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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
Patrick Sweeney 20032003
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Saturday, August 30, 2003
Cincinatti Enquirer: He believes in ideals of the Catholic faith
For most of his childhood, Ken Jump was certain he was going to hell.

On Sundays, he'd sit in his family's Pentecostal church for hours listening to fire-and-brimstone sermons about the fate sinners would face on Judgment Day.

"I'm never going to be able to live the way they say I should live," Jump used to tell himself.

Years later, with children of his own, he started looking for an alternative. The more he learned about Catholicism, the more he thought it sounded right for him and his family.

He liked that the Catholic Church emphasized forgiveness over punishment. It recognized that all humans are fallible, and that everyone needs time to develop a relationship with God.

It's ironic, I sometimes read that Catholics leave the Church because they did not develop a spiritual relationship with God.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:17 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Friday, August 29, 2003
WSJ Bernard Lewis: Put the Iraqis in Charge
At first sight one would have expected that Afghanistan would be difficult, Iraq easy. In the one country, we ousted a religious regime, which had the prestige of having liberated the country from the plague of warlordism; in the other, we overthrew a universally detested Fascist-type tyranny. Afghanistan is a remote, mountainous country, with poor and difficult communications; Iraq consists largely of flat river valleys with quick and easy communication. Afghanistan has a strong tradition of regional independence and limited experience of central control; Iraq has known millennia of centralized government, run by a sophisticated and ramified bureaucracy.

For these and other reasons, one might have expected that running Afghanistan would be difficult, running Iraq comparatively easy. In fact, the reverse has occurred.

I'm a big fan of Bernard Lewis. He is written several outstanding books which have helped me understand Islam both historically and as it relates to curent events.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:16 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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My computer at home was occupied by my daughter's projects so I didn't get a chance to blog here or in Mark Shea's blog on the subject of forgivness. I give this subject a lot of time in my class when it comes to understanding how God forgave Adam and Eve, Cain, the brothers of Joseph (whom Joseph also forgave), ... Saul and David, ... and Jesus forgiving us all from the Cross.

The Lord's Prayer An excellent summary of the idea: God forgives us (whom we all offend thru sin), and we forgive others who offend us. It is the prayer of the community but we can only forgive in our name individually and not on behalf of the community.

Third Party Forgiveness My encounter with this was the rather aggressive forgiveness given to the killers of 12 students and one teacher at Columbine High School in April 1999. "We forgive you: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold " banners appeared before the bodies of the dead were cold.

I called that "cheap forgiveness". Borrowing from the legal realm, there has to be "standing" for someone to offer forgiveness. Could I open the window and shout "I forgive you all for everything." What meaning would that have?

I think there's a lesson in this: if a family member of mine was murdered, could I forgive the killers?

Each sin affects us all This is a world (a universe, really) wounded by sin. This doesn't work like a class grade point average. It's more like this: in a factory that's full of volatile chemicals and fumes, there's a need for everyone to show vigilance. If a person is indifferent or careless, not only is he or she at risk personally but could harm everyone. (We're all children of Adam)

On the happier side, our prayers and other acts of merit have an impact on ourselves but also raise all of humanity. It's a Communion of Saints (We're the children of God by adoption.)

Collective Guilt The question of collective guilt is quite common:

  • The responsibility of Americans living today for the slavery of Africans taken in slavery to the United States.
  • The responsibility of Germans living today for the Holocaust.
  • The responsibility of Catholics today for slavery, usury, the Crusades, the Inquisition, the prosecution of Galileo, overpopulation, and AIDS.
and you could add your own to the list.

I don't accept the concept of collective guilt. The responsibility for sin is the sinner's.

Collective Forgiveness I imagine that if a judge discovers than DNA evidence conclusively shows that a person in prison was not responsible for the crime of which they were convicted, then that would be an example of collective forgiveness, since the person was put into a jail in the name of the people and the judge was merely the agent of that.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:08 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Women kissing women

No pics here, and pay no attention to it. It is a sign of despreration on the part of 45 year old Madonna (Louise Veronica Ciccone) - the world champion of celebrity self-promotion - to get her face in the paper.

