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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
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Saturday, April 10, 2004
Saturday Night Live... ... never can find anything funny about Senator John effin' Kerry.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:35 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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We interrupt this blog...

The blogging has been light and will be light until Tuesday. My father-in-law passed away. You can read Mike A'Hearn's obituary in The Asbury Park Press. Your prayers are always appreciated.

What's not in the obituary is that all the children and grandchildren were going to Point Pleasant to celebrate his 76th birthday on Friday.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:23 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Friday, April 09, 2004
The 4/11 Commission

Mr. Ben Veniste: Ms. Rice, Is it not true that the Bush administration did not build a time machine so they could go back in time and prevent the crucifixion of Jesus and thereby create a comprehensive solution to the mideast crisis. Yes or No, Ms. Rice. Don't filibuster me.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:22 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, April 08, 2004
New York Times: Laurie Goodstein: Kerry, Candidate and Catholic, Creates Uneasiness for Church
The senator is aligned with his church on many social justice issues, including immigration, poverty, health care and the death penalty. But he diverges on the litmus issues, like abortion and stem cell research, that animate church conservatives and many in the hierarchy.

Your reaction is likely the same as mine: there she goes again: Laurie Goodstein's defective knowledge of what it means to "align" with the Catholic Church.

Immigration, proverty, health care, and the death penalty. That's 4 issues! To this might be added: closing the "School of the Americas", the destruction of all nuclear weapons, right to a living wage, land mines, higher minimum wage, right to shelter, ... the list goes on. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is the Democratic party at prayer.

Those insignificant "litmus issues" -- abortion and the harvest from the dead unborn: stem cells. It's like 2 vs. 10 -- so isn't Kerry a great Catholic?

Do you think I exaggerate?

Visit bloggy who quotes the same passage that I do and writes without parody or irony:

In this helpful New York Times article, we learn what really matters to the Catholic Church.

Saved those unborn babies, but they're on their own after that.

UPDATE: Also discussed in Domenico Bettinelli's blog

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:58 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, April 07, 2004
easter-bunny AP: Actors Whip Easter Bunny at Church Show

A church trying to teach about the crucifixion of Jesus performed an Easter show with actors whipping the Easter bunny and breaking eggs, upsetting several parents and young children.

The Assemblies of God are responsible for this moronic display.

Update: McKeesport Daily News: Easter event offends some in attendance

What was supposed to be an Easter celebration for children reportedly turned into a demonstration of how Jesus Christ was crucified.

Several area residents were outraged by a performance sponsored by Glassport Assembly of God church Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

"It was absolutely horrendous," Melissa Salzmann said. "We left after about 45 minutes, it was so bad."

Residents quote performers as saying, "There is no Easter Bunny" and breaking eggs meant for an Easter egg hunt.

A portrayal of the Easter Bunny being whipped and tortured as the 12 stations of the cross reportedly was part of the show.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:57 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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More on the Archbishop O'Malley Watch

American Spectator: George Neumayr: Blame the Bishops

In America's political theater of the absurd, Protestant politicians receive communion from Catholic priests while Catholic politicians take communion from Protestant ministers. In 1998, Bill Clinton, a Baptist, slipped into the communion line at a Catholic Church in South Africa. John Kerry, a Catholic, took communion this past Palm Sunday at an African Methodist Episcopal Church. Clinton spent Palm Sunday in 1995 soaking up a standing ovation from Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony and his congregation in Los Angeles. Kerry spent this Palm Sunday soaking up an endorsement from pastor Gregory Groover. Normally opposed to the mixing of pastors and politics, Kerry didn't mind receiving Groover's endorsement from the pulpit: "We're thankful that there's going to be a revolution in this country?a new movement?And we say, God, bring him on, the next president of the United States."

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:34 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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ExtremeCatholic Prolife Award

Reuters: Mexican Woman Performs Own Caesarian to Save Baby

A woman in Mexico gave birth to a healthy baby boy after performing a Caesarian section on herself with a kitchen knife, doctors said Tuesday.
I hope there are no complications. The procedure was done under non-sterile conditions.

I wonder what brand of liquor was on hand as a tranquilizer.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:52 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Destined for the Museum of Bad Christian Art

It looks like a 1960's shower curtain, but it's a banner.

This comes to us from the Campaign for Human Development.

The organization is most famous for its funding The Culture of Death and funnels money to groups hostile to Catholics and Catholic teaching.

