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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
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Saturday, March 06, 2004
Who is the Madonna del Soccorso?

I finally found what the iconography is for a work of art in which the Blessed Mother is holding a club above her head: Mother of Succor (Succor: Assistance in time of distress)

My quest for the proper name of this image of Mary was inspired by seeing this image on the web site of Fr. Bryce Sibley A Saintly Salmagundi

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:45 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Blashemy? or just a mistake in imagery?

I found this on an anti-Catholic site (which I don't link to)

Of course that site claimed this was an image taken from a Catholic site (which he didn't link to).

Anyone ever see it before? Being such a conspiracy kook, I'd even think it was created by an anti-Catholic artist to make a false charge of blasphemy against Catholics.

By the way, the correct imagery would have either a single sword piercing her heart (from Luke 2.34) or seven small knives reflecting the Seven Sorrows.

Update: 3.11.2004 sorry no reply from the anti-Catholic webmaster regarding the origin of this image.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:43 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Allegorical figure of heresy

allegorical figure of heresy

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:29 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Web Discovery Dept.

(1) A collection of classical mosaics

(2) New Mexico State Art Gallery

(3) and this one is

Our Mother of Succor.

Mystical Rose, my source for this image, apparently has mis-identified it as Our Lady of Help by Giovanni da Monte Rubiano This is understandable as a "succor" might be translated as "help".

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:27 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Friday, March 05, 2004
MichNews.com Matt C. Abbott: Bernardin's Gay-Friendly Legacy
Some years back, during the Chicago reign of Joseph Cardinal Bernardin (from 1982 to his death in 1996) conservative commentator Thomas Roeser, a Catholic, was on a program with Chicago homosexual activist Rick Garcia, a purported Catholic. After the program ended, Garcia told Roeser, in a snide manner, "I have more of an 'in' with Bernardin than you," to which Roeser responded, "I'm sure you do!"

Bernardin, as many faithful Catholics will attest, was one of the most "gay-friendly" bishops in the US and he wielded much power and influence in the American church. During his reign, liberal dissenters flourished while faithful priests and laymen were either left out in the cold, or were persecuted by Bernardin and his underlings.

It's hard to argue with his evidence. MichNews.com is a conservative group blog.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:45 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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NewsMax: L.A. TImes Changes 'Pro-life' to 'Anti-abortion'
A Los Angeles Times critic is up in arms because the paper changed the "pro-life" language in his review of an opera - and the opera has absolutely nothing to do with abortion.

According to LA Observed, critic Mark Swed's review of the Richard Strauss opera "Die Frau Ohne Schatten," which described the work as "an incomparably glorious and goofy pro-life paean," was altered to say "anti-abortion" instead of "pro-life."

If the subject wasn't so serious, you'd laugh. Political correctness gone amok.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:15 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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You are "The Medallion Calls" or Captain
Jack Sparrow! A man not quite right in the head, but good all the
same. Awesome sense of humor, sexy, a bit
flirty, and waayyyy too much rum...

Which song off the Pirates Of The Caribbean soundtrack are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Soundtrack sample: The Medallion Calls

Soundtrack sample: Skull and Crossbones (my favorite)

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:32 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, March 04, 2004
I was looking for some images I saw earlier in the day from the subway, and came across this image of a statue (unidentified, but it is likely the Blessed Virgin Mary)

Blogger Credit: Xeni Jardin in Boing! Boing! (full-size image at the linked site)

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:55 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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CBS Marketwatch: Blog Fight! Blog Fight! (free reg. reqd.)
WASHINGTON (CBS.MW) -- One of the Internet's most prominent Weblog publishers appears to have lured away a competitor's talent and idea.

Jason Calacanis, a journalist and new media entrepreneur in New York, has partnered with writer Peter Rojas on Engadget. Rojas calls it "a new Web magazine with daily coverage of gadgets and personal technology." It is a knock-off of his previous Weblog, Gizmodo.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:26 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Simpson's Dept.

