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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
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Saturday, January 29, 2005
One who pays the fiddler calls the tune

[Scotland] Catholic schools 'could lose funding over sex advice' : Times (UK)

Catholic schools should be thrown out of the state system unless they tell pupils how to obtain the morning-after pill and abortions, according to the Liberal Democrats.

Mike Rumbles, the party’s health spokesman, has astonished the Catholic church by claiming state funding should be withdrawn from faith schools if they attempt to opt out of elements of the Scottish executive’s new sexual health strategy...

The row reignites an issue that Jack McConnell had hoped was settled. The conciliatory tone of the strategy, unveiled last week, appeared to have pacified Cardinal Keith O’Brien who, in The Sunday Times last year, said the proposals were “state-sponsored child abuse”.

In appeasing O’Brien, McConnell appears to have alienated his coalition partners...

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:31 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Friday, January 28, 2005
Ted and Joan Kennedy at the funeral of Mary Jo Kopechne Kennedy's "Iraq is Vietnam" Speech.
...We have reached the point that a prolonged American military presence in Iraq is no longer productive for either Iraq or the United States. The U.S. military presence has become part of the problem, not part of the solution...
Could one say anything more damaging to the morale of our armed forces in Iraq than that?
No matter how many times the Administration denies it, there is no question they misled the nation and led us into a quagmire in Iraq. President Bush rushed to war on the basis of trumped up intelligence and a reckless argument that Iraq was a critical arena in the global war on terror, that somehow it was more important to start a war with Iraq than to finish the war in Afghanistan and capture Osama bin Laden, and that somehow the danger was so urgent that the U.N. weapons inspectors could not be allowed time to complete their search for weapons of mass destruction.
The quagmire of Vietnam was partly his brother's fault and mostly Johnson's fault. In 2005, it's clear that given a choice between Osama and Saddam, it's far better that we have Saddam in prison. OBL may not even be alive.

My question: How sincere can he be?

If a Democrat was in the White House and perusing a strategy identical to that of President Bush - would Kennedy be a critic? Is this politics or principle?

I think its politics. The policy that Kennedy recommends an immediate announcement of a phased withdrawal from Iraq is appeasement to the terrorists. Puppets of Syria and Iraq would take the country over and it would again be terrorist-friendly.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:30 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Update on the Armanious family murders

Religious chats often escalate, but to killing? : Newark Star-Ledger

On the popular Internet chat room service PalTalk.com, people from all corners of the globe gather to discuss everything from salsa music to life after divorce.

But what has been true at dinner parties is proving true also in Internet chat rooms: When the topic turns to religion, things can get ugly.

Amateur theologians in several of PalTalk's religion chat rooms can be heard denouncing each others' faiths and swapping insults. There are Muslims calling Jews murderers, Christians calling Islam a disease and everything in between.

Three to four times a week, Hossam Armanious, 47, an Egyptian Coptic immigrant, logged onto PalTalk to discuss his views on Christianity.

Now, the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office and FBI are probing a possible death threat made against Armanious on PalTalk as one of several possible motives in the murder of the 47-year-old waiter and his family. Armanious and his wife, Amal Garas, 37, and their daughters, Sylvia, 15, and Monica, 8, were found bound and stabbed to death inside their Jersey City home two weeks ago.

Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said yesterday that the Internet threat is just one of several motives, including robbery, being investigated in the case.

Everyone is a suspect. No one is a suspect.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:31 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, January 27, 2005
I blinked and Europe became Manichean

Where Have All the Children Gone? : Pavel Kohout : Tech Central Station

In the third century AD there was a prophet called Mani. He preached a doctrine of conflict between Good and Evil. He saw the material world as the devil's creation. Marriage and motherhood was a grave sin in his view, since by bearing children people multiply the works of Satan. The Manichean ideal was to move mankind to a superterrestrial realm of Good by way of gradual extinction.

