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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
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Friday, May 07, 2004
 
Is this a tadpole or something else? It looks kind of human. What do those Chinese characters stand for?


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:52 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Why were Tali Hatuel, a mother, eight months pregnant, and her four daughters executed?

The Vatican has the answer:

AP. Vatican: Mideast crisis must be addressed

"Everyone has the right to build a wall to protect themselves when they feel in danger. But they must do it in their own garden, not the neighbor's," Tauran said.

Details on the murders - Jewish Press: Mother, Children Executed At Point Blank Range

Your eminence, is that all it would take -- to move the wall 25 meters?

In New York City, we have a saying: Everything before the "but" is bull. Although another word is occasionally used.

An ad published in today's Wall Street Journal asks How can there be peace in the Middle East if Israel isn't even on the map today?

The background for the discussion of the maps is American Jewish Committee

The goal of the Palestinian terrorists is the elimination of Israel, not co-existence with it.

The goal of the global network of terrorists is the establishment globally of a fascist form of Islam that was practiced in Afghanistan until the 2002 war -- to make the entire world by conquest acknowledge there is no God but God and Mohammed is his prophet.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:57 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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AP: Wary Of Protests,Some Churches May Close During G8 Summit
Concerned about damage from protesters or possible terrorism when President Bush and world leaders arrive for next month's G-8 summit, some churches and synagogues in Savannah's historic district are taking precautions to protect their 19th century sanctuaries.

The towering Roman Catholic cathedral, built in 1873, sustained $364,000 in damage from an arson fire last October. Monsignor William O. O'Neill told parishioners the cathedral would not risk being a target.

"The parish council decided it would be safer just to close, because the cathedral is such a high profile building and because there have been incidents in the past, principally the fire," said Barbara King, spokeswoman for the Catholic Diocese of Savannah.

In New York we know how to deal with mobs. In 1844 Archbishop John Hughes made a public and direct response to the threat of the burning down of Catholic churches, convents and schools:

"I'll make New York City look like 'A Second Moscow' if they do."

Moscow had been burned to the ground in the Napoleonic Wars by the people of Moscow in 1812.

Later he wrote in triumph:

"There is not a [Catholic] church in the city," he wrote, "which was not protected with an average force of one to two thousand men--cool, collected, armed to the teeth--and with a firm determination, after taking as many lives as they could in defense of their property, to give up, if necessary, their own lives for the same cause."
No harm came to any Catholic Church.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:07 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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My problem with the bishops

I get often slammed for always being against the bishops.

Once upon a time, I was in a chatroom and I quoted a criticism written by one Catholic bishop against another Catholic bishop. I got banned because the policy of that particular operator was that criticism of bishops was not allowed. The target of the criticism was Weakland. (I forget which bishop was the author.)

That was in 1997.

With the appearance of this ad "Are You Comfortable" from American Life League and discussed in the Washington Post, The dialog from the laity with the bishops have been intensified.

The meta-criticism is the denial of the difference in gravity and impact upon society that abortion has and its related sins: contraception, desertion, abandomment, infanticide, euthanasia, etc.

Abortion is different. It is the sin that destroys respect for life.

For me, an public admonishment not to receive Holy Communion is as far as I would go with a person living in an irregular marriage, if a private warning failed. Call me soft on that score.

If we don't have repect for innocent life, then anything is possible. Euthanasia that was practiced by the Nazis and prosecuted as a war crime in Nuremberg is now being practiced in Christian-majority countries.

The passive response that commenced in 1973 hasn't worked once on any Catholic politician and its time for a change.

It ought to be in the job description of bishops to urge these pro-abortion Catholic politicians to repent using the tools the Church places in their hands like canon 915.

The West (that miserable union of the Judaeo-Christians and the secularists) is committing suicide by contraception and abortion.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:31 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Thursday, May 06, 2004
 
Photoblog of the Catholic Evidence Guild in Washington Square Park


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:40 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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AP: Methodists Divided on Homosexuality Stand
Conservatives in the United Methodist Church proposed splitting the denomination Thursday, the latest sign of decades of disagreement over homosexuality that continued at a national meeting this week.