CHD commissioned this banner.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:51 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Newsday: Catholic parish in disarray
A Roman Catholic pastor resigned this week after objecting to what he called anti-Catholic teachings and bookkeeping problems at his Manhattan parish — and the eight-member lay parish council went with him — in a Holy Week protest aimed at the Archdiocese of New York.

The Rev. Charles Murr told parishioners Monday that he was leaving the Church of St. Francis de Sales on East 96th Street because Cardinal Edward Egan blocked his plan to shake up the school's staff.

Archdiocesan spokesman Joseph Zwilling said Murr wanted to replace the principal, assistant principal and a large number of the teaching staff at St. Francis de Sales School & St. Lucy School Academy. "Such a high turnover rate was not what was best for the school or the students," Zwilling said.

In a letter posted on the Web and confirmed as authentic by Newsday, Murr said he objected to what he called Protestant and heretical Catholic teachings in the 489-pupil school.

According to a trustee, one teacher took her students to Baptist religious services. Another refused to teach the sign of the cross, and another said teaching that remarriage after divorce was a sin violated the pupils' constitutional rights.

"Several of our teachers were not committed to teaching the Catholic faith," Murr's letter said, adding that was the major reason most of the students failed standardized religion tests last June.

The parish school faces "grave" financial problems and had failed to turn over to the archdiocese $638,000 in pension and insurance payroll deductions covering several years, Murr said. No one has prepared financial statements since 2001, Murr and others said.

Murr's letter said he told many on the staff April 1 their contracts would not be renewed for next year. The Archdiocese ordered him to renew them, Murr said.

Zwilling said the Archdiocese plans to conduct an audit and the Rev. Oscar Aquino is interim administrator and will conduct Easter services.

I met Fr. Murr when I visited St. Francis de Sales parish a few weeks ago to hear a talk given by Fr. Joseph Wilson. Fr. Murr seemed to me to be good priest.

A lot of damage has been done already. Cardinal Egan's reputation for being indecisive and spineless is cemented.

The story broke on Free Republic and is being discussed in various blogs now.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:38 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Try explaining this Reuters photo to the crowd at the Rev. Al Sharpton for President rally

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:18 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) for Senate.

This is for a New York City meetup for supporters of Pat Toomey.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:26 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Troy Record: Fr. John Minkler's death is called suicide
After more than three months of examination, autopsy results reveal that Minkler did commit suicide just days after allegations surfaced that he wrote a 1995 letter to the late Cardinal John O'Conner [sic] condemning Albany Bishop Howard Hubbard and other priests for having alleged homosexual relations.

Coroner Herman Thomas confirmed Tuesday by telephone from his home that it was a suicide, but made no official statement on the case.

Fr. Minkler was discovered dead on February 17. On February he made and attempted to make phone calls to several people involved in the exposure of the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. The reports from people he spoke to did not indicate that he was contemplating suicide.

I doubt that this was being investigated until April 6 (that's 52 days, almost 2 months), and why does the reporter reach the Coroner at his house?

I will have to post again when the details are disclosed.


Capital News 9 (has video link)

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:14 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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More examination of John Kerry's statement on his Catholic faith

National Review: Holy, Holy Fisking -- John Kerry?s errant preaching.

This would seem to demand a little fisking.

"I'm not a church spokesman."

Senator Kerry, don't worry. Odds are there's no one lined up to give their confession to you. But you are a self-identified Catholic and, therefore, you open yourself up to an examination of your own adherence to the faith and how you put your religious faith into action as a legislator. As conservatives who aren't shy about their religion know, this scrutiny comes with the territory. And, shucks, you just called some "legislators" on the carpet about their support of the death penalty. Sauce for the goose and all that . . .

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:39 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AsiaNews.it: Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo has been arrested again.

The secret police there haven't gotten the memo that the leadership in China has granted religious freedom to Christians.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:19 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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OpinionJournal.com: The Lesson of Mogadishu -- America must answer last week's barbarity in Fallujah.
...The other message at a lynching isn't as obvious. It is also an appeal. It is a demonstration of potency designed to sway and embolden those who are sympathetic but fearful. It says, Look what we can get away with! Look what we can do! The sheer horror asserts the determination of the rebel faction, and underlines the seriousness of the choice it demands from its own community. It draws a line in the sand; it is a particularly graphic way of saying, You are either for us or against us. With the potential for further such atrocities afoot, critics of the rebels are frightened into silence and acquiescence...

