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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
Patrick Sweeney 20032003
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Saturday, October 11, 2003
New York Times: For These Believers, the Visions Endure
One recent Saturday evening, several hundred Roman Catholics wearing white gloves and clutching rosary beads gathered in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens for a candlelight vigil.

Regular attendance at the shrine has been dwindling, so it might not seem the best time to be a Luekenite. But there are a lot of knowing, told-you-so smiles around the Flushing shrine these days.

After years of enduring ridicule, followers say, Mrs. Lueken's far-flung vision of doomsday redemption seems to be coming true, as witnessed by the terrorist attacks on the United States, the recent blackout, economic recession, abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, hurricanes, and the war in Iraq.

Mrs. Lueken said that because the world had become so engulfed in sin, a "great chastisement" — an apocalyptic nuclear war, earthquakes and a comet acting as a "ball of redemption" — would come, killing billions.

This will soununbelievablele to you, but this is another story in backyard here in Queens.

I have met some of these people and what's sad is their belief in this hoax has separated themselves from the Church and therefore from the truth of what God have revealed.

I don't use the word hoax lightly. The investigations conducted by the diocese and other groups that attempt to confirm the supernatural or paranormal came to the conclusion that it was probable the Lueken was a fraud and not merely self-deluded, or worse, demonicalldeceiveded.

I guess I was watching politics too closely and missed this as it came out and my attention to it was drawn by the blog of Amy Welborn.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sign of the Cross

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:42 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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My memory... how does it work?

The combination of nazi paraphenalia, guns, sex, etc. triggered a memory. Now I know from where it came.

William Heirens was caught and later plead guilty to being the Lipstick killer in 1946.

"For heavens sake catch me before I kill more I cannot control myself" scrawled in lipstick on a mirror is not a movie cliche, but a real event.

Some question that he really did it, in spite of his confession.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:26 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Nostradamus predicted that the Anti-Christ...

would emerge from the Holy Roman Empire.

Today, the state which is directly descended from the Austro-Hungarian Empire is Austria.

Others assigned the prediction to Adolf Hitler, then Kurt Waldheim, and even Joerg Haider. Perhaps it is Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Anticipating a papal election, it could even be Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, Archbishop of Vienna.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:01 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Friday, October 10, 2003

The extremeCatholic extremeQuiz: What's the connection?

  • Helena
  • Phoenix
  • Ogdensburg
  • St. Louis
  • Alexandria
  • Camden
  • Richmond

These are "vacant sees" -- Archdioceses and Dioceses where an archbishop or bishop is waiting to be appointed.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:31 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Just when you thought, the Vatican would understand the need to keep a low-profile on this media bias thing

Cardinal Sodano says US scandals exaggerated; speaks about Pope's health

The second-highest ranking bishop at the Vatican said on Friday that the clergy sex-abuse scandal in the United States had been exaggerated by the media and unfairly tainted thousands of priests.

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican's Secretary of State, a position equivalent to prime minister, told the Associated Press in an interview, "The scandals in the United states received disproportionate attention from the media." He added, "There are thieves in every country, but it's hard to say that everyone is a thief."

He said that there are more than 48,000 priests in the United States. "The vast majority are generous pastors," said Cardinal Sodano. "Why should there be so much aggressiveness towards them, and so many unjust generalizations?"

What's a "vast majority" in the Vatican's calculus? What number is the tolerable number of priests who are sexual criminals? What generalization has been unjust?

The timing of this is extremely poor: all over the United States -- there are stories of priests who have been involved in crimes -- from harassment and theft to murder this week.

The crisis is not a creation of the media -- it is the still unacknowledged self-inflicted creation of the bishops who neglected in their care of the faithful to protect them from criminal priests.

It is a crisis simply because the bishops tolerated men behaving badly that would not have been tolerated in any other occupation. One expressed the lowered standards of behavior on the basis that he was a "shepherd" and not a CEO.

But here -- the Pope is ON TARGET

iafrica: Pope condemns 'scandal' priests

Pope John Paul II spoke out on Thursday against the "scandalous behaviour" of Roman Catholic priests who break the vow of chastity, in remarks recalling the sex scandals that have embroiled the church.

"The scandalous behaviour of a few has undermined the credibility of many," the pontiff told a group of visiting bishops from the Philippines, where more than 30 priests were suspended last month for sexual abuse.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:09 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Another group sends a message: The Archbishop must die

Yahoo/AFP: Police investigating threats against Catholic archbishop in Canada

Fri Oct 10, 3:33 PM ET

VANCOUVER, Canada (AFP) - Police in the western Canadian city of Vancouver are investigating death threats received by a conservative Catholic archbishop who canceled a school program over the sponsor's support for homosexuality.

