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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
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Saturday, February 21, 2004
Is the Albany County Coroner on vacation?

If it was an apparent suicide, I have never known for it to take over a week to make a preliminary announcement if it was death by natural causes, an accident, a suicide or a suspicious homicide.

If it is still suspicious the police ought to start a regular homicide investigation before the physical evidence is lost, witnesses begin to lose their the details in their memory, etc.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:34 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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A Reluctant Champion.

It took a few days, but Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is saying the right things about gay marriage.

How unexpected that his insertion into national politics comes on this issue. I suspect that he wanted his mastery of the budget deficit to be that issue that would get him invited to the talking-head shows.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:18 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Lead us not into temptation
This is a passenger from the Queen Mary 2 arriving Rio de Janeiro.

The canival season is the big tourist draw from that city and several other cities in Central and South America, and in our own nation, New Orleans.

The near occasions of sin didn't make it into the Catechism of the Catholic Church, although paragraph 2847 discusses the discernment of temptation.

Part of the tradition form of penance is not only sorrow for past sins, but a resolve to avoid the occasions of sin.

For those of you wondering what the distinction between temptation and the occasions of sin, it is:

  • tempation: the experience of determing to sin or to refuse to sin, the personal and unique spiritual struggle within oneself between good and evil.
  • occasions of sin: persons, places, things which act on human weakness to sin.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:21 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Life Goes on in Phoenix

Phoenix New Times

The atmosphere inside Aryanfest was that of a Renaissance Fair gone over to the dark side, with "Heils" in place of "Huzzahs." Costumed attendees wore Iron Cross medallions and black bomber jackets emblazoned with swastika patches instead of studded leather armor and princess dresses.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:24 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Friday, February 20, 2004
An outbreak of sanity

A recess appointment for Bill Pryor.

Next let us have Robert Bork, Kenneth Starr, Ted Olson. I'd even go for Rudy Giuliani as recess appointment if he'd take the pay cut.

Bring it on.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:14 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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An outbreak of anarchy

At the 2PM ET newsbreak there was a clerk who said

On my own authority, I see no law barring the issuance of marriage licenses to gay couples, so I will do so until I receive an opinion otherwise from the attorney general.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:08 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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What Rush Limbaugh was struggling with...

Thinking out loud, Rush said that something didn't add up in the pressure for legal Gay Marriage in Mass. and the civil disobedience for Gay Marriage in San Francisco.

I'm disappointed he didn't recognize it right away. Let's see if it mentions it after 1PM ET:

Liberals use the rule of law, they don't follow it.

They expect conservatives to follow the law, respect the law, not amend the constitution, etc. on one hand

On the other hand, they don't believe themselves to be constrained by the law because they believe it is their right to change the law and while that change is pending to disregard it.

Rush's weak defense of Bush's inaction

Rush said that the political timing wasn't right for Bush to take immediately action. Let's see how this plays out.


Why should the constitution be amended to affirm what it's always meant?

Double Hogwash.

Because we can no longer trust the judges/justices to regard precedent in liberal hot buttons. Just as the Roe majority thought abortion to be inevitable-unstoppable, I think there's a majority now who would regard gay marriage the same way.

Bush, Hastert, and Frist should make a joint television appearance today to put the FMA at the top of the Congressional schedule.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:00 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Islam Online: Controversy Rages on “The Passion of The Christ”
Well, the verdict is still out on The Passion of The Christ. Is it unfair to Jews? Is it an accurate Biblical portrayal? Is the buzz justified? For Muslims, the fiery debate does not matter much, since Islam’s view of the crucifixion story is entirely different. The Qur'an’ says Jesus was not killed or crucified, only the likeness of that was shown to the people, and Jesus was saved and raised up unto Allah. (4:157-158.)

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:09 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Albany Times Union: Bishop Hubbard gets a probe at $770 per hour
[Mary Jo White] only agreed to this assignment because of its importance and because the employer -- the [Albany] diocesan review board, not the bishop [Hubbard] or diocese proper -- was willing to meet all her conditions of accessability to information, and the discretion to look into just about anything she deems appropriate.