...Hinson said conservatives want the church to form a task force that would divide up church property and funds. That idea would meet intense opposition from many in the denomination. Church law prevents any congregation from walking away with Methodist assets

Real estate, copiers, bank accounts... Ah! The treasure of the Methodist Church.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:24 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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AP: Judge Rules Schiavo Law Unconstitutional
A Circuit Court judge ruled Thursday that the law pushed by Gov. Jeb Bush to keep a severely brain damaged woman alive is unconstitutional. The governor's office filed an immediate appeal.

The ruling by Pinellas Circuit Court Judge W. Douglas Baird ends the first legal fight over the October law, passed just days after Terri Schiavo was disconnected from the feeding and hydration tube which has kept her alive for more than a decade. Her husband Michael had fought a long court battle to carry out what he said were his wife's wishes not to be kept alive artificially but her parents have said there were no such wishes.

The law allowed Bush to order Terri Schiavo's feeding tube reconnected.

This is terrible news. Remember Terri in your prayers.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:18 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Another thought on Myers/McGreevey

As a parent, I can say to any of my kids, "Turn off the TV now, do your homework, and you can wait to have dinner until its done".

My goal here is to get the kids to do the homework earlier in the evening, not to make them skip dinner. The analogy is not complete: procranstination of this sort is not objectively immoral.

Compliance with what I've ordered in my authority as a parent is not the goal of this dialog, it is only a step in the right direction.

If McGreevey doesn't have a hunger, a spiritual need for the Eucharist that conquers his desire for political power that is the poisoned fruit of a pro-abortion position, then while Myers can feel triumphant in one sense, he's got to remain concerned for the destination of McGreevey's soul until McGreevey repents.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:19 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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World Net Daily: Baptist activists: Pull kids out of school
A resolution supporters hope will make it to the floor of the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting next month calls on the millions of members of the denomination to pull their kids out of government schools and either homeschool them or send them to Christian schools.

What historical irony.

The original foundation of public schools was Protestant to coerce Catholics and to a lesser extent Jews into conformity. Along with that came the Blaine Amendments and the prohibition of taxpayer funds for anything but these Public (i.e. Protestant) Schools.

Fast forward a few decades and conformity is now defined in atheism. Having cut down the parochial school system, the Protestants are not able to do much more than slam the door on the way out of their own "Public School" system.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:36 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Wall Street Journal: Church Leaders Enter The Political Fray (paid subs. reqd.)
...The effect of the bishops' more-activist stance is far from clear. There are 63.4 million Catholics in the U.S., and Catholic voters comprise about a fourth of the electorate. Historically Democratic, they have drifted increasingly toward Republicans in recent decades, backing Richard Nixon in 1972 and Ronald Reagan in 1984. In 2000, they went narrowly for Al Gore over George W. Bush, 52% to 46%, and they certainly will loom large again this fall in such swing states as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona and New Mexico. As president, Mr. Bush has made a concerted effort to woo Catholics.

...Church officials, who have been seeking to reassert authority and regain credibility after damaging sex-abuse revelations, hope the debate spurs a broader push to get Catholics off the unofficial "cafeteria plan," under which many quietly pick and choose from the church's teachings on matters such as abortion, the death penalty and sexual conduct. Mr. Kerry could become the key vehicle in their effort to do that.

A good article with a summary of the facts to date.

Something I didn't know:

...If the bishops do decide to deny Sen. Kerry communion, Ms. Kissling of Catholics for a Free Choice says she is ready to retaliate. "I will file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, because it clearly is a political act," she says. "And let them defend it in court."
I reply, Bring it on.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:40 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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AP: New Jersey Governor, at Odds With Church Over Abortion Rights, Says He Won't Receive Communion
Gov. James E. McGreevey, at odds with the Roman Catholic Church over his support for abortion rights, said Wednesday he will honor the wishes of the Newark archbishop and not receive communion.

I still pray that he repents.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:32 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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AP: Chicago lab helps create 5 babies to be stem-cell donors to siblings
In a growing practice that troubles some ethicists, a Chicago laboratory helped create five healthy babies so that they could serve as stem-cell donors for their ailing brothers and sisters.

The made-to-order infants were screened and selected when they were still embryos to make sure they would be compatible donors. Their siblings suffered from leukemia or a rare and potentially lethal anemia.

The Chicago doctors said the healthy embryos that were not matches were frozen for potential future use. Some ethicists said such perfectly healthy embryos could end up being discarded.

"This was a search-and-destroy mission," said Richard Doerflinger of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The chosen embryos "were allowed to be born so they could donate tissue to benefit someone else."

