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Saturday, November 01, 2003
New York Daily News: The God Squad - Flasher-busting Catholic school girls
Today's lesson: Don't mess with the girls from St. Maria Goretti High School in Philly.

A pervert who got a kick out of exposing himself to them learned that the hard way.

The girls had seen Rudy Susanto, 25, skulking around their Catholic high school for more than a month, cops said.

And at least seven times, they saw a lot more of him than any of them wanted.

When Susanto tried to pull his same nasty stunt Thursday afternoon, the girls decided to mete out some street justice. South Philly-style.

After alert neighbors and nearby store owners wrestled Susanto to the ground, they cleared the way for the furious feet of the vengeance-seeking students.

"He had flashed me two times before, so yeah, I was mad," said sophomore Dorothy Kopicko, 15.

While Susanto was on the ground, he pulled out a small Swiss Army knife, cops said. Kopicko kicked it out of his hand.

"I was scared the first time he flashed me, but I wasn't scared then. I just kept kicking," she told the Daily News.

Robert Lemons, who owns Rose's Food Market about a block from the school, was one of two men who threw Susanto to the pavement.

"Those girls were kicking him, so we just held him down as long as we could," he said.

At one point, Susanto pulled lose and took off with at least 20 Goretti girls - clad in their gray, red and white plaid uniforms - in hot pursuit.

They chased Susanto several blocks until the alleged flasher ran out of steam and the Goretti girls closed in.

"We surrounded him. He was winded. He looked scared when we all came," said freshman Stephanie Kapovic, 15.

The beat-down landed the 5-foot-5 Susanto in the hospital with a fat lip - and in hot water with the law.

He was charged with 14 criminal counts including harassment, disorderly conduct, open lewdness and corrupting the morals of a minor. He could get up to 20 years in prison if convicted on all the charges.

Susanto's capture was the talk of Philadelphia. School officials, while scrupulously noting they did not condone vigilantism, couldn't keep a note of pride out of their voices yesterday.

"He had been doing this for a month and hadn't been caught until our girls nipped it in the bud," said school President Rita Frey. "And they did it in full school uniform."

I'd buy that video.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:52 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Slate: Does the Vatican have exclusive rights to the word "Catholic"?
They say the pope's infallible, but does he also hold a trademark on the word "Catholic"? Readers of a dispatch from the Associated Press last month might well have wondered. The story reported that "a lawsuit filed by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta accuses a network of Spanish-speaking churches of falsely claiming to be Catholic."

This is rather silly.

It's embodied in the freedom of religion that Churches have recourse when fraud is attempted against them. The form of that protection generally is in the legal form that the diocese takes in each jurisdiction.

This pops up all over the place. There's a another "Catholic Church" called "The Catholic Apostolic Church in North America™" which is located near me

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:08 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Friday, October 31, 2003
Some people are so 19th Century

A century ago, the Catholic Church was officially anti-Zionist and the Ottoman Empire ruled over the Holy Land.

This is not your great-great-grandfathers times: The Catholic Church recognizes Israel and its right to exist as a Jewish state. It is the status of the so-called occupied territories of the 1967 war, most of which Jordan claimed at that time and then officially disclaimed them.

One can no longer claim that the Vatican does not reconize Israel's right to exist. The exchange of nuncio and ambassador proves it. You can knock on the door of the nunciature in Tel Aviv (not Jerusalem) to find out.

text of the declaration

Christian History context for the declaration.

and hmm.... it is nowhere to be found on www.vatican.va

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:48 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Bishop Reilly is shocked.

I wish Bishop Reilly well on his recovery from his recent coma, because that is the only way to explain his failure to notice that his comments were spun by the media as full support of equal rights for gays.

I have constructed this Google view that can inform you of the way things were on Thursday October 23, 2003.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:41 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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KTVA Anchorage: Archdiocese Abuse Report
As many as 16 priests serving in the Catholic Archdiocese of Anchorage have committed sexual misconduct. The results of a special commission report are released, detailing misconduct since the beginning of the Archdiocese in 1966. The Erwin Commission committee, made up of three people, completed the difficult task of reviewing all files of more than 80 priests who have served in the Archdiocese. The result of their nine month investigation was made public Wednesday.

"This review was meant to help me understand past cases of child sexual abuse or sexual abuse of a criminal nature by clergy and religious who have served in the Archdiocese," said Archbishop Roger Schwietz.

Let's do the math: 16/81 = 20%, 16/89 = 18%. That is a shockingly high number for an adult male population.

Another thing that's disturbing is that the bishops have taken a legalistic approach to the number of priests and a ambiguity to the label "misconduct".

Sexual misconduct, to me, a Catholic laymen, would mean any violation of the rule of celibacy. This would include a lot of acts which are, strictly speaking, legal were the man not a priest. This would include consensual sexual acts with men or women of any kind, provided they were of legal age.

