Saturday, February 28, 2004
Haiti imitates Scotland?
The caption for the photo on the left is "Chaos in Haiti".
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:18 PM Permalink
I am not seeing the Passion...
Today... I'm babysitting some kids to allow their parents to see the film.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:14 PM Permalink
The new look for 2004 is ... Peter Lorre
Click on the above images for links to the source images.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:04 PM Permalink
Friday, February 27, 2004
Catholic Challenge Question
I haven't done this in some time. I've got a real tough one. No simple google search is going to give you the answer.
There's a definition of the term occult possession that does not refer to spirits, demons, the devil, etc. In fact it doesn't refer to a psychological state.
What's the definition?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:44 PM Permalink
(1) Will Aristide seek refuge in the American embassy or in the Nunciature?
(2) Will Aristide want to get his old job back as a priest in the order of the Salesians of Saint John Bosco (SDB), or incardinated as a diocesan priest? As far as I have been able to find out, he was never laicized, although being married with children will hinder his return to a regular status.
(3) What's the size of his numbered Swiss bank account?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:09 PM Permalink
Thursday, February 26, 2004
Jewsweek: Passion is about internalized anti-Semitism
It is just like Jewish organizations to attack Gibson for the potential effects of his artsy, foreign-language film. It is just like Jewish media to jump on the bandwagon, getting themselves hot and bothered over issues like Holocaust denial and -- gasp -- a lack of artistic integrity. Similarly, the misguided attempts by cultural "experts", such as The New York Times film critic Frank Rich to battle the ancient anti-Jewish demons embedded in traditional Christianity is likewise predictable. In their nervous outrage against Gibson's movie, Jewish cultural figures expose their own fragile sense of self and ironically reveal that like Gibson himself, they find themselves in a moment of spiritual crisis.
A treasure of Jewish perspectives on the Passion at Jewsweek.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:31 PM Permalink
Pope John Paul II receives ash from Cardinal Angelo Sodano as he leads a solemn celebration is Saint Peter's Basilica for Ash Wednesday, at the Vatican February 25, 2004. The Pope urged Catholics on the first day of Lent to reflect on the protection of children, speaking at a time when the problem of sexual abuse of minors overshadows the church itself in the United States. REUTERS PHOTO
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:51 PM Permalink
Where's Cardinal Egan, and Bishops DiMarzio and Murphy?
(Archdiocese of New York, Dioceses of Brooklyn, and Rockville Center)
I found that Cardinal Egan made a pro-forma statement against anti-Semitism.
Lay Catholics like Bill Donohue of the Catholic League and Mel Gibson are carrying the ball. It is as if lay movements are becoming the public face of the Church.
With spokesmen for the various dioceses dealing with suspicious deaths, accusations, indictments, leaves of absence, etc. it not difficult to see that they don't have the time for the two big things right now:
The anticipation is building now for the document dump on the clerical sexual abuse scandal.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:18 PM Permalink
Howard Stern or Mel Gibson
Who are the media elites defending?
The envelope is being pushed by Gibson -- but it's the wrong envelope and the wrong direction.
The thing that kept Stern immune was his high ratings -- if millions and millions of people listen to him that in itself defines the moral standards of the community -- his broad appeal.
The idea of decency in public communications -- championed by Rudy Giuliani -- was mocked on two years ago. a Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission which was immediately killed by the new mayor, Mike Bloomberg. Some names you might recognize from the decency commission: Herb London, Raoul Felder, and Curtis Sliwa.
The tide is turning.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:11 PM Permalink
Reasons for FMA: (continued)
AP: Rosie O'Donnell to marry in San Francisco
We applied for spousal privilege and were denied it by the state. As a result, everything that I said to Kelli, every letter that I wrote her, every e-mail, every correspondence and conversation was entered into the record," O'Donnell said.
Rush Limbaugh said that Rosie O'Donnell has registered by Snap-On Tools.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:30 PM Permalink
2004, the social counter-revolution continues.
Howard Stern has been removed from six Clear Channel stations.