In the course of history, Manichaeism was ruthlessly eradicated as an heretical, ungodly doctrine. When looking at demographic statistics, however, one might think that the populations in developed countries have converted en masse to Manichaeism and decided to become extinct. The birth rate in most western countries has fallen bellow replacement level.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:24 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Child Stabbed To Death At Sacred Heart of Jesus School
Police are investigating the stabbing death of a seven-year-old girl at a parochial school in the Hudson Valley. Police in Highland Falls, just outside the grounds of the U.S Military Academy at West Point, say the body of Jerica Rhodes was discovered about 9:30 a.m. by a school employee.
A terrible crime. Please pray for the soul of this girl and for the consolation of her family.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:06 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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From Amazon: What a Neighborhood!

Are there really 90 places where I can get pizza within a mile of where I live?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:59 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Archiocese of Los Angeles Double Feature

Cardinal Fights Records Ruling : latimes.com

Archdiocese contends releasing files of accused priests would interfere with counseling efforts.

Lawyers for Cardinal Roger M. Mahony on Tuesday appealed a court order that would have forced the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles to surrender to prosecutors the confidential personnel files of two former priests accused of molestation.

A Los Angeles judge had ruled against Mahony's claim that disclosure would "interfere with the communications between priests and bishops." He had ordered the internal church documents turned over to prosecutors by Friday.

In a statement, Mahony's lead lawyer, J. Michael Hennigan, said such communications are "essential if bishops are to continue to support and counsel their priests."

The earlier court ruling came more than two years after Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley sought the internal church documents as part of an ongoing county grand jury investigation into alleged molestation by priests.

By the time retired Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Thomas F. Nuss ruled against Mahony last September, the number of accused priests had dwindled to two, after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling barred the prosecution of decades-old child sexual abuse cases. The appeal the church filed Tuesday involved 40 pages of documents sought by prosecutors, Hennigan said.

Nuss ruled that church officials could withhold some documents, such as those involving discussions between psychotherapists and patients. Mahony's lawyer said he believes the documents in question are protected from disclosure under the state and federal constitutions and state law.

Hennigan said the relationship between bishop and priest "is integral to the way the Church conducts itself" and that any breach of that relationship "would be a grave interference with the practice of Catholicism."

Prosecutors have argued that the documents are essential to their criminal investigation of child molestation by Roman Catholic clergymen.

Advocates for victims of clergy sexual abuse believe the priest files will shed light on how church leaders responded to abuse allegations, and whether, as in Boston, they transferred accused priests to other parishes to avoid scandal.

The legal battle over documents also is expected to be waged in the 544 civil claims pending against the Los Angeles Archdiocese. They played a central part in the record $100-million settlement of the 90 claims against the Diocese of Orange.

Hennigan also cited a sealed Ventura County Superior Court ruling that he said is in conflict with the Nuss ruling.

Mahony has been criticized by an independent Catholic national review board, which said in a report that Mahony's legal argument "did little to enhance the reputation of the church in the United States for transparency and cooperation."

Laurence Drivon, a Stockton lawyer who represents hundreds of alleged victims in California, said the appeal was "a delay tactic" by the cardinal.

Insurers Sue Church for Abuse Data
Three firms accuse the L.A. Archdiocese of not sharing details about alleged sex abuse by priests. The church calls the suit a delaying tactic.

Three insurance companies have sued the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, accusing Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of refusing to share information about alleged sex abuse by priests, and precluding scrutiny of his activities as their supervisor.

The insurers have asked a judge to order Mahony to provide documents that could be used to defend the church or to relieve them of liability stemming from allegations by more than 535 people who say they were molested by priests since the 1930s.

"For whatever reasons, the archbishop's [Cardinal Mahony's] apparent goal is to obviate any meaningful disclosure of the facts and circumstances of these claims, and yet to pressure [the insurers] to contribute enormous sums of money" to settle the cases, according to the lawsuit.

The strategy "precludes any public or internal scrutiny of the archbishop's conduct, whether direct or by silent ratification," the lawsuit said.

"They have full access to the files," responded Mahony's lead lawyer, J. Michael Hennigan. "They are supposed to be on our side."

