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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.
Mussolini 1934.
Mussolini at the Lateran Palace for the signing of the accord with the Vatican. Feb 20, 1929
Mussolini and his mistress killed and hanged upside down in Milan's Piazza Loreto on April 28, 1945.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:16 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Friday, February 11, 2005
N.I.M.B.Y comes to 50th Street and Fifth Ave.

M.T.A. Vent Is Opposed by Church : New York Times

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...

A lawyer for the archdiocese, Richard G. Leland, said the assessment had "fundamental defects." He said the study did not properly analyze alternatives to the facility, or its effects on traffic, air quality and the historic character of the neighborhood.

Mr. Leland, who has been hired by the archbishop, Cardinal Edward M. Egan, noted that the facility would be a half-block from St. Patrick's Cathedral, at "the heart of Catholic life in New York City." He said the project "poses a serious security risk" and would be "a veritable terrorist target if built."

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   HaloScan

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Porter is now appearing before a higher court

Convicted Pedophile Priest Dies in Boston : AP

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.

Porter, 70, died at New England Medical Center in Boston, where he had been treated since being transferred from a Department of Correction medical facility last month, department spokeswoman Diane Wiffin said. A cause of death was not immediately available, but Porter's attorney had said the former priest had incurable cancer.

Porter's case was the first high-profile one involving allegations that a priest had molested children in his parish -- and that the church had simply moved him from parish to parish to try to avoid scandal.

Porter pleaded guilty in 1993 to molesting 28 children, but once told a television reporter that he molested as many as 100 children during his time as a priest in the 1960s and early 1970s in the Fall River Diocese.

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.

On another occasion, Annunziato knocked on Porter's locked office door while Porter was inside, molesting victim Peter Calderone. “What's going on in there?” Annunziato asked, when Porter refused to admit him, but his interest was limited at best. Rather than forcing entry, Annunziato simply told Porter, “It's getting late, time for everyone to go home,” and left him to continue his assault.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:33 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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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.

But, over the weekend, Paterson went public with a proposal that's so stunningly devoid of energy and imagination that one would think the Harlem Democrat had lived in Albany his whole life.

Paterson wants to create a "stem-cell institute" to study, well, stem cells — and, by the way, he'll need to borrow a cool $1 billion to get the job done.

Government-sponsored stem-cell study is all the rage these days; California hopped on the bandwagon big-time last fall; presently Sacramento will borrow $3 billion for its programs, making Paterson seem like a piker in the process.

We don't have anything against stem-cell research, properly conducted. Cures for all manner of chronic diseases stand to be discovered — and we have no doubt that people of good will can resolve the vexing moral questions that are now slowing progress.

But we also don't doubt that when stem-cell breakthroughs are achieved, private-sector labs will make them — not programs run by state government.

Not in California; not in New York.

New York, in any event, can't afford to borrow a dime for any reason, let alone to finance stem-cell research.

State Comptroller Alan Hevesi points out that the state already faces another $47 billion debt-burden.

And that doesn't begin to include public-authority and other debt for which Albany ultimately is responsible.

Adds Hevesi: "The state is going to have to go into a budget freeze . . . in order to get out of this."

He's right, of course.

It's advice that Paterson and his fellow Senate Democrats focused on the issue — Liz Krueger and Eric Schneiderman — should heed.

It's no surprise that Krueger and Schneiderman would jump on the stem-cell bandwagon. They are Manhattan Democrats — folks who don't live in the same zip code as reality.

But Paterson has seemed more circumspect than that.

Until now.

Given that Paterson is likely only one or two election cycles away from running the state Senate, this hare-brained scheme suggests that hope for real change in Albany may be misplaced.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:54 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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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.

He is not one, he said, for grandstanding, announcing to the public that he will deny a pro-choice politician a place on the Communion line. Rather, he said, "the best thing to do is to sit down with that person and talk about these things."

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   HaloScan

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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.

Jason Giambi is sorry, but he won't say what for : Daily News and WABC

"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."

...One of the few topics Giambi specifically addressed was Jose Canseco's book, which is being released next week. The New York Daily News reported Sunday that Canseco says in the book that he, Giambi and Mark McGwire shot steroids together.

"I find that delusional to be honest with you. I don't even know where he would come up with anything like that," Giambi said. "I think it's kind of sad that Josie is that desperate, I think, to make a dime."

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   HaloScan

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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.