When the investigation is over, and she has no idea when that will be, Mary Jo White said she will release a complete report simultaneously to the diocese and to the public. Presumably, so the diocese cannot be perceived or accused of massaging the information before it gets out.

An independent investigation that is being paid for by the diocese, to investigate the head of the diocese. Ah yes, the money. Responding to a question, White did not hesitate to tell us her rate is $770 an hour. She will use other resources as well, like investigators, but they are paid at a lesser rate.

If there was an electric moment for this press conference from the media's perspective, this was it. The crowd of 25 or so from radio, television, and newspapers uttered not a whimper of reaction. But I'll bet the collective bubble of thought over the audience's heads was something like, "Wow, am I in the wrong business."

White couldn't say how many billable hours would be involved, but said she understood the bill would be paid from the diocese's insurance fund. Since the diocese is self-insured, that ultimately means the collection plate. Which means that at some point the cost of all this may well become an issue for parishoners already taking a beating on several levels.

I may have been hasty in my judgment that this is a whitewash. I really like the part about a simultaneuous release of the report.

I expect a resignation -- either Hubbard's as he knows the evidence that is out there to lay guilt at his feet -- or Ms. White's as she is certain to be blocked in her attempt to get access to files.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:00 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, February 19, 2004
Tell your friends, start now...

To read the passion accounts in the four gospels.

For a some of us, we'll be able to recite the dialog Ecce Homo and Quod scripsi scripsi but for others of us, we will see these 12 hours as we've never seen them before because:

  • Hollywood's last mass audience depiction of the passion was Jesus of Nazareth (1977) and that itself was shown as a television mini-series in the United States.
  • People don't go to Church.
  • People don't pay attention in Church.
  • People don't read the Bible.

Do not underestimate this: Millions of people will see, hear, and think about the suffering and death of Our Lord who have never done so before.

I don't plan on taking my 10-year-old son to see the movie in the theater by the way -- it is R-rated.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:57 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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NRO: She Was a Teenaged Blogger
My 14-year-old blogger daughter got Instalanched last week, after she wrote about how her English teacher had ridiculed her in front of the class for writing an un-p.c. paper. I've heard what happens when the mighty Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds links you but never seen it up close, and it really is amazing: From 100 hits a day (typical for a teenager's blog) to 100 an hour, with links to dozens of other blogs and almost 200 posted comments from Edinburgh to Auckland.

Sorry this is a few days old, but a very interesting read nonetheless of how deep the political-correctness reach goes.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:14 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP: Stern's Stuttering John goes to Jay Leno
Jay Leno's new announcer on NBC's The Tonight Show will be "Stuttering" John Melendez from Howard Stern's radio show, a spokeswoman said.
Stuttering John was one of the reasons I listened to the Stern show -- in the mid-90's when it was funny. As Stern's marriage was falling apart the show become relentlessly sexual and infused with his depression. His life became a train wreck -- and so was the show.

Howard Stern was born about a month before me in Jackson Heights only 10 blocks away from me. So I was always interested in the progress of his career.

A baby sitter for my kids once had a baby sitter -- Stuttering John's mom. Small world, eh?

The attraction of Stern for me (that is to around 1998) was how ordinary and small problems affected him and his cast of characters -- he poked fun at everyone in show business in a funny. not a cruel, way. He changed and maybe I changed too.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:00 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP: Faith and fury propel Gibson's 'Passion'
It's a clash of power, religion and history more fit for the apocalyptic Book of Revelation than the pages of Variety.

Abe Foxman left the Vatican a disappointed man. He got no statement labelling TPOTC an anti-Semitic film.

Just as I predicted here.

Things have moved on now: Going after Hutton Gibson, Mel's father.

How come Woody Harrelson gets a Hollywood pass when this is his dad?

Father, Charles Voyde Harrelson, has been convicted twice for committing paid murders. Once in 1968 and again in 1978 (for the murder of Federal Judge John Wood).

