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Saturday, June 19, 2004
Have you forgiven Clinton?

This is the question that liberal talk show host Brian Whitman asked tonight on WABC radio.

He had a telephone queue of people waiting 90 minutes. I have trouble believing that he managed to pickup some of the most stupid callers to WABC that I have heard in a long time.

"Can't we move on now? He's been out of power for almost four years."

The callers were falling into his trap. "Why do you hate him? Isn't forgiveness the Christian thing to do?"

If I called I would have raised these points:

  • I haven't heard any forgiveness given by Clinton to anyone involved in his impeachement. Has he forgiven Judge Ken Starr or Representative Henry Hyde?
  • Taking figures even more out of power: Has the left forgiven J Edgar Hoover, Joseph McCarthy, or Richard Nixon?
  • What exactly does he want to be forgiven for? He's still pretty defiant over the issues that led to his impeachment.
  • He denies that he lied under oath and thereby committed perjury. He's lying about lying, what would the point be of forgiving a person so unrepetant about lying?
  • Clinton wants the center stage -- not to ask for forgiveness but to enhance his own celebrity.

In the Rather interview he calls his impeachment "a badge of honor". I wonder what he would call the conviction and removal from office.

Had I been able to get on I would have asked Brian: Knowing what we know now, wasn't Clinton so compromised he should have resigned for the honor of the presidency? Should the Senate have voted to convict him?

Now onto the Christian aspect of asking for forgiveness. I'm reminded of the signs held aloft by some misguided people in the aftermath "We forgive you, Dylan [Klebold] and Eric [Harris]"

Forgiveness is given by the one offended. I'm not sure what I even have a grudge against him. I just wish he would fade away like Ford, Carter, and Bush(41) - but he keeps putting himself into the spotlight and I can't ignore it. He's a nuisance.

In the story of the Prodigal Son the son returns having abandoned his old life style and his prior pride.

Clinton returns to the public eye embracing his life style and bursting with pride.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:13 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Jesus Loves You Bunches: the animated gif

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:00 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Friday, June 18, 2004
1010WINS: Homeless Man Murdered Outside Brooklyn Church
The body of a homeless man was discovered early Thursday in front of a Brooklyn church.

A priest found the unidentified man at about 3 a.m. outside St. Gabriel's Roman Catholic Church in the East New York section. The victim apparently died from a blow to the head, police said.

The priest told police he recognized the victim as a homeless man who lived on the streets around the church.

No arrests were made.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:07 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, June 17, 2004
I did it 'because I could'

Who said that? Adam or Clinton?

Sin has consequences.

More in the New York Daily News

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:22 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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I want my TechTV

Time Warner Cable of New York City dropped G4 Tech TV from the lineup. G4 was recently purchased by Comcast a TWC competitor.

But I paid for that channel!

On the other hand that probably means more EWTN or History Channel

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:15 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Blast from the past: Senator Pothole

In 1995, the power couple was three term Senator Alphonse D'Amato (R-NY) and columnist Claudia Cohen.

They announced their intention to be married. One small problem was that there was a Mrs. Alphonse D'Amato back on Long Island, Penelope. They married in 1960 and had four children.

In 1997, that engagement was off. In 1998, he was divorced and he lost his senate seat to the Chuck Schumer (D-NY) who faces no opposition in getting a second term this year.

New York Post: Cindy Adams

Senator Alfonse D'Amato and his long time fiancée Katuria Smith will finally be tying the knot on Sunday, July 18, at the Sacred Heart R.C. Church in Island Park, N.Y., with reception to follow at Oheka Castle in Huntington, N.Y.

I guess the anullment went through. "Lack of due discretion", I presume.

In his conservative town, D'Amato had been pro-life and elected on that position. Once he ran for the Senate, he discovered he was pro-choice.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:54 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Fox News: Hostage's Niece Thanks N.J. Community
EAGLESWOOD TOWNSHIP, N.J. — The niece of Paul M. Johnson Jr., held hostage in Saudi Arabia by terrorists who claim they will kill him by Friday if their demands are not met, thanked the family's New Jersey community for their love and support at a vigil Thursday.

Here in New York City, there's saturation coverage of this -- people in this town who never met a member of the Johnson family are getting face time to cry and beg and beg.

Pictures of the yellow ribbons. More crying in and more begging.

"Please, please release Paul M. Johnson, Jr. He's done nothing wrong."
and another story from the AP: As clock ticks, friends beg for clemency for kidnapped American

Could we have a little less crying and more outrage at the kidnappers, please?

