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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
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Saturday, September 27, 2003
News 12 Long Island: Voice of the Faithful meets on Long Island

The article doesn't have much to say except that 600 were at the meeting.

Newsday: Priest claims Bishop Murphy censored his article

Citing a rarely used church law, Bishop William Murphy warned a Long Island priest in March not to publish an article calling for bishops and other church officials "tainted" by the sex abuse scandal to "relinquish" their positions, the priest recently confirmed after Newsday learned his identity.

The priest, who said he agreed to Murphy's request, described the incident as a "silencing." Agreeing to disclose the episode but wanting to respect the authority of the bishop as his superior, the priest requested that his name be withheld.

Joanne Novarro, spokeswoman for the Rockville Centre diocese, described the action as a "warning" by the bishop. "He didn't silence anyone, he simply told a priest what canon law says about things that are published in the secular media."

Canon law is the legal system governing the Roman Catholic church, detailing the rights and responsibilities of its members. Section 831, which the priest said Murphy cited, requires clerics to get prior approval from their bishop to write in newspapers, pamphlets or periodicals "which clearly are accustomed to attack the catholic religion or good morals."

This is using a sledge hammer to swat a fly. I think this is a misapplication for the canon as Bishop Murphy has never given a formal notice to the faithful that Newsday "[is] clearly are accustomed to attack the catholic religion or good morals".

It looks like an action taken out of desparation. But it's not a reason for him to resign. The person best to determine if Bishop Murphy was culpable as an auxiliary in Boston is the Attorney General, and the report summarized by Bill Donohue of the Catholic League does not assign a share of the blame to him.

I think that unless there's a finding that Bishop Murphy reassigned sexual criminal priests we've got to give him our support. The VOTF people are just playing up the "guilt by association" and the "blame the guy at the top" angles.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:49 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Mepham Update

It turns out from many accounts on the web that this was not the first time that hazing at a Mepham High School resulted in serious injury. One dad has posted photographs of his son from a few years ago and the kid looks like he was in one of Saddam's prisons.

Blogger Michele Catalano reports a serious claim that the screams were loud enough to wake neighbors to this camp...

After they called the police, they tried to get into the dorms to see what was going on, and they were stopped by two coaches who said they would handle whatever was going on.

Which means, if the story is true and I have no reason to believe it is not, that the coaches absolutely had knowledge of what went on that night. Heads are going to roll over this. As well they should.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:11 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Another case of sexual abuse met with silence

I had stopped writing about the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church after the appointments of Archbishop O'Malley (replacing Cdl Law) and Bishop DiMarzio (replacing Bp Daily) but before I write about the scandal in the Church, I want to focus on one not involving the Church.

The story starts in August 2003, 60 high school football players and 5 coaches travel from Long Island to Wayne Co., Pennsylvania for a football camp.

One of the kids comes back with blood in his underwear. Concerned parents of this kid ask and get this answer: he was sexual assaulted. He goes to the hospital for a torn rectum and the cops are contacted.

No one is arrested. Time passes and the story goes public. I think the attitude about this crime tells one a lot about what's in the heads of people of Wayne County and the people of Nassau Country.

(Wayne) River Reporter 9/25/2003

These allegations were first reported to the Pennsylvania State Police in Honesdale on September 6, 2003.

According to a press release from the DA?‚’s office, the allegations include sodomy of the younger team members by older team members using a broomstick, pinecones and golf balls.

?‚“These allegations, if true, are unfortunately among the most aberrant I have encountered,?‚” Zimmer said.

State police investigators traveled to Long Island in an attempt to get more information. The school district administration and coaches were reluctant to share information with the investigators, Zimmer said.

Only after stories appeared in Long Island newspapers did witnesses begin to come forward, he said. ?‚“I thank the press for its help,?‚” Zimmer said.

If the press accounts are to be believed:

  • The Wayne County police did not get the voluntary cooperation of the school. The school first claimed it was conducting its own "investigation" but then demanded that the police produce subpoena . This is necessary for the school to "voluntarily" cooperate. Of course, when you demand (and then get) a subpoena, you then either cooperate or go to jail for contempt -- it's no longer a matter of being "voluntary". The school, of course, is full of conflicts of interest here and could not be expected to conduct an investigation with any objectivity. Bellmore-Merrick Superintendent Thomas Caramore called the incident alleged.
  • The parents of the players who observed these sexual assaults did not come forward.
  • The parents of the victim students have refused to make a written statement of accusation -- so there were delays in suspending from school the players who committed the sexual assault
  • The coaches refused to talk to the police.
  • But people in speaking to the press were calling it a hazing incident.