Hennigan denied that the Los Angeles church was uncooperative and accused insurers of trying to delay efforts to settle the cases without the time and expense of holding trials and lengthy investigations into the claims, called discovery.

"They don't want to settle anything or even talk about settlement without full discovery. Do the math here. We have 550 claims," Hennigan said. "What do you think full discovery means? What decade will that be finished in?"

Hennigan said lawyers for the archdiocese have "fully cooperated" with insurers, providing them adequate information with which to evaluate claims.

He said his legal team has had no problem evaluating the claims with that information.

San Francisco attorney Robert G. Levy, who represents the insurers, declined to comment.

The 12-page complaint was filed by three members of American International Group Inc.: the Insurance Co. of the State of Pennsylvania, Granite State Insurance Co. and American Home Assurance Co. They provided coverage for the church in the 1970s.

More than $1 billion in damages could be assessed against the church, the insurance companies stated in the lawsuit. Of that total, the three insurers are "potentially at risk for hundreds of millions of dollars," said Raymond P. Boucher, court-appointed liaison counsel for the alleged victims in the Southern California clergy abuse cases.

The breach between the church and three of its 20 or more insurers opens a new chapter in the blizzard of lawsuits alleging clergy misconduct. It also may create an unlikely courtroom alliance; lawyers for both Mahony and the accusers are expected to join forces temporarily to keep insurers and their money in the case.

Damages to hundreds of plaintiffs would normally be paid by the church and its insurers, who must agree before a settlement can be reached.

Last month, the Diocese of Orange settled 90 claims for $100 million, about half of which was contributed by its insurers.

The insurers' lawsuit alleges that Mahony has threatened to sue them for negotiating in bad faith if they refuse to contribute to a massive settlement, even if some claims are false or exaggerated.

Insurers say they lack meaningful factual information — including medical, family and work histories of alleged victims — on which they can evaluate claims and participate meaningfully in the ongoing settlement talks.

More than two years ago, a state judge barred legal discovery in the clergy abuse cases, including depositions of potentially important witnesses, while settlement talks are underway.

In the lawsuit, the Insurance Co. of the State of Pennsylvania and Granite State also ask U.S. District Judge Nora Manella to find that Mahony's alleged failure to cooperate excuses them from future obligations to pay any part of a settlement.

That's what happened when the Boston Archdiocese agreed in 2003 to pay $85 million in church money to 544 alleged victims of clergy abuse. The archdiocese sued its insurer, Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co., which argued in court that it was not obliged to pay because the settlement had been voluntary.

American Home is asking the judge to declare that it has no obligation to pay any claims against the archdiocese. The company says it has no record of a 1972 policy that the archdiocese says provides $5 million in excess liability coverage.

In a separate case, Chicago Insurance Co. has asked a state court in Los Angeles to decide whether a policy purchased by the archdiocese in 1974 was exhausted, after an earlier $25,000 payout to settle a clergy sexual abuse claim.

The odd realignment of parties was clear Wednesday as lawyers for those suing Mahony challenged the lawsuit as a legal tactic by which insurers are trying to avoid paying.

"They were happy to take the money from the archdiocese during the years when the policies were in existence," Boucher said. "Now that there is a responsibility and an obligation to pay up, they want to run and hide.

"This has nothing to do with the exchange of information and really very little to do with the litigation," he said.

He accused the insurers of "trying to force the archdiocese into bankruptcy by walking away from their obligations."

"Our clients have a right to be compensated," he said. "The only way they will ever be compensated is if the carriers participate in fair and meaningful fashion."

Boucher said he was contacting insurance experts for advice on whether he can intervene in the suit on behalf of his clients.

"It's not uncommon for the plaintiff and the defendant to look for the goose and decide, 'Let's see how many eggs we can squeeze out of it,' " said James M. Fischer, who teaches insurance law at Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles.

"There is a natural alignment there at the same time the plaintiff and the defendant are banging each other over the head" in the underlying case.

