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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
Patrick Sweeney 20032003
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Saturday, September 13, 2003
EWTN has this photograph of young Mother Teresa to help you decide which actress is depicted below or which actress should portray her.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:58 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Friday, September 12, 2003
Mystery Photo
mother-teresa I thought when it came to casting Mother Teresa, In the Name of God's Poor (1997), Geraldine Chaplain was a good choice.

When I looked at young pictures of Agnes (Mother Teresa's Christian name), I thought Christina Ricci looks like her. A casting director disagrees, so this actress has been picked. Do you recognize her?

I promise to reveal the answer sometime Monday.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:47 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Reuters: Porno Film Strips Church of Holiness
A church in central Italy may need reconsecrating after police discovered it had been the location for a pornographic film, Italian media reported Thursday.

The church of San Vicenzo's seedy past came to light when a local -- watching "Il Confessionale" ("The Confessional Box") -- recognized the spot. He called in the police who, on closer study of the movie, confirmed his suspicions.

The local priest said the film crew told him they were shooting a wedding scene in the church. But actually, a man dressed as a priest was filmed having sex with a woman playing the bride. The priest of nearby Gioia dei Marsi said that under canon (church) law the Bishop of Marsi, Lucio Renna, would have to re-bless all services held in San Vicenzo, east of Rome, since the film was shot in 1998.

Italian news agency ANSA quoted Renna as saying: "First we have to find out exactly what happened ... I have to speak with those involved and find out what went on and why."

While the church needs to be re-blessed after its desecration, I don't get the point about the services there being invalid.

There's no sacrament that requires a physical church for validity.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:49 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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UK Telegraph: Church takes its wedding message to the masses
C of E joins business exhibitors in move to reverse fall in marriage services. Nick Britten reports

Most Friday mornings, the Bishop of Leicester is usually engaged in clergy meetings or the occasional school assembly. Yesterday, the Rt Rev Tim Stevens found himself surrounded by tiaras, models and male strippers as the Church of England made its debut at the National Wedding Show.

Reuters: Church of England Fights Fad for Novelty Weddings

LONDON (Reuters) - Tired of watching couples marry in stately homes or on tropical islands, the Church of England is fighting back.

Not only does it have some of the most scenic venues in the country, it plans to stress, a church wedding has more meaning.

To spread the message, the Church is to take part for the first time in Britain's National Wedding Show, a trade exhibition which opens in Birmingham on Friday.

This is the religious denomination that takes marriage so seriously that it elevated to a bishop a man who abandoned his wife and children.

This is denomination whose "communion" is so fractured that it's titual highest-ranking bishop is banned from conducting services in dioceses that have asserted that the Church lacks that power to ordain women. Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is now barred in 350 parishes.

It's worth reading both versions of this article, the first is looking at this as strictly a matter of marketing. In the second, I'm not sure if the appeal is being made to nostalgia or to holiness. I fear it is only the former.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:25 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP: UN Peacekeepers stole from Church
UNITED NATIONS (AP)--Seven U.N. peacekeeping troops from Uruguay who are under investigation for stealing from a church in northeastern Congo will be transferred to the capital, Kinshasa, the United Nations said Thursday.

An investigation by a Board of Inquiry and the Military Police is expected to be concluded in the coming days. If the allegations against the soldiers are found to be true, they could be repatriated to Uruguay for disciplinary action by their national military authorities, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said.

A priest informed U.N. military officials in the northeastern town of Bunia that Uruguayan soldiers broke into a Roman Catholic chapel, drank communion wine and stole items used in the celebration of Mass, the deputy commander of U.N. forces in Congo said Tuesday.

Brig. Gen. Jan Isberg said choir boys in the compound told the priest that they witnessed the robbery of a gold-plated challis [sic] and other religious items and also saw the Uruguayans drinking the wine and eating the wafers used in communion. The boys also said the Uruguayans took a stove from the church kitchen.

If the theft involved the sacred hosts, the reserved Blessed Sacrament, there would be the additional penalty of excommunication.

It will be interesting to watch the official Vatican reaction and whether this mutes the call for UN Peacekeepers as opposed to using American and British forces, which although not perfect and the most well-disciplined -- though not as much as the Vatican's own Swiss Guard.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:03 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, September 11, 2003

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Followup: Image of Jesus removed from crucifix recovered

NY Post: NYPD Daily Blotter

The statue of Jesus stolen from a Midtown church about three weeks ago was discovered by a worker in an alley yesterday, police said.

The employee discovered the metal statue on top of a garbage can next to Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church at 329 W. 42nd St. around 6 a.m.

The statue was swiped from the church at 9 a.m. on Aug. 23.