The Bellmore-Merrick athletic director Saul Lerner to Newsday:

All players and parents had to sign a letter before the trip agreeing not to haze teammates or to behave inappropriately, he said.

"The expectations are everywhere - and in print," Lerner said. "The message is out there. Is that enough to stop a crime? There's an assumption when kids go on trips they won't commit felonies," he said.

"Do I hold our coaches ultimately responsible? It happened on our guard, so it's going to make us responsible. But I think they [the coaches] did their jobs. They were not AWOL."

Caramore said the coaches have been willing to talk to Pennsylvania state police detectives since they first visited Long Island on Sept. 12 to investigate the case. Varsity football coach Kevin McElroy could not be reached for comment yesterday.

"We're all ready to cooperate," Caramore said. "We thought this was going to happen last week. We've been wondering what was taking so long."

Wayne County District Attorney Mark Zimmer on Monday criticized the school district and coaches for delaying the case by requiring he get a subpoena for school records. School officials say they were acting on the advice of their counsel, who said federal law requires a subpoena to release private student information.

Nassau County Court Judge Donald Belfi has scheduled a hearing for Friday during which those subpoenaed can argue against complying. Zimmer has said he will drop the subpoenas if those served willingly talk to investigators.

He said he cast a wide net, serving victims, witnesses and school officials, because he did not want to have to repeat the process of securing grand jury subpoenas.

"It's like calling out a battleship to take one shot," he said.

I think I would have given out subpoenas to each player (and their parents) as well as the coaches.

Newsday has put together a comprehensive collection of articles on this case. attitudeitude of some of the students? Newsday reported

Sparked by players chanting "Everybody onto the field," dozens of students left their classes at about 10 a.m. yesterday, filling the bleachers as the team began tossing a football.

Cheerleaders screamed, players raised their fists in the air and passing cars emblazoned with messages like "GO MEPHAM" honked in support as they weaved through the gantlet of television trucks camped outside the school.

At its height, the protest drew about 50 students to the field, most of them players and cheerleaders. By noon, though, nearly all the students had returned to class. Administrators monitored the protest but allowed it to end without intervening.

"We did it to prove a point, to say you took away our dream that we've had since we were freshmen," said a 16-year-old senior nose guard. The teen, who didn't want to give his name, worries that the canceled season will kill his chance for a football scholarship.

Well, one doesn't have to wonder why he didn't want to give his name. I pray that one day he comes to understand why the program needed to be cancelled this year. I'd like to see the program cancelled for a full 4 years.

The school board correctly cancelled the football season. These players have a responsibility to (a) stop the assault while it was taking place and if not (b) immediately report it to the coaches and police.

Why didn't they do so? (Clue: this didn't originate in the football program)

I need to add that this 3 or 4 week delay in getting the statements from the victims and witnesses only helps the bad guys to coordinate and work out their own story, perhaps even to taint the witnesses as well.

Something not discussed in Newsweek but I will discuss it here: the assault was a homosexual one. Where's the seed of the depravity that resulted in this?

Here's my guess: there's a connection to pornography here -- the violent and sadomasochistic kind.

What sort of environment is created by the parents in the homes that created over 53 children lacking any sense of justice:

  • 3 are accused.
  • over 50 players kept their silence about this.
  • The paperwork is in order.
  • The rage is against the school and not against the students who actually committed the crime.

Our sex and violence culture is the factory for this supported by some corrupted ideas of tolerance and privacy.

Update: A reader suggests this article: Peter Wood The American Conservative: Sex & Consequences An anthropologist vindicates the traditional family

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:39 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Friday, September 26, 2003
CNN/AP: Couple sues over 'Thank you, Jesus' brick
SEATTLE, Washington (AP) -- A couple who purchased an inscribed brick for a state park playground are suing because the words "Thank you Jesus" were not included as they had wished.

Residents had organized an effort to build a playground this spring at Saint Edward State Park, located on the northeastern shore of Lake Washington.

Money for the project was raised in part by the sale of inscribed bricks to be displayed there for $100. Dan and Olga Buchanan ordered one with the message: "Thank you Jesus, Daria & Evan Buchanan."

If Mark blogs on events in my backyard, I can return the favor.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:34 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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An unholy mess.