Vancouver Archbishop Adam Exner has been under police protection since last month, after local media reported he cancelled programs sponsored by VanCity Credit Union in four local Catholic schools.

The credit union had sponsored financial education programs in the schools, but Exner canceled them after the credit union ran advertisements supporting efforts to legalize same-sex marriage, which the Church opposes.

News of the cancellation "opened the floodgates to e-mails, phone calls and faxes, alleging everything from bigotry to fascism," said Exner.

"A small but angry crowd screamed obscenities and threats outside my window late at night."

Vancouver Police Department spokesperson Anne Drennan said police are investigating the threats. "We are working with his people on his personal safety," she said.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:49 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Limbaugh Confesses!

  • Admitted he was and is addicted.
  • Became addicted after unsuccessful spinal surgery.
  • Attempted detox twice.
  • Will be out for 30 days getting detoxed again.
  • Guest hosts will take over in the interim.
  • Says he is not a victim, he himself was responsible. He is not a role model.
  • In conclusion, he was more vague about the duration he will be off air.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Post: Whiz Kid Hacker Stole Accounts To Cover Losses
Federal agents have busted their first hacker caught looting other day-trader stock accounts: a 19-year-old business major who'd been handling six-figure trades. Authorities say the stock scam has rattled the online trading crowd, and that day traders shouldn't download anything from strangers.

"This is the first time we've had a case of all three Internet crimes rolled into one - identity theft, hacking and securities fraud," said John Stark, head of the Internet fraud unit at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Dinh had gambled $100,000 on "put" options, betting that Cisco shares would drop. But when the stock starting rising, Dinh couldn't find any buyers for his "put" options, so he tapped into the unsuspecting day trader's account in another state to unload the junk, authorities charged.

This is an another example of intelligence without ethics.

There are probably 100 others like him who have not been caught. I wonder if Van Dihn is related to Ngo Dihn Diem, the first president of Vietnam -- or is Dihn one of those names like Murphy, Ryan, and Sweeney -- very common in the old country?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:07 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Post: Gay Kids Bash Back
Students at the city's high school for gay kids ganged up to clobber a man after he taunted them, cops said.

The free-for-all on Astor Place left the man injured and under arrest, along with three students from Harvey Milk HS.

Witnesses said around 20 students jumped the man after he hit one kid in the head and threatened others with a screwdriver outside Starbucks Wednesday afternoon.

Bad news all around. These are mean streets.

In a odd way though, it's a demonstration that this school was not necessary as these kids behaved like the mob looking for vengeance we expect non-gay kids in similar situations to do. They did not cower in fear because they were gay.

Fear doesn't seem to be a problem for them. They are tough enough to be among the students in other schools and are not a bunch of sissies.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:45 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Inquirer: Software company to sue student over using shift key
The firm made a "statement" claiming that Alex Halderman "came to false conclusions" about the robustness of the firm's Media Max software.

It claims it has lost over $10 million in market value after the student published his report.

SunnComm is alleging that Halderman has breached criminal provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by revealing that a particular driver could be disabled.

But Halderman says he's unfazed by the legal threat, and doesn't think pressing the SHIFT key violates the act.

How embarassing for all concerned. The lawsuit, of course, is merely harassment. I hope the counter-suit is able to recover all the legal fees plus something to punish SunComm.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:11 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Reuters: Catholics dismayed pope misses Nobel
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The decision not to give the Nobel Peace Prize to Pope John Paul has disappointed Vatican officials and Catholics, who felt the ailing pontiff deserved it and may not live to get another chance.

"The pope is sick exactly because of the pain that wars caused him so he should have won the Nobel Peace Prize," said Anna, an elderly Italian, after visiting the Vatican on Friday.

So the Nobel Committee didn't award the Pope for his opposition to the war in Iraq (and presumably for his demand for American boots on the ground in Kosovo and Liberia to keep the peace).

I think this tells us more about the anti-American bias of the Nobel Committee and its blindness towards the evil that was and is Communism and tells us little about the Pope.

The Pope is on track for the greatest glory a human being can share in: to be eternally in the presence of the Holy Trinity.

Back to the temporal order: it would have been appropriate for the Pope to have shared the honor with Lech Walesa in 1983. But better late than never.

