sexual predator, but I knew (in my heart) he not repeat

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   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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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.

State prosecutors have lobbied unsuccessfully for decades to secure legal authority to subpoena people and documents in complex or stalled investigations. They appeared on the brink of success this year, but that success was threatened last week when the advocacy office of the state's Catholic bishops unexpectedly joined traditional opponents of the legislation, such as the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union and defense lawyers

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   HaloScan

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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:

  • I acknowledge that I allowed Roman Catholic priests under my supervision to work with minors after becoming aware of allegations of sexual misconduct.
  • I further acknowledge that priests who had allegations of sexual misconduct made against them were transferred to ministries without full disclosure to their superiors or to the community in which they were assigned.
  • I apologize and express regret for any misconduct, hardship, or harm caused to the victims of sexual misconduct by Roman Catholic priests assigned to the Diocese.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:59 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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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.

Let us suppose that the police are informed of this development by the man’s neighbors, family and friends. Some have even seen bomb-making equipment and heard this man’s threat to use the bomb.

When the police ask the man to voluntarily agree to a search, the man refuses.

When the police get a legal search warrant and the man refuses to accede to the court order, the police are justified in breaking down his door. If he violently resists, they can shoot him.

If, hypothetically, the police were to do just that and ended up killing the man to conduct the search – and then found no bomb or evidence of the bomb in the house – are they at fault?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:57 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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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:

  • Mobile labs
  • anti-toxin
  • attropine stockpiles
  • chemical precursers, etc.

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   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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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.

"No third parties," he said.

And so the stage seems to be set for the final act of the case of the mislaid art. This is the affair of the professional art framer who left two precious pieces of art on a subway platform on Thursday: an original Picasso print and a study by Sophie Matisse, great-granddaughter of Henri Matisse.

A happy ending -- but how could William H. Bailey leave it behind on the subway?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:12 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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Sultanna Freeman Court TV: Veil Dispute Now in Judge's Hands

Sultaana Freeman who is suing the state of Florida for a religious exemption to be photographed has been photographed at least twice before by the state when she was arrested. I don't know which photo this is. Her First Amendment claim is that she is not permitted to be photographed without wearing a veil. I don't know of any other religious groups supporting this First Amendment exercise of religion.

It seems to me that the state of Florida does have a compelling interest in allowing a police officer to identify her at a traffic stop.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:26 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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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.

There was brief confusion outside as security guards seemed unsure whether they should allow the cross into the cathedral. A few parishioners tried to block the way, yelling, "You can't do that! You can't do that!"

But the guards and parishioners quickly moved aside. Trailed by news cameras, the protesters carried the 6-by-8-foot cross into the small chapel.

"I am a Catholic and this is my cathedral," abuse victim Jim Robertson said, as he and two others held the cross.

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   HaloScan

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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.

Cavell James was awakened early Sunday morning when a stray bullet pierced the wall in her mother's apartment and lodged in her intestine. The shot came from the adjacent apartment of John Lebron, 23, whose friend Candido Antomattei, 21, stopped by to use the phone

A New York Story: No place is safe.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:40 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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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.

The activists, who support same-sex marriage, say whether to allow gay and lesbian couples the legal benefits of marriage is a matter for the courts and the Legislature, not the church.

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   HaloScan

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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:

  • Sister Act
  • Agnes of God
  • Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You
  • Late Nite Catechism

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   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com