Friday, February 06, 2004
Albany Times-Union: Statement by Bishop Howard J. Hubbard
I do not know Thomas Zalay. I have never had any elationship with Thomas Zalay. I have never sexually abused anyone of any age. I have honored my vow of celibacy.
Unless there is something to connect Zalay to Hubbard I expect the investigation to be over quickly. (Everyone knows that the diary and note can be faked)
If there is something there to connect Zalay to Hubbard, it will be very, very damaging to Bishop Hubbard.
There's no criminal complaint or civil law suit, but it's clear this accusation is calculated to produce pressure on the Church to go to a settlement of the other court cases now pending.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:50 PM Permalink
Thursday, February 05, 2004
Osama's got a point
You spend too much time reading blogs when you should be reading to your kids and you come across some strange stuff like sympathy for the folks who want to kill millions of Americans (if they get to pick the living and the dead).
There's a theme that runs all the way through Catholicism, I think it goes back to the time when James and John were turned away by the Samaritans and asked the Lord to bring down fire upon them (Luke 9:51-55). Jesus rebuked them and I wouldn't be surprised to learn in heaven that this little incident earned them the nickname "Sons of Thunder".
When Peter arrived in decadent Rome, his prayer wasn't to destroy the city, but to convert it.
Some Catholics don't have the patience for that anymore. They want a chastisement or a smiting or for God to unload a super-sized can of whup-ass. (OK, I made that last one up.)
If it was good for the Egyptian people, then it's good enough for me. (i.e. plagues)
I think there's a feeling of futility and powerlessness. We Catholics got hit with both barrels below the belt in 4 days: the decadence on display at the Bowl of Infamy, and the declaration of the Massachusetts Junta nuking the one man-one woman marriage.
This isn't unique to the Catholic Church either, Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell blamed liberal civil liberties groups, feminists, homosexuals and abortion rights supporters after 9/11. They were criticized for it.
So don't use the bad example of 38-year-old Janet Jackson or Paris Hilton (Gawker has a new story on her) to urge the Almighty to target the corporate offices of CBS which are a few hundred feet away from my office.
Instead, pray for a sincere conversion of heart.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:40 AM Permalink
Catholic Exchange: This Founding Daddy Don’t Rock and Roll
An excellent article. Try to remember some of Steve Kellmyer's arguments when it comes to debating "the wall of separation between Church and State".
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:49 AM Permalink
This critic thinks that Gibson's team made the quote up
Salt Lake Tribune: For 'Passion' and 'Latter Days,' controversy is a marketing tool
Foxman's criticism came just as the Vatican issued a statement about whether Pope John Paul II ever endorsed Gibson's movie.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:15 AM Permalink
Quite possibly the last of the 9-11-2001-themed subway ads...
Dr. and Mrs. Zizmor salute New Yorkers for their courage and strength
Dr. Zizmor is a dermatologist who has been advertising in the subways for at least the last 20 years.
Read this 7 month-old New Yorker article on them.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:36 AM Permalink
The Catholic Evidence Guild: focusing on The Passion of the Christ
As promised I have begun to prepare a passion-faq and you can see the rough draft at that link.
This is intended to be a handout (formatted as 8 1/2 x 11 folded 3-column tract) to be handed out to people who might be interested in what Catholics believe about the passion and to preemptively answer some of the questions already raised by the discussion of the film.
The part which explains a bit about extra ecclesiam nullus salus ("outside the Church there is no salvation") and the historical roots of anti-semitism have yet to be written. I'll have to look at some of the anti-Passion arguments on the web to get an idea of how to respond to them.
We intend to be out this Saturday in Grand Central Terminal as we are every month when its too cold to be outside.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:14 AM Permalink
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
Or call it brotherhood and sisterhood, or solidarity. One of the ideas that I've seen kicked around by people who are kicking around The Passion of the Christ is the idea of the Jews as the Christ-killers and (fundamentally) Christians righteously seeking vengeance for the killing of their Savior.
The reality and the theological truth is that all humanity shares the responsibility for the death of Christ. However the Passion account of the Bible involves the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem in bringing about his death and, of course, this is what the film depicts.
Certainly if the United States in 2004 had the cultural attitude of the Germans of 1933 then this would inflame already inflamed anti-semitism. I think where it comes to discussing TPOTC, one has to first ask if the United States (or anywhere else this film is to be shown) a tinderbox of anti-semitism waiting to be sparked and burst into flames.
I hope, as Mel Gibson said in an interview that each of us has put Christ on the Cross and the good news is that he has forgiven us for all our sins.
It will be interesting to see now and in the weeks to come, genuine anti-semites exploit the images on the screen to make the prophecies of Abe Foxman come true.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:28 PM Permalink
WorldNetDaily: It's 'gay' marriage in Massachusetts -- High court instructs state Senate civil unions are not good enough
Massachusetts is on the verge of becoming the first state to sanction same-sex marriage after its high court ruled today Vermont-style civil unions will not pass constitutional muster.It's time to pass the Federal Marriage Amendment in Congress and get it into the state legislatures.
I'm going to e-mail Frist and Hastert and see why this doesn't get bumped to the front of the line in legislative priority.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:27 PM Permalink
The Australian: The Times has no Passion for Christian forgiveness
The New York Times seems set on a Mad Max shoot-out with Mel Gibson over his movie, The Passion, which deals with the last hours in the life of Jesus Christ. I don't see the newspaper scoring any points from one of its most discreditable performances.