Blogger Credit: Bettnet Although Dom links to other shorter articles.

The motivation of the insurance company is obvious: it wants to settle, but if can't convince respondent Mahony to settle, it risks putting it all before a California jury to decide what's fair compensation -- as if a jury is going to be sympathetic to a 5 billion dollar insurance company.

It also needs to discover if the Church was on their side -- that is the side that wanted to minimize financial exposure caused by the criminal actions of priests - namely by removing accused priests from ministry.

It reminds me of a joke "You owe the bank a million, you have a problem. You owe the bank a billion, the bank has a problem."

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:53 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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A Sourpuss? Moi? Further thoughts on the passions of the inaugural : Peggy Noonan

You don't have to read it. My summary: "The speech was poor. That's my story. I'm sticking to it."

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:02 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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michnews.com: Consumer Reports Refers to Unborn Children as "Uterine Content"
A series of articles in the February Consumer Reports magazine rates condoms, hormonal birth control and many other forms of artificial contraception and also gives advice on abortion options where it refers to unborn humans as "uterine content." The article gives short shrift to abstinence and betrays a misunderstanding of natural family planning, a surprise given Consumer Reports' reputation of high credibility and thoroughness.

Blogger Credit: Culture of Life Foundation

We're still in the culture of death and it's influence has spread everywhere -- even to a magazine that one would read to tell you what kind of cake mix makes the best cake.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:46 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Elisabeth Harnois is Christina Nickson is Satan's Daughter

A star is spawned from the depths of hell and goes to New Jersey.

Devilishly 'Pleasant' : USA Today

She plays the devilishly unpleasant spawn of Satan on Fox's Point Pleasant (tonight at 9 ET/PT). Point Pleasant is Fox's answer to WB's much-missed Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And since Harnois resembles that show's Sarah Michelle Gellar and Michelle Trachtenberg, this little devil could prove one hot find.

At first glance, Fox's new drama, Point Pleasant, may appear to be nothing more than a clone of the network's own The O.C., but look closer.

Suddenly, happily marrieds are cheating on each other. Fireballs are erupting on the beach. All hell is breaking loose, thanks to the arrival of seemingly innocent 17-year-old Christina Nickson, who — unbeknownst to her — is Satan's darling daughter.

Stepping into Christina's hoofed (kidding!) shoes is 25-year-old newcomer Elisabeth Harnois, a petite blonde who attended Catholic school but always possessed a little bit of the devil.

I think it would be an occasion of sin for me to watch this show. In terms of having Hollywood reaching out to the majority of Americans who have religious faith this is not going to fly.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:03 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Follow-up: Mortuary Apologizes Over Fetuses : AP
A mortuary that secretly gave a Roman Catholic church fetal remains from an abortion clinic and other medical sources has apologized to a hospital unaware of the practice.

Crist Mortuary in Boulder sent the apology this week to Avista Adventist Hospital in nearby Leadville.

"It was pretty clear to me that they had no intention of deceiving us," hospital CEO John Sackett said. The mortuary did not return phone messages seeking comment.

Crist had sent fetal ashes to Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Boulder for almost a decade. The church had privately scattered the ashes at a memorial wall but decided to publicize the ceremony the day after the 32nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.

Avista will now ask women where they want fetal remains buried after stillborns, miscarriages and abortions. If no designation is made, the remains will be taken to an ashuary, a nonsectarian burial site, Sackett said. The arrangement will be drafted by hospital attorneys, replacing the previous informal agreement between the hospital and mortuary.

How does this qualify as a secret? Why does the hospital care about the disposition of the ashes -- aren't they considered trash by them?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:31 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Fla. School Official Accused of Abuse : AP
An assistant principal at a middle school was suspended Wednesday after a group representing people molested by Catholic priests accused him of being a former abuser.

Manatee County Schools Superintendent Roger Dearing said he was placing the assistant principal on paid leave until an investigation could determine if he is the same man who allegedly molested a child as a seminarian in the mid-1960s.