You're thinking "extreme, how would the bishop know of those?" In cases where the priest's lover had a husband/boyfriend/wife/girlfriend there might be a complaint. There might be an alert to the bishop from a neighbor, co-worker, a random parishioner who would come to have the knowledge of consensual sexual activity.

The term I would prefer to describe sexual misconduct which could be prosecuted as a crime is "criminal sexual activity".

I'm left wondering how much non-criminal sexual activity was uncovered in the investigation and what consequences there are to the priest for this. I'm also not sure if there's a point to naming the priest.

You can be sure that the bishop considers this to be none of your business or mine. On the other hand, most of the contact I have with bishop is around reasons why he needs more trust and support from the faithful. It would be reassuring to know that the bishop doesn't limit his wrath to crime alone but is genuinely concerned with the sin.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:35 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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On this eve of the Feast of All Saint's Day what is going on at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine and the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion?


6. Go to a cathedral ...

St. John the Divine hosts its annual Halloween Extravaganza and Procession of Ghouls at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. tomorrow. The event kicks off with the 1920 silent film classic "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari," followed by a procession of fabulous puppets, creatures and special effects. Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street, $15 adults, $8 students and seniors; call (212) 662-2133 or CityTix (212) 581-1212.

7. ... or a deconsecrated church

The former Sixth Avenue church formerly known as Limelight - now home to Avalon - makes a natural setting for a spooky Halloween party, fueled with house, hip-hop and reggae classics. Avalon, 660 Sixth Ave. at 20th Street, (212) 807-7780, $30.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:28 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, October 30, 2003
WCCO: Did Jesus have a Wife
ABC News correspondent Elizabeth Vargas concedes her network is stepping into a theological minefield with its one-hour exploration of whether Jesus Christ had a wife.

The ABC News special, "Jesus, Mary and DaVinci," is scheduled to air next week.

"You can't talk about this subject without intriguing people or offending people," Vargas said Thursday. "We're trying to do it as respectfully as we can."

ABC screened the special for some reporters and religious leaders on Thursday. The program is based on the best-selling novel, "The DaVinci Code," which claims to be partly grounded on historical fact.

The book asserts that Mary Magdalene was Jesus' wife — not a prostitute, as in some teachings — and that she fled Jerusalem with his child following his crucifixion.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:50 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Daily News Zev Chafets: W ducks real nature of the war U.S. is in
Part of the problem derives from what Bush would call fuzzy language. He insists on talking about "the war on terror." But terrorism is a technique, not an enemy, and you don't make war on a technique. You make war on enemies.

The President talks about terrorism as if it existed in a vacuum. He never uses the terms "Islamic terrorism" or "Arab terrorism." At his press conference, he blamed the recent spate of bombings in Baghdad on "foreign terrorists" - as though these fighters could easily be Belgian Catholics, Chinese Buddhists or Indian Hindus.

The administration also dissembles by using surrogate demons. Osama Bin Laden is the enemy, but not Saudi Arabia, the source of Bin Laden's anti-American doctrines. Saddam Hussein and his band of followers are the enemy, but they are merely a small and unrepresentative band of outlaws who can be rounded up and rooted out. Yasser Arafat is an enemy, but he is the false leader of a people yearning for compromise and peace. The ayatollahs are the enemy, but the Iranian masses love America and yearn for democracy.

via Rod Dreher

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:44 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Heidi Klum shows us the cross.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:55 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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News Interactive: Pope's Jubilee Cross found in dump
Italy's Roman Catholic hierarchy faced intense embarrassment today after a cross used by the pope to celebrate the Church's Jubilee year was found abandoned in a rubbish dump.

The bronze, six metre cross was discovered in the dump on the outskirts of Rome, Italy's RAI Due television reported.

The two tonne cross formed the centrepiece of the celebrations when Pope John Paul II celebrated mass before an estimated two million young people at Tor Vergata, outside Rome, which became known as the "Catholic Woodstock".

"After the Jubilee, everything was dismantled. The cross, and the altar used by the pope was to be installed in a Church to be constructed in Tor Vergata, where the Jubilee was held," said a spokesman for the Italian episcopal council, Monsignor Claudio Giuliodori.

"The building of the Church is the responsibility of the public works department for the Lazio region, which took charge of the cross and the altar."

Connect this story with the one below on the removal of the crucifix from a classroom in Italy.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:59 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Amy v. Andrew

One, two, three, four, I declare a blogwar!

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:28 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Amy Welborn of the Open Book has also blogged on the Italian crucifix caper. I've added my comment there here as I blogged on it below as well.
We've developed the phrase "ceremonial deism" in the United States when referring to God in announcements, oaths, coin and currency, etc. It's (mostly) tolerated precisely because it is empty of the expression of faith.