Steven Morgan Friedman has collected the most subtle Simpson's jokes

I agree wholeheartedly.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:04 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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19 or 20 days

Since Fr. John Minkler died in his home in Watervliet under mysterious circumstances on February 14 or 15. The coroner of Albany County still has not declared a cause of death.

I don't even see a mention of this delay in the announcement of the findings in the local press.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:12 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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You saw the movie -- now buy the coffee table book

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:26 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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NRO. Michael Novak: Reagan Catholics
People say that Catholics in America vote pretty much like other citizens ? but the people who say that usually lose the Catholic vote. A people's historical experience blows like a wind against snowflakes, driving enough of them now to the right, now to the left, to make a big difference in the final tally. There are two reasons why this is predominantly true of voters who happen to be Catholic.
While I usually agree with Michael Novak, here I am a bit more cynical. I see an abandonment on a large scale of Catholic identity with Regan's issues: work, family, neighborhood, peace.

First, I think those millions of "raised Catholics" have no connection to a Catholic appeal. If they are voting Republican in national elections it is incidental to being Catholic.

Secondly, the presumptive leadership of the Church in 2004 isn't engaging the culture on anything close to moving and motivating Catholics to bring about a culture of life.

Finally, I think Novak is being a bit nostalgic here. 2004 is not 1980.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:22 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The Ordination of homosexual men

I don't believe that homosexual men should be ordained. I believe that the record we have the harm caused by some homosexual men is too great. It isn't a matter of a few bad apples: the priesthood has evolved to be seen in the culture as an occupation for gay men as much as hairdresser and ballet dancer.

I am not appealing to stereotypes but to common sense, that if the priesthood overrepresents the number of homosexual men in the general population by a factor of 2 or 10, it harms the Church.

The Church needs to uphold all the virtures associated with human sexuality: virginity, chastity, celibacy, fidelity -- all according to each persons state is life. I don't desire marriage and the priesthood to be caught in the crossfire of a cultural war over homosexuality -- just be faithful to the Gospel.

The push for admission of homosexual men as I see it is another front on the cultural war - to rewrite the Catechism, to change the teaching of the Church that these persons are not afflicted with an "inclination, which is objectively disordered" [CCC 2358].

To understand the following quote from a website you may need to familiarize yourself with Weakland-Marcoux at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

If one believes, as I do, that God wants us to live fulfilled lives, that sexuality is potentially sacramental, and that for men and women, straight and gay, fulfillment may mean at least the opportunity for committed love-making, then Weakland's "sin" wasn't really a sin at all, and surely not the kind of vile sin of betrayal Marcoux's extortion represents.

For Weakland it may have been a felix culpa, a way of experiencing for a short while the power of passion only to realize what his celibate commitment meant to him. (Weakland "support" site)

This is the argument by "scare quotes". It's a sort of triumphalism that the "gay movement" has with respect to the denial of homosexual acts as a sin.

How many more bishops are there operating under a blackmail or extortion threat? And when a bishop is under this threat how does it affect his judgment when it comes to upholding the Church teaching on sexuality?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:46 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, March 03, 2004
WorldNetDaily: Will suicides be added to Vietnam War Memorial?
Names of thousands of additional Vietnam veterans – those who have committed suicide since the end of the war – could be eligible for inscription on the memorial wall in Washington, D.C., if the request of one man's family is approved, claims the organization responsible for maintaining the popular monument.

Is the agenda here to honor people who killed themselves?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:07 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Town Hall: San Francisco and Islamists: Fighting the same enemy
America is engaged in two wars for the survival of its civilization. The war over same-sex marriage and the war against Islamic totalitarianism are actually two fronts in the same war -- a war for the preservation of the unique American creation known as Judeo-Christian civilization.
I'm not a fan of Dennis Prager but this piece is excellent.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:35 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Slate: John Kerry's Waffles. If you don't like the Democratic nominee's views, just wait a week.
Last week, President Bush offered a wry critique of his Democratic challengers. "They're for tax cuts and against them. They're for NAFTA and against NAFTA. They're for the Patriot Act and against the Patriot Act. They're in favor of liberating Iraq, and opposed to it. And that's just one senator from Massachusetts."

