Friday, January 17, 2003
A Profile in Courage & Sodom and Gomorrah File
New York Post Page Six is an unlikely place to find it, but here is a story of courage. No permanent link, the Page Six stories go to archives quicky. Picture Credit: Mirek Towski / DMI
TV Star bolts 'vulgar' awards by By RICHARD JOHNSON with Paula Froelich and Chris Wilson
This sort of resistance to pushing the envelope of vulgarity is so rare it merits the full blog treatment.
A radio talk show host, Steve Malzberg, mentioned that Patricia Heaton is pro-life.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:34 PM Permalink
Oh! I want to be in that pipeline...
Friar's beatification will test Vatican's bridges to Islam
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:51 PM Permalink
Thursday, January 16, 2003
Respect and Reject: Kerry on Catholic Doctrine
United States Senator John F. Kerry respects and rejects Catholic doctrine according to the Associated Press via WPBF story. He's called a presidential hopeful.
Sadly, his "respect and reject" position can find a home with many American Catholics who feel the same way.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:36 PM Permalink
A re-blog from De Virtutibus - Kevin Miller A Culture Of Death Watch item:
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that a 18-year-old new father intended to kill by neglect was arrested. The newly born child was left in a toilet.
Read the story: That the child was found alive was a miracle.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:23 PM Permalink
Religious Tolerance is intolerant of this exercise of religious freedom known as Hell House
We'll check back 'round Halloween.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:01 PM Permalink
Daisy, Daisy, Give Me Your Answer True - A Multimedia Experience
And for more information on the Daisy Cutter go to Global Security. It's a dumb bomb.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:30 PM Permalink
AP: Robert Blake has a guilty conscience.
Born in 1933, Robert Blake was a child actor and later went on to play many roles as a criminal. As an ex-con priest in Hell Town (1985) he played a priest, Fr. Noah 'Hardstep' Rivers. I remember him best for Baretta (1975).
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:04 PM Permalink
This wonderful word picture comes from James Lileks bleats
He would have sat in a French cafe in WW2 and spit at the partisans who worked with the Allies, because their armies practiced segregation. Better to be slaves under pure simple evil than free men liberated by hypocrites.
He is, of course, discussing John LeCarre's op-ed in the Times (UK)
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:31 PM Permalink
Wednesday, January 15, 2003
Cutting Edge has come up a truly wierd illustration that makes you think: Satanic Symphony: World War III
How do I find them? I just don't know
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:51 PM Permalink
18 Statues Destroyed: Incidents of Vandalism of Catholic Churches
WNBC (New York) reports
NEWARK, N.J. -- In the past 48 hours, four separate Catholic locations in Newark have been hit by vandals. The places include two churches, a Catholic hospital and a park.
In total, 18 statues at four locations have been destroyed. Some of the statures were knocked over, and others were left damaged. People in Newark are outraged while police hunt for the attackers.
The latest attack was Tuesday night at St. Lucy's Roman Catholic Church in Newark on 7th Avenue, where eight statues were either destroyed of damaged in an area that the church calls St. Gerard's Plaza.
At St. Lucy's, heads of the statues were whacked off, hands were cut off, feet were sliced off, and the most damage was to a statue of the crucifix, where the head was taken off.
"I don't know how anyone with a heart or soul could do something like this," said Ellen Vernotica, parishioner. "Apparently they don't have a heart or soul."
Parishioners -- many of whom have been coming to this church for more than 20 years -- are in disbelief.
"I'm heartsick. It's like my own home was broken into," Vernotica continued. "I consider this as my home and know a lot of people and I'm sure a lot of priests are heartsick as well."
"To see this, it's mind boggling, because it's not even vandalism," said Anthony Zuzra, parishioner. "For people to do this is horrendous. We have to start over again."
"To see this, it's evil ... I can't explain it," sand Monsignor Joseph Granato. "It's like somebody died. It's unbelievable."
A Federal Court building has also been vandalized, and local, state, and federal officials are investigating the attacks at all five locations. There is no word whether or not the attacks are related.
