Saturday, June 12, 2004
Wall Street Journal. Elizabeth Bernstein: Do-It-Yourself Religion (paid subs. reqd.)
Looking for a priest she could relate to, Cecilia Schulte had been church shopping since moving to Austin, Texas, a few years ago. But when the fifth parish she tried had an elderly priest and, in her view, not enough participation by women, the 43-year-old internist took a novel approach: She started her own worship group.
The first example looks to me like a prayer group. We have seen these appear in my diocese as a place where Catholics want to gather, pray, read from Bible, and socialize. It is not a replacement for the Mass or the sacraments. If people come to believe it is, then that's a serious failure of the Church to teach because I believe that any Catholic who loves Jesus should love the Eucharist and that means participation in the sacrifice of the Mass.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:21 AM Permalink
Friday, June 11, 2004
A great Reagan line when he was accused of not working hard enough (compared to Carter who defined micro-management)
They say that hard work never killed anyone. But I say "Why take the chance?"
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:26 PM Permalink
Why zero tolerance has to remain and why zero should mean zero and not maybe zero.
It just didn't pop into the heads of the bishops "Gee, wouldn't zero tolerance be a nice idea." to which there was unanimous consent "Let's do it".
If the bishops didn't impose a zero tolerance policy there would be angry people with torches and pitchforks marching on the Episcopal mansions.
The tolerance of priests as sexual predators was exposed. The lies were exposed. The payoffs to the priests were exposed. The settlements with the victims were exposed. The "confidentiality agreements" were shredded like so much confetti.
There was no denying that there was a scandal and the bishops had placed the comfort and careers of priests above the safety and innocence of children.
The bishops had massively abused their discretion in handling these cases. As the transcripts show, bishops lied and were lied to. Bishops were being blackmailed and extorted. The faithful could no longer trust the bishops and moreover, the bishops no longer trusted each other.
That's the context into which "zero tolerance" became necessary.
"Zero tolerance" doesn't deny due process. As intended it is designed to lower the bar, the burden of evidence and testimony required to suspend a priest to a credible accusation.
In prior years, bishops were arbitrary in defining the burden of proof the accuser would have to bring, or the length of time to conduct an investigation internal to the Church.
In practice, this was a perversion of due process: the accuser was often given an impossible burden of proof, the internal investigations were performed in bad faith, incompetently, or even not at all. Yielding the result of a billion in settlements paid out prior to 2002, and many repeat priest offenders.
"Zero tolerance" itself has had its share of problems: some priests who have been accused of a sexual crime and a are risk to children have gotten around the policy by technicalities in many cases: the priest was found with child porn, not abusing a child, the priest was convicted of an "adult" sexual crime and not one involving a minor, the priest committed sexual abuse with a minor -- but it was before he was a priest.
As people were writing in 2002, their instincts were not to be the outraged fathers of these abused children -- no, they identified with the sexual predator brother priests. Bishop Joseph Imesch's "I have no children" response is the summary of this attitude.
Bishop O'Brien was convicted according to a juror because he lacked the human instinct to see if the object he hit with his car was injured and needed help.
A suspended priest whom the bishop declares has been removed from "any kind of pastoral ministry" might turn up to celebrate Mass or to be assigned to a nursing home. This isn't zero tolerance. So suspension doesn't mean suspension.
The released convicted men who are ex-priests by virtue of being laicized even have a retired bishop soliciting funds to make their lives more comfortable.
Bishops should not secretly undermine "Zero Tolerance" or vote to end it. It should be strengthened.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:34 PM Permalink
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Another icon of righteous and religious modesty has fallen.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:32 AM Permalink
Bardot crusades for the French
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:19 AM Permalink
Thursday, June 10, 2004
An eloquent tribute to President Reagan from Ed Koch, former mayor of New York
Those of us who believe in God know that we will ultimately face our Maker. Some, who do not, expect to expire without hope of an afterlife. In the case of Ronald Reagan, we have an extraordinary figure whose afterlife can be seen right here on earth. He leaves behind a powerful, indeed unique, legacy of success.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:47 PM Permalink
I thought this was "History" already. AP: Cardinal [Dulles] : Bishops' Abuse Policy 'Extreme'
An influential U.S. Roman Catholic theologian says the discipline policy American bishops adopted in response to the clergy sex abuse crisis ignores priests' due-process rights and should be changed.