Italy has its own version of this: "nostalgic Catholicism". Ireland is infected with it as well.

It reminds me of the line spoken by Bluto in Animal House:

Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is!

Is Christianity "over" in Italy? No until Christian Italians say it is?

Do Italians of the current generation care to get their (few) babies baptized?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:42 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Washington Times: Saddam responsible for WMD confusion

Jonah Goldberg explains the WMD blame game with this analogy:

Look at it this way. Imagine you're a cop. You've chased down a known felon and violent criminal who you have every reason to believe is in possession of a gun. You say, "Put your hands up!" And instead he plays games, keeping his hands behind his back. You say, "Let me see your hands" and he shows you them one at a time, like a little kid playing keep-away. Finally, you say, "Look, if you don't cooperate there are going to be some serious consequences; I'm going to make you cooperate."

Sound familiar? It's been blogged before.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:26 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Dhimmi Watch -- great new blog

One of my correspondents here who goes by the name, someguy, recommended and now I recommend a new blog by Robert Spencer called Dhimmi Watch which is has a wonderful focus on the cultural war, the propaganda war, and the shooting war of the Islamists. "Dhimmi" refers to the inferior status given to non-Muslims in nations under Islamic Law.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:52 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Liberals are squealing "Conservative are winning because it's not a fair fight"

UC Berekely News: Framing the issues: UC Berkeley professor George Lakoff tells how conservatives use language to dominate politics

Why do conservatives appear to be so much better at framing?

Because they've put billions of dollars into it. Over the last 30 years their think tanks have made a heavy investment in ideas and in language. In 1970, [Supreme Court Justice] Lewis Powell wrote a fateful memo to the National Chamber of Commerce saying that all of our best students are becoming anti-business because of the Vietnam War, and that we needed to do something about it. Powell's agenda included getting wealthy conservatives to set up professorships, setting up institutes on and off campus where intellectuals would write books from a conservative business perspective, and setting up think tanks.

You've got to be kidding.... Justice Lewis Powell as the Overlord of the 1970's Conservative Movement? He voted for Roe v. Wade. No one lists Powell as a conservative champion. No one. He was a disappointment to Nixon who appointed him.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:39 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Chariots of the Gods Theme Park Open

swissinfo: Theme park investigates mysteries of the world

Assorted atheists, neo-pagans, and credulous are given another place of pilgrimage.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:49 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Called to be a bishop?

Nay. Called to be a gay bishop:

Knight-Ridder News Service: First openly gay bishop says God called on him

But today, Robinson tells people God has called him "to acknowledge myself as a gay man."

The earlier advocacy of the episcopacy of Rev. Robinson on that simple basis that he was a really great Anglican priest is now formally disavowed.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:42 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Genius, Inventor, Artist... and rabid anti-Catholic... read about Samuel F.B. Morse.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:59 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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A message from the Seneca Nation

An new advertising campaign has started to remind us New Yorkers that we can't tax the native Americans. The site is Honor Indian Treaties.

These old treaties still have the force of law and their claim is that they are immune to state taxes. The ads which you can play on your own desktop, have a solemn tone to them: the law of the land...violated

Newsday has the opposing view from a group called Fair Application of Cigarette Tax (FACT).

Here's a strange observation: it pits the Native Americans (Indians) against gas station and convenience store owners (a significant number of whom are Indians and Pakistanis).

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:22 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Just heard about this on the radio. Looks interesting: the rediscovery of the works of Aristotle by the now-Christian West. It looks like a non-fiction treatment of the ground covered by the Name of Rose.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:23 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Furious New Jersey officials yesterday booted nine child-welfare staffers in the wake of the horrific starving of four adopted boys - as Gov. McGreevey threatened to push for criminal charges against one key caseworker.

"It's inconceivable how a caseworker could go there and not detect these atrocious conditions," an angry McGreevey said. "People who made bad decisions will be held accountable."

Supporters of the parents, Raymond and Vanessa Jackson of Collingswood, a well-kept Philadelphia suburb, continued to rally behind them, with their pastor calling them "a very spiritual" couple who fed the homeless and took in and cared for needy children nobody wanted. The couple also had several adoptive daughters, who apparently were not abused.

This was topic A on talk radio today.
  • Some slams at the Evangelical Christian Church that "shielded" the parents. They didn't notice anything wrong and if they did it was explained away as an eating disorder.
  • By the foster parents being so externally religious they are hypocrites.
  • By homeschooling, the generalization is that all foster parents who homeschool are abusive is made.
  • The law in this area is very weak. The Jacksons may wind up walking.
Apparently there are no ophanages left in New Jersey.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:11 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Mepham Update: Newsday: Battle of the Protests
Anti-gay sect, locals face off at Mepham

They were only eight in number, but the protesters from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., carried an inflammatory message to W.C. Mepham High School in Bellmore.