The linked page has a live video report
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:26 PM Permalink
"No to War!" in Iraq and Holy Land, John Paul II Urges
It Is Always a Defeat for Humanity, He Emphasizes
VATICAN CITY, JAN. 13, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II urged an emphatic 'No to war!' in Iraq and the Holy Land, when he received the ambassadors of the world accredited to the Vatican.
After referring to "the feeling of fear which often dwells in the hearts of our contemporaries," and the "insidious terrorism capable of striking at any time anywhere," as well as "the unresolved problem of the Middle East," the Pope today exclaimed: "No to war! War is not always inevitable. It is always a defeat for humanity."
On the contrary, "international law, honest dialogue, solidarity between states, the noble exercise of diplomacy: These are methods worthy of individuals and nations in resolving their differences," he said. "I say this as I think of those who still place their trust in nuclear weapons and of the all-too-numerous conflicts which continue to hold hostage our brothers and sisters in humanity."
"And what are we to say of the threat of war which could strike the people of Iraq, the land of the prophets, a people already sorely tried by more than 12 years of embargo?" the Pope asked the representatives of the 177 countries accredited to the Vatican.
"War is never just another means that one can choose to employ for settling differences between nations," the Pontiff stressed.
"As the charter of the United Nations organization and international law itself remind us, war cannot be decided upon, even when it is a matter of ensuring the common good, except as the very last option and in accordance with very strict conditions, without ignoring the consequences for the civilian population both during and after the military operations," he emphasized.
The Holy Father also referred to the conflict in the Holy Land and insisted that the "two peoples, Israeli and Palestinian, are called to live side by side, equally free and sovereign, in mutual respect."
He reiterated, as he has on other occasions, that "the solution will never be imposed by recourse to terrorism or armed conflict, as if military victories could be the solution."
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:19 PM Permalink
Philippine Headline News has a report of sexual abuse committed by priests.
I'm reluctant to blog it, but I think there's value in seeing how this is reported in another country where English is a fairly common language.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:16 PM Permalink
Thanks for reading extremeCatholic. The success of this little weblog in less than 30 days has surprised me. I realized that there's a lot of people who like reading about what I like. Noticed that I had my first reader who used a Google translation page to read my blog in Spanish.
Thanks for entering comments and thanks for the email
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:48 PM Permalink
NY Times: Cardinal Egan Spurs Members of Review Board Studying Abuse
Cardinal Edward M. Egan has given a cold reception to the national review board of prominent Roman Catholics who were appointed by the bishops to study the priest sexual abuse scandal and who are to meet in New York on Friday, according to board members and people with the church.
Here are the particulars:
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:41 PM Permalink
Fox 17 WXMI reports
REED CITY -- A Catholic priest in Michigan is quitting, in part to protest the church's handling of the national sex-abuse scandal.
Sadly, the article doesn't say if Fr. Harpe is leaving the priesthood or just this assignment.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:20 AM Permalink
Tuesday, January 14, 2003
The Arizona Sun reports the Diocese of Tucson is pondering bankruptcy.
"We do not have unlimited resources," Coadjutor Bishop Gerald Kicanas said. "Bankruptcy has to be an option."
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:20 PM Permalink
Guardian(UK): Mischievous saint gets to the bottom of parishioners' woes
The local saint, an allegedly mischievous chap called Goncalo, has a reputation for curing haemorrhoids. All you have to do is show him the affected region, say a prayer and, according to locals, bottom pain becomes a thing of the past.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:57 PM Permalink
Newsday (Long Island): Extravagance, for Whose Glory? Murphy's residence fits in with a trent of wasteful bishops By Michael S. Rose
Michael S. Rose is author of "Ugly As Sin," "The Renovation Manipulation," "Goodbye, Good Men" and the forthcoming "Priest."