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:05 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Post: Nativity Scene ruled "religious"; Menorah and Islamic Crescent ruled "secular"
February 19, 2004 -- A federal judge has ruled that a city can continue to ban the display of nativity scenes at its public schools - while allowing other "secular" holiday symbols, including Christmas trees, menorahs and the Islamic star. A Catholic Queens mom had filed a suit against the city Department of Education in 2002, claiming the policy discriminated against her two sons and other Christian students.

"I didn't think that a judge in New York state would rule in favor of Christians," the mother, Andrea Skoros said. "It's too liberal. They're worried about hurting everybody's feelings."

Brooklyn federal Judge Charles Sifton dismissed the suit yesterday, finding the city had followed the law by using symbols that blend the religious and the secular to expose students to various holiday rituals "without feeling threatened by them."

"Holiday displays guidelines are based on Supreme Court decisions. Under the guidelines, schools teach children about different cultures and faiths, while avoiding promoting any particular religion," said Lisa Grumet, a senior lawyer for the city.

We will see more reaction on this from Catholic and Christian sources in the hours and days to come.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:16 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Loser-faux-Catholics for loser-Dean-loser

Be sure to check out Catholics For Dean one more time before it goes to that great Webmaster in Heaven for judgment.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:47 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Who is Mary Jo White?

Reuters: Specialist to probe bishop case

ALBANY, N.Y. -- A former US attorney best known for prosecuting terrorism cases will investigate sexual abuse allegations against Albany Roman Catholic Bishop Howard Hubbard, a diocese spokesman said yesterday.

The spokesman said former Manhattan prosecutor Mary Jo White, 56, was chosen by the diocese review board, which is conducting an internal probe into Hubbard, for over 25 years the bishop of the Albany Diocese with about 400,000 Catholics.

Mary Jo White is perfect for a whitewash of Hubbard. Just Google her name and "Torricelli" or "Teamster pardons" or "Rich pardon" or "New Square pardons" and you will see what I mean.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:43 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Who killed Fr. Minkler? (2)

For a case where there was a suspicious death, it seems odd to me that murder has not been ruled out 5 days after the discovery of the body.

Troy Record: Editorial: James V. Franco: Debate sparked by Hubbard allegations has many layers Discusses the letter accusing Hubbard of homosexual acts.

WXXA-TV Albany NY: Unanswered Questions Read to get a local flavor of what's going on.

Capital News 9: Controversy surrounds priest's death Has statements from Stephen Brady of Roman Catholic Faithful and Paul Likoudis of the Wanderer.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:30 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, February 18, 2004
A daily habit

Keep reading the messages regarding the condition of Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR.

This is the most recent one from Fr. Glenn Sudano, CFR

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:12 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Jayson Williams

Jayson Williams in court showing the cross.

Jayson Williams is on trial for manslaughter -- he was criminally negligent in fooling around with a shotgun among friends and a chauffeur -- shooting and killing Gus Christofi, the chauffeur.

Williams panicked moved the body, delayed in calling 911, attempted to remove the physical evidence, etc. And maintained that Christofi shot himself square in the chest.

From the moment the police arrived, they knew it wasn't a suicide.

Besides the 2 inch silver cross, there's a used well-thumbed copy of the Bible.

Yesterday's testimony: he kept all six of his guns loaded.

The prosecution alleges that Williams and his companions were drunk and abusive towards Christofi. Williams was in the middle of cursing at Christofi as he pulled the trigger.

Possible penalties for Williams: from About.com

Aggravated Manslaughter (requires "extreme indifference" to life): 30 years

Reckless Manslaughter: 10 years

Witness Tampering, Evidence Tampering, Unlawful Weapons Possession: Up to 10 years each. could be sentenced to 30 years in prison if convicted of aggravated manslaughter and 10 years if found guilty of reckless manslaughter. To prove aggravated manslaughter, prosecutors must show that Williams demonstrated an "extreme indifference" to the value of human life. Other charges, including witness and evidence tampering and unlawful weapons possession, carry sentences of up to 10 years each upon conviction.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:17 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Pete Vere has proposed a get-together for Catholic bloggers in the New York City area

Details on Envoy's blog

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:47 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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For those of you who want to see inside the mind of a bishop

The Deposition of Archbishop Robert Sanchez

In another blog disagraced Archbishop was mentioned. He resigned after being accused of having multiple affairs with women but particularly women under the age of legal consent.