Police said the church had been locked and there were no signs of forced entry.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:13 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Back from Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral

This mass was offerred for the victims of 9/11. Many midtown firefighters attended and there was a larger than usual tourist and office worker mix. The celebrant was the rector of the cathedral, Monsignor Eugene Clark.

At the end of Mass, Cardinal Egan greeted the firefighters and reported that he had just returned from a Mass at Saint Peter's (Barclay St.) the church nearest the World Trade Center that I used to attend when I worked at Lehman Brothers.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:24 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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My connection to 9/11 starts with a little-known event that one only reads about in the most detailed of the histories in the war on terrorism.

I was in Tehran, Iran in the summer of 1978 when I was 24. The tourist brochures were accurate in their depiction of the landscape and museums but not the people. The people were angry and the military and police were angry at the people. I could sense fear in the people and cautiously stay very close to the areas of the city which were filled with Europeans and Americans.

The day I returned to the United States, the first mass murder by Islamic terrorists in modern times occurred. August 19, 1978 at the Cinema Rex in Abadan, Iran. A fire was started and the exits were deliberately blocked, over 400 died. Some web sites have compared this to the Reichstag fire (set by Nazis, blamed on Communists) and claim this was set by the Shah's secret police. I doubt this as there was nothing to be gained by increasing the sense of power and terror held by the anti-Shah imans.

So it is now 25 years later, and two years after I heard on the radio of the impact of a small airplane into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. I looked out the window and saw the fire. I thought it was too large a fire for a small plane. Moments later, the story was it was an airliner.

The conversation in the office was more like a debate: was it terrorism? can the spread of the fire be stopped, were only a few hundred going to die, or thousands? could people be removed from the roof?

Questions started to get answered: the second aircraft confirmed it was terrorism, with a full load of jet fuel dumped into the building -- the fire was going to consume the buildings, thousands would die, no one could be evacuated from the roof.

Fascination with the events inhibited the wave of grief, as we in the office looking at this, knew that shortly we would be putting names and faces who we knew were working there. I would come to learn that Michael Asher (my boss from 1995-97) and David Rathkey (a co-worker from 1985-93) died that day.

I think that people have forgotten that we are in a war on terror that we did not start and did not welcome. It is a war which, like World War II, there is no "exit strategy" except victory. Also, like World War II, this is a war that we can lose. The flow of money and weapons to terrorists and their ability to enter the United States is the target of this current war.

Peace can only come when the terrorists are utterly destroyed. It's not vengeance -- the good shepherd not only lays down his life for the sheep, he wants to stop the wolves and other sheep predators.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:57 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Of interest to readers in the New York City Area

Dear Guild Members and Friends of the Guild,

I'm happy to invite your participation in the Catholic Evidence Guild in the year to come and report on some exciting new developments.

The Guild returns to Manhattan. With the generous cooperation of Fr. George Rutler at the Church of Our Savior we will have an additional base to train and practice.

The Guild returns to Westchester. We have our old meeting space back thanks to the Institute of Religious Studies.

This mission remains the same to explain and defend the Catholic Faith by public speaking. Experience with the location in Grand Central has pulled us in the direction of using a table with religious art, tracts, tapes, and rosaries to draw people over to talk to us. We found this informal contact rather than the format of a speech delivered from our stand worked better. We adapt!

When I speak to Catholics about what we are all about, I talk about the people we met on Aug. 9:

  • A non-Catholic musician fascinated with the music and prayers in Latin, thinking about becoming Catholic
  • Articulate people who argued for subjective as opposed to objective truth (this debate drew a small crowd)
  • An ex-offender who talked about his experience in learning the Chaplet of Divine Mercy
  • A woman very confused about what happened in the encounter between Jesus, the woman caught in adultery, and the crowd.

Every public event we have is a new experience in witnessing to the truth of the Catholic Church.

The group in Westchester is composed of members who have completed years of training. We plan to have monthly meetings for planning and practice. Our first monthly meeting will be on Friday September 19, 2003 at 7:30 PM at the Institute of Religious Studies. Our schedule for the rest of the year will be fixed at that time.

The group in Manhattan is to develop the next generation of speakers and associates. We plan on having meetings every two weeks. The focus here will be on training and practice. Our first meeting will be at the Church of Our Savior on Monday September 22, 2003 at 6:00 PM.

These are not exclusive groups. Everyone is invited to attend either meeting. Please come and bring your friends.

Yours in Christ,

Patrick Sweeney

President, Catholic Evidence Guild, New York Chapter

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:41 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003
WSJ AP: Priest's Relatives On Trial For Abusing Vietnam Democracy
HANOI (AP)--Three relatives of dissident Catholic priest Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly appeared in a Ho Chi Minh City court Wednesday to face charges of "abusing democratic freedoms," a court official said.

