Saturday, December 20, 2003
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:21 PM Permalink
I'm really skeptical of this one:
Translation of the Holy House of Loreto (celebrated Dec. 10)
The holy house of Nazareth â€” site of the birth of the Mother of God, of Her early education and of the Annunciation by the Angel Gabriel of the wondrous news of the Incarnation of the Son of God â€” had been found, transported miraculously, near Tersatz in Dalmatia (Yugoslavia) on May 10th of the year 1291.
If you have something to help my unbelief with this one, let me know.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:08 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:47 AM Permalink
New Media: On the web, love winning over p*o#r'n
For the first time in the brief history of the internet, men are becoming more likely to pay to meet women online than to see them naked.
I'm a bit skeptical of this finding, but if other studies confirm this, it is a hopeful sign.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:17 AM Permalink
I read all these articles so you don't have to. This item screams out from the page:
Quad-City Times: Guest column: Healing can begin as diocese responds
"Deference" -- Is that what Ed Burke thinks the power of to bind and to loose is all about?
"Deference" -- If that's the relationship that Bishop Franklin demands, or Ed Burke thinks the Bishop demands, then God help us all!
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:51 AM Permalink
Stories you won't see in other Catholic blogs:
Separated by thousands of miles and until Friday, complete strangers to each other , Jackie Schott and Army Reserve Maj. Mike Campbell have been linked for the past year by the twine of handmade rosaries.
Alternate heading: No atheists in foxholes.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:10 AM Permalink
Friday, December 19, 2003
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:55 PM Permalink
Thursday, December 18, 2003
Ocean County Register: A tactic the Nazis would admire
As December began, Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center met with Pope John Paul II in Rome. Rabbi Hier was trying to convince the pope to declare suicide bombing "the crime of the 21st century," according to reports.Blog contributor Joseph D'Hippolito has had this op-ed published in the Ocean Country Register.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:25 PM Permalink
"Stories You Won't Read in Any Other Catholic Blog" Dept.
When Jack Woltz refused the polite request of Don Vito Corleone to cast Johnny Fontaine, Jack woke up in bed with the head of a his prized horse Khartoum. Read on...
The Kentucky Post: Kids fess up in horse head caper
The identity of the perpetrators is being kept secret. It's a conspiracy.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:40 PM Permalink
Zenit: Struggles of Today's Converts to Catholicism
Father Charles Connor on the Special Role of the New Faithful
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:32 PM Permalink
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:50 PM Permalink
Who watches the watchers?
The Adventure of the Silver Blaze, Sherlock Holmes solved a crime by deducing a fact that the dog didn't bark meant that the dog was familiar with the intruder.
While we are (properly) concerned with the war on terror, the success in Iraq, and the matter of justice for Iraq's former leader, something else was going on that should have had the dogs barking at the Vatican.
France (or at least Chirac) believes it has a problem with the headscarves worn by some of the Muslim women.
To address this problem, France believes the it must end freedom of religion. Atheists are cheering this decision. No more public or even visible evidence of faith.
Most observers know that at its root, headscarves are political and not religious (as this New York Post op-ed by Amir Taheri demonstrates)
What France is witnessing is not a clash of civilization between Islam and the West. It is a clash between a new form of fascism and democracy. Islamism must be exposed and opposed politically. To give it any religious credentials is not only unjust but also bad politics.
There will be a ban on Jewish, Christian, and Muslim symbols. This is the spin from al jazeera.:
The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights said on Wednesday a proposed new law which would ban Islamic headscarves and other religious insignia in schools would contravene the most basic human rights.
So they are speaking out against this erosion of religious freedom in Helsinki, and some French Catholic bishops are speaking out as well but where is the Vatican?
Isn't this an abrogation of the concordats made between the French monarchy, Napoleon, and the various French Republic and the Vatican to safeguard the rights of Catholics? (sound of chirping cricket...)
There's apparently more solicitude for Saddam in the Vatican than there is for the right of French Catholics to display the cross or any Catholic symbol.
+ Lift high the cross, the love of God proclaim, till all the world adore his Sacred Name.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:21 PM Permalink
From the topic that keeps on ticking...