He denied the allegations made on 60 Minutes. They were never the subject of a civil or criminal case. I have suspected that blackmail was attempted and declined in this case.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:27 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Post: Jews Take Battle Over Mel's 'Passion' to Vatican
February 18, 2004 -- A prominent Jewish critic of Mel Gibson's upcoming movie, "The Passion of the Christ," visited the Vatican yesterday and asked the Catholic Church to tell its faithful the film is "Mel's gospel" and not an accurate rendition of biblical truth.

The movie about the final hours and crucifixion of Jesus, which debuts next week on Ash Wednesday, has been criticized by many Jewish leaders who fear that it could inflame anti-Semitism by putting the blame for Jesus' death largely on Jews.

"It's Mel Gibson's version of the gospel. It's Mel's gospel. He's entitled, but he's promoting it as the gospel truth," said Abraham Foxman, the director of the Anti-Defamation League.

Foxman met earlier with church officials asking them to instruct bishops to preach the film is an artistic work and not an accurate portrayal of the gospel. There was no immediate comment from the Vatican.

Has anyone in the Vatican ever hinted that Gibson's account was not faithful to the Gospel?

I think Abe is going to be embarassed on this attempt. The Vatican might affirm that The Passion of the Christ is the Gospel.

For one thing Abe Foxman is out of his depth: as a non-believer he can't accept any account as "true" or "accurate" which would portray Jesus as Lord. Abe doesn't believe in "Gospel truth", not even in the "Gospels" themselves.

For another thing, I don't think the Vatican wants to be used in an ADL publicity campaign: Vatican opposes film which quotes Gospel accounts of the passion doesn't look right to me.

As Mel said his critics don't have a problem with him, they have a problem with the New Testament.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:29 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Who Killed Fr. John Minkler?

I tried to find the press conference that disclosed the existence of the nine-year-old letter to Cardinal O'Connor -- you know -- the one that accused Bishop Hubbard of being a homosexual, requiring priests to be his sexual slaves, abuse of his office, etc. and asked for an investigation. Of course, nothing was done by the Cardinal and the only consequence of the whole thing was to put Fr. John Minkler under the screws.

I can't find a press account of that press conference.

I wish a real journalist could connect the dots and explain how a press conference that apparently no one covered could be the trigger to get Bishop Hubbard to make Fr. Minkler an offer he couldn't refuse: put your signature on a statement denying your authorship of a nine-year-old letter that was ignored.

If that nine-year-old letter was false, why bother?

Knowing now what happened to Fr. Minker, if you had the truth, would you want to step forward now and tell your story?

Perhaps you would be the first witness in the Church's sexual abuse scandal to join the federal witness protection program.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:37 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Is it just me?

Or has the sin (or crime) that dare not speak its name, become the sin the just won't shut up?

This is a cultural movement that is working on us, exhausting us, wearing us down like Sugar Ray Leonard on Roberto Duran in 1980: "No mas".

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:41 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, February 17, 2004
The World of Ragnarok Online

It's a virtual world. You play through these characters who appear on the screen. It's a MMORPG -- massively multiplayer online role playing game.

The team of programmers and artists in South Korea who developed it appear to have borrowed freely from the symbols of European history.

The one I enlarged from the knight above is The Sacred Heart of Jesus and rather than a single crown of thorns, it is a double belt of fire.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:54 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Jan Miner: TV's Madge the Manicurist has passed on

I wasn't able to find a photo online, so this is a 300 dpi scan of the New York Times photo.

She had a number of roles on broadway and in films, but she most remembered for a long running series of commericials for Palmolive dishwashing liquid.   [Times obit]

Also in the obits today was Professor Lawrence Ritter who taught accounting at New York University for 30 years. I had him as a teacher when he was about 60, 20 years ago. He was one of the best teachers I have ever had.