The enemy doesn't care and unmoved by these pitiful pleas.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:07 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Ocean County Register. Joseph D'Hippolito: Kerry, the bishops and communion
Weeks before he receives the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry faces a serious credibility problem.

Kerry is a Catholic who supports abortion on demand. American bishops have responded by demanding that he be denied communion. Catholics consider such a sanction especially severe; receiving what Catholics believe to be the literal body and blood of Christ is considered the ultimate expression of faith.

But the bishops don't speak with a consistent voice. Colorado Springs Bishop Michael Sheridan said any Catholic who votes for a "pro- choice" candidate should be denied communion. Yet Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C., said he would feel uncomfortable denying communion to any Catholic member of Congress who supports abortion.

The bishops' confusion and public grandstanding reflect not only their own credibility problem, but also their desire for advancement and increased influence.

I disagree. I don't believe Meyers, Sheridan, or Burke are doing this to curry favor with the current Pope, or a possible future Pope, Cardinal Arinze.

The paramount question for me in this matter of the denial of Holy Communion is the same as the sexual abuse scandal: fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church. The willingness to suffer death or in this case hostility from the political and media classes.

This fiction was cultivated in the 1970's: that politicians could be personally opposed to abortion while voting according to the majority reflecting the views of their constituency.

The winking at this division between private conscience and public acts started with Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. and carried on for 30 years. Brennan was given a magnificient Catholic funeral in 1997 by the way. Ditto for pro-abortion Moynihan, and dozens of others.

Kerry's career was different. His private conscience was not troubled. He did fund raisers for the nations largest provider of abortions, and he mocked politicians and even constituents who were pro-life.

He pushed the bishops up against the wall.

Now it's time to push back or surrender.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:05 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Recently updated blogs of St. Blog's Parish

Have you ever wondered who has been updating their blogs? Or is there a blog that's been started that you missed the announcement for?

I have listed the recently updated blogs.

These are the blogs from the webring called St. Blog's Parish. This is the contact page and another directory of the blogs.

Kathryn Lively is the webring administrator.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:55 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Mara Vanderslice has been appointed Senator John Kerry’s Director of Religion Outreach. Catholic League president William Donohue finds her a curious choice.
On the right-wing, we would call her a red diaper baby.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:15 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Reuters: No Communion for Kerry, Say Anti-Abortion Catholics
Anti-abortion advocates on Wednesday denounced what they called the "hypocrisy" of Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry and other Catholic politicians who back abortion rights.

About 10 demonstrators attended a rally outside St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City organized by the Society for Truth and Justice, a conservative, Houston-based religious group that also opposes gay marriage.

I didn't see anyone with Reuters ids, so this may have been filed by freelancers.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:07 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Lifesite: Pro-Lifers to Hold Vigil, Press Conference in Front of St. Patrick's Cathedral

Lifesite was there. The linked article doesn't add much to what I've already blogged.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:03 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Rush Limbaugh and blogs

Rush Limbaugh as part of the "new media" himself often mocks blogs. (websites which present their material in reverse chronological order) This is a bit hypocritical:

His own website, organized by date, bears a resemblance to a blog.

What he calls his favorite website The Drudge Report is a thin blog.

He mentioned Scott Ott's Scrappleface as a website and Rich Galen's Mullings as a newsletter. Both are excellent blogs.

The "new media" as I see it is talk radio, blogs and community access cable -- living side-by-side with the "old media" of global television networks and mass circulation newspapers.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:11 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Connecting the dots

In reflecting on the Q&A below at the press conference. I thought that it's not going to happen because the dots are not being connected.

Currently, it looks like this:

  • Abortion is opposed by the Catholic Church.
  • Candidates who advocate abortion should be denied Holy Communion.

This is hard to explain. There's a lot of public policy positions in the world. Take the Death Penalty. Why shouldn't its support be a reason to deny Holy Communion?

Or take my example, the Certificado Matricula Consular. Why shouldn't opposition to its acceptance be a reason to deny Holy Communion?

As Chris Slattery mentioned to be below. The difference is that Pope and Cardinal Arinze have spoken. But I think what's they have said is not enough.

"Explicit" is a word the Vatican and the Curia do not like to hear. The connection between the political advocacy of abortion and sin needs to be made explicit.

Political advocacy of abortion is a mortal sin

The Pope and Cardinal Arinze have spoken but in a general way ask if to say "take a hint". This needs to be explicit.

