Saturday, March 08, 2003
WTNH Hartford: Bible printed in 1499 at the antiques road show in Hartford CT
So old, we were all Catholic back then in Western Europe.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:16 PM Permalink
Castro Attends Opening of Catholic Convent
I know, I know: it's Castro, it's Cuba but I say:
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:00 PM Permalink
BBC: Discussion of the British targeting of residential areas in World War II
Continuing what I started with my short blog on Sylvania/Fredonia, here's another item on an unjust aspect of a just war.
It was wrong to bomb non-military targets in Germany for terror-effect. It did not shorten the war or lessen casulties for the Allies.
I can't find anyone defending this as just.
The only thing that's controversial is what did Churchill know and when did he know it, and as commander-in-chief of the British armed forces, he could have stopped it but didn't. Joerg Haider called him a war criminal. Historians have tended to blame Air Marshall Sir Arthur Harris ("Bomber" Harris).
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:01 PM Permalink
25,000 Spanish Catholics Petition to be excommunicated
I think this is quite a big story -- getting overlooked in the US press. Technically, the article is wrong on the nature of the excommunication. The Church doesn't excommunicate the parents and abortion workers. They excommunicate themselves. It is called a latae sententiae excommunication. The other kind of excommunication is like a conviction after juridical process ferendae sententiae.
There's a process to getting excommunicated. Asking for it isn't one that the Church recognizes. See Canons 1364-1369 for ideas. I'm not a canon lawyer, please consult your canon law adviser before placing your soul in jeopardy.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:13 PM Permalink
Seattle Post-Intelligencer (AP) Morbid Valentine Gets Teacher in Trouble
This teacher is 44 and simply too dumb to teach. What was he thinking?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:04 PM Permalink
A fellow blogger, Oswald Sobrino started his the same day I started mine. On the topic of Iraq he's got this excellent article: Catholic Analysis; False Choice: "Back President or Back Pope on Iraq?"
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:52 PM Permalink
Friday, March 07, 2003
Sylvania and Fredonia
Sylvania is a nation with a large modernized army. It is a regional power. The Catholic faith is the religion of 40% of the people of this country.
Fredonia is a small country with a army of proportional size. The Catholic faith is the religion of 50% of the people of this country.
Sylvania is in a economic depression because of the price of oil and food which it must import. Fredonia is more self-sufficient and its depression is not as servere.
However, the standard of living is higher and schools are better in Sylvania and many Fredonians attempt to enter Sylvania both legally and illegally.
Sylvania demands that oil and food be sold to it with payment made in cash and bonds to be paid in 10 years. Fredonia refuses and Sylvania threatens war.
This is the real deal: an unjust war. It's about oil and money and territory. Sylvania says that just war concepts are outmoded here because of connection of the economy to scarce natural resources. Also, over 100 years ago the border between the two countries was determined by Atlantis, the superpower of that time and wants the old Sylvania region of Fredonia restored.
I would expect and support the Church to confront Sylvania. I'd want the Pope to speak out. I'd want the Cardinal as the Pope's emissary to come to Sylvania. I'd be part of the Assisi Group in Sylvania's Internet. People of good will could perhaps propose that Sylvania's war could be, might be just, but I wouldn't be among them.
I'm not reflexively pro-war or anti-war. It just that in this case, the circumstances do matter and I'd oppose Sylvania's war as an unjust war and march in Gotham City's streets in front of the World Council of Nations. But that's a fictional world. The real case before us is quite different. I accept the Church's teaching on just war. I support the war, if it comes, in Iraq as just.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:39 PM Permalink
Tyrannicide For Dummies
Tyrannicide literally is the killing of a tyrant, and usually is taken to mean the killing of a tyrant by a private person for the common good. There are two classes of tyrants whose circumstances are widely apart -- tyrants by usurpation and tyrants by oppression. A tyrant by usurpation (tyrannus in titula) is one who unjustly displaces or attempts to displace the legitimate supreme ruler, and he can be considered in the act of usurpation or in subsequent peaceful possession of the supreme power. A tyrant by oppression (tyrannus in regimine) is a supreme ruler who uses his power arbitrarily and oppressively.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:33 PM Permalink
Attention Enemies of the United States:
By reading certain press accounts, you might have believed that the George Bush needs the permission of the United Nations or religious leaders or someone else to defend the United States, or that we need to see the enemy crossing the border before acting:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Unless the President is impeached before 3/17, his policies are going to be carried out.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:25 PM Permalink
Extreme Catholic Sports Page
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:11 PM Permalink
United States interests are at stake
Permanent members of the Security Council: US, Russia, China, UK, France.