First of all, I don't know how influential Cardinal Dulles is now. Certainly, he was never influential in the protection of children from crimial predator priests, nor in insuring that children obtained justice.
The reaction to this report will be one of outrage. I understand the outrage. The Cardinal's hearts bleeds for the lack of due process for the priests by their oppressor-bishops. Are there any real cases of this motivated by excess of zeal to protect children rather than arbitrary vindictiveness against priests by bishops? (i.e. the usual reason for suspending a priest).
I hold Cardinal Dulles in high regard and recently attended his lecture of the Rebirth of Apolgetics which became an article in First Things. To comment further I've got to get my hands on this new article in America
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:47 PM Permalink
USA Today: Tears flow at the first of public farewells
Ronald Reagan's children grew up in his shadow and spent most of their lives trying to escape it.
One aspect of the differences between the public Ronald Reagan and the private man can be seen in his unhappy first marriage to Jane Wyman. He adopted Michael and their daughter Maureen died recently from cancer.
The children of the marriage to Nancy Davis (married March 1952) are Patti (born October 1952), and Ron (born May 1958).
Ok. Nancy was already pregnant at the time they were married. They did the right thing.
Michael and his wife have two children. Maureen and her husband adopted a child. As far as I know both Patti and Ron are married and childless.
Updated to correct typos
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:15 PM Permalink
Hedge Fund Managers Need Prayers Too
AUSANNE, June 8 (Reuters) - Hedge funds are expected to manage at least five percent of global financial assets by 2009 from around two percent now, delegates to an alternative investment conference said on Tuesday.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:43 AM Permalink
My blog readers were reading about this --- as it happened not 36 hours later
Singer Hospitalized For Arthroscopic SurgeryI wonder if the Associated Press will run my correction that the injury was under the No. 7 train and not the letter L train.
I pray for her quick recovery.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:12 AM Permalink
This one pinned my BS detector at 10
Controversies are often portrayed as two-sided feuds between polarized extremes. Labor against management. Planned Parenthood vs. anti-abortion protesters. Ardent preservationists facing off against defenders of property owners' rights.
I think Jesus has the right idea. Mt. 12.30
He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:50 AM Permalink
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
Some notes on the involvement of Jackie Kennedy in the funeral and burial of her first husband.
At that time there was no burial plan for specifically President Kennedy, but there was a state funeral plan," said John C. Metzler Jr., son of John C. Metzler, superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery during Kennedy's burial. "As best I can recall, the plan was very fluid. As each meeting unfolded between late Friday and Monday morning, as the requirements were changing from the White House and from [Jacqueline] Kennedy, they were modifying and changing the plans."Media General: Death, Funeral Gave JFK Lasting Life
But it was the funeral that cemented the Kennedy legacy, and the funeral was Jackie's creation, said David Lubin, a Wake Forest University art professor, who wrote ``Shooting Kennedy, JFK and the Culture of Images.''
Criticism of the involvement of the details of the funeral by Nancy Reagan is unfair. This is a serious undertaking which will help form the memories that people will have for Ronald Reagan forever.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:20 PM Permalink
Why Democrats Lose Elections
The Democrats since the Watergate era have been marking their territory with finger-wagging: "The President has made mistakes." "What's wrong with America."
It's no accident that everyone alive during Watergate sees the echoes of that investigation in the 9/11 commission. We've even have Richard Ben-Veniste and Bob Woodward as visual reminders.