He is more famous for his pioneering oral history of baseball which he undertook in the 60's. It became the classic "The Glory of Their Times."  [Times obit]

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:47 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP: Phoenix bishop convicted in deadly hit-run

PHOENIX - Bishop Thomas O'Brien was convicted of hit-and-run Tuesday for leaving the scene after killing a jaywalking pedestrian with his Buick, a crash that ended his career as head of the Roman Catholic diocese.

O'Brien is believed to be the first Roman Catholic bishop in U.S. history to be convicted of a felony.

The 68-year-old bishop could be been sentenced to anywhere from probation to 3 3/4 years in prison.

Jurors deliberated about 4 1/2 hours Friday and an additional two hours Tuesday before reaching their verdict.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:03 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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I confess to this court...

Newsday: Priest Pleads Guilty to Stealing Church Funds

A Catholic priest has pled guilty to stealing approximately $50,000 from Martin of Tours Roman Catholic Church in Bethpage, the Nassau district attorney said.

Rev. John Johnston, 64, of Jackson Heights, Queens, pled guilty today to one count of third-degree grand larceny for stealing from the church's collection baskets between 1998 and October 2003, District Attorney Denis Dillon said

Johnston, who still faces aggravated harassment charges in Brooklyn and possession of stolen property and criminal possession of a weapon in Queens, will be sentenced on April 16 by Nassay County Court Judge Donald Belfi. He has agreed to pay $50,000 in restitution to St. Martin of Tours.

When investigators arrested Johnston at his Queens apartment on suspicion of harassing Bishop McLoughlin Memorial High School, they found an unlicensed pistol, pornography, Nazi paraphernalia and thousands of dollars, police said.

No action taken yet on this guy's laicization.

He lived about 10 blocks from me. According to his neighbors, nobody knew he was a priest.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:10 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Washington Post: Turning Librarians Into Babysitters
If there's snow on the ground and school is canceled, the phones at George Mason Regional Library are likely to begin ringing an hour before the doors open.

The same is true on teacher workdays and any other time children are out of class but their parents are due at work.

Debbie King, branch manager at the Annandale library, knows exactly what the callers are after. They ask whether the library is open, she said, but what they really want to know is whether "they can leave their children at the library while they're at work. That's when we know it's going to be a problem day."

I know the New York Times and other papers have run stories on the same topic. It's happening everywhere.

I became aware of this is a personal way when a 7-year old child was running around bleeding in the library and I asked "Where's your mom or your dad?"

I got no answer and brought the librarian over to the child. I learned that she was a "drop-off". The librarian had no choice but to call an ambulance for a cut that would be taken care of with a band-aid because of fear of being sued if the parent who would come shortly before the 8 PM closing and didn't believe the story that the first aid given at the library was inadequate.

I asked "Why not invite a caseworker from Child Protective Services over to inquire why these children were running around without supervision from 3 to 8PM?" I was told that the parents would make up some phony complaint of abuse by the librarians in retaliation.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:10 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Beliefnet: John Dominic Crossan loses a "debate"

He tries to answer the question "Why did Jesus die?" and comes up empty-handed -- or should that be empty-headed?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:21 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Leaks. Expect more.

CNN: Draft survey: 4,450 priests accused of sex abuse

Children accused more than 4,000 priests of sexual abuse between 1950 and 2002, according to a draft survey for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The survey, to be released February 27, found that children made more than 11,000 allegations of sexual abuse by priests. The 4,450 accused priests represent about 4 percent of the 110,000 priests who served during the 52 years covered by the study.

"I have not seen the reports, and so I cannot comment on their substance," the statement from Bishop Wilton D. Gregory said.

Now, that's what I call getting your arms around a problem.

Knowing this was coming -- that's the best comment you can make? Heaven help us!