Rush agrees with me. Links in that page to other commentary on Saddam's dignity.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:14 PM Permalink
Opinion Journal Peggy Noonan: "It is as it was" -- Thumbs up from the Pope on the Passion
Here's some happy news this Christmas season, an unexpected gift for those who have seen and admired Mel Gibson's controversial movie, "The Passion," and wish to support it. The film has a new admirer, and he is a person of some influence. He is in fact the head of the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church.She heard so from it's co-producer Steve McEveety, who in turn heard it from Msgr. Stanislaw Dziwisz, the Holy Father's secretary.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:44 PM Permalink
My friends over at Gawker celebrate their first blog-versary today too. They are the place to go for New York and media -- insights and a little bit of mild gossip.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:02 PM Permalink
NRO Michael Novak: Martino?
As for Cardinal Martino, he has made clear on many occasions how bitterly he feels toward the United States on many fronts, not only in the case of Iraq. He has not been altogether prudent. He does not seem to be aware of how oddly his behavior comports with the far more nuanced and modulated views of those around him with greater authority than his.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:36 PM Permalink
AP: Communion Hygiene Nothing To Sneeze At
Reflecting the severity of this year's flu epidemic, Catholic church officials in parts of the San Francisco
"Wafer" and "Wine"? -- I guess it would be too much to expect that the reporter would use the words which I hope were used by the spokesman or the archbishop.
As for the fear that the flu could be spread this way, "common sense" is a good rule.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:20 PM Permalink
Senator Charles Schumer is leading the effort to promote partial birth abortion and to oppose the judicial nominations of President Bush, specifically the Catholic judges for their religious belief which he calls "out of the mainstream".
He is the last person that should be honored by any Catholic-affiliated group.
The press release from Senator Schumer's site.
The Matthew 25:35 Award [given to Schumer] is named after the verse in the New Testament that says, "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in." Schumer was given the award after he gave the keynote address at the Capuchin's "Financial Tools for Estate & Trust Planning" seminar, which taught lawyers and financial planners how to construct trusts and wills for their clients that allow for assets to be transferred to charities. William M. Savino, managing partner of the law firm of Rifkin Railer, moderated the morning program.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:07 PM Permalink
Newsday: Man Decapitated In Rescue Attempt
A construction worker was decapitated when co-workers tried to dig him out of a collapsed ditch with an excavating machine, officials said.
People panicked. They started moving around the heavy equipment without protecting the exposed parts of the the workers' body who was killed in their haste to rescue the second completely buried worker. The second worker was rescued if that's any comfort to these men.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:20 AM Permalink
My opinion on how to treat Saddam
I don't believe Saddam should be tortured. This means physical pain, broken bones, mutilation. This would turn us into Saddam's secret police.
Some sort of mental disorientation, sleep deprivation, drugs which diminish the will to resist, etc. is what the CIA has been using for years.
Saddam so far appears to have behaved cowardly. He was betrayed by a family member.
I think he will disclose what we need to know in order to locate WMD's and leaders of the resistance to the reconstruction of Iraq effort.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:32 AM Permalink
The president of the Catholic League checks in
Dr. William Donohue spoke on WABC Radio today. Since Bill didn't post a transcript readers here will have the inadequacies of my summary:
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:22 AM Permalink
It was on December 17, 2002, that after a year or so of reading blogs I started one.
I've been on the Internet communicating the Catholic faith and my own opinion (and hopefully I know the difference) since 1984, and I feel like I've just started. Thanks be to God.
And thank you readers. I will remember you and pray for you before the Blessed Sacrament today.
If you want to meet me and live in or are now visiting the New York area, I will be at a (1) Holy Hour in the Bronx at Holy Rosary Parish (Fr. Robert Quarato), 1510 Adee Ave. 7:30 PM on Friday 12/19. (2) Afternoon of Reflection on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (with Fr. Benedict Groeschel CFR) at Holy Innocents in Manhattan 1:30 PM Sunday 12/21. email me for more info.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:18 AM Permalink
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
Bill O'Reilly on Fox opened up with a discussion of the loss of the Saddam's dignity.
The common definition of dignity is the rank, honor, prestige given to a person. Dignity exists in a hierarchy and refers to a relationship which may be formal (as in the dignity given to a mayor) or informal (as in the dignity given to a person at work with more seniority or more achievement). A ceremony where one is shown a greater level of dignity is homage to use this feudal term.
