Saturday, February 12, 2005
L'Osservatore reflects on Lateran Accords : Catholic World News
The Vatican is observing a holiday on February 11: the date that marks the 76th anniversary of the Lateran Accords. For L'Osservatore Romano, the holiday offers an opportunity to reflect on the current relations between the Holy See and the Italian government-- and in particular the question of secularism.Here's a photo essay on Italy's leader at the time.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:16 PM Permalink
Friday, February 11, 2005
N.I.M.B.Y comes to 50th Street and Fifth Ave.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York announced its opposition yesterday to a plan to erect a 16-story ventilation facility on a crowded block in Midtown, throwing its influence behind a group of land owners, preservationists, elected officials and local residents who are bitterly fighting the project...It's only a half-block from the bishop's residence of Madison and East 50th Street, facing the Palace Hotel (formerly the offices of the Archdiocese of New York).
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:44 PM Permalink
Porter is now appearing before a higher court
Former priest James Porter, whose widespread molestation of dozens of children foreshadowed the clergy sex abuse scandal that swept the Roman Catholic church, died Friday.He's a reminder of how the Church handled Porter: CrimeLibrary.com
Father Annunziato, for his part, had personal knowledge of Porter's crimes. He had walked in on Porter once, while Porter was sodomizing victim John Robitaille, then turned and left the room without a word, closing the door behind him.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:33 PM Permalink
New York had its own "First to Create Frankenstein" fling three weeks ago.
The Post doesn't like it because of the cost, and doesn't touch the ethical issues in this editorial. It looks like there's more of a chance to get this started in Massachusetts where the Catholics are absent from the debate and Governor Mitt Romney is taking the lead in opposition to it. More in Dom's Blog
Paterson's Pipe Dream : New York Post January 18, 2005
State Senate Minority Leader David Paterson argues that the Republicans who now run Albany's upper house are devoid of energy and imagination — and he says that he can do a better job.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:54 PM Permalink
The utter failure to change a single heart is called a triumph Resigned to an active future : Providence Journal
While many of his one-on-one meetings involve personal issues, Bishop Mulvee said he has also tried to engage Catholic politicians, including Sen. Jack Reed and Rep. Patrick Kennedy, in conversations about their pro-choice stands on abortion.
And after 33 years of talk, which pro-abortion Catholic politician has repented and voted against legistlation, or taken executive action, or reversed his own ruling?
The answer is none.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:33 AM Permalink
Thursday, February 10, 2005
1455. The confession (or disclosure) of sins, even from a simply human point of view, frees us and facilitates our reconciliation with others.
"I'm sorry, and you know most of all I feel like I let down the fans, I feel like I let down the media, I feel I let down.. the Yankees. I feel I let down my teammates. So I apologize for that, but you know I'm a man and I accept full responsibility."
Besides cheating by using steriods, he also needs to confess to lying about his grand jury testimony. He didn't say "no comment", but he said that he denied using steroids under oath before the grand jury.
"When I went into that grand jury, I told the truth," he said today. The Grand Jury testimony was leaked and Giambi never confirmed nor denied that the leaked version was accurate.
I assume that for contractual or even criminal reasons, Giambi won't make a specific admission of doing anything wrong. He simply made a spectacle of himself.
The Yankees (and here I mean Steinbrenner) will probably invoke some clauses in his contract if his performance this year is poor.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:28 PM Permalink
Update on Catholic Schools Closing in Brooklyn/Queens
NEW YORK (AP) The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn will close 22 elementary schools in Brooklyn and Queens at the end of the school year in the biggest round of closings in the city's Catholic school history.Details
Seventeen of the 26 schools in the reorganization are in Brooklyn and nine are in Queens, according to Msgr. Hardiman. They fall into three categories:
Msgr Hardiman is a friend. He attended one of the schools that is being closed. I attended St Sebastian which has maintained a high enrollment because of the large wave of immigrants from Catholic countries into the parish.
UPDATE: It's enrollment -- and that's connected to demographics (i.e. Catholics moving out of neighborhoods that were once 75%-plus Catholic) and money the tuition that working class people can't afford. It's not only contraception, but broken-homes and single income parents, mostly mothers struggling to make ends meet -- they can't afford the average $3100 per child tuition.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:40 AM Permalink
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Hewlett-Packard CEO Fiorina Resigns : AP
Hewlett-Packard Co., a maker of personal computers, printers and servers, said Wednesday that Carly Fiorina has stepped down as chairman and chief executive officer, effective immediately.
I worked for Digital Equipment from 1975 to 1993. Digital Equipment was acquired by Compaq in 1998 and then Compaq by Hewlett-Packard in 2002.
Both of these high-tech mergers appeared to have failed. I suspect that the HP strategy will be a three-way split: the printer part, the computer manufacturing part, the service and consulting part.
So much of the IT business is a commodity where a nameplate like "DEC" or "Compaq" or "HP" doesn't add value. I hope this doesn't lead to massive layoffs at HP. I still have some friends there.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:34 PM Permalink
Contingency for the Pope
We've all be told that the Pope can resign. The Pope actually doesn't submit a resignation to the College of Cardinals, he simply makes it known publicly that he resigns.
Canon 332.2 Should it happen that the Roman Pontiff resigns from his office, it is to be required for validity that the resignation be freely made and properly manifested, but it is not necessary that it be accepted by anyone.