Those who maintain a manifest and obstinate political advocacy of abortion should be denied Holy Communion by Bishops, Priests, Deacons, and extraordinary ministers.
That is, in effect, a declaration that Canon 915 is obligatory and not discretionary.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:19 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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A Press Conference at St. Patrick's Cathedral

A new group called The Society for Truth and Justice had these press conferences in 17 locations today. I was there at the steps of St. Patrick's Cathedral.

  • About 6 people from the group.
  • About 10 people from the official media (big badges and big cameras)
  • About 6 people who were like me there with no badges or cameras but taking notes

The speaker called upon the bishops to deny Kerry Holy Communion. In response to a question they said they would include Pataki and Giuliani.

He said that Kerry's reception of Holy Communion was blasphemy and sacrilege.

He also mentioned that Kerry favored partial birth abortion but it has been called infanticide by Democrats, the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Ed Koch.

He cited Bishops Meyers, Sheridan, and Burke as already pledging to deny Holy Communion to Kerry.

Kerry must conform or leave the Church. The bishops must conform to the laws of the Church.

The Q&A just went over the same ground the statement covered, until my question.

Isn't what you are calling the bishops to do something that is entirely at their discretion to enforce. Isn't that what they are claiming now?

Yes but they are wrong. The Pope and Cardinal Arinze, who is in charge of liturgical matters made it clear that they are ineligible to receive, and if they are ineligible to receive it should not be given.

Had I been in his position I would have answered the question in the same way.

He also mentioned that this was affiliated with the American Life League but I found nothing on their web site to confirm this claim. The demonstrators had copies of their ads which are also messages to the bishops.

The Society for Truth and Justice appears to be the new organizational platform for Randall Terry formerly of Operation Rescue.

I looked at my watch and the whole thing took 15 minutes.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:38 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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I left the 10 O'Clock News on for a few mins. after 11 P.M. last night. Seinfeld started. (He and I were both born in the same year.)

Google: "man on the moon"

He talked about the often made comparison "if they can put a man on the moon... then..." and said "It would have been better if they didn't put a man on the moon because that would explain why they can't make a medicine bottle that you can open or fix the parking problem in New York. If we couldn't put a man on the moon then it would make sense that we can't do all those things."

On the radio, a representative of the interim Iraqi government was saying at the same time "if they can put a man on the moon, then why can't they restore the electric power to Sadr City."

Could it be that you shoot at the workers and blow up the generators?

I'm right. Here's the official line from the DOD

Rodman said the Iraqis are suffering from two syndromes – the "Man on the Moon" syndrome and the "What Have You Done For Me Lately?" syndrome. The first refers to American technical expertise and the idea that if U.S. engineers can put a man on the moon, it should be able to fix the electricity. The second deals with the fact that people often forget what occurred in the past and are impatient for the next improvement.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:20 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Is there a symbol that signfies the Catholic Church apart from other Christian bodies other than the Vatican coat of arms?

I don't mean a cardinal's hat or a catholic school uniform as something unique to the Catholic Church but something that makes the association in a direct way. The crossed keys, for example, as part of the Vatican coat of arms could signify an innkeeper or keymaker isn't sufficient.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:42 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Guest Blogger Announcement

Pro-Lifers to Hold Vigil and Press Conference at St. Patrick's Cathedral asking Cardinal Egan to Withhold Communion from John Kerry and others

This vigil is in conjunction with the vigils across the country on 6/16/04, and one held now at the Denver Bishops meeting

Contact Chris Slattery (212) 685-3320 for more information on joining this event.

On Wednesday, June 16, at 12:00 noon, local Roman Catholics will hold a press conference and speak in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral, at the corner of 50th St. and 5th Avenue. This is in co-ordination with The Society for Truth and Justice, and the American Life League which are both running events in Denver, Colorado to reach the bishops of the Uniterd States. The purpose of the vigil is two fold:

1) To implore Cardinal Egan and Bishops of New York State to publicly state that any politician or candidate that supports abortion is not permitted to receive communion in his diocese

2) That no Catholic can in good conscience vote for any candidate from any party for any office who supports the killing of unborn children by abortion. Over 500 politicians nationwide who profess to be practicing Roman Catholics support legalized abortion.

The Archbishop of New York, and other local bishops, have been given a copy of an open letter, imploring them to take the above action. A copy of the letter can be read at www.societyfortruthandjustice.com/open_letter.htm The letter will also be available at the press conference.

This protest is being held simultaneously with a 24-hour vigil being held near Denver at the Inverness Hotel and Conference Center in Englewood, Colorado where hundreds of Roman Catholic Bishops from America are having a retreat.