A list of the past winners with links to their bios

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:53 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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A lot of defenders for this Jesuit

WISH: Brebeuf President Calls Allegations Against Knoth "Deeply Troubling"

In Knoth's case, the provincial found the allegations to be credible and asked for Knoth's resignation.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:15 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, October 09, 2003
Paddypower: Betting on the next pope

  • Bet with your head -- not over it.
  • Please donate your winnings.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:29 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The Straight Dope Cecil Adams: Can HIV pass through the pores in latex condoms?
Dear Cecil:

Get a load of this clip from the Washington Times. It says the latex used in condoms contains pores through which HIV, the AIDS virus, can readily pass--suggesting that "safe sex" using a condom may not be very safe. What gives? Answer quickly. Lives are in the balance! --M.L., Chicago

Cecil replies:

skipping to the conclusion:

We could argue about these numbers, but let's put this in perspective. Roland thinks condoms reduce AIDS risk by a factor of 3. A study cited by the government says they reduce it by a factor of 5. Avoiding high-risk sex partners, it's believed, reduces it by a factor of 5,000.

In short, regardless of who's right about latex, you'd be foolish to make condoms your only defense against infection. Abstinence or, more realistically, avoidance of high-risk sex partners are far more effective strategies. (If you're a gay male and thus in a high-risk group to start with, at least stay away from IV drug users.) On the other hand, condoms do offer substantial protection, and if you insist on having sex with a high-risk partner, they're a lot better than no protection at all.

Theoretically, it can't be established if the virus does or doesn't pass through the gaps. But you'd be foolish to accept the risk of contracting HIV with a condom anyway. Abstinence works.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:50 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Guardian (UK): Vatican: Condoms Don't Stop AIDS

How unlike the Vatican to have a conflict with the United Nations!

The Catholic Church is telling people in countries stricken by Aids not to use condoms because they have tiny holes in them through which the HIV virus can pass - potentially exposing thousands of people to risk. The church is making the claims across four continents despite a widespread scientific consensus that condoms are impermeable to the HIV virus.

A senior Vatican spokesman backs the claims about permeable condoms, despite assurances by the World Health Organisation that they are untrue.

The church's claims are revealed in a BBC1 Panorama programme, Sex and the Holy City, to be broadcast on Sunday. The president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, told the programme: "The Aids virus is roughly 450 times smaller than the spermatozoon. The spermatozoon can easily pass through the 'net' that is formed by the condom.

"These margins of uncertainty... should represent an obligation on the part of the health ministries and all these campaigns to act in the same way as they do with regard to cigarettes, which they state to be a danger."

Is the Vatican claiming a superior competence to the WHO on a scientific matter? Surely, the Vatican could announce who the scientists are who have devloped these specific claims.

Because if what the Vatican says is true, this is one very, very big conspiracy to suppress the truth.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:40 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The Headline Screams "The Priest From Hell" and he's in my backyard.

The story starts...

Rev. John F. Johnston, 64, of 78-12 35th Avenue in Jackson Heights
Oh my .... I live (lived?) less than a mile away from him (near 39th Ave.). He's such a confluence of factors that go into the priests who live a double life. I live a block away from a rectory with four chaste, holy, friendly priests.

It also shows that the carefully parsed, edited, and approved by the Vatican Dallas guidelines to protect minors avoids the problem presented here by Johnston and so many other priests who appear in the news: they cannot or choose not to live chaste and holy lives.

New York Times:

Father Johnston then said he had stolen more than $80,000 from the collection at a Long Island church, St. Martin of Tours in Bethpage, where he performed Mass on weekends, the official said. The priest said he had taken $100 a week, and told the police the money was his "401K plan," the official said.

The police had counted $6,000 in small bills by last night, the official said, and were still counting.

"It looked like Hitler's tomb," one investigator said.

Maria Leny Rodriguez, 47, the wife of the building superintendent, said that the priest was always alone. "He always looked very angry," she said. "He never talked to anyone." She added that when news of the charges came yesterday, "We were very surprised."

New York Post: Priest From Hell

The seedy details of Johnston secret life were exposed Tuesday night when cops went to his apartment at 78-12 35th Ave. in Jackson Heights after tracing a barrage of "profanity laced" phone calls to him, officials said.

While police were taking him into custody, they found three pistols - one of them an unlicensed .38 - lying on a bureau in his living room along with homosexual pornography and Nazi helmets, daggers and other mementos, law enforcement sources said.

They also found thousands in cash on the bureau, and more in a shopping bag in his bedroom, the sources said.

New York Daily News: Priest had loot, Nazi stash, porn

Behind his white collar, a Queens priest kept some dark secrets, cops said yesterday. The Rev. John Johnston, 64, was a pistol-packing padre who had a stash of Nazi memorabilia and gay porn in his Jackson Heights apartment, police said.

But perhaps the most evil thing the longtime religion teacher is accused of is breaking the Seventh Commandment by stealing as much as $100,000 from a Long Island church's collection.

