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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
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Friday, July 11, 2003
Art or Idolatry: You be the Judge!
Mother Teresa Princess Di

The same sort of merchandising rights controversies for Mother Teresa come to Princess Di.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:19 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Scripture and Tradtion support the right to personal weapons for self-defense
When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe (Luke 11,21 RSV)

He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. IIt is written: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors' ; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment." The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." "That is enough," he replied. (Luke 22.36-38 RSV)

This is in the Bible too along with the better-known admonition "Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword" (Mt 26.52 RSV) Here Peter is using his sword in a futile way against one of the mob who have come to arrest Jesus.

The idea of self-defense (and an effective self-defense is accomplished only with weapons) is part of the natural law.

No government nor can the Church take such a right away. The (U.S.) Second Amendment to the Constitution recognizes this right, although like all rights it is not absolute. Even where I live in New York City, it remains possible to legally own a firearm.

This paragraph from the Cathechism is not on the this topic:

2316 The production and the sale of arms affect the common good of nations and of the international community. Hence public authorities have the right and duty to regulate them. The short-term pursuit of private or collective interests cannot legitimate undertakings that promote violence and conflict among nations and compromise the international juridical order.
This refers to domestic crime and international relations (i.e. war and the support of insugencies and terrorism)

There's a prudential judgment to be made in the political process regarding the balance among competing rights. And I believe the regulation of personal weapons for self-defense is a debate in which the Catholic Church through the magisterium has a role to educate and influence public policy.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:49 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Michael Jackson New York Post: Michael Jackson (Jacko), Martyr and Messiah.
'I'M NOT being a braggadocio or anything like that - but you know you're on top when they start throwing arrows at you. Even Jesus was crucified. People who bring light into the world, from Mahatma Gandhi to Martin Luther King to Jesus Christ, even myself."
At least, he didn't claim as John Lennon did that his band was more popular than Jesus.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:00 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Reuters: To Tell the Truth
Democratic White House contender John Kerry called on President Bush on Thursday "to tell the truth" about Iraq -- including the fact that "the war is continuing and so are the casualties."

The president was flown to an aircraft carrier to announce that hostilities in Iraq had ended"

So Kerry is accusing Bush of being a liar.

Bush declared on May 1 "the end of major combat operations” on the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln. That term means something specific: no more sorties by B-1's, B-2's, and B-52's to drop bombs, no coordinated movements of thousands of tanks and helicopters over hundreds of miles, no massed movements of infantry. Surely Kerry knows what "major combat operations" are. But he thinks you, the public, don't. He is insulting the intelligence of the American people -- and the media matrix is going along for the anti-Bush ride.

So who and where does Kerry want the USS Abraham Lincoln to bomb? Where does he think the MEF should go next?

Kerry fabricated the "hostilities in Iraq has ended" quote.

Kerry is the liar. He knows that Bush said something else, that major combat operations were over -- and they are.

From the actual speech given by the President

Thank you all very much. Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. (Applause.) And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country...

The war on terror is not over; yet it is not endless. We do not know the day of final victory, but we have seen the turning of the tide. No act of the terrorists will change our purpose, or weaken our resolve, or alter their fate. Their cause is lost. Free nations will press on to victory. (Applause)

If I as a mere blogger can identify this in a matter of minutes, I'm hoping that the vast right-wing conspiracy is going to take issue with Kerry's lying in the days to come.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:09 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, July 10, 2003
Catholic News Service (10/10/2002): Vatican Prepares Draft Directives Against Admitting Gays as Priests
VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican has prepared a draft document containing directives against the admission of homosexuals to the priesthood, informed Vatican sources said.

The document takes the position that since the church considers the homosexual orientation as "objectively disordered" such people should not be admitted to the seminary or ordained, the sources said Oct. 8. [2002]

The question of excluding homosexuals from the priesthood had been quietly considered at the Vatican for years without finding a consensus. It received new and more urgent attention in the wake of U.S. clerical sex abuse cases, many of which involved homosexual acts.

The Congregation for Catholic Education prepared the draft document in collaboration with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and other Vatican agencies, the sources said. The draft was being circulated for comment in October among a wide range of consultants, including theologians, canon lawyers and other experts, they said.

Nothing more seen or heard about this since October.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:17 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Citations for why the Church does not ordain men with same sex attraction

National Catholic Register

quoting from the 1961 Document, “Careful Selection and Training of Candidates for the States of Perfection and Sacred Orders” was promulgated by the Vatican’s Sacred Congregation for Religious on February 2, 1961. The same document is published in its entirety, in English, in the Canon Law Digest, Volume V (Bruce Publishing Co, 1963), pages 452 to 486.