Elected Members of the Security Council: Guinea (president), Angola, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Chile, Germany, Mexico, Pakistan, Syria, Spain.
The United States doesn't need a permission slip from those 14 to defend its security. If it cannot be recognized as a fact that Saddam has failed to disarm, then the Security Council is meaningless. What's only at stake with the forthcoming vote is the relevance of the United Nations. This is their League of Nations / Mussolini / Haile Selassie moment of truth.
Next time, whoever it is that needs to act to defend its own interests (US, UK, Russia, etc.), the UN is likely to be ignored.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:42 PM Permalink
Wall Street Journal, Rob Dreher: Finally, A Rapid Response
Rod Dreher, senior writer for the National Review, observes the contrast of the Pope and curia's activism with respect to US policy on Iraq and their relative inaction on the sexual abuse scandal.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:24 PM Permalink
Catholic League: Innocent Priests
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is tracking the charges against priests that have been proven to be false.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:16 AM Permalink
Competing bill would address clergy sex abuse scandal
The anti-Catholic's favorite New York State Senator is Thomas Duane. He has proposed legislation that
I guess we can dig up the grave of the "suspected perpetrator" and hold a trial for the corpse. Legislation weaker than this has not been passed in years in Albany, so I think this is a tactic for him to get news coverage and play well to his political base.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:12 AM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:39 AM Permalink
Catholic Converts that you probably were not aware of...
Dick Morris is a convert to the Catholic faith. The story I've heard is that he told his wife that he would do anything to save their marriage after he was infamously caught with a prostitute whose toes he sucked . He was a sex addict. His was raised in the Jewish faith but was not a practicing Jew. His wife is a devout Catholic and through her ability to forgive her husband, that planted the seed of faith. I believe he was baptized in 2002.
Larry Kudlow of CNBC's Kudlow and Cramer is also a covert to the Catholic faith. I recall his story this way: He hit rock bottom after his cocaine addiction got him fired from the chief economist / managing director job at Bear Stearns. In therapy he met some Catholic priests and was became interested in the faith. I believe he was an atheist.
I spent a few minutes looking for a story on the Internet with sources and all that stuff but couldn't find it. I'm only going on what I heard or read. If I got the story wrong, I'll be happy to correct it.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:27 AM Permalink
Thursday, March 06, 2003
Weekly Standard Fred Barnes: Peacenik's Top 10
Answers to the most common objects to the war with Iraq.
Blogger credit to: Disordered Affections
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:59 AM Permalink
NY Post Maggie Gallagher: Is War with Iraq Just
Gallagher lays out the case for this being a moral war. She concludes:
This Lent, let all good Christians pray and fast for peace, as U.S. bishops ask. Let us pray and fast as well for moral wisdom to distinguish between true, just and lasting peace and a fearful indifference to the bloody moral consequences of inaction.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:06 AM Permalink
NY Post Dick Morris: Anti-War Errors
My favorite recent convert to the Catholic faith has this insight:
...But another thing is lost in the discussion: The weapons he is now identifying and destroying are only those the list of what the arms inspectors found before he threw them out of Iraq in 1998. None of the weapons he is destroying were made after the inspectors left.