It their stations, they can do what they want. If other stations in the markets want to carry him, then let them try.
This Bloomberg News account in the New York Times is as good as any of the numerous accounts.
Still, it is anything goes on videotape, DVD, premium cable channels (HBO, Showtime), and satellite
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:13 PM Permalink
Locke v. Davey
Justice Scalia has an outstanding dissent.
When the State makes a public benefit generally available, that benefit becomes part of the baseline against which burdens on religion are measured; and when the State withholds that benefit from some individuals solely on the basis of religion, it violates the Free Exercise Clause no less than if it had imposed a special tax. That is precisely what the State of Washington has done here. It has created a generally available public benefit, whose receipt is conditioned only on academic performance, income, and attendance at an accredited school. It has then carved out a solitary course of study for exclusion: theology.text of the Supreme Court decision.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:07 PM Permalink
Thou are dust...
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:18 AM Permalink
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
It didn't take long to find this anti-Semitic "pay attention to me"-church
WorldNetDaily: Church marquee: 'Jews Killed Jesus'
Pastor won't remove message timed for release of Gibson filmRather than discussing the potential of anti-Semitism -- the flame fanners have this "Lovingway Church" example to point to.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:06 PM Permalink
The Hunt is on...
Thousands searching the globe looking for outbreaks of anti-Semitism that can be attributed to The Passion of the Christ
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:40 PM Permalink
What are you giving up for Lent?
For me it will be anything alcoholic: beer, wine, whiskey, etc.
And that includes St. Patrick's Day!
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:17 PM Permalink
Mystery solved: Meat-eaters were responsible for Christ's death
townhall.com: PETA to Use Movie About Christ's Death for Vegetarian Pitch
(CNSNews.com) - America's most aggressive animal rights organization plans to use Wednesday's premier of the Mel Gibson-produced The Passion of the Christ to urge movie-goers to stop eating meat.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:59 PM Permalink
U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Administrative Committee Calls for Protection of Marriage (9/10/2003)
[W]e strongly oppose any legislative and judicial attempts, both at state and federal levels, to grant same-sex unions the equivalent status and rights of marriage --by naming them marriage, civil unions or by other means.Just a reminder. The position of the Catholic Church remains the same: opposed to both "gay" marriage and civil unions for same-sex unions.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:53 AM Permalink
1010 WINS: Catholic Conference Opposes New York State Gambling
The state's Catholic Conference says the state shouldn't be in the business of promoting addictive behavior that destroys lives.
The meeting was over quickly as many of the bishops and priests had Bingo Nights, Vegas Nights, and raffle drawings to attend to.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:26 AM Permalink
Religious Ritual Goes Horribly Wrong
NY1: Bronx Woman Dies After Catching Fire In Ritual
A Bronx woman died Tuesday after catching fire in what is being described as a cleansing ritual that went horribly wrong.
New York Daily News: She dies in ritual
A 41-year-old Bronx woman died yesterday when she caught fire during a Santeria cleansing ritual at a friend's apartment, police and neighbors said.
There's a video link in the first story. The television accounts of this story emphasized the religious aspect of this. Santeria.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:15 AM Permalink
Word of mouth about the Passion -- no negative callers so far...
A great caller to WABC (I wish I good take credit for the points he made)
You've got to wonder what agenda is being served by the shouted anticipation of a pogrom. Some Jews have become comfortable with a hostility towards Christians. A rationalization of that hatred is challenged as Christians can both embrace an accurate depictiion of the Gospel accounts and at the same time not translate that experience into a hatred of Jews.
The denial of the historical truth New Testament shouldn't be the price of respect and solidarity with the Jewish people.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:37 AM Permalink
Recommended reading for Lent (1)
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:36 AM Permalink
WABC/Good Morning America Joel Siegel on the Passion
Yes, you have read about it and heard about it but yes, I have seen it. And, I have to confess, I was surprised -- this is a very good movie.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:10 AM Permalink
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:57 PM Permalink
NY Times op-ed: Do You Recognize This Jesus?