The falling enrollment and rising salaries for teachers and administators made the decision to close necessary, Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio said Wednesday.

The 4,000 students who will be affected will be able to enroll in the remaining 125 schools in the diocese. A similar promise could not be made to the 250 teachers who will be laid off, although officials expect many of them will find work at the other schools.

"It's wrenching to see this happen," Frank DeRosa, a spokesman for DiMarzio, told the New York Times in Thursday's edition. "We know how much good has been accomplished in those schools for so many students, by dedicated teachers, for so many years. But the reality of the situation now requires this kind of action."

Schools with enrollments of fewer than 220 students were not worth keeping open, said Monsignor Michael J. Hardiman, vicar for education.

The decision does not affect schools in Manhattan, the Bronx, or Staten Island, which fall under the Archdiocese of New York.

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:

---Nine schools whose students will attend one of the four new regional schools, all in Brooklyn, one each in Williamsburg and Midwood and two in East Flatbush;

---Eight schools whose students will attend a neighboring parish school with which it will formally affiliate, one each in East New York and Bushwick in Brooklyn and one each in Woodside, Sunnyside, Winfield, Maspeth, Elmhurst and Ozone Park in Queens, and

---Nine schools that will not reopen nor affiliate with another school, but whose students will be welcomed at neighboring parish schools, and the sending parishes will retain some financial and pastoral responsibilities for the students in those schools. They are in Gerritsen Beach, Carroll Gardens, Borough Park, Sunset Park, Park Slope and Bath Beach in Brooklyn, and Astoria, Broad Channel and Rosedale in Queens.

For the schools entering the affiliation process, both the parish that will send its students to a nearby school and the receiving school will provide financial and spiritual assistance. The latter will include celebrating Mass, conducting other liturgical services and visiting classrooms for religious instruction and formation.

Bishop DiMarzio reviewed and analyzed the list of recommendations he received "carefully and with respect for everyone affected" before granting his approval, Msgr. Hardiman said.

"Many of these proposals were developed by parishes and clusters of parishes with the assistance of the superintendent and his staff," he said. "Others, deemed to be less than realistic, were modified by the staff, in consultation with the Vicar for Education, the regional vicars and the Parish Fiscal Management Office, before being presented to the Bishop."

The proposals were submitted after many months---in some instances, after nearly two years---of consultations involving regional vicars, pastors and principals in clusters of parishes, meetings with parents, and after the gathering of statistical data referring to the long-term viability of schools, specifically over three to five years, he said.

Noting that diocesan education officials consider a kindergarten-to-eighth-grade school with 220 students or fewer to be "at-risk" of surviving three-to-five years, Msgr. Hardiman said the schools affected fell under that standard. The 1993 Catholic Education Strategic Planning Project conducted by the Diocese, with the assistance of educators from The Catholic University of America in Washington, established that enrollment benchmark.

He said the study of the schools "was long and difficult, but it was a road that had to be traveled in order to strengthen schools in Brooklyn and Queens, so that they will be stronger as we move into the future."

"It is regrettable that to date no relief has been available to parents, especially in low-income areas, in the form of tuition tax credits, a fair and equitable plan that would benefit students and their parents," he said. "It is something that we must continually work toward."

In releasing the names of the schools involved in the transition, Msgr. Hardiman said the new regional school that will open in Williamsburg in the Fall will draw students from three schools: Most Holy Trinity, 140 Montrose Ave., All Saints, 113 Throop Ave., and Transfiguration, 250 Hooper St. It will be located in Most Holy Trinity’s building, which was renovated after a 2003 fire.

The pastors of the three parishes will serve as a governing board for the school, which is expected to have a new name.

Together, the Williamsburg schools have lost 83 students in five years, from 577 to 494, about a 15 percent drop.

Located in an area with many low-income families, the schools collectively are receiving $495,000 in subsidies from the Diocese this year, and the new school will continue to need diocesan funding, in addition to tuition income, to meet operating costs, Msgr. Hardiman said.

Two regional schools will open in East Flatbush, at Holy Cross School, 2520 Church Ave., and at St. Rose of Lima School, 259 Parkville Ave. Two other schools will be affected by the regionalization plan: Holy Innocents School, 249 E. 17th St., and Our Lady of Refuge School, 1087 Ocean Ave. Each new school will have a separate and new administration, faculty and staff.