HAVING faltered in contemporary screen roles, "Shakespeare in Love" star Joseph Fiennes returns to the 16th century, quill in hand, for "Luther," a plodding biopic of the religious rebel that's pretty much beyond redemption, much less the Reformation.

Simpering and petulant, Fiennes is consistently upstaged by the costumes and scenery in this handsome production, which under Eric Till's bombastic direction gives Fiennes dialogue that's a lot closer to Classics Comics than John Osborne's famous play about Martin Luther's battle with Vatican corruption.

This is the kind of movie where characters actually say things like, "I've been longing for someone to save Christendom!" and Luther's dad counsels him, "Just keep your mouth shut!"

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:35 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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MSNBC: Housekeeper Discovers Dead Baby In Hospital Bathroom
A homeless woman gave birth to a baby girl in Jamaica Hospital. However the birth was in a bathroom, and the baby was dead and left on the floor.

I'm sincere when I post these and ask people to pray for the all the people involved.

It's a reminder for me to send a check to Good Counsel Home who would take care of this woman if she arrived at their door. If I could figure out how to set up a tip jar that could send the money directly to them, I would.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:21 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, September 25, 2003
Town Hall's Ann Coulter reviewing David Limbaugh's "Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity"
In New York City, the chancellor of the Department of Education prohibited the display of Nativity scenes in public schools, while expressly allowing the Jewish menorah and the Islamic star and crescent to be displayed. Some would say that was overkill inasmuch as New York City is already the home of the world's largest public display built in commemoration of Islam: Ground Zero.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:57 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP/Yahoo: Green Eggs and Ham' Put Into Latin
NEW YORK - "Green Eggs and Ham" is an easy read. After all, the late Theodore Geisel, belovedly known as Dr. Seuss, wrote it after his editor challenged him to do a book in just 50 words.

But have you tried to read it in Latin?

Retitled "Virent Ova! Viret Perna!!" the Seuss classic has been rendered into Latin by Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers Inc. of Wauconda, Ill. The target audience is "people who took Latin in school and have fond remembrance of it, teachers and students who take Latin — and, of course, Seuss fans," Kelly Hughes, a spokeswoman for the publisher, said Wednesday.

Well, as Pilate would say Quod scripsit scripsit

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:38 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Islam - lacking both mater and magister

The Catholic Church is the largest and oldest Christian body. Therefore one can look to what it teaches as defining Christianity -- or at least measuring what other self-identifying Christian groups teach based on their variation from Catholic Church as a fixed position among all Chrisitian groups.

When it comes to Islam there is no unifying teaching authority. People have written that there hasn't been a "Reformation" period in Islam yet, I would go further and say that Islam has yet to have its own version of the Council of Nicea to define central doctrines as they apply to the real questions raised today:

Toleration of other religions, the existence of Israel, the role of women. What is jihad? Inner struggle or the war to bring about the utter destruction of Christianity and Judaism.

The problem for us was made clear by the news that Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences and the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veteran Affairs Council have connections to Islamist groups and funding were the sole source of Muslim chaplains for the armed services of the United States.

Saudi money has bought access and visibility to the most radical groups in the United States, displacing more moderate Muslim voices.

So yes, there are Muslims that do not preach a Jihad against the West, but they are as popular and as well-funded as the Pro-life Democrats are by the Left.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:45 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, September 24, 2003
My comment box provider is backblog and it's down at the moment.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:52 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Feminization of the Church

There are book-length treatments of this topic, so I am only touch on two areas that I know well: altar servers and catechists (specifically lay volunteer teachers of the Catholic faith to public school students):

In some parishes these roles for young people and adults respectively are seen as "women's jobs" (nurses, flight attendents, elementary school teachers). When a role is taken by girls/women (10 out 10 or 9 out of 10) in a parish it is not going to be attractive to boys/men.

Things happen: it's difficult to socialize, the conversations and discussions are going to focus on their common concerns, etc. I think this is just human nature, and especially so for young people in the age range 11-14.

There was a short feminist triumphalist snort that was heard in the mid-90's when girls as servers was approved in a unambiguous way. What could be next? Deacons, Priests, Bishops, Cardinals, Pope... "How dare they set these girls up for the disappointment that that cannot become priests after serving at the altar." This was thought, at the time, to be a huge step on the road to the ordination of women.

I wrote at that time that it was shameful that feminists would use girls as pawns in their agenda to have women ordained.