"Even for me, it was disturbing," said a police source, who toured Johnston's den of iniquity on 35th Ave. and 78th St.

New York Newsday: Priest Arrested
A trace on vulgar phone calls to a Catholic high school principal led detectives to the Queens home of a pistol-packing priest, who collected porn and Nazi memorabilia, and had $87,000 he skimmed from a Long Island church, police sources said yesterday

The harassing phone calls were apparently connected to a clash Johnston had last year with Robert Wickman, the new headmaster at Oratory Preparatory School in Summit, N.J., where Johnston taught English for 23 years, police sources said.

Wickman, who couldn't be reached yesterday, had worked at Bishop Loughlin a few years ago. Police sources said Johnston, who was forced to retire in the summer, blamed Wickman.

Johnston began calling Wickman's old school as a way to get even, the sources said.

The New York Times and Newsday don't mention that the porn was homosexual. The Daily News and Post do mention this -- and that he taught in an all-boys school for 23 years.

This story was the top of the television news. It pushed the story of an 18-year old kid who killed himself and two others in a explosive car crash at 95 MPH in a $100,000 302-horsepower Mercdes.

UPDATE: NY1 News video link

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:20 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The Age (Australia) Pope mooted for Nobel Peace Prize October 9, 2003 - 12:05PM
Speculation is growing in Italy that this year's Nobel Peace Prize will go to Pope John Paul II in recognition of his steadfast opposition to the US-led war on Iraq.
Via Drudge but I blogged it before he did.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:04 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, October 08, 2003
The Pope and the Nobel Peace Prize

I agree with the analysis of the Wall Street Journal (paid subs. reqd.)

In its most basic form, while he should have been recognized for his role in ending Communism, it would have been politically incorrect to do so.

But because the Pope supported the continuation of the Saddam regime and opposed the American-led war in Iraq, that makes him a very attractive nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:45 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Newsday AP: Alleged devil worshipper gets life sentence for murder
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- An alleged devil worshipper was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for killing a college student in his apartment and then setting her body on fire.

Mark Anthony Alverez, 30, was sentenced for second-degree murder in the 2001 death of 20-year-old Crisie Mejias, whom he met while working as a bouncer at a salsa dance. Convicted in August, Alverez also received a a 30-year sentence for second-degree arson.

Just a reminder that stories that involve the devil are not always a joke.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:38 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Anti-Anti-Catholic and Anti-Anti-Christian Books

  • Know the Enemy.
  • Persuade others that we are in a war for religious rights.
I'm still reading Jenkins and I have Massa and Limbaugh on order.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:16 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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A review of the above book, that I post without comment. (I duck as you hurl debris at me).

Without a doubt, Paul Dinter's story of his life in the Catholic Priesthood and his insights into the dysfunctional celebate life brought understanding, compassion and tears to my eyes.

The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church is so out of step with reality.

What is being done to our Catholic Priests when it comes to not acknowldgeing their sexual nature is a travesty which borders on sadistic behavior on the part of Rome.

One does not have to think very hard after reading Paul Dinter's book why there are so few vocations today to the Celebate Priesthood.

Mr. Dinter writes this book in a way that helped me as a 59 year old cradle catholic, with doubts and fears that come with being raised Catholic before Vatican II, to understand and accept my conscience when it comes to not buying into the rhetoric that comes out of the Vatican today.

As a gay man who has been partnered for 35 years, I finished the book with a sense of renewed pride in my total self. God Bless you Paul Dinter for writing this book!

Without a doubt, this sets a new standard in the expression of loathing for the Catholic Church by a self-identifying Catholic.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:05 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Blog this before the memory of it fades...

In an interview with Brit Hume of Fox News, California Democratic spokesman Bob Mulholland called President Bush "Bush Junior". To his credit, Brit Hume winced and would not let that cheap shot go by. Muholland giggled like a little girl and defended his pet name for the President.

Mulholland showed no class again in threatening a recall of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:30 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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1010 WINS: Unusual Collectibles
Investigators found an unlicensed pistol, pornography and Nazi paraphernalia at the home of a priest they arrested on suspicion of making harassing phone calls to a Catholic school, police said.

John Johnston of Queens was awaiting arraignment Wednesday on charges of aggravated harassment and weapon possession, the NYPD said.

The 64-year-old priest was suspected of making a series of harassing calls to Bishop Laughlin High School in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, police said.

An unlicensed .38-caliber pistol was recovered in his home, along with unspecified pornography and Nazi paraphernalia, police said.

A police official described the calls as "threatening and alarming" but did not provide further details about their content.

