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Friday, May 13, 2005

Spirituality Convocation

Date: May 21, 2005 9:00AM - 4:00 PM

Place: AUDITORIUM Archbishop Stepinac High School 950 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains, NY 10605


Pope John Paul II brought certain new dimensions to Our consideration of the Eucharist after 2000 years. His unique insights will assist us in our own spiritual lives.

Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R. Director, Office of Spiritual Development, Internationally known speaker, retreat director, author, radio and frequent presenter on EWTN


Each time we celebrate the Mass we enter into the heavenly liturgy which is so powerfully and beautifully described in the Book of Revelation. Scott will help us to understand the Book of Revelation in the light of the Mass. Scott Hahn, Ph.D. Dr. Hahn is Professor of Theology and Scripture at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, founder and director of St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology and author of several books, including The Lamb. Frequent presenter on EWTN.

And I will be conducting a workshop with the Catholic Evidence Guild.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:24 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Dress Code

I attended a Jesuit High School, Brooklyn Prep. I graduated in 1971 and the school closed the next year. By the way, this is the school that WABC-AM radio host Curtis Sliwa was expelled from -- for violating the dress code at this boys-only school. The dress code at Brooklyn Prep was jacket and tie.

Fast forward to the present day and I had thought that dress codes were something that I didn't need to have an opinion on, but I recently saw some video of kids in California school and now I have an opinion: if kids and their parents can't dress their kids so they are not a distraction to others, there needs to be some intervention.

Some of the kids were asked about rules on clothing and they were all against it, "anything goes". Then in one story, where the written dress code applied to teachers, students, staff, and parents, one mother was incensed that she was told that she would not be allowed in the school in clothing that violated the dress code.

Maybe I'm too old-fashioned for this century.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:09 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Don't pin the pro-life medal on Thomas Suozzi

Laud Suozzi, Murphy for moderation : Newsday

Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi and Bishop William Murphy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre deserve credit for the courageous stands they took on abortion Tuesday.

Speaking at Adelphi University, Suozzi asked the Nassau County Legislature to help reduce the number of abortions by appropriating $3 million for homes for unwed mothers, promotion of adoption and prevention of unplanned pregnancies.

Some see him following Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's lead in trying to depolarize this debate, but he has taken far greater risks than she.

Her denomination and mine, the United Methodist Church, has been moderately pro-choice for many years. When she says she wants abortion to be "safe, legal and rare," the vast majority of United Methodists agree with her.

We don't want abortion outlawed; we want the number of crisis pregnancies reduced. In embracing this position, Suozzi remains at odds with the public policy of his denomination, the Roman Catholic Church, but he bravely urges steps that could reduce the number of abortions far more effectively than legal restrictions on a woman's right to choose.

In much the same way that Suozzi risks offending already-polarized pro-choice Democrats, we should not underestimate the courage it took for Bishop Murphy to call this speech "on the whole, very helpful" - one that "deserves our gratitude for exercising this kind of political leadership." Catholic leaders are regularly denounced by zealots in the right-to-life movement for being insufficiently militant.

Some clerics denounce any politician who deviates in any way from their dogma on this issue. Bishop Murphy has chosen to work with Suozzi for real change.

It would be easy simply to repeat his loyalty to church doctrine, but the bishop has instead urged his flock to reduce the injustice that leaves too many girls and women pregnant by older men who have exploited them, pressured by abusive fathers not to bear a child who would embarrass them, or trapped in poverty that makes pregnancy seem unbearable.

The Rev. Thomas W. Goodhue is executive director of the Long Island Council of Churches and a United Methodist clergyman.Bishop Murphy has chosen to work with Suozzi for real change in reducing [sic]unwant

This puts Bishop Murphy in a difficult position of needing to endorse Suozzi while at the same time not back-tracking on abortion. The Diocese of Rockville Centre was hostile to the pro-life movement during the McGann years, now somewhat reversed with the arrival of Bishop Murphy.

Like every diocese around here, no photo op with a pro-choice Catholic politician was ever avoided (except the infamous confrontation between Ferraro and Cardinal O'Connor) Nevertheless Newsday hated, hates, and will hate the Catholic Church. It's a mess.

Suozzi is no Rodham-Clinton. The Dems will give him the late Bob Casey treatment. He's dead-man walking politically for breaking lock-step on maximal abortion rights.

Abortion is the killing of innocent unborn human life.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:14 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, May 12, 2005
Mother in Communion case to talk with bishop Tuesday : AP
The Monmouth County mother of a 9-year-old girl whose first Holy Communion was declared invalid will meet privately Tuesday with Trenton Bishop John M. Smith. Liz Pelly-Waldman hopes Smith will take up the cause of Haley Waldman, who has a digestive disorder that makes it unsafe for her to consume wafers containing wheat.