Even though these embryos are human and their sex is already determined, the word "sibling" is used for them and "brother" and "sister" is used for the born children. I guess it would would sound too human and personal to say otherwise.

I can imagine this practice becoming more routine -- to save all the money on diapers through college education.

It's a form of idolatry and blasphemy: you presume to have control of birth and death.

I predict an interesting conflict down the road -- what happens when a embryo needs to be unfrozen and implanted in order to become a baby -- the born-brother or sister wants this to happen and the parents refuse?

To have a heir and a spare.

Of course, the next step is some sort of "harvesting" -- to allow the embryo to be implanted and develop until the desired maturity of the stem cells is obtained, and the slaughter the unborn child to recover its stem cells.

It's like a vampire killing and killing and killing to obtain immortality.

Update. Explaining how I feel about this use of embryos is idolatry and blasphemy, I make a connection to monster movies like Frankenstein and Dracula -- both deal with the themes of limitation of man and immortality.

This dialog from Frankenstein in two lines shows how Dr. Frankenstein mocks God and worships himself for his ability to reanimate a dead body (a crude duplication of the resurrection):

Henry Moritz (the observer) -- In the name of God!

Dr. Frankenstein: Oh, in the name of God! Now I know what it feels like to be God!


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:11 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Wednesday, May 05, 2004
 
365gay.com: Cracks In Vatican Anti-Gay Stance
by Malcolm Thornberry, 365Gay.com Newscenter European Bureau Chief

(Madrid) The papal ambassador to Spain has made a stunning admission: The Vatican made a mistake in not supporting same-sex couples.

It is the first time that a high ranking official in the Catholic Church has questioned the official position that gay relationships are "evil and deviant" and indicates, Church-watchers say, a major crack in what was until now considered an impenetrable wall of opposition to gay unions.

"The new political situation in which we are living in Spain sets new challenges in the spreading of the gospel and we must meet those challenges in an appropriate manner," Monsignor Manuel Monteiro de Castro told a conference of Spanish bishops.

The speech shocked some in the audience, surprised the government, and gave hope to thousands of gay couples in what is considered Europe's most Catholic country.

But, Monteiro de Castro stopped just short of endorsing gay marriage saying that although the law in Spain, and many other countries, currently defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman, "there are other forms of cohabitation and it is good that they be recognized".

"They are not the same as marriage," he said. "We will leave the term marriage for that which it has always referred to, and other arrangements should be given other names."

Monteiro de Castro said gay couples should be given access to certain civil rights, including those within the social security system. He added: "The church can also help them in their spiritual life."

Last month the Spanish government formally announced it will bring in legislation to legalize same-sex marriage.

The nuncio ("papal ambassador"), in theory, represents the Pope before these foreign governments (hence my presenting the papal coat of arms here).

One has to laugh at the idea of a nuncio like Monteiro de Castro being a "high Vatican official".

It will be interesting to see the visibility and immediacy of his reassignment. It will be a good sign of how much of the Church is still being run by the Holy Father, and how much of the power is in the hands of Angelo Cardinal Sodano.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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1,181,150 Men and Women Are Serving Honorably in the American Armed Services, esp. 200,00 in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • The blame America first crew are critical of them and the "military culture" which defends the United States and liberated Iraq from tyranny. The seven who have been identified are being investigated. They are not going anywhere. There is a decade of investigations ahead on this.
  • The anti-Bush crew are blaming Bush for this. It was a command failure. I suspect that some 2-star and 3-star generals are at risk now for not acting sooner on the reports of abuse which were presented to them.
  • These political speeches accusing American soldiers in general and its civilian leadership in particular of immorality are doubly troubling: lowering the morale of our our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines, and validating the hatred of America in the Islamic world. The rhetorical broad brush is being used not to show the decency of America in not tolerating abuse and torture.

    They are playing a "gotcha" game with Rumsfeld and Bush at a time when the overall morale of the military needs support in their difficult job.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:42 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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New York Post: 'Pay Pray' Files to Go to Spitzer
Gov. Pataki yesterday defended spending from his controversial prayer breakfast "trust fund" and will turn over documents detailing the fund-raising and expenditure activities.

Pataki, in his first public comment on the controversy, said all the money that has been raised by the fund "goes to pay for the cost of the [prayer] breakfast."

"We'll take whatever action is appropriate," said Pataki when asked about state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's probe of the fund.