Great insights into the deaths of the four contractors on 3/31 by Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:09 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Guest Blogger: Kathryn Jean Lopez

National Review Corner (quoting the NYT as I did earlier)

Huh? Freedom of conscience on abortion? Call me a paleo/theocon Inquisitor, but it does seem like some bishop (his own? the bishops' conference?) has an obligation to use this moment--when the most prominent Catholic in the U.S. is speaking nonsense about Church teaching--to educate. Intervening in such a way--to dissect what Kerry's said and explain what's wrong about it--would not be a partisan act, but leadership.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:56 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Archbishop O'Malley Watch

John Kennedy declared that . "I do not speak for my church on public matters--and the church does not speak for me." He kept that promise.

Mario Cuomo declared that he agreed with the Church, he was personally opposed to abortion, but in public office he had to follow the law of the land after Roe v. Wade was handed down.

Cardinal O'Connor eventually admonished Cuomo, but the governor did not repent.

John Kerry in his own clumsy way declares his positions are in accord with Catholic teaching. In essence, he is speaking for, actually defining the Catholic teaching on abortion and civil unions.

It's time to move beyond the criticism of John Kerry. ( Amy Welborn mentioned me in this regard in her blog.)

It's time to stop the confusion: the public confusion over what Catholic teaching is and who speaks for the Church. It's time for the sake of John Kerry's soul and the millions of Catholics who hold similar beliefs Kerry to admonish them. John Kerry separates himself from the Catholic Church by his public advocacy of abortion and infanticide in the form of partial-birth abortion.

It can't be bloggers, Phil Lawler, Bill Donohue, or Deal Hudson, it must be said by Archbishop O'Malley.

Both justice and mercy demand it.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:57 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, April 06, 2004
NY Times: Kerry sees 'plenty of time' to counter Bush camp's attacks on him
...He became combative when told that some conservatives were criticizing him for being a Catholic who supported policies like abortion rights and civil unions between people of the same sex that are at odds with Catholic teaching. "Who are they?" he demanded of his questioner. "Name them. Are they the same legislators who vote for the death penalty, which is in contravention of Catholic teaching?"

He added: "I'm not a church spokesman. I'm a legislator running for president. My oath is to uphold the Constitution of the United States in my public life. My oath privately between me and God was defined in Catholic church by Pious 23rd and Pope Paul VI in Vatican II, which allows for freedom of conscience for Catholics with respect to these choices, and that is exactly where I am. And it is separate. Our Constitution separates church and state, and they should be reminded of that."

Here we meet the real CINO [Catholic In Name Only] John Kerry, who pulls this off with a lot less class than John Kennedy, Pat Moynihan, and Mario Cuomo.

Who are they?

It's not a "they", it is the Catholic Church, founded by Jesus Christ Himself, to lead all souls to salvation in His Name until He returns in glory.

It is Jesus Christ who has promised the Holy Spirit as a guide to the Catholic Church to sanctify, to teach, and to govern.

John Forbes Kerry: this Church to which you claim communion with teaches that abortion is intrinscially evil and that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

Your opinion on these matters is your opinion, but you are in error to deny that this is what the Church teaches. It's not subject to a vote.

The Kerry-esque answer to the question "Who are they?" is "None of your business."

The Death Penalty is in contravention of Catholic teaching

If "they" are right on abortion and wrong the death penalty -- is that a moral equivalence? No, of course not, because the baby killed in an abortion is innocent, and in this country a person subject to the death penalty is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

Church teaching on the death penalty is that it is the right and duty of the state. That teaching has not changed since the Church does not assume the power to protect public order and the safety of persons. Statements that the Church and in particular Pope John Paul II always include the word "if". The magisterium is not applicable to prudential and contingent decisions in the same way it is to definitive teaching on faith and morals. The Pope is not just one man with an opinion but applies his experience and knowledge to the world as we find it today, so I do not dismiss his comments. On the final question, I side with Catholic Justice Scalia and his experience and knowledge on this question.

The Oath

Your oath applies only to your office. Your conscience is applied to your immortal soul. You don't have an "oath" with God. Your purpose in this life is to know God, to love God, and to serve God [CCC 358, Gaudium et Spes, and the Baltimore Catechism of your youth]

Your profession of faith and witness to faith in Jesus Christ is not private but public. The Constitution's Article VI states that there is "no religious test".