January 12, 2003
The Long Island Voice of the Faithful is urging Roman Catholics in Nassau and Suffolk to protest the annual Bishop's Appeal for funds, which kicks off today with an opening Mass in Dix Hills, by donating to an alternative fund the group has created to counter what one member describes as "a perplexing display of wealth and position" in the church. If successful, the group's appeal could do some damage to a diocese that is already down financially and cutting back on social service programs. Yet at the same time, Bishop William Murphy, continues to live unapologetically in a splendid house. The bishop has drawn much criticism for this, but to put his choice in perspective, ithelps to remember that wealth and the church have a relationship that goes back centuries.
The great cathedrals and other magnificent works of religious art that have been the main expressions of this wealth have had two purposes. First, to put it in the pious terms of the Jesuits' ancient Latin motto Ad maiorem Dei gloriam, it is for "the greater glory of God" - to point to something deeper and more meaningful than any individual worshiper or congregation. Second, it is to lead the faithful toward Christ and salvation. This includes carrying out works of mercy - feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, assisting orphans and widows, the indigent and displaced - practices that the church has championed throughout its history.
Neither of these lofty reasons need come at the expense of the other, but because of the way he has handled the situation and the embarrassing sequence of events, in Bishop Murphy's case they seem to be. The bishop transformed a 5,000-square-foot former convent into his new home at an estimated cost of $1 million. Then Catholic Charities announced it was cutting away much-needed programs for the indigent, reportedly to close a deficit of $140,000 - almost the same amount that Murphy had reportedly spent on furnishings and appliances, which include a marble bath, a six-burner professional range and a temperature-controlled wine storage cabinet.
The bishop has apologized for cost overruns and acknowledged that the renovation was a public relations "disaster," and he may well believe that this is the sort of luxury bishops are entitled to have. We know he needn't worry about being shunned or challenged by the current pack of his purple brethren. They routinely spend millions of dollars collected from the faithful in order to carry out unneeded and unwanted denuding renovations of older churches - or, as in the case of the Boston archdiocese, to make plans to sell precious real estate holdings these donations helped purchase in order to raise money to settle sex-abuse lawsuits.
Across the country, Catholics have been calling these types of decisions "needless destruction." They are outraged and in some cases have organized to try to stop it, usually unsuccessfully.
Consider: A year ago, disgraced Archbishop Rembert Weakland spent nearly $4.5 million on a dramatic remodeling of Milwaukee's historic cathedral, despite overwhelming objections by area Catholics, more than 2,000 of whom signed a petition begging Weakland to stop what they saw as a misappropriation of funds.
Bishop Matthew Clark faces a similar situation in Rochester, where 5,000 have signed a petition opposing his plans to remodel his historic cathedral at a cost of more than $4 million. He, too, is pushing forward with a so-called "modernization" of a historic cathedral. Opponents call his plans "wasteful and unnecessary."
The same can be said of multimillion-dollar cathedral projects initiated in recent years in Covington, Ky., San Antonio, Texas, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Seattle, Wash. These projects have included smashing altars and removing important reminders of the Catholic faith such as pews, crucifixes, communion rails and tabernacles. There is no evidence to show that this kind of destruction gives glory to God or leads souls to Christ.
Other American bishops have preferred to build modern monstrosities anew - equally objectionable - as Cardinal Roger Mahony did recently in Los Angeles. The new Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels wears a price tag of nearly $200 million and has earned the unflattering nickname "yellow armadillo." In Oakland, Bishop John Cummins is in the midst of building another multimillion-dollar cathedral. This one resembles, to the horror of most Bay-area Catholics, a giant clamshell.
Rather than being built to the glory of God, more often than not, such projects create scandal that leads to infighting and alienation.
Any bishop worth his weight in salt knows he's accountable to someone beyond himself - not only to God but to the people he is ordained to serve. He is a spiritual father, a role model, both servant and shepherd to his people. That includes being financially accountable. Catholics expect that a bishop will naturally be a good steward of the money entrusted to his care. Sadly, with Bishop William Murphy and many others, that is often not the case.
Copyright © 2003, Newsday, Inc.