For those of you who track these things: she's been able to stretch that 15 minutes of fame to 20 years.


August 31, 2003 -- Has the big lesbian TV kiss become the new "Murder, She Wrote"? - you know, the last-gasp TV shot for stars who fear their careers (or shows) are tanking faster than the Andrea Doria.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:00 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, August 28, 2003
Boston Globe: Geoghan's death voids conviction, prosecutors say
Upsetting victims of clergy sexual abuse, prosecutors who won a guilty verdict against John J. Geoghan for molesting a 10-year-old boy said yesterday his conviction will be erased because the former priest died while appealing the case.

Case law dictates that the court where Geoghan was tried will be ordered to invalidate his 2002 conviction, said Emily LaGrassa, spokeswoman for the Middlesex district attorney's office.

"The Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that if a defendant dies while his appeal is pending, the indictments are to be remanded to the trial court with an order that they be dismissed," she said.

So, in the end, the only justice here is what the Lord gives to us. Regardless of the conviction, and the fact that guilt was not admitted, and that an appeal was pending, John Geoghan gets a Catholic funeral.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:31 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003
Comment boxes

My comment box provider is Backblog which is currently down. No idea when it will be back.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:55 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Da Vinci Stolen!

davinci Thieves stole a priceless painting by Leonardo Da Vinci, titled 'Madonna (news - web sites) of the Yarnwinder' from a private collection in a Scottish castle August 27, 2003, police said. The painting, symbolizing the Passion of Christ with the infant Jesus clinging to the cross-shaped yarnwinder, dates from between 1500 and 1510. ( Dumfries and Galloway Police/Drumlanrig Castle via Reuters)

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:49 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Comedy Central Colin Quinn: Guest Joke
The whole city is driven by the stock market. When you have these stockbrokers not making their million dollar bonuses, that's going to affect the cocaine dealers and high-end escorts. Then the escorts, they don't get their nails done as much and it affects the Korean community. It affects everybody."

-- GREG GIRALDO on New York City's finances

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:35 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Talk Radio:

The conspiracy theorists are out in force: the death of Geoghan was a hit at the orders of the Catholic Archdiocese to help it avoid more payouts for Geoghan's crimes.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:33 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, August 26, 2003
The pundit who comes closest to my views:

NewsMax David Limbaugh: Justice Roy Moore

But there is a major obstacle to all of these proposed solutions, and it illustrates that our problem transcends the activist judiciary. To accomplish these changes you need widespread popular support. Good luck.

The root problem, in my view, underlying these unfortunate developments in our law, is a breakdown in the moral foundation of our society – a breakdown in our culture. That is, among other things, what the Framers meant when they said the Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. When our moral fabric begins to disintegrate, eventually, so will the Constitution. When judges rule according to how they believe the law should be rather than how the Constitution requires, the Constitution breaks down.

It’s nearly impossible to get a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate to ensure that constitutionalist judges are confirmed. How much more difficult would it be to pass a constitutional amendment to rectify some of these problems? Just because you and I may believe that certain solutions are desirable doesn’t mean they will be implemented.

The solution is not going to be in civil disobedience in that one Alabama courthouse.

The political solution is to give President Bush our full political support, and that means holding our noses as we vote for pro-abortion Republicans.

The cultural solution is to wake up the sleepyheads who are our neighbors and unplug them from The Matrix and let them know that there's a cultural war being fought to suppress Christianity, marriage, and other aspects of life as we know it.