Consequently we can't determine what you mean by an "oath defined in the Catholic Church by Pious [sic] 23rd".

Conscience and Choices

We can't determine what you mean by "freedom of conscience for Catholics with respect to these choices". A conscience cannot be formed on erroneous judgments regarding morality. It must conform to the will of God, otherwise the word "conscience" merely means "what I want".

It's not "choices". Chocolate vs. vanilla is a choice. Morality is expressed in the words "good" and "evil".

Separation of Church and State

The Constitution does not separate Church and State. This only appears in a 1947 Supreme Court decision "Everson v Board of Education". For 160 years, we followed the first amendment's two restrictions on the power of Congress: not to establish a religion and to prohibit the free exercise of religion.

The separation that John Kerry has to look out for is John Kerry and his salvation.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:11 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Treating terrorists as common criminals: the consequences

Commentary: The Intelligence Failure: How It Happened

...In 1995, just before trying the blind sheik (Omar Abdel Rahman) and eleven others [for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing], I duly complied with discovery law by writing a letter to the defense counsel listing 200 names of people who might be alleged as unindicted co-conspirators—i.e., people who were on the government’s radar screen but whom there was insufficient evidence to charge. Six years later, my letter turned up as evidence in the trial of those who bombed our embassies in Africa. It seems that, within days of my having sent it, the letter had found its way to Sudan and was in the hands of bin Laden (who was on the list), having been fetched for him by an al-Qaeda operative who had gotten it from one of his associates...

This article is full of new insights like the one above and worth reading slowly.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:46 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP: Indiana Monks Receive $26 Million Donation
ST. MEINRAD, Ind. - Monks in a monastery here may have a harder time with their vows of poverty now that they've got $26 million in spending money.

Two women rewarded the hospitality of the Benedictine monks at the St. Meinrad Archabbey by leaving them $13 million each in their wills, according to Archabbot Lambert Reilly.

The money is going to be a burden as much as it is a blessing.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:24 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Relations with Muslims

Real dialog with anyone or any group includes criticism or calls for self-examination, otherwise it's "I'm OK. You're OK."

The dialog that 's happening between Christians and Muslims taking place at the Vatican and elsewhere always sounded phony to me and I think I now know why.

Authentic dialog can't happen with the threat of terror being present.

The terror bombing in Spain that resulted in the announcement of withdrawal of their troops from Iraq as terrorists demanded only led to further acts of attempted terrorism.

The demand is now to withdraw from Afghanistan. What will be next? A call to withdraw from Granada and to restore that caliphate of al-Andalus?

If the dialog isn't critical of terrorism and isn't calling upon Muslims to renounce terrorism, it's just more appeasement.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:00 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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NY Post: Lethal Birth Control
The 18-year-old fashion student who collapsed in a Midtown subway station and died - supposedly after her boyfriend pushed her minutes earlier - appears actually to have succumbed to a rare but deadly side effect of a birth-control device, cops said yesterday. Based on new information from the medical examiner's office, probers now believe that Zakiya Kennedy formed blood clots as the result of using the "patch" contraceptive - and that one of the fatal clots eventually moved into her lung and killed her, law-enforcement sources said.

The sources said the girl had switched from using the more common birth-control pill to the patch about three weeks ago.

Both the FDA and the patch's manufacturer have warned that the contraceptive, like the pill, carries the risk of forming potentially deadly clots.

I couldn't improve upon the title the New York Post used.

Everywhere, and especially so in New York City, there's a massive propaganda campaign to get these girls and young women to use birth control with the subtext of approval of their choice to be sexually active. It's a "choice".

These campaigns never mention the associated risks. The death of Zakiya Kennedy will be forgotten so and this patch will continue to be distributed with all its risks.

The only reason this particular death got to the press what that the initial cause of death was rather mysterious: was it a fall on some subway stairs, was it beating she had received from her boyfriend?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:44 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Glasgow Evening Times: The British are a nation of history dunces with many believing Adolf Hitler never existed.
Researchers found many of the 2069 adults questioned could not tell fact from fiction. More than one in 20 thought the sci-fi classic War of the Worlds, in which Earth is invaded by Martians, was a historical event.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:28 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, April 05, 2004
The new defense of partial-birth abortion: safety

Witnesses called for defense of abortion-type ban

A pediatric surgeon testified Monday about the medical reviews that new surgical procedures undergo as Justice Department lawyers opened their defense of the constitutionality of a federal ban on a type of abortion.