A spokesman for the Brooklyn Diocese did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

This is more proof: It's not about pedophilia, it's a bigger problem.

Also, I expect that WINS will correct the spelling of to Bishop Loughlin in due course.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:10 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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For a man facing life in prison if convicted according the allegations in the National Enquirer

Rush Limbaugh sounds very relaxed and upbeat.

He's having a great deal of fun with the word overrated. I'm sure I missed a few:

  • The Yankees are overrrated by the New York media who simply expect them to win.
  • Bill Clinton is overrated by the Democratic strategists who want him to campaign.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:41 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Winners and Losers


  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Tom McClintock (for running a good campaign, getting statewide visibility, no personal attacks against opponents)
  • populism (grass roots movements against the political establishment)


  • Gray Davis (naturally)
  • Bill and Hillary Clinton (they looked like party hacks)
  • The Democratic Presidential candidates (ineffectual campaigning for Davis)
  • The entire Democratic agenda (they held nothing back to keep Davis in power)

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:23 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, October 07, 2003
Victory for Arnold Schwarzenegger.
You, God we praise

Te deum laudamus
Te dominum confitemur.
Te aeternum Patrem
omnis terra veneratur.
Tibi omnes angeli,
tibi caeli: et universae Potestates.
Tibi Cherubim
incessabili voce proclamant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus:
Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra
majestates gloriae tuae.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:16 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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A confidential conversation with the President revealed.
X said that when he sat down to talk with Bush on March 5 the president began expounding the reasons for war at length, until the X interrupted to say: "I did not come here only to listen, but also to ask you to listen."
Nice move -- asking the President to shut up.
Bush listened to X, but raised objections to X's moral arguments against use of force, its rejection of "preventive war" and its warnings about the practical consequences for Iraqis and others.

When Bush said Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was training members of the terrorist organization al-Qaida, X said he asked him: "Are you sure? Where is the evidence?"

Was he expecting Bush to provide satellite intel and GPS coordinates for the bases? Terrorists were trained in Iraq.

X also questioned the administration's conviction that Iraq possessed and was ready to use weapons of mass destruction.
This was the conclusion of the United Nations and the previous American administration. Saddam had used them and not provided evidence of their destruction.
But Bush had no doubt that he was right, X said. The president acted almost as if he were divinely inspired and "seemed to truly believe in a war of good against evil," X said.
X was confronted with certitude -- something he must see only occasionally. A US President needs to be certain before committing the country to war.
"We spoke a long time about the consequences of a war. I asked: 'Do you realize what you'll unleash inside Iraq by occupying it?' The disorder, the conflicts between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds -- everything that has in fact happened," X said.
What accounts is X reading? The Kurds and Shia are now living in peace and without the terror of Saddam. Their infrastructure is being rebuilt or created where it didn't exist before.

Some Sunni's and foreign infiltrators have attacked cooperating Iraqis and the coalition forces.

The overwhelming number of Sunni's are grateful that Saddam's regime has ended and look to the future of a free and democratic Iraq under the rule of law and not tyranny.

But who is X? A French ambassador? A German foreign minister? A Reuters correspondent? A BBC interviewer? And who reveals what was exchanged in confidence with the President?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:43 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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NY Post: That Filthy Woman
TRAGIC: Daniel Scruggs hanged himself in his closet after classmates ridiculed him over how he smelled.

October 7, 2003 -- MERIDEN, Conn. - A mother was convicted yesterday of contributing to the suicide of her 12-year-old son, who hanged himself in his closet with a necktie after being bullied at school over his bad breath and body odor.

In reading this story I though of women whom my wife has befriended over the years who were clearly having problems coping with life like Judith Scruggs.

I've been to more that one appartment that stinks to high heaven with dogs or cats or both where an elderly or mentally challenged person can't deal with the reality any more.

Through a great deal of prodding I believe my wife helped one very needy woman care for herself, get medical care, etc. to allow her to live with some dignity for ten years.

I don't diminish the great personal responsiblity that Judith Scruggs had. But I don't think this was inevitable. So I wish that Daniel and Judith Scruggs had some caring neighbors who could work with them long before this terrible tragedy happened.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:32 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Catholic Analysis: Michigan Governor Granholm: Looming Excommunication?
The Michigan state legislature has passed and put on the desk of pro-abortion Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm a bill banning the gruesome practice of partial birth abortion (see Detroit News story). The governor, who claims to be Catholic, is likely to veto it. The Michigan Catholic Conference, the official organization of all Catholic bishops in Michigan, has come out strongly and publicly in favor of the bill. Apparently, in many churches, the strongly worded letter of support for the bill penned by the bishops is being read from the pulpit or reprinted in parish bulletins. The Michigan Catholic Conference also purchased full page ad space to publicize its support for the ban on partial birth abortion in major newspapers. (See Cardinal's open letter [PDF document]).