"I'm one woman questioning 2,000 years of church teaching," Pelly-Waldman, 31, of Brielle, said yesterday. "I don't expect it to change overnight."

Haley, a third grader with celiac sprue disease, made her first Holy Communion last year, but the church said afterward that the sacrament had not actually occurred because the wafer was gluten-free and contained no wheat. The church contends that if the girl cannot consume wheat, she can receive a low-gluten host, drink wine, or abstain from Holy Communion.-

The mother claims that a fragment of a low-gluten host is going to trigger the celiac sprue disease and that for medical reasons, nothing containing alcohol can be consumed by her child either.

Bishop Smith is probably being played here. The build-up for this meeting is that Walman will walk in, state her demand, and the bishop will submit to her logic.

I hope the "cause" that the bishop takes up is the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:59 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Legal/Illegal what's the difference

While the bishops reject the rule of law where it concerns illegal immigration, on what other areas do they reject the rule of law?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:50 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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(Fictional Story, also about a Bronx priest) "Doubt" is awarded Best Play : broadway.com
John Patrick Shanley's Doubt was named Best Play, and Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman was awarded Best New Foreign Play when the New York Drama Critics' Circle announced their annual awards on May 11. Despite a plentiful crop of musicals this season, the committee chose not to name a Best Musical.

Set at a Catholic school in the Bronx in 1964, Doubt centers on a nun who grows suspicious when a priest begins taking too much interest in the life of a young male student.

The world premiere of Doubt, directed by Doug Hughes, opened to rave reviews at Manhattan Theatre Club's Stage I on November 23 and ended its extended run there on January 30. The production's entire cast (Cherry Jones, BrĂ­an F. O'Byrne, Heather Goldenhersh and Adriane Lenox) transferred with the play to Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre, where it officially opened on March 31. The play has already won the Pulitzer Prize, Lucille Lortel Award and Outer Critics Circle Award. It is up for Drama Desk and Tony Awards. Shanley will receive $2,500 with his New York Drama Critics' Circle Award.

What a name for someone to write a play on the subject of sexual molestation by a priest. You couldn't force me to see this play. For all I know, Doubt may have been the only new play of the season. An award like this is good for getting a movie deal and that's where the big payday comes from.

Doubt has eight Tony Award nominations as well. Attention must be paid.

Culture Vulture has the details of the play but no spoiler ending.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:56 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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True story (followup) Prayer & justice for his attackers : NY Daily News
The Bronx priest savagely beaten by a gang of teens while jogging last week forgives his attackers - but he still wants to see justice done.

"They are going to be punished," the Rev. Jorge Fernandez said yesterday after leaving a Bronx hospital. "Even though I offer my forgiveness, I leave in the hands of the justice system the judgment of those responsible for this inhuman act."

With dark bruises on his face and his jaw partially wired shut, Fernandez said he plans to testify before a grand jury against the three teens, ages 14 to 16, today.

I saw the press conference on TV. A week later, his face is still a mess and his voice was full of pain.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:47 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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"It's a done deal," a senior Vatican official told TIME on Tuesday.

No, it isn't. (Apb Levada of SF to head the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith)

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:41 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Fr. Peter Stravinskas : April 18, 2005 : Nothing since then

Probe Concerns Parishioners : Omaha priest target of fraud investigation : WOWT

Allegations of fraud at a south Omaha church have parishioners up in arms. Police are investigating whether a priest at St. Anthony's Parish used church funds for personal business.

They were hoping for an explanation, but as Sunday Mass ended, several parishioners said they still have not been told what happened to $150,000 in church money. According to court documents, St. Anthony's church endowment had $82,000 two-and-a-half years ago, but is now all gone. The church, at 32nd and S streets, also had a mutual fund of more than $70,000, and it too is almost all gone. An FBI auditor said the monies from St. Anthony's accounts appeared to be used for personal expenses by the Rev. Peter Stravinskas. "We had great hopes with having him here, so we are highly hurt and disappointed," said parishioner Kristina Janyka.

Many came to Mass to hear Father Stravinskas' side of the story, but he did not attend. The parish bulletin reported that he's in Rome this week and it didn't mention anything about the allegations. "It is disappointing because you don't know what the fate of our church is," said Mary Antanelis, one of several parishioners who met in the social hall after Mass to talk about the parish's future. "When you have funds set aside in case of an emergency and those funds are no longer there and that's a surprise to us, yeah. It was kind of like your bank account was completely depleted."

Some parishioners are standing behind Father Stravinskas. "We are a little bit amazed to see what's happened over the past week or so," said John Davis, who said he and his wife sat down with the archbishop to talk about the accusations. "He told us at the end of that that there wasn't any basis to the accusations. It's something that we need to get settled and get behind us so we can all move forward."