As I wrote below, if the permission to use girls and women as servers is withdrawn, I expect the objections to come from bishops who have given preference to girls over boys as servers.

In my parish, there's been an effort to balance the number of girls and boys as servers. No one is excluded but I believe that some boys because of their maturity and experience are scheduled more frequently for balance. In other parishes, it just seems to have be taken over by girls, and seen as a "girl thing" -- some boys and girls 11-14 may never have attended a Mass which had boys 11-14 assisting the priest.

When it comes to catechists, I am always looking for anyone, male or female, who knows and lives and loves the faith, and looks like they can handle a room full of kids to consider joining us.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:12 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Turning back the clock...
Washington Post: Vatican May Limit Girls' Role in Mass

VATICAN CITY, Sept. 23 -- Under new rules being drafted by the Vatican to crack down on "abuses" in the Roman Catholic Mass, altar boys will be given preference over altar girls, who should serve during the rites only in special cases, Vatican officials said today.

I predict many complaints from bishops which have given preference to girls over boys as servers.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:22 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, September 23, 2003
The faith journey of Howard Dean
Washington Post: On Politics

In India, many people consider cows to be sacred. In Vermont, they worship bicycles.

How else to explain this exchange between Dean and ABC News's George Stephanopoulos last Sunday, after Dean was asked if he was raised Roman Catholic.

"No, raised Episcopalian, and I ended up as a Congregationalist," Dean said.

Why did he become a Congregationalist?

"Because I had a big fight with a local Episcopal church about 25 years ago over the bike path. . . . We were trying to get the bike path built. They had control of a mile and a half of railroad bed, and they decided they would pursue a property right suit to refuse to allow the bike path to be developed."

Officially though, Dean was baptized Catholic, raised Episcopalian, married a Jew, and as you read above self-identifies as a Congregationalist.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:03 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, September 22, 2003
On the offense: domestic partnerships illegal?
Knight-Ridder: Schools sued over same-sex benefits

DETROIT - (KRT) - The Thomas More Law Center sued the Ann Arbor, Mich. Public School District on Monday, claiming the district is violating state law by giving insurance benefits to same-sex partners.

The suit, filed in Washtenaw County Circuit Court, says providing the benefits is an attempt to institutionalize same-sex marriage. It names 17 residents of the school district as plaintiffs and asks the court to bar the district from using tax dollars to provide the benefits.

Officials of the Ann Arbor public-interest law firm said the suit seeks to be a test case to determine whether the state's Defense of Marriage Act is more than symbolic. The 1996 law defines marriage as a unique relationship between a man and a woman that the state has a special interest in protecting.

This should be interesting to see. I believe that all the Defense of Marriage laws passed at the local, state, and federal level are toothless in the face of the judicial tyranny.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:27 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wall Street Journal: A Visa Battle Pits Homeland Security Against Ohio Nuns (paid subs. reqd.)

CLEVELAND -- All day and all night, the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration pray: That the sick will be healthy. That the warlike will be peaceful. That the hungry will be fed. And that the Department of Homeland Security won't deport Sister Mary Cecilia and Sister Mary Catherina.

The case of the South Korean novices pits a dwindling order of cloistered Ohio nuns, who see foreign recruits as their best hope of institutional survival, against a bureaucracy that insists Sisters Cecilia and Catherina haven't proved they qualify for religious-worker visas. "May the Holy Spirit guide you in all the urgent decisions you have to make," the order's Cleveland abbess, Mother Mary James, suggested in a letter to the department's Citizenship and Immigration Services in July.

There's no doubt that the Poor Clares are religious or that they are workers. The sisters send a steady stream of prayer heavenward, 24 hours a day. At least one nun in the order is talking to God at any given time, usually kneeling before the host in the screened-off choir of St. Paul Shrine church, hidden from view of the few regular churchgoers. Even those nuns not on adoration duty spend much of their time at prayer. Novitiates, such as the Korean sisters, rise at 5:30 a.m. and pray at least eight hours a day.

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The senior nuns worry that the sisters, if deported, will have nowhere to continue the five-year process of becoming full-fledged Poor Clares. They have no home or work in Korea. They won't be allowed back into India. And Sister Agatha, the sole Poor Clare in Japan, recently had a stroke. So every day, Sister Mary Joseph, the novice directress, leads Sisters Cecilia and Catherina in what the Poor Clares do best. "Lord, may all the paperwork pass through so we can get the visas that will enable us to stay here," they pray.