Yeah, but what's a trent?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:49 PM Permalink
Failed Catholic Education
Excellent article on his failure to obtain an education in the Catholic faith in the 1970's in Front Page Magazine by Mark Gauvreau Judge. Here's a sentence from the article to motivate you to click on the link
It’s not too much of a stretch to say that many Catholic schools, at least if the well-regarded ones I attended and have visited frequently are any indication, are not teaching Catholicism, leaving some of us to discover it on our own. It’s a scandal that no one seems much interested in.
Speaking for myself now, I've been a catechist in my parish for 10 years. My kids love me and they are learning the faith.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:50 PM Permalink
Catholic News Service: Vatican says 'sex-change' operation does not change person's gender
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- After years of study, the Vatican's doctrinal congregation has sent church leaders a confidential document concluding that "sex-change" procedures do not change a person's gender in the eyes of the church. Consequently, the document instructs bishops never to alter the sex listed in parish baptismal records and says Catholics who have undergone "sex-change" procedures are not eligible to marry, be ordained to the priesthood or enter religious life, according to a source familiar with the text. The document was completed in 2000 and sent "sub secretum" (under secrecy) to the papal representatives in each country to provide guidance on a case-by-case basis to bishops. But when it became clear that many bishops were still unaware of its existence, in 2002 the congregation sent it to the presidents of bishops' conferences as well. "The key point is that the (transsexual) surgical operation is so superficial and external that it does not change the personality. If the person was male, he remains male. If she was female, she remains female," said the source.
Here's a glossary for those who might be unfamiliar with the terminology.
Gender to me a term that is only useful in grammar. In English, we have three: masculine, feminine, neuter. In biology, two sexes, male and female.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:37 PM Permalink
Catholic Analysis has a well thoughtout article on the liturgical controversy around kneeling.
My own take is the following (for Catholics): If you were standing before Jesus Christ for real, wouldn't you kneel to worship your Lord and God? You would? Well, Catholics believe that Jesus Christ is truly present in the appearance of bread and wine.
Standing is respect. Kneeling is worship. If you don't worship God, who do you worship?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:05 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:58 PM Permalink
Monday, January 13, 2003
NY Times reports Pope's strong anti-war message
Wondering aloud what to say "of the threat of a war which could strike the people of Iraq," [the Pope] added: "War cannot be decided upon, even when it is a matter of ensuring the common good, except as the very last option, and in accordance with very strict conditions, without ignoring the consequences for the civilian population both during and after the military operations."
I think we're approaching the day of that "very last option".
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:57 PM Permalink
KTVB reports Field of crosses again vandalized Ryan Panitz Idaho's NewsChannel 7
BOISE - A piece of private church land lined with thousands of crosses was vandalized overnight for the second time in as many days.
Two people were arrested for the first incident this weekend but tonight, police are looking for the people responsible last night's vandalism.
Parishioners of St. Mary's Catholic church put up more than 3,000 little white crosses all over a nearby field. The church wanted to make people aware of the upcoming 30th anniversary of the roe versus wade decision.
But, for the last two days, they have been forced to hammer the crosses back into the ground because someone kicked them all over in the middle of the night.
The church says this is an issue of first amendment rights and it hopes this stops now...
The leader of church says if there's a problem with the display, he wants to talk it out.
"I'm not so much angry at the people who did it but sad that they don't have any other way to express their opinion than doing it in such a immature and poor way," Father Thomas Faucher of Saint Mary’s Church said.
Boise police are investigating the latest incident.
They think it was a group of people who strategically knocked over all the crosses. To try to prevent this from happening again, police are patrolling the area every hour.
Twnety-year-old Jacob Schisel of Boise and 18-year-old Salvatore Licastri are facing disorderly conduct and vandalism charges in connection with the Saturday night incident.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:35 PM Permalink
CNN has a good explanation of "material breach" The deadline for the UN report on compliance is Jan 27.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:01 PM Permalink
National Review Jonah Goldberg: The Starry Environmentalist? The cases of Björn Lomborg and Galileo.
Read the whole thing. It contains this wonderful one sentence summary of the truth about Galileo:
It was a case of petty and jealous men trying to use the Church to kneecap a whistleblower
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:30 AM Permalink
Can I hear an Amen?