Some still say until the police investigation is complete, they want to know where the money went. Father Stravinskas is not a priest of the Omaha Archdiocese, but out of Boise, Idaho. He is living at St. Anthony's with the permission of the chancery.

For reasons that aren't clear to me, Fr. Stravinskas ceased being editor of the Catholic monthly, The Catholic Answer in 2004.

It's quite a surprise to me that this story just stopped.

Ignatius Insight has an interview with Fr. Stravinskas from 2005.

I held off blogging this until I could get more info, but it never came.

Cui Bono is a blog devoted to this parish, St. Anthony in the Archdiocese of Omaha.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:00 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Catholic Leaders Launch 'Justice for Immigrants' Campaign

Catholic Church leaders, including Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C., plan to unveil a new immigration reform program on Tuesday.

The plan calls for legalizing the undocumented; expanding opportunities for foreigners who want to enter the country legally for work or for family reunification; establishing a temporary workers program; and "re-establishing due process rights and other legal safeguards" for immigrants.

I asked a bishop if he thought that all restrictions on becoming a citizen of the United States should be removed and he replied he could support that.

In the view of the bishops, one "right" that America doesn't have is to control its own borders.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:37 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Two priests in pornography cases end ministry : AP
Two Roman Catholic priests accused of viewing child pornography have ended their ministries.

The Revs. Robert Allgaier and Jay L. Kruse each decided after talking with Omaha Archbishop Elden Curtiss to no longer serve as priests, said the Rev. Joe Taphorn, vice chancellor of the archdiocese.

Is this a profile in courage on the part of Apb Curtiss? Read below how he took swift action against a whistle-blower.

Fr. Jay Kruse gets probation in a plea deal : AP (12/24/2002)

A 50-year-old priest who formerly served northeast Nebraska parishes has received one year of probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor pornography count.

The Reverend Jay Kruse -- formerly of Verdigre -- pleaded guilty in Knox County District Court to one count of attempted possession of visual depiction of sexually explicit content.

Kruse originally was charged with two felony counts of possession of visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct. Court records indicate the charges involve images of juveniles.

Teacher says archbishop told her to quit after priest report (5/19/2002)

A teacher at a Catholic school says the archbishop of Omaha asked her to resign because she told police that a priest had used a church computer to look at child pornography on the Internet.

Archbishop Elden Curtiss acknowledges that he talked with Norfolk Sacred Heart kindergarten teacher Linda Hammond, but he did not say if he asked her to resign.

She did not resign.

Madison County Attorney Joe Smith said Friday that he was considering charges against Curtiss, including a count of tampering with a witness.

More comment on Amy Welborn's blog.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:34 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Judge's Ruling Against Sex-Ed Program Grabs National Eye : Fox News
A judge's order on Thursday evening to halt a new public school sex-education curriculum in the affluent suburbs of Washington, D.C., could have significant ramifications throughout the rest of the country.
This so-called health curriculum was full of one-sided statements hostile to religion. It is interesting to see if secular humanism, if that's what this text and worldview can be called, gets to be labelled a religion.

There's some advocacy links in the Fox News article.

More at American Daily

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:36 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The Fall of Orthodox England : Free Republic

This link from 2002 was mailed to me today. It's interesting because of the very confusing history and theology it presents. The claim is that the Church in England in 1066 of Harold II, Godwinson was in communion with Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem and not Rome. It's flavored with the conspiracy theory the Rome seeks to dominate the world.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:22 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Newfoundland Diocese to sell all its property
A Roman Catholic diocese in eastern Canada plans to sell all its churches and missions to raise money to pay the sexual assault victims , a bishop said Monday. The Catholic Diocese of St. George's will sell about 150 properties to raise $10.5 million for the victims of the Rev. Kevin Bennett, convicted in 1990 of hundreds of sexual assaults over three decades as a priest in the province of Newfoundland. The diocese will seek donations to buy back some sites.
Sell the residences and schools before you sell the churches.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:15 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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There's a rumor about Archbishop Levada of San Francisco

that he is to be appointed to the number 1 or 2 position at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

This was discussed in Amy Welborn's blog where in the middle of composing the following she disabled comments on that item.

The only thing that Abp Levada did that ever came to my attention was the fact that while he initially opposed the SF law for domestic partnership which must be recognized by all public and private employers, in the end he accepted it and made future opposition to similar domestic partnership on Catholic grounds of other bishops nearly impossible because of the precedent he created. He looked to me like a Catholic Neville Chamberlain where Winston Churchill is called for.

By let's move on. I wasn't able to find a book he's written in Amazon. Does anyone know of his intellectual achievements or theological writings that would promote his assignment to CDF?