It adds: "Advancement to religious vows and ordination should be barred to those who are afflicted with evil tendencies to homosexuality or pederasty, since for them the common life and the priestly ministry would constitute serious dangers" (No. 30).

Does that sound old-fashioned and harsh? If it had been followed, countless victims would have been saved the severe trial of abuse by a priest.

This document has a curious history documented by Roman Catholic Faithful: Former papal nuncio Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo had denied that it was made available for the public. He said it was "reserved for the use of the bishop". In fact, it was originally intended to be public and was public.

Congregation for Religious Life (Vatican web site)

39. Today's generations have often grown up in such integrated situations that boys and girls are not helped to know and appreciate their own respective wealth and limitations. Formation in this area is particularly important due to apostolic contacts of all kinds and the greater collaboration which has begun between religious men and religious women as well as present cultural currents. Early desegregation and close and frequent cooperation do not necessarily guarantee maturity in the relationships between the two sexes. It will therefore be necessary to take means to promote this maturity and to strengthen it with a view toward formation for the observance of perfect chastity.

Moreover, men and women must become aware of their specific place in the plan of God, of the unique contribution which respectively they should make to the work of salvation. Future religious should thus be offered the possibility of reflecting on the role of sexuality in the divine plan of creation and salvation.

In this context reasons must be given and understood to explain why those who do not seem to be able to overcome their homosexual tendencies, or who maintain that it is possible to adopt a third way, "living in an ambiguous state between celibacy and marriage"(104) must be dismissed from the religious life.

National Catholic Register quoting Pope John Paul II
In his Sept. 5 [2002] speech at his summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, John Paul called for greater care in selecting candidates who have the capacity to live celibate lives and the exclusion of anyone with observable "deviations in their affections."
It would be lamentable if, out of a misunderstood tolerance, they ordained young men who are immature or have obvious signs of affective deviations that, as is sadly known, could cause serious anomalies in the consciences of the faithful, with evident damage for the whole Church.
Beliefnet quoting the Vatican spokesman
In an interview published in Sunday's New York Times, a spokesman for the Vatican noted that many of the recent cases of sexual abuse by American priests involve teen-age boys, while typical cases of pedophilia involve younger children. The discrepancy, Vatican conservatives say, is caused by the presence of gay priests. "People with these inclinations just cannot be ordained," said Joaquin Navarro-Valls, spokesman for Pope John Paul II.

"That does not imply a final judgment on people with homosexuality," he added. "But you cannot be in this field." To rectify the situation, Navarro-Valls suggested that ordinations of gay priests be nullified, as marriages are annulled.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:00 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Philippines Daily News: Philippine Catholic bishops apologize for sex scandals
CATHOLIC bishops in the Philippines apologized Monday to their flock for "actual or alleged sexual misconduct of some of its shepherds" and for cases of fiscal mismanagement by certain priests.

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) also announced that it had "approved in principle the guidelines on clergy sexual misconduct."

What's with an apology for "alleged" misconduct? Certainly the apology has to come from one who knows the truth of the allegation.

I'm not sure that this crime happened and I'm certainly not responsible for it, but I apologize for it... to victims... if any.

I've been looking for the actual text of the statement and have not been able to find it. The article I've linked to seems to have the most quotations from it.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:59 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Marcio and Andrea

Marcio Garcia and his wife Andrea Santa Rosa

  • A photo of what the other side mocks as "breeders".
  • A reminder to vote pro-life.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:24 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Nona Gaye Actress Nona Gaye Jesus said, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it." Matt. 16:24,25.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:14 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Zenit: Catholic Relief Services Urges U.S. Role in Liberia
Can't Wait for President Taylor's Departure, Says Agency

BALTIMORE, Maryland, JULY 9, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Catholic Relief Services joined the U.S. bishops' conference in strongly encouraging President George W. Bush to support the deployment of an international stabilization force for Liberia.

"This is a most urgent matter," the relief agency said in a press statement. "And it cannot wait for President Charles Taylor's departure, which itself could unleash even more chaos and bloodshed if rebel and government forces vie for power and, potentially, take revenge against real and perceived enemies."

As I wrote in a comment box on Amy's blog: the purpose of an army is to kill people and break things.

Who does Catholic Relief Services want killed? What needs to be broken in Liberia?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:04 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New India Press: Nuns seek to copyright Mother Teresa's name
KOLKATA: The order of nuns founded by Mother Teresa seeks to copyright her name in a bid to stop other organisations -- from banks to business schools -- trying to cash in on the Nobel peace laureate's image worldwide.