CNN observes the proper protocol in not identifying the age or sex of the victims, lest the reader conclude that this is a homosexual problem.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:53 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Post: Mystery surrounds priest's "suicide"
February 17, 2004 -- ALBANY - Police are investigating the strange death of a longtime priest - a leading critic of Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard, who is fighting charges of homosexual activity.

The Rev. John Minkler, chaplain of the local Veterans Administration Hospital, was found dead Sunday afternoon in nearby Watervliet, amid indications that he committed suicide, according to a police official.

Very suspicious. This is a critic of Hubbard with a spotless record who tried and to alert Cardinal O'Connor of the problems in Albany and was ignored by the Cardinal (for that matter, like every other person who brought a complaint against any bishop) back in 1995.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:44 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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ABC News: Pain and Passion

About the interview. It is not a transcript. If I find a link to that , I will certainly post it.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:29 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Second-Guessing Mel

Diane: Are you an anti-semite?

Mel: Are you?

In reality, he took the question as a non-insult and proceeded to deny he was an anti-semite and to condemn anti-semitism in any form.

It was so interesting to see Diane maintain her aloofness looking on Mel not as a fellow performer in "Show Business" but as some sort of alien life form.

I liked his "God made my bed this morning comment." Some Aquinas influence there - God as the ultimate efficient cause.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:06 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The Diane Sawyer Interview

extremecatholic review

How else can you connect the Three Stooges to the The Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity?

Mel Gibson played Detective Martin Riggs who uses a Three Stooges move to distract a trio of bad guys as his pulls his gun on them.

Every one Diane Sawyer's questions was designed to show Mel Gibson and The Passion of The Christ in a bad light.

Almost each of Mel's answers was designed to make her laugh and he succeeded in many cases.

The questions of anti-semitism dominated the discussion. He admitted to saying that he wanted to kill Frank Rich.

Best Question: Is that your hand? Yes. That's my hand. My left hand (sinister manus).

Something I didn't know: He's leaving in Mt 25.27 in Aramaic and removing only the subtitles.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:34 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, February 16, 2004
Newday: Accused Priests Still on Job
B'klyn diocese says abuse charges unsubstantiated so far

By Stephanie Saul STAFF WRITER

February 16, 2004

Three Diocese of Brooklyn priests accused of sexual abuse last October have remained in ministry despite an ongoing investigation of their cases, an apparent violation of the requirements adopted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

An investigation of the priests by the diocese, which includes Queens, has, so far, found the allegations against the Revs. Vincent Gallo, Richard Lewkiewicz and Hugo Bedoya "unsubstantiated," diocesan spokesman Frank DeRosa said last week. As a result, the priests have been allowed to remain in ministry.

But DeRosa added, "It's an ongoing investigation in terms of studying the allegations and the priests involved." Gallo and Lewkiewicz serve in parish ministries and Bedoya is a member of the panel that grants marriage annulments.

The process outlined by DeRosa seems to conflict with requirements adopted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002. An official of the bishops' group said its procedures require that priests step aside while sexual abuse allegations are investigated.

The whole article is a masterpiece of doubletalk.

Yes -- we know while an investigation is pending they are supposed to be suspended but...

For me this is a huge disappointment in our new Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio that these accused priests are in ministry before they are cleared.

This is the week of the bishop's lecture on "Send us your money". -- The Stewardship Appeal

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:13 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP via Dhimmi Watch: U.S. May Veto Islamic Law in Iraq

Paul Bremer has apparently weighed in against Sharia in Iraq. From AP:
The top U.S. administrator in Iraq suggested Monday he would block any interim constitution that would make Islam the chief source of law, as some members of the Iraqi Governing Council have sought.

L. Paul Bremer said the current draft of the constitution would make Islam the state religion of Iraq and "a source of inspiration for the law" — as opposed to the main source.

We can hope that there's a balance between the desire for Islamo-fascism and democracy and that the Iraqis realize that balance before it's too late.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:11 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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ABC News: Mel Gibson Interview
At "the height of spiritual bankruptcy" more than a decade ago, abusing alcohol and drugs, the actor Mel Gibson said he once contemplated hurling himself out a window.