Now that John Kerry is the presumptive Democratic nominee, Republicans are sure to focus the spotlight on his history of flip-flops. Kerry did vote for the Patriot Act, the No Child Left Behind Act, and the war in Iraq, even though he constantly trashes the Patriot Act, the No Child Left Behind Act, and the war in Iraq.

He voted against the Defense of Marriage Act, which limited marriage to a man and a woman, but he now says marriage should be limited to a man and a woman. (Although he also points out that he once attended a gay wedding.)

Very funny and full of facts.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:20 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Salem Radio Network: Bill Bennett on talk radio starting April 5.

Bill Bennett is a Catholic and an honorary extreme Catholic.

I also believe he's the first Catholic to have a regular gig on Salem Radio.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:41 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Finally, an accusation of anti-Semitism

Sam, who identified himself as a Orthodox Jew, called into John Gambling on WABC around 11:36 AM today. He said that as film-goers were leaving a screening of The Passion near Union Square, they approached him, insulted him and called him a Christ-Killer.

Miriam in a follow-up phone called savagely attacked John because he used the word "funny" (rather than "strange" or "distinctive") to describe the clothing of Hassidic Jews (ie as worn by Jews in the 1850's in Poland). It was his last call of the day.

There was a quality in Sam's voice that made me doubt his sincerity. I thought, if this really happened as he said, why is everything so vague in his narrative.

If you happened to have heard this, what's your take?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:40 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Addendum on the Passion (1)

My list of "I don't get its":

  • Why use Jesus as a yoyo? (tossing Jesus over the wall where, conveniently, Judas is cowering.)
  • Why doesn't Judas just kick one of the kids harassing him in the butt?
  • What on earth is Claudia doing with towels?
  • Why is Jesus' robe torn to bits -- isn't supposed to be handed over intact to Richard Burton?
  • What is the booger doing in Satan's nose? Is it connected to the snake that emerges from under his/her robe?
  • Why did Mel leave out the line that appears in all the other Jesus films "Surely this man was the Son of God" spoken by the centurion. (Mk 15:39)
  • Who's that getting a lift from Satan? Gollum's kid brother? the anti-Christ?
  • What's with that dead donkey? Is this a political message -- the donkey being the symbol of the Democratic party?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:14 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Bloggy describes an unexcellent subway adventure.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:45 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The Passion of the Christ: Reviewed

God's love for us has never been so intensely shown in the medium of film.

It's the vision of Mel Gibson. He's decided that that Jesus for our time and our culture is the one who died for us. That explains the blood. Lot's of blood. The message from God is "I died for your sins". The message from Mel is "We [humanity] want to see your blood".

All sorts of sins are laid open for all to see: The jealously of Jesus. The pride of the Pharisees. The betrayal by Judas. The rage of Peter followed by his timidity. The desire of the Roman soldiers to spill his blood. The desire of the mob to see his blood spilled. The indifference to justice on part of Pilate.

Blood spilled for the sake of righteousness is part of several of Mel's films starting with Gallipoli and continuing with Mad Max, Lethal Weapon, Braveheart, and the Patriot.

I think a Christian cries out like I did in my mind "Thank you Jesus for doing all this for me." Other people are just in shock and awe of his suffering. A lot of other I think are looking at this spectacle and going "Huh?".

So as a Catholic and one who engages non-Catholics and anti-Catholics in a religious dialog, I had to see this movie so I can be prepared to give a reason for my faith. To use that cliche: "The movie raises more questions that it answers".

As Catholics it's now our job to answer those questions. "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."

On the way out of the movie, I was evangelized by some Protestants who were speaking to all of the people exiting the Passion on Sunday. I explained I was a Catholic and spent 30 minutes with them explaining the parts they didn't understand.