For background, try this google search: Levada domestic partner

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:09 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, May 10, 2005
The New York Times projects its own suicide on the the Church

Catholic devotion and doubts : New York Times

Here in Latin America, the great remaining heartland of Roman Catholicism, some Catholics have a blunt warning for Pope Benedict XVI: unless the Catholic Church changes course, it may come close to committing suicide.

Kristopf piece is a self-parody that screams "You don't get it" back at its author. He probably thinks a phrase like universal call to holiness refers to a phone bank in the the Vatican.

So what else is going on in Brazil?

'Orgasm Day' Celebrated As Official City Holiday : AP

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil -- It was Orgasm Day Monday in Espertantina, a small town in northeast Brazil : AP

Mayor Felipe Santolia said his town has unofficially celebrated orgasm day for years. But this year is the first when it was recognized as an official municipal holiday.

Santolia said the idea is to improve marriages. Santolia notes that when a woman is unsatisfied, it affects all aspects of her life, including her relationship with the city. Santolia added that Monday's official holiday was to celebrate "orgasm in all its senses."

This might be a hoax, if is isn't, Freud must be pleased, whereever he is.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:30 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, May 09, 2005
NewsMax: Catholic League Website Hacked
The website of a Catholic civil rights group was hacked over the weekend, apparently by Islamic extremists.

William Donohue, president of the New York City-based Catholic League, said the breach began yesterday, one day after his comments about the controversial new Hollywood film on the Crusades, "The Kingdom of Heaven," were published in the New York Post.

The unknown hackers replaced the home page with one of their own, featuring a photo of a Palestinian holding a rock in each hand, facing down Israeli soldiers. It included epithets against President Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, called for freedom for "Palestine" and Iraq and sent greetings to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

The site was restored this afternoon.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:44 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Schindlers do not know where Terri's ashes are : AP

Original headline: Schiavos [sic] don't know where Terri's ashes are

MIAMI (AP) - The family of a severely brain-damaged woman who died after her feeding tube was removed in March said Friday they still have not been told where her remains will be laid to rest.

Terri Schiavo's parents and siblings, who waged a lengthy court battle over her end-of-life wishes, said on Fox's "Hannity & Colmes" show that her husband is keeping her remains from them.

"They were supposed to tell us, and we still have not heard from ... Michael Schiavo where Terri's been laid," said Terri Schiavo's brother, Bobby Schindler. "Our family expected this. Michael has disobeyed court orders throughout the ordeal and continues to do so today."

Michael Schiavo is under court order to notify the Schindlers of his plans for a memorial service. He has had his wife cremated and has said her ashes would be buried at a family plot in Pennsylvania.

George Felos, Michael Schiavo's attorney, did not immediately return a call Friday night seeking comment.

Terri Schiavo, 41, died March 31 in a Pinellas Park hospice, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed by court order. She suffered brain damage in 1990 after a chemical imbalance caused her heart to stop.

She left no written instructions in the event she became disabled, and her husband said she never would have wanted to be kept alive in what court-appointed doctors called a persistent vegetative state with no hope of recovery.

The Schindlers, however, doubted she had any such end-of-life wishes. They maintained she would benefit from rehabilitation, despite most doctors saying her condition was irreversible.

The Michael defenders are out in force: the Schindlers are liars. Michael told them. (Nancy commenting in OpenBook)

Defenders: Terri's ashes are not buried after 39 days? Hey, Michael is only following Terri's wishes. And Michael doesn't have a feud with the Schindlers. The Schindlers hate Michael. He's the real victim here.

You can also look at how the controversy is handled in the Wikipedia where I am trying to get the non-burial added to the article.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:16 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sunday, May 08, 2005

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Jesuit Watch / Left Intolerance Watch

Student Sues N.Y. College Over Dismissal

A student who claims he was expelled from a training program for prospective teachers because of his support for corporal punishment and his opposition to multicultural education filed a $40 million lawsuit yesterday and demanded to be reinstated.

In the suit, Scott McConnell, 26, of upstate Baldwinsville, accused Le Moyne College of Syracuse of violating his First Amendment rights and breaching the school's duty to abide by its own policies guaranteeing free expression.

"This is a particularly egregious violation of academic freedom," said David French, the president of a student rights watchdog group backing the lawsuit, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. "If a student can be punished for voicing a viewpoint different from the department chairman at his university, and that's the entire reason for the punishment, then academic freedom means nothing."

Credit to a reader of extremeCatholic who emailed me a link to Erin O'Connor's blog

There's nothing about this on Le Moyne's official site.

The school was so clumsy in their approach to this, I'm surprised they lacked any sophistication in creating a plausible cause for the expulsion other than thought crime.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:53 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com