Spitzer launched an investigation of the governor's private fund after The Post disclosed that it was aggressively selling tickets for a May 11 prayer breakfast with First Lady Laura Bush - with tables going for as much as $1,000 each - although it wasn't registered with the attorney general's charity bureau.

New York Post Editorial: A Prayer (and a Probe) for Albany
What price piety?

For Gov. Pataki, try $1,000- a-table to meet for breakfast - and say a prayer - with First Lady Laura Bush next week.

Talk about sticker shock: In years past, admission could be had for $25 a head.

Then again, in years past there was no first lady on hand to attract the pious.

Or the lobbyists.

Who's buying the tickets, anyway?

Post State Editor Fredric U. Dicker, who first reported the event, says that state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer will try to determine whether Pataki's Prayer Breakfast Trust Fund should have registered as a charity - with all the attendant financial-disclosure laws.

Who's giving?

How much?

And to what purpose?

To say a prayer?

Hey, there's no lack of appropriate venues - including a magnificent Roman Catholic cathedral - within walking distance of the state Capitol.

They're free, too.

On the other hand, it'll take a major miracle to set things straight in Albany.

So prayer probably can't hurt.

Spitzer just needs to make sure that everything is, well, kosher.

I include the editorial here because I think I could have written it myself.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:52 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Stanley Milgram and Obedience to Authority

If you are wondering how you go from being a college kid at the University of Tennessee taking classes and partying -- and a few months later wiring up Iraqis for sound (as in applying electric shocks to private parts), then get familiar with the work of Professor Milgram.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:17 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Van Helsing

I like the style of this Movie Juice review.

However, it doesn't mention that Van Helsing is a special agent of the Catholic Church. Opens on Friday.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:09 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Rush Limbaugh has got it wrong

I think Rush is focusing too much on the photos which feature humiliation.

The real problem is torture and perhaps murder. It was internally documented by the Army itself. It cannot be denied at this point.

Update. Arrgh: Sean Hannity seems to be repeating the same line.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:29 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Guest Blogger: Marvin the Martian on the Sasser Virus

"Oh drat these computers. They're so naughty and so complex. I could pinch them."


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:49 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Vows of Silence : The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II by Jason Berry Gerald Renner

Newsday Book Review: Vows of Silence

Otto-da-Fe blogged this as well. But I have the advantage. I have the book itself. I didn't have to go far because this is all discussed in the Introduction.

A PRIEST'S STORY: How McGann tried to help one victim

(reviewed by Carol Eisenberg)

The book [Vows of Silence] sheds new light on McGann, who is shown here in a sympathetic, if not a heroic, light, pursuing an investigation of a powerful Vatican player accused of sexual abuse - an image at odds with the one that emerged from a 2003 Suffolk County grand jury report, which described how the diocese engaged in a systematic cover- up of priest sex abuse under his leadership.

In this case, McGann helped [victim Juan] Vaca seek justice, according to [Jason] Berry and [Gerald] Renner. He reported Maciel to the Vatican, forwarding letters to Rome via diplomatic pouch from Vaca and another former Legion priest on Long Island, the Rev. Felix Alarcon, who confirmed he had been molested by Maciel, too. He also sent along the names and addresses of 19 other men whom Vaca had identified as victims.

Bishop McGann of Rockville Center was an architect of the toleration of heterodoxy and dissent from Catholic teaching in the hierarchy for 24 years. The scandal broke after his death. People had pleaded with him to get criminal abuser priests out of contact with children, but time and time again they were simply moved around or transferred to other dioceses. Although I should add that transferred into RC were criminal abuser priests from elsewhere. Naturally -- since RC had the lowest per capita number of seminarians and ordinations in the United States and operated the gayest seminary. Priests (under 60) in my diocese who have come from other seminaries, often mention "No I didn't attend it nor did I ever teach there". All the books on the scandal mention this seminary which acquired this character under McGann.

The puzzle therefore is why McGann acted on Vaca's story. I don't believe for a second that it was heroic. I think it was calculated. I would suggest three reasons:

  • It was a compassionate thing to do: to give hope to Vaca that there would be a investigation of his charges. However, McGann knew that the nuncios (Jadot, Laghi , Cacciavillan, Montalvo) were doing nothing with these reports.
  • It was a smart politican thing to do: to knock down the high and mighty Legionaries of Christ a peg.
  • Here's my real reason: I think McGann's actions are like those empty suitcases that were found in train stations and the airport. McGann wanted to see if a bishop pushed this documented accusation past the Nuncio and into the various Vatican curia offices what would happen. If there was action (and of course there wasn't), the bishops of the United States would see what it was and develop a counter-strategy.
As it turned out, the scandal broke thanks to the media and the investigations of the local prosecutors.