The traditional ecclesial/ecclesiastical usage of dignity is denote a rank without an authority relationship. Priests have higher dignity than deacons who in turn have higher dignity than lay persons. The faithful in the state of grace have greater dignity than those not in the state of grace.
Here's an example of what I'm talking about from the Summa Theologica. of Thomas Aquinas.
By sin, man loses a twofold dignity, one in respect of God, the other in respect of the Church.
The contemporary ecclesial/ecclesiastical usage is closer to the idea of inherent dignity -- made in the image and likeness of God -- that raises us up above the animals. Dignity in this sense moves away from "rank" towards "humanity" -- from a relationship of superior to inferior to the relationship of one to one's neighbor.
There's no better expression of this than Dignitatis Humanae. The declaration of Vatican II on Religious Freedom.
A sense of the dignity of the human person has been impressing itself more and more deeply on the consciousness of contemporary man,(1) and the demand is increasingly made that men should act on their own judgment, enjoying and making use of a responsible freedom, not driven by coercion but motivated by a sense of duty.
Today, when the Church says "dignity" it simply means treating a human being the way a human being ought to be treated because they are not mere flesh and blood but are given from God an eternal soul.
"Dignity" retains in common usage a bit of the sense of rank. There's more "dignity" in going to the Opera than Webster Hall, Town Hall, or Hammerstein Ballroom. More "Dignity" in "Hamlet" than "Animal House". Dignity as we say in New York is "hoity-toity".
This brings us to the idea of "indignity". It's removing dignity but less that de-humanizing someone, and something greater than mere embarrassment.
The most common indignity that one in New York sees is the perp walk. The criminal in handcuffs with the optional baseball jacket pulled over his or her head or the raincoat over the hands and the handcuffs. This is a public indignity -- one that some celebrities such as Martha Stewart who was arrested without a perp walk.
A criminal prisoner is subjected to further indignities in jail. It continues through probation and their ex-offender status.
Prisoners of war on the other hand were given special status. This was done so there would be reciprocity between the belligerents. To a certain extent this worked for the British and American prisoners of the Nazis in World War II. As a group they had a very high survival rate, although the filming of POW's for propaganda purposes was very common by the Nazis, and again in Korea, North Vietnam, and Iraq.
Of course, one of the reasons that images for non-propaganda purposes is appreciated is that it confirms that identifiable prisoners are alive.
The much criticized videotape of the transfer of some of the Camp X-Ray prisoners was not for propaganda purposes but to demonstrate the their treatment was humane and their conditions similar to other detention facilities maintained by the American government.
The video of Saddam was not supplied to satisfy a "public curiosity" but to inform the world
When you look up that actual Geneva Convention text you see that the phrase that critics of the treatment of Saddam by American armed forces is "public curiosity". I think there's far too much being read into that phrase. The confirmation of the identity of the prisoner is not merely curiosity (desire for knowledge for the personal business of another to whom this should be private) but a matter of global importance. Twisting "curiosity" into the generic need to know means that anyone watching a newsreel in a movie theater in World War II to watching the war on TV was satisfying curiosity and not becoming informed.
The video of Saddam was not to humiliate him but to show him being given medical treatment and to show that he was not beaten or tortured.
Had no video of Saddam's capture been provided -- who would believe it? The cry would be "Show us Saddam! Give us Saddam!".
Many of the POW images of both living and dead serve direct propaganda purposes: to show your own side the enemy as defeated and to demoralize the enemy and weaken their will. The "enemy" in Iraq now is not a government or a movement or even operating with the cooperation of the local population. Is there even another "side" to the military operations? And what's so wrong about weakening their resolve to conduct ambush attacks against Americans and the citizens of Iraq cooperating in its reconstruction?
There's a principle of double effect here: to show that he was given prompt medical treatment and not beaten, one sees that he has not been given the grandeur (one sense of "dignity") of "head of state" as Madeline Albright called him on December 16. He was given the "dignity" of a prisoner of war although he was not wearing an identifiable uniform at the time of his capture, nor had the government of which he held power had any further authority or recognition -- but for the global interest in his status and not a the sideshow "geek".