The spiritual solution is to pray -- not that the righteous fire fall from heaven or that avenging angels kill the heathens among us -- but full of hope that each of us commit ourselves to a personal conversion of heart. Then having got those planks removed from our own eyes, to assist the Church in its mission to lead all souls to heaven. (Don't fall for the line that even with grace, the planks are permanently installed)

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:40 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP: Schiavo's Husband Asks Treatment to Stop
[Parents' attorney] Anderson said she also planned to file a motion with [Judge] Greer asking for testing to determine if Schiavo can be kept alive by spoon-feeding after her feeding tube is removed.

What a world it has become when you need the permission of a judge to spoon-feed your sick daughter.

Remember Terri Schiavo in your prayers.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:06 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, August 25, 2003
TheMilwaukeeChannel.com - News - 8-Year-Old's Death Ruled A Homicide
The Milwaukee County district attorney's office and Milwaukee police are stepping up their investigation into the death of an 8-year-boy during a church service, which has been ruled a homicide.

"I'm the only voice for him and I'm gonna stand up for him," Cottrell's father, Terrance Cottrell Sr., said.

The father of Terrance Cottrell Jr. vows to get justice for his 8-year old son -- a boy who was autistic, could barely talk and would often act out.

He died Friday at the Faith Temple Church of the Apostolic Faith.

Members reportedly wrapped Terrance up in sheets, held him down and then prayed over him for more than hour.

Police sources said Terrance was dripping in sweat and had marks on his arms. Members said they were trying to heal Terrance by getting rid of evil spirits.

A sad consequence of the disunity of the Christian Church is that the spiritual and physical human needs satisfied in the sacraments are discarded in favor of strange and sometimes dangerous rituals like this.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:13 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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morons.org - This Just In: The Catholic Church Is Evil
The Pope speaks out about the lack of morals in the EU and the dangers of same-gender marriage, yet fails to acknowledge the immoral and illegal activities of his Church.

Pope John Paul II has publicly announced the Catholic Church's efforts to ensure the European Union "makes a clear reference to Europe's Christian heritage" in the proposed new EU Constitution. At the same time, the Pope, the titular Leader of the Catholic Church, has publicly denounced Canadian and European efforts to legalize same-gender marriage, stating through a spokesman (spokespriest?), "We want to protect the sanctity of marriage, the union of family. The Catholic Church is fighting back against those who want to legalize gay marriage. The Pope says he wants marriage to forever be between a man and a woman."

On the face of it, these positions seem to fall directly in line with traditional Catholic teachings.

And that is what scares the hell out of me.

Readers are invited to read and respond there.

UPDATE: I replied

As a matter of historical reality, Europe is what it is: formed by 20 centuries of Christianity. Since the current political leaders deny this fact, one would expect Christian leaders and historians to remind them of this.

The image of the future of Europe is godless or, more likely, looking forward to the call of "There is no God but God, and Mohammed is his prophet." Demographics may succeed where Abd er-Rahman failed in 732 Anno Domini (110 After Hijrah)

The Christian legacy of Europe was the fertile source of a global civilization and technology.

The forward-looking atheistic Eupore has through birth control achieved negative population growth, leading to the self-destruction of their own culture in due course.

Europe needs the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The need is not the other way around.

UPDATE: some replies to mine are starting to arrive.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:42 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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More about the blog

My inspirations are in my about page: Mark Shea, Rod Dreher, and Matt Drudge

The reason I use the photographs is that I'm getting very good at using Google's image search to find interesting pictures. From feedback I believe I get extra readers from including so many photos.

The reason I include auto-biographical information is that it helps create a personal connection between the author and reader that develops over time.

Most Catholic bloggers are rural and suburban. Although this blog is not unique in the sense that it is being written from an urban perspective, I think it's unique in dealing with the mockery and marginalization of religion in popular culture and mass media, and along with that the Catholic ideals of marriage, parenthood, and modesty. I work a few hundred feet away from the news headquarters in New York for the big three networks, Fox, and CNN... and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Think of me as the Catholic "embedded" reporter among the lost and struggling souls of New York which is called "The New Babylon of Revelation" by many.