No priest or bishop has been sent to jail for their role in obstructing justice or conspiracy in the sexual abuse scandal.

The appearance of this in the book is to show that when the buck was passed by an American bishop to the Pope, as directly as he could do so, nothing was done. The appearance of this in the review is because the readers of Newsday are very familiar with the McGann story.

Reminder: The kick-back that I get from Amazon for your click-thrus on book purchases gets passed on to Good Counsel Homes


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:34 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Tuesday, May 04, 2004
 
E.J. Dionne. Washington Post: Kerry and His Church
Forty-four years ago John F. Kennedy became the nation's first Roman Catholic president by repeating over and over that his faith would have no effect on how he would govern. Now John F. Kerry is facing resistance to his effort to become the nation's second Roman Catholic president because, in the eyes of some of his Catholic critics, church teaching does not have enough influence on how he would govern -- especially on the matter of abortion.

What's going on here is the result of a perfect storm. There is, first, the frustration of many bishops who lean Democratic on most public issues over how hard it is for even mildly anti-abortion Democrats to gain traction or much respect within their party. Second, there has been, to put it charitably, a certain awkwardness in Kerry's own approach to these questions. His reference in early April to a nonexistent pope, "Pius XXIII," was not especially helpful in courting the devout or attentive.

But what may be decisive is a third factor: an active campaign on the part of conservative Catholic Republicans to make abortion the one true litmus test for Catholic politicians. These conservatives are strongly committed to President Bush's reelection and are quite pleased to see Kerry squirm over whether or not he'll be allowed to receive Communion.

You can add this item to the Mark Shields CNN item which I blogged and the pathetic Andrew Sullivan item which Amy Welborn blogged and I commented on it there.

E.J. Dionne also frames the question wrong. The correct frame: What is truth? What does the Church teach? What does it mean to be in small-c communion with the Church?

I can photoshop a logo of the Senate and make a certificate that says "United States Senator Patrick Sweeney" but it would be a forgery because I lack the authority to claim that.

Likewise Kerry lacks the authority to claim that he is in communion with the Catholic Church and to claim he receives Holy Communion in the state of grace. As an objective matter, he's a manifest obstinate sinner. He obtains nothing now from receiving Holy Communion but the additional sin of sacrilege.

He furthers confuses the world by also claiming that his position on partial birth being in accord with his conscience which is the final authority on the matter. So I'd add that he is spreading a heresy to other Catholics.

However, we expect Kerry to be that way. Political power is his idol.

I had higher expectations that bishops would be able to throw off those 1973 precedents and embrace the future which is a stronger Catholic witness to the protection of innocent life.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:28 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Calling it a war on terror is like calling World War II a war on tanks and submarines

Dallas Morning News columnist Rod Dreher is a participant in a blog in that paper and thanks to him, I've been turned onto an anonymous author named Spengler.

He is writing some excellent news analysis that frames the war on terror as the militant Islam or Jihadism confronting the West.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:09 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Abu Garib shows the world we're different. So does this incident in a Manhattan prison.

You've seen the pictures, which if are not staged, are evidence of the harassment and mistreatment of Iraqi POW's, that is, men who have taken up arms against American and coalition military personnel and civilians.

As far as I can tell without the exception of one photograph where a prisoner is threatened with electrocution, they are not being tortured or maimed or killed. When the official investigation progress, it may turn out that there are confirmed cases of torture, maiming, and killing. That increases the gravity of the command and control failure which is already grave.

The media releasing these pictures have not released the pictures of terrorist torture and murder which they have: Danny Pearl, the Wall Street Journal, the contractors dragged through the streets of Fallujah and hung from a bridge, and the victims of 9/11. There are no investigations conducted by the terrorists for this, it is their policy to do these.

This is a picture from a prison. Not Abu Garib. The victim is not an Iraqi POW but an American prison guard. In 2002, Mamdouh Nahmud Salim plunged a weapon fashioned from a plastic comb into the eye and brain of Louis Pepe who lost an eye, the use of the right side of his body and 70 percent of his ability to speak. Salim was an al Qaeda member charged in the bombings of the American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.