So here we have all the bishops, including Cardinal Maida of Detroit, strongly and publicly using all means at their disposal to give an unequivocal message to Catholics and to all others in Michigan: support this bill to ban the barbaric practice of partial birth abortion. What happens then when the pro-abortion governor who identifies herself as a Catholic vetoes it?

In my view, the scenario is set for public disciplinary action, including excommunication. I do not know what the bishops will do, but I certainly know that they must do something that makes clear that, if the Governor indeed vetoes the bill, she has separated herself thereby from the Catholic Church.

I wrote back to Oswald Sobrino,

Granholm would have to be warned by her bishop, since it is he who would make a finding that in the act of signing that law she had excommunicated herself.

Furthermore, I believe the bishop would have to spell out what action Granholm would need to perform to reconcile with the Church should she seek to do so.

I'd very, very surprised to see this happen. It's the right thing to do, but the bishops don't have the guts to do it.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:30 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP: Local sculpture irks some on Kansas campus
A sculpture from Longmont that depicts a Catholic clergyman in a cap bearing resemblance to a penis has drawn angry criticism from people who want it removed from the Washburn University campus (Topeka, Kansas)

Boyle said he created the sculpture as a "humorous piece" that was "not intended to be mean-spirited," and that he hoped people would form their own opinions about its meaning.

I didn't copy the photograph over to this blog because it is too disgusting. It is sculpture by Longmont artist Jerry Boyle titled "Holier Than Thou". The Catholic League and other bloggers have mentioned it but my outrage increased after I saw the photo.

There's free speech for Catholic-bashers, and there's the establishment clause and the non-existent wall of separation used against us when we defend outselves, or attempt to spread the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ.

After looking at the photo and article, you may want to write or call:

President Jerry Farley
Washburn University
1700 SW College Avenue
Topeka, KS 66621
(785) 231-1010

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:54 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Last Call on Posts on California Recall

I can understand people who opposed recall from the start. I can understand people who were for Arnold Schwarzenegger from the start.

I can understand people who became aware over time that AS was electable and represented the best chance for a change over the unelectable McClintock. (I'm one of those.)

But I can't understand people who hold these two ideas simultaneously:

  • It was a Gray Davis dirty trick and a lack of journalistic integrity to have a "surprise Thursday" to release all these unvetted, many anonymous complaints against AS's character.
  • The number of these allegations persuades me that AS is criminal or immoral and is unfit to be governor.

If you believe that this was a setup job then disregard the allegations, and if your conscience is pricked, then contribute later to a legal fund for these women to prosecute Governor Schwarzenegger for sexual harassment.

Also, contribute to the fund to have the alleged victims of Gray Davis sue him for sexual harassment as well.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:34 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, October 06, 2003
Dear Diary:

I know some people are disgusted by entries like this. Be patient. I promise to be brief.

Saturday: My second cousin gets married in St. Patrick's Cathedral. A nuptual Mass. The bride's family is from New York City and everyone else is scattered across the United States. It takes us 30 minutes to get there on the subway. Nice reception at the New York Athletic Club. Good food and a live band -- it's been a while since I've been to a wedding with a live band.

Monday: A Mass for the 20th anniversary of the passing of Cardinal Terence Cooke, Servant of God, from this life at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Fr. Benedict Groeschel CFR is the postulator for the cause of his canonization. All the material is now in Rome in the hands on the Congregation for Saints. We might hear from them in a week or in the 22nd century.

Monday: A lecture on the papacy of Pope St. Pius X at St. Patrick's Cathedral. A peasant pope who was for 20 years a parish priest. A reforming bishop and a reforming cardinal and a reforming pope. We need a repeat of a pope like Pope St. Pius X.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:46 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The Silver Hammer Stays in the Vatican Museum


The Silver Hammer Mystery Question from JP on 02-06-2003:

For the sake of completeness I thought you might like to have the complete references for the rather elusive articles I was relying on when I questioned the use of a silver hammer to verify the Pope's death, now that I have managed to track them down again!

The first was a column in the "Glasgow Observer and Scottish Catholic Herald" (Friday 24 Feb. 1939) entitled "That Silver Mallet Story", which quotes the Holy See's official 'Annuario Pontificio' as follows:

"It did not happen at the deaths of Leo XIII or of Pius IX, nor is any mention made of it in the 'Diaries of Ceremonies' for any of the previous popes. Mgr. Respighi, the archivist of the papal ceremonies, has made a careful search through all the diaries kept in the Vatican, and did not find one single mention of the alleged 'silver hammer tapping'."