"We are seeking legal protection for the use of our logo, and also want such protection for the name of Mother Teresa and that of the Missionaries of Charity," Sister Nirmala, the head of the order, said in a statement.

"In her lifetime, Mother Teresa expressed on a number occasions her wish that her name not be used by any other individuals or organizations without her permission, and after her death, the permission of her successor."

The Missionaries of Charity, established in 1950, says it has received reports that several organizations are using Mother Teresa's name as well as the order's logo -- a cross set within an oval and surrounded by rosary beads.

In one case, the order managed to convince the "Mother Teresa Institute of Management" to drop the name. Media reports said a bank was among other organizations trying to capitalize on the name.

Mother Teresa, who died in 1997 in Calcutta at the age of 87, was of Albanian descent, and won the Nobel Prize in 1979.

I'm using a news account from India. This has been all over the blogspace.

I put a clever comment about this into Catholic World News that should St. Joseph be concerned that he's a trademark of McNeil Consumer Products for his aspirin.

Seriously, it is correct for the MC's to use the law to protect the name and image of Mother Teresa from commercial exploitation.

Now, if only the orders associated with St. Nicholas of Symra could get a licenensing fee for Santa Claus. Wouldn't that help to pay off the Vatican's deficit?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The Modern Word: The Holy War: Mac vs. DOS by Umberto Eco
One can continue with: whether Moses was anti-semitic; whether Leon Bloy liked Calasso; whether Rousseau was responsible for the atomic bomb; whether Homer approved of investments in Treasury stocks; whether the Sacred Heart is monarchist or republican. I asked above whether fountain pens were Protestant. Insufficient consideration has been given to the new underground religious war which is modifying the modern world. It's an old idea of mine, but I find that whenever I tell people about it they immediately agree with me.

The fact is that the world is divided between users of the Macintosh computer and users of MS-DOS compatible computers. I am firmly of the opinion that the Macintosh is Catholic and that DOS is Protestant. Indeed, the Macintosh is counter-reformist and has been influenced by the ratio studiorum of the Jesuits. It is cheerful, friendly, conciliatory; it tells the faithful how they must proceed step by step to reach -- if not the kingdom of Heaven -- the moment in which their document is printed. It is catechistic: The essence of revelation is dealt with via simple formulae and sumptuous icons. Everyone has a right to salvation.

DOS is Protestant, or even Calvinistic. It allows free interpretation of scripture, demands difficult personal decisions, imposes a subtle hermeneutics upon the user, and takes for granted the idea that not all can achieve salvation. To make the system work you need to interpret the program yourself: Far away from the baroque community of revelers, the user is closed within the loneliness of his own inner torment.

blogger credit: National Review Corner: John Derbyshire

Umberto Eco, one of my favorite authors.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:39 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, July 08, 2003
The media loves to put labels on Catholics

Los Angeles Times, William Lobdell: Conservative Catholics Stoking a 'Fire'

"The Catholic faith is a hard faith to live in, but it's a great faith to die in," said Barbara McGuigan, president of Voice of Virtue International, a lay ministry based in Orange County that sells the products. "An unrepentant impure person cannot enter the kingdom of God. Our eternal destiny is at stake."

That sort of uncompromising statement of traditional theology is part of the point of the conference, which organizers hope will draw a record 9,000 participants from across the country to the Anaheim Convention Center next Saturday and Sunday. Last year, 5,800 people attended the event. The event has moved to Anaheim after being held in Long Beach for years.

Hearing speakers like McGuigan and choosing from nearly 50 sessions, those who attend "are going to get what the church teaches in a very convincing way," said Terry Barber, president of the Catholic Resource Center, a lay ministry based in West Covina that sponsors the conference. Conference topics include "How to Keep Your Kids Catholic," "Extra Ecclesia Nulla Salus: Outside the Church, There Is No Salvation" and "A Message to Our Separated Brethren: America's in Trouble."

"We're talking about speakers who are on fire," Barber said.

Today, the conferences operate with the permission of the local bishop, who reviews the topics and occasionally asks that a controversial presentation — such as one dealing with apparitions — be stricken from the program.

The ministry's independent nature and conservative theology bother some in the U.S. church.

"It's troubling to me that there's this move to create a parallel culture," said Father Thomas Rausch, a theology professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

"What they are really saying is that they're not getting true teachings of the church" in their home churches. "And that's too bad. It reflects a loss of confidence they have in the leadership of the church."