Dr. George Mazariegos of Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh was called to the stand for a hearing on the law signed in November by President Bush that bans the procedure that opponents call "partial-birth" abortion.

... Abortion rights advocates argue it is sometimes the safest procedure for women.

Safe enough for a partial-birth abortion? Safe enough to deliver the child as a living human being.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:09 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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bdbx ad - Don't Sacrifice Your Style Liverpool Daily Post: 'Blasphemy' outrage as Cathedral used in ad
AN ADVERTISING campaign featuring a "crucified" semi-naked model with Liverpool RC Metropolitan Cathedral in the background has sparked anger amongst the city's religious leaders.

The image, which is promoting a new range of designer T-shirts, has been condemned as "blasphemous".

The photograph features former Page 3 model Debbie Turpin, 23, on a cross with Liverpool's Roman Catholic Cathedral in the background and bears the caption "Don't sacrifice your style".

You're asking "Can it be that bad?" Yes it is. I'll have to blur the original image before I post it here.

The article has "crucified" and "blasphemous" in scare quotes. That's shows a bias against the claims that the model is crucified and the ad itself is blashphemous.

UPDATE: I've blurred the image. Clicking on the thumbnail will give you the size of the image as it appears on the offending web site.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:28 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Miami Herald: Chavez lashes out at Catholic leaders
President Hugo Chávez on Sunday accused Venezuelan Roman Catholic leaders of betraying the interests of the country's impoverished majority.

Squeezing his eyes shut and clutching an image of Jesus Christ, Chávez asked God ''to forgive the Catholic hierarchy for having forgotten to favor the poor'' and aligning itself ``with the darkest interests of Venezuela's capitalist oligarchy.''

I wish I could read Spanish to see some local accounts of this.

A few people I know from Venzuela think Chavez wants to turn the place into a another Cuba.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:17 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sunday, April 04, 2004
ic Liverpool:Gospel according to The Simpsons
A vicar is planning a series of evening classes on the Christian message in the popular cartoon series The Simpsons.

The Rev Robin Spittle, 46, of All Saints Church, Kesgrave, Suffolk, is inviting his parishioners to join him for four classes, each one focusing on one of the four main characters - Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa.

While the connection between the hair-brained antics of the cartoon family and the teachings of the Bible may not be immediately obvious, Mr Spittle said each episode had Christian themes running though it.

"They have a clever way of covering a lot of ground in a short space of time. Each 20-minute show gets a whole message across," he said.

"They are a church-going family and they make moral decisions, some of which I agree with, some of which I don't, but either way they are a great way to open up a discussion."

He said one of the recurring storylines was Marge and Homer being tempted to have affairs.

"Both Marge and Homer have found themselves being offered the opportunity to play away from home and they both turn them down. Temptation, choices and doing what's right - you can't get much more of a Christian message than that."

Mr Spittle said he did not have a favourite character but admired different characteristics in each of them.

"I like Lisa because she stands up for her principles; I like the simplicity of Homer's lifestyle; Marge is committed to her family, and Bart is full of spirit."

Mr Spittle, whose unconventional style of preaching has seen him hold services in the local pub, is also taking classes at Kesgrave High School on the meaning of Easter within the blockbuster films Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:36 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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A Crucifixion in Peoria

Peroria Star: Firing spurs protests

PEORIA - Angry students, parents and supporters of former Notre Dame High School coach and head dean Cindy Clark assembled outside the school early Monday demanding to know why she was fired.

They also called for her reinstatement.

"We love her," one student said. "She's like a mom to us."

Clark, 44, was escorted out of the school Friday afternoon and not allowed to collect her personal property.

By 7:30 a.m. Monday, several hundred students and parents had gathered at the school to express support with chants and hand-lettered signs.

Parent Laurie O'Brien of Peoria said Clark "has done wonderful things for the school" of about 800 students but now is being "crucified."

"They should have told us something" about why Clark was fired, said student Alex Threw of Yates City. "We feel this is against Christian values that they're trying to teach us."

Student Shane Mahoney of Peoria said:

"We're really mad. We should get reasons why she was fired."

Some students left the school grounds. "I'm going home right now," said Cissy Frakes of Peoria. "I don't feel comfortable being at school without her being there. She's been my support for the last four years."

Other students went inside for first-hour classes, but about 50 students then came outside for another rally.