Judging from the nonstop conversations taking place around me during the movie and after the movie, the people who know will need to be new apostles to who don't.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:45 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, March 02, 2004
Tortures and Torments of the Christian Martyrs : The Classic Martyrology

Not sure if what sort of book this is going to be. The cover looks R-rated. It's so strange.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:58 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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After the success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it would be inevitable to turn to another one of the Inklings

It is C.S. Lewis' turn and it's a Disney project.

Details on Narniaweb

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:48 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Skin Thickness Examination

A movie like The Last Temptation of Christ generated protests from Christians who thought the film would be blasphemous. Jews didn't protest because (a) the film was clearly a work of fiction and (b) the film didn't follow the Gospel account.

More recently, a book like the The Da Vinci Code generated some mild protests for its flagrant ignorance of history, but again it was defended for it was fiction.

Unfortunately some people I've met, even Catholics, believe that it is fictional in the sense that a book of historical fiction like Michelangelo in the The Agony and the Ecstasy or the Mafia bosses depicted in The Godfather. The overall theme is non-fictional -- but it is getting the non-fictional message across in fiction.

The point is as Christians we have had a rather thick skin when it comes to the Culture Wars.

The idea of police patrols around the performances of The Passion of the Christ because of the anticipated outbreak of anti-Semitic violence is evidence of excessive sensitivity. This might be called being thin-skinned.

Ironic given the amount of time the movie dwells on removing as much skin as possible from the tortured body of Jesus Christ.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:07 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Ron Kuby on WABC gives the Martha Stewart summation
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury: Martha Stewart is here because she lied. She lied to the FBI and the SEC. Had she refused to speak to the FBI and SEC she would not be here but she spoke and in so speaking had the obligation to be truthful.

But she's not a good liar.

We've heard the testimony of witnesses to these lies and seen the physical evidence of them.

I predict a guilty verdict with probation and no jail time.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:09 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Post: Pataki, Spitzer, and the Law

New York law refers to "husband" and "wife".

Nowhere where there are same sex "marriages" taking place are the couples being given designations of husband and wife. The sex-neutral terms of "application", "partner", and "spouse" are being used.

Spitzer is simply a political coward not to act to shutdown what he only last week called "clearly illegal".

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:03 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Catholic Charities is not a religious organization

AP: Catholic charity loses birth-control case

The California Supreme Court ruled Monday that Catholic Charities must pay for birth-control coverage for its workers in the state even though Catholic teaching condemns contraception.

The 6-1 decision was hailed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which called it a "great victory" for women and reproductive freedom.

To a large extent, this was both self-inflicted and predictable. Catholic Charities' own Catholic identity is weak:

  • Employees are not required to be Catholic (most are not.)
  • Supervisors and directors are not required to be Catholic (most are not.)
  • Clients are not required to be Catholic (most are not.)
  • The Catholic faith is not openly evangelized by the work of Catholic Charities.
  • The funding of Catholic Charities comes mostly from government contracts.

Catholic Charities in order to take Caesar’s coin had to drop any evangelization of the Faith—and thereby become “secular”

The right thing to do is to dissolve Catholic Charities as corporation, cancel it government contracts and let a new, genuine Catholic organization which can qualify for a religious exemption take its place.

And so another front opens (and closes) in the Culture Wars. It would be fitting for the California hierarchy to sign a formal surrender document at the California headquarters of Planned Parenthood Inc.

In New York where the Salvation Army takes its role as religious organization seriously it is being sued by the same ACLU for requiring employees to disclose religious affiliation and sign a agreement to support the religious aims of the Army -- it is employment discrimination to do so.

The Salvation Army is considering Cardinal O'Connor's solution of complete disengagement from the government to preserve its religious exemptions.

The bottom line for me: do we allow the ACLU to pick and choose what laws apply in order to push CC into the "secular" category and to push the SA into the "religious" category?

This is a "gotcha" game that we (i.e. people of faith) can't win.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:30 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The Passion of the Christ

It looks like I'm not going to get a block of time to write a alpha-to-omega review of the Passion so I'm just going to get it out piece by piece and perhaps that will generate better comments. I also hope that this is original and not a faint echo of what I've read in other reviews.