This original on Amy Welborn's excellent blog and all of St. Blog's is checking-in with their own opinion on labeling Catholics.

The media has given us labels. It's there own spin. Fr. Thomas Rausch, missing "SJ" in the linked article, offers an unintentional clue -- when the laity meet and evangelize in union with the local bishop and the magesterium of the Catholic Church -- it is not identical to the "culture" that Lodbell believes Fr. Rausch to be the representative of.

As I wrote in my own blog introduction. I reject labels. I'm a Catholic.

But given that the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the whole media matrix wants to give Frs. Raucsh and McBrien a platform to pontificate on the Catholic Church in the United States, let them carry the labels of their own choice: liberal, dissenting, heterodox. The want to create a nice comfort zone, a buffer between what they believe and what I believe, so call this distance the "gap" between orthodoxy and hetrodoxy among those who self-identify as Catholic. There's a gap between heaven and hell as well.

Traditional, Conservative, Magisterial, etc. I don't need no steenkin' labels. But if you feel the need to label me, "Here I stand".

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:16 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Oliver Willis has a good (and clever) blog item on "Why I like America".

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:42 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Catholic News Service: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
At the risk of plumbing too deep, the pyrotechnic parade is weighed down by a polemic on the immutability of fate, echoing Greek tragedy or a Calvinist sermon about predestination more than anything resembling the Catholic understanding of free will.

I liked this movie at lot. Well-paced and full of action. If you like the other two, you will definitely like this one.

I disagree with David DiCerto's review, I think what's going on with John Conor is not predestination as much as it is inevitability. As someone connected with the real world exploration of artificial intelligence, I declare, pronounce, and define that it ain't so. The machines will not rise.

On the other hand, a global failure of all interconnected "intelligent devices" -- that's inevitable, but that's another story.

This is the reluctant Messiah whose prayer to his mother is "let this cup pass from my hand". Terminator Arnold is his Guardian Angel, and Terminatrix Kristanna is the daemon from the depths of hell. As I recall telling the boys and girls in my class.

When the devil comes, he or she will be attractive. When Satan encounters Eve he doesn't begin with "Be not afraid". Yet, Gabriel must tell this to Mary in Nazareth.

Evil is attractive, reject the pomp

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:28 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Newsday: It's Ignorance
By Caitlin Marinelli Caitlin Marinelli, who will be a junior in the fall at Holy Trinity High School in Hicksville, lives in Westbury.

My friendships with Jewish families have taught me that anti-Semitism is not about hate; it's about ignorance.

My Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, was a Jew. He studied the Torah, read the Prophets and prayed the same psalms that Christians pray today. Born into a Jewish family, Jesus celebrated Jewish feasts and understood Jewish customs.

My Catholic prayers and rituals are rooted in Judaism. This is evident when my family attends a bat mitzvah, a bris or a Sabbath celebration with our Jewish friends. I hear familiar prayers and the wonted words of Catholic worship. The Eucharistic meal celebrated by Christians universally is modeled on the Passover meal celebrated by Jesus and his disciples

An excellent piece -- all the more surprising given the fact that Newsday is nortoriously anti-Catholic.

One problem that I have though, it's not "My Messiah", it's "Our Messiah". Jesus is not only for Caitlin or Patrick but has brought salvation to all in his name. There is no other Messiah.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:02 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Newsday: For Media, This Man Is a Walking Sound Bite
If you're a working journalist, it's hard not to be amused by Greg Packer, the Long Island highway maintenance worker who was recently revealed as the ever-present "man on the street" in scores of news stories around the country.

Packer makes a point of showing up at assorted media events and staking out a prominent spot so that he'll be noticed and interviewed by members of the press. According to a recent Wall Street Journal story, during the week that Hillary Clinton's autobiography hit the bookstores Packer showed up at several book signings and wound up being quoted a dozen times in various newspapers, as well as being interviewed for television.

Local presence - Global reach.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:52 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, July 07, 2003
TCS Paul Cella: Blood and Iron
...when President Bush recently responded to a question about attacks on American troops in Iraq with the defiant goad, "bring 'em on," he was uttering as profoundly democratic a sentiment as has been uttered by a high official in recent memory. "Bring 'em on" is the foreign policy of an infuriated democracy; it embodies the feelings of ten million firemen and electricians and miners, especially firemen and electricians and miners who knew men that died on September 11; and George W. Bush's popularity rests on this embodiment.