Two school administrators who refused to give their names - students identified them as assistant dean Jerry Rashid and athletic director Jim Heid - then emerged and persuaded the students to come back inside or leave for the day.

Neither would comment on Clark, and one said they would be fired if their remarks appeared in the Journal Star, a fear echoed by teachers who came out of the building briefly to observe the events. The teachers all have one-year contracts and lack union protection for due process, some said.

Notre Dame principal Patricia O'Connell also would not comment.

When Clark arrived with a police escort to clean out her office around 10 a.m. Monday, about 20 students surrounded her with hugs and chanted, "Clark, Clark, Clark."

An hour later, Clark left the school with her briefcase, boxes of files and a small refrigerator. She said the situation has left her disheartened. No one was allowed inside to help her pack.

"I'm in shock. I'm in disbelief. It's very hurtful, very sad. I feel like I'm a person with a broken heart. I wouldn't want anyone to be treated like I was treated," she said.

The support she received has helped, she said, adding that perhaps 500 people stopped by her home over the weekend. "I know they care when you have 500 kids, parents and faculty showing their support."

Clark's parents, Rochelle and Gerald Clark of Peoria, were at the demonstration and said they immediately flew to Peoria from their winter residence in Naples, Fla., to support their daughter.

She has been in Catholic education for 21 years, is a graduate of Notre Dame predecessor Bergan High School and spent her entire teaching career at Academy of Our Lady/Spalding Institute, then Notre Dame, Rochelle Clark said.

She blamed the firing on diocese objections to a letter-writing campaign from parents against a diocese decision to stop deans from coaching. Clark also was the volleyball and girls basketball coach.

"She was told to stop the letter writing. She said she didn't ask for it (the letter campaign)," Rochelle Clark said.

"She has never had a negative evaluation," Rochelle Clark said. "She's been math teacher of the year, coach of the year. Now her reputation is on the line."

Clark's friend Kelly Hubert said Clark has rejected higher-paying coaching offers from other schools because she was dedicated to Notre Dame and its students. "The most shocking thing beyond waking up without a job is the way she was treated" as a 20-year staff member.

The Diocese of Peoria issued a statement Monday saying Clark is no longer employed, and her responsibilities as dean have been assumed by other staff members.

"Obviously due to recent and serious reasons and in consultation with the Office of Catholic Schools, Peoria Notre Dame High School Administration decided to relieve Ms. Clark of her employment responsibilities."

Clark will be paid for the remainder of her contract, which ends in August.

Clark suffers from multiple sclerosis, and though she is not disabled from it, stress can aggravate the condition, her parents said.

Clark's fiance, Bob Joseph of Peoria, a softball coach for the school, said Notre Dame administrators "betrayed" Clark by not standing up for her. "In 51 years of my life, this is the first time my faith has been challenged," he said, adding he has resigned as coach.

Gerald Clark said a fund-raiser and strategy meeting for parents and friends is planned for 5 p.m. Thursday at Double A's Pizza Pub, 7800 N. Sommer, where the owners will give 20 percent of the profits to Clark.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:21 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Trinity Mirror UK: Gay Activists in church protest
Gay rights campaigners clashed with Catholic clergy and churchgoers as they protested at a Palm Sunday procession.

Six campaigners from pressure group OutRage! picketed the main doors of London's Westminster Cathedral in protest at the Vatican's stance on homosexuality.

At one point prominent campaigner Peter Tatchell was held back by a member of the clergy, and some members of the congregation were said to have been in tears at the scenes.

Police attended, but only arrived after the incident had ended.

Mr. Tatchell had remonstrated with the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, as he passed through into the cathedral, telling him his Church supported paedophile priests while persecuting gays in loving relationships.

He claimed the protesters were then manhandled and verbally abused, and placards torn from their hands.

We did not abuse the Cardinal or the Catholic Church in any way," Mr Tatchell said.

"It was always a peaceful protest."

A spokesman for the cathedral claimed the protesters had been using abusive language.

"A lot of people were extremely upset by what happened, including quite a number who were reduced to tears," he said.

This account reveals a lot. The idea of a "peaceful protest" taking place at religious services doesn't bother the author.

The protesters are quick to play the victim card: they were "manhandled". (I guess the English still uses the that sexist term).

The response from the Church: upset and reduced to tears.

The response from the Church should be condemnation and a promise that if the police won't or can't protect religious services from invasion, a militia of Catholics will.

This may not be in London's history, but it became necessary at least twice in the history of New York.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:03 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com