Nguyen Thi Hoa, 44, and her brothers, Nguyen Vu Viet, 28, and Nguyen Truc Cuong, 36, were charged with "abusing democratic freedoms to infringe on the interests of the state," the court official said on condition of anonymity.

The three have been held under detention for more than two years for allegedly providing anti-government information to a U.S.-based group and radio station in California. Under Vietnam's Criminal Code, their charges carry a sentence of two to seven years in jail.

Communist Vietnam does not tolerate political or religious dissent. Rights groups and the U.S. State Department routinely cite Hanoi for violating human rights and religious freedoms.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:08 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AGI: Pope: Hopes for peace collapsed with the twin towers
Aachen, Germany, Sept. 8 - "Together with the Twin Towers, it seems much of our quest for peace has collapsed too", reads the Pope's September 11 reading in honor of the second anniversary of the tragic attacks on the Twin Towers of New York and Washington's Pentagon. In a message fro the 17th international gathering for peace promoted by the community of Sant'Egidio, Pope John Paul II referred to the "dozens of wars still underway" and the "widespread war" represented by terrorism.

"War and conflicts - wrote the Pope - continue to poison the lives of many people, especially in the poor countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America". The cause: the "development of particular interests, the enormous spending for military purposes, the development of egocentric intentions for nations' borders, ethnicities, and religions, all leaning towards violence".

See also Zenit: the complete address

At dawn on 09/11, the United States was at peace, New York was at peace, 22 Cortland Street where I worked was at peace.

Peace did not collapse. A war was started.

Perhaps this war started ten years earlier in 1993, at the same place, the first bombing of the World Trade Center which killed six.

Peace is not merely the absence of war. [CCC 2304]

The audience in Aachen is the not the survivors of the attacks 2/26/93 and 9/11/03. They are people who want to hear of peace and not about the need to defend life in the United States from terror. It was The 17th International Meeting of Prayer for Peace, with the theme "War and Peace: Faith and Cultures Meet"

My brief answer is Give War a Chance

A longer answer to people who want to question my fidelity to Catholicism and love for the Pope is that peace with Islamist terrrorists will happen when the whole world is dar al-Islam under the righteous caliph.

Some things are worth dying for.

Victor Davis Hanson writes in National Review Online about the people at peace meetings like the one at Aachen

The more-extreme critics of this war would further add that rather than envisioning a conflict between civilization and fundamentalist and autocratic Middle East barbarism, we should look inward — asking ourselves why the bin Ladens and Saddam Husseins of the world hate us so. Their obvious solution to preclude the anger of the "oppressed" would then be to learn to be more sensitive to the feelings of others and to listen rather than shoot.

Who are such present critics? Mostly utopians, pacifists, socialists, internationalists, many journalists, academics, and general leftists of the Democratic party, who in the aggregate perhaps consist of about 20 percent of the American public. Some are driven by genuine principles of nonintervention, others by a visceral hatred of George Bush and corporate America; many are deluded by the nostalgic nonsense that in their golden years we all may be entering another 1960s-style period of protest — when in their youth they once cut their teeth marching, singing, and generally unleashing bombast about the pathologies of their own culture.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:47 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, September 08, 2003
Threats from something other than bullets.

WCBS/AP: Dozen Marines Have Contracted Malaria

Twelve U.S. Marines who were in Liberia last month in support of a West African peacekeeping mission have contracted malaria and 21 others have symptoms of the disease, defense officials said Monday.

Two of the Marines were flown from the USS Iwo Jima warship off the coast of Liberia to a U.S. medical center in Germany on Saturday and 31 others were flown from the ship Sunday to the Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Maryland, said Lt. Col. Jay DeFrank, a Defense Department spokesman.

Perhaps they went here USAEUR 97th General Hospital

I was assigned here for 3 months by the State Department which took over from the Peace Corps when I was evacuated from Togo to West Germany with malaria.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:52 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Christianity Today: VeggieTales Creators File for Bankruptcy
Big Idea Productions, makers of the best-selling VeggieTales video series, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday, as part of a deal to sell the financially troubled company.

Big Idea has agreed to sell its assets—including copyrights to Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber and other VeggieTales characters—to Classic Media LLC, which owns or manages media properties such as "Rocky and Bullwinkle," "Lassie," "The Lone Ranger" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

Despite Big Idea's continued popularity—eight of the top 10 selling videos in the Christian retail market are from Big Idea, including the recently released The Ballad of Little Joe—the company has had cash flow problems in recent years.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:48 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Good News from the set of The Passion

New York Daily News: WORKING MIRACLES?