Sharp criticism of how the New York Times handled the story of Chutzpah-Quotegate.
Reuters: Mudslinging during filming of 'Passion' surprised Gibson
The Passion was even screened for Pope John Paul II in the Vatican, but the pontiff's closest aide, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz denied recent media reports, based on church sources, that the pope had praised the film's biblical accuracy. Dziwisz told the Catholic News Services that "the Holy Father told no one of his opinion of this film."
Reuters elaborate further on why this quote from the Pope has become controversial.
National Catholic Reporter: Pope on Gibson movie: Was it as it was?
Sifting through spin and Vatican speak By JOHN L. ALLEN JR. in Rome
John Allen was one of the journalists accused of lying regarding the quote. He attributed it to an anonymous source close to the Pope.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:49 PM Permalink
AP: Witness Says Stewart Sold Stock After Tip
By ERIN McCLAM Associated Press WriterOh my God! Get Martha on the phone!
I would bet today that she would take the entire loss of her Imclone Systems Inc (symbol: IMCL)
She lied and tried to cover-up the lie.
The lying part I'm sure you all understand: she was asked directly about what she knew and when and her story is full of inconsistencies and contradictions.
The securities fraud charge is more interesting (and I think it will be unlikely that she will be convicted of it) It's one thing to say "I am innocent" -- this is, of course, the constitutional right to not be a witness against oneself. It's another thing to say "I am innocent and there's no proof of anything so that the charges against me will be dismissed. I have cooperated fully and to the best of my ability with the investigation". Making statements like that helped keep up of the price of her own company Martha Stewart Omnimedia (symbol: MSO)
Saying stuff like that helps your stock price, but it has to be true if you happen to be the CEO of that company. It's not an first amendment thing for a CEO to be telling lies (as it would be for a journalist)
The text of the indictment is on The Smoking Gun
She should have taken the plea deal: plead guilty to felony securities fraud and no jail time.
It will be interesting to see (1) if she takes the stand in her own defense (2) in light of the strength of the prosecution's case, she takes a new deal from the prosecutors before the jury is charged.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:44 AM Permalink
Monday, February 02, 2004
Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) and the future
I think they are going to make CBS President Les Moonves walk the plank on this one.
This was not a show to the MTV audience that would turn the channel to MTV but it was done with stealth.
It was calculated to shock, to push the envelope -- to boost the career of a "singer" who hasn't had a hit in a decade and part of Justin Timberlake's revenge kulturkampf against Britney Spears.
I think this is part of the porno-izing trend that is being pushed into so-called mainstream entertainment that I've commented on recently.
The real disaster for CBS will be a collapse in ratings for the commercials and especially the half-time show. Parents will turn their sets off for Superbowl XXXIX where there's a break unless they can be certain this nonsense will not be repeated.
CBS should bring in some CCM musicians.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:52 PM Permalink
As you might expect I thoroughly enjoyed the commerical with Homer Simpson (Master Card).
I saw a theme running through the rest of the commercials which had children: to steal innocence from them -- by exposing them to bad language and sexualized images.
Why is there an obsession with the genetalia and excretory functions? Dr. Freud, call your office! Actually, I think it's a lack of creativity.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:33 PM Permalink
A new low for the culture of hedonism - and echos of an older one.
OK. First an explanation for "In this sign, conquer" (image below).
The Roman legionary's shield at this time had a sun emblem. According to the legend, Constantine had a vision "In this sign, conquer" ("In Hos Signo Vinces"). The sign was the Sign of the Cross. Crosses were painted on the shields and Maxentius was defeated at the Milvian Bridge.
Constantine converted to Christianity and the new religion was tolerated throughout the Roman Empire.
In SuperBowl XXXVIII (Note the Roman Numerals!) -- we see the return of the pagan Sun emblem. What entertainment comes close to gladiatorial combat? It isn't basketball, baseball, golf, or even NASCAR racing.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:16 PM Permalink
Catholic World News: Web site is now Vatican's top communications medium
I put a comment into the CWN web site stating that the Vatican web site seems frozen in time in 1998 in terms of navigation and usability.
Is there an explanation for this other than neglect?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:42 AM Permalink
Washington Post: Israel Puts Graphic Suicide Bombing Video on Web
By Molly Moore
I'm with Matt Drudge on this. The public is getting a bloodless, sanitized version of the war on terror.
It seemed so strange to me that the still photos and video of the Wall Trade Center attack don't suggest that 2,700 died. In fact, deniers, revisionist history web sites state that the lack of visible dead in these compilation videos of 9/11 prove that only a handful died in these nearly empty buildings.
In contrast to the WTC, the October 2003 Staten Island ferry accident had many photos of the injured and dead running for about two weeks. I can still recall a powerful interview with a man who lost both his legs in the accident who described how he witnessed people dying around him.
There's something powerful about the reality of serious injury and death.
The memory of 9/11 is fading and there isn't yet even a temporary memorial at the World Trade Center site.
There was a original series Star Trek episode called "A Taste of Armageddon" where war was being waged and people died without the infrastructure being damaged -- (back in the 60's we didn't have that word so Kirk called it "civilization") Kirk's solution - which, of course, violated the Prime Directive, was to destroy the monitors of the bloodless death chambers where people who were assigned by the computers were directed to go.
Kirk was partly a prophet here: people need to be reminded why this isn't a war for oil.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:46 AM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:11 AM Permalink