So anything from 1998 to 2003 will not be given as a token offering to the UN inspection "process". There wasn't supposed to be a process -- Saddam agreed to disarm and it would be a simple matter to verify that. But he's running a police state and has perfected the means to conceal WMD production and storage.
So Dick Morris is an honorary member of the Lepanto group.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:57 AM Permalink
No scones or pastries today
The New York Times went to McLean Virginia to look in on Catholics. (Funny the article doesn't mention that city is the headquarters of the CIA).
In own encounters with Catholics they either support the Pope (and oppose the war) or they are confused by the Vatican's statements.
I tell them something I believe but their reaction is generally speaking, they find my explanation is less than satisfactory. Ultimately:
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:26 AM Permalink
NY Sun: Church Quietly Opposed Key Reform in Albany
Low-Profile Lobbying Won Reprieve On Suits on Sexual Abuse BY WILLIAM F. HAMMOND JR.
Even though this is not confirmed, the denial from the diocese is in an "I don't recall" form. The criminal statute of limitations was extended but the civil statute of limitations was not. The usual suspects are hammering the Church on this one.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:13 AM Permalink
Wednesday, March 05, 2003
Is any attempt being made by the other side (advocating that the announced policy of the United States is immoral) -to answer our questions - or to rebut our denial that this is a "pre-emptive war", that the United Nations has authority over American armed forces, that Saddam, if left alone would disarm. The dialog has been disproportionately one-way. Is there anything out there besides "the Pope says so" and "this is a war for oil"?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:31 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:37 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:54 PM Permalink
Woman Offers Bush Crucifixion-For-Peace Deal
I know that Reuters filed this under humor but there's nothing funny about these reports of torture and crucifixion in Saddam's Iraq: UK Times: MP backs war after meeting victims of Saddam's torture
A peace under Saddam is not freedom.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:03 PM Permalink
Surely you must have seen the headline Baghdad Rejects Pope's Iraq Argument during the time of the Aziz visit to Rome and Assissi or the Etchegaray visit to Iraq?
Wait? You say you didn't see it? But clearly the message that the Pope had for Iraq was rejected.
A week later and the headline is AP: White House Rejects Pope's Iraq Argument. A more accurate and less-biased way is just to report it as they reported the Iraq/Vatican dialog. The parties listened and didn't change their position.
Frankly, the language of "no moral justification for a pre-emptive war" is not going to be helpful because it's so far from the reality that the Bush team is working from. The Vatican as a matter of prudential judgment can frame the question this way. It's an error to believe they can impose that worldview on the United States.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:19 PM Permalink
Praying for Peace Today
I'm praying for peace as the Pope has asked all Catholics to do. I went to the 1 PM Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral and it was packed. The homily was a traditional one for Ash Wedneday and the priest did not mention the war.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:47 PM Permalink
Tuesday, March 04, 2003
This is the Thomas Nast cartoon that had such an impact on me in High School. I mention it below in the context of the visit of Cardinal Laghi to President Bush this week. Many thanks to Rod Dreher of National Review for the favorable mention of this blog in National Review Online today.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:51 PM Permalink
New York Daily News: Fr. Michael Hands was given a sentence of two years for sodomizing a boy
In New York State, that turns out to actually be 16 months. If you are a bit puzzled why such a light sentence I can explain that. Fr. Hands revealed names and details to a grand jury which recently made its report public.
The diocese disputes the findings of that report.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:31 PM Permalink
un-Reason has an out-of-control comment block on allegations of anti-semitism of the Catholic Church.
Of course, the comments shifted to a discussion of homosexuality at 3/3 9.28 PM.