Dearing said the official has worked for Manatee schools for more than 30 years and is a respected school leader.

There are similarities in the background of the assistant principal and the former seminarian who had been accused, but never convicted, of abuse, Dearing said.

Efforts to reach the assistant principal Wednesday were not successful.

David Clohessy, national director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said an abuse victim came across the school official's picture recently on the Internet and notified the organization, which in turn alerted the school district.

The alleged victim received an out-of-court settlement after suing the church in 2001, the group said. The former seminarian had denied the abuse accusation and was never criminally charged in the case.

I'm puzzled by this one. Seems like a very low threshold for a suspension. Is there something more than a 40 year old resemblance to a photograph here?

Unless he was required to disclose this accusation and out-of-court settlement (which he may not have even consented to), I wonder what the cause for this suspension would be even if he were the same person.

And he is proven not to be the same person, where does he go to get his reputation back?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:20 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Johnny Carson : Tonight Show (1962-1992)

I've got to admit there was never was a time when I watched the show every night but what I do remember I like and admired. He had developed his talent to the point where he made it look easy.

In 1962 I was 8, so my memory of the show is really weighted towards the 70's -- the show moved from New York to Los Angeles in 1972. I like that period because the show was less polished and it wasn't primarily a platform for promoting new film or a new television show.

In 1982, the show went from 90 mins to 60 mins. Then there were "guest hosts" of varying quality and plenty of "The Best of Carson". In the end though, he left at the top and really retired, except for secretly feeding jokes to Letterman.

Here's a tragic fact that I just added to imdb.com from the New York Times obituary:

Many of Mr. Carson's best moments from his early years in the show will never be seen again because of a colossal error by an unknown NBC technician who, looking for space to record new material, taped over hundreds of hours of old "Tonight" shows. The loss of so much of his work appalled Mr. Carson, who made moves later in his career to ensure that he and he alone would control his work.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:27 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Scalia sounds off on religious rulings
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Tuesday that judges should look to historical practices when ruling on religious issues.

Speaking at the University of Michigan, Scalia criticized judges for using what he called "abstractions" to interpret religious issues when they should be looking to the text of the Constitution itself.

"The Constitution says what it says and does not say what it does not say," he said.

Scalia's appearance was sponsored by Ave Maria School of Law, a private school in Ann Arbor backed by Domino's Pizza founder and Roman Catholic philanthropist Thomas Monaghan. Scalia also is a Catholic.

Some of the Supreme Court's biggest and most contentious cases involve religion.

When an atheist challenged the words "under God" in the Pledge of the Allegiance, the justices settled the case last year without ruling on the merits. Scalia recused himself after mentioning the case in a speech and complaining that courts are stripping God from public life.

In early March, the court will take up two cases that question the constitutionality of government displays of the Ten Commandments. Courts around the country have splintered over whether exhibits in town squares and courthouses violate the constitutional principle of separation of church and state.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:10 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, January 25, 2005
Mexican who founded order steps down : AP
The Legionaries of Christ, who have their U.S. headquarters in Connecticut, have elected a successor to the Mexican priest who has headed the religious order since its founding 64 years ago.

The decision of 84-year-old Father Marcial Maciel Degollado to decline re-election had no connection to recent reports that the Vatican has reopened an investigation into allegations that the Mexican sexually abused seminarians, a spokesman for the order said Monday.

I think the problem here is self-inflicted. Either they did it and covered up or they didn't realize that they were acting very guilty by impeding any serious independent investigation. Can all the people on the record in Vows of Silence be lying? (like all the sources in Unfit for Command were accused of being)

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:59 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Even though charges of abuse against Rev. Brian Brinker were found unsubstantiated, they want the diocese to bar him from working with children : Newsday
The Moraitis family was angry nine years ago when it complained to church officials that the Rev. Brian Brinker acted inappropriately toward their 14-year-old son during a trip to California. Now their feelings have turned to outrage after they learned yesterday that the Vatican has cleared the priest's return to ministry.
I'm posting this but really divided as to what to think. I can believe the family but I also have doubts because the investigation found the allegations unsubstantiated. So not everything that comes to me in the MSM is going to be black or white and I think this case is one of the gray areas.