The article does not state which edition of the 'Annuario' it is quoting from, and I don't know why I thought it was around 1913 (it must be later). Perhaps one of your readers who has access to the volumes can solve the mystery by verifying whether the quotation is accurate?

The second article, headed "The Legend of the Silver Mallet", was written by Fr. Herbert Thurston, S.J. and appeared in "The Tablet" of March 4th 1939. The author states that "However the popular error has grown up, it seems certain that for the last few pontificates nothing of the sort has taken place", and quotes from a book written by one Hartwell D. Grissell, a papal 'camiere di numero' who was in Rome at the death of Leo XIII and who wrote:

"It may be mentioned that no such ceremony as striking the dead Pope's forehead with a silver hammer takes place, and that the exact method of calling aloud his name is not tied down to any determinate form, but is left to the discretion of the Cardinal Camerlengo."

Fr. Thurston adds that it had recently been "officially denied in Rome that the siler mallet is used to attest a Pope's death", but he does not give the source of the denial.

These references explain why I was so perplexed to read of the appearance of a silver hammer photograph in the magazine 'Inside the Vatican'. Maybe they just used it for household repairs?!

Answer by Matthew Bunson on 02-07-2003: Thank you for the additional information. I do not believe that the information is currently in the Annuario Pontificio (at least not that I have found). This is a somewhat arcane topic, but it is an interesting one.

EWTN QA: Contradicted
Death of a Pope Question from Michael Lynch on 01-10-2002:

What is the ritual used when declaring a Pope officially dead?

Answer by Dr. William Carroll on 01-10-2002: After a medical examination, the dead Pope is tapped on the forehead with a silver hammer by his Secretary of State and asked three times "are you dead?" When he makes no response, he is proclaimed dead. See the extraordinary account of the deaths of Pope Paul VI and John Paul I in the great, but almost unknown book PONTIFF by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts (New York: Doubleday, 1983). This information-packed book, which I am using this semester in my last course, The Pontificate of John Paul II, had unaccountably been allowed to go out of print, but may be obtained from amazon.com - Dr. Carroll

Later "Questioners" corrected Dr. Carroll.

UPI: Feature: dead pope will not be hammered

As recently as 40 years ago, the Camerlengo did this by tapping the pope's head three times with a small hammer and shouting his family name close to his ear, but that colorful ritual is not mentioned in the 1996 revisions made by Pope John Paul II to streamline the process, and referred to by the opening Latin words of the document as "Universi Domini Gregis..." -- The shepherd of the Lord's whole flock...

However, the Camerlengo is still required to slip the papal ring off the dead pope's finger, and smash the official papal seal.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:21 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Mepham Update
(Associated Press) In a related story, police say the father of one of the accused boys was found dead in his home Sunday morning. Police would not release the name of the 40-year-old man, who was found dead in bed. Police say the cause of death will be determined by an autopsy. Police say that the results of toxicology tests could take up to three weeks to determine a cause of death.

The accused teens will be tried as adults. Their names will be withheld.

I'll make the prediction: when this is all over -- Mepham High School will get a new name.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:41 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Commentary: Are they really Catholic?
By Uwe Siemon-Netto UPI Religion Editor Published 9/30/2003 11:44 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- Pardon this religion columnist, a Protestant, for being puzzled by two political frontrunners, who are Catholics. One is retired Gen. Wesley Clark, a man who converted to Catholicism during the Vietnam War. Now he is leading the pack of Democrats wishing to be nominated presidential candidate.

And what are his opening remarks when asked by doubtful interviewers about his party credentials? "I am pro-choice!" he keeps insisting in a manner that strikes some of us a trifle too forceful.

The other guy is actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Republican, father of four, in-law of the Kennedy clan, evidently on his way to becoming governor of California, if polls can be trusted. He too presents himself as "pro choice." Both gentlemen thus favor what their church calls an "abominable crime" for which perpetrators automatically incur excommunication.

Read the whole thing. I echo the same here: let the bishops name names and excommunicate if they vote contrary to clear Catholic moral teaching.

Blogger credit: Old Oligarch.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:02 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Making America Safe for Cuius Regio Eius Religio

The event that marked the end of the Religious Wars of Europe was the Treaty of Westphalia 1555.

For those of you who are studying for you Advanced Placement World History exam the importance of this is self-evident. For the rest of you it created peace by reducing the matter of religion to "whoever's domain it is, his religion prevails there". How most that have appealed to monarchs.