Keep in mind that there's quite a big difference among the following:
Around the blogosphere you can find all sorts of anti-Catholic attacks relating to that last point. I'll be happy to explain and defend the first two items. Don't ask me to defend the Church's support of the terrorists in their attack on the Church of the Nativity and the triumphant Etchegaray-Arafat photograph.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:27 PM Permalink
Rice met with 4 Cardinals
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice met with:
No room in the limo for Cardinals Dulles, George, Maida, and Mahony.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:33 PM Permalink
AP: Bills on Child Sex Abuse Languish
I mostly agree with the author, the lack of legislative action on this is a mystery.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:27 PM Permalink
Imagine if the current President were Catholic. Could there even be the merest thought that the Pope would make a great public show of sending a Cardinal to influence the Catholic President on a matter of national security and war?
The images of Thomas Nast's alligators transforming themselves into bishops as they climb out of the Atlantic. It would trigger a Gangs of New York nativist moment -- from Bob Jones University to the editorial room of the New York Times.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:08 AM Permalink
NY Times: On the Bush-Laghi Connection
Cardinal Laghi, 80, has known the Bush family since the 1980s, when he and George H.W. Bush were neighbors on Embassy Row. The elder Bush was then vice president, living on the grounds of the Naval Observatory on Massachusetts Avenue, while Laghi, the Vatican's first ambassador to Washington, lived across the street at the Vatican Embassy.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:02 AM Permalink
The Return of Cardinal Pio Laghi
Is this a photo-op or something serious? If there's any connection from Cardinal Laghi to President Bush 41 or 43, I have never heard of it. As far as I know, Cardinal Laghi was just the nunico at the time Bush 41 and a not exaclty "longtime friend of the Bush family".
Anyone know anything concrete about this friendship?
Oh and if anyone happens to meet Cardinal Laghi, be sure to thank him for his role in rubber-stamping all the bishop-candidates put forward by Cardinals Bernardin and Law and apparently ignoring all the letters sent to the nunicature regarding sexual abuse by priests.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:00 AM Permalink
CNN: Pledge of Allegiance ban set for March 10 in nine states
The news is finally getting out of the blogosphere and into the old media: the implication of the refusal of the Ninth Circuit to revisit the decision -- is that the pledge will be prohibited. By that I don't mean that saying it will be criminialized -- however, a public school that has a organized recited pledge is likely to be sued on the basis of the so-far-successful Michael Newdow lawsuit. Having an individual opt-out will not be sufficient.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:34 AM Permalink
Monday, March 03, 2003
Limits of Competence
We're familiar with the concept of competence: for brain surgery, you go to a brain surgeon, for ideas on who to decorate you go to Martha Stewart, for ideas on how to connect to an ECN, you could come to me.
There are limits to competence. What I fail to see is a humble acknowledgement of what the issues are. I became aware of this during the Regan years when bishops called the basing of Pershing 2 missiles in Europe in the 1980's an immoral act. For the first time, missiles would be fired from Europe and not the United States, if Europe was attacked by the Soviet Union.
Don't ask me, I can't recall what the argument was why Euro-based missiles were "immoral" and larger US-based missiles were moral, but I dug up a typical statement of that era:
Technology acts as a two-edged sward in the nuclear competition; some technological changes (e.g., Permissive Action Links) contribute to increasing control of nuclear weapons; other developments (e.g., MIRVing) have had a long-term destabilizing impact. Since 1983, developments in missile accuracy, anti-satellite weapons and stealth technology have continued the bivalent influence of technology on the arms race. The dilemmas of command, control and communication systems (C3) illustrate this well. Some improvements in C3 are dangerous if they enhance "war-fighting" capabilities and feed the illusion of surviving an extended nuclear exchange.
Did the bishop's competence in 1983 extend to knowing what impact Permissive Action Links had in deterring Soviet agression? Thanks be to God the question has been rendered moot.
More recently, a bishop opposed to immigration reform legislation was asked specifically what proposed laws he supported and opposed. He was caught being ignorant of any of the legislation or legislators which he was saying was "immoral". (Whatever it is I'm against it.)
Let me engage in my own finger-wagging here: here are some areas where the bishops have competence:
Regarding war, Who decides how grave is grave, how lasting is lasting, how certain is certain?
Who makes the concrete evaluations of the specific circumstances?