God knows and he is the final judge.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:52 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Bishop distributes report on accused priests : AP
Eight priests were defrocked and nine permanently suspended from the Diocese of Rockville Centre on Long Island, according a report on the status of sex abuse cases that involve 23 priests.

Diocese Bishop William F. Murphy reported in a three-page letter given to parishioners and priests there that the 17 priests were disciplined, three others await canonical trials, two more have been cleared and proceedings against another have been deferred.

But they were not identified by name.

Several groups criticized the bishop saying the defrocked and suspended priests should be identified similar to the way the names of convicted sex offenders are made public. Among those groups are the Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests, Parents for Megan's Law, and Long Island's chapter of Voice of the Faithful, which requested the letter.

Diocese spokesman Sean Dolan said the names of those priests convicted criminally were made public. But the releasing names of the suspended priests could violate their privacy because they have not been proven guilty.

The report said Bishop Murphy suspended nine priests that had specific allegations. They were to keep their pension and health care. A panel from the Vatican reviewed the accusations against 14 others. Eight were defrocked and three others are slated for canonical trials.

So much for a transparent process. The reasons for releasing the names: it helps prove that Diocese is really taking action rather than taking it “on faith;”. It also will help the investigation as people will come forward with information they may have on the accused, including other victims.

Reasons for not naming names: perhaps some false victims will come forward. But I don't get the privacy claim. The accused priests are being punished, aren't they? How do they have an enforceable privacy right against the public notice they are suspended or laicized? I believe it's entirely at the discretion of the bishop to name names and this has been the case in other dioceses. This privacy claim is a dodge.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:34 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Interesting site

Center for Studies on New Religions

CESNUR, the Center for Studies on New Religions, was established in 1988 by a group of religious scholars from leading universities in Europe and the Americas. Its managing director, professor Massimo Introvigne, has held teaching positions in the field of sociology and history of religion in a number of Italian universities. He is the author of twenty-three books and the editor of another ten in the field of religious sciences. CESNUR's original aim was to offer a professional association to scholars specialized in religious minorities, new religious movements, contemporary esoteric, spiritual and gnostic schools, and the new religious consciousness in general. In the 1990s it became apparent that inaccurate information was being disseminated to the media and the public powers by activists associated with the international anti-cult movement. Some new religious movements also disseminated unreliable or partisan information.

Part of their mission also seems to be to show that the Legion of Christ and the Opus Dei are not cults.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:40 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Judging Invalidity The American Way : Homiletic and Pastoral Review

Summary: The annulment process has promoted the idea that Catholics can divorce amd remarry like anyone else in society.
Sheryl Temaat is lay person and not a canon lawyer but brings some logic and common sense to a discussion of a standard text Judging Invalidity.

I agree with her that the criteria used for determining "lack of due discretion" is contrived and a source of scandal.

HPR is an excellent magazine. The above link doesn't go to the article text, so subscribe and borrow a copy of the 1/2005 issue.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:10 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, January 24, 2005
US Supreme Court refuses review of Terri's Law : AP
The U.S. Supreme Court refused today to reinstate a Florida law passed to keep a severely brain-damaged woman hooked to a feeding tube, clearing the way for it to be removed. How soon that would happen, however, was unclear.

The Florida Supreme Court had struck down the law last fall, and the federal justices were the last hope for state leaders who defended the law in a bitter, long-running dispute over the fate of Terri Schiavo. Her husband, Michael Schiavo, contends she never wanted to be kept alive artificially. But her parents told justices in a filing that their son-in-law is trying to rush her death so he can inherit her estate and be free to marry another woman.

The Supreme Court did not comment in rejecting an appeal from Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who argued that the state had the authority to step in and pass the 2003 law that ordered Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube reinserted six days after her husband had it removed. Florida judges will now decide, after the U.S. Supreme Court’s action, what happens next in the case.