"We are asking His Eminence Edward Cardinal Egan to withhold Communion from politicians who support the murder of unborn children, and to declare to Catholics that they cannot in good conscience vote for any candidate that supports the killing of children by abortion." --Chris Slattery

I'm going to be there. Look for me. I've got a navy blue mesh polo and khaki pants on today. I will be carrying a black and brown notebook.

See you at the news conference.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:30 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

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Son of "It is as it was"

The last meeting between President Bush and the Holy Father was Friday June 4, prior to the President's visit to Normandy for the 60th Anniversary of D-Day and the Pope's visit to Switzerland.

The press reports at the time were that the topics discussed were Iraq, the UN, and of course the medal of Freedom given to the Pope. (I thought the protocol for the Pope was to decline honors given by temporal rulers)

Keep in mind that the private part of the meeting between the two was 15 minutes. There will be a quiz on this later.

But here's the scandal: Google: The President was late

But here's the leak:

New York Times: Bush Asked for Vatican's Help on Political Issues, Report Says, June 13 (Sunday)

On his recent trip to Rome, President Bush asked a top Vatican official to push American bishops to speak out more about political issues, including same-sex marriage, according to a report in the National Catholic Reporter, an independent newspaper.

Now that got amplified like children passing a story around a classroom into the President slamming his fist on the table and ordering the Pope to get the bishops of the United States in line with the Republican agenda.

Kerry strikes back:

CNN: Kerry: Bush's Vatican appeal 'inappropriate'

President Bush was out of line to ask the Vatican to get U.S. bishops more involved in promoting his conservative social agenda, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Tuesday.

The [unnamed] Vatican official said that Bush, a Methodist, asked Sodano to "push the bishops to become more actively involved" in promoting those issues that are part of his social agenda. The official said Sodano did not respond to Bush's request

And buried at the end is

The church opposes abortion, same-sex marriage, the death penalty, unjust wars and a host of other issues that are debated in the political mainstream.
That would be 101 issues, and in the opinion of Dick Durbin, all of equal weight.

That unnamed Vatican official must feel mighty proud that he's made a few headlines tonight.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:02 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The news isn't getting better in Albany

Troy Record: Troy priest put on leave

"I believe that Bishop Hubbard has removed Father McNerney because Father McNerney corroborated, at least in part, statements made about Bishop Hubbard's transgressions, and I find it very suspicious that out of over 60 priests that I have (had clients bring accusations) of inappropriate conduct to Hubbard, that he has chosen one of Minkler's close friends in the ministry (to remove) at this time," Aretakis said.

It was alleged that Bishop Hubbard was a homosexual who abused a teen-aged boy who later committed suicide. Former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White is investigating these allegations on Bishop Hubbard's payroll. They can no longer be prosecuted because of the statue of limitations.

Father Minkler who sent a letter to Cardinal O'Connor in 1995 committed suicide earlier this year. The only consequence of sending that 1995 letter was to identify Father Minkler to Bishop Hubbard. Minkler's suicide note was not made public.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:22 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Updated the format of the web page that tells you what's content is new

Reply here to let me know if this is helpful or if it's been duplicated elsewhere.

Ideally, I'd like to combine this with a feed reader with those sites that have RSS, but I'm looking at the HTML of these pages and making a guess when they were last updsted.

Recent Updates to St. Blogs Parish

Suggestions, like a sorting order other than by name, perhaps flagging the page by keyword like "Bush", "Kerry", "Vatican", etc. are what I'm thinking about.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:29 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Isabella the Catholic, Queen of Two Worlds (1451-1504)

During her dynamic reign, Spain's monarch transformed her country and the world at large. Letters from Christopher Columbus, the edicts ordering the expulsion of Jews and Moors, and illuminated manuscripts are among some 40 fascinating items on display.

Instituto Cervantes. Through July 11. Free. (212) 308-7720

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:14 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, June 14, 2004
If you are one of my fellow WABC listeners

There's a commercial running now for Comcast that presents a little family story.

  • The daughter is getting married.
  • The daughter wants Comcast for her parents.
  • The daughter is moving in with the boyfriend.
  • The daughter is getting Comcast.
  • So she can stay in touch with her parents as they plan the wedding

I'm surprised that my classmate Curtis doesn't call attention to it.

It's a lifestyle choice.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:32 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Some email to Rush
We're tired of Kerry. Let's just declare the 2004 election won by Bush, and start the 2008 election campaign now.

Rush just clarified that he is seeking the divorce and that Marta agreed to it amicably.