But when it comes to accountability, the are miserable failures. President Carter's famous malaise speech might have even been superficially accurate -- making him a prophet, but he was not a savior.
There never was such a great contrast between Reagan/Carter in 1980 as there was since Roosevelt/Wilkie in 1940.
I still cling to to the hope that the Democratic party will shortly follow the Whigs of 1856 into history.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:57 PM Permalink
Details on the Reagan Funeral
While tradition and protocol greatly influence a funeral for a former head of state, the exact sequence of events is determined by family desires. Despite the immediate family's personal loss, much of the funeral remains open to the public, which shares in the loss of a national leader. Foreign countries also mourn the loss of a former head of state and their participation generates its own protocol, says the United States Army Military District of Washington.
In my lifetime, the following presidents have died:
Ronald Reagan will be the 10th president to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda, a rite last observed for a national leader when Lyndon Johnson died in 1973.
The funeral planned for Reagan fits in with the established protocol. The 1994 Nixon death and funeral was deliberately low-key because of his disgrace and resignation.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:26 AM Permalink
Crisis Magazine. Russell Shaw: An Open Letter to America’s Bishops
I live and work in a largely non-Catholic, even anti-Catholic, environment. In this setting I consider it my job to be an exemplary representative of the Church—a kind of living testimony to Catholic beliefs and values.Yup. That's me.
Excommunication is the answer.
The advocacy of abortion as public policy is sinful. The bishops have yet to make that statement with clarity. For creating a little theological and political drama of their own. They should declare it immediately to be sinful and give Catholics who have openly advocated abortion until the Feast of the Immaculate Conception to repent of this sin or be excommunicated.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:02 AM Permalink
The Weather in New York in June is just about perfect
...So it must be a time for strikes. We've got two this week. The Home Health Care workers and Child Care Workers.
The New York State minimum wage is $5.15. These workers are paid an average of $7.00 and their two unions are seeking raises to $10.00.
The city claimed it lacked the money. That was then so this is now -- some of the unions are settling for a 3 year contract which phases in raises to $10.00.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:11 AM Permalink
Zenit: How Brides Should Dress
ROME, JUNE 8, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Answered by Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:38 AM Permalink
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
Encountering Britney Spears and Snoop Dogg
I got a call from my wife to head over to Windmuller Park -- there were filming a Britney Spears video, just around the corner. I chatted with the security team and the police who appear to be the only other adults around besides the crew.
I estimate the crowd at between 200 and 300 with no prior publicity.
Britney kept her distance. She never waved to the crowd or even acknowledged the hundreds around her. A police car and van pulled up next to the tent inside the park and she ran out surrounded by her people so there was no photo op.
Snoop on the other hand waved to the crowd and walked with his posse right past where I was standing to his van on the street, which the crowd really appreciated after the snub from Britney.
No other paparazzi observed.
Look for the video Outrageous when it is released and you see a beautiful day in my neighborhood.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:16 PM Permalink
Comment on the Vatican advisory of problems of Muslim-Christian intermarriage
Regretfully, there has been an ongoing problem that has plagued the Israeli people for quite some time; the plague of Jewish women intermarrying with Muslim men.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:19 PM Permalink
Abortion is Murder? How extreme. How rude.
I've got to say that if anybody in my party made an extreme statement such as that, I would have spoken out immediately against that statement." - Prime Minister Paul Martin on Conservative MP Cheryl Gallant, reported as saying there is no difference between abortion and the recent beheading of an American by Iraqi terrorists.
Is there a difference? Please explain that, Paul?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:14 PM Permalink
Pope in gratitude: Te Deum Laudamus
Reuters: U.S.-Led Forces Rescue Italians, Pole Held in Iraq
I hope some of the American soldiers are Catholic and are invited to a private audience with the Holy Father.
They have accomplished by their bravery what the Holy Father asked the world to pray for.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:53 PM Permalink
Very faint praise. (De mortuus - nisi nihil bonum department)
I think we all remember his smile and his grace.--Hillary Clinton
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:43 AM Permalink
Monday, June 07, 2004
You don't say?