"It’s judicial homicide. They want to murder her," Terri Schiavo’s father, Robert Schindler, said today. "I have no idea what the next step will be. We’re going to fight for her as much as we can fight for her. She deserves a chance."

The case was one of two right-to-die appeals pending at the high court. Justices are expected to decide in the next month whether to consider a Bush administration request to block the nation’s only law allowing doctors to help terminally ill patients die more quickly. Oregon voters passed that law in 1998.

At issue today was "Terri’s Law," which the Florida Supreme Court ruled unanimously was an unconstitutional effort to override court rulings.

The 41-year-old Schiavo suffered brain damage in 1990 when her heart temporarily stopped beating because of an eating disorder. In 2001, her parents lost an emergency appeal seeking to keep her feeding tube in place, but more appeals followed.

Terri Schiavo can breathe on her own but depends on a feeding tube to stay alive because she cannot swallow on her own. She left no written directive.

Issues in dispute are whether she is in a persistent vegetative state with no chance of recovery and whether she had said before her illness that she did not want to be kept alive by machines.

Washington attorney Robert Destro, representing Florida, told justices to consider "the most vulnerable of our citizens who cannot speak for themselves."

Michael Schiavo did not file any arguments with the court, but his attorney had accused Florida leaders of engaging in delaying tactics to prevent Terri Schiavo from carrying out her right to die.

From terrisfight.org

There are still three important legal issues to considered in the Florida courts.
  1. There is still a petition pending in the Second District Court of Appeals in Lakeland, FL regarding Terri's right to the free exercise of her religion, rights which the Schindler's attorneys believe have been violated.
  2. On Friday, Jan. 28, in the Probate Court in Clearwater, FL, Judge Greer will hear the Schindler's motion to protect their daughter's due process rights. The Schindler's attorneys will argue that the 2000 Order authorizing Terri's death by starvation and dehydration is null and void because Terri's due process rights were not protected in the 2000 trial.
  3. Finally, the Schindlers still have a pending Petition before Judge Greer to remove Michael as Terri's guardian and to replace him with Terri's brother and sister, Bobby Jr. and Suzanne. They believe that Michael's numerous conflicts of interest with his ward, Terri, disqualify him from continuing as her guardian.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:04 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sunday, January 23, 2005
N.D. Woman Marks 50 Years Making Rosaries : AP

Evelyn Wehner has been making rosaries for 50 years.

"I can make one in 45 minutes," she said. "I enjoy making them. Its something I can do for the Lord."

Wehner said likes to make rosaries while drinking coffee with her friends. She said she gives them away as gifts to family and friends.

Seven years ago, she started sending rosaries to her husbands cousin, the Rev. Gene Wehner in Kenya. He is teaching men to become priests and gives the rosaries as gifts to the people in his community, she said.

Wehner said she has made over 900 rosaries for the African mission.

"They like them, especially the rainbow colors," she said.

She orders her supplies, but welcomes donations of jewelry.

"A lot of people give me necklaces. I have boxes and boxes of them," she said.

Wehner offers a prayer with each rosary.

"I especially say prayers for the ones sent to (Africa). I figure they need our prayers over there," she said.

Nice to see the AP cover something like this without adding something stupid.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:43 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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I keep looking for the headline "Camino resigns"

Pope reiterates AIDS prevention stand : AP

Bishop Juan Antonio Martinez Camino, spokesman for the Spanish Bishops Conference, said "condoms have a place in the global prevention of AIDS."

Why does Bishop Juan Antonio Martinez Camino just accept that to attempt to undo this, he's got to resign — and if he doesn't the other bishops of the conference should demand he resign.

Christianity Today passes along this helpful "yes-but-no" equivocation:

Father Brian Johnstone, moral theology professor at the Alphonsian Academy, a branch of the Pontifical Lateran University told Reuters, "There is no blanket ban...The Church has never said that it is wrong in all possible situations. The complexity of the problem has to be taken into consideration, sometimes at a very local and personal level."

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:03 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com