"There is an interesting power in the script," he adds. "A lot of unusual things have been happening — good things, like people being healed of diseases. A guy who was struck by lightning while we were filming the crucifixion scene just got up and walked away."

Francesco De Vito, who plays the disciple Peter, says "I talk with Judas [Luca Lionello] and with John [Hristo Jivkov] about this movie and about faith on the set, and there is something going on with many of us. We've become very focused — it has changed us."

"There's a pride that all of us have because we realize we are working on an important movie that could change a lot of lives," says Vera Mitchell, Caviezel's personal stylist on the film.

To portray the most famous man who ever lived requires a confident, controlled actor who can radiate mercy, love and forgiveness without opening his mouth. Film historian and "Hot Ticket" critic Leonard Maltin thinks Caviezel was tailor-made for the role of Jesus.

"There's always a question of whether it's an asset or distraction to have well-known stars in key roles," says Maltin. "Jim is a great choice. He's a very earnest and sincere actor and he's not a 'personality' with a lot of baggage from other parts that he's played."

On an average day, Caviezel goes through an arduous makeup session that lasts anywhere from four to seven hours and transforms his clean-shaven face and partly shaved head into a believable likeness of Jesus.

"He looks like the Shroud of Turin," Gibson said when he first saw him onscreen.

Caviezel recalls that when Gibson offered him the part, he said to him, "Do you realize I'm 33 years old, the same age Jesus was when he went through all of this?" He believes his performance is divinely inspired.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:42 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sunday, September 07, 2003
Reuters: Dogs dressed as nuns snarl Berlin traffic
BERLIN (Reuters) - More than 3,000 dogs have paraded through central Berlin in a demonstration by owners for more rights and public tolerance.

A number of the dogs in the parade that snarled traffic throughout the centre of the German capital were wearing costumes. One German shepherd was wearing a bumblebee outfit and two others were dressed as nuns.

Nuns, eh?

Stories like this give up sort of a cultural baromter of what prejudices are acceptable. The mockery of nuns: a life dedicated to serving God and living in poverty, chastity, and obedience. They make the idea targets.

It happens on this level, and it also happens on a more sinister level to encourage violence against priests, teachers, and other staff including janitors.

Some of this in done with an air of righteous vengence: either for the sexual abuse of children by priests, or by the Church's teachings human sexuality. It's sort of a Catholic "front" in the war on terror.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:51 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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I just heard an interview with the author. This is not a summary of stuff already reported in the news but original interviews and analysis. Some things in the book are the stuff of spy novels and Mission Impossible

A captured al Queda leader was led to believe that he had been turned over to the "Saudis". Arab-speaking Amercians played Saudi interrogators. The leader said "Boy, am I glad to see you guys, contact Prince so-and-so and I'll be out of here in a hour."

Two books on the unpreparedness of England prior to World War II: While England Slept, Winston Churchill (1938), and Why England Slept was ghost-written for John Kennedy in 1940 by Arthur Krock. Time reported on the details of this.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:45 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Reuters: India's Parsi Population on Verge of Extinction

"Chances of Parsis as an ethnic group surviving are slim," Jehangir Patel, editor and publisher of Parsiana, a monthly magazine for the community published from Bombay, told Reuters.

"The decline is quite alarming. Zoroastrianism is one of the world's oldest cultures that has survived from the Bronze Age in an unbroken manner," added Cama.

"But today, you have totally empty villages in western India where you once had a prosperous Parsi population."

Perhaps, given sufficient contraception, this will be the fate of Christians in a century or so.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:12 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Times: New Trial Sought for Skakel

A lawyer for Michael C. Skakel, who was convicted last year of killing Martha Moxley 28 years ago in a gated enclave of Greenwich, Conn., said yesterday that she would seek a new trial based on allegations by a new witness that two Bronx youths had bludgeoned the 15-year-old victim to death with a golf club.

While the conviction of Mr. Skakel, 42, a nephew of Ethel Kennedy, appeared to close the books on a murder case whose blend of wealth and celebrity had spawned global news coverage, an appeal is pending, screenplays are in the works and supporters of Mr. Skakel, including his cousin Robert F. Kennedy Jr., are still re-examining alternate theories in a largely circumstantial case.

The latest twist involves Mr. Kennedy, who wrote a 14,000-word defense of Mr. Skakel published in The Atlantic Monthly in February, and a new celebrity-connected witness he helped to turn up — a cousin of Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers star who faces charges of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in Colorado in June.

What a strange coincidence.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:43 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com