If you are prepared to feel some pain and rage, the Newsday account of the suffering of Louis Pepe is the most complete.

Update: The investigative reports of what went on in Abu Garib have been published and it is conclusive to me that torture took place there.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:00 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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st-james-slayer The Statue of James (part II)

I'm talking about the apostle, the kin of Jesus, the first bishop of Jerusalem, and the missionary to the Roman province of Iberia.

BBC: Church to remove Moor-slayer saint

A statue in a Spanish cathedral showing St James slicing the heads off Moorish invaders is to be removed to avoid causing offence to Muslims.

Cathedral authorities in the pilgrim city of Santiago de Compostela, on Spain's north west coast, plan to move the statue to the museum.

Among the reasons for the move is to avoid upsetting the "sensitivities of other ethnic groups".

Ingratitude.

What about the need to pray for the intercession of St. James in the Global War on Terror?

It's the politically correct re-writing of history.

Perhaps it is time to seek the beatification of Queen Isabella of Castile, Aragon, and Spain La Catolica

(another Queen Isabella web site in Spanish)


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:47 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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The Statue of James (part 1)

I'm talking about the hardest-working man in show business -- the Godfather of Soul James Brown (he played Reverend Cleophus James in the Blues Brothers and its sequels)

AP: Augusta Delaying James Brown Statue

City officials have delayed the unveiling of a statue honoring James Brown until the singer resolves his legal troubles.

Officials originally scheduled the unveiling for May 7 to coincide with the Godfather of Soul's 71st birthday, which is Monday, and the downtown music festival that was named in his honor until recently.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:35 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Nobel World Conflict Map (Requires Shockwave)

A politically correct map of war from 1900 to 2001: There's no flame over New York City and Washington DC for the year 2001.

Looks like 1923 was the most peaceful year of the prior century.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:06 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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RICO prosecutions for Catholic dioceses?

masslive.com: Church exposed to rackets law?

As law enforcement officials consider criminal charges against the former bishop and the Springfield Diocese regarding sexual abuse and a possible cover-up, federal charges, including racketeer-influenced and corrupt organization (RICO) charges, could be explored.
I looked but failed to find other references in the news to this.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:11 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Monday, May 03, 2004
 
So, show him the movie again

AP: Post-'Passion' Confessor Pleads Innocent

A man who police said made his girlfriend's slaying appear to be a suicide, but then confessed after seeing "The Passion of the Christ," pleaded innocent to murder Monday.

Dan Leach II entered the plea to avoid waiving his rights, his lawyer, Ralph Gonzalez, said.

The plea surprised the family of 19-year-old Ashley Nicole Wilson, who was found dead Jan. 15 in her apartment near Richmond, southwest of Houston.

"He has admitted his guilt," said the woman's father, Dan Wilson. "That's what's upsetting to us as a family."

Police said Leach came to them in early March and confessed to killing Wilson and making it look like a suicide. Coroners originally ruled Wilson's hanging a suicide.

Authorities said Leach told them he was inspired to come forward after watching Mel Gibson's cinematic depiction of the last hours of Jesus.

Leach faces up to life in prison if convicted. A trial is set for August.

I know, I know. He admitted guilt, but he wants a plea deal for a reduction in sentence.

If he pled guilty, he would have been considered eligible for the maximum sentence immediately.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:52 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Blogger and Google

With all the attention that the public offering of Google is getting, it's remarkable that in the year since Blogger was acquired virtually nothing has improved in Blogger. They don't even have a discussion board on using their own software.

Moveable Type and the others are looking better and better all the time.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:16 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Who knew Mark Shields was a better theologian that Cardinal Arinze?

Mark Shields, 65, spent over half his life getting Democrats elected. But along the way he picked up this piece of wisdom from Cardinal Bernardin (but Shields got the spelling of name wrong) in CNN

On the eve of the 1984 presidential campaign -- during which the support of legalized abortion by Catholic politicians would stir a major controversy -- Cardinal Joseph Bernadine of Chicago, an opponent of abortion, cautioned Catholics against turning abortion into a single voting issue: "Our moral, political and economic responsibilities do not stop at the moment of birth."

Certainly they start at the moment of conception. Isn't that the point of Cardinal Bernardin and our Church?