But instead, he turned to the Bible, which ultimately inspired him to direct his new movie, The Passion of the Christ.

"I think I just hit my knees," Gibson told Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview on ABCNEWS' Primetime. "I just said, 'Help.' You know? And then, I began to meditate on it, and that's in the Gospel. I read all those again. I remember reading bits of them when I was younger."

"Pain is the precursor to change, which is great," Gibson said. "That's the good news."

Check local listings. When I see the interview I will have more to say.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:13 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Boston Globe: Unwelcome feeling
On Feb. 1, [Bevil] Conway, a Harvard neurobiologist, had been assisting in the 9:30 a.m. Mass as an altar server, and after Mass, he saw the table, staffed by [Karl] Wirth and another man.

"I felt like a good friend of mine had died," said Conway, who is gay. "We all look to St. Paul's as being this voice of responsibility, ministering the actual teaching of Christ, which is love."

When [Monsignor Dennis] Sheehan refused to shut down the table, Conway made several trips up and down the aisles, carrying piles of the flier and throwing them out in the sacristy. He also tore down some of the signs hung from the table, he said.

Conway and [Kris] Manjapra also argued with Wirth and his companion. Manjapra said one man told him he did not know the catechism, implying he wasn't a good Catholic.

Conway was asked by a church greeter to leave.

Intersting spin, this is a confrontation inside a Catholic Church over Catholic teaching, and on that issue the best they can come up with is "unwelcome feeling". Who exactly in unwelcome in the Church according to Conway's own design? Would Karl Wirth be? Would Karol Wojtyla? Would Jesus?

Tore down some of the signs: The message there is next week it will be you hanging from the lampposts.

Blogger credit: Amy Welborn 61 comments there.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:31 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The Australian: Alexandra Polier had no time for affair with Kerry
She has the perkiness of a cheerleader and the ambition of a Hollywood starlet, but it's hard to believe Alexandra Polier ever had an affair with US Democratic presidential frontrunner John Kerry.

For one thing, at the time my former journalism school classmate was supposed to be sharing intimate moments with the senator, she was working up to 80 hours a week on student assignments and dating one of our classmates.

AP: Woman Denies Affair With Kerry
A woman who has been the subject of rumors linking her to Sen. John Kerry (search) denied Monday that she ever had an affair with the Democratic presidential candidate.

Breaking her silence four days after the allegations surfaced on the Internet, Alexandra Polier issued a statement to The Associated Press, saying, "I have never had a relationship with Senator Kerry, and the rumors in the press are completely false."

It doesn't end here if there's other evidence. If Matt Drudge was fooled on this one, I'd be surprised. He doesn't like to be used like this. He makes a career of knocking all the journalists who get spun. And here he is being spun.

(Disclosure Statement: Like Fr. Benedict Groeschel CFR, for whom we should pray, and myself, Alexandra Polier is a graduate of Columbia University)

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:06 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sunday, February 15, 2004
The Baltimore Catechism:   The First Commandment of God

This is Wrong: (a) Buddha is God (b) Money is God (c) Science is God (d) Public Opinion is God.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:25 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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German Illustration of The Martyrdom of Saint Simon of Trent after a Woodcut by Wohlgemuth The Good Friday Prayer of Petition suppessed by Pope John XXIII (1959)
Let us pray also for the perfidious Jews: that our God and Lord may remove the veil from their hearts; that they also may acknowledge Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Let us pray. Let us kneel. (Arise.)

Almighty and Eternal God, Who dost not exclude from Thy mercy even the perfidious Jews: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people; that acknowledging the light of Thy Truth, which is Christ, they may be delivered from their darkness. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, through all endless ages. Amen.

Saint Simon of Trent

Memorial formerly 24 March; removed from the calender and veneration forbidden in 1965 by the Sacred Congregation of Rites

Profile A child who was apparently murdered around Easter time. His death was attributed to local Jews who were accused of killing a Christian child out of hatred for Christ. Libel of the day claimed they needed his blood to make matzoh bread for Passover. Seventeen Jews were tortured into confessions. Miracles were reported through Simon's intercession, but the incident is a matter of anti-Semitism rather than sanctity.