The nightmare scenario is that the Pope is unable to talk, unable to write, or unable to even gesture in a way that makes it clear that he is resigning -- so while he is alive he is unable to communicate -- even if only to resign.
I suspect there might be a secret protocol for handling this. I hope it will not be used because it will cast doubt on the validity of the conclave over the question of "properly manifested".
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:08 AM Permalink
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Big news in my neighborhood: Catholic Schools to close
I don't have any news links yet because the web sites have not been updated -- maybe later.
But on TV in the first 10 mins. of the news at 10/11 PM they had cameras at school meetings where the parents were given details. The outline of announcement was given out today.
Like the case of some parishes, some of these schools may be in the black financially but lack enrollment to justify remaining open. Most of the schools lack both funding and enrollment.
One of the schools to be closed is where my wife unsuccessfully attempted to start a preschool program.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:28 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:36 PM Permalink
Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo is dead : Reuters
Togo President Gnassingbe Eyadema (pronounced nass-SING-bay N'YAH-deh-mah) is dead. He was the longest serving ruler of an African country. He was truly a "President For Life".
He seized power in 1967 and I arrived in Togo as Peace Corps volunteer in 1974 and his portrait was never far away.
I learned that he had a network of informers that no matter who you were with, you were not allowed to critical of the president.
The obituaries left out an interesting biographical detail.
Togo's first democratically elected president, Sylvano Olympius, was overthrown in 1963. He was shot and killed by Sgt. Etienne Eyadema while he attempted to scale the walls of the American Embassy to seek asylum.Yes - once upon a time the president was Christian. He had been given the name Etienne. (Our codename for him was Stevie Wonder).
The president that the sergeant put into power, Nicolas Grunitzky, was removed by General Eyadema only a few years later.
Togo itself is a historical accident and would be better off united with Benin on its eastern border.
If you have access to a really good atlas, look for my village of Bafilo.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:50 PM Permalink
What is Justice? Money for victims or jail for the perpeptrators
In the aftermath of the Shanley verdict I've been reading and hearing reports from abuse victims. They confirm something that in my heart I've felt and in my blog I've written about: jail brings justice in a way that money does not.
Jail is also a genuine deterrent - especially so because the abusers themselves can expect to be abused in jail.
I have lots of complaints for the lawyers representing the victims and at the top of the list is their insistence that a criminal prosecution be avoided in order to increase the amount of the monetary settlement obtained from the diocese.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:32 AM Permalink
Former Priest Shanley Convicted of Child Rape : Reuters
Defrocked priest Paul Shanley was convicted on Monday on all counts of raping a boy in the 1980s in one of the most high-profile cases to stem from a U.S. Catholic Church clergy abuse scandal.
I don't believe there will be a plea deal to get him to admit to other rapes and molestations. He's likely to get the maximum sentence. According to Reuters "he showed no emotion" as the verdict was read. Now, that's self-control.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:15 AM Permalink
Monday, February 07, 2005
It started with Marianna Thompson
I first read about it here in North Jersey News a local newspaper for Paterson New Jersey on March 4, 2003.
Marianna Thompson, spokesperson for Bishop Frank Rodimer discussed three priests: James T. Hanley, Patrick D. Browne, and John Picardi of that he allowed to return to ministry.
Now, through his spokeswoman, he has pointedly named the source of that bad advice.
It is unfortunate that Bishop Rodimer and Ms. Thompson did not coordinate this disclosure with Fr. Groeschel because it has been the source of much misunderstanding.
It's also unfortunate that the quote "98 percent of what was put forth in the media about the church wasn't true" was repeated after Fr Groeschel had changed his views in 2003.
The key thing to read next is the open letter from Fr Groeschel entitled "The Analysis of a Smear" regarding how this got national attention.
What I think this shows is:
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:23 PM Permalink
Dallas, it seems, generates more Catholic scandal news per-capita that any other place in the world.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:18 AM Permalink
Super Bowl XXXIX Comments.
It was good but not a great game. It does elevate Bill Bilichick to the ranks of the great coaches of all time, and it cements the position of the Patriots as a football dynasty. Congratulations to New England.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:58 AM Permalink
Super Bowl Ads
I thought the Fed Ex ad was the best. I'm sure its going to win awards from the advertising community.
The ad that creeped me out was the Ford Mustang ad which featured a dead man at the wheel -- frozen to death.
The over-the-top ad was the teaser for War of the Worlds.
I thought all the beer ads were dull, dull, dull.
When you think of the $2.4 million for each 30 second ad - you'd also think they would put more creativity into them and make them memorable.
The Simpsons episode that followed was very funny.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:34 AM Permalink
Sunday, February 06, 2005
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:06 PM Permalink
Let's do the Time Warp Again!
In addition to producing the AMERIQUEST MORTGAGE SUPER BOWL XXXIX HALFTIME SHOW featuring PAUL McCARTNEY, Emmy-Award winning Don Mischer Productions will produce the pregame show.
I admit that I didn't follow the show biz news regarding the half-time show until now. Paul McCartney is 62. His career peaked with the Beatle's appearance on American television in 1963. That's 41 years ago.
Can you imagine an entertainment/sports event taking place in 1965 that featured a singer like Al Jolson doing Mammy from the Jazz Singer (1927) (disregarding the fact that he died in 1950)? Pop culture moves on people. Make some room for the people under 60.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:37 AM Permalink