And if the child is not born, then what?

I think it's a sign of desperation that Kerry's Catholic outreach is Shields. Who's next in the great pull in the Catholics for Kerry vote? Jimmy Breslin? Madonna? (forget it -- she's into the Jewish Khabalah)

If the seamless garment needs to be shredded now to preserve innocent life first. Let it be so. Better a shredded garment than a shredded baby.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:37 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Secret Agent Man has a parallel story of Cardinal McCarrick of present day Washington DC and Cardinal Theodor Innitzer of Vienna of 1938.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:26 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Robert Spencer. worldnetdaily.com: Crusaders vs. jihadists
The University of the Incarnate Word, a Christian school in San Antonio, Texas, has scrapped its nickname, "Crusaders," and the accompanying mascot. The university's website has a long and involved explanation for the change, encompassing the history of the Crusades and more. This history, rather predictably, doesn't mention the 450 years of jihad that had overwhelmed Christian lands in the Middle East and North Africa before any Crusade was contemplated.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:10 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Robert Spencer. frontpagemag.com: Oh Moderate Muslims, Where Art Thou?

One of the questions I am most often asked is “Where are the Muslim leaders denouncing terrorism in all its forms?”

This question has become all the more urgent lately in light of statements such as this one from the Lebanese cleric Sheikh Maher Hammoud: “It is not the Islamic way to bomb places like the Red Cross or Iraqi police. But in principle, Ramadan is a blessed month and known as a month for jihad.”

For many Muslims, that means Ramadan is a month for war — as taxi driver Abdullah Hissein put it after an American helicopter was downed in Iraq last Sunday: “We usually celebrate Ramadan at the end of the month. Now we are celebrating in the beginning after these infidel Americans were shot down.”


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:02 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Peter Steinfels. New York Times: A Conundrum for Catholic Politicians
Should Senator Rick Santorum, a Pennsylvania Republican and a highly visible and outspoken Roman Catholic politician, be barred by his bishop from receiving Communion?

What kind of a weird question, one might ask, is that? Isn't Mr. Santorum a leading opponent of abortion and embryonic stem-cell research, with a voting record on those issues quite the opposite of the one that has created tension between other Catholic politicians, especially Senator John Kerry, and church leaders?

Didn't Mr. Santorum receive a standing ovation on Wednesday when he spoke at a prayer breakfast organized by conservative Catholics who want to make opposition to legalized abortion, one of those organizers said, an all-or-nothing test to determine who is a "faithful Catholic"?

Also discussed in Amy Welborn's Open Book where I commented:

First, I contributed to Pat Toomey and sent an email to Santorum urging him to support Toomey. Political support for Arlen Specter is plausibly compatible with a pro-life position along theses lines:

  1. Specter has a better chance of winning in November than Toomey.
  2. As a Republican Specter has the obligation to vote for the nominees of a Republican president.
  3. The Senate itself is unlikely to directly vote on life issues.
  4. Therefore the most probable path to a pro-life majority on the Supreme Court is a vote for Specter.
I'm writing not to excuse Santorum but to offer a rationale that's been given for Santorum's and Bush's support of Specter - at least one that mitigates the charge of scandal.

Specter is a loose cannon: we got reminded that he voted for Thomas, but we are not reminded that he voted against Bork and against the conviction on Clinton in the Senate when Clinton was impeached.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:38 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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John C Dvorak has nailed down exactly what the issue is in high-tech off-shoring.

John C Dvorak pcmag.com: Scams, Lies, Deceit, and obscuring

Here is how the real scam works. You are a programmer at one of the big IT or computer companies. You're 55 and nearing a retirement plateau; in fact, you're a liability. You're making, say, $80,000 as a program designer. You have various responsibilities. The company eliminates your position in the process of downsizing.

To be fair to you, it creates a new position, Associate Program Designer, that pays $35,000 a year. Its responsibilities coincidentally match those of your old job. You can take this job, doing what you did before but at a huge cut in pay, or look elsewhere. If the latter, it's apparent that this new job is one that "Americans don't want." The company can then hire a "body shop" to drop in a foreign H-1B or L1 visa holder, who will not be quite as good but will work for a lot less.

In my own case, there were 2 rounds of layoffs which began a transition to 100% Indian-based development employees. When they were ready to close New York down, the remainder of the American-based VP's and managers were laid off.