Died murdered 21 March 1475 at Trento, northern Italy

Beatified 1588 (cultus confirmed); removed from calendar in 1965

Patronage: kidnap victims, torture victims

Catholic Encyclopedia: Trent

The much discussed story of the death of St. Simon of Trent belongs to the reign of Prince-Bishop Johannes IV Hinderbach. On Holy Thursday of the year 1475, the little child, then about 20 months old, son of a gardener, was missed by its parents. On the evening of Easter Sunday the body was found in a ditch. Several Jews, who were accused of the murder, were cruelly tortured.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:25 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Opening Arguments
  • I believe in God. I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe in the Catholic Church.
  • Reason only goes so far. The material universe only goes so far.
  • I believe that mysteries of the faith and miracles cannot be fully explained by reason or material causality.
  • To say that there is nothing that is that cannot be known by reason is wrong -- for that denies both love and faith. There are things that transcend the material universe.
  • To say that attributing to God anything which cannot be explained by science is idolatry is wrong. That's like saying scientific knowledge itself is the mediator to the Father.
  • Our quest for knowledge of everything based on measurement, observation, and a chain of causality is good and part of human nature and in a special way the fire of Western Civ.
Pardon, my lack of eloquence, I'm not a philospher of science. It's a shame that Frank Sheed and C.S. Lewis aren't writing blogs today, so you're stuck with only the folks who have read their books.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:59 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Cleary, someone is lying here

Fort Worth Star-Telgram: Passion' spotlights religious differences

After Gibson showed the film to Pope John Paul II, Gibson's publicist claimed that the pope said, "It is as it was," implying that he approved of the work. Papal secretary Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz later told the Catholic News Service that the pope never endorsed the movie. "Clearly, the Holy Father made no judgment of the film," he said.

The comment was passed on from Steve McEveety to Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal and circulated worldwide on December 17, 2003.

That "later" was January 19, 2004, 32 days later. McEveety, Noonan, Allen, and others were accused of fabricating the quote and its confirmation from Dziwisz and Joaquin Navarro-Valls.

Neither Dziwisz or Navarro-Valls have elaborated further on how their absolute denials can be reconciled with the earlier reported statements and emails.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:11 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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North Adams Transcript: Monsignor to lead diocese for interim
[Monsignor Richard] Sniezyk said neither he nor any other church officials have been in touch with Dupre since the allegations surfaced.

So let there be no doubt about it, Bishop Thomas Dupre has fled. If this were an orderly resignation, there would have been some provision for an administrator and communication between him and the bishop.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:15 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wall Street Journal: Evolution Critics Are Under Fire For Flaws in 'Intelligent Design' (paid subs. reqd.)
In 1996, biochemist Michael Behe of Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa., therefore offered a stronger argument against evolution. Complex living structures, he argued in his book "Darwin's Black Box," possess "irreducible complexity." That is, they can't function until all their components are assembled, much as a mousetrap isn't much good until the base, spring, bar and all the rest are connected.

In one of those strange-bedfellows moments, theologians are joining biologists in criticizing intelligent design. Biologist and Anglican priest Arthur Peacocke, for instance, argues that evolution is God's way of creating. George Coyne -- astronomer, Jesuit and director of the Vatican Observatory -- goes further. Invoking God to explain what we can't otherwise account for, he says, is "a kind of idolatry," because true faith should come from within and not because we can't fully explain the natural world.

The evolution wars show no sign of ending, but maybe they are starting to generate a little light as well as much heat.

A very unfair article to the Intelligent Design movement. They mention Behe's concept in the quoted sentences above, but don't get his response to the claim from Darwinians that the microsyringe is a counter-example to his theory.

"Invoking God...is a kind of idolatry." That's an odd way to express the mystery of faith.

Behe has a problem: scientific journals print criticisms of ID, yet won't print the rebuttals supporting ID because they are not scientific enough. Being open-minded goes only so far.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:10 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com