This is how I think my blog gets used: people read something here that they can forward to someone else that they may have missed in the news cycle. A blog like mine is a news filter and spotlight for stories that have an emotional or moral aspect to them.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:25 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Times: Thieves Take Figure of Jesus, but Not the Cross By ANDREA ELLIOTT
Who made off with Jesus?

The question hung in the air of the Church of the Holy Cross in Midtown Manhattan on Sunday after caretakers noticed that a 200-pound plaster rendering of Christ had been removed from a wooden cross near the church's entrance.

Three weeks after a metal money box disappeared from a votive candle rack at the church, the fact that a statue was stolen was less surprising than how it was stolen.

"They just decided, `We're going to leave the cross and take Jesus,' " said David St. James, 49, a caretaker who helps maintain the sacristy of the church, on 42nd Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. "We don't know why they took just him. We figure if you want the whole crucifix, you take the whole crucifix."

Has the New York Times ever been so glib when it comes to the violation of a Baptist church in Harlem or a Jewish synagogue on the West side?

The caretaker and parish secretary were quoted, no word on why the pastor was not available for comment.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:50 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sunday, August 24, 2003
Newsday: Whole Lotto Trouble For this LI couple, a $25M win was the ticket to court
Love is a four-letter word, while Lotto is a five-letter one. And therein lies the tale.

Connie Parker hit a $25 million Lotto jackpot this year and then the 74-year-old Melville woman hit the road, her estranged husband said yesterday.

Kenneth Parker, 77, of Farmingdale, said he and his wife of 16 years were living happily in retirement. That changed, he said, when she refused to share the windfall from the New York State Lotto ticket. Now he has filed for divorce and is seeking his share.

It seems that this will be a no-brainer: the winnings are marital property and it doesn't matter whose money was used, or who exactly bought the ticket, or who picked the numbers.

In the event of a divorce (he's already filed for one) the split is 50/50. Connie Parker must have acted entirely on impulse in kicking out her husband as there's no way she would have received legal advice to do so.

I'm suprised this didn't get more exposure on television -- perhaps there's a reverse sexism here -- if the husband had kicked the wife out on the street, perhaps there would have been a great deal more publicity.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:29 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Time: Reconsidering the Draft
With the Army running low on troops, should the U.S. bring back the draft? The Pentagon—and the rest of the U.S. Government—is strongly opposed. Resurrecting compulsory service would be a hard sell politically. Also, the military believes that volunteers make better soldiers than young men who would rather be somewhere else.
The Vietnam War was still being fought at the time I turned 18 (1972) and the draft lottery was conducted in 1972 for men who were turning 20 in that year. As the years progressed in college the war was winding down and the armed forces didn't need me. I wasn't exactly anti-war (in the sense that I would evade the draft by illegal means) but I didn't think the armed services needed me and I didn't need them as a career.

I joined the Peace Corps and worked in a corner of Africa in Togo. I was recently reminded of my time there by opening up a book for children simply called "The Peace Corps" and saw that one of my own group of rural construction workers was the picture on the title page. In 1974 the administration of the Peace Corps was very happy to have people joining for its own mission and not to escape the military draft.

I learned of the fall of Saigon on a shortwave radio in Bafilo, Togo, April 29, 1975.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:46 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Rita Cosby who is a celebrity news report is the wrong person to anchor Fox News.

She said she read the Supreme Court decision and full of confidence, delight, and excitement announced that "it was a big win for Gore".

Tonight, as she concluded an interview with a Israeli journalist after the announcement that Israeli armed forces had killed four Hammas terrorists in Gaza.

"Well, it's been a crazy day in Israel".
(I wonder if she said "It's been a crazy day in New York and Washington" on 9/11)

Roger Ailes, I know you personally insisted on firing Matt Drudge. I don't know what's keeping Rita Cosby on the air.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:21 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Amy Welborn's Open Book: Arnold Schwarzenegger is a "Conservative Gentile Zionist"

Amy has summarized a story from the UK Telegraph which I include here. Richard Major is reporting from the familiar-to-extremecatholic readers, The Bizarro California!