Dvorak mentions Tata Consultancy which was feeding the people I was training in 2001. These were men who were young, smart, and very hard-working. I only wish there was investment capital in India to give them jobs there without taking away the jobs from Americans.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:22 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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allafrica.com: Zamfara [Nigeria] Governor Orders Demolition of All Churches
Governor Ahmed Sani of Zamfara State, has ordered the demolition of all churches in the state, as he launched the second phase of his Sharia project yesterday.

Speaking at the launch in Gusau, the state capital, Governor Sani disclosed that time was ripe for full implementation of the programme as enshrined in the Holy Quran.

He added that his government would soon embark on demolition of all places of worship of unbelievers in the state, in line with Islamic injunction to fight them wherever they are found.

Paris to Nigeria to Indonesia

Islam has bloody borders.

  1. Inside the border - intolerance to destruction for non-Muslim state, religion or culture. Dhimmitude.
  2. At the border - a violent conflict to drive out or push back Christians, Jews, and secularists.
  3. In Dar al-Harb (that's us in the "House of War") taking advantage of religious freedom, public denial of (1 )and (2). Recruitment for warriors for (2).

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:13 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Sunday, May 02, 2004
 
Ground Zero Chapel To Host Exhibit
New Yorkers call it The Little Chapel That Stood.

Across the street from the World Trade Center, St. Paul's Chapel survived Sept. 11, 2001, intact, while the twin towers fell.

Within days, Manhattan's oldest church became a beacon of balm.

In its sanctuary, ground zero workers ate, slept, washed and wept. And outside, the iron fence was laden with tributes and flowers left by mourners.

On Monday, this 18th-century chapel where George Washington once prayed opens a permanent exhibit on America's 21st century apocalypse, recalling the rescuers looking for human remains, the volunteers who nurtured them, and the images and words of a world pouring love on a shattered city.

The people who used this church on 9/10/2001 and wanted it to become a church and only a church once again have lost the battle.

The church is going to be turned over again for a another 9/11 exhibit - the tacky memorabilia of the recovery of human remains from the debris.

When I worked the area I remarked how strange it was that only a week or so after 9/11 St. Peter's Catholic Church returned to its religious function and it was much, much closer to the collapsed buildings.

On the other hand...

St. Paul's fulfilled an array of human needs, as kitchen, therapist's couch — of both the spiritual and physical kind — makeshift bedroom, art gallery and doctor's office.
and the parishioners just wanted their church back.

Now in 2004, the worship of God takes a back seat to the tourists looking at the "tributes" left behind by other tourists.

I still wince at recalling all that junk left on the fence robbing the dignity of this historic Church at Fulton and Broadway.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:13 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Michelangelo Signoreli. New York Press: KERRY'S A BAD CATHOLIC
Dole gets wood, the Pope doesn't blink

When devoutly Methodist, pro-life Elizabeth Dole campaigned for the Republican presidential nomination—and later went on to win a bid to become a senator in North Carolina—she courted all of the usual Christian conservatives and got the backing of nearly every national and local Christian-right leader. Did any of them accuse her of engaging in sex solely for the purpose of lusty, filthy self-enjoyment, and then commercially promoting such debauchery to others? Surely not. Jerry Falwell praised Dole as a model of Christian morality even after her husband Bob announced to the world, via his Viagra endorsements, that 60-plus Liddy and 80-plus Bob were humping for reasons that had nothing to do with procreation, which the Christian right of course sees as the only reason for sexual intercourse.

A rather shallow criticism of the Catholic critics of Kerry.

(You can see I'm back to finding the unusual stories about points where politics and popular culture touch the Catholic faith)


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:48 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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John Leo. US News: I'm terribly sorry. Really
The accusatory conditional. "If, in hindsight, we also discover that mistakes may have been made . . . I am deeply sorry," said Cardinal Edward Egan of New York, while apologizing (sort of) for bishops who failed to deal with sex scandals in the Roman Catholic clergy. "Hindsight" means that the critics are just second-guessers who weren't there.
John Leo creates a great list of fake apologies with examples.

John Leo is one of the those media people who I've never been able to get an email address for.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:42 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Saturday Night Live Watch

I admit it. I watch it now to see if Tina Fey keeps her streak going of never making a joke at the expense of John Kerry.

The streak continues. He two jokes about Bush died.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:23 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com