After reading the article I couldn't tell if this was simple a stupid bureaucracy that's lost or never had common sense, or if it is anti-Catholic bias, or a bit of both. There might be other religions which have similar problems to report.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:43 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sunday, September 21, 2003
intoxicated with evidence of a fetus' humanity.

World Net Daily, Michelle Malkin: The most powerful smiles in the world

All of Britain was buzzing last week after a tabloid published highly controversial photos ?– not of a topless supermodel or two female pop singers kissing or Prince William in a grass skirt but of angelic babies smiling in the womb.

The ultrasound images, taken between 26 and 34 weeks after conception, were released by Professor Stuart Campbell and widely circulated on the Internet via the Drudge Report. Campbell's an obstetrician at the privately run Create Health Centre in London. For the past two years, the medical facility has offered state-of-the-art 3-D/4-D scanning equipment services to expectant parents. Campbell performs an average of 30 scans a week. His outspoken enthusiasm for this blessed technology is refreshing. "Parents love them," he told the Mirror. "I hear so many couples laughing when they see the pictures ?– it's wonderful."

Campbell's high-tech window to the womb also shows the babies moving their limbs at 8 weeks, leaping and turning by 12 weeks, curling their toes and fingers at 15 weeks, and yawning at 20 weeks. The clients' reactions are overwhelming, Campbell said, "especially with fathers, who rarely get involved. Before, they sat in the corner. Now, they really show emotion. I enjoy scanning and looking at babies. It is so informative about babies and behavior. Every scan is an adventure."

How have pro-abortion activists abroad reacted after seeing the happy, grinning photos of these unborn babies? With reflexive scowls and dour grimaces, naturally.

Anne Karpf, a commentator for the British-based Guardian who bills herself as a "medical sociologist," says the photos are "deeply disquieting" and ridicules the anti-abortion lobby for being "intoxicated with evidence of a fetus' humanity." (God forbid this cold woman ever be exposed to a pregnant mommy experiencing the undiluted joy of a baby kicking inside her for the first time.) Australian Birth Control Services medical director Geoff Brodie complained that the photos "will be picked up by those groups that use anything and everything to stop terminations but ignore the fact that women have a right to choice."

Karpf, Brodie and their deathmates are enraged that Dr. Campbell is so gleefully showing the world that the vibrant life inside a mother's womb is much more than inanimate and disembodied material. How dare anyone suggest that the booming business of "terminations" is tantamount to mass murder?

Here in America, the pro-abortion lobby is having the same toxic reaction. It was bad enough when conventional, 2-D sonograms revealed unborn hearts beating and blurry hands waving, but the abortionists are absolutely aghast over rapidly spreading access to 3-D/4-D ultrasound technology. When General Electric began running incredibly moving ads last year celebrating the company's new innovations in sonography, a writer for the liberal American Prospect complained the commercials were "a milieu of clever illusion" that blurred "the distinction between a fetus and a newborn infant."

This from the masters of deception who gave us the infamous euphemisms "fetal matter" and "uterine tissue," which have successfully blurred the distinction between human life and disposable Kleenex for more than three decades.

Similarly, pro-abortion advocates have attacked legislation in Congress, introduced by Florida Republican Rep. Cliff Stearns, which would guarantee free ultrasound screenings to any woman who visits a non-profit crisis pregnancy center that receives subsidies for sonogram equipment. Kathryn Allen, Planned Parenthood spokeswoman, griped: "With all the problems going on in our world, I can't imagine that Congress would spend its time and energy on ultrasound for anyone."

Allison Herwitt, director of government relations for NARAL Pro-Choice America in Washington, also attacked pro-life supporters of the bill. "They don't want women to go to Planned Parenthood, where they'll get their full range of options," said Alison Herwitt. "They just want them to go to crisis pregnancy centers, where women will be exposed to this weapon at taxpayers' expense."

Liberals in America are all for the government giving away any health services for free ?– except if it's a service that has the ability to persuade a wavering patient to preserve a life instead of end it.

These amazing advances in golden-hued ultrasound have illuminated an insurmountable truth: No amount of NARAL money or National Organization for Women screeching can overcome the persuasive power of an unborn child's beaming face.

This is such a well-written piece that I'm reluctant to add to it, but I suggest that we all write to our Representatives and ask them to support Cliff Stearns bill -- it would compel all the places - including those which provide abortions - that if they receive federal funds that they must provide ultrasound screenings.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:33 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com