He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up lowly
There's an important purpose in showing Saddam no longer in power and, frankly, in cowardice, unwilling to make the sacrifice personally that he urged so many others to do.
The loss of dignity, given his appearance, is attributable to his choice to stay in a grave-sized hole. He could have arranged at any time to surrender in a nice dress uniform in a ceremony similar to the dignified ceremonies that ended World War II.
I doubt that we will continue to see nightly images of Saddam. That would be just impertinent, even prurient curiosity removing dignity from Saddam. We'll see him on trial. I wonder if Cardinal Martino will conduct his own investigation of his tortures, mutilations, and executions -- perhaps he will satisfy his own curiosity about "the beast".
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:52 PM Permalink
Cardinal Martino chose the wrong hill to die on.
If Cardinal Martino had made a reputation for himself by being a fearless critic of the depradations of Sadam and all the outrages of Muslims committed against Christians, I could handle this criticism.
He's part of the axis of finger wagging to complain that this man who has emerged from a hole in the ground after months to get some free medical care -- and to be identified.
Don't trivialize the necessity of letting everyone be sure that this is the guy and not one of his doubles.
He's not been stripped of his dignity. Perhaps someone should ask Saddam if he minded. The finger waggers appear to be certain that he didn't want to be on global television.
And as for the loss of dignity -- spead the to blame the news producers who chose to air the video and the audience who wanted to see it.
Does Cardinal Martino want the army to return him to the hole from which he came? Install him in a palace?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:32 PM Permalink
The proper concern for Saddam at this point should be for his life and health. That he should immediately be denied his liberty is what it means to be a prisoner.
The damage to his dignity is self-inflicted. You can lose a lot of dignity by hiding in a hole for months.
The primary intention of the filming of Saddam to demonstrate that he was captured.
The other effects: joy in the streets of Iraq, morale boost for the American armed forces, etc. were secondary.
What did people expect? That the 4th Infantry Division had a fresh uniform with the appropriate rank and ribbons attached?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:00 PM Permalink
AP: FDA Debates Sale of Morning-After Pill
WASHINGTON - The maker of a morning-after pill and the nation's largest gynecologists' group asked the government Tuesday to allow emergency contraception to sell without a prescription, saying easier access could slash unplanned pregnancies and abortions.
This currently is a prescription drug that they want to make an over-the-counter drug.
The wide availabilty of over-the-counter abortion inducing drugs will lead to many surreptitious abortions, i.e. "boyfriends", husbands, family members, psychopaths, etc. poisioning the woman's unborn child with one of these drugs.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:46 PM Permalink
More on Cardinal Martino's Comments
This became the main headline on Drudge. It's a big deal.
Bloggers and especially my readers know the names of the Axis of Finger Wagging by heart, but the rest of the world does not. As I wrote in the comments on the Catholic World News comment box, this is imprudent. The word "imprudent" almost lack the intensity of what I am feeling -- there is no emoticon for what I am feeling.
It makes the Vatican, by extension, the Catholic Church look foolish. People will ask is the Pope using Martino's comment as a trial balloon?
What wouldn't be the appropriate handling for Saddam? He was spared his Mussolini moment as I showed in my blog below. Every moment of life that he has, he should be on his knees praying to Allah for forgiveness. How brutal would the handling of Saddam have to constitute an injustice to him?
What wouldn't be a fair trial? How can it be that the Iraqi people lack competence or standing to try him? They only lack for the time being a constitution, but that's a requirement that only the United States would have the power to enforce it.
Any secrecy in the capture and identification process would have led people to believe that he really was not captured or it really was not Saddam. The television footage was necessary to establish that credibility. Even so, some Islamic media still deny he has been caught and there is a conspiracy to conceal the fact that he is still at large.
Update: Sean Hannity started off his nationally syndicated radio show with comments on the statement by Cardinal Martino.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:44 PM Permalink
Death Penalty for Saddam
My understanding of capital punishment is that it is not prohibited by natural law. The prohibition comes from a Christian understanding of the mercy of God and hope in his justice.
In fact, the use of the death penalty seems fitting with natural law:
Iraq is not Christian, and it seems wrong to be selective about what aspects of our faith are imposed or even suggested for Iraqis to follow.