Six months after Archbishop Raymond L. Burke announced that he would deny communion to Roman Catholic politicians who support abortion rights, only a handful of bishops have said they agree and many more have made it clear that they think he went too far.
The Catholic Church owes John Kerry big time -- he's finally pushed the Church from intertia to action on the matter of advocacy of legal abortion.
My own position is for all the bishops, unanimously, to declare that political advocacy of legal abortion is objectively sinful, and with the usual conditions gravity, reflection, and consent, a mortal sin.
Currently it's a mire (not miter) of ambiguity.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:39 PM Permalink
August 30 through September 2 2004:
Photo Credit to Satan's Laundromat
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:50 PM Permalink
Catholic Analysis. Oswald Sobrino. has a insight into two presidents:
n my opinion, the most significant personal contrast between Kennedy and Reagan is in their very different reactions to the dysfunctions of their fathers. Kennedy's father, Joseph Kennedy, was severely dysfunctional in his own compulsive adulteries. Unfortunately, this dysfunction, and its accompanying damage to character and recklessness, flourished in President Kennedy.The Kennedys all grew up as elites because of money and political connections. Reagan had the common touch -- something he shared with Bill Clinton.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:55 PM Permalink
Tributes to Reagan that miss the point entirely (part I)
He gave a good speech in the aftermath of the Challenger accident. That wasn't the high point of his presidency.
The bombing of the Marines barracks in Lebanon was not the high point of his presidency.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:15 PM Permalink
opinionjournal.com David Gelernter: Too Much, Too Late
Baby boomers heap insincere praise on the "greatest generation."David is only a few years older than me.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:06 PM Permalink
1982: Better Red than Dead -- How Reagan had work cut out for him.
...This does not mean we accept as inevitable the conquest of the world by a totalitarian system...
Cardinal Krol conceding that a military defeat was the probable outcome from unilateral disarmament which he and many bishops were urging.
Even today, the idea of a deterrent military capability is still officially objected to by the USCCB.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:35 PM Permalink
Prediction: Do it for the Gipper
I fully expect the pro-abortion folks to come forward and demand that for the sake of the memory of Ronald Reagan that the ban to embryonic stem research harvested from aborted babies be lifted.
At present, there is no remote benefit to all humankind in abortion. This is intended to provide some relief that even though this human baby is being killed, there's a small chance that his cells will improve grandpa's memory.
The truth is that mature and placenta stem cells are available in abundance and these are showing some positive results that would make the use of embryonic stem cells redundant.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:16 AM Permalink
Tradition Clothing of the Basque Region
Someone suggested that Jenna could dress more modestly. These outfits are from the Basque region that the Camino de Santiago passes through.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:53 AM Permalink
Reagan was more than that
It's almost as if they want to damn him with faint praise.
He was more than the one-liners: I paid for this microphone! and Tear down this wall!
He was more than Irish charm.
He was more than the great communicator
He reversed the downward spiral of America. He brought hope in a new way: restoring the idea that we did not need to depend on the government to solve all the problems in our life. He was the right man for the time. I think he fit into history the way Washington, Lincoln, and FDR did. I hope I live to see another president as great as he was.
What a combination he was: spiritually changing America, or rather making people believe that they could change America, and the achievements in the world stage and the economy.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:17 AM Permalink
Sunday, June 06, 2004
Jenna Bush meet Roland of Roncesvalles
What's connects Jenna to the Global War on Terror?
Part One: The Apostle James the Greater.
According to this tradition St. James the Greater, having preached Christianity in Spain, returned to Judea and was put to death by order of Herod; his body was miraculously translated to Iria Flavia in the northwest of Spain, and later to Compostela, which town, especially during the Middle Ages, became one of the most famous places of pilgrimage in the world.
after Jerusalem and Rome.