Watching "The Passion of the Christ," Mel Gibson's new movie, I kept thinking the following: it is Christians, not Jews, who should be shocked by this film.
Kenneth Woodward has written a lot of good stuff on the faith. This is worth a read as well.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:13 PM Permalink
AP: Employees sue Salvation Army
Longtime current and former Salvation Army employees sued the organization famous for its red Christmas kettles Tuesday, charging the government-funded group preached religious and sexual intolerance to its staff.
First they came for the Boy Scouts, then they came for the Salvation Army...
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:56 PM Permalink
Babies to pray for
New York Post: Two Babies Found in Bags
Two babies stuffed inside bags and abandoned were found alive within 14 hours in Manhattan and Brooklyn, officials said today.
There was a third abandoned baby reported on the news tonight. No link available.
All three babies are in satisfactory condition.
UPDATE: The New York Times has a story on the third baby.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:46 PM Permalink
Capital News 9: Local attorney reaches out to Pope
Ken Goldfarb, director of communications for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, said, "Bishop Hubbard and the diocese will, as always, be guided by the decisions of the Holy See. That Mr. Aretakis sent his [i.e Fr. Minkler's] letter to the local news media and the Vatican at the same time, tells you everything you need to know about his real agenda."
...and would that be protection of children and adolescents from sex crimes committed by priests?
No word yet from the Albany County Coroner as of Feb. 24 for the cause of death death of Fr. Minkler on Feb. 14/15.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:07 PM Permalink
continuing my thoughts on 2004 as the year of the social counter-revolution.
This year we've got the collision or intersection of these events:
A escalation of the culture wars.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:49 PM Permalink
NBC30 Connecticut: Sisters on Skis in the Snow
and I bet you thought that all the sisters were in nursing homes now.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:20 PM Permalink
The reporter, Linda Schmidt was personally moved. She cried.
One person interviewed found it blamed the Jews too much. I noticed that he spoke in a soft, almost feminine voice. He was identified as a Jesuit on the staff America magazine.
Abe Foxman predicted for the zillionth time that Jewish blood will be running in the streets as Christians blame the Jews for the death of Christ.
I'm beginning to think that Abe is going to be disappointed if he doesn't get his bloodbath.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:16 AM Permalink
Monday, February 23, 2004
Newsday: Apology makes some Catholics 'feel better'
There were those who did not read the 11-page apology that Bishop William Murphy released last week, his most extensive accounting yet for the abuse of 132 children by 66 priests and brothers on Long Island.Of course, Newsday goes on to quote the people with the greatest hatred of the bishop last where it will have the greatest impact. Murphy was installed in 2001.
Let the Catholics of Long Island see first if he can reverse the "see no evil" administrations of McGann (1976-2000) and McHugh (co-adjutor 1998-2000, ordinary 2000) before demanding his resignation.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:35 AM Permalink
Sunday, February 22, 2004
French cardinal has misgivings on The Passion
Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger has expressed serious misgivings about Mel Gibson's film, The Passion-- for reasons unrelated to the widespread charges of anti-Semitism.OK. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Even if one hasn't seen the movie, you're entitled to an opinion.
Speaking to reporters in Rome, where he is making his ad limina visit, Cardinal Lustiger said that he had "extreme reservations about the theatrical performance of the Passion, and even more so about electronic and film versions."Extreme, eh? Has His Eminence been reading this blog?
What theatrical performance are we talking about -- or is it the idea of a theatrical performance in general? Ditto for the question on electronic and film versions?
Cardinal Lustiger, who pointed out that he had not seen Gibson's film, made it clear that his reservations were a matter of principle.
The principle is that the we can't evangelize using the medium of film.
The cardinal-- who is a convert from Judaism, and whose mother died at Auschwitz-- made no mention of the criticisms raised by American Jewish leaders, claiming that Gibson's movie is likely to incite anti-Semitic feelings and actions.
Quite so -- the Cardinal knows what anti-semitism is: old and new. The new anti-semitism is found in France when Muslims are spreading it.