"Worship is a form of entertainment," said Al Perry, technical adviser for media ministry at Fort Foote Baptist Church in Ft. Washington. The ministry included a $300,000 audiovisual system as part of a $6 million sanctuary it completed a year ago. "If people are not entertained, they don't feel like they're participating."
Al needs to be re-introduced to the First Commandment.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:14 AM Permalink
Herald (UK): Poll majority backs the abolition of Catholic schools
by KEITH SINCLAIR
Age 55-64? Aren't they the generation that demanded all those changes to the Catholic Church in the aftermath of Vatican II? Not happy with the result, eh?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:07 AM Permalink
Expect national media to have zero interest in this Church vandalism
Police say an 18-year-old man and a 20-year-old man, both from Boise, could be charged with malicious destruction of property and possible hate crimes for vandalizing crosses set up by volunteers at St. Mary´s Catholic Church as a protest against abortion. Boise Police Lt. Gary Compton said a call was received by police at about 1:20 a.m. Sunday about someone damaging crosses in a church-owned vacant lot on the corner of 27th and State streets.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:58 AM Permalink
Taking the validity of the sacraments seriously
For several years now, the diocese of St-Jérôme has been quietly contacting the families of 295 children, offering to rebaptize them.How sad they lack the priests or deacons to celebrate baptisms. How bad must their "lay person" training for the sacraments be.
When I was learning about baptism for the first time (in 1962, when I was 8 years old), I could remember that a "team" of baptizers do not baptize, but one person. Also, that in danger of death, anyone can baptize, even someone unbaptized, but you can't baptize yourself.
I actually did baptize someone, my third child (in 1991 when I was 37 years old), because I was told the priest at the hospital would not be able to get back in time. A few months later, we had the ceremonies of baptism without the actual pouring rite.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:41 AM Permalink
Scalia tells truth, makes news
For a "short speech" they have made it very difficult to find a transcript. So far the best story on it I've found is in the Washington Post:
A historic Virginia law and the constitutional amendment guaranteeing freedom of religion did not intend to "exclude God from the public forums and from political life," Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said yesterday
Would Religious Freedom Day have made the news were it not for this speech?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:33 AM Permalink
Sunday, January 12, 2003
Gov. Ryan empties death row, cont.
(4) Why didn't the Governor do both of these:
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:05 PM Permalink
Illinois Governor George Ryan commutes ALL of the death sentences in his state
New York Times Governor Assails System's Errors as He Empties Illinois Death Row
(1) The intention of the power of pardon and commutation is to correct an error made in the judicial process, not the legislative process that created the law. Examples are numerous: vindictiveness of the judge and jury, withheld evidence, another person confesses, etc.
(2) Since there are no "checks and balances" in terms of create a review of this absolute power, it should be used only rarely and with circumspection, it is a monarchial power. Legally speaking, of course, a governor could empty the prisons at whim. Anyone with a moral sense, knows that what one has the power to do doesn't make the act the right thing to do in itself.
(3) The case is complex, unlike the case of Clinton giving pardons to Democratic party donors, and the case of Gov. Ray Blanton of Tennessee, who sold pardons -- Governor Ryan (Republican, pro-life with exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother) appears sincere in his granting of these commutations. By any standard, the pardons given in the case of the coerced confessions was a honorable act.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:58 PM Permalink
Please help, and make it quick
Just discovered a new title given to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary at Catholic Fourm
Our Lady of Prompt Succor -- succor meaning assistance.
Bishop Fournier, short-handed due to the repressions of the French Revolution, declined to send any sisters. Mother Saint Michel was given permission to appeal to the pope. The pope was a prisoner of Napoleon, and it seemed unlikely he would even receive her letter of petition. Mother Saint Michel prayed,
And this litany to her at the University of Dayton. A short excerpt:
Our Lady of Prompt Succor of all who invoke you with confidence, pray for us.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:22 PM Permalink
The Blessed Virgin Mary brings the miracle of tourist dollars to remote areas
I'm waiting for the judgment of the Church, in this case, the local bishop. Until then, I retain an attitude of skepticism.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:15 PM Permalink