For 90 minutes yesterday morning they held up signs outside the school depicting stick-figure sodomites, quoted the Bible and sang revised American anthems to protest a community that they said condones homosexuality.

But their protest, announced in September, was met by about 400 counter- protesters who represented a number of local advocacy and religious groups.

"I don't think it is appropriate for these people to draw the conclusion that the alleged crime that occurred here is a gay act and therefore a reason to condemn gay people," said Mike Schoenbach, 33, a former Mepham student. "We're here to say you're not welcome, go home."

In August, three varsity football players from Mepham allegedly sodomized three junior varsity players during camp in Preston Park, Pa. Pennsylvania District Attorney Mark Zimmer charged the three older students with a number of crimes. A hearing to determine if the cases will be moved to adult court is scheduled for Nov. 12.

The members of Westboro Baptist Church, founded by Pastor Fred Phelps, linked the alleged sodomy to homosexuality and said the incident occurred because adults in the community encouraged children to accept homosexuality.

Surprised that there was no local support on Long Island for Phelps, not one.

In New York we're used to Phelps showing up to protest. He's an embarassment, so much so that he hurts his own side. I don't know if it's vanity or sincere.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:01 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, October 28, 2003
Too much D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) from this Speaker

Fairfield (CT) Hour: Voice of the Faithful

"You share the calling of the mystic knights to search for and restore the grail that is the sacramental life of the church by restoring its integrity, wholeness, healthiness and holiness"

And I roll my 20-sided die and obtain a spell of "lust" to use against the clerics.

Call me "Perceval".

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:16 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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dali-crucifix Washington Post: Italian Judge Bans Crucifix From School
ROME, Oct. 26 -- A judge's decision Saturday to order the removal of a crucifix from the wall of a single classroom has set off a storm of debate and recrimination in Italy.

The judge, Mario Montanaro, ruled that school officials in Ofena, near the central mountain town of L'Aquila, must take down the cross from a classroom used by children of Muslim activist Adel Smith. Smith raised a furor two years ago when he described the representation of Jesus on the cross as a "miniature cadaver."

I see parallels between this and our our Pledge case ("under God" as establishment of religion).

I think they over-reached. It is shows us for the 10th or 11th time a European anti-Christian alliance: atheists and Muslims who want to remove all signs of the presence of Christianity from Europe ( Charles Martel, call your office)

The two (apparently) strongest worldviews are picking on the weakest in the clash of civilizations. Hoping when the time comes for their own confrontation, they will be stronger and the opposition weaker. (like Germany's pact with the Soviet Union in 1939 to pick off Poland and her allies.)

The answer lies in the Italian people. I have real doubts about them. When push came to shove to defend the Papal States from 1848 to 1870, they sat on their hands or supported the monarchy. Only the external interventions from France and Austria maintained the Papal States during that period.

The atheists may be part of a long-standing conspiracy as well. In my own reading of history I've come to believe in committed anti-Catholics at work in Italy under various labels as Masons, Communists, Fascists.

Muslims will not be content with this victory but maintain the pressure using religious freedom to maximum advantage to promote Islam and and minimize the influence of Christianity.

Wake up, Catholics of Italy.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:48 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, October 27, 2003
Tech Central Station has Glenn Reynolds on why blogs are the CB radios of the moment.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:36 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Yahoo sells the bobblehead Jesus and Mary. You can decide if it is blasphemous or not.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Another Terri Schindler-Schiavo thought

One of the novelities in this case has been the media's accommdation of the husband, Michael Schiavo. The usual presumption, that husbands cannot possibly represent the best interests of a wife is positively celebrated here.

Think of all the cases where a husband's judgment is dismissed by the courts or mocked in popular culture.

Some of the most radical pro-death positions are taunting our side with: "You conservatives -- You're always asking everyone for recognition of primacy of the marital bond -- and here we are presented with a assertion that the husband should determine the best interests of his incapacitated wife and you are critical."

I think it would be obvious to everyone that MS has not fulfilled his duty as a guardian and it's a mystery to me why the legal action to remove him has not been successful.

Another one of the "strange new respect" events was when an ex-husband prevailed in having frozen unborn human beings -- his embryonic children -- destroyed because he didn't wish to become a "parent" -- even though this was his intent at the time he allowed his semen to be used. The details are in this BBC story.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:45 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sunday, October 26, 2003
Why God owes Sodom an apology if he doesn't eradicate New York in kind.


Associated Press: 450 female nudes in Grand Central after hours and 4 blocks away from our prayer vigil outside an abortion clinic (see below).

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:00 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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I'd like to thank...

I knew Jack McKeon manager of the World Championship Florida Marlins was a devout Catholic, I didn't know he'd mention Saint Theresa in his first statement to the press after winning over the Yankees.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:04 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com