  UK Telegraph: The Terminator seeks a helping hand from God By Catherine Milner, Arts Correspondent

His earthly election team is packed with heavyweight economic and political advisers. Last week, Arnold Schwarzenegger sought to show that God will also be on his side as he bids to become the new governor of California.

With Warren Buffet, the second-richest man in the world, and George Shultz, a former secretary of state, safely on board, the actor turned would-be politician revealed that he donated almost one sixth of his $26.1 million (£16.6 million) income to charity in 2001 - with the Roman Catholic Church the biggest beneficiary.

Mr Schwarzenegger's generosity emerged in his most recent tax return, made public by his campaign team, which showed that he had also donated a house worth $2 million (£1.3 million) to the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles. The house was later sold to raise funds for the city's cathedral.

Coupled with reports of more modest gifts to the parish church in Santa Monica, where he lives, and of his family's involvement in local church affairs, the revelation was designed to boost his appeal among California's hispanic Catholic voters - a crucial constituency representing about one quarter of the electorate.

His generosity was well-timed: the previous year he had given just 2.4 per cent of his earnings to charity, drawing reproaches from some Catholic commentators.

Mr Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver, the niece of President Kennedy, regularly attend the fashionable St Monica's church.

The church was used as the location for the 1944 film, Going My Way, which featured Bing Crosby's Oscar-winning portrayal of Father O'Malley, and attracts a star-studded congregation of Catholic celebrities.

Last night, Mr Schwarzenegger, who is standing as a Republican, was still ahead of 135 rival candidates - who range from Larry Flynt, publisher of the pornographic Hustler magazine, to Michael Jackson, an electrical engineer - in the "recall" election, likely to displace the Democratic governor Gray Davis in two months' time.

His support has levelled out at about 25 per cent, however, and his strategists hope that his commitment to the Catholic Church will act as a counterbalance to his notoriety as the ruthless killing machine from the Terminator films.

Catholic voters have traditionally supported the Democratic Party, as have most of California's Latino population, who make up a large proportion of the state's Catholics. However, President George W Bush won a majority of Catholic votes in the 2000 election, a precedent which Mr Schwarzenegger's strategists are attempting to exploit.

Dr Richard Major, US correspondent for the Catholic magazine The Tablet, said:

"As a conservative, gentile Zionist, Schwarzenegger plays well to the Christian Right, which is strong in Los Angeles.

"Catholics tend to be social conservatives, but often vote Democrat. But as the Bush election showed, when he carved out a majority of Catholics for the first time since the Depression, they now represent the most important shifting demographic for the vote."

In all, the film actor turned political candidate donated cash and assets worth $4.2 million (£2.7 million) in 2001. Other beneficiaries included the Twin Towers Fund, set up to help victims of the World Trade Centre attack, and two children's charities. He has previously contributed to the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which pursued Nazi war criminals, thus endearing himself to California's Jewish voters.

However, Mr Schwarzenegger's support for abortion rights has made him some enemies within the Church that he has so generously funded, with some local priests denouncing his run for office. "Schwarzenegger's pro-abortion," declared one, "and abortion is a no-no."

The reporter omits the fact that Warren Buffet donated tens of millions, perhaps over a hundred million to organizations advocating abortions. It's Buffet's right under the American legal system to do so, but it is immoral. Since Schwarzenegger is pro-abortion and is not likely to have any political decisions to make regarding its restrictions, many regard this as a moot issue.

The manifest ignorance of the United States, of California, of the Catholic Church, "the Christian Right", etc. is a bit much for the low standards of British newspapers.

Can you imagine a priest who hears in the confessional personal tragedies in the sin of abortion comment "...and abortion is a no-no."?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:52 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

small red cross

link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com