A legally constituted court of Iraqis can try Saddam and sentence him accordingly. Our concern should be for the fairness of the proceedings -- and let the sovereignty of the Iraqi people start with the trial of Saddam. Do not send Saddam to join the trial in perpetuity of Milsovec.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:31 PM Permalink
First Vatican Comment on Saddam is Extraordinarily Stupid
[Cardinal Renato] Martino said he felt "compassion" for Saddam, even if he was a dictator, after seeing images of "this destroyed man" being "treated like a beast, having his teeth checked" by an American military medic.
Being in the custody of the United States Fourth Infantry Division is being "destroyed"?
I wonder how Martino characterizes those who were in custody of Saddam's secret police?
As for having your teeth checked, there are three reasons for this:
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:18 PM Permalink
Monday, December 15, 2003
southofboston.com: Priest changes with changing Catholic Church
St. Margaret's church building will close by the end of the month because the exterior is crumbling and there are no funds to make the more than $1 million in repairs. The parish, unlike some others in the state, won't be closing and Masses will be held in the parish center. But, Conway said, the future of the parish, where some 1,400 people attend Mass each week, is still uncertain.1,400 people attending Mass each week and there isn't enough money to keep the parish open and the church in good repair? Something doesn't add up here. Is Brockton a really poor area?
Answering my own question The income comparison shows Brockton having the same Median Houshold Income as Boston.
How many Catholic faithful attending Mass each week does one need to operate a Catholic parish? 2,000? 4,000?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:51 PM Permalink
AP: Priest Robbed In Church Rectory
Police were searching Monday for a bandit who made off with at least $12,000 after robbing a Brooklyn priest at gunpoint.
Thank God no one was hurt -- it was only money. I wonder if Lauryn Hill's criticism of the Church inspired the robber.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:36 PM Permalink
Christianity Today Weblog: Iraqi Christians Celebrate Saddam's Capture
In Chaldean communities near Detroit and San Diego news of Saddam Hussein's capture spread quickly. "I spoke with my sister in Iraq first thing, and she said the gunfire I heard in the background were coming from the people who are happy," Kinaya, a deacon at Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Church in Southfield, Michigan, told The Detroit Free Press. "The Iraqi people are a democratic people who are now celebrating their freedom."I hope I'm reading this right -- that the gunfire was in Iraq and not in San Diego and Detroit.
I saw some video of those celebrations of AK-47 gunfire. They were rather careless with their aim and some of look like their had partaken of a beverage which is forbidden by the Koran. What were the civilian casualities from the celebration?
And what do they do in Iraq for mourning if random gunfire is for celebration?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:32 PM Permalink
My favorite Google Search
Can you imagine how much greater the news focus would be on Lauryn Hill's appearance had not the biggest story of the last six months broke on the same day?
It would have been the news lead.
Thank heaven for this small favor.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:24 PM Permalink
Missing a clue... Missing a verb...
"This is the first we've heard of it, and we'll follow up on it," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Lauri Williams. "But we still don't if that car was involved."
Context: Bishop Thomas O'Brien was arrested for leaving the scene of a fatal accident which killed a pedesrian Jim Reed on June 14. O'Brien's lead attorney Tom Henze discovered a report of a partial license plate for a second car from playing the police radio tapes.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:49 AM Permalink
Chicago Tribune: Catholics scrutinize enigmatic, strict Opus Dei
CHICAGO - (KRT) - Depending on the eye of the beholder, the teaching kitchens of Lexington College, bedecked with pots and pans, mark either a place where young people learn an employable skill in a Christian setting, or a clandestine battlefield in an intense struggle for the soul of the Catholic Church.
And they say there's no media bias....
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:39 AM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:26 AM Permalink
Sunday, December 14, 2003
The Listening Post
Drudge of Drudge: If this continues, look for the Democrats to come in third behind Nader.
Peggy Noonan on Drudge: I woke up, watched with the sound off, and I thought that there was something very bad had happened. Then I turned the sound up and realized that they were communicating with their body language that the capture of Saddam was a bad thing to have happened.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:39 PM Permalink
The Dark Lining in Every Silver Cloud
Why CNN put Joe Wilson on immediately after Bush's speech is obvious. CNN expected him to be critical but he declined.
But later criticisms came:
Time will tell.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:10 PM Permalink
A Tyrant Captured
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:50 PM Permalink