This country is on the road from religious freedom to a Cuius Regio Eius Religio of atheism. Religion is not tolerated, the mockery of religion must not only be tolerated but funded publicly and that's all it takes to impose atheism as the state religion.

As a child I was told that if Communism came to America it would be the end of Christmas. Now that's such a terrible thing for a child to imagine.

The Freedom From Religion Crowd has brought to us a Christ-free Holiday Season.

Many of us have Sundays off from work - a day for shopping.

Most Christians and Catholics are asleep. The enemy here is sublime and patient working step by step and creating a sequence of judicial precendents that will ultimately remove God from any public recognition.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:01 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Issue United States citizenship upon entry to the United States -- no questions asked.

If this is not the public policy position of Cardinal Egan and Bishop DiMarzio, then I must not be reading their statements correctly. There is no law concerning immigration that they believe should be enforced, at least in the United States.

There's no hint in their statements that there might be an interest in establishing some requirements before granting citizenship.

Details in the Daily News

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:07 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Playing to the clock

No one has explained why the women (most of whom remain anonymous) waited until just four days before the election. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy on August 7, why did they wait 55 days if they wanted to have an impact on the election.

I believe it is because they did not want to give Arnold Schwarzenegger and the electorate a fair opportunity for him to address the allegations.

This timing works entirely to Davis' advantage as he is incessant now in creating doubt among the electorate that Arnold Schwarzenegger is a sexual predator.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:38 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Mepham Bulletin: WNBC: Dad Of Accused Boy In Sodomy Hazing Case Reportedly Found Dead

No details have been made available yet.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:40 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tales of the Vatican Bureau of Investigation

AP: Case of Morristown pastor accused of fondling girl is sent to Vatican

Ken Mullaney, a diocese attorney, said that because of his age, if Dericks is found guilty at a church trial, the diocese would seek a life of penance for him, meaning he would not be able to identify himself as a priest.

I'd like to ask Ken what's the difference between a life of penance and any other kind of life.

Does a Rota judge really say "The accused is sentenced to a life of penance" and bang the gavel?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:36 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Mepham Update:

Greenwich Times: The Community Shares Shame

A letter: If you leave boys together for more than 8 hours without supervision, mischief will happen." This was a comment by a Mepham parent on TV. Perhaps this is the general consensus of parents, that mischief occurred and only a "snitch" would tell on the others. - New York

There's a prudent judgment that kids learn -- saying something like "Ms. Brooks -- Billy looked at me and made a face." -- "Ms. Brooks -- Johnnie looked at me and made a face.", etc. or something that is offensive in a small way and then calling on authority to deal with it rather than confronting the source of the small offense -- that's a lesson that starts in the first playgroup in nursery school.

There's a line to be drawn there -- and felony sexual assault is so far over the line that I wonder would they have tried to cover up a murder?

Also, I have been a "boy" and supervised "boys" and I can't imagine that left alone for 8 hours, homosexual assault will happen. This is like a version of Lord of the Flies on PCP-Angel Dust.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:31 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP: Bobby Jindal advances to runoff in Louisiana governor's race
Jindal, 32, the son of Indian immigrants, is a protege of Foster and a former assistant secretary in President Bush's Department of Health and Human Services. His youth and ethnicity were expected to work against him in a state where former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke once scored a majority of white male votes in a statewide run.

But Jindal's impressive resume - Rhodes Scholar, high-level state and federal jobs - became a neutralizing factor.

"I'm not a politician, but I am a problem solver," Jindal told a cheering crowd at a hotel in downtown New Orleans. "I'm confident that the step we've taken to leave behind the politics of old is going to continue."

On key issues - economic development, education, health care - most candidates promised little change in this slow-growth state where elections often turn on personalities.

Jindal appealed to Louisiana's conservatives in radio ads extolling the Ten Commandments and deriding liberals and gun control, while promising fiscal sobriety and few initiatives. Frequent mention of this Catholic convert's faith helped shore up support.

I'm sorry but I missed this one. It's an interesting development: for AP to attribute the acceptence of this candidate to his mention of the Ten Commandments and the Catholic faith.

Pray that this becomes a national trend.

Now if this continues through the general election...

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:52 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sunday, October 05, 2003
Three New Saints

The most famous was Daniele Comboni, who worked as a missionary in Sudan before founding the order of priests that carries his name and now works in many countries around the world.

Another new saint is Arnold Janssen, who was born in the lower Rhineland in 1837.

The third is Josef Freinademetz, born in 1852 in the South Tyrol, part of the Austro-Hungarian empire which was given to Italy after World War I.

476 canonizations by Pope John Paul II -- this is more than all the other popes combined.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:59 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com