At his death in the first century, the bones of James are in the Roman province of Hispania and Christians being persecuted at this point lose track of exactly where.
Part Two: Christian Visigothic Iberia is Conquered
The invasion starts in 711 and by 716, it's over. All of Iberia is under Muslim with the exception of some Basque territory. Call it Andalusia.
Part Three: Roland at Roncevaux (Roncesvalles)
The barrier to Muslim expansion throughout Europe is now the Frankish kingdom under Charlemagne.
The Catholic Encyclopedia describes a battle in 778 between the rear guard of the Franks led by Roland who is betrayed by Genelon and slaughtered to the last man by Basques.
At Tours, the Muslim threat to this part of Europe is stopped.
Part Four: Pelayo and the "Camp of Stars"
In the 813 or 838 a hermit has a vision that leads him to the bones of Saint James. The nobility of Austurias (the first kingdom of the Reconquista) come to see the hermit's discovery. King Alfonso IX builds the basilica and the pilgrimages begin. In 1120, it becomes a metropolitan see.
The pilgrims route from the Frankish kingdom to the shrine is on the border with Muslim Andalusia and goes to what the medieval mind calls "the end of the world".
Part Five: The Militarization of Saint James
This Sacred Sites web site provides this explanation:
In addition to the story of the relics discovery there were also reports of Santiago Matomoro, or St. James the Moorslayer, appearing on a white horse in 844 AD to lead Christians into battle against the Moors. These two legends are interpreted by scholars of the Age of Medieval Pilgrimage as attempts by ecclesiastical authorities to gather popular support for the overthrow of the Arabs. Furthermore, it is known that officials of the Cathedral of Santiago actually hired storytellers to travel about the European countryside spreading 'news' of the miracles of St. James and his relics.The Cathedral contains this sculpture, which I believe features a rider on a horse with a sword. Perhaps this is Gambino's Santiago Matomoro. I couldn't find a better image.
Part Six: 1492 Grenada Falls, Spain is again Christian.
Their Catholic majesties, Ferdinand and Isabella conquer the last Islamic kingdom. The Jews are expelled immediately. The remaining Muslims are expelled in 1608.
Part Seven: 2004 the Present Day
In 2001, 19 hijackers, all middle class, well-educated Muslim men, mostly from Saudi Arabia, caused the death of nearly 3,000 Americans. In 2004, terrorists who have not been identified with certainty bombed trains in Madrid causing the death of 190 and injuries to 1200.
In response, the Spanish people complied with the terrorists demands and removed their army from Iraq.
The Cathedral took its own action:
A statue in a Spanish cathedral showing St James slicing the heads off Moorish invaders is to be removed to avoid causing offence to Muslims.
Here we complete the circle. This is all connected one long war: the clash of civilizations, the great Crusade, to that day in 711 AD (93 AH) when Tariq ibn Ziyad crossed from Africa into Europe.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:55 PM Permalink
AP: Text Messages May Turn Up in Bryant Case
DENVER (AP) - A few hours after NBA star Kobe Bryant had sex with a Vail-area hotel worker last summer, the woman exchanged cell phone text messages with a former boyfriend and someone else. What's in those messages could help determine whether the sex was consensual or whether Bryant is guilty of rape as charged. The judge himself said the content may be "highly relevant" to the case.
Anything you say can and will be used against you.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:44 PM Permalink
AP: Kerry Suspends Campaigning
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Sunday that he was suspending "overtly political" campaigning in the coming days in observance of former President Reagan's death.
This is the picture the news editors at Road Runner placed with the above news story. If you are using Road Runner as an ISP you should be able to see the same thing. Update: on the AP site.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:30 PM Permalink
Timeline of Ronald Reagan's Life
A special note on Ronald Regan's military career: He was drafted and wore the uniform as a soldier and not a civilian actor playing a soldier.
His nearsightedness kept him from the front.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:43 PM Permalink