First of all, it is Mel's Movie. And one best sees and understands the movie from inside Mel's head. So I see a set of orbits increasing in distance from Mel's mind:

  • A fan of Mel's movies (esp. Braveheart, Patriot, We Were Soliders and Signs)
  • A Catholic who holds to traditions largely abandoned after Vatican II.
  • A Catholic.
  • A Christian.
  • A person who know the historical record of Jesus, Pilate, etc.
  • A human being

John Dominic Crossan got it right when he said a man from Mars couldn't understand it.

It is the best movie about Jesus ever made, and one of the best movies ever.

It's a movie that's unrelenting in what happened, who was involved, where, and when.

It's light on the why of the death of Jesus. Yes, we know it was the will of the Father. But why is it the Father's will? It is Divine Love that we cannot fully comprehend.

I cried a few times.

I'm going to try to see as many of the above movies I listed above. Also I've picked up the silent version of King of Kings and Pasolini's Gospel According to St. Matthew. (I think I have VHS or DVD of every available Jesus movie now.) So that when I see The Passion a second time I can see all the influences and focus on more technical aspects of the movie.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:57 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, March 01, 2004
The Solution for Haiti

re-colonization by France: "We tried and failed at democracy. Save us from ourselves."

Rush Limbaugh heaped scorn on Haiti. Something he said as a joke might have some merit: Haiti should try out-sourcing its government by giving the three branches of government and leadership of security forces to French speaking politicians, bureaucrats, etc. of France, Canada, the US, even some of the French-speaking African nations could have a role.

A country can handle corruption to the extent that there's something inside the country generating wealth (Mexico has oil, other countries have cheap labor or other natural resources). Haiti has no exports while it shares the same island with the Dominican Republic which must seem like a paradise in comparison.

I will also pray for the Haitian people through the intercession of Haitian native Pierre Toussaint who is buried in the crypt of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:12 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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I've seen The Passion of The Christ

I hope everyone over 15 does.

I promise a bigger review later.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:10 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sunday, February 29, 2004
Complaints about the Passion:
  • Too many hooked nose Jews with bad teeth.
  • Throwing Jesus around wasn't in the Bible
  • The Jews in the film show an excessive concern for money
  • Pilate is too conflicted. He should have regarded Jesus as just another Jew to be killed in the name of Roman order. (This appears to let Pilate off the hook.)
  • Pilate should be speaking Greek and not Latin as most of the non-Aramaic speaking people in the crowd would know Greek and not Latin.

UPDATE: This is a list of complaints given by other people that I've compiled. Not my own opinion.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:20 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Follow-up: The Jews Killed Christ

"Jews Killed The Lord Jesus" – "I Thess. 2:14, 15" – "Settled!" says the sign in front of Lovingway United Pentecostal Church in Denver where Maurice Gordon, 71, is the pastor.

Could this guy be a real honest-to-gosh anti-Semite or is he a media whore looking for his Andy Warhol ™ 15 minutes of fame?

It was the latter.

I heard a radio interview with Rev. Gordon.

He finds it unbeliveable that all the attention that his little sign generated.

Hey! Shucks, I was just quoting the Bible. I did it [put up the sign] to get people to read the Bible. I wanted to stir up the pot. I love the Bible. I love the Jews. Jewish people are in my congregation. They think all the attention this is getting is funny. Let me mention my 800-number, let me mention my web site. Let me mention the church that my daughters run in California. I don't own a tv. All I know about the controversy is what I heard on talk radio.

The bottom line: he's a clown who thought he could get some attention in his south Denver neighborhood. He got global attention, include a mention in the New York Times and an interview with Steve Malzberg on WABC.

Details in the Denver Post:

He didn't expect protests from people of Denver, Christians, members of his own congregation, and disavowals from everyone who could possible connected to him including the leadership of the United Pentecostal Church.

This is one case where the apology he gave won't be accepted. He's crossed the line with an act which will never be forgotten or forgiven.

When you play with fire, expect to be burned.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:06 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com