Reflecting the pattern of enrollment decline, the four schools enrolled 1,213 students five years ago. This year, they have 726, a loss of 487 students, or about 40 percent. The schools are currently receiving $305,000 in diocesan support.

The fourth regional school will be located at Our Lady Help of Christians School, 1340 E. 29th St., Midwood, which will enroll students from St. Thomas Aquinas School, 1501 Hendrickson St., Flatlands, whose enrollment has declined from 344 five years ago to 200 today. As at the other regional schools, it will have a separate and new administration, faculty and staff.

Schools in eight parishes---two in Brooklyn and six in Queens---will formally affiliate with schools that operate in nearby parishes.

In Brooklyn’s East New York community, St. John Cantius School, 692 Blake Ave., will affiliate with St. Michael’s School, 237 Jerome St. In Bushwick, Our Lady of Lourdes School, 11 DeSales Pl., will affiliate with St. Elizabeth Seton School, 751 Knickerbocker Ave., located in St. Martin of Tours-Fourteen Holy Martyrs parish.

Over the past five years, the student population at St. John Cantius has dropped by 93, from 285 to 192. While Our Lady of Lourdes’ enrollment has remained stable at about 175, it has been “at-risk” because of a low enrollment for more than a decade.

St. Teresa’s School, 50-15 44th St., Woodside, will affiliate with St. Raphael’s School, 48-25 37th St., Long Island City.

St. Teresa’s enrollment decline has been from 266 students in 1999-2000 to 151 currently, reflecting sharp demographic changes in the local community.

Queen of Angels School, 41-12 44th St., Sunnyside, and Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians School, 70-31 48th Ave., Winfield, will affiliate with St. Sebastian’s School, 39-76 58th St., Woodside. The five-year enrollment decline for the Sunnyside school has been 81, from 230 to 149, and 58 for the Winfield school, from 190 to 132.

Ascension School, 86-37 53rd Ave., Elmhurst, will affiliate with St. Adalbert’s School, 52-29 83rd St., Elmhurst. Ascension has witnessed a five-year enrollment decline of 77 students, from 222 to 145.

In Ozone Park, St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr School, 90-01 101st Ave., will affiliate with nearby Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary School, 101-60 92nd St. St. Stanislaus has had an enrollment reduction of 57, from 224 to 167, in five years.

Two neighboring schools in Maspeth will enter into an affiliation. Holy Cross School, 56-01 61st St., will affiliate with St. Stanislaus Kostka School, 61-17 Grand Ave. Holy Cross has had a decline in enrolled students of more than 100 since 1999, from 259 to 151.

The following schools will not reopen, but neighboring schools will accept students choosing to transfer there. There will be a financial and spiritual component of support in each case. Receiving schools will schedule an "open house" to assist parents in the transfer process.

--St. Finbar’s School, 1825 Bath Av., Bath Beach. Its student population of 164 is marginally smaller than the 173 it enrolled five years ago, but with a consistent enrollment under 200 it has been an "at-risk" school for more than ten years. The nearby schools are St. Frances Cabrini and St. Mary Mother of Jesus.

---Sacred Hearts-St. Stephen’s School, 135 Summit St., Carroll Gardens. In the last four years, its enrollment has dropped by 75 students, from 225 to 150. St. Saviour’s is a nearby school.

---St. Michael’s School, 4222 Fourth Ave., Sunset Park. The student population has declined by 42, from 189 to 147, in five years. St. Agatha and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Schools are nearby.

---St. Thomas Aquinas, 211 Eighth St., Park Slope. It has seen an enrollment drop of 80 students in five years, from 243 to 163. Nearby is Holy Name School.

---St. Catharine of Alexandria School, 1053 41st St., Borough Park, has experienced an enrollment decrease of 93 from five years ago, from 221 to 128. St. Agatha’s, Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Immaculate Heart of Mary are neighboring schools.

---Resurrection School, 2335 Gerritsen Ave., Gerritsen Beach, has seen its student population drop from 241 to 132 in five years. Good Shepherd, St. Edmund’s and St. Mark’s Schools are nearby.

---St. Pius X School, 147-65 249th St. Rosedale, has lost 134 students in five years, from 281 to 147. St. Clare’s School is also located in Rosedale.

---Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, 23-15 Newtown Ave., Astoria, has had an enrollment decline of 145 students in five years, from 331 to 186. Nearby are Most Precious Blood and Immaculate Conception Schools.