This matches my own sentiment. I'm reading all sorts of "quagmire" stories. Each day I read a story about a soldier in Iraq being killed, I look for reports of a homicide in New York. There's a few every day. This world is a dangerous place - withdrawing from Iraq is not going to make it safer.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:58 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Associated Press: Minneapolis man's legal move aims to evict clergy accused of sexual misconduct
ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- A Minneapolis man is using a court maneuver usually reserved for landlords with non-paying tenants to demand the removal of 11 monks and priests from St. John's Abbey for allegedly not complying with their vows of celibacy.

John Kerwin filed an unlawful detainer against St. John's, which he accused of ``harboring pedophiles.'' His legal action targets 11 monks and priests who are either restricted in their activities and movements at the abbey or are on leave from the abbey for various sexual misdeeds.

Kerwin, a lifelong Catholic, demands their removal from the abbey because the men have violated their ``lease agreement'' by not complying with their vows of celibacy.

Unlawful detainers are used by tenants to evict renters who have violated their lease agreements.

``The kind of thing that occurred - and in my opinion is being sheltered at St. John's Abbey - is unprecedented, except maybe the Spanish Inquisition,'' said Kerwin, a 58-year-old whose family owns farmland near St. Cloud.

Link via poynter.org

There's a good reason why it's unprecendented - Kerwin lacks standing to sue. Either these men belong in jail or they are at liberty. Is there a claim that a third party can make under Minnesota law that can compel the men to move?

Since when is a violation of the vow of celibacy a matter that can be put before a civil court?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:06 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Associated Press: Calif. Group [SNAP] asks Church for Info. Reward
A victims' advocacy group called on California's 12 bishops Sunday to offer rewards for information about Roman Catholic priests who commit sexual abuse.

The rewards would signal the church's commitment to stopping child sex abuse after last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that could result in the dismissal of hundreds of California molestation cases, said David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

  • I wonder how many false leads this kind of strategy will generate? If the "information" doesn't result in a lead does the informant pay the Church?
  • Hundreds of cases?? Where has that been documented?
  • What's connection between the rewards and the overturning of the law providinf for a retroactive lengthening of the statute of limitations.
"But people need to be invited and prodded and rewarded for coming forward." To report a sexual abuser??
Tod Tamberg, spokesman for the Los Angeles Archdiocese, said the church's mandatory reporting rules were sufficient and that seeking out witnesses and evidence was law enforcement's job, not the church's

I disagree with that: first of all, the Church is not a wholly disinterested party. They will be sued for negligence or conspiracy if the opportunity presents itself to the plantifs. Secondly, the Church needs some witnesses and evidence apart from the police and state's attorney in order to evaluate the fitness of a priest.

The We can bury our head in the sand approach is not going to work any more.

"I think this is an attempt to obscure the very real progress that the church has made to protect children," Tamberg said
This is the sort of self-serving quote that screams at the reader: "Judge us by our words and not our deeds".

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:36 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sunday, July 06, 2003
Flashback! Time: Camelot Lives! (August 2001)

Camelot Lives

Andrew Cuomo, who is married to R.F.K.'s daughter Kerry, has his own pedigree as the son of former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, but in trying to avenge his dad's gubernatorial loss to George Pataki, he's relying almost as much on his Camelot connection. "Why do we love Andrew Cuomo?" TV's Rosie O'Donnell asked 1,000 people at Cuomo's $1.5 million fund raiser in Manhattan this summer. "He had the good sense to marry a Kennedy."

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:50 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Book: JFK Jr.'s marriage troubled
John F. Kennedy Jr.'s marriage to Carolyn Bessette Kennedy was crumbling amid suspicions of affairs, drugs and depression when the couple died in a plane crash, excerpts from a new book reveal.

The Camelot heir had moved out of the couple's loft and was living in a hotel room before the 1999 crash off Martha's Vineyard, Edward Klein writes in his new book, "The Kennedy Curse."

"We've become like total strangers," Kennedy told a pal two days before his death. "I've had it with her. It's got to stop."

The feud culminated in a bizarre quarrel on the afternoon of the fateful flight, when Bessette Kennedy caused a crucial delay by insisting on a time-consuming pedicure, Klein writes in the book, which is excerpted in the upcoming issue of "Vanity Fair."

The willowy blond had her toenails painted again and again at a Manhattan salon as Kennedy, 38, fumed at a New Jersey airstrip with her sister, Lauren Bessette, 34, waiting to take off.

With daylight fading fast, Kennedy wound up flying virtually blind into the hazy dusk, which investigators blamed for the crash that killed all three.

Does anyone besides me see the irony as this book making the case that Carolyn Bessette Kennedy's vanity was an indirect cause of death of three in a magazine called "Vanity Fair"?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:42 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com