I went looking for the backstory but wasn't able to find it. I guess I'll have to check the tabloids later in the week.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:06 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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BBC: Red Cross urges Iraq POW action
The Red Cross says Iraqi prisoners - Saddam Hussein included - must be released or charged ahead of a formal end of occupation on 30 June.

An ICRC official in Baghdad says the former Iraqi leader, designated a POW, cannot continue to be held by US forces after the conflict ends.

I say release them -- but only to stay in the guest bedrooms of the homes of top International Red Cross officials who think this is a great idea.

Seriously, does the ICRC think that June 30, 2004 is some sort of V-T victory over terrorism day?

The Global War on Terrorism continues.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:55 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Reuters: Supreme Court Dismisses Pledge Case on Technicality

Michael Newdow lacked standing to bring the suit.

Now if he only married the woman who had his child and maintained an intact family, it might have been different.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:11 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Time Magazine: Does abortion trump all other issues?
When Dick Durbin's hometown priest slammed the Senator's pro-choice voting record, Durbin's office did not sit idle. It compiled a scorecard ranking 24 Catholic Senators by their votes on issues of concern to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Abortion made the list, but so did the minimum wage, the death penalty and media ownership, all weighted equally. Democrats did better than Republicans, and the test's high scorer was John Kerry. An incensed (and low scoring) Senator Rick Santorum fumed that abortion and "how many television stations somebody owns ... are not equivalent moral issues." True, but Durbin did express a prevalent Democratic curiosity: Does the church see the right to life as trumping all its other concerns?

I'm not sure if "trump" is the appropriate word to use, but the short answer is yes.

Durbin's press release explains how he's a good Catholic because he voted for the acceptance of Matricula Consular which the USCCB approves.

If all issues have equal weight, then the Durbin has a point. It's time for the bishops to confront that.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:10 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Time Magazine: Battling the Bishops
Kerry has already rewritten the history of what it means to be a Catholic in politics: the last Catholic candidate for President on a major party ticket ran up against suspicion that he would be taking orders from his church. This one is finding his beliefs under fire because he won't.
Could Time Magazine have gotten it more wrong?

Kennedy's point was about his political credentials. The issue with Kerry is his Catholic credentials.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:06 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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National Catholic Reporter. The Word From Rome.

John Allen has a chuckle over the spectrum of the coverage of the meeting between the Holy Father and the President on June 4:

At the same time, the pope extended Bush a “warm welcome,” he received the Medal of Freedom and he praised Bush for “the promotion of moral values in American society, particularly with regard to respect for life and the family.”

Hence, there was enough material for observers to apply whatever spin they fancy.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:59 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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A beautiful weekend in New York City.

Saturday was the day for the Catholic Evidence Guild to be Washington Square Park.

We greeted people, handed out tracts and rosaries, and explained the Catholic faith.

The longest conversation I had was with a street person who wanted to warn us about not taking the "Mark". That people will be lining up to get identification tags implanted into their bodies as the solution to tracking terrorists.

I said I wasn't sure if that was coming, and I prayed that it wouldn't become necessary.

This small group of Catholics was surrounded by a parade and festival of India. It was the annual Ratha Yatra Festival.

In the middle of this some other group had bussed in from York Co., Pa., the Mennonites, they appeared to be a little stunned by influx of polythesists/pantheists.

Another person passing by had this conversion with me:

You know the Protestant Bible and the Catholic Bible are different. Why is that?

Yes they are different. Do you how the books of the Bible were compiled? The Old Testament is different. The New Testament is the same.

In your Bible you've added the pope and the worship of Mary...

And the convesation continued along another line.

That little exchange proves that you can't just auto-replay a "Catholic canon of the Bible" apologetic when a subject like this comes up. Religious ignorance is multi-layered. Listening is key.

After our time was over, it was still daylight and I walked up to the Strand Used Bookstore -- full of tourists and too crowded. As we said in the sixties "bummer".

I walked further uptown to Union Square and saw 20 people trying to get some attention. They has an anti-Bush bedsheet banner with the "s" in Bush being a swastika.

I know a little bit about speaking on a soapbox in public, and this speaker was not making a connection to the crowd. So he went for broke: "Israel has no right to exist."

That got someone in the crowd to start screaming and that animated the scene for a while. It's a warm-up drill for the Republican National Convention.

More people were watching some skateboarders doing some fancy moves and ignoring the political speeches. That's my 70's flashback.

Then I saw this symbol and had yet another encounter with people who have all the answers. Scientology Volunter Ministers Looking very much like a combination of the Red Cross, Covenant House, and the Salvation Army.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:45 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com