---St. Virgilius School, 16 Noel Rd., Broad Channel, with 115 students, had 142 students in 1999-2000, a loss of 27 students. Schools in the Rockaways are St. Camillus, Rockaway Park, and St. Rose of Lima, Rockaway Beach. St. Helen’s, Howard Beach, is also in the geographic area.

Msgr. Hardiman said the superintendent’s office “will make every effort” to assist principals, teachers and office staff affected by the reconfiguration who will be seeking employment in other parish schools.

A review and analysis of the viability of other schools in future years is ongoing, directed by Dr. Thomas Chadzutko, Superintendent of Catholic School Support Services, and his professional staff, according to the education vicar. Statistical information that has guided the continuing study includes an 11,000-student enrollment falloff among all parish schools in Brooklyn and Queens in five years and direct assistance of $7 million by the Diocese last year to schools whose revenues could not meet expenses.

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   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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Quod me nutrit me destruit = Latin for "what nurishes me also destroys me"
Angelina Jolie's Adoption of Faiths : NewsMax
After the election, Angelina Jolie talked about having lost her confidence in Americans.

"In the past, I was able to tell people, ‘Trust me, that's not the American people -- they're great.' But I can't say that now because the majority voted to support what is going on, and it's heartbreaking for me that I can't defend the people I love in America," Jolie complained.

The actress is well known for shilling for United Nations. Unfortunately, the news about Kofi Annan's oil-for-food fiasco doesn't seem to have pierced her entourage.

Jolie is seeking to adopt siblings for her son Maddox, whom she adopted in Cambodia two years ago. Because of her humanitarian efforts, government officials have granted her citizenship there.

Her adoption criteria apparently include finding children from each of the main faiths. "I have a Buddhist son, and I'd like a Christian and Muslim child, too," the actress explained. "But it's complicated because I'm not married, and a lot of countries won't let me adopt."

The Left Coast Report hears that Jolie has received a letter from an older Muslim seeking to be adopted: Saddam Hussein.

I can't imagine what it would be like to be raised by Angelina Jolie. She is currently estranged from her father and all the relationships she has had with men have had problems. Her son's name is Maddox.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:36 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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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.

"'I acted upon advice given me at the time, and that advice all stems from Benedict Groeschel,'" Thompson quoted the bishop as saying in a private conversation.

Groeschel could not be reached for comment at his residence or his workplace.

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:

  • Thompson should have anticipated the media storm that would break out by naming the well-known Fr. Benedict Groeschel CFR.
  • Thompson should have anticipated that her characterization of "bad advice" would be interpreted as blame shifting.
  • Someone should have be able to reach Fr. Groeschel with the news of the Rodimer statement so that he would have a response prepared that could be printed at the same time as the accusation against him.
Finally, this letter appears on the CFR website as the final word from Ms. Thompson. It's not an apology.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:23 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Dallas, it seems, generates more Catholic scandal news per-capita that any other place in the world.

  • Fr. John Stock starts a schismatic church, apparently in order to be free to marry and to continue to be a priest. Dallas Morning News
  • Fr. William "Bill" Richard was accused of sexual misconduct with boys but before the Dallas "norms" were enacted and since there was no arrest or civil complaint, there was no public record of the accusation. The story was made public last week in conjunction with the resignation of an employee of the parish. Fr. Richard did not disclose to his parish the fact that this employee was a sexual offender on probation. Dallas Morning News reported it:
    Mr. Sarlay, a layman who has long served as Our Lady of the Lake's music minister, pleaded no contest last year to charges that he masturbated in view of an undercover police officer at a Dallas mall restroom. He has not responded to requests for comment.
  • Fr. Matthew Bagert was arrested for having child porn on his computer. The diocese has suspended him. Dallas Morning News and Star-Telegram What I found interesting who the whistleblower was, and in what order he called different people to blow the whistle.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:18 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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Sunday, February 06, 2005
The Catholic Legacy to Brazil.

A carnival is held Rio de Janeiro in anticipation of Ash Wednesday.

These dancers look like happy cavepeople now, but they may 1know that it is the Latin "Carnelevarium", meaning to remove meat, and they will join in the rest of Brazil in fast and abstinence on Ash Wednesday.

Reuters Photo

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:06 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Let's do the Time Warp Again!

NFL Press Release, January 13, 2005

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   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com