"The Passion of Christ is not a spectacle to be watched," the cardinal said.As a general proposition why not? The Passion of Christ as a historical event was watched - by Roman soldiers and the people of Jerusalem.
He cautioned that any film based on the suffering of Jesus entails serious risks. "This type of film touches the sensitivities and the imagination," he said, "and can be very ambiguous."
Sensitivities: of course, we turn away from suffering. Imagination: any depiction of Christ engages the imagination. Ambiguous: in what sense. Is there any moral ambiguity as to whether the suffering of Christ was deserved? What's ambiguous?
He explained that any film involves the director's interpretation of events, and although he said that he had been "very moved" by Pasolini's film on the Passion,That's fine, by how about picking a film that is actually an instance of the principle you want to articulate.
he remained suspicious of the genre, because "the camera does not tell the truth."
We know that the camera involves an artistic interpretation.
Cardinal Lustiger pointed out that traditional Catholic devotions that focus on the Passion are very different from a film.I find this a puzzling statement -- both traditional Catholic devotions and the film are expressions of the scriptural account with some pious legends added in.
"The pious practice of the Stations of the Cross is different," he observed, "because the faithful follow the Stations on foot; they are not sitting in an armchair."
This is obvious. What's the point? When one is reading scripture one may be sitting. When one is meditating on the sorrowful mysteries of the Rosary, one may be sitting. What does the Cardinal have against sitting?
The cardinal also expressed a strong preference for more traditional Christian artistic renderings of Jesus,
You have to evangelize where the people are. If they are standing under traditional Christian artistic renderings of Jesus in a Catholic Cathedral like St. Patrick's in New York, then they are evangelized. (There might be one or two traditional Christian artistic renderings of Jesus in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles). The unsaved are not in museums or the churches now.
and added that the sacraments-- especially the Eucharist-- take precedence over any artwork.
And the film is a gateway to the sacraments. The purpose of this film (unlike, for example, The Last Temptation of Christ) is to bring the view closer to Christ. It will convert hearts that have been hardened against Christ.
"I prefer the icon to a photo of an actor playing Christ," said the French prelate. "And I prefer the Blessed Sacrament to any icon."
You speak from the position of privilege -- knowing that the Blessed Sacrament is the Body of Our Lord.
Faith is what gives you that preference. The goal of evangelization is not to sanctify -- the Holy Spirit through the sacraments of the Church accomplish that -- but to spread the good news of salvation.
To dismiss sight unseen The Passion of the Christ without acknowledging its power to communicate to millions of people the same Gospel we believe and preach gives me misgivings about the hierarchy understanding the Christian call to spread the Gospel.
(if you are new to blogging, this is a form of criticism called a 'fisking')
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:48 PM Permalink
Slams on The Passion of the Christ
They come in three varieties:
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:36 PM Permalink
I interpret the constitution
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore interpreted the consitution and he was removed.
What would happen, I image, if a Mayor of New York City said, as I interpret the Second Amendment, everyone should have the right to bear arms. Come to my office and pick up your "concealed carry permit"?
Here's the text of the Tenth Amendment
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
So let mayors and county executives declare as they interpret the constition that "a power was not delegated to the United States" is reserved.
I thought we fought a civil war over whether state's rights took precedence over the federal government.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:08 PM Permalink
Views of the Priesthoold in a nutsell
Troy Record: A church divided: Conservatives, liberals vie for changesThe remainder of the article tries to tie this all into the death of Fr. Minkler and Bishop Hubbard.
As I wrote on the day I started this blog, I utterly reject the labels liberal and conservative as far as its application to Catholics.
The rule and discipline of celibacy works well with faithful men. Celibacy when it is dedicated to God is greater than marriage since it is giving up something good for God.
If other Christian denominations which have married clergy didn't have their own problems, this might be a good idea -- but there's plenty of evidence that married Christian clergy have different issues with marital fidelity, divorce, income, etc.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:02 PM Permalink