The catechism has the answer: (CCC 2309) The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.
These people in the United States are the elected officials, the President and Congress. They have the responsibility. If a bishop or priest is wrong on this grave matter, they can shug and say "well, I tried peace and it didn't work out". I worry and President Bush worries about Iraq handing-off a small nuke to a ship controlled by terrorists which explodes at Pier 80 in Manhattan and kills millions of Americans.
I trust President Bush to weigh the lasting, grave, and certain nature of that threat.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:23 PM Permalink
Zenit: War Would Be Unjustified, Says U.S. Bishop Warns of Troubling Moral Precedents
In blogger news cycles, this is almost ancient history -- from Thursday February 27, 2003. Bishop Wilton Gregory characterizes the United States policy incorrectly. It only creates more problems when you distort it this way.
Our bishops' conference continues to question the moral legitimacy of any pre-emptive, unilateral use of military force to overthrow the government of Iraq.
The terms that I think are mis-characterizations:
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:03 PM Permalink
Strange New Respect Dept.:
After asking us to accept, believe, and trust Saddam, the "peace is only the absence of war" side of this debate, the inspectors located and tagged "dozens" of undisclosed, prohibited missiles.
What would you expect after this reality has hit them in the face? An admission that Saddam is a liar and we were duped.
No, it is a euphoric celebration that the inspections are working despite the lack of truth and cooperation on the part of Iraq.
Saddam's strategy is a limited, measured amount of release of weapons to drag out the process -- leaving American toops vulnerable to a surprise attack while they are concentrated in staging bases, and for the weather to turn against the troops.
I'd like to call this the War of Saddam's Insincerity and the Credulity of the Naive. We are being played.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:04 AM Permalink
NJ.com: Another Post-Christian says spirituality good -- religion bad.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:48 AM Permalink
Sunday, March 02, 2003
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:09 PM Permalink
Pope revises Vatican norms on clergy sex abuse, confession
Here's the best part:
Now the congregation can make exceptions on a case-by-case basis. It can allow the appointment of a layperson or a deacon and the appointment of someone who has a canon law licentiate -- one degree below a doctorate -- and has "worked in ecclesiastical tribunals for a reasonable time."
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:37 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:19 PM Permalink
Case 7348: The Death Penalty
It has happenned again. My argument that current penalties imposed on murderers are insufficient to protect society. If the Pope has addressed deterrence in his writings on capital punishment I have not be able to find it. The bishops who have written on this and declared that deterrence does not work appear not to have not examined the sociological evidence that's been piling up.
I'm not a sociologist but I'm presenting more annecdotal evidence now that robberies in which the victim may be able to identify the robber are becoming murders -- because the criminal is calculating that the time that a robber serves and the time that a murderer serves in prison are almost the same -- and killing the victim greatly reduces the chances of being caught.
The victim is also the principle witness. He or she can scream for help, call the police after you leave, give them your description, identify you upon arrest, testify against you in court. Kill this witness -- it makes no difference in the time served.
and a link to the Newsday: Wendy's Massacre 5/24/2000
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:54 PM Permalink
This guy looks familiar
When I used to travel on business regularly, there always seemed to be cab drivers like this at the airport who would refuse to take me home because they want a bigger fare for going to Manhattan.
This from a real CNN story on Khalid Shaikh Mohammed's capture during a raid in Pakistan on Saturday.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:32 PM Permalink
Vatican to put words into action?
For all the talk of the United States going to war as unjust, illegal, or criminal, the Vatican has the option and perhaps even the duty to take action. The condemnation of the so-called war of agression of the United States could lead to these acts:
Words have meaning. If the Vatican wants credibility in its condemnation of the United States, it can take the next step.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:30 AM Permalink
I added a lot more original text and links to the Just War FAQ and I've collected a small list of Catholic blogs which support the policy of the United States in Iraq and called them The Lepanto Group
Thanks for all the links and email.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:21 AM Permalink